Share This Episode
Focus on the Family Jim Daly Logo

Learning to Love Your Spouse (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
June 7, 2023 8:19 am

Learning to Love Your Spouse (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 926 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

June 7, 2023 8:19 am

Matt and Lisa Jacobson return to discuss ways to serve each other well with love in marriage. Through choosing the way you think about our spouse, being of one mind in Christ, and cherishing them through every season of life, Matt and Lisa discuss how making your marriage last through the years is possible! (Part 2 of 2)


Receive the "Loving Your Husband/Wife Well Bundle" and an audio download of this broadcast for your donation of any amount!


Get More Episode Resources


We'd love to hear from you! Visit our Homepage to leave us a voicemail.


If you've listened to any of our podcasts, please give us your feedback.


Hi, Jim Daly here. Today's culture deeply needs help, but in times like these, the light of Christ can shine even brighter.

So be encouraged to share his light in this broken world. Listen to the Refocus with Jim Daly Podcast. Without time limitations, I'll have deep, heartfelt discussions with fascinating guests who will encourage you to share God's grace, truth, and love.

Check out the podcast at or wherever you get your podcasts. Just keep in mind, bickering is sin. All right? You don't have to bicker. You don't have to argue. You don't have to act in a manner that compromises that unity. But how do you get there? You have to have that mindset yourself first.

You have to believe what the Bible says about how you are supposed to be thinking about this marriage. It's a unity. It's oneness. It's fellowship. This is Focus on the Family with Focus president and author Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller, and our guests today are Matt and Lisa Jacobson talking about having a deeper love in your marriage and how to rekindle that through everyday practices, habits, and attitudes.

Hey, John, I'm excited to continue the conversation that we had last time. It kind of started us in a great direction about the importance of respecting and loving both our wives and wives respecting and loving their husbands. It works both ways, and I think that was a great point out of last time, and I'm looking forward to today's discussion. You know, the curious thing about this, I do get energized around marriage discussions. Now, do I always apply those things I'm hearing 100%? No.

People, we're imperfect people, but can I take a couple of steps, maybe several steps in the right direction? I think the answer to that is yes. And last time we talked about deep in the heart stuff, like how do we truly live with contentment with our spouse, and how do we put our relationship with Christ in that first place so that our hearts are right, that contentment is there, and then stop owning our spouse's relationship with the Lord? That's between them and God. As Matt, our guest, said last time, he's not writing that mail to you, he's writing it to your spouse, meaning the Lord, so that's a good thing.

And we don't want to intercept that mail that's intended for them, right? And today we're going to cover more topics related to our relationship in the marriage covenant, and I'm looking forward to it. Yeah, and Matt and Lisa, our return guests, they're very involved in ministry in the Pacific Northwest.

They've written a number of books. Today we'll be talking about a companion set of devotionals, which are called Loving Your Husband Well and Loving Your Wife Well. These are 52-week devotionals designed to help you grow in your relationship.

Stop by the website for details, so we've got the link in the show notes, or call 800, the letter A, and the word family. Matt and Lisa, welcome back. Thank you. Great to be back again. It's good to have you. I so enjoyed last time, even ending with the humor discussion, how important humor, I didn't mention that in the intro. But that's fun, too. Laughing together is really important, kind of to provide that cushion when things aren't as fun or laughable, you know. Exactly. You can have those punctuated times of laughing together.

Well, let's jump right back into the various topics. The next one I wanted to cover was conflict, and the opposite of that, I think, would be unity. And unity is so important in marriage. You know, I think it actually is easier to have unity in marriage than it is in parenting, you know what I mean?

Because parenting, boy, you just come from different perspectives sometimes. One's a little easier, one's a little tougher on the rules, et cetera. But unity in all things is really, really critical. So in that regard, how do we build unity and how do we not need to win every argument, perhaps, and agree with our spouse on most things? Well, you know, one of the things that we find often, and maybe you guys have experienced this, too, but you can get in a pattern of kind of negative communication and just a little snippy little. And so those differences can become sort of the seedbed of disagreements and then snippiness and bickering and arguing.

And yeah, you love each other, yeah, you can stay in marriage, but you've developed this culture in your home that is kind of negative. And you know, we just like to say, just keep in mind, bickering is sin, all right? You don't have to bicker. You don't have to argue. You don't have to act in a manner that compromises that unity.

But how do you get there? You have to have that mindset yourself first. You have to believe what the Bible says about how you are supposed to be thinking about this marriage. It's a unity, it's oneness, it's fellowship, right? So the things that compromise that are the things that are outside of God's plan for you.

