Great marriages don't ask the other person to make them whole. Their identity and security come from the one who never changes.
How does that happen? That's today. Stay with us. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram. And we're in the middle of his newest series, Keeping Love Alive, Volume 4, discovering the key relationships great marriages have in common.
And if you're curious about the helpful advice Chip covered in the first three volumes of this series, go to special offers at livingontheedge.org or the Chip Ingram app and catch up whenever you can. Okay, let's join Chip now for his message, A Healthy Relationship with Yourself. Great marriages are couples that find their identity, who I am, and my value as a person in their relationship with Christ. And as a result, don't expect their husband or their wife to meet all their personal, spiritual, relational, and emotional needs. Translation, we're commanded by Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we don't love ourselves in a healthy, non-narcissistic way, we will continually ask our spouse what they can never deliver. Jesus was asked in Matthew 22, it's in your notes, what's the greatest of all the commands? And he says, love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength, and love your neighbor as your self.
This is the first and great commandment, and the second is likened to it. You have to learn to love yourself. Now, not narcissistic, self-focused. I'm talking about a healthy way to actually say, this is who God made me.
In Christ, this is who I am. And when your security and your value and your worth and your deepest emotional needs are met by someone that never changes, that never lets you down, that will never wound you, then you have a reservoir to give to your mate. And you're not asking them every time you're a little bit down, love me, make me feel better, I've got these needs and those needs, I've been through this.
So many of our relationships, we just suck the life out of the other person saying, make my life work out, and when they don't, we say silly things like, I've fallen out of love. Because the fact of the matter is, some of you don't like yourself, some of you don't love yourself. You can't love someone else if you've not experienced God's love and have a healthy, non-narcissistic love for yourself.
The principle is, an accurate self-perception demands that we know who we are and whose we are. 1 John 3.1 says, here in His love, not that we love God, but that He loved us first and He's lavished His love upon us. I don't know if you've ever thought about, we sang an interesting song about God has your name written on His heart.
Did you see that one in that line? Have you ever thought seriously about the God who created all there is, that your name actually doesn't come up on a computer screen, but you're actually an individual person, that your DNA is different from almost 8 billion people in all the world, and you're uniquely made, and if you are in Christ, God sees you in exactly the same way He sees Jesus. Holy, righteous, wanted, valuable, precious.
Are you ready? If you're outside of a relationship with Jesus, and because you've been bold and honest to say, no, I'm not born again yet. When God sees you, He says, you may not be in my family yet, but I care about you, not if you clean up your life or if you act this way or that way. I care so much about you. I died in your place while you were yet my enemy to prove to you how much I love you. That's how valuable you are.
And you know what? If you don't get that from Him, then you think your value is going to come from your looks or what rank you get or how athletic you are or how pretty you are or how much money you have or what kind of car that you drive or what kind of logo is on your luggage or what kind of watch and are you in and cool or what kind of clothes you wear or how your kids do in school, and you'll try and find your significance and your security in everything, and I will just guarantee no matter what that is, it'll never deliver. And so you're set up for failure. You're set up for failure because if you try really hard and you can't make it, you fail. And if you try really hard and maybe you're a little more gifted or a little more beautiful than some of us or you're a little more smart than some of us and you're successful, then you'll look into sort of the rainbow that was promising it and you look into the pot and you realize, I'm very successful. Maybe I'm pretty, maybe I'm smart, maybe I'm rich.
And you were supposed to be filled up and you'll be empty. Imagine a puzzle and realizing you're this precious human puzzle and God wants you to fit with other people. He actually, we're going to learn in a second, He actually made you where you have some strengths, some real strengths that you bring to the table, believer or unbeliever. They're called natural talents. And then when you come to know Jesus, He will deposit in you some supernatural abilities but even with those, you'll also have gaps and weaknesses and vulnerabilities and He has other people and the primary person is your mate to do this, to be one, to complete you. But so many of us compare ourselves with other people and we see our weaknesses and we try and hide them because they're unacceptable and so we don't get them filled and we don't know our strengths because it feels like we're being proud if we say, I'm good at this, I'm gifted at this, I do this well. Or you've never taken the time, you've been so busy trying to be like someone else, you've never looked into the mirror to understand, not just physically, mentally, emotionally, I have great abilities. I must have been given these great abilities for a very special purpose.
