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Keeping Love Alive - Volume 2 - Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
November 2, 2021 6:00 am

Keeping Love Alive - Volume 2 - Cultivating Spiritual Intimacy, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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November 2, 2021 6:00 am

It’s safe to say we all want a great marriage. We all desire a relationship with a deep emotional, mental, and physical connection with our mate. But how do we experience that? Where does it start? In this program, Chip highlights the importance of couples cultivating spiritual intimacy. Don’t miss the practical ways you can build a lasting relationship with your spouse.

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I think it's safe to say that we all want a great marriage intimate connection emotionally, physically, mentally, but you know something, it's rare and it's hard how we experience that kind of marriage that's today.

Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge Chip Ingram trips are vital to this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians like Christian closeness that you just describe something you're missing your relationship to grow for this program continues in the series. Keeping love alive will pick up where he left off last time by highlighting skill that all great marriages have in common. And if you're looking for more practical guidance for your marriage. Keep listening. After today's message for some deeper thoughts from Chip. If you have your Bible turn now to Colossians chapter 3 for part two of Chip's message cultivating spiritual intimacy. There's few things that will make a difference in the watching world, then your marriage if you want to see it can't be like God. I really want to. Great marriage and okay some really good versus here for my wife in any release you may need is a really good once I'm not sure what all the submissive stuff is pretty darn good. You have a great marriage mean can you imagine the designers and engineers in the people that if put together the things that you all do all around the world. Can you just imagine going to still read manuals just can understand do this anyway. I think better.

How would that work, the creator of the universe has made it clear what he wants you to do and what it looks like an she did it because he loves you. He did it because he's good. He did it because he cares.

And yes, it's counterintuitive in and bother wife ready. It's hard had a guy come to me and you know he's a he's a young guy in the Silicon Valley and has done real well financially and we need him to think you have this beautiful life and you know kids and a great job and blah blah blah blah blah. We were playing nine holes of golf because you know I'm I'm just this sums really really wrong with that, he goes like this, and I'm really trying hard to be a good husband It just shouldn't be this hard. There's always something is always something you know and that he I don't be too crass were good buddies and by the way he's now done in a like a 180. But it was like this and this and this and this and think and what you grow up closer such you know nickel and dime stuff and so finally he he actually played in the arena football was a excellent athlete if I just asked said excuse me can ask a question, I said, did you ever do two days growing up in football or what about college you know you and all American ally constructed did you like the weight room and nutrition at all man.

It was like your life is what we did not play pro ball like what was it like in man.

I said so what you tell me is to be a star be a football player.

It's really hard to get here you get up early.

You lift weights you eat, you go to sleep and you focus your whole life but your wife's number that really really intelligent supposed to be easy, in fact. Here's the deal. I'm convinced this is chipping or not the Bible so you put this in your notes. Asterix Ingram thinks this don't know if it's really true nonferrous.

I have a lot of chipping from when I try to keep to the Bible.

This is what was one month. I'm convinced that God actually has created marriage in such a way that it really doesn't work really coming to people with different personalities that are both selfish and both centers. It really doesn't work unless you follow the design and you get to where he gives you unconditional love and you can put the other person first and do all the super counterintuitive stuff. Everything that has made our marriage really really good is like this is crazy. I'm the man I should get up and make coffee in the morning. I should bring it to her.

I should affirm her.

I should do this every time I keep little by little learning what it means to cherish her and serve her and help her discover her gifts and understand place that if they still don't make sense to me how she thinks I'm thinking when I don't have to understand, but I learned to not fix it.

Just listen and the more the more you become like Jesus, the easier you are to live with. Can you imagine that.

Can you imagine being married to someone who is very kind. Imagine being married to someone who's who's humble to just on a regular basis just not acceptable, but just actually puts your needs ahead of theirs or someone bears with you that you know that underwear still on the floor. The toothpaste is still like that you still interrupt me when with other people and I love you. I mean it's it's an amazing thing and that's the core of building intimacy.

Let's jump into how to get really, really practical, why build a marriage God's way.

First, because he commanded, and second because it's for your benefit and let me give you some very specific benefits of of marriage doing it God's way. These are so so helpful. I listed him and you'll notice there's a little Asterix and at the bottom, divorce proof your marriage by Gary and Barbara Rothberg and spiritual intimacy allows you to connect at the deepest level we connect emotionally. We connect spiritually, but I will tell you the deepest possible connection will be a connection of your spirits in the presence of God that will build a bond that like puts the motions on steroids and the physical on steroids spiritual intimacy as you draw closer to God and as you begin and will talk about how and by the way I'm going to tell you little bit later. It's really a challenge to develop spiritual intimacy is a lot easier to develop physical intimacy or even emotional intimacy. Second is the spiritual intimacy links you with God's purposes, and plans for your life. He says I know the plans I have for you.