So when you start thinking in those terms, you put a check on your mouth. I was with a friend the other day and we had talked to them, the couple, about this business of bickering in their marriage. And they're a great couple.

They love each other. But they've got this culture of sniffing at each other and we say, you know what? That's actually sinful. The Bible talks about speaking with kindness to each other. So a lot of guys, they go, oh wait, was I kind to my wife? Like I challenged them and I say, did you speak with kindness? That's what the Bible says you're supposed to do. Be kind to one another. Are you speaking that way? So it's a biblical way of thinking. And that's where you start if you want to find the unity that God's calling you to.

What does the Bible say about how I am supposed to interact? So when Jean says to me, that was a little snarky. That's not a compliment. Yes, that has happened. People are going, no, it's you, Jim.

Yes, it's true. I can be snarky and I'm reeling that in and learning every day. In fact, Lisa, you even mentioned that in your book, this ability to be a snarky jabber. But what was that situation when Matt may have been a little snarky toward you, Lisa?

It did happen one time. When you're a fast learner, I'm a little slow. I think sometimes a spouse can say something that comes across in a way that is really negative or tearing down.

Again, those triggers is one of those things. So there was a morning, Sunday morning, my husband's a pastor, we are trying to get breakfast out the door and get the kids all ready. And he said something like, now this is what I heard. I'm not saying this is what he said. This is what I heard him saying, hey, it looks like this is all your mom's serving this morning. So eat up and get going.

That is what I heard. And so I was so furious because I felt like it was demeaning to me in front of the kids as something that I'm very sensitive about. I do feel like I need to be respected and especially in front of the kids. But I also thought, okay, right now I can get into this with him. But I'm thinking, okay, he's a pastor, he's going to church, is this really the conversation we want to have on the way to church? That you know what, I can, this can wait and I can put aside my anger, I can put aside my hurt, but I am going to talk to him about it.

I'm not going to just stuff it because that's a whole different way of solving things. And after church on the way home, I said, can I tell you something that happened this morning that you said? And I told him what I thought I heard.

He goes, what are you talking about? I didn't say that at all. I was just saying, hey, let's get eating so we can get going and go on to church. So it was a quick conversation now, right? Because he's just saying, that's not what I said, certainly not my heart. So he responded in humility, he didn't get defensive.

And it gave me a chance to go, oh, you know, I just think I'm, I'm just overreacting to something. And that happens all the time in marriage. And it builds. So if you don't address it, or if you just make it a reason to get in a good fight, then it adds this negative aspect to your marriage rather than a positive one. It's amazing how many things we know in marriage that turned out not to be the case. Yeah, so true. You know, we have we have this assumption, we know the what the person was thinking, we know why they said it.

And yet, we don't really so the maturity, so it's really true. And it's certainly Jean and I had something like that just a few weeks ago, and it really wounded her. And I went, wow, I did. That was not my intention.

All I didn't even realize it, you know, in terms of the tone or what was said, I thought I was being just a fact stator. But that's not how she understood it. So I get that. I don't know if you've had that. Oh, just okay. This is called marriage. We're all right. Let me let me address another common stereotype that men don't share their hearts as easily as women.

There's a there's a neon sign. This is something Jean I talk a lot about, you know, just that ability to share what we're truly feeling. It doesn't come naturally for most men. I don't think all men, some men have it and I get that. But I think generally speaking, men struggle a bit more with emotional attachment, I mean, you know, for whatever reason, and speak to that stereotype and how we have to fight that in order to be intimate in our marriages, the way our wives actually need us to be as men.

Yeah, absolutely. Well, two sides to that, certainly, you talked about the guy willing to be vulnerable, willing to go there. And for that to be the case is he's got to have a safe spot, he's got to have a safe place, he's got to know that his heart is safe with the heart of his wife, his words, his wounds, his, his feelings are safe with her. And so what that means is sometimes she needs to communicate. You can trust me, I will never speak of you in a way that would you make you feel exposed or compromised to another person, like just communicating with your husband that you are that trustworthy person, you are somebody that that he can trust, there's, there's that piece to it, too. But then, you know, I'm also just going to go back to that business of oneness, you know, if I understand myself, according to what God has said, I'm going to be willing to maybe go outside my comfort zone a little bit, and she needs me to communicate to her that I love her.

