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Helping Engaged Couples Become More We-Focused

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2022 6:00 am

Helping Engaged Couples Become More We-Focused

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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April 4, 2022 6:00 am

Drawing upon the lessons she's learned from her marriage of more than 35 years, Lucille Williams offers young couples practical advice for building a strong marital foundation in a discussion based on her book, "From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride-and Groom-to-Be".

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You feel called to serve God in your career. Check out some of the exciting job opportunities. We had Focus on the Family were looking to fill positions in marketing IT and marriage counseling work with other talented believers enjoy meaningful Christ centered work environment and use the skills God gave you to encourage others and help families thrive. To learn more visit that's Focus on the and it is Congress having an affair part that it was a cake testing we found her grasp on a sale at the bridal store at her wedding rehearsal. I decided to be really fun if I could walk out to the Ironman theme song baby for a wedding.

It snowed in half very joyful times, stressful, joyful times planning a wedding can be exciting and crazy busy venture for the engaged couple and their families. Managing all those details solving problems hopefully find ways to get along with everybody and you experience God's presence and peace in the process would be talking about weddings today on Focus on the Family with your host book as president and author Jim Daly on John Fuller. I don't know how things went for your data, but for Gina and I we had planned our wedding in a matter of weeks just came fast and because we had this opportunity where we could present these drug and alcohol abuse shows around the country, but we had to get married. It was crazy. We didn't have a date yet set and that we been engaged for about a year and then I get this phone call from a friend one night and when I was at my brothers house. Jean was having dinner with us and I put the phone down.

I said we get married in six weeks and had off on this law work to her. She was like can we call back tomorrow.

It was funny.

You should've seen the look on her face you know she's a planner. So we prayed about it and felt like it was the right thing to do and and God bless Jean for being spontaneous in that moment. Maybe in hindsight it wasn't the smartest decision that it really did work out well for us and we spent nine months together traveling the country was great was a good start for long-term marriage. It was when couples start that planning process. It's like a roller coaster of emotions and decisions and stress like you heard in the clips one danger is putting all that time and energy into the ceremony but not really preparing well for the rest of your marriage that's so important not only for the couple getting married but also for parents and friends and other family members to think about so that you can support and encourage this couple in the years ahead.

And that's why we want to explore this topic today with our guest, Lucille Williams, and Lucille is the women's director at Shepherd of the Hills church in Porter Ranch, California.

She's married to Mike and he's one of the pastors there. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.

And Lucille has written a book that will be the basis for conversation today. It's called from me to we. A premarital guide for the bride and groom to be checked that out the details during the episode, notes Jim, here's how you begin a conversation with Lucille Williams on today's focus on sale great to have your focus. Thank you. I'm so excited to be here.

First of all I'm Italia you are too young to be a grandmother. I mean, my goodness are not grandparents of seven teenagers at home, what you doing married really young I did. I was 19, two weeks after my 19th birthday. Okay, stroll down the aisle I was standing out towards divine intervention something here because I'm sure you get that a lot you there's no way your grandmother of three, but talk about those chaotic early years. I mean a lot of people now especially in the Christian community or former board member Al Mohler is the president of Southern seminary. He has blog and talk a lot about the importance of lifting marriage up to our young people, so many young people waiting to the late 20s. It's hard to control those passions of Scripture even talks about that and he says, and I tend to agree. Don't let that burn inside you get married younger. It's a beautiful thing. The gift of marriage is the right thing so you obviously chose that path. How did you and Mike meet had to get together we got together when I was actually in the high school I went to the same high school and he lived across the street from the high school that I was attending yeah I was 17 years old and I used to get out of my last class and ran to his apartment. Now you get to clarify what was going on. Well, you need to know we were not Christians and not even close to being Christian okay and sell at 17 I had a boyfriend who had a good job in a car and he was great and he was fine and is not apartment and we would hang out regularly at his apartment, so not long after me and obviously within two years. You guys got married I was a good decision by the way, for all listening.

That's the right way to do it and when when did you make that commitment to Christ to do that is a coupler window that happened for you and Mike that was later we had been married for about five years and he was rough lot of fighting terrible things were happening in our marriage mean I understand when couples come in and the sated near my husband where interest marriage. It's tough we get we know what that feels like in its it's horrible. It's one of the worst things you could be in a bad marriage and we were in a really bad marriage. So when you talk about from me to we mean that this is deep. This is just a high level kind of fun thing you guys had a transformation in your lives. Your hearts and your marriage completely. We got married it was it was all me. I was trying to get what I wanted. He's trying to get what he wanted. I was pursuing a career and I told him don't get my way. Betty, because you're getting a kick decide if you will, but if you have to go then I got Lenny's like what you mean and try to control me and I was nasty and clearly fighting the fight for two weeks and not talk to each other for two weeks. It was it was. I don't know how even think I got Ashley's today we have a disagreement. What's it look like as believers while we're talking 35 years later so it's completely different and we have learned to diffuse each other really quick really really quick so wonderful and that to me is life.

