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Keeping Love Alive - Volume 3 - Challenge #4 - Stagnation, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 31, 2022 6:00 am

Keeping Love Alive - Volume 3 - Challenge #4 - Stagnation, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 31, 2022 6:00 am

Whether you’re running a business, playing a sport, or staying in shape - hard work and dedication are key. But what happens when things get too routine or old? In this program, Chip continues his series “Keeping Love Alive, Volume 3” by talking about the issue of stagnation, what it looks like, and how to keep your marriage from falling into unhealthy habits. Don’t miss the ways to preserve intimacy in your relationship.

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Hard work and dedication are the keys to success in many areas of life whether it's running a business like the sport just staying in shape, but every organization in relationship get stuck.

Things get old they get routine, you might say they stagnate. Keep your marriage from stagnation.

That's today welcome this vision of Living on the Edge with your very mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians. Of our bread series keeping love alive just to use for these last two programs will focus on the issue of stagnation, like very well before we get started if you're new to Living on the Edge just won't learn more about us go to LivingontheEdge.org burial 5 tons resources on a wide range of topics, and countless programs for you to enjoy.

Or if you prefer that your finger map is also a great way to get plugged in our ministry. If you have a Bible heading out turn to Hebrews chapter 13 let's join Chip for his talk, pull out the notes. I think the final challenges stagnation. I have a two, three quick illustrations and I'm going to give you an overview of talk about breaking out of stagnation because I think it constantly rears its head life just gets to a grind and you just start doing things and get into routines that lessen communication lessen romance lessen discipleship and end. This is a very simple thing. But if you've ever built a fire that this is so simple, please don't laugh at me. But if you've ever like built a fire really nice fire and if you stop putting logs on the fire.

Can anybody remember what happens without right coming and he put logs on cubes and then the gets down to coals and put a couple logs on and I think what happens in our marriages. It's not intentional, but you get busy and you just stop putting some logs on the fire of your relationship and then you start thinking you know that it's dying all actually know what it just needs fuel doesn't mean you married the wrong person doesn't mean that you have irreconcilable differences. It means that in and sometimes, you know, especially in others. The outdoor fires in, but there's those those fires.

We have a friend that has a cabin where you open the door to the thing in. You know it stays hot for long time. What I love to build the fires every day. But after a while the ashes build up so much that you take the ashes out before we can put more wood. Okay, let's get rid of some of the ashes and little by little you know you put a few logs on and then sometimes need a little help because you know you is logs are big and so you have to put some paper in there. You know you have to take some extra energy to get that fire going again so I want I want to talk about now is breaking out of stagnation.

We know that our priorities get out of whack. We can get stagnant can be tempted and low moments we children can drain us as we love the line that I heard you don't know it's too much until it's too much, but just the fact that renewal has to happen all the time. I had a an interesting experience. One of the I think one of the great experiences of my life because of not served in the military, but I had a friend who arranged for me in about eight or nine other guys to get on a special kind of playing that I can't tell you what it was and go out and not near San Diego and Lane on an aircraft carrier, but it seemed the 20 stories high and 5000 people. That week we toured everything from unit went up and where the captain was very interesting to to realize the best disciples in the world of the military, there was a 19-year-old female driving this huge aircraft carrier and right behind her was someone to train her and I learned that in six months she will be going somewhere else and someone else would come in and I saw 18 and 19 and 20 and 23-year-olds going like this is planes would come down and you know stop and and then we they took us down the munitions and we got the tour of everything can answer any question and the level of maintenance. The level of what they did, how they did it, how regimented it was how everyone knew their job and everything was Tip top shape and is one guy said he said you know you see all these planes coming in red flags here yellow flags here. Those if someone doesn't know what their job is or they do it wrong.

Someone dies out here everything has to be maintained. All I want to say is that's the kind of focus and intentionality. We need to bring to our marriages and if you do because you been trained to do it regardless of where you find yourself as you see on the front of these notes are your marriage can change for the better the picture. When I think of God's marriages and equilateral triangle that you see is there God is at the top and you'll you'll notice that if you put back you put your notes down. Put your put your fingers on the right you know where it says woman and where it says man at the bottom in a condo at the bottom of a triangle and then just just move your fingers up halfway and as you as a man and woman each get closer to God. What happens to their relationship maneuvered all the way up within about 1/4 of an inch to the top seed the greatest thing you'll ever do for your marriage. It's the thing that you can control is walk closely with God because as you get closer to him. He gives you the power and the perspective to give your mate what they need to forgive your mate when it's really hard to do not let the wounds fester and then you'll notice that in that picture. There is the spirit. Emotions are soul and body, and on the right side where it says spirit just write the word fellow worshiper is this is just a part of this is God's diagram. This is the engineer saying this is how marriage works you want to have a spiritual connectedness with one another, be fellow worshipers and on the left side of that right the word agape that just three.

