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Creating Sustainable Rhythms in Your Marriage

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2022 6:00 am

Creating Sustainable Rhythms in Your Marriage

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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July 5, 2022 6:00 am

Chris and Jenni Graebe both grew up with very strong opinions on how marriage should look. They eventually went to other couples who were years ahead of them, and compiled a list of biblical lifestyles of “rhythms” that married couples can create in their lives. In this interview, they’ll focus on the important rhythms that have helped them through the years,

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Every Saturday morning. My husband makes me breakfast. And that's just something that he does to show me how much he cares something that my wife and I do stay connected is really get together once a month to go through a budget and take a look back at what we spend money on and look forward to plan together something I started doing years ago for my husband is I would sign off on our emails or text messages with the initials LY love you still. We loved drama and work in a community theater.

That's one way that we connect and have something to talk about.

Those are just some of the examples of everyday rhythms of life that you can build into your relationship to improve your marriage and will be talking about more ideas today on Focus on the Family.

I'm John Fuller and thanks for joining us your hostess focus Pres. and author Jim Daly John intermarriages. One of the things we talk a lot about on the broadcast and parenting two. That's about 80% of the program we measure. So 75, 80% of the time we talk about marriage and parenting. Today we have a great show and one of the difficulties that we often have is we get into marital rights right you go through seasons.

Unfortunately, sometimes I could be years were just feels like you're in a routine and you're not breaking out of that and finding something deeper something more rewarding in your relationship as a married couple really give you some ideas today to change that. Yeah, we got Chris and Jenny gravy with us to talk about some of the things that they've learned their husband-and-wife team parents of five kids in the house the podcast the rhythm of us and they written a book called the rhythm of us create the thriving marriage you long for.

Look for a copy at our website. The link is in the show notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family.

Chris and Jenny. It's good to have you here for the first time. Thank you so much for so I'm to be hand fun yeah what what a great concept. I so appreciate the fact you're trying to strengthen marriages that's overall doing right.

Hopefully our own marriage is only to say that Christian leaders we need to make sure walking the talk Jenny EE went to her graduation party where you saw a table of memories for your friends daughter and they gave you some thoughts and ideas.

That's an interesting observation.

I don't know that is a guy I would've picked up on this go-ahead. What happened well actually I saw the pictures of the party and pleasant and I was actually on a writing game supposed to be writing not inspired at all beating yourself up about his eye and is not inspired and as friends friend sent me pictures of her daughter's graduation party and I was looking through the pictures and see how this beautiful roundtable for her 18-year-old daughter and on the table was just all the precious things that made up her 18 years of life's little baby rattle for when she is born little set of footprints, a tiresome summer camp T-shirts and and as I was looking at these pictures. My eyes are welling up with tears because I have five kids in my own. I'm picturing sending them off and all the things that would be on their tables and I just heard the Lord whisper what's on your table want on your table chestnut and use this analogy in the book and thinking about our marriage when we get to 50 years. Hopefully 60 years.

What do we want on the anniversary table clearly went around the table but we want those to say about us that are standing roundtable got her dentures grateful person in the context of marriage. What does your table represent about you as a couple. That's awesome Crystal Matthew taking a step back in the books about rhythms and rots in describe the rhythms. What are these patterns that you saw was a couple that are pretty generic to all couples wanted to do, so here is okay God's call us right this thing and wanted to come to think differently about this a lot of marriage books not so great to talk about budgeting and communication insects and animals and all that we wanted to give couples a framework that's a little bit different framework to come up with some on the same side of the table versus pointing fingers at each other right basically asking couples the question, are you in rhythm, or are you out of people think about that question immediately every couple within seconds goes nowhere, out of rhythm and nowhere we need to get think they know all hundred percent every Melissa may not verbalize beverages like okay were out of rhythm in this department in our life and so wanted to do was give a framework and just some context for couple to be able to have a safe conversation with each other not to say hey you really better this just like hey are we in rhythm in this area of our life or we out of rhythm and how do we get back in rhythm, so we focus on these five different rhythms that are pretty easy to digest and easy for couples to cut a walk together and have those good simple healthy good before we get to the five I want to talk about the ruts for a second you call it my personality type.

But on the rocks of the other thing you described in the book and use a story which I thought was really good about your kids and going to Disney so sorted out. John that what you wrote book. So who has the story on the Disney ruts relate to the different reactions really if you live Disney leaves just like any part and life-size cartoon characters. If that is your thing. Please enjoy. We just learned the hard way that it was not for us but there's three ways that we observed in our own marriage that you can fall into that stairs inherited rats is ruts that you kind of inherit from your family of origin agents bring into your marriage without even realizing it because he observed it.

