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Straight Talk on Marriage, Family, and Christian Living

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
February 18, 2022 3:00 am

Straight Talk on Marriage, Family, and Christian Living

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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February 18, 2022 3:00 am

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And I would even think down the road whether he initiates a divorce. You are not bound under all circumstances to stay with an unbeliever who has literally violated the intent of that marriage, but hasn't physically left, but he has violated the marriage to that of marriage.

Now that's a beautiful sentiment, but perhaps it's one you can't relate to. Maybe you feel lonely in your marriage or your spouse is an unbeliever or your spouse is not living in the way God intends in those tough situations.

What do you do. John MacArthur has helpful answers today on grace to you, so stay here for a special interview that we call straight talk on marriage, family and Christian living. But before we get to the interview. There is a brand-new resource that we put together and there's a timely reason that you need to know about it now, especially if you're new to grace to use so John, what can you tell us about the latest addition to our study guides well this one is really really strategic. The title is complete in Christ over the years we have produced about 150 study guides and these are very comprehensive study guys not just outlined. There's no these are these are volume of 250 pages of in-depth Bible study.

Over the years we produced about 150 study guides and there actually softcover books that correspond to our sermon series and they follow the flow of the sermons and add the helpful questions to reinforce the teaching they were designed for that very purpose so that people could have the study guide while they were listening to the sermon series on radio. Obviously, they transcend that specific use.

They are great for Sunday school curriculum in home Bible studies discipleship groups and we relaunch the study guides for for this new generation, and this is the third volume is now available and I especially love this one titled complete in Christ. It's based on Colossians chapter 1 and two, and it looks at Paul's great love for the believers he ministered to and his desire that they would live and thrive in the knowledge of the spiritual blessings that are complete in Christ by requesting the study guide.

Now you can receive it in time to use it as you listen to the radio series on that subject next month. Study guide will give you an outline of every message with detailed explanation helping you understand and apply the truth from Colossians and then as I mentioned earlier there helpful questions for every message to reinforce what you learn and again the study guide is yours free. If you've never contacted our ministry before. As for your complimentary copy when you call or email us today. Yes, this study guide pairs perfectly with John's radio series you are going to want to get a copy. I'll talk more about how to get it after the lesson, but right now, stay here for the conversation I had with John titled straight talk on marriage, family and Christian living in the first voice you hear will be well mine hi, I'm Phil Johnson Executive Director Grace to you and I am in the studio today with John MacArthur. I want to ask him some questions. John, can we get lots of questions about doctrine and the hard Bible verses and some of the standard questions that you often answer about predestination in Bible prophecy questions about assurance and eternal security. But today I wanted sort of take a different direction and single out for you.

Some of the practical questions that people ask hard questions about marriage and divorce family issues and other matters that are related to practical Christian living. So will start with some questions about marriage and divorce, you know, we get more hard questions dealing with marital problems and divorce, then I think on any other subject because it's a hard subject.

So here's one that came into us. I was in a rights. I was listening to your sermon how to win your unbelieving spouse. I truly want to learn and do all the Lord wants me to do. I do try to practice serving him no matter what my husband has said or done to me. So there are things I need advice on.

We been married 20 years, and as soon as we got married, he abandoned me. He spends all his free time with his brother.

He says the wife's duty to him is only to cook and clean and be a submissive slave to all his needs.

He's never said thank you and never said I'm sorry any anything I may need his help with produces fear in me, because I know he'll blow up. So how do I deal with the fear and loneliness and rejection in a way that pleases God.

I think that the starting point for that would be that the Lord doesn't promise us a trouble-free life know in this world you will have tribulation, but the Lord does promise this that the trying of your faith, suffering has a perfecting work and I think even beyond that in life. Not only does God produce a perfecting work in us that it is shaping us sort like Paul is saying, Lord, please take this thorn in the flesh away. Please take away please take it away in the Lord saying no knocking to do that because when you are weak, then you're strong. This is a perfecting work and Paul responds missing. So I rejoice in that I think you have to find the path of joy in the middle of it and realize that God has chosen you for difficulty chosen you for suffering for his own glory and that there will be.

There will be a kind of spiritual development, a kind of spiritual growth and maturity that will come in your life that will make you valuable.

If you rejoice in this, and that in eternity someday you will probably be shocked at the grand reward that the Lord provides for you eternally that she doesn't expressly say that her husband is an unbeliever, but she's responding to the series how to win your unbelieving spouse and the way she describes this man, it doesn't sound like a believer so she also needs to pray for his salvation absolutely and you not guaranteed that he's going to be saved but we do know the Bible tells us how to go about reaching out to him with the gospel by how how a woman lives in. I don't know what the end of that will be but but I know the responsibility that she has is to live a life that puts Christ on display makes the gospel believable. Here's another question from a woman who says that my soon-to-be ex spouse has been served with an order protection.