Jeremiah Wright 2011.

The plans for good, not for evil, for your welfare to give you hope and a future when you connect you with God her or him with God then then it aligned you to know his voice and his plans in his direction for your life. Third, spiritual intimacy allows you to bless each other with God's love. That's what I've been talking a lot about.

I all I can tell you is, we've overplayed you know I'm not going to go down my hallmark story. Right now, but if I watch like 50 hallmarks I would think that all of love is about GUI GUI emotions, starry eyed meeting people and kissing when it starts to snow based solely on physical attraction by seems to be very, very pretty people who live in really nice houses who actually have a lot of time to do everything except work because I me I and and within the first seven minutes.

I have no idea how it's going to end except I think the fallen, and 10 minutes before it's over.

It doesn't look like it's gonna work in an and I and I don't I don't mean that is crassly but there's a diet of that is so permeated our culture.

We actually people actually believe love is romantic feelings we develop such a narcissistic culture that you think when you're unhappy something is wrong, understand Jesus was unhappy a lot Hebrew says in the course of his lifetime. He shed many tears. He hurt for people. He was lonely. He was rejected he was tempted in every way, just like you and just like me. He was fully human, yet without sin part of life is down days, hard days struggle to face even called to this purpose. Since Christ also suffered for you, who, though he suffered, he didn't revile her pay back but entrusted himself to a faithful Creator sufferings. It's a part of life. We we've lived in this last 30 to 40 years and it's creeped more and more into evangelical Christianity at all levels that somehow Jesus wants to make you self fulfilled and happy and make everything go great. And when Jesus doesn't do that, your dissolution when you demand from God promises he never made your worshiping a God doesn't exist. His agenda is not to make you happy. He doesn't work all things together for your good to those that are called to those that love him so that you be self fulfilled and happy coming people battling over music 20 C. We reenter we interpret that voice versus God works all things together for the good for those that are called according to his purpose in the good that we define is my life works. I mean not pay you say God's in control. I don't have a job.

I've lost my house and I don't have very much money. My kids got a drop out of school for your so is God in control. Of course he is.

So when did God ever promised that so other people can lose their house but not you. That someone else can go out of business. The younger through hardship. Verse 29 doesn't say God's in control. So, your life works out great. It says verse 29 to conform you to the image of his son. God's agenda is to make you like Jesus, by the way, the challenges in your marriage.

God's number one issue probably with the person you're married to his like sandpaper against sandpaper. It's probably to make you more patient, more kind, more humble, more loving, more compassionate by living with them. Some of you think God gave you kids for you. God gave you kids to change you for you want to learn patience is like oh God, we just get through the diaper stage right, or can we just get through preteens like a pretty tenets like 35 right now, right, and then it's like homeless. I thought it was bad when they were to this early adulthood. You know, 18 to 22, 23. They want all the response. All the authority the no responsibility. This is just like when they were to know how to do whatever I want will who's paying for the car and you live in the back bedroom man who paid for college in nothing I said enough to make the point. The benefits spiritual intimacy opens the door to the deepest levels of communication when you are loved and chosen by God.

You can be vulnerable at a level because you know God accepts loves you part of our problems with communication was, we both had such warped views of God and work views of one another. We couldn't be honest until I begin to grasp that God accepts and loves me and I'm secure then you can risk see what happens is that the spiritual intimacy, the stronger that gets it opens the door for every other area of spiritual intimacy empowers your marriage to survive every couple encounters circumstances would feel overwhelming the power of God is bigger than any situation you will ever face and can enable you to stand firm in the storms I just I just told so many couples don't give up too soon.

Don't give up too soon.

Spiritual intimacy connects you to support a body of believers. One of the things if you don't know yet is that you can't make it in A great marriage by yourself. You need other couples and you need some people that you can do life with. They can share when you're spiritually connected when you're part of a local body. God has a group of people that when you're down. They can be up you know you do life together and you watch their kids and you know we never had any money. You know you watch our kids will watch your kids and get that little window to get away.

Spiritual intimacy is powerful, highly developed personal spiritual intimacy of giving a little Bible study. It's it's from Colossians, and I'm not going to go through all the verses let me let me just show you from the passage from the book how the apostle Paul encourages that church and those people to develop spiritual intimacy. I am in verses one through nine.

He just asked for. If it's an amazing prayer.I want them to know you and in the word is a relational know you and your will to know specifically in a deep authentic way and then he says, beware of counterfeits he talks about three different errors that people have in seeking to draw near to God. Then he says, you know, guard your thought life of the battle for your life is between your ears.

