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Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
May 17, 2022 6:00 am

Taking Courageous Steps to Save Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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May 17, 2022 6:00 am

Ann White’s marriage was in desperate trouble, but she was terrified to let anyone know. She discusses how God helped her to break through dysfunctional patterns and finally ask for help. Hear this courageous story about a marriage restored. (Part 2 of 2)

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You can no longer live like you can no longer hide your pain, your stand, your brokenness, it's time for you to come out in the open and get down to business and wipe sharing about how God worked in her life and her broken you'll hear more from her today on Focus on the Family have hope for your marriage.

Posters focus Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly John and white. She shared last time about a super dysfunctional marriage and I really appreciated her openness because all of us can connect to portions of that. She talked about how she hid her and her husband both. They projected a really professional marriage good marriage. A strong merger. Christian marriage, but underneath that there was a lot of turmoil that they were struggling to deal with and I love it because it's refreshingly honest and I think many couples are in that place where on the outside it looks good especially on Sunday, but on the other days there's a lot of turmoil on angst, a lot of anger, a lot of bad things going on and she talked about that very openly. If you missed it last time, get the download on your smart phone and get the app and listen that way or call us for CD whatever you need to do. I think you will connect with what and had to share last time and today were going to pick up where we left off and I continue the discussion to provide you the hope and the I think inspiration to really move forward with God first in your marriage second and welcome back to the Focus on the Family.

Thank you again for having it's wonderful to be here now we we did give you three words to end last time when II want to give you little bit more year to set the stage you were in Israel with your son and you had a slam the phone kind of disagreement.

Not that you did.

I'm just saying it didn't end right and you burst into tears thinking the marriage was over, one of the next steps you did something that took a lot of corrosion that was you wrote this note to your pastor and his wife who were good friends who thought you had a good marriage and you delivered it that evening to them, which was your first step encourage write your book courage life. This is step one. I feel and I took that took a lot of courage and I commend you for it because that was the ripping away of the faade was it was it didn't take a lot more courage than I would've ever dreamed what you described last time.

Hearing the sounds in the room and the hallway and onto grandsons of the pastor and the vibrancy of your description says to me your body chemistry was searing. This memory into your mind. I can remember every moment, every detail and with this letter off to them and said just pray for us and life support, and we need your prayers and it came back in I think I mentioned in our last time together very briefly as we were ending the program that I got back on the phone with Mike shared with him what I had done. At first he was not really happy. It's instant, I was a new thing for us and so it was just you know it was a surprise to him that we conversation, yes, that was the next house deals you in Israel with your son Mike had to let him now. Oh yeah yeah right that a little bit because that would've been you know you took a step of faith and courage. Maybe Mike wasn't ready. A lot of us husbands will be going. How could she do that. I'm sure he was thinking was quiet and best I can remember, and I simply told him I said Mike I'm getting help. I knew for myself. I had to get help when he chose to get help with me or not I needed to reach out and ask for help and I think a cumbersome first conversation was short but I remember him calling me back shortly thereafter and saying I do. I credit him with so much courage that he said you know what and let's get help.

Together awesome. That is the answer. And when that hope restored our marriage intensive's. That's one of the questions that's the question we ask a couple who's in trouble again. Maybe the divorce papers are signed and the questions.

Do you believe God can work a miracle in your marriage and often times that answers yes but you know he doesn't really know my husband does know my wife or whatever my faith, but they can affirmatively answer that to say yes. I believe that I don't understand how that can happen, and I'm sure you and Mike in this moment were in that same boat. You did know what the next steps were to be no clear, but you were willing and that is the first step. The first step and encourages just to make that commitment. To say I will get how I will do what God is calling me to do and I loved each other we'd like each other since we were teenagers that never ended in a God grounded that love from the very beginning, but we allowed the world and we allowed Stan and difficulties and hardships and frustrations and anger and mistreating one another to really just put so many cracks in our marriage that it separated is to point. We didn't think we could bridge ourselves back together and we couldn't God cut and let me explore that for a minute, on behalf of the listeners because I think it's this is vital we allow those patterns to develop where we get snippy and we think were winning.

There may be a little total board in our heads.

You know I won that one. Whatever it might be, but we do fall into these traps of patterns that we just get on each other and talk to us about the deadly nature of that and what you're experiencing now with Mike versus what you had before that was destructive, dysfunctional, and now closer to God more in tune with each other describe that difference and what it means to your heart will then dance is that you're talking that's often described as a dysfunctional dance and its often like bringing out a childhood we learn by what we see and we observe other broken relationships in a course in the case of my husband's upbringing in mind that we witnessed very broken relationships within our households so we solved that dance going around where one person hurts the other person in the other person gets defensive and comes back and criticizes or hurts had a comes a vicious cycle and I think in order to break that cycle, you've got to take your eyes off the other person and start looking in the mirror and that's one of the most courageous steps that I had to learn in this process that I talk about in the book is I had to learn I can't change someone else. I spent my entire life and my entire marriage, believing I could change Mike I could change my kids. I could change whatever I needed to change and make it the way I thought it needed to be a make that person the way I thought they needed to be when instead I needed to be looking in the mirror and saying what needs to change in me is that my attitude, my behaviors, my amount courage. What needs to change in my life and said I think God was calling me to look in the mirror and I think that's the first step number one we talked about the couple struggling it takes to takes two to get married. It takes to stay married and if you've got those members of that marriage that are willing to get help and willing to surrender their marriage to God.

It cannot only be healed but it can be better than ever. And that's many experience Mike I had and that's the goal.

But let me ask you when you're describing that dance that dysfunctional dance. As you mentioned.

How does a person really get a hold of you think you know how to do that. But in fact it's not happening what Janessa process and made it in and it takes time, and I think that's what when I decide to write a book. I never wanted to write about them is not something that I set out to do or say. Someday I want to write a book. It was terrible. English is not something that was ever on my radar but when God called me to comfort others with the same comfort he'd given me and called me. I felt it was imperative that I share the steps in that process that I went through to heal myself and healing myself to change the dynamics of our relationship and our marriage and of course might join me in a healing in the counseling in order to change that dance this dysfunctional dance. If you change one partner and that dance. The dance changes. If one partner gets healthier.

The entire dance changes and then the other person responds differently. They see and recognize that change in the person so I've had couples go through the seven steps to courage that's in the book courage for light. I've had many women in whatever they need courage for but go through this so I talk about this process that I went to and committing to change. Looking at the obstacles that I needed to overcome and those obstacles could be bad attitudes. They could be behaviors they could be sent in my life that could be past hurt, fear, pain that I was experience that I needed to deal with in the seven steps you're touching on the first one. This acrostic use the word courage for that. So let's go through them. What's with them for the listener. So see sure just to see commit to change any first thing we have to do we step out encourages the commitment and I made that commitment on that day that I was going to change that. I knew I learned I didn't know right up front and it wasn't ingrained in my personality. At first, but I learned over time. I can't change anyone else. I can only change myself so I knew I had to make a commitment to change the things that were broken. Change those broken places in my life to get healing and allow God to usher in the healing question ever to get to the others over the mall and the courses in your book to copy the books refocus and John will have those details in a minute but in Mike responded in a way that made this doable marriage possible. So I want to first say what ago my husband and then secondly, what about the spouse. It could be the husband or the wife who doesn't get that response they're ready to go there ready to make the change and they have the phone call and the spouses will know all the best with that is you really do need to work on yourself and they need to have the courage to make those changes because that changed their gonna go through and make in their life. And when they began to build courage in the custody steps to be able to handle whatever situation comes up before them with God with courage and with healing you. Let me ask you because I don't believe this scar ripped open and left there bleeding for somebody asked what advice do you have for the person who's not seeing the responsiveness of positive responsiveness from that spouse, what advice would you give her or him in terms of working on yourself in this area of commit to change changing yourself what would you say to them, God has to work that out in their lives. You can't be responsible for that. You can't control that might work on yourself, those of the things I dropped my head, but that's exactly what I would say yes and I'd say those and others. You have to give God time to heal yourself.

You can't control the other person and stuff they choose to leave you have to give them the grace and love and like them go. But you pray for them.

You don't harbor that anger and bitterness because you understand their broken that's critical because part of me, I would say don't take the bait.

When you love somebody really that test of love comes bottom in the valley, not on the mountaintop, you need to love the person even though they may be dating you into an argument right right so you have to step back and that that point be the one who's more mature to say I love you I love who we are together. I know God's heart is for us so I'm sorry I've wounded you. Let me continue to work on my thing and I'm in a try to do better than walk away.

Absolute is one of the things I talk about what we have to communicate care at all times even when we don't feel like we start a conversation with her spouse or with anyone guys tells us to speak truth in love, but if we don't start with care and everything else falls apart. This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and her guest today is and what you can find out more about her story and this acrostic courage to get her book courage for life. We've got that and a CD or download as well as our mobile app all available for you online and we got the links in the show notes and you look at that acrostic commit to change that Cecilia looks good to the oh which is overcome obstacles, describe we all have obstacles and we don't live in this life. We definitely have obstacles they look like they could be our attitude. They could be our past, and I talk about what I call in the book the four pests of pressure and paths of pressure began to think about what is underneath all of my obstacles in life.

What are the things that are kind of at the surface of my obstacles causing me the biggest issues I came up with fear, hurt, sin and shame sit against the people grab, fear, hurt, sin and shame for those are powerful and they tend to control our life if we allow them Tina Satan, of course, will take those and just be to sever the head with them and if we don't deal with our fear are hurt our sin and our shame and we just can stay in this cycle that's can be very difficult and were gonna come up against obstacles all the time. I operated for years making choices and decisions based on fear. Maybe, fear of rejection and fear of abandonment, fear of fear of someone knowing and judging me was a reason for hiding all of our issues for so many years is how others perceive this and when you lay fear aside and God says what other people think of you is none of your past and embrace the strong strip, but what God thinks of you is what really matters right and so as I began to walk to the steps committing to change and then overcoming obstacles I had to identify what obstacles were there because my obstacle might be my attitude or my behavior but is it fear. It's driving my attitude is it sin or is it shame that striving my attitude. What is it that's going on underneath that I need to do with looks good to you that CO commit to change being see overcome obstacles were discovered. Now you uncover your true self uncovering this possible risk. Actually, this is where you really get open up because God set us free.

For freedom, not so that we would live a life of bondage and shame and in fear and so when we uncover our true self. We take a look at what God has to say about us and uncover who we truly are the good the bad the ugly. Not looking at what the world has to say. Scott have to say about us and then we began to understand that we are fully loved right where we are that we are wonderfully made love says he wants to heal us and he wants to take us to the next place you know, and when you think of the apostle Paul. He embrace this in a beautiful wife. The human standpoint I'm in here this man was a deeply devoted religious man. You know he studied at the knee of the most famous Pharisees of the day and he was a zealot for the Scriptures of the Old Testament living up to the absolute perfect level right and then he realizes that he's not what he thinks he is. You know the Lord reveals his true self to Paul and he begins to loathe who is and yet he was this religious righteous man. I think Paul and Paul's life is a great example of uncovering your true self is literally beautiful part of the Scripture. I think to read Paul and that in that way it is and it uncover two things got to uncover who we are and the things that we need to work on in our lives and allow God to bring those to the surface, but at the same time we need to uncover who we are in Christ and that gives us a lot of courage and you've already talked about this in the previous broadcast and today a little bit with a lot of things that hold us back from sharing our true selves and yet close friends of yours pastors of the church with whom you traveled and spent so much time over so many years they didn't know your true self.

How do we get there. How do we get there without a crisis moment transparency and vulnerability to words that are very scary until you exercise them and you don't have to reveal your every deepest darkest secret but God didn't create us to walk through this life alone.

He created us to be together in his word tells us that we sharpen one another way to pray for one another that we might be healed that two are better than one.

When one falls down there. Someone to pick him up and I believed in isolation.

I grew up believing that and I was to keep everything to myself. It was just me and God. And while God is there and he is our Savior. He is there a comforter. Our hope and encouragement. He also wants to bring us in relationship with what I call for me would be sites, but I call safe sisters and I talk about that in the book, but people who will come alongside us that we can be transparent and vulnerable with to speak all of our heart and our fear and our shame and get out. Where can we have so many lone wolf Christians if you will.

Somebody isolated Christians that don't have the kind of community around well. We need to work on the work on let's talk about our will not have time for injury, but I want to cover R&D incurred. So let's are, which is replace worldly lies with perpetual truth this is that it's a biggie I go through a worksheet and in my book and in the workbook you really break down is lies. I had about 16 lies. I believed about myself out lies that I needed to prove myself to others to be valuable things like that that the world would tell us that we need.

And yet God says your valuable I love you unconditionally and your valuable so I had to replace the worldly lies that I'd learned for many many years and replace them with God's word that was healing and gave me courage that requires spending time in the Scripture on a regular basis. Every day you knew there statistics out to tell us if we are in God's word for more times a week that he changes our behavior. Eight and it gives us courage. I mean, John, Jim yelled realized that I found that to be so true. The more I imparted God's word into my life that healthier spiritually. I became again that's one of the great secrets to marriage people to pray together regularly, not everyday but regularly and read the word together. The divorce furthers extremely low single and that's the silver bullet. If you really want to hear that again in a in the acrostic courage is accept the things we cannot change people can read that in the book G is grasp God's love for us. That's a big one as well.

None of these are weak, but let's get to E which is embrace a life of grace. This is probably one of the most difficult things for us as human beings to accept God's love for us is unconditional is not about our performance because we are saturated in performance from the time were born about, you know, if we act this way or behave this way, we get these rewards. Why do we need is Christian society. None of God's grace is what it's about.

We have to embrace it and that's what I talk about in that chapter. You know the definition of grace is unmerited favor undeserved.

God's given us his grace. It's already there, but the result of grace is empowerment and so if we embrace it gives us the power to do what he's calling us to do and I not only had to have grace for myself and that was actually hard for me, going to some things. I went to my childhood things that I did in my teenage years that I'm not proud of. I carried shame along with me for many many many years and as I did Satan just continued to undermine my confidence, my ability to be transparent and vulnerable, and to deal with the hurt and pain and that shame, I just kept on pilot I said I didn't deserve grace and I don't but I had to embrace it anyway and I had to say you know what counts wiped all that away inside embrace it for myself, but then you have to take it a step further and you've got to give that same grace to your spouse or other people in your family. You may not need courage for marriage. Many courage your listeners. Many courage for something out of the grace is that important component that we need to receive ourselves and embrace it, but we also have to embrace it and get you know and there's no scientific proof of this, but when you look at grace and how you embrace grace in your own life and how you projected to those around you. I think there's an equation there equilibrium. In other words as much as you receive yourself is what you're going to give to others. And if you're in that spot were you're not a graceful person you are a judgmental person with everyone around you. My guess will be your also that way with yourself and that's part of your dilemma. When you got to move into that. What I love embrace of God's grace that is the secret that and it's not a secret.

Just got to believe it and I want you to pray for folks in their marriages.

In just a minute, but I gotta ask you this order to wrap up your butt with you and Mike.

Now a few years beyond this revelation, the embrace of something different. You still have those disagreements is a better value to battle through each other's desires and wants of disagreements that all a lot is changed that there is no perfect relationship there.

There will never be a perfect marriage because were about human but we we are more equipped now to handle our disagreements with love, truth and love. We sit down would pray about a and yet we have grace for one another. We communicate care we learn communication skills that I talked about in the book that are critical to being able to have those healthy conversations and healthy disagreements that there are then resolved and we can move on and not all of them are resolved. I do talk about that we not always can agree on everything. That's what I can respect one another love one another.

Pray for one another and be healed like God's word tells us that I love that in your book courage for life is a great resource and tool to help couples start the process of living in a dark place. We've covered up, you projected the perfection we are talking about, especially in your marriage. Get hands book you can get it here Focus on the Family you can afford it will get it in your hands.

Just call us. We believe in the content that and is provided the testimony of Anna and Mike and what God is done in their lives. This is the right stuff everybody and again if you're in a place where you need help just contact us. Also John, let me make sure people hear this, that if you're in a desperate spot.

We have hope restored, which is in intensive marriage counseling experience. We have an 81% to your success rate, meaning post-two years of the counseling. Those couples are still together and doing better in their marriages. So get a hold of us for that as well and let me have you pray for those marriages that are struggling.

Can we do it we absolutely can be an honor. Father, thank you Lord for this opportunity to speak through you today father and I just pray for marriages out there that are in the place where I've been and got my heart goes out to each and every person's listening today that's struggling and suffering and needs to come forward God and just not receive your healing and hope and encouragement, Lord, the father got. I just pray your holy protection around this marriages give them hope and give them encouragement and give them wisdom and discernment, father, and to do and to take that first step in courage to take that step and commit to making a change and commit to getting the help they need. Lord God just bring people into their life that can help them on their journey to restoring and healing their marriage. Father we ask these things in your holy and precious name we give you all the glory in Jesus Christ. As we close, here.

Let me remind you that here at Focus on the Family we have caring Christian counselors in the number of resources that you can trust and rely on.

And of course one of those is in great book courage for life number is 800 K word family or follow the links in the episode will give our thanks to our guest today and wait for her story and thank you for listening today to focus on the behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team on John Fuller inviting you back next time. Once more help you and your family.

Rising man I knew, my marriage is falling apart.

I just did not affix. I felt like I would always be alone even if I stayed married at Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive.

We offer hope to couples in crisis so they can have the marriage they always dreamed of. For the first time I felt like my husband truly heard me. I received some great tools from the counselor's of change my life and my marriage to begin the journey of finding health go to hope today

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