Three words in Scripture. For in Greek for love. Agape love is an unconditional giving of love, with no expectation of return God so loved the world, it's agape love.

And so you want to you want to experience God's love anyone a provide that to one another, where it says soul if you put a little arrow to the right and right best friends. So God wants you to be fellow worshipers, but an awful lot of marriage is just been best friends will talk about what that looks like into the left. Then write the word for Leo doesn't matter how you spell it just be phonetic, but the Leo love is the it's a friendship love.

It's it's it.

When Jesus you know said you love me to Peter. Peter responds you know the Leo you know I love you and he he he goes there a couple times and and finally he gets to the Lord, you know you know who I am.

Yes, for friends, but only you and makes little distinction between agape love and flail love.

But this is it's it's the kind that that good friends have that you care for one another we would call it you got each other's back. You have fun your share and then the body is passionate lovers put that to the right and so there's fellow worshipers, best friends, passionate lovers, and then on the left side write the word Eros we get our English word. Erotic God wants us to have deep, intimate, passionate, sexual relationship with one another and it starts with your connection.

There's a very high correlation by praying together and having passionate love physically because of something that happens it opens the heart and soul. The one another. There's a connectedness and so that's the that's that's the picture. The problem is there are three or fourfold their spiritual issues, psychological issues, gender issues and history issues and by spiritual meaning.

I'm basically a selfish person, even after coming to Christ. I want my way and my wife wants her way and so I got up I the only way I can get that straightened out is by God's power.

And then there's the psychological and what I mean by that is give different personalities, introvert, extrovert. You like different things you connect in different ways your different and differences are great for connecting but differences also repel and then you have gender issues.

Women and men don't look at life the same way don't respond in the same ways and so you know that old old book. You know what was it you know men are from Mars and women are from Venus. I mean others there's contrary to what we are hearing our day there dramatic differences not just physically but between men and women in terms of everything from processing information to relational styles to abilities and capacities and then finally we have history and some of that family of origin.

Some of its trauma married someone that has been abused. Someone is been raped. Someone has been in an accident. I mean all of it all and try to tell you is there's lots working against you having a great marriage and then finally there's a there's a process I think the process primarily is this idea of learning to communicate and share openly so that you can deal with those issues and realize yes were different with different personalities.

We have different backgrounds, we can learn about one another, but we have you know God, the supreme engineer has told us put me first draw near to me, you'll draw near to one another and at the very bottom words of Genesis 224 just write the word oneness or intimacy that Scott's goal in marriage. Genesis 224 says will will leave our families and become one and it says they were both naked and unashamed and certainly was physical but it's more it's emotionally if the vulnerability being safe with one another and so all I wanted to do is just give you the sort of the picture of exactly, that's that's the goal that's the design and so I think there's four things that keep stagnation at bay in the first one is commitment and commitment is a lifelong notice, choice of unconditional love circling your notes if you would choice so often we think it's commitment is when it works. The focus here is to love and as we've already shared love is volitional not just emotional response to our spouse. It's that agape word. It's Jesus in the garden, choosing to go to the cross enter model is Hebrews chapter 13 verse five and whirling and look at four verses very shortly. So like you to go ahead and turn to them so you can like you to see them in your own Bible or your own phone if you will. Hebrews chapter 13 it's written to a mixed group of believers and unbelievers and the big issue of the book is people drifting the deer drifting away from God. Under pressure verse forces. Marriage should be honored by all in the marriage bed kept pure for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral, keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have those couple strong words there about sexual purity about the danger of not money itself, but the love of it, and then here's the purpose clause for God has said, never will I leave you never will I forsake you.

So we say with confidence the Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals due to me just that idea.

I will never ever leave you I will never ever say Q your mate knowing that that's your commitment to them creates a place of safety.

You can be hurt.

You can be angry.

You can be frustrated, you have arguments, but I don't think he ever use the word divorce should never come out of your mouth.

The commitment says I love you.

That's what commitment really says I love you and the good times, loving the bad times. I love you when things are going well. I love you, especially when things are not going well.