I was with a group of businessmen in Florida and they're all trying to figure out, I mean, is life really about getting a lower handicap? I've gotten millions and millions of dollars and I've got a house here, I've got another house in Aspen, I've got a this, I've got that, I've got a that and they're meeting in these groups and many of them are coming to know Jesus and then it's, well, so what do I do? And I said, well, if you really have a purpose, if you walked into a shop and you had no idea who owned the shop and there was a saw and there was a hammer and there was a lathe and there was, what would you might think this person is?
Some really smart CEO goes, he's a carpenter. I said, you're right. I said, how about this guys?
Because we invited him into a journey that we do. I said, what if you would ever discover your tools? What are your strengths? What are your spiritual gifts? And if you ever discovered all the tools God gave you, guess what?
You'd go, oh, so this is my purpose. And the lights came on and that's what I want you to know about you. The more your identities in Christ and you know who you are and whose you are, it creates this security and this confidence where you're not dependent on your mate and even on other people to make you feel like I'm okay. So with that, let's dig in.
Let me give you three very specific ways to get a healthy non-narcissistic relationship with yourself. Number one, it's getting a glimpse of your beginning. Psalm 139, David writes, inspired by the Holy Spirit, speaking of all of us, you created my innermost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I'm fearfully and wonderfully or skillfully made. Your works are wonderful and he's speaking about God's creation of your physical body and his in this case.
I know that fool well. My frame, you could translate that literally. He's saying, my skeleton was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. It's this idea of the darkness of our mother's womb. Your eyes saw my unformed substance, literally my embryo.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. You are a unique individual on the face of the earth. Your eye color, your hair color, your DNA, your height, your body build, the unchangeable things of your physicality.
And it goes beyond that. All those things that happen in your mother's womb, now that we have all this neuroscience, how you process information, whether you're emotionally intelligent or mechanically intelligent, how your strength finders, if you will, are an achiever, an activator, a futuristic, an emotionally connector. I've wired you uniquely with a set of natural tools different than everyone in all the earth. You are precious and unique and valuable. And we unconsciously compare ourselves with other people and try to look like other people, be like other people, have skills like other people and become other people. And what we lose, the most attractive person that you will ever be is coming to know who you really are. And it begins with your physicality.
If any of you have done any reading, the skyrocketing anxiety issues of teenage girls and suicides as they post and see these pictures of other people and compare themselves. We live in a world where the pseudo-pictures of what beauty is for a woman crashes into a woman's mind. The average woman looks in the mirror and doesn't feel like she's pretty enough, no matter how beautiful. And can I ask you, who created these standards?
It's completely artificial. Go online and look at art of 100 years, then 200 years, then 400 years, then 500 years, then 1000 years, then 1500 years and find the pictures of beautiful women. You know what they would say about most of what we consider beauty?
What are these skinny little things doing that don't have any hips and they're scrawny little things? And what I want to tell you is it's such a no-win situation. And it used to be primarily with women. But you can't go to the airport and not look at men's health, right? You know, abs of steel. Used to be a six-pack, now it's an eight-pack. And I look rather thin, but underneath all of this, I am ripped. And I'm lying. Right?
You will either live by the opinions of these invisible they, or you'll live for an audience of one. I remember Teresa telling me about, it was in her workplace in early years and one of the gals had a new baby. And she brought the new baby in and she was so excited and the baby had a cleft palate. And the face was a little bit contorted. And, you know, everyone, you know, looked at the baby and you kind of, you know, look at the mom and, you know, I wonder how she's feeling and I wonder how she's taking that. And Teresa said, it was so amazing. Her name was Sue. When you looked at Sue's eyes, you would have thought that's the most beautiful baby in all the world because it was hers. And can I tell you that that's what your kids need to hear from you?
Can I tell you that's what you need to hear from Jesus for you? That you would, you know, granted stay in good shape, take care of yourself, but could you literally, could you come to the point where you could look in the mirror and say, you know, I mean, I was, when I was a freshman in high school, I was five foot three. The basketball coach when I was in seventh grade said, you should go out for wrestling. And I was too hardheaded and I want to be a basketball player. And it was a junior high of about 700 students. And think of it, to this day, talk about things that imprint you, I was only taller than Brad Starr and Cindy Christensen.