And one of the ways I do that is I share who I am to her. And so this is the path of growth and maturity, and you kind of have to decide, I'm going to walk that path. Yeah. And sometimes it's not comfortable. And sometimes you're, but but the thing about being vulnerable with another person, you're giving them a knife to stab you with. I mean, that's correct. That's really what it is well. And so that's why that trust is so important.

Let me Yeah, that trust needs to be built, it needs to be trustworthy, if I could say it that way. And Lisa, let me have you speak to that issue related to absorbing things that might destabilize you when you hear it at first. And hopefully, you know, there's some serious stuff, we're not trying to tap around it. But you know, there's addictions that men can find themselves in and things like that. So I, you know, that's where you may need professional help, counseling, that kind of thing.

But just the normal stuff of life. And when just to put the shoe on the right foot. So when a husband is coming to his wife to say, even in his own heart without expressing it, I want this emotional intimacy, I'm going to try this. And when he does, bam, he gets slapped. That's not that's not a good response, because what will happen over time, is he will stop trying.

Yes. And then she's then typically, she's going to be concerned that he doesn't share things with her. But it's this vicious cycle, that if I do, you judge me for it.

Right. So what's the response there, the healthy response for the wife when her husband is trying, inadequately, as it may be, to express these things? The common complaint amongst women is that, you know, don't try to fix me. So if I share something with you, don't try to fix it. I just know that's just the other day that I've heard another said, that's so true. Well, the reverse is also true. So if a husband does share something with you, don't try to change him.

It's the same thing as being fixed. So he doesn't want you don't try to say, Oh, well, this is what you need to do or this is where you need to change. I've been meaning to talk to you about this. And a lot of times we think of this as like an open door somehow to come in and go, well, you just need to change. You need to stop doing this.

You need to speak more kindly to the kids and, and kind of stack upon it rather than just sitting there and sitting with your husband and listening, caring about his heart, trying to imagine him as a young boy, and maybe what his experiences were, because he has his own set of experiences, and vulnerabilities and wounds. And just knowing that he cares about you, and that you're a good listener is really powerful. Yeah. Matt, I want to come back to the parable of the man who owed a large debt, and was forgiven describe that and then how to apply that within our marriages.

I think it's it's really brilliant. So often we read parables out of Scripture, the New Testament, but we don't have the acuity to apply them to our everyday lives. Yeah. And so you're referring to, yeah, the ungrateful servant, the parable of the ungrateful servant, and he owed more than you could pay back in a lifetime. And he was going to be thrown in prison. And so he went and but he pled and he asked for mercy, and he was given mercy.

But then he turned around to somebody who owed him a pittance, and he had that guy thrown in prison. And so that's that business of and the Lord just says, Look, if you don't forgive, I'm not going to forgive you. And forgiveness is so utterly critical in marriage, and we can just stack up all of the offenses and convince ourselves that we don't really owe that other person forgiveness forgetting how much we have been forgiven. And, and, and, you know, if somebody is dealing with a repeat offender, if you've got a husband or a wife, who's doing the same thing over and over and then say, Hey, I'm sorry, hey, I'm sorry, they're not really repenting, you're not, so you might have to involve somebody else to get to the bottom of that, so that you can get to a place of real repentance and leaving sin behind.

But we have to be very careful as, again, biblical Christians, right? That's the kind of Christian we want to be a biblical Christian, we have to be very careful with nurturing this place of pain in my heart that justifies me withholding forgiveness from the other person. Satan loves a little root of bitterness, he loves that unforgiveness, and he'll convince you in every way that it's justified. But God forgave us, and he calls us to forgive the same way. And forgiving, it's the here's the thing, it's always the wounded party that has to do the forgiving. Everything with God is kind of upside down, right? How come the wounded party has to be the one to go and forgive the other person, right?

But that's the way God set it up. It's always the wounded person that has to offer the forgiveness. And that's, that is something that will be a powerful salve in your marriage.

But yeah, your enemy doesn't want you to have any part of it. That's so true, and to be mindful of that is really critically important. Lisi, you describe in the book how Matt is more enthusiastic about change and moving. And I could so relate to that I had, you know, I think I went to seven different elementary schools in six years.

So I get the picture. It makes you or it encourages you to make friends quickly. New friends all the time, right? And that was my sense of why I probably became an extrovert. Hi, my name is Jim, I'm new.

You want to be my friend? I'm sure I've even said that line a few times. But how have you both been able to let God work in each other's hearts, when your perspectives about life are so different? I think when you're first attracted to your spouse, you're attracted because they are different, right? Matt was the most exciting man I'd ever met in my life.