Love for certain means fidelity to one another sexually loving your mate when it's hard and I just think that's what helps you get through. There's dark valleys in every marriage. There are seasons and sometimes it's because of children or financial pressure struggles with in-laws or health issues for depression or anxiety or anger, but to know that there's one other person that you just choose to say I don't know how I don't have it all figured out, but I love you I'll never leave you all never forsake you. Reinforcing that a no give you some ways to do that as we close up that that helps refresh we we sort of assume that but over time you put that log on the fire got a look your mate in the eye and tell them I love you I'll never leave you all never forsake you. Second is communication. The focus here is to know it's a lifelong skill learning to understand each other. Circle the word skill to some some things are just a choice.

It's this is what I'm get a purpose to do but this is a skill and is not learning to talk as I've had to learn painfully. It's learning to understand each other what you wanted it you want to know them. You know what makes them happy know what makes him sad over time. You know why they do what they do, even if it doesn't make sense to you, you know where they've been and where they've been hurt, where they been wounded and why they might be sensitive to this or sense of the batter the skill takes time. It takes practice and takes helper takes effort treason. I have read multiple books over the years we have listened to lots of messages we have made time to get away.

Our model is Jeremiah 33.

Three. I love this this call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know God system. Let's communicate just call to me open up asked talk at all answer you.

I think that's our model. Isaiah 43, I remember. So I think verse 21 to about verse 26 you want to check it out later. But it's it's a judgment passage where he's reminding them of all the things they've done and he said you not.

I wasn't looking for all your sacrifices and all this and all that but but he says you know you you've drifted away for me and then he says I even I have forgiven you for my own sake, and then he makes this invitation come let us argue her case together God saying to people that have rejected him. Let's let's just let's just start talking again, let's let's just start communicating even though your way over here I've blotted out your transgressions for my own sake.

I want to be with you. I want to connect with you so much and I just think that's the kind of attitude you want to have with her mates, especially when were wounded.

Communication is the highway upon which love travels communication says and this is a keyword I trust you so you can say words but communication is I'm gonna open up and I'm gonna share some things that are vulnerable and if you don't treat them very well than this can be very painful and at the end of the day.

Love is being willing to say some things that I would really like to do or meaningful to me if they hurt my mate that I need to be willing to adjust because the thing went when you lose trust. You don't just lose it in an area if you ever ever had someone do something and then pretty soon everything suspect after that in you read into this and read into that and you take circumstances and you you you form dots that aren't there. That's why communication is so vital in that we build trust with one another. The third this commitment, communication, the third, I would call log that you need put on the fire is caring and adventure of lifelong friendship fun and mutual fulfillment and circle the word adventure.

Yes, you gotta be committed.

Yes you have. There's a skill to learn and communication doesn't come easily for Teresa and myself.

It was really hard.

There's a book called communication key to your marriage by Norman write and rewrite it and filled out the questions and then later came out with another book more communication key forgot that once it were so slow. And you can actually learn, but that there needs to be some adventure. The focus here is to share its becoming best friends and it looks different for different people, but it's taking walks its dates, its talks its hobbies's weekends away it's it's thinking back to what did you do when you were dating, what, what did you do that's fun because what happens is work work work work and especially once kids kids kids that this is one of the areas that literally can just dissipate and we'll talk about it having a plan where at least once a week. You and your mates that you know what our relationship really matters.

It matters more than the kids sports over here in this over here and that of their work and have some time to do something fun together. You have to talk sure, but life can all be serious is gotta be an adventure and fun. The model here is the Matthew chapter 11 verse 28 and it's it's interesting passage if you want to turn there with me, but this is some Jesus speaking to a group of people who are in great need of rest and he says in verse 27 all things have been committed to me by my father and no one knows the son except the father and no one knows the father except the son and those to whom the son chooses to reveal him come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm gentle and humble in heart, and you'll find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Yes, we had that with Jesus, but we need to have that as a couple.

We need to be in the same yoke doing some things together things that you both like to do things that are fun things that are refreshing. So whatever whatever that was when you were dating. Whatever it is when you get done and you look at each other because I'm glad we did that was fun just great to be with you begin to pencil those back and reschedule caring says I like you. Yes, we need to say to one another by our commitment. I love you Barb communication I want to know you.

Caring says I like listening message challenge number four stagnation right back with his application for this teaching from a series keeping the love alive. Volume 3. If you were able to press pause on life to step back and really evaluate your marriage. How does it look is it just a little out of sync, or there are a few areas that need some work or is your relationship on the verge of completely falling apart through his newest volume of keeping the love alive ship reveals a humbling truth. Every marriage has its challenges, even the ones that look perfect.

