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February 25, 2021 5:00 am
You know I came across the fascinating statement. Change the course of my marriage.
Years ago, here it is, without a plan we have no let me tell you that truth made all the difference in the world. My marriage as I begin to prioritize in our marriage very specific plans were gonna learn how to increase the hope in your marriage and I'm going to give you some very specific tools to help you build the kind of plan will provide. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge good Chip Ingram, Living on the Edge features the Bible to this international discipleship program. This program continues a series keeping love alive by assuring the principles of practical implications and then specific tools to help sustain long-term hope in your marriage relationship. Teaching tips always with experienced building shared in the message.
So be sure to stay with us for that you have a Bible heavy hope without John chapter 14, storage of novel part two of this message planning how to strengthen euro where is your hope in your marriage is your hope that someday somewhere, everything can be perfect is your hope someday she's going to be more affectionate is your hope someday we can really have a nice house and when all that happens every things and be wonderful is your hope is it when we can finally move closer to my parents so my immediate family went before. Better is your hope that someone will no longer ever have to be deployed and then somehow life will be wonderful.
Hope that when we can have children, then life is really going to happen is your hope somehow invite you know make some career moves then will make more money and then everything's gonna be okay. Is my hope you understand every single one of those is circumstantial and every single one of those can happen tomorrow, and here's what I can tell you you and me in our fallen nature give you 30 days, and your hope will be on something else, just a little bit bigger house, and wishing you didn't have so many kids and what what Jesus is telling us is there's going to be challenges. It's part of living in a fallen world. First, it's this attitude of serving your mate. That makes no sense and you keep doing it when it works, you keep doing it when it doesn't work and you do it as an act of worship to God, and over time. Transformation happens and you you become more and more like Jesus. And all I can tell you that when someone becomes more and more like Jesus.
She's more and more attractive.
Or he is more and more attractive. My wife's really attractive, she's very kind.
She's very loving. She's very other centered.
That was not how she always used to be and I spent most of my energy picking apart.
What I didn't like about her instead of the 90% but I did like about her and God wants you to know that serving is the first step, but you have to have hope in the way you have hope that you have to have a plan and I mean so I can I just give you some couple principles and I want to get real practical. Here's the principle I mean this is from Jesus. Long-term planning provides hope and perspective to overcome short-term pain and challenges is not just tell me Mike is reading too much into that. This deceit does he give them a long-term plan or what is a long-term plan here forever.
I got your back on coming back no matter what happens, how bad how hard I'm coming back and there's a place for you. Long-term plan gives you perspective and hope to overcome short-term pain and challenges second grade plans provides a specific path and create hope for tomorrow and forever grade plans don't just say someday somewhere you get is that okay guys across little bit later go prepare a place for you, ready break.
See you someday. Someway somehow no great plan is yeah that's a long-term plan but here's where you are today.
There's a specific path there specific things were going to do, literally. There is mile markers there were going to look at.
Move us forward so we can see were making progress. Third principle is hope rises and falls with how we keep our promises.
The most devastating thing we do to one another and we all do. It is when we tell our mate something and then we don't follow through breaks trust what we know about Jesus encourager unit three John chapter 14 and you can even read 15 and 16 and every time the word I will I will I will I will I will underline naughty saying I would I keep my promises.
I'm preparing a place in and did you get the why say I meet a lot of Christians believe God loves them. I don't think they really believe he likes them and know you. He loves me but I need to do this 90 do this 90 do this and I know don't measure up to you to realize that just you sitting wherever you're at what ever level of maturity with all your issues.
If Jesus walked through those doors in his resurrected body and sat down with you said you want coffee you want tea and you sit across from you and he would just be delighted to hang out and so doesn't you see the promises that he makes. And so then the application is practical.
Number one, if you this is this is this is from my Marine father.
So don't look for this in the Bible, but I heard it so much it's it's up there in the Bible with me to you fail to plan you this every person know that is true and you know you you plan for career plan hopefully for finances you plan for so much.
Here's my question. What's your plan for your marriage. What's your plan for your marriage.