Can you believe I still know their names? Because in my mind, I was this tiny little undersized. And yeah, I grew some. But what I want to tell you is however, you know, if you're six foot, you want to be 6'5". If you're 6'6", you're too tall and wish you were 6'2". And if you've got blonde hair, you wish it was, you know, brunette hair. And of course with ladies, you can change at any time. And I think with us men, it ain't going that way.
But my point is, are you ready for a radical application? It's just a, it's a mini detox. Turn off all social media for seven days after you leave here. Just turn it off. And if you want to have a real purging, wonderful experience, don't watch any TV or Netflix for seven days.
You'll be bored and irritable the first two. And all that time you don't have to read the scripture, walk in nature, go on dates and spend more personal time with your kids, those who have them, you'll just find yourself actually bored. You spend an inordinate amount of time on those. Turn off all your notifications.
You basically have been programmed to be a little robot of people who want to keep your attention. And every time it buzzes, you look here, here, here and here. And you can't stand in line at the grocery store or at the bank or walk in and do anything without your phone. And when you're bored for a second, you pull it out and look at it. The average iPhone users looks or touches their phone 2,000 times a day.
And you have been seduced and addicted and you can't think. And the one thing that's happened in the world now is people are never where they are. You're never in the same space looking at the real people here because literally, it's all over America, but I'll never forget I was in China and it was a railway thing. It was like seven football fields long and three or four football fields that direction.
Thousands and thousands of people and I bet 97.8%, everyone was just looking at their phone. You are fearfully, skillfully, wonderfully made. You're just as smart as you need to be to do everything God wants you to do. You process information.
You're emotionally attuned. You have abilities and things that you can develop that you as you are and you will either spend most of your life trying to be like someone else or getting something you don't have or exploring who you are and whose you are and beginning to rejoice in that. And as you do, it will change your whole world.
And when it changes your world, it'll change your marriage. So getting a glimpse of who you are. The question, do you see yourself as fearfully and wonderfully made?
You notice that we covered that one. Fearfully, wonderfully. Second way to get a healthy relationship with yourself is doing an honest self-assessment. An honest self-assessment.
In other words, not just your physicality, but to look at your life. Remember Romans 11 chapters of grace. Then verse 1 of chapter 12 was, what is it that God really wants? You.
All of you. So He can give you the best. How do you get the very best from God?
Oh, that's verse 2. Don't be conformed to this world. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind that the God who made all that there is says, I want you to get what's good. I want you to get what's perfect.
I want you to get what's well pleasing to you. That's God's will. It's not going to Africa and, you know, dodging snakes.
If He calls you to Africa and there's snakes, you probably are the kind of person that likes the outdoors and aren't afraid of snakes. But verse 3 then says how to get an accurate view of yourself. It's in your notes. For by the grace of God, I say to every one of you, do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment in accordance with the faith that God has distributed to each of you.
Okay, now you got your pen out. Do not underline the word think of yourself more highly than you and where the word ought underline ought. In the original, they're just trying to make it easy to read. In the original, it is do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but rather underline think of yourself with underlying sober. So you should have think, ought, think, sober judgment.
These are all from the same root word. And the word sober is the opposite of being drunk. In other words, when you're drunk, you don't have the right perception. What He's saying is start renewing your mind so you understand what life's really all about. Say no to all that bombardment of the world and then I want you to get an accurate view of you. Don't think too highly of yourself. Don't think too lowly of yourself. Humility is not thinking lowly of yourself.
Humility is thinking accurately. These are my strengths and these are my liabilities or weaknesses where I need other people. In verses six through eight, He'll say these are the primary spiritual gifts. Discover what yours is and really use it. In fact, open to Romans 12.