And so I was thrilled to be his wife, but that's sweet. But that excitement gets a little scary, or old. So like, we just moved into this new home just a few months ago. And he's already thinking, you know, we could sell this house and then I could build that house over there. Now 20 years ago, I would have already started crying, I'm feeling like I haven't even unpacked the boxes and I'm trying so hard and, and now I'm just like, can you just not talk about that right now? Because I don't want to.

But also understanding it's how he's made and reminding myself this is what I loved about him. And it doesn't mean we have to move tomorrow. But St. Petersburg was a good idea.

It was not a good idea was a terrible idea. St. Petersburg, Florida. No, no, Russia. In our first year of marriage, I was sitting on the couch and Lisa's in the kitchen. And she I don't know what you're doing. And maybe making dinner or something. And I said, you know, honey, we should move to St. Petersburg, Russia.

And she's going, Oh, my goodness. There's an on ramp for you. Had you ever talked about that? No. Okay.

This is why Matt is so exciting. Maybe you and I aren't quite okay. No, that's fun, though. I get it. But it's destabilizing for you. You're looking for permanence, you're looking for something a little more concrete.

And that I can relate to. He's grown in the understanding of me and how I am so he's much better now coming to me. It's like, hey, I just want you I'm just thinking of this idea.

This is not a plan. It's an idea. Or he'll say, I know that you need this to help you feel secure or what would make you feel better about this, this new adventure we're going on.

And there's so much specific wisdom in the Bible about this directly stating live with your wife according to knowledge. So make a study of who this person is, and interact with that understanding of that knowledge. Even along those lines. So when he has a big idea, instead of me shutting it down, because I can right away think of all the reasons this terrible idea, the impact that has on him is visible, like he just goes from excited to, oh, deflated and really say, Hey, just listen to the idea out.

It's not gonna hurt. We're just talking about ideas. And then if he really gets serious, and I go, can I tell you some of my concerns about this? The Lord has taught me to listen to this wonderful resource of wisdom on my, you know, next planet.

So did you move? Interplanetary. No.

Endeavor. No, that's so true. Let me let me ask you continuing on through the great content in your devotionals, loving your husband well, loving your wife well. Why is it important to treat each other well, especially when you think no one is watching? I've had that applied in our personal lives. People say you really know who you are. Your character is measured by how you behave when no one is watching.

That's a powerful statement and a convicting one, really. But I never thought about it in the context of your marriage, that how your character in your marriage is how you treat each other when no one else is observing. Well, we live in a culture in a society that says, Hey, get mopped up for the camera, you know? Yeah, that's so true.

Putting it on. But of course, God knows exactly who we are when nobody's looking in, because that is who we are. And it's so critical that who we are when nobody is looking as a couple is who we are when everybody's looking. Because your marriage is what God is doing in the world.

It's not what you're doing in the world. It's what God is doing in the world. God put you together. And God has a very specific purpose of communicating to the world how much Jesus loves the church by this example of marriage. And so, so for that reason, it's important and just as a person who isn't a hypocrite, it's important, right? You're actually a person of integrity. And this is who we are. When nobody is looking, God is calling us to have Christian godly character all the time, not just when we know somebody's watching us. And you don't know who is looking or who is watching.

I can think of a couple examples. But one is a single friend of one of our kids said, I just love the way your parents look at each other. And it was very encouraging to him.

He wasn't even that interested in marriage because he was so discouraged and in the marriages he saw whether they stayed together or not just wasn't a loving, exciting thing for him. And so you think, Oh, I didn't even know he was watching us. Like, how could I have known that?

And another example was the last time we left focus on the family, we were on the airplane on the way home. It was late at night. We were white, but we were just sitting there and kind of holding hands and eating those little pretzels.

Oh, you got pretzels? Yeah. It was good. We went all out. We were laughing and talking and the flight attendant was very grumpy. Just short.

I tried everything like things, you know, and just trying to be appreciative. And she had a scowl the entire flight. Finally, I just thought, wow. Which I think a lot of flight attendants have a legitimate scowl from what they have to deal with. So we don't want to be hard on her for sure.

But I get it. As we got off the flight, it's close to midnight and we're walking up the little, she said, can I talk to you for a second? And I thought, oh, I've not been called aside for a long time. And I thought, what is she going to say to me? She was already so angry. And she said, can I ask what you and your husband were celebrating? And I said, oh, we're not really celebrating anything.

We're just on our way home from, you know, an interview. And we were just, yeah, we just were loving each other. And she said, I just love that.