He told me beautiful lies that led me to make a decision to leave everyone and everything.

As soon as I moved there I found out that I was in an abusive situation. He would hit me kick me slap me lock me in the basement or in the bedroom. Oversee every little thing I did with the aim of getting into arguments so that they would lead to this abuse, he threatened to divorce me over every small issue. She says I know the Bible says that God hates divorce, but does that mean a wife should remain in an abusive marriage. While I would answer firstly by saying you should not remain in an abusive relationship in the place where that abuse takes place not, let's not talk about divorce. Initially, let's just talk about safety meeting we have mechanisms in our physical bodies to deflect things that are dangerous to me that's a mechanism that's built into everybody you knocking to stay there and say will have to be married to this guy so I gotta be here and I know he can kick me around like a punching bag. If you want snow you need to get out of that place and get to a place of safety and if you have children need to get those children to a place of safety. This is just obvious stuff. Secondly, this is clearly a nonbeliever. I don't know what he professes or what he confesses but that is not the behavior of a Christian. If a person is a Christian.

He loves his brother in the most intimate expression of that is to espouse. This is a non-Christian and and I would even think down the road whether he initiates a divorce. You are not bound under all circumstances to stay with an unbeliever who has literally violated the intent of that marriage, but hasn't physically left, but he has violated the marriage to that degree right, here's 1/3 question from woman who writes our marriage of 40 years ended when my husband started having an affair with someone he met online. They lived together for two years before he decided to divorce me and marry her.

She says I'm having a hard time getting beyond the pain and the loss of my marriage, my hopes, my dreams all shattered. How do I forgive that person who is hurt and destroyed my future. First of all, God hates divorce, God hates sin and there's divorce everywhere and sin everywhere all the time. The fact that God hates it, doesn't mean it's not a reality is not present. Secondly, I would say this.

Your life is not in shambles. Your husband's life is in shambles your life is not in shambles. You have the Lord who will never leave you or forsake you. You gotta change your perspective, your your husband is a train wreck. You're not your husband is a disaster.

You're not.

You have done everything you could do to be obedient and faithful and loyal to your husband the short-term on the surface.

Your husband has received what he wants long-term.

Nobody gets what he wants by disobeying God by being in adulterer by violating a marriage that the one to be pitied.

Is your husband, and not you. God God's accounts are long-term accounts there, even eternal accounts and you need to rejoice that the Lord has protected you from something worse.

You need to embrace all the opportunities for friendship fellowship Lovejoy usefulness that are available to you in the church and in the Lord will honor all of that right. Here's one more question about marriage show. This was her rights.

I recently listened to one of your sermons from first Peter three about wives submitting to their husbands and by their chaste behavior, drawing them nearer to the Lord without a word, understand this applies to an unbelieving husband.

However put these principles be applied to a situation where the husband is a believer yet does not seem to be growing much in the faith. First thing I would say is rejoice always and again I say rejoice, rejoice always, the Lord is. It is at hand. The Lord is near.

You're not forsaken, rejoice, rejoice, rejoice in your salvation. Rejoice in God's grace rejoice that his mercies are new every morning great is his faithfulness new marriages and everything you want to be your husband isn't coming down the path the way you wanted to. Maybe he's a believer. Maybe he's not.

You shouldn't beat yourself up for that. You should limit what is Peter say casting all your care on him because he cares for you, so give it to the Lord, you give your husband to the Lord in any rejoice.

You turn it over to the Lord and rejoice and be grateful and joyful. Otherwise, what's going to happen is what's wrong in your marriage defines your home. It defines your relationships.

It defines how you deal with the kids. It defines how you deal with your sisters and brothers and family members, and defines how you deal with friends at church and all of a sudden this this thing that's wrong becomes the defining element of your life and then your life is defined by that, rather than by joy and confidence and trust in the Lord. Cultivate joy cultivate joy cultivate joy that your loved by God, your loved infinitely your loved eternal your love personally in all spiritual blessings are yours in Christ cultivate that and take whatever life brings. Don't don't invest more anguish in this life, then you need to because were headed for heaven and joy forever.

Good answer. I here's another question from a listener who says my daughter is getting married in August to a caring but agnostic man, an attorney friend is conducting the ceremony. Although my daughter professes to be a Christian.

Her choices in the past several years of not demonstrated obedience to Jesus Christ she's told me she does not want a religious ceremony, but she wants me to pray at the ceremony and is asked me for input concerning the conduct of the ceremony. There also considering including Hindu and Indian cultural elements in the ceremony.

I'm very concerned about how best to glorify God in this event. I don't want to pray to the one true God when I'll be preceded or followed by Hindu prayer or ritual. Any advice you can provide is very much appreciated. First of all, look, be honest, your daughter is not a Christian, non-Christian, the only way you know a Christian is not by some profession or some event in the past, but by a changed life and how is that life changed. It is changed in that they desire to honor God the love his word, the loves church they love his people day. They love righteousness. This is not a Christian girl.

This is a non-Christian girl and I think for you to go into a service like that and inject any piece of Christianity would be to aid and abet her illegitimate claim to be a Christian. I think you need to you need to not be a part of that at all.

I don't I wouldn't even go to an event like that I wouldn't go a little and participate.

I think you just just understand that this is sheer paganism by a professing Christian that that's not what Christians do so II think I would lovingly say to her you're not a Christian under and I can't inject any form of Christianity into a pagan event interesting is that that there is a common thread in many of these questions the assumption that because a person claims to be a Christian or says he is a Christian or had some sort of experience when he was 12 years old. We were obliged to take that profession of faith that faith face value. That's a major fallacy isn't here yet.

You know fillets. It's interesting to go back in history. This first dawned on me when I was preaching many many years ago back in Grand Rapids and somebody came up to me and started tell me a story about the sun they had and they said but I know is a Christian because he was baptized where it you know is a Christian because he was baptized as a baby. What I'd spent my whole life trying to do and then the middle basically criticized pretty consistently for doing it to try to help people understand what true salvation is why people sometimes as to why why you where you got. Why are you on this hobbyhorse become because there are lots of things that don't determine your eternal destiny. This happens to write so if you if you going to be right about something, please let it be salvation, yeah.

Amazing how persistent this fallacy is a just, it shows up in every form imaginable and just keeps coming at us, and as you know, we argued with it. Theologically years ago. We were battling a theology that was coming out and got all over everywhere in the book the Gospel according to Jesus. Then we answered all their arguments in the gospel court of the apostles. Now that the non-Lordship easy believe-ism is everywhere in evangelicalism but nobody talks about the theology of it and it is that they really want to argue about theology.

It's all pragmatic methodology emotions sentimentalism.

So we have it in forms where it doesn't even carry a theology. It isn't even defended. If anything, I think things are worse in the church today than they were when you were when you were younger sure that it's become I think will probably one of the most controversial things you can do is challenge of the profession of faith or someone who claims to be a Christian. No matter if he lives like the devil will look at the questions you been asking me yeah the last series of questions. Well, this person says is a Christian of this person came to Cora, we will give away too much assumption to that claim. That's exactly what Matthew seven says, many will say Lord Lord. We've done this, we've done that in your name. I don't know you, you workers of iniquity. So if you're a worker of iniquity. Your claim is false so you one thing. Parents have to do friends have to do we have to take away the legitimacy of those claims you we have to be as bold as to say, there is absolutely no reason that I would believe for a moment that you are a Christian, I love you and I'm telling you you're on your way to hell.

All right, one more question on the family and this is a hard one.

I really want to see your answer on this one. Listener says in order to be a Christian living in a Muslim family.

I have to lie if I don't. My son will be taken from me by my husband as I write this I'm listening to your radio program about principles and lying with tears in my eyes, what do I do I don't fear for my own life.

Death is welcome, but then my son will not come to saving faith. Yes, I live in the US, but that doesn't stop my angry husband or his family. I'm afraid courts don't favor Christians and there's nothing I can legally prove my husband is said that would give me full custody.

Please give me an answer on what I should do. I love your program. It is helping me to Christ. My situation is unfortunately more common than you might know well, well, first of Josť. This country is getting more favorable to Muslims than it is to Christians. This is strange twist.

First of all you you have to believe that if you do what is right. The outcome is in the hands of God.

The outcome for your son is in the hands of God.

The outcome for your own life is in the hands of God, the disposition of your husband is in the hands of God, you, you have to believe that you cannot believe that your own preservation and the salvation of your son is in your hands. It's not in your hands.

It's in God's hands so you you can't over estimate the euro necessity and what God may choose to do in the life of your son. Secondly, I believe that you don't have to say everything that is true. You don't have to purposely say everything that is true. There are things that can be true that you believe and do. You do not have to profess them or confess them in every environment. If I am called into some threatening situation and somebody asked me if I'm a Christian.

Even Jesus did not answer. On one occasion in his trial only have to say everything but but to lie that that's a different knife stepped over a line so I think first is a trust in the Lord secondly is a quiet willingness not to necessarily say everything you remember. Of course, that even in the Gospel of John. It talks about Nicodemus being a secret disciple for fear of the Jews.

That's interesting and yet he was honored he was honored by God.

He was there to anoint the body of Christ that he isn't really condemned for for keeping that and he was in an environment of the Sanhedrin and hostility in his life would've been threatened, and so I mean a finding that balance. At some point. Now I eyed my heart goes out to Grace to you. Of course, along with lifestream of every Sunday service.

The Grace Church goes into the Middle East. We live stream every Sunday in the Arabic language to the Middle East and were starting to get more more of this kind of feedback was such as the Middle East is this is coming from America, there is this kind of hostility.

I just think you have to trust the Lord be a dutiful wife may be. You don't have to say everything but but don't be put in a position to lie and I would just go one step beyond that, I think if you can be faithful to your husband and be a faithful wife and a faithful mother and maintain your joy and a measure of sweetness in that relationship even though it's hard. That may mitigate the hostility or the anger to some degree so that you know I think if you if you become a haranguing Christian in that environment. A threatening Christian in that environment.

You may make it more difficult. So, just to be clear, because I think people sometimes confuse these concepts you're saying there are times when it's okay to conceal the truth. It's never okay to deny the truth about Jesus that if you deny meal deny you and God's cannot deny himself, but he does sometimes conceal the true self. This listener says I teach seventh grade math in a public school we just found out that one of our female students has decided she wants to be a boy.

Her mother was a single mother and the school psychologist are going along with it. She's only 12. Anyway, the school may want us to talk to our homeroom kids about this girls transitioning. I don't know what to do, though probably tell us what to say but I may Nate not want to say it because side I will degree so I have a couple of questions one should I refer to the student as him like they want us to. I'm been told to do that yet, but eventually they will, and she says number two I feel very uncomfortable talking to kids about it when I know God disapproves of this kind of behavior. Is there anything you would suggest I say or do I want to honor God and my actions you have any advice for me. First of all, whatever the initial announcement is made. You don't need to be the one that made it. I eyed ides and not make an announcement, Megan.

Secondly, if we had to refer to the student. I died refer to that student as so that student. Yes, that student over there that student over there. I just think this is so devastating and deadly to kids at a 12-year-old going through this. This is not his will. This is his parents playing games with him that this is this is tragic. This is the path to terrible personal chaos and destruction. So II just think them to get on. I understand your public school and and that's a great place to be and that's a great place to minister yeah and you know it's you becoming so common, I think the time is coming when there will be Christians who actually lose their jobs over things like this, so there's no rush and prepare for that but look again. Trust yourself to the Lord.

The Lord knows your needs and here in his care. Yeah, all right, one more question, and this is a hard one. This listener says I'm 34 years old. 10 years ago I was part of an online scam defrauding people and taking their money. I don't have the money to pay back all I've stolen from people and I don't have most of their contact information.

Even if I could repay it all. Your sermons have stripped me naked and convicted me. What should I do next with a kid you can't make right what you did wrong admit to God, you done that and spend the rest of your life, sacrificially giving serving benefiting. Pour your life into other people be selfless, I mean selfless in a radical way you were selfish in a radical way you cost people a lot you can't go back and pay back those people that you divested in a criminal way, but I you I don't think you can't look you can't go back and fix that. But you, but you can say no confess it to the Lord.

Repent of it to the Lord.

I think the fact that your guilt ridden and full of this kind of angst is good. It's good to me that's a Christian response. Are you if you want to Christie, but you still be fair and how to do this again because it was successful good advisees. These have been really hard questions out. Thanks for the answers.

John is a reminder that a lot of our listeners struggle with lots of pain and deep problems and need encouragement.

Give us a few words of encouragement in these final minutes. I just can't think of John 1633 in this world you will have tribulation would be of good courage have overcome the chair sure you are in overcome her will and what and what is that, by which we overcome Johnson as our faith.

If you faith in Christ in overcome her.

This is grace to you with John MacArthur.

Thanks for being with us that special interview you heard today is titled straight talk on marriage, family and Christian living. Now, as John mentioned earlier next month we are going to air his series titled complete in Christ and to help you get all you can out of those broadcasts. We produced a brand-new study guide over 250 pages with detailed explanations plus helpful questions throughout to help reinforce what you learn. If you've never contacted us before we want to send you a free copy so that you have it in time before the series errors. So ask for the complete in Christ study guide when you contact us today our number here 855 grace and our website again the complete in Christ. Study guide includes a question-and-answer session with each chapter and its great material to go through with someone you're discipling more with your Bible study group and remember the study guide is our gift to you. If you've never contacted us before. If you've already gotten in touch is available for a reasonable price to pick up your copy of the complete in Christ study guide. Call us at 855 grace or go to our website TTY.and while you're at Make sure to take advantage of the thousands of free resources. You'll find there. That includes daily devotionals written by John and 3500 sermons that cover crucial topics like how to pray the Lord's supper facing trials overcoming temptation and so many others again go to now for John MacArthur in the entire grace to use staff on Phil Johnson encouraging you to watch grace to you television this Sunday and then be here Monday when John looks at how to help your church shine the light in a dark world and how to grow in spiritual harmony. Tune in for the study titled me for unity with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on wasting you

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