What you're describing there. This is the way it should be, especially if your nonbeliever, we have a number of non-Christians that listen to the program. We want to encourage you to get on the track with knowing who Christ is and where he can take you and your testimony as part of that. In that regard. Talk about the desire to reach young people and help them do it better. What you think of the key things when it comes to doing a wedding in all that planning and a better way. I think that right from the start went from Dean and Flynn when that from the time when couples are engaged. It's not groundwork for what the marriages can look like later things that are sad can't be taken back.

That period of time is just a short period of time that your wedding and the wedding days. One day, and then your marriage is forever right so don't sacrifice planning. And one day for what your forever future is effective. Mike had a pretty interesting wedding right what went right and what went wrong. A lot of things go wrong describing.

I was at my house.

He was at his house just tensions where flaring, he and I got on the phone. We got in a big fight on your wedding on our wedding day were screaming at each other terrible things was that vulgarities were said to each other. We were just sleeping like crazy and all this and my brother like it's on the phone my husband brother older brother older and older brother Christian at the time that he was and he talked to me, call me down and I remember seeing him marry a big jerk and my brother and I just call me down and next thing you know Matt was back on the phone with my husband at the time and the wedding hours. If you have course. Yeah, that's crazy.

Most people going.

Why did you not say stop the ship. Stop everything you still went through and got married. We did the way of life like that was that was normal. I mean even like to engage.

That was just the way we we know that there could be any other way, is there any thing else that went wrong other than the two of you telling you that you didn't want to get married to my big one yeah my dad talks didn't say we had to stop on the way to the wedding. We had to stop and get a menu tax and then his dad got us our limo and I wanted to let my mom and sister be in the limo with us because I did. I was a people pleaser. I did not know this is for me and dad. So with my mom and me and my sister and my dad until my husband's dad was a little disappointed that I did not set that up front so that it will be a special time and then we get to the reception and my mom and my husband's mom didn't get along in my mother-in-law was yelling at me while I was in my bride's room and just like now passed away. She had dementia and it was a long, difficult story and sad play on the wedding day. I was crazy speechless and all I can think of is that paved the way for a pretty unusual and difficult several years together I would get more fireworks on okay well actually happen on the honeymoon.

Can't believe it. Don't ever tell anybody that this happened exactly like no one will know what we never even told our children do need to call him right now without permission in the first chapter of my this is already out there to help. But before I could write it. I called him and I have this opportunity. That story got right. That story was and he had to pray for a day and I said okay go ahead. So what happened, we took a cruise for a honeymoon and I'm cruises are wonderful. They do everything for you. We are having a great time. We were dancing at night worth seeing the sights during the day. It was wonderful. And then the last night we were there.

They wanted our luggage. So I prepare the luggage and so I thought I'd be brilliant and able to keep the close on that were wearing tomorrow morning will dispute the same thing on will have less thing to carry around to sure about like all right you know let's do it.

So that night we were we were with friends because we had met a lot of other honeymooners and and we were sitting at this table. It was oval-shaped and we were there we were inside the oval to those people to his side and his people to my side and he and I were real close, because now it's our honeymoon. So were sitting close to holding hands and all of that and all of a sudden he put his head back and he started vomiting like a volcano like an option as well. Those cruise ship was already falling all over him all over me and scattering finally not done in more comes out and were just and so then finally got them were sitting there and it was just like that. We are so humiliated were just sitting there, just, and everyone's looking. No one said a word. Not one word no snicker nothing at the Kenai just kinda like sat there and that people got out that we can get outed so we walked out and we got to our room and now were covered in vomit. He vomited but it was on me and it was on him. It was on both of us, even though he's the one that vomited.

It landed on both of like wow this is what marriage is like I guess and I had to find some soap and I went into the bathroom and I had our clothes, and I remember looking at these vomited close close with.

I got close to them in their sleep there sitting in this thinking I'm trying to wash it out and I stopped and at 19, I looked down and I thought to myself this is marriage. This is what marriage is well known marriages into you jumping all of a sudden I was just hit with that reality. This is marriage.

It was like what now that what now I gotta tell us in the story. What happened would clean that stuff up week is back and we cleaned up we hung up I close the next morning our clothes were still wet. But we had to put them on.

No fun fact you close try quicker when they're on your body that's that's a horrible story yeah okay let's talk as a parent it's a little daunting. I'm talking to Trent to her about it but I don't know that I've had the right conversations with them other than about keeping themselves pure remarriage and for their future spouse yeah those are tough conversations when you know we we fall in love on drugs. You cannot think straight people around you that can think straight and help you.

