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Loving and Leading Your Strong Woman (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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August 24, 2021 6:00 am

Loving and Leading Your Strong Woman (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 24, 2021 6:00 am

LeRoy and Kimberly Wagner describe how their marriage was once headed for ruin because of his passivity and her strong-willed nature, and how God transformed their relationship through His healing power. The Wagners offer hope and encouragement to struggling couples in a discussion based on their book, "Men Who Love Fierce Women." (Part 1 of 2) (Previous air date: Dec. 6, 2017)

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Hi this is Jim Daly with Focus on the Family. I will let you know about an online experience called sea life, 20, 21 in the six episode video series were sharing stories and encouragement that will inspire and empower you to live out your pro-life views. You also discover valuable resources to help you step up and get involved in the cause.

This is a digital experience, you and your family won't want to miss all the details are Focus on the life. What I thought to be the death of the more miserable marriage was the death of me, but it was the proper death.

The biblical data that we need to die in Christ in order that he might resurrect us and bring us the life that he desires for us to have, not what we think we can work out West Leroy Wegner and you'll hear more from him and his wife Kimberly today on Focus on the Family for joining us your hostess pokes president Dr. Jim Daly and I'm John Leroy and Kim's heart for marriage and evident that they walk through such desolation. But God restore their relationship to one that is full of beauty and intimacy and that's what marriage should be. That's one reason we here at Focus on the Family believe so strongly in honoring marriage and why we want to help you make your marriage as strong and as thriving as it can be when two unique personalities come together especially when one is strong and the other, perhaps a little more timid things can get off track relationships can become strained and marriages can weather into desperate misery. But there is always hope and today Leroy and Kim story I know is going to encourage you in the Wegner's have been married for about 40 years and have two adult children, Rachel and Caleb in a growing tribe as they put it of grandchildren.

They co-authored the book men who love fierce women. The power of servant leadership in your marriage. And here now is the conversation we had Leroy and Kim way. Well, this is a new work. This men who love fierce women and it was kinda born out of the last program release. You guys may have been thinking about it. That puts them heat under the cattle to get cooking. Talk about that motivation men who love fierce women what was going on in your marriage that now has created this work will our marriage was in a complete state of miserable dysfunction.

For a long period in her marriage even though we were both committed to Christ committed to serving the Lord.

Theologically, I would say that we were biblically sound. But we had some difficulty in relating to one another that Of reoccurring end and we didn't really understand we can get a handle on what was going on why we could not have the harmony and the peace in our relationship, and it was about 15 years of marital misery that we just thought there's no way that we can work this out on our own and we just work consigned to living in misery which is not what God intended.

Because we didn't believe in divorce and I think there probably a lot of couples out there that are Christian couples but are not experiencing what God desires for them.

When I think it's a lot more prevalent than what we display and I think that's one so excited to have you guys back because you spoke so vulnerably about what was happening in your marriage and it helped literally thousands of people reconsider God's way for marriage. Let me ask you that right there. Let's start with that question of why is marriage important to God who created us well marriage dies parallel the gospel in the work of God in what way and Ephesians 5 describes that that just to put it in layman's terms is the picture of Jesus Christ laying down his life pursuing a bride, the church is people people he calls himself laying down his life. At the cross team purchase or redeem or love this bride well and in Ephesians 5 it gives the man the mandate you to love your wife as Christ loved the church, which is pretty impossible to date it's impossible on your own and the wife is to be responsive to that live the church as the church responds to Christ, so we, as a couple. When we claim to know Christ we claim to have been changed and transformed by the power of the gospel when we're not letting people know us specially like our children and our own home. We claim that the power of God has taken over our lives and yet we can even get along what is causing that not getting along. When you counsel couples and you talk with the folks.

What are you hearing what is that obstacle that the enemy of our soul is using to defeat us in this area of marriage will I think that the enemy does Jim attack very strongly and specifically marriage because of how it is meant by our Creator to display his glory, to display his character, his goodness what he desires for us and so if the enemy in any way can diminish or detract from what God intended originally for marriage couples to live out and to show a watching world. Then the enemy believes that he gains an advantage in that. So I believe it is an attack. It is a spiritual attack and so I don't believe that any believers are immune. In fact, I think that believers may actually have more difficulty sometimes in their marriage than unbelief played so true in people that don't understand this. I know I was working on a marriage book a while back and I thought Jean.

I probably had more disagreement during that time in her marriage that I was thinking what is going on here change that illustration will know it was maybe just the fact I think spiritually that I was working on a book that reinforced exactly what you're saying Leroy the this is God's will for us to display his image in humanity and that Satan just is not like that and you try to defend marriage God's way you come under severe attack from the culture from people who disagree with us as well as spiritual attack, so that's where that's at.