And then there's seasonal rats there's kindness. These things that used to serve you when you first got married, don't necessarily serve you when you're in your 40s reevaluate as he changes couple. And then there's cultural rats, which is where I told this story where it can become really easy to look around at the couples around us and say well maybe we should doing this. Maybe we sent everybody takes a family Disney World. Maybe we shed on from the moment we started having the conversation about going to around I had a pit in my stomach I just I did not want to go.

II knew that was not for us. I love taking talk about the vision you have for your marriage and your family. I wanted to come near him to take them to the mountains and streams in nature and just be. That is my vision absolutely first time spent well with my family crowded themepark of fake food and like sweaty people is like expensive. I knew it was the opposite. And I just did not listen to that that whisper in my spirit at all and we decided to go for it.

It was like well you know we got some discounts and we should probably every family enough you can probably take you out so he said yes and we spent an entire February day from morning to evening freezing and it was so crowded. This is before come itself I mean shot as people as possible into that themepark we see each other all day because it was like okay you take this in here will try and grab this right here but you don't even get to spend any time together and by the end of the day you were so exhausted all we could think about was getting to our nice warm beds at the end of the day and when we crashed in those beds we looked at each other like let's never do this again okay and that we received from that date was learning okay matter what feels other people stinks like if they want to do that, that's fine.

It's our job to evaluate what brings us life and make decisions based on those values and that's where the peace comes from when we make decisions for our family and for our marriage. That line up with those values to Chris or what the kids think of the good like you know know the picture.

I know your four-year-old was much younger. The time so you know one day she sent me a counseling bill because that's really good. Let me ask you observed how some couples can turn their stories about one another kind of in the small drab storage other. I can relate to that. I think of a person's style might be verbal attack is just, I mean, it's not.

It's more like a verbal like to try to win. Yeah, I know you don't have to write or call us. I know that's not appropriate my pointers on relating to this. You know you can turn a little note given sarcasm something that's not edifying for your spouse so relate the experience that you have in that regard, and how you corrected it.

I think it's really really common and to use your spouse as a child, and it happens every week in circles and hang out with the stretcher and the buck is as a little kid I was always that kid observing the people around me is like an obsessive observer, especially of relationships now.

I grew up in a really loving family, wonderful parents that they would be the first to tell you that they struggled in their marriage. That was their biggest struggle and so I didn't see a couple that I wanted to emulate a marriage. I wanted to emulate in my own house so it caused me to kind of ferociously look for an example outside of my house that I could find for inspiration and sale every fall, and in Texas we would go on these trips together with other other families and it was to the Texas Hill country and after a long hot burning summer. It was such a wonderful thing to celebrate the crisp breeze finally coming into Texas and go out and help country and all in all the kids would be surrounded at one end of the table and all the adults around the other and I always listened into the adult conversations I was that kid kind is getting closer and closer. Was he until that's what it was they were telling the jokes over there that you can start to hear each couple incarnate start sharing stories about their spouse. Listen He did last week and listen to what this idiot that you know whatever that wasn't and it was funny, sure, but you could watch there. I would watch their spouses face and drop as they as they were the butt of that joke. But there was one couple there that I noticed Mike and Linda and they just never seem to join the intern factors. The only stories that they shared about the other just revealed how much he really loved and respected and adored each other and just stood out to me as a little kid and I just made a mental note okay, never throw your spouse under the bus there something there there practicing this and it's showing up in their marriage they had the kind of marriage that I want and here's a key practice that I can kind of hold onto him as a kid. Well, you caught it with our own children. You think that they won't notice their listening to everything Chris. Let me ask you give us some practical ways that we can speak life into her spouse was one of the rooms on before we finish what she just shared is this can be an inherited root right the grabbing fee because of what your child's right you say we just as a family we everyone become own liquid will perform each other and go oh yeah you know what like God is not a real that's going to bring life so this idea of speaking life which is one of the rhythm of the book is really weak. We think this is the cornerstone of the other rhythms. If you can get to this place where you're verbalizing a communicating your spouse, your gratitude, your appreciation for them and really helping them understand you know how thankful you are for them, just as it is money in the bank is going direct to the massive return.

All hundred percent just look up in one of the practices we talk about even strikethrough speaking is like go about our day were busy. We have five kids you have kids every just busy work all that or whatever you want. The pressure on think she looks good and just keep walking, but I have a moment right there to literally just say hey, you look so good today and in that moment I could've just had thought and all my life but just taking a brief second teller tells her I love her speaking life. It's with putting chips in the bank that ultimately has the opportunity to let her know that I love her for answers that speaking life that then reciprocates right that she just kind of stocks on top of the culture is yet another positive rhythm that you have in the book is service think everybody gets that. But practically house at work in your marriage so important.