I want you to see the context here just for a second. This sober thinking is for a purpose. Look at verse four of Romans 12. Have sound judgment as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
Why? For just as we have many parts in one body, physical body, and all our body parts don't have the same function, so we who are many in one body, the body of Christ, are individually parts of one another. However, since we have gifts that differ according to what? The grace given to us so we don't have to compare. Use them properly if prophesied in the proportion of your faith. If service in acts of service or one who teaches in the act of teaching or one who exhorts with the work of exhortation, the one who gives with generosity and the one with leadership with diligence and he who shows mercy with cheerfulness. Do you see what He's saying is? If you discover who you are and whose you are accurately, then you see where you fit first with your mate and then the body of Christ and then you discover these gifts and then what happens? You experience this power and this love and you get to see people's lives change.
See, that's God's plan. You've been listening to part one of Chip's message, A Healthy Relationship with Yourself, which is from our newest series, Keeping Love Alive, volume four. Chip will be back with us in studio shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. We've all seen those stories of couples who've been married five, six, or even seven decades. So what's their secret?
How did they make it? And better yet, how can we build those types of lasting bonds? Through the newest installment of our Keeping Love Alive series, Chip's identifying four relationships great marriages have in common. Learn why these connections are so critical and how you and your spouse can better prioritize them in your marriage starting today. If you missed any part of this series, catch up via the Chip Ingram app or at livingontheedge.org.
Well, Chip's back with me in studio now. And Chip, we've received tons of emails and calls about how all four volumes of this Keeping Hope Alive series are encouraging and sometimes saving marriages. So would you take a minute and share how topics like this one fit into the broader mission of the ministry?
Sure, Dave. At Living on the Edge, we do three things for three groups for one purpose. One, we teach God's Word to as many people as possible through radio, small group resources, online tools like our app, and in partnerships internationally all around the world. Second, we train Christians to go deeper with teaching resources and small group studies. And three, we develop tools for leaders, for pastors and business leaders to help them impact their worlds and beyond.
We do all these things for one purpose, to help Christians live like Christians. Now, here's my question. If you were impacted today by the ministry of Living on the Edge, would you be willing to partner with us? We can't do this without the support of partners like you. And as you do, we will change lives, we will spread God's truth around the world, and we will help Christians live like Christians. Here's my question. Would you join us?
Thanks, Chip. Well, if Living on the Edge is ministering to you and you've not yet partnered with us financially, would you prayerfully consider doing that today? You know, it takes a team to do what God's called us to do, and we're inviting you to help us help Christians live like Christians. To send a gift or to become a monthly partner, go to livingontheedge.org or text donate to 74141.
It's that easy. Text the word donate to 74141 or visit livingontheedge.org. Atlas Nurse just tapped donate. We greatly appreciate your support. Well, Chip, today you challenged us to turn off the distractions and take time to truly appreciate ourselves. Now, how can we practice this every day? Well, as I said, Dave, in the message, you have to love yourself in a non-narcissistic way before you can love others.
And one of the ways you have to pause is you've got to get rid of all the noise and the distractions and all the different ways that we try and fill in those gaps. And as I share today and even more in our next broadcast, this has been a huge issue because of our backgrounds from alcoholic families for both Teresa and myself. So much so that we went into training and we've been in counseling and we really had to dig in and say, how does God see us instead of all the ways that we tried to find acceptance? And it eventually over the years created for me a book that I wrote called Discover Your True Self, which was really about a 25-year journey. But from Scripture, this is how God sees me and how I begin to renew my mind and begin to see myself the way God sees me that allowed me to stop asking Teresa to make my life work out and really gave me a self-love that was healthy that I could give her what God was giving me.
And all I would say to fellow brothers and sisters is turn off the noise and begin to see yourself the way God sees you. I will tell you it will transform the entire course of your life. Thanks Chip. To get your copy of Chip's book, Discover Your True Self, go to SpecialOffers at LivingOnTheEdge.org or the Chip Ingram app. This tool helps combat the deceptive lies we believe about ourselves by revealing who God uniquely created us to be. So if you're feeling stuck, insecure, or guilty over your past, this book will encourage you. Again, to order your copy of Discover Your True Self, visit SpecialOffers on the Chip Ingram app or at LivingOnTheEdge.org. We'll listen in next time as we continue our series Keeping Love Alive Volume 4. Until then, this is Dave Druey thanking you for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
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