If I said okay. Here, the husband right bridegroom.
There's a bride okay guys over here all you ladies over there all right.
One by one lineup. Tell me your plan was a game plan. Intimacy plan future plan kids plan intellectual growth plan spiritual growth plan future. We kids you want to go to college. You think I need to go to college you need plan for that what your financial plan. If you look at me like we got a problem because if you don't have a plan you don't have a lot of hope because planet you know you know what the word planning is about planning is the presumption that there will be a future and that you doing some things today and you're looking into the future and saying these are the important things that we are going to do and the things that you look forward to planning is sort of thread that takes hope in the hope pulls you, but the pulls you because of the plan. I cannot tell you I meet my wife and I argued struggled unit. We did the you know Roland you know face. The other wall and we made plan. The plan was we would have a date every single week. It would be on Friday before breakfast we would eat, and we spent about three hours together. We take a walk. We would do whatever but during that three or four hour block. She knew she had me no phone, no interruptions and anything and everything that was building up in her heart she knew. I'm only six days away from unloading and what he gave me was six days of her not unloading a little every day, causing conflict and it wasn't like it was just conflict resolution. We had a plan. What we knew was we were terrible communicators.
We did know how to resolve anger.
We didn't even know when we were angry we have a counselor teaches when you're like this. Okay, she's passive-aggressive and she buries her anger and you verbalize your anger all so that's why you do this. She does okay so software to learn when we were angry, so I like rat right after supper. I mean just 15 minutes. We did three times a week. Okay honey to sound so artificial. How did your day go superficial great has your day go great. What are you concerned about, well this this this and I shut up you can and can't fix it is a what you wish.
All I wish one of our sons would not be so much this way and I'm concerned about our other son's dating girl you know and I wish I felt better. I've got you this really situation and what are you willing to do and in 15 minutes or 20 minutes. I mean, we learned to not just bury stuff but get all the things that are weighing us down out on the table and and then you owe a question that you didn't have to do anything. What are you willing to do and what not. What happened is in 15 minutes every other night. At least I found this is the burdens and she heard mine coming. She would ask me how Jacob sign and she wants to talk about wanting will have really thought this church I love meetings couple people came to Christ is right. So what's up.
I mean, I can understand why she thinks we can communicate right. I told her it was fine. That's not what she wanted to hear.
How did you feel about what was going on inside the right so so we came up with a plan weekly.
We came up with the plan daily and then for us when there's friction.
Guess what goes out the door romance and now if you have kids, especially small ones.
It's hard to even find romance and so we plan we scheduled. You know, got other couples watch her kids.
We were super poor Brittany get away for a couple nights at least once tried twice a year. Sometimes you just holding on by a thread. When only got you now 62 more days so we can get away two days away would refresh you ice I start to get it. Hope so. What is your career and family and ministry and future plan for the next 5 to 10 or 15 years now. I know when I some say some like to go my gosh mean that sort of along big deal okay here's here's a tool for transformation in one of which is starting to give you two tools. Here's tool number one this change the course of my life's 30, 34, 35, three kids for any just born with. Maybe 18 months old. I've got to 1314-year-olds about a seven-year-old and about a one-year-old and where I went to seminary to have a thing called lead leadership evaluation and development, and they looked at your whole life and you want away with your wife for a week and had a psychologist talk to you and some looked your preaching and people filled out all these forms about your life, your character, they literally had your life and the goal was to take you through this for five days and give you an evaluation of where you're at and help you see blind spots so that maybe they can help you skip 10 years of pain because maybe they thought maybe you have some potential to make a difference to big things happen.
The man who did our interview was one of my mentors and he looked at Teresa and said you you haven't told anybody Dutch past life that you know I hide. But she said I have a problem with that, but my little boys like six or seven years old. We have a picture of Chip and I in our marriage and Eric and Jason are in the picture mean they were like Fort have five years old and under, looking up, dressed up little boys carrying the rings and things and so are six or seven-year-old says mommy, how come Eric and Jason got to be in the wedding picture and I didn't. Well, the moment of truth and that's a real tricky one right.