So just recently I put on My site L you says and it's the marriage material quiz and I'm getting a really great response there because people need to know is this person going to be in Ephesians 5, husband or wife, and so I put the squeeze on there so they can just kinda evaluate because he was. You can go no, I'm not sure that this person would be a good spouse but they're in love and there in the clouds and their everything is so wonderful. Sometimes they need another voice coming and going.

Did you consider this. Did you think about that you have any idea what this means in the long run and people sometimes don't realize that that's why I have that on my side of the says dot-coms that people can go and say okay, take this quiz and see if this person I'm dating is marriage material but no money should go. Ephesians 5 said that very quickly but to fill that out. What is Ephesians 5 talking to us about what is that mean someone who may not be familiar with Ephesians 5 is a woman.

It says be subject your husband's ladies, be submissive to your husband.

The Bible tells us that over and over, and I remember as a young bride. When I first became a Christian, why was a young like that was five years and we became Christians, 24 young person and I remember when I first read, I was so angry I might have been fighting with this guy all these years and now I have to speak submissive. Are you kidding me there's no way that's going to happen and I got so angry I get mad with God is when I would read Scripture. Then I knew I had to do it and so I was like I'm not doing this when I would get so mad, but then I said okay okay guide this what you say some and give it a try. When I learned is that yielding is live. We yield have you healed because you love them and you're saying okay what's just considering them under our last then or somehow not up to par, it means that you love them and you willing to yield Lucille, you're probably one of the most volatile aspects of Scripture in our modern age because many many young women struggle with this and so many young men because I don't know what it means to lead and fill that in a bit more. I get that. That is beautifully and wonderfully said but you are right there at the crossroads of culture where it is hard to say okay Lord describes for us what that meant to submit to Mike what so many people that I talked to in the media. For example, they don't get this and understand it, it's there in the spot. They think what is this but describe how that works in modernity. What is it mean for coupled really submit to one another. Yes yes when I have young ladies come to me and they say my husband's not a leader. He's not a leader. I was look at them and say you know what the definition of a leader is someone following them. So if there are leader. Maybe you need to be a better follower and we are so quick to put it on them at all. Not doing this is not doing that.

I say well well well hold it. What is he doing right. Tell me what he's doing right to me what you love about him now.

Follow that man and the more you follow him.

The better leader. He's gonna be winning this fact, but Scripture tells us that as a wife, you submit to your husband and but what is it say to the husbands, love your wife as Christ loved the church that feels impossible to you from the male perspective, for your perfect. I'm not so hard or you tell me to be submissive to your husband or to love your wife as Christ loved the church. I mean, that's an impossible task.

And so what I like to do when I'm frustrated with something.

My husband is doing. I like to go to Proverbs 21, where it says the king's heart is like channels of water in the Lord's hand.

He directs it wherever he wishes what I do is I think the word came and I put my Kinner guide. He's yours I listening to him and I'm following him because I follow and I trust you. So basically when we trust God, we can trust our husbands. Well, I mean I'm with you and that is what the Scripture says I just think so many women right now, especially single women and just married women are going. Are you sure Lucille you don't know my husband and you know what you know my husband wonderful man and I love him, but he's and men are men and women are women were all broken all broken and we need to learn how to be broken together and give each other kindness and forgiveness and just be willing to say okay let's start over. Lucille you mention. In essence those expectations for a couple that's engaged, what, let's lay those out. Let's go back there to water healthy expectations for an engaged couple to expect in marriage, you have tip sheet steward 31 of those things I really need to remember from the day of their wedding on forward when you get married and you choose one person to spend the rest of your life with you now. Love them so much.

And with that love also comes the ability to be hurt.

And so what happens is we get married to someone who we think is always good to Phyllis that always good to make us feel great always gonna do the right thing and do what we want from them and then all of a sudden they heard us because they can hurt us more than anybody else on her ability yeah exactly and that's gonna happen.

That's one of the things that you need to be prepared for, which is why we need to safeguard the marriage before it starts and read books like from me to we help safeguard your marriage so that you are ready and in for me to we.

There's 88 discussion questions, give us some examples of those one of them is if your spouse turned you down for sex.