Let's get back in your story because that's where we can learn so much. This idea of a fierce woman and a fearful man cycle. We talked about that a couple years ago in that program but refresh your memory about the fierce woman in the fearful man, which is where you were in your marriage that Emily found it sound many couples are there private. There's elements that you the listener you. This is me as the wife and yeah that's me as a happen. Describe what it looks like okay I fierce woman does not necessarily have to be an obnoxious loud read woman that maybe what you think of when you first hear the word fierce, but she strong and she has maybe strong opinions now some fierce women are quiet and they go about it in a different way of expressing their fierceness, but it's usually a woman he, like all women we desire to be loved by her husband's we desire to have our husbands lead us spiritually and yet we have certain ideas about how things should be done and we want to get that across. I've never notice that Angie does not, we may publish our husbands without even realizing were doing restaurant down.

Some women don't even have to utter a word to exert their fierceness. The next raise an eyebrow, or it may be the tone of voice that a fierce woman can be one of two things. She can be beautiful and encouraging and inspiring to man to be all that he can be all that God created him to be or she can be destructive. She can emasculate him and that's what I was doing to Leroy for so many years and I didn't even realize continue to help us better understand that there is a humorous side of it and you guys have gone through this now and you're on the other side where you understand each other.

You understand the pits and the bumps that we have in this life as a fallen world. We describe that early party or marriage you touched on Leroy but give us more context. How did that work out.

Come on a day-to-day basis in fact you have a story about trying to teach your good wife here how to shoot a firearm and that didn't go so well. I wouldn't pick that environment is described that will II knew that I married way over my head as most men probably you know at some point feel like they have because Kim was just so brilliant and so driven such an intensity for life at such a passion.

I was drawn to that.

But consequently not worked out in our daily life is running. She just excelled in everything and it seemed like almost a competition that I could never measure up.

She wasn't consciously trying to do that, but she was always seem to me like you can do this better. Here's here's how I would do this and even in you know I thought was there's one area and I was raised in the country.

So I she's never raised around firearms are all sure how to desire and drive you by. This is my you know my wheelhouse.

I can slacken I can show about a man she's not better than me at something and so we were at our home there Northwest Arkansas in rural Arkansas and so I showed her all of the details of how to operate a firearm in and then loaded it after I given her my instruction. Very manly instruction and she really didn't want to do it. She didn't have anything to do with firearms but us and have them in our home, so you need to know and so finally she she agreed and she pulled it up to shoot and I put a little evaporated milk can. Just a small can access all target with a small pistol and it was about 25 feet away base of the tree.

She pulled the gun up, and she squeezed off a round and I looked in the dark fluid and although she came pretty close and so I made sure the farm was secure know somebody go look at it and I went over to the can picked it up and Elsie the cow had a hole right there were no like it that I should always be this unbelievable and I said okay.

She said in a you know so that's it that made you feel man I wish I was always feeling like that that I just couldn't measure I could measure up to her expectations. I could measure up to what she wanted me to be in every area. She's more spiritual than I was.

You're smarter than I was. She knew better work to park than I did. If we pull into place and I would purchase it. You can park over there and so I think that's it. That's like DNA.

You spiritual DNA that really ugly. Jim goes back to the fall where the woman has that desire because of our alien in our diving into sin headlong against our gracious creator that that is one of the spiritual DNA strands that the woman has that desire to rule over her husband but God says no. The rug is going to be that my will.

How it's supposed to work is he is supposed to give you guidance and direction to I did not realize I was doing that and I think a lot of women, fierce women have good intentions, they think they're just helping their husbands. That's really what they think and what would happen to be better under yacht TM free CD things better.

And of course our way is the best way are we wind that way right some slack because I think a lot of this sounds like expectations as well and that's wrapped in it and why I think Kimberly, I want to give you the chance to describe that time in your marriage were was tough and you're trying to get Leroy up to spec I game up but there's ways to do that that are more edifying than the destructive yeah so what were you learning in that process. As a woman as a very efficient effective woman all the things that we were. I just said smart you could do everything, so I can even shoot a gun the first time through target.

