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Keeping Love Alive - Serving - How to Deepen Your Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 22, 2021 5:00 am

Keeping Love Alive - Serving - How to Deepen Your Love, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 22, 2021 5:00 am

As he begins this series on how to keep love alive, Chip shares four biblical principles that set the tone and establish the foundation for the rest of these programs. He starts with a very concrete look at what love is - and what love is not.

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How do you keep love in marriage alive. I mean the glow after the honeymoon wears off. Where life settles into those routines and daily demands. How do you build a marriage that is fresh only last that's today stay with welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with children Living on the Edge features the Bible to this international discipleship program. This program, we begin a brand-new series called love alive you're married already, or hoping all got a story circumstances that led to say I begin this story with Teresa exactly a formula for success. As you will see over the course of these next several programs commitment to each other and to God resulted in over 40 years.

The trade players Jabal with this message serving how to deepen your love John chapter 13. My my father was military Guam Iwo Jima Purple Heart on my wife's father military lost a brother on the ship. Both of our fathers came out of World War II alcoholics we came from, not healthy backgrounds, so we brought that intermarriage. My wife married early to get out of the house had a not good experience. A married young pretty guy through college.

He started selling drugs ran off with another woman. She had two little boys shows is a single mom for a while so I got to know her as a friend for years so and then later we got married so blended family lots of baggage alcoholic past God calls us in the ministry. I've never met anyone who loves God more than my wife and never met anyone that makes more crazy than that woman right there we couldn't resolve anger, we can resolve conflict. I mean like it was like we put everything in a truck within six months after we got married and after I Dennis schoolteacher and a basketball coach.

I play ball overseas and was like within six months was like what have we done. I mean we were a mess and within the first year by God's grace where I went to seminary. Gunning, Paul Meyer was teaching a class of the Marmon or clinic and went and talked to him and we broke and for like the student rate of $90 a session which was huge amount of money 12 sessions. It's the best money we spent that we didn't have think on that one fairly making under a thousand a month. So here's what I want to tell you now, we have, we think we can make it. We got, we passed 41 years. Last December, and most kids that I got to adopt have turned out amazingly well and God gave us two more, to tell you something hard work. The challenges you have the conflicts you have the family of origin issues the financial issues the sexual issues and law issues. Welcome to the NFL.

That's real stuff in order to talk about that the overarching theme is how to keep love alive. I'm going to talk about for biblical practices. The great marriages have in common.

One book that if you haven't read it is so worth it. And I'll be talking a little bit more about it later. Is the five languages of love and in the introduction, Gary Chapman talks about being on a plane and sits next to guy in one thing comes to another.

He says what he do for living is on marriage counseling and I do seminars and I write books on marriage is my lucky day and he said you know I love it like you're in love but does anyone ever keep love alive mean is it possible I mean, did you people just say I guess marriages are mostly empty and you just grind it out if it is there any way to keep love alive and of course Gary Chapman's book talks about that in love euphoric over the top dissipates, but the need to feel loved, never goes away and you and I are living in a day and in the culture that basically says that in love feeling is what marriage relationship is all about.

And if you don't have that all the time. You probably married the wrong person or you write we fall in love we fall out of love and so will you need to do is find the next person which then you look at the statistics and doesn't work in the next method that doesn't work and it's chaos. And so it's a gift from God to have it euphoric in love experience and what a lot of marriage needs is how do you keep the passion alive what needs to happen in your relationship so that you feel loved by your mate so that your emotional love tank gets filled up by the other person and vice versa. Because that's part of going through all the ups and all the downs and I wanted I wanted go to maybe an unusual place can open your Bibles I want to read a passage is Ephesians chapter 5.

And normally what we do is we talk all about, you know, it talks about what a woman should do and be in the talks about what a man should do and be. And that has little line at the end that says all but this is really about the mystery of Christ and the church follow along. Ephesians 5 I'll pick it up in verse 25. Husbands and you talk about a hard assignment, love your wives how just as Christ also loved the church how to do that and gave himself up for her. Why, so he might sanctify her, set her apart, having cleansed her by the washing of the water with the word why that he might present to himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she would be holy and blameless parallel so husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies.