I just loved watching you too. She was starving. Yes. It sounds like. And it was a huge witness. And again, you don't really think about that, but it said the gospel louder than if we had done probably anything else. One thing I wanted to mention, it's hard to live perfectly all the time. So when we're talking about, you know, it's the general principle of being who you are on both sides. But those things break down because we're human. We have, you know, we live in a sinful world and we have sin in our hearts still.

That kind of thing. So for the couple that may have the argument and think, oh man, we're not living with integrity. You do just want to aim for getting better, not perfect.

Absolutely. It's a sanctification process. And so we don't just validate that because I had feelings that led me to that argument.

No, God's calling me to do it differently the next time. And he's merciful. So we go to him, repent and we continue on. And these are the principles we're aiming for.

And that's what makes the content so good. And I think, you know, I have learned, thankfully, I get to sit with very smart people like you that give a lot of attention to this and write great books about it. I feel I have moved, you know, myself personally over time to be more mindful of my tone and more mindful of who I am and those kinds of things. So, you know, if it could work for me, it can work for you. Let's say as we zero in here at the close, for both of you, I'll ask this question. Why is it important, especially as a husband, but also for a wife to put your hope in the right things? Well, the Bible says hope deferred maketh the heart sick. And so if you're hoping for the things that are not what God would have you to value and to seek, then you're putting your hope in things that are transient and things that are going to pass. And the thing is, is our hope is in Christ and in his promises and in who we're called to be and where we're going. And so you can set yourself up for tremendous disappointment if you put your hope in, well, I'm just going to get this person to change in that way, or I'm going to have a life that guarantees that this is going to be the destination that we arrive at. Our hope needs to be in the Lord and our focus needs to be in his call on our heart and our life and who he's calling us to be.

Yeah, that's good. Yeah, I think I can think of a couple of times in our marriage where, where it seemed hopeless and like, just on our wedding day, one of the pastors that was at our wedding, he turned to a group of people and he said, Well, those two are going to wake up hating each other. There's some aspiration. And I was just so devastated as a new bride thinking, this is what I have to look forward to because we were so different and we do have strong personalities. And yet when people speak those words over you, it's hard not to, to believe them. And I know many people who've had family members say that, well, you're going to end up divorced just like the rest of us and things like that, instead of speaking words of hope and truth. And you don't have to listen to those words. You can say, you know what, we're going to have to work hard, but we have our hope in Jesus Christ. I like that. The truth is God has a beautiful plan for a couple who is willing to do things his way.

You will, you will continue on a path of love and maturity and growth and fun and joy in your marriage. God's plan leads to the blessings of obedience. Yeah. You know, I'm thinking of something that somebody showed me just the other day. It was a kind of a cartoon stick drawing of two people on one end of the stick figures representing a marriage and in the straight line across the life continuum and then a finish line and a checkered flag.

And then it's God's way, which is this, the two stick figures starting out. It's a valley. It's a thunderstorm. It's a peak. It's a flood. That's right. The line's moving up and down through life's dilemmas, right?

And then at the end, it's a heart, not a checkered flag. And I think what a beautiful way to look at things. This is what marriage does.

I mean, it helps prepare us for heaven, I think, to become more selfless, more like Christ. And you've done a beautiful job representing that in these two devotional books, Loving Your Husband Well, Loving Your Wife Well. What a great way to set your course and to allow God's blessing to fall upon you, particularly in your relationship with your spouse. I hope you'll get a copy of these books.

Let's make it easy. Be a part of the ministry. Send us a gift of any amount and we'll send both of them as our way of saying thank you for being part of the ministry and getting a resource or two resources that really can help you in your marriage journey. So get ahold of us today.

Yeah, you can get these books at our website. We've got the link in the show notes or our number is 800, the letter A and the word family. While you're online, take a few minutes and fill out our assessment, our marriage assessment. It's free. About a million people have taken this and it really brings to bear some of the great things that are working in your marriage and a few things you might want to work on.

And that pre-assessment is linked in the show notes or we can tell you more on the phone. Thank you both for being with us. This is fun. Have a great time on the airplane. Make sure you're hugging, making out, like the stewardess see that.

And then she'll come up and say, wow, what is going on in your marriage? It's just ministry. I love it. Thanks for being with us. Great to be with you. Thank you. And thank you for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I'm John Fuller and on behalf of Jim Daly and the rest of the team, please plan to be with us next time as we once again, help you and your family thrive in the world.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-07 11:19:48 / 2023-06-07 11:32:27 / 13

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime