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Marriage: What I Wish I Would Have Known: David & Meg Robbins

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2024 5:15 am

Marriage: What I Wish I Would Have Known: David & Meg Robbins

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 7, 2024 5:15 am

Crave that forever love? David and Meg Robbins are here to support you with tips on tackling relationship hurdles and blending families. They've got some awesome Christian marriage resources to guide you through the twists and turns, helping you rediscover those sweet little things about your future spouse from the time you met.

Show Notes and Resources

Want to hear more episodes by David and Meg, listen here!

Want to hear more about David and Meg's engagement plus marriage journey? They share in Preparing For Marriage: must-have conversations for anyone getting ready for the big day.

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Hey, before we get started with today's program, I'm Shelby Abbott and we are rapidly approaching Easter and one of the things that I have done with my family is go through Family Life's resurrection eggs with them.

If you're wondering what that is, you're like, I have no idea what that means. Well, it's a carton of 12 plastic eggs. Each one has little items inside that are different every single day for the kids to open.

There's little notes that help you understand what the significance of that item is. There's a book to guide you through the process to help your kids have fun, but also focus on the real meaning of what we're celebrating when it comes to Easter. And we want to send you, I guess, a carton of them this week as our thanks to you when you become a monthly financial partner to help support and make the ministry of family life possible. You can go online to familylifetoday.com and you find the donate now button at the top of the page. Or you can feel free to give us a call at 800-FASINFAMILY-LASINLIFE and then the word today.

You can also send your donation by mail to Family Life, 100 Lakehart Drive, Orlando, Florida, 32832. It's going to be a blast if you go through this with your family and Happy Easter. I'm so quick to like try to solve it and figure it out and figure it out quick and like, alright, let's get right back on track right now. And another way that I feel like we've had to learn is how do we actually just get more fully known?

Like what is going on that's driving me this much to live it out over here, but not at home? There's a reason there. And it's one thing just to go, let me shift my focus, which needs to happen. There's another thing to dig into.

Why? Welcome to Family Life Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I'm Shelby Abbott and your hosts are Dave and Anne Wilson.

You can find us at familylifetoday.com. This is Family Life Today. Okay, this could be kind of awkward, but what- Awkward?

Yeah. We're going to start out with awkward. It feels like it's all about me right now. But what was your favorite thing about me when we got married? How honest do you want me to be? It's still one of my favorite things about you.

Positivity joy-bringer. Oh, I didn't think you were going to say that. What did you think I was going to say?

Besides your legs? I thought you were going to say like my drivenness or maybe that was my favorite thing about myself. But I loved about you.

I loved how laid back you were. Yeah. Well, I know where you're bringing that up because those are the two things that drive us crazy now.

Her drivenness and my laid backness. Is that where you're bringing up? Yeah.

Things you didn't know before you got married, but now you're married and you're like, oh boy, that's a lot harder than I thought. Well, we're here talking again with David and Meg Robbins, the president of Family Life, back in the studio. We're going to continue a conversation. So welcome back. You guys are so fun. We love conversations with you guys.

I was just getting ready to say that. It is so fun to be in here because y'all are so fun. It's just so fun to sit here and chat.

Are you sad that you got to do it? I mean, we've talked about so much and we haven't even gotten to what we were hoping we started with. You know, we got this new resource out preparing for marriage, which helps couples before they get married. And by the way, we haven't even mentioned this. We actually have a new resource for blended families that are getting married, which is awesome because they have to prepare in a much different way.

But we have a resource for them as well. Right? That's right. Preparing to Blend.

Ron Deal is the one that helped author it. And he truly is just an incredible expert around blending families. And it's different than if it's a first time marriage. And we've never really addressed that in a book before, but this one really helps couples.

Yeah. So these things are coming out side by side are both great resources, whether you're a mentor that wants to invest in other families and young couples or couples getting married that are blending their families, whether you're an engaged couple yourself or about to be engaged, whether you are involved in a church, there's so many ways these resources are needed and can be used. And so we started a conversation with you guys a couple days ago. Just, you know, you've been married 20 years. We've been married double that. You know, I can't believe we're saying that, but we have, you know, you've got kids in the home.