How would you feel that some you want talk about before you get married another one. Did you grow up in a home where it was easy or difficult to share your needs and desires. We need to be able to share what we need and what we desire from our spouse is always going to say yes and it always gonna do what we want or what we think we need but we we need to be adults and be able to say this is what I need from you. So often couples get married and I don't know how to express what they need from each other. That is so true that does take maturity you compare marriage to a pile of dirty laundry Kelly how well when when you get married all of his stuff all your stuff all the dirty stuff all the stuff you got buried. It's like it's like you have a floating in the pool and you're trying to hold it down and you can hold down to the engagement process but you can only hold it down for so long and all of a sudden this is an issue not all that stuff you try to hide about yourself all the things you don't want to tell anyone all the things in your past that you like I want to talk about this if they knew this about me. Maybe they would reject me. You've got to let that out and talk about those things and let them love you when that goes along with another concept of the book where you talk about not keeping secrets is a couple that can be you know when I first read that there's counselors will be on both sides of that we need to recognize that nothing you want to keep secrets from each other but some would say discretion is important, especially for your past life and all those kinds of things but give me your philosophy of and biblical connection to secrets are not good. And when I got married I had a big secret. And obviously I couldn't hide it anymore because I was married and my secret was that I had an eating disorder and I was making myself vomit throughout the day and I had no control over it like pursuing this. And so my noticed it and I convinced him at first all, it's no big deal honey, it's just like my weight down.

It's fine so you bought it at first but then he did a little research on his own, which is hard to do because it was back in the 80s era when people didn't really talk about that at all. Most of the women were like skinny, skinny, skinny, and eating orders. Even people didn't really know about eating disorders at the time, and then you realize this is serious and we keep this you cannot do this you have to stop but I couldn't hide no control over, and I couldn't so he went to my friends called all my friends and he told them to know what she does become my parents.

He told them they had no idea he called his parents.

Anyone that cared about us.

He told them because he didn't know what to do. What will your initial reaction to that we often I wasn't like, for some reason I knew he was trying get me helping he didn't know what to do and so he was trying to save me and I had one friend who kept calling me and she said do you have to get help.

You need to do.

You have to get help and she was a Christian friend. I wasn't a Christian at the time she was a Christian friend and she was right.

So I had to go get help until I went to therapy for a couple of years and it was at the end of my therapy that I actually accepted Jesus Christ all my goodness, so that was a pathway to accepting Christ. It was so that's an example. A powerful example of not keeping things from your your new spouse talk about these things before you get married absolutely, and I think he saved my life.

I was on a road of complete destruction and and I believe that he saved my life with a beautiful spiritual picture of the way it should work only the Lord is like this is been so much fun and if I could ask you really to summarize from me to we. What is the goal what you trying to say need to.

We is a book that helps couples get on the same page. We need to not be me focused and self-centered. If you're going to marriage and you're going to be self-centered and me focused. You are in for a lot of pain and not only you in for a lot of pain, but you cannot cause your spouse who hear the howling to love and honor for the rest of your life. You can accost them a lot of pain. Marriage is about sacrifice. It's about being willing to say okay I blew it I blew it I was wrong.

Please forgive me.

Let's start over and let's start over and we need to let our spouses start over as well. We need to apologize. We need to forgive. We need to start over. We need start fresh and we need to leave room so that God can work and we need to leave room so that our spouse can grow and become the person that God intended for them because my husband is not the man that I married all microphone tell me Luke. He is not the man you married, but I believed if I just trusted him and followed him and was his cheerleader that God would make him husband that I needed to follow and now it's not hard to follow him.

He's such a godly man it's it's very easy and I have so much respect for him. That is well said every way, you've experienced that no one can take that away from you might both have experience from being lost in your first five years of marriage, not knowing the Lord to come to Christ and then submitting absolutely remits a beautiful story. This is one of those resources you really need your shelf you need to read it, not only for yourself and your marriage, kids, and for mentor and those around you really need help in understanding what a healthy marriage. Looks like I'm telling you what folks we can do everything we can do here focused to do this but we need you to be part of the Army Corps of marriage to be out there in your churches in your neighborhoods, mentor and couples helping couples living in such way how to do it so well and that it's real. This is one of those resources from Lucy Williams from me to we. You need and will make that available our website. Think you can simply give a gift of Focus on the Family will send to you and we want to click resources and Lucille's book really is a wonderful tool to share with the engaged couple or single adult whose thinking about marriage in the near future. Our number here to get your copy is 800 232-645-9800 K donate online website link is in the episode coming up next time pastor Brian Noble describes how to navigate difficult relationships with difficult people to whoever pays the bill is where you will experience direct inflation some solution through Christ because he picked the bill for you and you have shalom peace when I come to my senses and say okay now we have a reinstated relationship were friends Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. You and your family thrive. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so done I had reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope.

So I called the restored team at Focus on the Family they they listen to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensive's for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They help me believe that my marriage could be saved. I agreed to go but was skeptical that anything could help us but the whole environment was so safe and nonjudgmental. I felt my heart open up as we work with the counselors. Both of us still have work to do in her marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for you and hope

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