He couldn't hit, which I don't know that's true but the point of that is you. Lotta women are in that spot right now even hearing where here is men to help guide you rustles the feathers of many women and even some men are going now that can't be my role leading and all of that to describing for us where you are at what you're trying to achieve and how God was teaching you. Okay, this isn't the way to go well and it took a long time for me to learn I when you're learning while we were miserable for at least 15 years before God started breaking me first and really doing out humbling work in my life that was very needed that in those years leading up to that I would struggle because I had in my mind this invented picture of what I thought Leroy should be and daily life was much different than that. And part of that TM, as we as young women we bring into our lives, men we've known before that we had been our heroes in our lives whether it is a dad or whether it was an older brother or whatever, and we measure that has been against that. Maybe it's just an imaginary man, and we measure that has been against that these young guys yet experienced with life. They don't have that same maturity level then if I could interject then you add into that so many women have suffered at the hands of the 40 male figure and so they're gonna raise up defenses and they're going to say I'm going to be the one that is going to make sure that I'm not myself. Yeah, I'm not gonna let any man harm me in anyway so that factors and often to what I didn't realize wise every time that I would say something like, why did you get that way where as I wasn't meaning that as I click down or to question him in a way that would be destructive that first it translated into. I didn't do it right again. I can never do anything right.

I can never measure up to your expectations. And so what he began to do was to go further and further into the cave to just shut down withdraw, withdraw, become passive and just say you don't like the way I'm doing. You take care of everything you lead.

You take over and I thought that was noble, because I'm a Christian so I'm not going to fight on not going to ask you later, a situation I'm not going to attack her or not. Gonna try to bring her down so there was a certain kind of a victim mentality that had an attachment of mobility to it and I think a lot of Christian men do that same thing as far as retreating into a cave and withdrawing from leadership that God would have them to understand and to live out and they think they're doing the right thing. And while he's in his cave. I'm over here donning because that will communicate with me that will step out to be the leader that will be involved in my life and listen to me, yet he is just shut down and the further I would pool the more pressure I would give them worse when that's the irony of ironies, the thing you are desiring the most. You're actually creating an environment that was the opposite of what you wanted and that's in part, that cycle that you've talked about in your book, men who love fierce women how to break that cycle and I think that's why this is such a vital conversation. Let me push into this a little bit because I think in the Christian marriage. There is confusion about passivity and grace and I can understand where you're at, Leroy, and I'm sure just about every man gets this funny story.

The church Jean likes to sit in a particular place of church, but it's a crowded place. It's a big church and I remember I me would be arguing quietly coming in the church and there's no spot there and should be trying to find a way to make room and it's really tough to do it. I'm saying can't we just sit over here where there's four seats you know to for us to for the boys and now I want to sit over here.

It became a distraction to finally I said don't ask me where I want to sit you just pick where you want to sit and will just sit there. Now that's a little example, but it is this idea passivity versus how to handle leadership in God's grace, speak to that distinction were a man is being passive and it actually is destroying the relationship rather than helping yeah. Leroy did not think he consciously thought that's what he was doing he was being noble, he thought, and not arguing with me that what couples need and if you're listening right now you're manning your thinking my wife. She's that fierce woman. I just want to say talk to her approach her approach her in humility that that's what has got to happen to break down the walls of resistance between the two of you is honest conversations in humility. Let her know how you are struggling how you feel that you would like to care for her you would like to be there for her. You don't want to retreat that you don't feel you've really got a safe place to stand and let's work together on how to find that how to work that out. Leroy hit that head on for us men that retreat and guys putting a disguise on it, calling it spiritual when it's really passivity and I don't really want to argue anymore. It's just easier. She just makes the decision I'm done with that and all even smile to make it look really Christian because I'm really kind of nice.

But underneath your boiling and you're just seething and you but you're not willing to fight anymore you done so, just a quiet, how do you distinguish where you're at in that continuum well and I think that's a great point, Jim. And not only your boiling because of the condition that your marriage is in, but I think there's this tension, especially within Christian man that you know intuitively you may not have a good theological grasp on it that you know is a Christian man, what God has called you to and you are failing that most important calling and you feel like that you're in quicksand and you cannot do more that you fight or the more you try, or sometimes he with me.

The more I prayed it seem like the farther that we were sinking and when I tried to talk with Kim.

It would become emotional or she was so intense and I was not good at dealing with conflict written debate. I just never in conflict avoidance was a major part of my life and personality. Enterprise learned that she was sure get better. Absolutely. So once you have wrestled with the Bobcat a time or two you don't approach him anymore me and so that's really kind of the way it was with me. I was no match for her intensity. I could not deal with her emotion that she brought and she was emotional because it was breaking her heart.

It was ruining our marriage and I did not have a handle on it and I knew that Kim was that you were looking for from Leroy that later he would make the difference. What was that you were demanding of him that he didn't know you were demanding of him wanted attention security. I wanted you know we talk about the love languages well quality time and physical time which those things are important to me. They weren't so much important to Leroy and so when I'm crying out for what will meet my needs are what I think will meet my needs and he's not there. He's off in his own around you now and yet he doesn't like. He said he wouldn't want to hug a porcupine. So was that it Leroy it was it that you would learned that you can't give her what she's really looking for. So uniting to try and what happens in that's right, John. What happened to me and I think it happens to so many because I think it's just a part of the nature of sin any sin it it convinces us that this is the right way to go. What drags us further in to misery and further away from God and from his grace, and so as I begin to withdraw thinking that that was the right thing to do so. Only thing to do. There's no way that I could deal with this fierce woman that God had given me and we knew that the Lord placed us together. That was a part of what we were struggling with what I was wrestling with then bitterness begin to develop in the Bible says. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them, and I think a lot of men I know would happen with me.

I begin to in this inability to rise to the level that Kim needed to rise to the level that intuitively I knew that I needed to be. Instead of responding and just crying out for God's grace and seeking for God to deal with me what was wrong with me. I thought it was all her I begin to develop a bitterness bitterness toward her. It's hard to love someone that your bitter against, and in hard to be thankful for the treasure that God is giving you when you are she's ruining your life Leroy, let me let me interject you because some people might be saying wow what a horrible marriage must've had, but the way that you could describe this if you say to your to your spouse were like roommates that would be experiencing this distance right so if you're married and you have expressed that to your spouse, you know, we feel more like were roommates. Then intimate partners lovers one flesh.

According to the Scripture.

That's probably an indication that you have a problem resolutely. I think a lot of marriages, like couples of called a truce. There still at war there for functionally very functionally married but they're not displaying the glory of God by enjoying God's blessings that it talks about in Peter. The blessing of life, seeing good days, loving life inheriting the grace of life. We didn't have any idea that that was possible exactly were you described in your book that you came to a crisis of faith and you resigned or contemplated resigning from being a pastor it was you contemplated suicide. I'm ashamed of that years at the restaurant like special, but it's real and I so appreciate the fact that you're willing to pop that party, your heart open so that the Lord could use it for others.

Right now who may be right in that spot there so desperate there, even if they want to live described that moment and how dark it must've felt for you will. I don't know that I can describe it adequately. The darkness was so dark and the pain was so deep and I think when anybody comes and there's probably some listening today. Sadly, that you lose hope, and especially as a believer when hope is what our walk with God. Our faith in Christ is all about.

I when you lose that hope because of a crisis of faith because of something that is happening in your life like a marriage situation that you can't get a handle on and you don't see any hope for ever getting out of it that I begin to have a doubt of God caring for me and loving me and sociologically I was saying like, what's the use of going on. I mean, if this is what life is all about. If this is what it's come to. And God has brought us to this place.

He's brought us together wasn't blaming God in a sense I was in. That's where that bitterness came from but I begin to abandon a confidence in God and that is the real issue. Is there anything too hard for the Lord and I would say to that person that thinks that this is never going to get a better it's just going to get worse and I must will check out on us will leave or you might be contemplating suicide. Really what you're doing is you're expressing utter lack of confidence in God that'll bring us to the end of today's Focus on the Family conversation with Kim and Leroy Wegner hope that what they had to share is really spoken to your heart, John, Kim and Leroy are so good at expressing the pain they went through and offering hope to couples in similar situations. Many couples and you may be one of them are trying to do their best when it comes to their marriage but sometimes you need a little help and that's why Focus on the Family is here we have a team of caring Christian counselors on staff to help you with your particular situation, you can give us a call or go online to set up a specific time to talk with them.

We also have our hope restored marriage intensive for couples on the brink of divorce if it's got to that point. Why not invest one last effort to save your marriage would count it a privilege to be able to help you in that effort. We also had Kim in Leroy's book, men who love fierce women and would love to send you a copy as our way of saying thank you, when you pledge to partner with the ministry of Focus on the Family on a monthly basis that helps us so much and again everything goes right back into helping marriages and many other areas of ministry. If you can't commit to a monthly pledge we get that, but perhaps a one time donation will work and will send the book as a gift. In that case as well. You can donate set up a time to speak with the counselor find out more about hope restored all the details are in the episode and on behalf of Jim Daly. Thanks so much for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again hear from Leroy and Kim and help you and your family thrive in Christ. Hey this is John Fuller and Focus on the Family is looking for talented writers and editors to help reduce our audio programs and podcasts go to

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