Write an email after five evidence to some people not liking a weeping night almost 18 years in the great scheme of things, not that long.

So, as young people 18 five almost 30 seeking out we really tried to sit with couples have been married 50 years 60 years and learn from.

Then in writing this book. So the five dragons that we landed on. I not only true of our marriage we try and practice them, but they're also true across the board in these couples that we admire not just married for decades but in love with each other for decades, those kind of couples that you built on the cusp still have that I want that.

What are those common five rhythms. So that's where the rhythms came from this written observing was true across the board and they would all tell us that's where you start is serving each other it's it's so important to keep your eyes off of yourself and see your spouse, you know, we just all wake up every morning and instinctively think of our own needs. That's just human nature. That's the way that we are. It takes a lot of intentionality and practice to learn to see in a different way. Purpose of marriage become selfless because characters usually marriage you chose the point in the blower through the beauty of we become apostrophes, five rhythms, is it everything that were trying to say hey learn this rhythm of your spouse comes from a relationship with Christ right right. We should speak words of life to Christ in our prayer in our worship you were serving were serving the Lord writes it. Also it's a great way to express what he's doing through us to her spouse, but you don't serving rhythm serving is not the one original run to the stuffing says it all right there about selfishness across the way, please offer us is I think you know after few years research recognize okay certain things she does is not really hard for to do certain things that I don't love to do laundry yes of the one she has in mind.

So for me, you don't want just hers is about not will stick your hand in a dirty sink with dishes so I don't mind over the server for your employee met perpetrators imaginable sourcing can get it right so we we serve each other, not waiting those are just the practical things of life thing for us, that we learned no a few years ago 15 years ago. You know, we early on her marriage, decided to stay home with her kids, you know, she's just there were kids all go out and work and so by Thursday she would have hit this wall and we discuss it okay was a way that I can server having my ears and eyes attuned what's going on for life. How can I serve her and so we decided hey Fridays. You just leave go out of the world watch what you have time. All work from home will make it work and then what happened was she goes on in the world.

A few hours later she's walking the trees during think she's like I love you guys so much that she just comes while were there.

Johnson mentioned how to get a copy of the book in just a moment, but were talked about speaking life in service response word of the others was quickly before John jumps in her slowing down and seeking adventure and staying in, you mentioned in the book about coming across as a guy or a woman who mention that the had these dreams but one dream was becoming a runner that was only a dream in his head was kinda interesting just a dream in his head. Describe yeah well we were pastors for really long time so we spent a lot of time in small groups right developing small group starting sonnets and this was one that we had started so is a group of strangers and McKenna went around the circle. Everybody shared the top five things that I thought would help everyone get to know them and he said well it's the pastor and the seem to be father and worship leader and in my head I'm a runner and everyone cracked up laughing you now because we all resonate.

We all have those things as identities that we think we are in our heads, but if you look at our actual life like you, I think I'm a runner in my head that run in a long time and was sent that I mean light bulbs went off in my head. I did he just put words to something I have been feeling in that season I was looking up in our life going. If you asked me, I would say we go camping as a family and we have a date night every week romantic date nights every single weekend. I think I have a green smoothie every single morning of my life. This is who I am. This is what I do. I took a look at my actual life going camping we like it just caused me to look at our life and go with the second we've got to get more intentional with our life or widgets can drift into a place we want to be. That's a really good point because I can relate to the dream. I will set the compass to move that direction, but it's like the wind of life and takes you off course because you just get caught up in the day to day routine and got somebody calling the new Jew or you know a couple of things to talk with you or whatever might be. So just kind of takes away from the things that you planned. And now you're beholden to the immediate right. What's getting in your way and you get a counterattack back toward the direction which takes discipline, let me let me ask you to Jenny you guys move quite a bit. I'm thinking of spouses in the audience that are watching or listening where their security comes from the home.

You know that were building something together. Kids are here. We do want to uproot them out of elementary school or oh my goodness, junior high, you know you really want do that to the kids, but you've had to make those decisions to support Chris in a couple of moves were advised to have her that spouses you know that's a tough one.

Yes, pressure mean I can speak to this pretty freshly because we just knew a couple years ago after being in the same place for 10 years now you're in Texas for 10 years we were pastors there so communion was so rich and yet friends would become family. You know that our kids are grown up together we'd all had a baby shower scanning just build these bonds that are just feel irreplaceable and then over time, we just send space invitation from the Lord for this. They moved to Franklin and we had kind and always known that we would end up back there is just the sense that we have that's where we met and fell in love and started our family and then went to Texas and we just always thought we would come back and that when it became the reality of actually moving like you said, uprooting our kids and I had no like I said yes before I really had any clue what that would actually meet and how heartbreaking it would be to leave all that behind but I think walking through it. These last couple years. It's definitely I think it can be a wilderness season that can also bring so much fruit you know we don't ever wanted choose to walk through those wilderness seasons that everyone will have them if you follow God to lock your suffering is just part of your walk with him and that's what he does to bring the best fruit out of our lives is walking through the seasons with him so I would think Chris to, you know, again, the husband can be erratic in those decisions not talking about this is were generated for its thought it seemed like a good opportunity. What have you is not where there's a deficit there and that leadership were just erratically going from one place to another country, not succeeding whatever might be so. Richard at that point I figured I think you are younger you just go cool looks I got flashes across we were what I imagine most of the people watching. Here is I'm a very futuristic minded individual she is, Pres. and an pastor and she will look back.

She's nostalgic.

So, in a move like that when we are to make decisions.

It hits me like a ton of bricks in that moment and it's over.

It takes a little bit of time when we live in it she starts ago. Oh gosh, this is more the reality and so the grieving process is a little longer for her work for me. I understand hits me like a ton of bricks like also said I miss my friends at while you really cried because I know it's over and we move on, move on to life, but it's just understanding your spouse's wiring and how they're wired and depending on where you sit like let me just help her get some time to walk through this and in our prayer and what God is in our life is generally fun ourselves in the place of comfort. We start to see little drift because it is like season schedule is talking with the lock arms and fight together against all the odds are stacked against us. It draws us close to them is nothing else will have anything else but each other in the Lord.

Those are those seasons ago while we got refined a little bit more in the season I trust you more. Love you more.

I am so grateful for you that you had grace for me as we return to this new season that those are some really special times for us.

Now that is really good.

Let me ask you covering a little bit of the staying in all that you mention the last one you had a podcast just to actually run our program.

Mark and Jim Foreman. Terrific people are the parents of the switch foot guys is the parent of the popular band crossover band. Well, the great young man.

I've met him a few times in the described guys but they said something to you when you're doing a podcast with them that I think is a beautiful place to and today. What did the express to. We love the formants. They are a huge mentor couple for athlete had several times and then they taught us so much that one of the things that they taught us was what they call step into the painting and it's this idea if you're tracking by sunset. Don't just keep driving over and take it in.

You know if you're at the playground with your kids twitching dear stay on the apartment, get up and join in the fun if everyone breaks out dancing around you don't stay on the couch you get out and join in that party and the whole idea beautiful way that they put that is that this is the one we get together it's an incredible gift. Enjoy it.

Don't just sit and watch it unfold in front of you step into your life laughing because the number of times I played grounds.

These my boys look it up but we must deploy the 200 times, camping and everything that was always my attitude looked up and was poured through the greatest moments. What a great conversation. Chris and Jenny does. You've really brought it.

What a great book and I hope if you're in that spot. We feel like you're in a rut you don't know the way out. This book will fill you with ideas the rhythm of us and I want to make sure you get a copy if you can make a gift of any amount hopefully a monthly gift but as a one-time gift as well. Will send it to you as our way of saying thank you for joining the ministry and what a great resource to have, especially for marriages that are doing okay but could do much better get to that place, go home to my genius I did you hear what you said absolutely. I'm looking forward to applying many of these things to your own marriage even though we've been married 35 years so I would do that. Also, we have a great marriage assessment online. It's free. You can take the we've had well over a million couples do that and it'll point out some areas that you're doing well and some areas where you may need to do a little better so check it out today. Yes, stop by the website and order your book. Donate. As you can take that marriage assessment program notes have all the details or give us a call. Our numbers 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459.

Chris and Jenny, thanks for being with this is been so much fun. Thanks for putting these wonderful thoughts down in your book. It's great. Thanks to having hope you enjoyed this episode of focus of the family as much as we did in the coming up tomorrow the homicide detective sets out to prove the existence and claims of Jesus Christ.

If I don't trust anything the New Testament tells me about Jesus is there enough evidence in the fuse and fall out of history to show me what happened in the first century, even if I had nothing from the crimes he had nothing from the New Testament on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive you ever wonder what it was like to meet Jesus face-to-face the miracles the teachings, the long-awaited Messiah in the flash all new novel by Focus on the Family called and chosen.

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