He who loves his own wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church because we are members of his body and then it goes back and reaches into Genesis that classic passage. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. Look at verse 32 this mystery is great but I'm speaking with reference to Christ and the church. In other words, there is this model of marriage that's a love relationship between Jesus and his church, and many kinda brings it back down to everyday life.

Nevertheless, each individual among you must also love his own wife even as himself and his wife must also see to it that she respects and honors her husband, and I was thinking and praying and asking God.

You know what what what you want to say to this group of people in that passage Going over and over and over, and when I realize it's very rarely do we take how Jesus loves the church and use that as our model for how were to love one another in marriage and so I what I want you to do now is to open to John chapter 13 and this is a time where the disciples are being told to go prepare the Last Supper. They don't know if the Last Supper is just Passover their Jewish boys it's it's a very important moment for you to reenact that moment where God delivered his people and the blood was put on the doorpost and the Lamb is going to be, you know, killed in an and all these things are going to happen and Jesus has been telling them for some time now that the religious leaders are going to kill him, and he sends them on ahead and and now imagine the parallel is going to come. You can look at your notes and you can sorta look ahead. But what I want you to get is the context and where Jesus was.

He sends them on ahead and they get to this upper room and when I get to the upper room. We learn the commentary is is from one of the other gospels on the way there what they were discussing this and remember who was the greatest coming after three years and you get a hand over the ministry to save the world to group of guys that have been with you they seen you race people from the dead.

The thing you be 5000 4000 they seen you walk on water. They've heard all your sermons and all your messages and you got like 24 hours with them in the big argument is we know he's leaving so this will be the top dog is get so many stars are Stride Rite and so they walk in and I think the Lord created this little test for them and when you would walk the dusty streets. Everyone wore sandals and we would walk in a room there would be a large jar and then probably the lowliest servant in the household would be there when you came in, they would wash your feet off and and and tell them dry. So all 12 of them walk in and no one humbles himself because I'm better than that. This is about me, but I'm more important than that, that jobs to lowly. In other words there. Here the last night and their passion and their focus is my needs about me and my role and what I need and who are to serve me does is there easy like a remote sense that any of us have felt that way in your marriage you like that now let's let's push a little farther after all he's done for them. Think of what he's done for them. Think of not just the time teaching. I mean can you imagine having to struggle and come late at night and you're all taken along walking you can overbuy the 5K.

Jesus can we talk this year and he shares with you on and off for three years and after all he's done this is how they treat him this is what they've learned. Any of you in your marriage ever felt like you really gone out of your way. You really tried to do your best to being the best husband of the best life or whatever and then you feel like your mate is, dissing you that's where Jesus is that emotionally. So let's find out how does he respond John chapter 13 pick it up at verse one. Now before the feast of the Passover. Don't miss this Jesus, knowing that his hour had come and that he would depart out of this world to his father and having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end of the words this is going to be one of his greatest acts of love during the supper, the devil had already come into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him Jesus, knowing the father, given all things to his hands and that he come forth from the father and is going back to God.

Got up from supper laid aside his garments, taking a towel, he wrapped it around her group himself, he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded around his waist.

Then he came to Simon Peter, and he said Lord, do you wash my feet Jesus answered and said to him what I do, you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter. Peter said him never show you wash my feet and Jesus answered, if I do not wash your feet, you have no part with me and Simon Peter said Lord then watch not only my feet, but also my hands and my head. And Jesus said him. Hugh has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean and you are clean, but not all of you, for he knew the one betraying him, and for this reason, he said, not all of you are clean so when he had washed their feet taken his garment reclined at the table again he said to them, do you know what I have done to you.

You call me teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am if I than the teacher and the Lord washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you and then we get this moment. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent greater than one who sent him. If you know these things.