95% of all spiritual warfare is in your thinking gift. Learn to take every thought captive in obedience to Christ and then you have to kill the spiritual competitors you know what will look at this a little bit later so it's just an overview but in after he talks about this new life that you have. He says consider the members of your earthly body to be dead to immorality and impurity to evil desire to lost degreed, which amounts to idolatry here. There's just there certain things you got cut off the supply lines of people and things that create desires that pull you away from God and away from your mate and then you saturate your mind with God's word. Three different times in the verse verses 12 to 17. Did you notice I circled them in my text three different times.

You're told to be thankful for the most powerful things in a relationship. It's hard to be tempted by someone else to do something else when you're grateful for who you have grateful for what you do have and being thankful is in the feeling you actually say it.thank you. She's loyal God, thank you. He's a provider.thank you, thank you for little things on the before went to bed last night out of the blue up my wife's an introvert so I sort of take most of the initiative and I wish she would take a little bit more initiative even after 42 years and out of the blue she called me in the middle the day just before I was about ready go to bed. I got this long text and she called me I was just thinking of you want to hear how you're doing. Now for some of you that would be a big deal but for my wife and I just went when I got cut.

Thank you and we been away from each other about 1213 days. I really miss her. I really love her and I Mr. and just that the Lord would prompt her just call you know what when you think God is hard to be resentful or bitter or unforgiving. Let me give you some practical ways to remove the barriers and build some bridges and perspective. First, I think this is a super big challenge, especially for men. When I talk about spiritual intimacy and this is a general rule, and may not be true, but most women are like oh yes yes yes I hope I hope he is listening. If we could just pray together if he would just hold hands with me if you just go to church with me how if we would just maybe we could read the Bible or maybe read a book together would be so great that most guys are gone and as I know what I'm doing at work when it comes the spiritual stuff and leaving a family and being spiritual. I'm not only not confident. I'm not competent. I really don't know what I'm doing and I'm not sure I want to admit that it's very threatening and I know you really want to do some stuff and this is just on my territory, pastor, and after I got married and I do the Bible quite well before I got married I just was. I was intimidated by developing spiritual MC with my wife and soaks of ladies when one thing I'd say is letting take some baby steps and guys what I want to say is it really is not rocket science and organ and learn some steps that you can take them by what his motivation. You have to think really hard about this unit at Triangle where there is the spiritual, emotional the soul in the physical okay. Would you would you be shocked if there's a relationship between those and by the way there's it is a very significant relationship between the bottom one women in general. Not always.

I'm not trying to make you know but they their nurture and more relational. I mean, they love the talking to Satan, we just take a walk and what he wanted to just be together okay together. How would he want to do. I'm really enjoying this time with you Chip. Great. Now anyone and there's this this amazing thing that when your hearts and spirits connect some of us men tend to be little more in the activator side want to do things together or we we we experience God's love physically a lot, not that sex is all there is, but there's few things that makes a man feel more affirmed more valued than when his wife wants to make love with him guys what you need understand is that when a woman doesn't feel cherished when she doesn't feel connected spiritually and when she doesn't feel like there is this emotional bond is just sex. She feels used. She wants to make love but it grows out of the relationship and in so many couples are he does that and you do this and then you know you fight about frequency fight about money fight about in-laws. You fight about schedule C fight about where the money goes and all those things are, you know what is your two separate people in the same house and I'm just going to be blunt, doesn't mean you're bad people, but you are selfish because everyone is and some of you are more stylistically selfish, more sophisticated selfish but down deep. You want your way and when you get your way. Your happy camper. And when you don't, you're not in God wants to reverse that and that means you getting close to him and so here's some very practical ways to do that and will wrap it up one there is no one right way to develop spiritual intimacy with your mate to as a general rule of women find it a bit more easy but there's steps all talk about in terms of how to kinda build that spiritual intimacy. There is no getting around praying together mean literally affect guy start where were you to pray silently together hold and then start with a few words. I know I grew up as a Christian I was two years before I prayed out loud and and it was like what you do what you say worshiping together a lot of people or watch it later. We can watch a service as a man none of us sit down to watch the service.

Let's talk about what it meant, where to God speak to you share what you're learning. I would love to say I have a friend very godly friend is 10 years older someday I want to be like him is a missionary and in Zimbabwe and just godly godly godly man and I happen to know he and his wife get up every morning to read the Bible together, the reader proverb together and they pray together and read a portion of the book tree so I tried that for about the first week and almost killed her marriage.

We need separate time and then we come together and talk about where God speaking to us. You know, usually around the table. We usually sit at least 1520 minutes every day just have a couple coffee and just connect what's going on either really really early in the morning or at a meal or two and you know it's it's it's weird in our house.

She's, she's, she's funny, she prays like crazy. But as we go to bed like I want us both to pray out loud.

She doesn't want to pray out loud at night it but me for about 20 years, pastor were supposed to pray together and out loud to the price I'm here.

I'm really, I mean she prays like crazy and we pray together, other times it to me is like.

Here's my point. There's not a right way, what is a couple how do you connect, of course, you gotta be in the Scripture somehow individually gotta share. You have to be upward. You gotta pray you to be a part of a worshiping community. What I've learned is take baby steps take baby steps. Most of life changes are just the first incremental Domino. That's the key.

And to do something small. Consistency and it'll grow pray for your mate and let me encourage you. Don't pressure your mate and don't judge your mate. Don't assume where they're at with the Lord.

Obviously there some fruit or lack of it, but a lot is not very motivating.

You know like is one wife told me know. I set the Bible helped him to put it right in the passage that I thought would help in the most I couldn't figure out why want to read the Bible. I said honey, let me tell you why you want to wife not a mother, and no one wants to be told what they ought to do and you know I'm trying to be really kind to you guys. Part of it is to shut up and step up and do what feels very unnatural look at your wife grab her hand get a watch set it for five minutes you'll never go longer to pray together you start now. Finishing hope she goes for I'm serious. At some point in time right. If I get in shape. Someday somewhere I am going to start you know what something to start new grabber hit you the man grab her hand. I don't feel comfortable. This feels awkward. I don't know exactly what I'm doing. Just get that out on the open that's where you're at, mother way if you got some tension and stuff: just one we hold hands for two or three minutes and pray silently, and just if anything comes to our mind that any resentment or bitterness just privately quote let's spend a minute. Ask God to help us give each other the way he's forgiven us. I'm just telling you that toward God and he will run with this application.

This message and cultivating spiritual intimacy from his series keeping love alive. Volume 2. Are you and your spouse going through a rough patch does it seem like all you do is argue you feel disconnected if that's where you are or you know a couple of struggling. Don't miss the series. These messages will help restore your commitment to your spouse and rekindle lost love chip shares for key skills that define a great marriage and these are lofty ideas.

These are practical ways you can build a lasting relationship with your spouse. Are you ready to get your marriage back on track. For more information about keeping love alive volume to go to LivingontheEdge.org or call us at AAA 333-6003 Listeners, special offers to take just a moment to talk directly to those of you that are seeking a way to be more connected to the ministry Living on the Edge where need of partners. He will take a step of faith and make a monthly financial commitment to the ministry. You may be thinking that because we reach millions of people through radio and broadcast and online in ministry resources that we probably don't need the money or that were supported by all these people. The fact is, it's a very small percentage of all the people who listen or do small-group resources that actually give to the ministry. We depend on and we deeply appreciate those partners who make the decision to walk with us, especially with the monthly commitment doesn't have to be a large amount. So let me ask you, would you please pray about becoming a monthly partner. Thanks so much in advance for whatever God leads you to do will of 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, to give a gift. Just give us a call at AAA 333-6003, or if you prefer to get online you can donate securely by going to LivingontheEdge.org. Your generosity is greatly appreciated chip as you wrapped up today's message. I'm not sure what was going on in the room there but it seemed like you got very tender and were really trying to encourage people to take some some baby steps toward spiritual maturity would you give us a little more on that Dave absolutely. The majority of Christians are so pooled and so many different directions. Great majority don't spend personal time with God. So they're not in the Bible regularly or they feel guilty about the relationship with God and they feel guilty about maybe not praying together as a couple and so what I've realized is taking baby steps at the very end. I talked about just even holding hands and praying silently. That may not sound like much, but what that communicates, especially to a woman is my husband he cares. He's taking steps in and it's hard to be vulnerable. It's hard to be vulnerable for everyone.

But in areas where we either feel incompetent or guilty or awkward, oral, or some people are very private people, you know, I think we sometimes have these pictures of couples that all you know if they all really love God. They get up and read the Bible together every morning and hold hands and pray for a half-hour and probably get on their knees together and pray before they go to bed and and and we all fall so short. I think couples have to discover a way in a rhythm for where they're at and take some baby steps trees and I for example when we first got married trying to do our devotions together.

It was a disaster. She's an introvert I'm an extrovert. She felt like I had all this training and that I was analyzing her comments and it was just like you know like three weeks. Then it was less forget this. Okay I'm to go spend time with God. You go spend time with God and why we grab a cup of coffee and just relationally, share what's going on and every couple has to figure this out. Here's what I know everyone can take a baby step and here's my challenge. Do something take a step in your own walk with God, and take a baby step with your mate as small as it might be praying silently or praying out loud or praying around the table before the meal or reading just a proverb a day starts somewhere to allow God to become more and more the center of your marriage and you will see and work powerfully 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 well for chip of everyone here, this is Dave Drewry saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge


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