We've got no kids in the home and just grandkids coming over. So two different lives. But we started the conversation talking about what were a couple of things we wish we would've known before we got married. I think what comes to my mind first is that David will never be able to read my mind. I mean, that may be super obvious. You would think that I would know that.

And I think obviously I know he won't be able to read my mind, but there are always going to be things that he's not going to know unless I tell him. I definitely think when it comes to making big decisions about where we'll live, do we take this job or not? Do we live in this city? Do we move?

Do we not move? I mean, those are the, until you're in them, you really don't know how you're going to live them. And maybe I had expectations that, you know what Meg's going to kind of follow along to whatever my next dream is. And in Italy, we became more of a team where I go, this woman is so gifted and there's so much she brings to the table. Our decisions have to account for both of our giftings and wirings and hopes.

We didn't cover enough. You know, you had more things to say and you said a lot, but we're going to give you another shot. Yeah. I think for me, I really wish I'd known that the things that I loved most about David would certainly grow bigger. And I would love those things all the more in a lot of ways.

But those exact same things could also be things that could cause me to feel resentment or drive me crazy at times. I mean, sometimes super lighthearted things like David loves kids. And I can remember when we were in college and involved with crew and the director, they had young children at the time. And whenever we'd be over at their house, David would be throwing them up in the air and playing with them and on the ground.

And I was thinking, this is awesome. He is so fun with kids. He's gonna be a great dad.

You know, hold on to this one. So and now he is just like that. He is so fun. If we're doing family photos, he's the person like running behind me, acting silly, making everybody laugh while I'm trying to snap the pictures. But we joke that he's kind of like Disney Dad and ever, you know, he's so fun. And there are times when if I'm out of town, he does all the fun things with them. Like he takes them to Chuck E. Cheese or he takes them to Universal.

If we have passes at that time or whatever. And when he's out of town, I'm like in survival mode. Now he travels a lot more than I do.

So it doesn't come around as often. Let's please don't talk about the meal budget that I just choose to do whenever you're out of town. So I'm trying to like cook, you know, I do kid food for them while he's out of town. He's like, Mom's gone!

I have cheese! Exactly. He's like, we're going to all these fun places and having the best milkshakes in Orlando or whatever. You know, so they're, I mean, those are the silly things, but I think it also plays out in things that really attracted me to him. Things that were his giftings, you know, as a leader in the ways that he is a shepherd and cares for people so well. So he wants to make sure that people are thriving and doing well in the roles that they have, which I love that about him. But there are times when that might cost our family.

You know, when he's putting more time into making sure that other people are thriving and doing well. And it's like, okay, I feel like we're missing out on you because you're... It crosses a threshold when it begins to stack day after day or week after week, you know, and you can start, I can start making excuses. Well, this is just a season.

Well, we all know the next wave comes, you know, and so certainly there are times where you have to put in extra, but yet if the withdrawals come out, what deposits am I putting back in the family? And I have a hard time with that. Dave used to say that, David, this is just a season.

And then I would ask... Can you feel her angst? How long is this season again? But I think that's really true. We're going to the playoffs. We're going to the Super Bowl.

It's got to be 16 more weeks. But I mean, Meg, when you say that, did that cause... Because I know there's some of that... A boiling point. Yeah, exactly. I mean, did it cause you to be resentful? Because we've had a bit of that and Ann has felt that. So I wonder if that caused that in your own soul. Oh, for sure. For one, if I'm honest, you know, it takes, even still, you know, a lot of times it takes time for me to realize that I'm getting resentful because if I'm not keeping short accounts and communicating along the way, and then all of a sudden for me, typically I realize like, this is really driving me crazy, which means I probably haven't communicated well and I'm not being honest. I think a good way to determine that is what you're thinking about.

Yes. In the silence of my own head. Not what I'm saying necessarily. Because I've realized when I get to that point, I'm complaining in my head, like, where is he?

Why aren't we more important? And so that dialogue that's going on internally is something to really gauge. Right.

Right. I mean, I remember one time, years ago, we were living in Atlanta and you were helping somebody who was struggling in their marriage. And we had three little kids.

Our youngest was probably 10 months old and three, three and under. So I was, you know, in the fog of motherhood, in the trenches. And I think we had kind of gotten in survival mode, even in our marriage, you know, and just pouring into the kids. And you were giving in the role you were in, leading and in that helping a particular couple in their marriage who were really struggling. And we were talking about them and you were just kind of giving me an update because we had talked to them together a lot. And you just looked over and said, So does us talking about their marriage right now make you wonder about ours? And then you can say, well, I remember a certain way that your response happened. What was your response? I think it was like, I remember it much louder and deeper, and I just remember going, oh, okay, well, let's talk about that, you know, but it was one of those.

I needed the wake up splash water on my face of she, I mean, and yes, you could have communicated earlier and whatnot, but yet it led to real growth. And I think that's, we avoid it. We don't, we want to avoid the argument.

We want to suppress it. It's hard to face what's really happening and the ways you're drifting apart. But I think back to that time and I go, that moment of you being honest, you know, me asking an honest question and you being honest led to a follow up and then let us, I mean, honestly, we were just three kids, three and under it led us just to go, we just, first of all, let's just get rhythms that are right again. Let's get the kids and the church childcare and let's go to just a class. Like let's, let's go to marriage class. We hadn't done that in a long time. You know, we've been in a small group.

We haven't like invested in our marriage. Let's do that. And that simple rhythm was a bit of a game changer because all of a sudden we had carved out space to actually talk about that conversation.

Right. And I think, you know, in that moment, even though I gave a loud nonverbal, I guess, you know, there was more conversation that needed to happen and we did talk it out a little bit then, but yeah, I think just set us up for more time just together to dig in and for you to have the opportunity to see, okay, I do want to also shepherd and invest in our family and in our marriage, even though I'm pouring out into others, this gifting that I was attracted to about him, you know, and it just took more intentionality to make that happen. And I reflect on that time and I go, what was great about what happened and what keeps happening because we kind of have to, you know, the same side of the coin still exists and we have to keep having this conversation and new seasons, you know, becoming the president of Family Life didn't affect us at all in this area.

There were no pressure in there. You know, we're totally in it again and have been in it. And for me, I know I'm missing it again and I can go to shame or I can go to the reality of the gospel and go, I know what's true about God and my ability to encounter him and know more about him. I know these things in my head, yet this is an opportunity for me to know more about my brokenness, about my depravity. And the beautiful thing is, is that if I go deeper into my brokenness, I'm not stuck there. I actually get to experience Jesus filling it up.

Like if I'm willing to go honestly into those places that are hard, then what I know about God in my head becomes an experience. His grace floods in and allows me not to sit there in shame, but to sit there and go, okay, my identity's out of whack. I'm living out the Jeremiah passage about broken cisterns. You know, man, this is a cracked cistern. It's going to beg for more. There's living water to drink deeply of, and it can be hard, but it's always worth it.

And the intimacy you can experience together is certainly deepens your relationship and sends you on your way to even more purpose together. Yeah, I know I'm sitting here. I haven't even looked over at Ann because I'm like, oh boy, this is so similar.

Are you thinking that? To what I did in a really bad way. I, and I'm guessing it was something that you were drawn to before we were married. Well, one of the reasons I wanted to marry you was because I thought this guy is running so fast and hard after Jesus.

He's going to change the world, and I want to be a part of that. But I didn't realize later how that would affect our family because you're running fast. Yeah, but what I think I found out, and I didn't see, and I think Ann told me over and over and I couldn't see it, was I was much more, what would the word be, energetic, engaged outside the home, and often would come into the home and just be passive. And I think I was worn out. You know, I felt like this is God's call. I'm doing what He's called me to do. And home was a resting place.

And it didn't hit me till much too long that I did that, that I was making disciples out there. And the most important disciples to be made were sitting at the kitchen table. I think a lot of women will relate to that because I've heard a lot of my friends say, my husband's amazing, but when he gets home, I feel like get the leftovers. I feel like he's tired and he's not energetic. And of course he should be. He's been working really hard as many of the wives are as well. Many wives have the capacity to still pour into our kids. Like this is my job and I have to, I feel that.

I don't know if everyone does. But you would come home and I found myself getting resentful of that because I thought, why does everybody else get your best? You know, and these guys, our boys are just like, dad's amazing, dad's home. And I'm like, come on. And so she was frustrated and I had to make a shift. It's what David, it's what you said.

God had to really heal that. Again, I'm not acting like I'm there, but it's like I'm putting a drop off point on the way on the drive home. Like I'm dropping off work.

Not that you're not going to work that evening at all. But it's like the energy I'm putting in this mailbox. Literally it was a mailbox where I'd visually, mentally in my mind, open it up, I'm putting in the work, I'm picking up the husband, dad, and I walk in the door. Cause I would walk in the door and when Ann would be like, here's the kids, my goodness, you're supposed to be home at six. And I'd just be like, what are you? And she was exhausted and I was resentful. I was like, do you understand? And you play that game. My game is harder than your day type deal.

Right? And you say one thing like, well, I had lunch with someone. So the wife like you had lunch with an adult. And you're telling me your days are in mine. I mean, that's what we were living in.

But all I know is I was not fulfilling God's call on my life as a husband and a dad and as a man of God really. And the irony is I would stand on stages and preach and tell men to do it. And I can't imagine what my sons were thinking.

Like, uh, you're energetic right now and you walk in the door in a few hours, you're not going to have that kind of energy. And that was like, man, they deserve that. So part of me is saying, wow, God changed that in me.

I hope I'm looking at an ad like did he? And the other side of me is thinking if there's a man listening right now that that's you, I think God's saying to you step up. I think as a performance oriented person, you know, we've talked about my depravity side, you know, stepping up is a great principle, but I think one thing that helped me cause all of a sudden I'm just performing to the next level and it's not my heart engaged. It's just, I'm going to do it right. And it's another way that God's invited me.

It's the same principle is, Hey, take my hand. I have a better way. Come on this path. You're running in the right direction. You're doing it. You've gotten in the other person's lane a little bit. You're doing it in your own strength. You're, you've lost sight of which race you're in. You're not running the 400 or running the marathon, you know, like take my hand. I got you over here.

Come on, let's get back in this lane in this race. Because yeah, in my drivenness, I go into this hyperdrive move and in the grind and there's this invitation to indeed step into who God's truly created us to be as a husband, as a father, as a faithful ambassador of him and whatever work he's called you to. But all those areas, it's come to me and I'm going to show you a better way and your identity is going to be rooted in me and it's going to bring life into those areas.

Yeah, that's a good word. I mean, when you said that my first thought was, uh, John 15 five abide in me and you will bear much fruit and you'll bear fruit in the areas that really, really matter. And that was really what has to happen.

You sort of have to stop and sit with the Lord and go, okay, I need to buy it. I need to rest in you. I need to be fully connected to you.

What do you want to say to me right now? And it's probably going to be these areas that your wife or your husband has been pointing out. It's like, yeah, I've been saying this.

You just didn't realize it was me trying to call you to take my hand. So how can a spouse speak into this in a way that would be helpful and not like complaining? I think that's such a great question because it reminds me of what you said on the first day is we can speak so much life to our spouses. You know, we are in a place of close, intimate connection and we can either complain and say, well, you're still not doing this.

You know, you said you wanted to do this, but you're not. And how do we speak life? I mean, I think I'm assuming you're kind of asking them. I'd love to know from the guys how, you know, you guys have had to practice it a lot and you've done it well.

So I think it's right for you probably to respond more than us. Part of me thinks, Meg, the way you called something great out of David to be the dad that you knew he wanted to be with your kids. I was sitting over here like that was a model. It's masterful.

And it's, it can be a wife to husband, but it could be both ways. It's like, man, there's something great you've seen in there and it's in there and you call it forth. It's like, man, I believe in you. And of course, as a man, we, we long to be believed in and trusted.

It's part of our DNA of, of wanting to be respected. So when Anne would speak life to me, like you are a good man, you are a good husband. And often I'm thinking inside my brain, no, I'm not, you know, it's like, am I, and so I almost need her. It's like, you're a little boy, like really mom, you know, watch me. Are you watching? You know, it's, there's a sense that she, she said it, that you have this influence and this power when she does that and reminds me of my greatness.

And I'm not talking like pride and arrogance, greatness, but greatness in Christ. And then call something out of that. I'm prone to respond like, yeah, I want that too. Thanks for reminding me.

How, how am I missing it? And how can we get there when she does it the opposite? Like, come on, dude, step up. You said you're going to do this.

Why? It's like, okay. Even me saying to you, like, man, look at the power you have over our kids. Like you're, they cling to every single word.

I'm so jealous. She literally said those words one night. I mean, I also think I'm so quick to like, try to solve it and figure it out and figure it out quick. And like, all right, let's get, let's get right back on track right now. And another way that I feel like we've had to learn is how do we actually just get more fully known?

Like what, what is going on that's driving me this much to live it out over here, but not at home. There's a reason there. And it's one thing just to go, let me shift my focus, which needs to happen. There's another thing to dig into.

Why? David, that's so true. Because I mean, Dave went to counseling this past year and the counselor said, I look at your schedule and I'm thinking, what are you running from?

Because you're so busy. That's what you're talking about going deeper. And I think if spouses can hold that, just why do we think we're here? And you're not going to solve it.

You may need to get the help of a counselor or another couple or a pastor. Yet to be able to just be more known actually communicates a lot and sets you on a course. And you know, I think about where this started with, you know, this new resource of preparing for marriage that we've started. You're not going to figure it all out. You're not going to solve it as you prepare for marriage, yet you can get more fully known. And that's why this resource exists is to give you wisdom, but also get you talking to one another and become more fully known to lay an awesome foundation for a marriage that can keep growing.

You know, when I was an engaged guy and I had put the ring onto my then fiance's finger, I wondered, Oh my goodness, what am I going to do now? I have to get ready. I have to be intentional about making decisions because it's not just me anymore. It's like me and her. We're going to be setting up a foundation that will lead to a future that involves both of us and perhaps Lord willing kids in the future.

We need to make important decisions right now that set us up well for the future. And that's why I'm so thankful for resources like what David and Meg were talking about today with preparing for marriage. I'm Shelby Abbott and you've been listening to Dave and Ann Wilson with the president of family life, David and Meg Robbins on family life today. Many couples don't know how to prepare well for marriage. They don't know how to have important conversations around finances and their relationship with God and sex and family dynamics and the future.

They just simply lack the opportunities or the ideas of how to have good, healthy conversations that involve things like that. Well, the good news is, is that we have really been intentional about working on one of our best selling resources. We've revamped it and refreshed it for a new generation of young couples is called preparing for marriage.

And two of the main contributors with that have been David and Meg Robbins who you got to hear from today. It is a really helpful resource that is a study packed with a lot of funny things, a lot of good romantic things, offering valuable insights for growth that needs to happen right now before you even get close to putting on the ring yourself and saying I do. So we really encourage you to check out the all new preparing for marriage by David and Meg Robbins. You can head over to family life today.com and look for the preparing for marriage banner on the page there in order to find your copy.

If you know an engaged couple, or if you're friends with people who have kids who are engaged, this would be the perfect gift to give to them. Now if you're a family that's preparing to blend, meaning you're about to become a step family, like I experienced when I was growing up as a young kid, we really encourage you to check out Ron deals book called preparing to blend. It's a couple's guide to becoming a smart step family and you can find Ron's book about becoming a step family and preparing to blend in the show notes in today's episode.

And the really cool thing is, we don't want you to just learn a little bit about it by trying to find the book. The cool thing is is that Ron deal is going to be here tomorrow with David and Wilson to talk about preparing to blend. Ron interviewed two different step couples about what they did during their pre married season that really helped them to prepare to blend their families and become one big step family. He's going to be here tomorrow to talk about that. And so much more we hope you'll join us. On behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott. We'll see you back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a donor supported production of family life, a crew ministry, helping you pursue the relationships that matter most.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-07 08:02:04 / 2024-03-07 08:13:22 / 11

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