You are blessed if you do them. Let me skip over because he's now going to talk about is going Judas is going to get up and at the end of the supper. If you skip all the way to verse 34. He says to them. 33 for context, little children, I'm with you a little while longer will seek me, as I said to Jeep to the Jews. Now I say to you where I'm going, you cannot come a new commandment I give to you that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also should love one another, how that he just love them. He served them who deserve to be the head and who chose to be the servant who should been offended who chose to humble himself. Who knew was secure enough to knew where he came from and where he was going and didn't have to have their approval and so being secure in knowing his role he can love them and is going to love them to the end and now what he says to them, this new commandment I don't want you just to love I want you to love each other the way I loved you now look at verse 35 in your Bible knows the impact by this all men will know that you are my disciples.

Why by how you love one another because you love one another. The way I love you and I will pay that starts in our marriages. I mean I want to great and fulfilling marriage. I want to be happy and feel loved and connected and accepted in all of his goods. Good psychological words right. We all do, but I want you to remember that your marriage isn't just about your personal fulfillment other than the church of Jesus Christ. Your relationship with your mate is the single most powerful testimony of the reality of God. When people see in the midst of not. It's perfect, you got it all together in the midst of struggle and difficulty and sick children and dysfunctional past and and big mess ups and in huge mistakes and forgiving of one another and working through conflict when they want you love one another through all that.

That's the power and God will use your lives in amazing ways always want to remind us as we get started, as we please. We've grown up in the consumer world and I will tell you which we are bombarded every day it's about you it's about you. Are you happy you deserve to be happy.

Are you fulfilled are you feeling okay today. Is everything all right. You deserve a break today. The life is about you if if if you're not happy right now. Then something's wrong. If you ache somewhere there's a pill or we can give you an injection will giving a surgery there's something you should never have a problem. You should never have a struggle. You should never be sad should never be disappointed. Everything should be perfect and you can buy something to get that through the whole point of advertisement is to help you understand the deficit and you can buy or have something or someone that will solve it and it's a lie from the pit of hell. If you can't be happy with who you actually are in your relationship with God you have no hope of being happy with anyone else.

No one has the power to do that in your life infected. The weird part of how God designed life to be is it's when you give your life away that the greatest fulfillment in the greatest joy you get in so you notice that's the teaching of Jesus's motive. What was his motive in serving love is action. He washes their feet. Did you notice that just because you love someone, it doesn't always work that some of them accepted it readily and some of them couldn't accept. Why couldn't Peter accepted. He was embarrassed wasn't he just realized I'm I mean I think every one of those guys if you want one. I one by one is about all I just wish I would watch my feet.

I you know I told gosh, I just wish it. This is painful. You know when you're really getting something you don't deserve an and you and you're just I mean when you're exposed. No skies were exposed there to Scott Albright. I mean any of us could do this, but not him and when he got the Peter in his arrogance he goes. Not this is this is acceptable. He thought of as being spiritual. You know sometimes we want to serve our mate. Sometimes out of some faulty finger.

Our mate won't let us. It's one thing to serve bidders.

Another thing in this passage, you have to be willing to receive it. Some people are very uncomfortable receiving some people from family of origins believed down deep in their heart almost below the conscious level I'm unworthy I'm unlovable and when you seek to love them and care for them and speak words of life. It's like BBs off of the tank, my wife's self-image was so low when we first got married she so viewed herself after her family background being abandoned by this person by being rejected and I mean she's kind she's beautiful, she's intelligent she's gifted and she's godly all of that was absolutely true. Objectively told by me and friends and others. And then she would look in the mirror and she saw unworthy one of the biggest things in her marriage counseling was. She couldn't receive any love she could receive a compliment she could just made me nuts so I got really frustrated when I get frustrated. I'm not very loving what you know in the matter how here here's a hard time in marriage when you're trying you're very very best right in your you thinking you're really loving the other person and you're trying really hard and it gets worse is that a better that's when you have these really scary moments, like I don't think this can work out.

This can never work, and I want you know there's hope, and it can and working to learn from this passage the beginning of how to restore your passion the principles out of this passage to identify to deepen your love number one is love is not a feeling just that down. Love is not a feeling romantic emotional feelings are good.

Just don't confuse them with love definition of love. I've kind of just taken what the Scriptures teach and package it together. Love is giving another person what they need the most when they deserve it the least a great personal cost. I'll say that again because I have to remember a lot. Love is giving another person what they need the most when they deserve it the least a great personal cost and if you just pause for a moment and think in your mind what happened at the cross.

What did God the son, do he gave us what we needed the most forgiveness when we deserved at the least, we were his enemies were hostile to him a great personal cost and what did the father do. He gave the sun and that's our model and by the way, it's, it's the supernatural power of God in us to do that I can't do that on my own and you can't do that on your own. Notice also.

Love is serving and if you redefine love in your marriage.

It's putting the needs of your mate above your own, you might jot down a Philippians chapter 2 verses three and four Paul is talking about what it really looks like the love he says do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mine, consider others more important than yourself. Do not look only on your own interests, but also on the interests of others, and again it's it's it's a it's the kingdom it's completely upside down.

I live in a world I'm bombarded in a world that says get get get consume consume consume me me me my needs now and when two people in Mary's each want their needs met. What happens in work. Now here's the hard part.

Least in my little world.

I thought once I started giving magic would happen and Teresa would just respond overnight and it be wonderful and it was not and I think she felt like the same thing. One of the greatest lessons I learned was the only person that can change. Teresa is Teresa and the only person change chip chip. And so, in my marriage instead of all those thoughts in your mind. If she would only do this if she would start doing this. If you would stop doing this. If you would start doing this.

If you would just pick up his stuff, comes with holding this if you would just call what is it if she would just be more effective blood level. Since you can't change them. Here's the deal you just say Lord I can't change that person but there's a supernatural dynamic I'm gonna follow your example and I'm going to do for my husband. I'm going to do for my wife what Jesus did for his disciples.

I'm so secure in who I know you are and who I am. I'm going to serve and I'm going to care and I'm going to sow seeds of love that served them that meet real needs in them is, here's what happens when your mate gets more and more whole.

The change they really do change, but how many house nagging working in many or blaming how that one you about the old and should you ought to do this you should.

That's how parents talk to children you never you always doesn't like for word you eliminate from marriage, along with divorce, go, go to your old dictionary and cut it out divorce get it up ought should always, never does anyone always do anything. Does anyone never mean you never help really really you ought so it's serving it's putting their needs third principle here is that love must be received. Ask yourself sometimes when you're hurt and resentful of your mate and they trying to something kind. What you do you want to make him pay right and receiver right now is the time be little affectionate if they say something kind that's not redneck it right now I am twisted twisted metal knife. Why Peter Peter us.

Miss Peter why the after at the let down your guard, there's that there's this idea that working up like it's some sort again. Did you do this and I'll do that and I'll pay you back and you do this that's that's how you ruin relationships and here's his and you know I read the passage, the two become one, there's no such thing as a winner and a loser. It's either win-win or lose lose every interaction, every conversation, every fight, every disagreement, every big issue. It's either a win-win or it's a lose lose when you can feel better for like 15 minutes a I got my waiters. She better do that or he's finally and guess what one of them went up went. Now when resentment or hurt her woundedness happens in one person, because the other quote things they one I want you to sowing seeds of discord. Believe me, it will pop up later and so will and how do you how do you do this, did you notice even that love is unconditional might jot that now. By the way this text supernatural Holy Spirit power in you. Sometimes if you ever felt like I don't. I just don't feel like loving my mate right now. I'm yet here you know the right thing to do. You just know for sure what the right thing to do if I forgive them for the right thing to do is to take the initiative to make up and then this comes your mind you know what I think. 8/10 times. I always take the initiative.

I'm not doing this time because is not really.

8/10 times because you're in denial is probably only 6.5 or something right in the Holy Spirit, that little nudge and then it's like they don't deserve it. Like somehow it's like spiritual ping-pong. They don't deserve it. The ball going back and forth. It's what's going to make the relationship right what what what what it was the outcome. Do you realize that there was one person whose feet got washed Jesus betray him talk about unconditional love chips message serving deep in your love series keeping love alive for biblical practices. Great marriages have in common. For each of these four practices gives you a couple of principles that explain why it's true practical implications of what those principles look like in the day-to-day and then very specific tools to get this practice into action in classic chip fashion. He unfolds the roadmap to give you clear directions each step of the way you want to hear how to deepen your love strengthen your hope multiply your joy and restore your piece you over to yourself and your spouse to dig into the series and integrate what you learn for the long haul.

You'll be hard-pressed to find a more practical resource for the health of your marriage for limited time resources for keeping love alive are discounted and the MP3s are always free to order your copy or to send it to a friend visit us online at http://livingontheedge.org or Special offers on the app for additional information. Just give us a call at AAA 333-6003. Which of the series on keeping love alive is applicable to all marriages and maybe even friendships that people want to deepen and cultivate an interesting start her listeners a little peek into who you're speaking to at the time and why it was significant would I be glad to Dave. This is a special ministry. Honestly, that Teresa and I have with one another over the last many years at least once often twice a year I we go to the Billy Graham conference center and we speak to military couples and they do this amazing thing where for active military, they allow him to come completely free of charge. They pay for everything and when you meet with military couples and they been deployed or one of them is in the service and one isn't.

And they been apart for 18 months or two years and the dynamics and the challenges are just so hard and so what I did in this series. Basically, it's keeping love alive but listen carefully. It's for biblical practices that deepen and grow your marriage and so I really wanted to be kind of the coach or the mentor with these military couples and what you'll hear is very practical things that if you and I could sit across the table and I could share after a little over 40 years the biggest things I've learned from Scripture. I mean, practical practices marriages that do these do well marriages that don't do these things don't do well. That's the series and I can't wait to share with you also chip this is going to be great.

All I hope you'll make plans to be with us for the entire series and if you have Alyssa program you can pick it up on the Chip Ingram map or anytime on our website LivingontheEdge.org these are free along with chips, message notes, which are his detailed outlines of each message, including Scripture references and much more. Now here's chip with his application as we wrap up the first program of the series. I hope you heard a few things that you begin to think to yourself all.

That's how Jesus did.

Jesus connected Jesus really loved in John chapter 13. What are some things that I can clean that you can glean out of that. Here's what I want you to know I've never taught a a mentoring or coaching series quite like this.

And what I've done in each one of these is I've taken the way that Jesus deepened his love with his disciples because he's our model and when we do that in our marriage relationships. I'm telling you great things happen and so when he wanted to deepen his love what you see in John 13. It was his very last act he serves. And so in each one of these messages. I'll give the teaching then I give the principles and then most of you are going to be most excited for our next broadcast because I'll get the practical implications and then each time I will give you a very specific tool. I mean something practical to do to serve your mate in a way that here's what I will guarantee it will deepen your love because it will be a tool that allow you to do what Jesus did for his disciples so I don't know what you have going on for the next couple weeks, but let me encourage you stay with me. Let's join together and learn to love our mates in ways that provide deep, lasting rich relationships because is more than just about us and our happiness, our marriages are God's billboard to the world. It's the picture of Jesus and the church.

So join me for the next couple weeks and let's grow together as we wrap up I want to say thanks to those who make this program possible through your generous financial support.

Your gifts help us create programs purchase airtime and develop additional resources to help Christians live like Christians you've been blessed by the ministry of Living on the Edge. Would you consider sending a gift today. You can call us at AAA 83336003.

The donate button or donate online at http://livingontheedge.org. Your support is greatly appreciated will be sure to join us next time when chip continues a series keeping love alive. Until then, this is Dave really saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge


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