So how can you get your relationship where it needs to be will join Chip as he shares profound biblical truths that will help you and your may tackle these hurdles together and build a stronger, Christ centered marriage. For more information about keeping love alive. Volume 3, or are series resources go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003, or LivingontheEdge.org Apple stores tap special offers which if this is been a great series on how couples can really keep love alive when you see the couple who say our love isn't alive. In fact, it's a nightmare right now and I don't know if I can even stay in it. What word you have to those whose marriage is on the rocks all day. That is a really good question in this series is about keeping love alive and tuning it up and getting better about the fact is, especially in view of the last pandemic years and all the impact that's had.

There's lots of couples that are struggling right now like never before. In fact, I've had two or three friends people that have had very strong marriages that have come to me and I sat down with my wife and we met with them and I mean things are kind of falling apart inside say first and foremost for some of you, you do need to find a really good Christian counselor and say hey let's pause if we could figure this out. We need to get some outside help.

The second thing I would say is that tough times are normal and we all have tough times and so sometimes what we need is just some focus some intentionality and some tools. I mean even in my own marriage of been married over for decades and I can just tell you multiple seasons. In fact, even one coming out of this pandemic time work Teresa and I just sat down and said what we need to refocus and give more energy to our marriage because of all the stuff that's happening.

We just sent some drift occurring so I just want to tell couples first and foremost, it doesn't mean it's terrible and it won't work out.

It does mean you need to address it. Of all the things I've ever taught on marriage.

I would say a small group series called experiencing God's dream for your marriage is the most helpful for people that are struggling because in and I address the heart issues communication fighting fair of role differences when you're discouraged and and angry with one another and then in that I have lots of tools so let me just encourage you don't give up. Hang in there. God has a plan and it does work. Thanks, Chip will whether you're a newlywed or been married for years. This resource will make a significant difference in your relationship to be blown away by how much you learn about your spouse just by investing some time in the study. So let me encourage you order the small group guide or the DVD and get ready to enjoy your relationship the way God intended for complete details on experiencing God's dream for your marriage go to LivingontheEdge.org or call AAA 333-6003 that's AAA 333-6003 or visit LivingontheEdge.org Apple listeners tap special offers shipping. I'm sure today's message really spoke to a lot of couples out there who feel stuck in a lifeless and maybe even loveless marriage that doesn't have to be the normal it's possible for them to reignite the fire of their relationship again is not.

It really is Dave. It's interesting you would asked me this very recently. Teresa and I did a seminar at the Billy Graham Center with military couples and they have an hour of Q&A and they write down their questions and I mean I got this stack of green cards in a number of the cards started like that, you know I'm in a loveless marriage. I feel like I'm single where on parallel tracks, you know, we don't cuddle we don't communicate, you know, and it was really really sad and tragic and I thought where do I begin. How my going to address these and then there was a card right behind him and the card right behind him and I think the Lord got these cards in the right place for me in the card behind it said this, I just want everyone to know that yours Chip and Teresa is not the only marriage God restored our marriage was dad and there was no hope.

We'd already planned on divorce. We didn't communicate.

There was no intimacy in our marriage. I mean it and then this happened and the lady began to share very specific things and steps that she took and how for three or four months. She did that and her husband. No response. No response. Couldn't even believe it, because God had worked in her. Then about four months and the lights came on with him and it interesting that was the Q&A time. Then at the very end. They have a testimony time.

The guy stands up and you as you know, you heard that question will on the husband of that woman and here's what I want to tell you. Don't give up our marriage right now is like a second honeymoon were communicating in this happened and that happened in this happened but it all was around dealing with the things that allowed stagnation to occur over time and I just want just to say to people. Dave, there is hope. I mean there is hope and the practical thing I would say is, it would be what Teresa and I wrote in the book marriage that works, and in it we kinda go through our journey of ups and downs but really the key is I share with the Bible actually teaches to a man into a woman about this is your role. This is your responsibility and these are the tools that develop intimacy and while it if you make that a priority and take baby steps God can save any marriage and so there is hope and father I pray right now. You will speak you open the eyes of men and women all across America to see their mates through your eyes. That's what that lady said she said God gave me eyes to see my husband's need, the way he saw my husband the needs and their hurts and the things he wanted me to love God. I pray that for men. I pray that for women and I asked Almighty God that you were store marriages in Jesus name thanks to both you and your spouse are wanting to experience a deeper marriage. Let me encourage you to order chips, insightful book in marriage that works, you'll learn about the biblical model for love and relationships and the specific roles for husbands and wives discover what it really means to be one with your spouse on a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical level to order your copy of marriage that works go to special offers@livingontheedge.org or on the Chip Ingram will join us next time. As Chip wraps up his new series keeping love alive. Until then, this is Dave really thanking you for joining us for this edition, living on the


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