She was ashamed she was ashamed that she was told where we went to school to God would never use your life. She was told she was a second-class citizen. She lived with Gil to live with shame. She married a guy she wasn't a Christian he runs off with another woman.
She told me I would've committed suicide. If I did have his babies my whole life was in that man, I felt worthless and he said you don't understand. You are a trophy of God's grace. Look at how God is restored you and redeemed you. Are you ready for this you what you do with trophies. You take trophies and you put them up on the mantle and you put on the mantle so people can see this is what God did. We came home from that and she shared with my seven-year-old boy why she wasn't in the wedding picture.
Shortly afterwards, we were called to a church in Santa Cruz and my wife is a I mean, you would not know it now, but mine was not just an introvert but super shoddy and getting in front of people was not her thing and were fine on the plane. She said I want to share my testimony, church said what and you know was. We went from a fairly small church and for us was a pretty good size church eight or 900 people had a Sunday morning, Sunday night I civil my first messages Sunday morning you wanted to Sunday night you go to and she got up and told her story 50 women lined up if you know anything about Santa Cruz. It's drugs new age wacky world broken people, I mean just in God just put us in the perfect place in the world because to very deeply broken people went to place filled with broken people when she shared her story. They finally said, maybe there's hope for me and and and so so there's hope there's not just hope when everything's okay. There's hope. When you share your brokenness. The second thing that happened at that that was critical is that I was given an assignment and I was told to do this I want you to go home and I want you to write out. I want to add 10 years to everyone's age's okay I'll be 44 mob: how Eric and Jason be 22 rhino B-17 annual be like 11 and then he says now want you to think about.
This is where you're at. I want you to visualize you now have two kids that I thought if they're going to go to college. I'm putting like $50 a month away. You know they're doing really well, but they've got some issues in their life.
I need to address my little boy he said to B-17. This can make him like a junior or senior aunt and while 10 years from now I will be. This is this is Teresa and I were all we literally it it it it was it just grabbed me and I realized I'm living so much in every single day I'm not living in a way that is realizing where do I want to be in 10 years.
Where does God want me to be in 10 years. Where do I want my marriage to be in 10 years. It was one of the biggest moments of my whole life I literally are you what I did.
I made a plan.
I made a plan for my older boys. What am I going to do between you know like 12 and 22. What is it I want them to know what kind of time. What kind of experiences what to do with Mike.
My son is 11 or seven is going to B-17 in one of the things I learned from my older boys and where should we be what this is were entered where this was a season where we actually got along. The church was growing it was a good season. Wow, what if we can't.
Where do I want our marriage to be in 10 years. I would tell you it'll change the course of your life. If you would write down add 10 years to everyone in your family and start asking yourself those questions. I will tell you because left yourself in and then and is the thing you think you don't have enough time.
The number one addiction in America is technology you have time to read you have time to think you have time to exercise. You have time to build relationships. You can stick your face in this phone and you can escape and you can watch movies. You can play video games, and for some of you secretly log onto porn and you can waste your life or you come up with plan and you can ask for help and you can start being a servant, and I will tell you, you, your life will be so different than everybody else's and here's here's the thing that this thing and all that media does it just keeps telling you you don't measure up. You don't look right. You don't have the right stuff. And if only you had were if only you could, if only you were. And so it's all negative messages and here's the thing. Some of you are like type a highly focused water like me and some of us have gone after some of those things. And here's the thing. If you get them in your hand you get a look at it it's me like member the rainbow into the pot of gold and you look at it and you go is one guy told me recently said this is it this mean I build a company did $67 million last year. I found the beautiful wife I have three kids, this is it. This is empty him and that they promised. I'm in shape. The Marine I am. I've got what everyone in the world says will make you happy faces. I looked inside of that and there it was a black hole of emptiness. Many have to be driving in the car and heard a series about heaven and life that happened before. Living on the Edge God spoke to him. He pulled off 101 in California and cried like a baby and receive Christ, and that was the beginning of a completely new life and what I like about him. He went about it like a Marine. His poor wife.
He said it was bait and switch.
It really was. He said two years and he goes my life, my friends, my habits, he said, I learned God's word is important to learn. Prayer is important up the good Bible teaching church is important. I got a small group with my pastor another guy and another guy and not my addictions I addressed just two years were having dinner and she looked at me and she goes I don't think I even know you anymore and he said privately. I'm thinking yes and yet what she was saying was I married this person. We partied together and this was her world. Who is this guy now.
Your great father treating me in ways I don't really understand kind of weird you doing things I've never seen you do and kick my point. You have a plan. Add 10 years and then ask yourself who do you want that person to be what you want that marriage to look like the second. This is a real practical thing because it's like oh that's a great big picture structure.
Some of us are very spontaneous summer very detail oriented. If you don't structure for outcomes. You will your life will be filled with good intentions, where you start and fail, start and fail, start and fail in planning as a couple. I mean this week may want to get down to some real basic things. This is just a suggestion. You you some of you are great.
Planners way better than me. You have way better ways to do this, but for those of you that are sitting here thinking. We don't plan we just react. We just respond. Kids need chooser you know and and by the way, if you're like most the women fueled a greater responsibility and there always feeling like what we can do what we going to do and and they feel like we don't leave well when we don't plan and so one the things that helped us I don't know how it works in your world, but in my world. Usually I get a paycheck every two weeks. Some people's once a month.
Some people once a week I get a paycheck every two weeks and have for whenever we have a does have to be blue.
We have a blue folder every bill that comes in, goes into that blue folder. Even the ones we pay online printed out, doesn't that blue folder every two weeks. I sit down with my wife.
We have a checkbook and we will she'll take the part that you subtract out the part write the checks. A lot of them yet.
Of course we pay online and all right on the bill and she will say okay I'll do that online.
We go through every two weeks and we do our finances together. Here's the here's what you need to learn about money. Money is never about money. Money is about values and priorities every two weeks for 35 years we've had a discussion about what matters. And a lot of times it was well we paid our bills and now we have hundred $36 to make it through to the next two weeks so were going to put in a $78 in the grocery envelope when you put $20 in recreation and rip at $16 and for gas when you could buy gas for cheap. And when the monies out as envelopes were done and were going to stand the black and that was like okay well Eric need shoes and Amy needs this. What should we buy when and and okay let's the habit is more important amounts of working to save $50 paycheck that was a big and it became a habit. The second thing is now.
Now we've made those then we open our calendars and we look at what okay what's coming up the rest of this month and next month and we just we talk about it well and we got a birthday here were MGM's posted each year and were supposed to do that.
Will this couple asked us to do that. So were Get what we doing were planning our life together. Do you realize how many of your arguments are about one of you does a checkbook or one of a dozen online you don't know where things are at your conversations about money are called arguments. Your conversations about calendar are called conflict will why did you do that when you tell me that I don't want to do that you will do that you play golf and play golf but the girls and I'm sick and tired of you always take what you said the budget not we make plans and you never stick with the system remotely familiar.
Why because I live them all structure every two weeks. This is how much money we have visibility transparency what to do with it.
Here's our calendar at the beginning of every week and I mean we've done this so long. It's informal now often be over a couple coffee. So what you have coming up this week and she would just walk through her week.
Tell me all the major things coming out and it can come over with the kids in the afternoon on you to do this in five gutter travel Tuesday and Wednesday and I'll be back in so that kinda messes up with our date, not what we need when you want to do that and to think can just hope for the long term.
Once 1/4 hope with your finances because you do it together. I am telling you, you can be proactive in creating a life that you look forward to something this week. You look forward to a great time together away. You look forward to sitting down and having a plan that it may take time but we can get out of debt.
Final comment. If you are in a situation I wrote this at the bottom of crisis of debt counseling or in-laws or addiction get outside help get outside help pay for pay whatever it takes. I had to. Here's the thing. If this reoccurring problem or conflict in your sex life in your finances, debt issues in-laws resolving conflict your smart people. If you could've sold it on your own. You have solved it by now. Right you get outside help. Let me encourage] application quickly. Though this message planning how to survive your hope is from his series, keeping the 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 and 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 tap special offers on the app for additional information.
Just give us a call at AAA 333-6003, which are before you talk about your message you want to jump in here. Thanks Dave. I want to talk to those of you who partner with us financially. Your gifts help us not just stay on the air, but they provide the necessary funding that create curriculum and developer website and provide resources at extraordinarily reasonable prices.
Amine your giving is making an amazing impact. So thank you very very much. And for those of you that are enjoying the benefits of Living on the Edge, but you haven't yet become a financial partner. Would you consider doing that today. Your guests are getting it invested right back into the ministry to assist us to develop resources, stay on the air and help Christians live like Christians. I mean, is there ever a day when we need to make a difference well it's now will you help us with partnering with Living on the Edge is an idea that makes sense to you. We'd love to have you join us helping Christians live like Christians will change the world we live in, but to give a gift today. Just give us a call at AAA 83336003, or if you prefer to give online you can donate securely by going to LivingontheEdge.org or tap donate on the app. Your generosity is greatly appreciated will know your strip with his application. As we close today's program I want to focus in on one specific thing that I shared, but before I do I want to go immediately to that group of people that I ended the teaching time with.
I said if you are in crisis. If you lost hope. If you're hurting if you're contemplating divorce if you feel like there is no hope. Let me encourage you in your crisis. Get help right now. Go to a trusted godly friend to a Christian counselor to your pastor, but don't let it go. Don't think it's going to get better on its own. When the drift starts to happen when you feel the anger and the resentment building. Let me encourage you stop get help. What you're probably experiencing is something very, very normal, but it just feels overwhelming to you. Now for those that don't feel like you're in crisis but you want to deeper marriage or you feel like there's a little bit of the drift. Let me tell you this long term planning provides hope and perspective to overcome short-term pain and challenges you know there's a lot of ups and downs in life and am working to have them write financially, relationally, with in-laws in our sex life made in our marriages were going to have all kind of bumps and bruises and barriers and what I've learned after all these years when you first get some of these you think all my the world is falling apart and what's wrong in this marriage isn't working or I'm a terrible person or am I falling out of love and we been so overwhelmed with media thinking that googly GUI feelings in this romantic you know Hallmark type relationship is supposed to be every day in every way that we began to put our our marriages under a microscope and instead of realizing these are normal things in our long-term hope is we made a vow before God and so we need to have a plan. We need to have a plan that says this is what were going to do this week we need to have a plan with our money. We need to have a plan for when were going to get away as a couple.
We need to have a plan for how are we going to raise her children.
Now when I say all that. I don't mean that as some big overwhelming thing that you get it all done tomorrow. I want you to know, though you have to pause, you have to meet at least once a week and really talk about what's coming up. What are the concerns that you have how each of you are going to address them. You gotta be on the same page with common goals and a mutual commitment because if you aren't, you will start to go your own separate ways and then about once 1/4 minimum, you know, even if it's afternoon or just one night away to get together as a couple and do a little where we had. How are things really going, pausing, getting out the calendar. Teresa and I do this about once a month sometime once every six weeks and say let's just look at the next six months and we just line out all the different things that are coming up and we don't necessarily make a huge bunch of decisions but all of a sudden it's like oh wow if you can do that.
I didn't realize you were traveling will what about Lena, one of the kids birthdays were one of our unit grown children have a big anniversary or all the sudden you're talking about what's going to happen over the next six months. Those kind of conversations that provide perspective, and then for some of you. You just need some hope. You need to know 90 days from our 40 days from now you had that special three or four days away, or a weekend or something positive. We all need those carrots out in front of us that a good plan says you know what were going to need a break that's what were going to get it and we can make it through this hard season until we get there.
Let me encourage you. Planning is how you strengthen your hope that Living on the Edge we want you to know about an easy way to listen to our extended teaching podcast here chip anytime on Amazon's Alexa echo and echo.just say Alexa open Living on the Edge and you'll hear that days extended teaching any time you want will for Jeff and everyone this is Dave saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge