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Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage - What Went Wrong? Barriers to Intimacy, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
November 6, 2023 5:00 am

Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage - What Went Wrong? Barriers to Intimacy, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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November 6, 2023 5:00 am

When it comes to marriage we want it to be deep, open, affirming, and fulfilling. WE want that, GOD wants that for us, so why do so few marriages enjoy that kind of closeness? Chip explores the barriers to intimacy and what it takes to overcome those barriers to experience the love and intimacy you long for.


When it comes to marriage, we want it to be deep, open, vulnerable, affirming and fulfilling. That's what we want.

That's what God wants. But why do so few marriages experience that kind of closeness? There are real barriers to intimacy in your marriage that if you don't know what they are and how to remove them, it is impossible. Today, I'm going to talk about barrier number one.

You're not going to want to miss it. 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 you know that idea of closeness is such a tender part of marriage, we often don't fully appreciate it or even know what to do with it. So today, Chip will help us discover and build deeper intimacy with our spouse as he continues his series, Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage.

There's a lot of helpful insight to get to, so if you have a Bible, go to Genesis chapter three as we join Chip with his message, What Went Wrong? Barriers to Intimacy. My wedding was six weeks away, and Teresa and I, it is a confession.

We really do love a good cup of coffee and often decaf. Of course, later in the day, but we were planning our wedding and we were so excited. And I'd like you if you could, in your mind's eye, to just put it in reverse.

For some of you, you know, it's like 40 years ago you were doing that, and for others it was 40 days ago. But can you go back and think about all the excitement and, you know, once you got through the hassles of planning the wedding and it was getting kind of close. And then I'd like you, if you would, to dream, just in reverse, sort of a dream in your mind of what were you hoping? What were you expecting? I mean, when you walked down that aisle, and when you said I do, and in most cases friends and family and these hopes and dreams, I mean, for some of you since you were tiny little girls and for us guys thinking, you know, I'm going to find that right woman someday. What did you think it was going to be like?

Do you remember? I mean, what did you expect? What were you hoping? My wife and I look back and I would say the day we got married has to be one of the top maybe two, three days and maybe number one of all the experiences we've ever had. I mean, it was awesome. I mean, it was just over the top awesome friends and a sense of God's blessing and, you know, we had waited and longed for this to happen. So are you there?

You got it? I mean, just like these pictures, just how wonderful it's going to be. Well, we came back from our honeymoon a little bit early because one of her dad's brothers got sick and was in the hospital and they asked us to come and pray and help him. It was an amazing thing. We saw a miraculous recovery and so we came back to this empty apartment and, you know, our wedding presents were there and we unpacked a few of them and we didn't have any premarital counseling. I don't know why.

I'm not sure they did it in those days. All I can tell you is it was about a picture and we were trying to get this picture over the fireplace. I can't tell you whether she wanted it right or left or high or low or whatever, but she said something and then I said something and she said something and then I said something else and then she said something, I said something, and I mean in about fifteen minutes it was like I didn't think I could have feelings like this for Teresa. I mean, we did not have any big fights before we got married. If anything, we were a little overly spiritual and we prayed together and sang together and read the Bible together, but expectations and finances and kids and practical living and how it was going to work, we didn't really talk about that stuff. We thought if you really love one another, all that will just work out and all I got to tell you is I've only been married now, let's see, I'm thinking back in my mind, maybe it's like seven or nine days max because we had to come back early and I got so mad and she got so mad and then I got so mad I just slammed the door and I left and I got my little green Volkswagen and I got in the Volkswagen and I'm driving around Fairmont, West Virginia and I go up into the mountains and I look down on that little house and part of our was apartment and I thought, man, did I mess up?

I think I married the wrong person, it's too late, what have I done? I thought, how can you have feelings like this? I've never been so angry in my life, she makes me nuts, I mean, I love her, I love her, I love her. I can't believe she said that to me, sweet little kind loving Teresa. There's something in there I didn't know about, how come I didn't find out about this earlier? I was livid and then I was scared because I thought, whoa, is this, I mean, is the rest of my life going to be like this?

I mean, this is like a line came out of the closet and of course she's home crying. I can't believe he talked to me that way, you know? And get this, it's about a picture, are you kidding me? It's about a picture and now neither of us can remember what the picture was about.

What went wrong? That's what we want to talk about. You've had dreams, I've had dreams, if you've been married more than about six weeks, you've found out that it's not exactly what you thought it was going to be, right? And if you've been married a long time, you've realized there's a lot of hard stuff that comes in marriage. And a lot of people when it gets hard, they give up because they think something's wrong or I married the wrong person instead of this is normal. My experience is when you can define a problem, it's about 50% solved, okay?

I mean, if you can really figure out this is the problem, you're about 50% of the way there of understanding, oh, okay, now I know how to respond. And what I want to talk about in this session is what went wrong or what are the barriers to intimacy in marriage? Now, in your notes, you're going to see I have four premises.

They're taken from scripture and a lot of research I've done over the years. Premise number one, we all have legitimate needs and longings. The need to have open, honest, vulnerable, completing relationships, accepting relationships, relationships that are affirming. I long to have those, most especially with my wife, but we all long those. And premise, God originally designed our spouse to be a major tool in his hands to meet those needs and longings and not the only tool.

Your mate cannot come through for a year. They can't solve your problems, but a major source of meeting the deepest longings and desires that you have. Third premise, the fall or sin, Genesis 3, short-circuited man's relationship with God, his mate, and this world. Okay, sin entered the world and we have these longings and literally it's like the wiring now is short-circuited so that premise number four becomes the reality. What was once the most natural relational response, other-centered grace giving, is now the most unnatural of responses requiring supernatural enablement and hard work to achieve.

And in other words, in the garden, the first man and the first woman, when Adam was thinking, you know, I kind of have a need in this area, there was just something that clicked in and Eve, she goes, I'd love to fulfill that. Great. Can we do that? Can I help you there?

Or if Eve was, you know, taking a walk and wondering, you know, you know, what are we going to do with that draft over there? Or, you know, we're going to subdue the earth and do this and that. Can I help you? In other words, the unconscious response to every situation before sin entered was other-centered grace giving. In other words, I want to help you.

I want to put you ahead of me. And then the fall occurred. And when sin occurred, that natural response is now unnatural. You see, when sin entered the world, what was the most natural other-centered grace giving, caring for others, turned opposite. And to be other-centered and grace giving and love an individual and to meet their longings when down deep, you want yours met. I want my way and I want it now. And the picture is we have God's blueprint, right?

We've got the blueprint. God's at the top, equilateral triangle. We want to have a relationship with God. His desire is for oneness with one another.

But notice what's been added. There's now a barrier between us and God. Something happened. We're not in fellowship with God now. There's a barrier and that barrier is sin. And now there's another barrier.

There's a barrier between one another. See, this idea that I had, I can still remember sitting on this chair, sipping my coffee, this beautiful blonde who I loved with all my heart, who we prayed together, we read scripture together, we were doing ministry together, we had these dreams together. Everyone else was going to have problems.

But see, they didn't do it the way we did it. And they don't know Teresa and she's sweeter and lovelier and kinder and more wonderful than any other woman in the whole world. And I was completely deluded. And I'm just going to be this man for her. It's all going to work out great. And we couldn't even handle hanging a picture.

And I mean, I had feelings of rejection and hurt and wound and pain and anger like I didn't think I could even have. And that's because when we were hanging that picture, my way is the way to do it. How I see it is how it is.

Your difference isn't different, it's wrong. This is it. And so once that was just the symptom, we begin to attack one another. That's what sin does. But it's not the only barrier. See, most of us think, here's that myth.

Here's the myth. And it's you, every movie you watch reinforces it. Every little book that talks about how wonderful an idealic thing is, every TV show says this. If you really love one another, it'll all work out. Loving another person is the most natural thing. You'll be kind and other centered. If you really love one another, it'll be easy and it'll be great. That is the farthest thing from the truth.

If you really love one another, it will require supernatural enablement from God and an amazing amount of hard work. And it is the grace of God that teaches us to say no to worldliness and lusty passions and instead to live sober, self-disciplined lives of caring for other people. And so I want you to pull out your pen and I want you to roll up your sleeves and I'm gonna walk through the four barriers so that you can identify what they are. And the first one is the biggie. I'll spend the most time on the barrier of sin. And as you open and what I want you to know is this barrier of sin distorts the others too. The others are normal barriers. I mean there's differences between men and women.

There's differences in terms of just our personalities. But that barrier of sin is going to tilt things to make even those things negative or bad. Let's look at barrier number one and it's spiritual barrier of sin, shame, and selfishness. And if you would, open your Bibles again to Genesis chapter 3.

And I would love to spend a bit more time than we will, but let me give you an overview of how the barrier occurred, the impact that it had been, and the impact that it has now, beginning in verse 1. Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord has made. And he said to the woman, did God really say you must not eat of any tree in the garden? The woman said to the serpent, we may eat from the fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden. And you must not touch it.

Two quick observations. The first attack in sin entering in the world is in God's Word. The first attack is you can't trust God's Word about what's real, what's right, what's true, and how life works.

The second error, the first theological error of mankind was to add to God's Word. God never said, and not touch it. And when you add to God's Word and then, you know what, can you imagine what happened when she took the piece of fruit, she's touching it, she's not dead? Well, all of a sudden it raises, well, I guess the rest of it's not true. We go on. He goes on to say in verse 4, you will surely die, the serpent said to the woman, for God knows that when you eat of it, your eyes will be opened and you'll be like God, knowing good from evil. And when the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some of it and she ate it. The first attack is on God's Word.

The second attack is what? It's on his character. God doesn't have your best in mind. Don't do it God's way. I mean, don't handle your money God's way. He's trying to keep you from all this stuff. You can just put it on time now.

There's an easy way to do everything. He attacks God's character. You know, don't be a prude.

Are you kidding me? Sex before marriage, he's trying to keep something good from you. Every command of God is guard rails because he loves you so much to protect you from getting something second rate or something that would hurt you. And the very first temptation, what do we have? God doesn't have your best in mind. And the temptation always comes in the same three areas. It was for Eve, it was for Adam, it was for Jesus and it is for us. She saw lust of the eyes. The food, lust of the flesh. It would make her wise, the pride of life.

And those are going to be the strategies of shortcuts that Satan's going to use and this world system that we live in to pull you away and pull your marriage away from what God wants for you. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it. And you might jot in your Bible the first passive male. And you know what, isn't it interesting that when we get to the New Testament and God begins to assign culpability to the fall, it doesn't say Eve fell. Eve was deceived. Adam went in with his eyes wide open.

Adam had an issue of loyalty and Adam saw all the same things and he chose to disobey. Now let's find out what happens. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized they were naked so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Notice psychologically what's happened. The first human experience of self-consciousness occurs. They're aware of me.

What's going on with me? They realized they were naked. Their response, shame. After the shame, they hide.

And that has been the response of human beings to God and one another ever since. We're self-conscious. How am I coming off? Do people like me? Am I affirmed? What do they think?

How's it going? When I look down deep and I see me, I don't measure up. When I don't measure up, oh, I don't want to be rejected. So I will hide myself and I can hide myself behind power or money or clothes or looks or surgery and I can hide myself behind a paper or ESPN or a magazine or children. And so the process starts of this is how we begin to relate to one another and you just have different fig leaves on than they had on. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they noticed the hiding isn't just from one another. And they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. And now we get a rhetorical question. Obviously God knows all that has happened but he wants them to learn.

So he gives them a diagnostic question. He goes, where are you? And Adam answers, I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid. If you have permission in your Bible, circle the word afraid, naked and hid.

It's how we relate to God and that's how we relate to one another. I'm afraid. Why I'm afraid? Something's wrong with me now. I'm insecure.

I don't measure up. I've done something wrong. There's both legitimate guilt and shame.

I was afraid. And so what did he do? He hid. And the average couple spends a lot of energy hiding from one another and hiding from God. Somehow, you know, it isn't amazing, the human psyche, this all knowing God, we play all these games thinking, you know, he won't really see.

Right? You know, he won't really see what's going on. And so a lot of us have a very significant struggle in prayer, don't we?

We have a hard time concentrating. We have a hard time really opening up because what you know is when you have significant, prolonged, relaxed time where you open your heart to God, what's he going to do? He's going to convict you of sin and righteousness and judgment. But we wrongly think it's so he can shame us and put us down and instead it's the arms of a loving God who says, let me show you some things that are going to put a barrier in relationships and a barrier with me. And the word confess means why don't you come and be honest and real and agree with me so I can put my arms around you and forgive you and cleanse you so that we can remove that barrier. And that's why I don't know about you, the hardest discipline in my life is praying.

I mean praying deep, praying honest. And so we still hide. And so when we hide from God, we don't get his supernatural resources to give our mates what they need. He goes on to say, who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?

Now I want you to just get there with me, okay, manly, let's just get there. They've been through this, they've got some fig leaves on. Their relationship has really changed.

This is a lot bigger than the picture over the fireplace. But they've had that relational click where they were in sync, now they're out of sync. Now God comes and you know, Eve, I don't know how long they've, you know, been in the garden, but we have a general idea that they've had a great, wonderful relationship without sin.

And now Eve is going to get her first experience of what happens when things go wrong. Is your man going to step up for you? Can you trust him? Is it safe to bury your soul and with you make a mistake, is he going to be there for you?

Ladies, I want you in your mind's eye to imagine what it would feel like when God of the universe asked your husband this question and you listen to this response. The man said, the woman that you put here with me, she gave me some of the fruit of the tree and I ate it. Sin, shame, fear, hiding, blame shifting. It's not my fault. You know, by the way, you know what, I was doing fine, it was a little lonely, but me and the animals, we were doing fine. I don't know what happened that this woman that you gave me, she's the problem.

Probably not going to open up to a man like that, are you? And she's a quick study. So God then begins the interrogation with her and then the Lord said to the woman, what is this that you have done? The woman said, the serpent deceived me and I ate. So the Lord God said to the serpent, because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and all the wild animals you will crawl in your belly and you will eat of the dust of it all the days of your life. And he goes on to say, and I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers, and then we get this messianic promise that comes out, we can't develop, that he will crush your head and you will strike his heel. And then to the woman he said, I'll greatly increase your pains in childbearing for the pain that you give birth to the children.

Your desire, you might circle that word, will be for your husband, yet he will rule over you. So here we have it, isn't it interesting? What's the problem? The man says it's the woman.

What's the problem, woman? It's the serpent. And by the way, who makes that serpent?

Who made these animals anyway? See, ultimately, who do we blame? God.

God, this is your problem. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and he'll continue our series Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage in just a minute. But first, do you long to have the God-honoring, love-filled relationship Chip's been describing in this series? If so, stick around after this teaching to hear about a tool we've developed to help husbands and wives deepen their connection with one another and to God. Keep listening for more info.

With that, here again is Chip. Now, what I want you to hear is God is going to give three curses, one on the serpent we've heard, one on the woman, and then as you read the text, one on the man. Now, a woman's greatest desire is for emotional connection, and a man's greatest desire is for impact and significance. And what you're going to see is that God's curse is going to thwart the deepest longing in a woman's heart and soul, and then the curse will thwart a man's deepest longing in his soul, because he's going to say what to the man? You know, now all your work, it's going to be toil, it's going to be painful, and there's going to be thistles. In other words, you want to subdue, you want to make an impact, you want to be significant, you want to make a difference. That's godly, that's in you. You're made in the image of God.

He's going to say, guess what? It's all uphill now. It's always going to be difficult, and as soon as you make some progress, you're going to look back and it's going to deteriorate.

Why? The curses are an act of grace. The curses are the kind gentleness of a Heavenly Father who knows if a woman could have relational connection and get her longings filled in an easy way, she wouldn't need God. The curses help her understand she wants to be relationally connected, and you women know, I mean like no one can know, but you women, the joy of giving birth to a child and the extraordinary pain.

And every time, that's the fruit, but boy, there's the process. And this word for desire has the idea of being in control over your husband. See, a woman is afraid, so what a woman does is she wants to control things, and she does it a lot of different ways. She wants to control environment, she wants to control things, and she's going to have this desire for her husband, but she wants to rule over him, and God says, but he's going to rule over you. So those desires that are blocked will bring levels of increasing frustration that God hopes that one day, out of his mercy, a woman will say, you know something, life's just too hard, I just can't make this on my own.

And she'll realize she needs a savior and a deliverer and a redeemer. And a man will keep trying and keep trying and keep trying, I've got to make an impact, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this, I'm going to do this, and then the stock market will fail, so brother, I'm going to cut, I'm going to make this beautiful yarn, now the weeds come up, and no matter how, there's always weeds in a man's life. No matter how hard you try, how hard you work, how many degrees you get, how much money you make, how good you are at athletics, how good a musician you are, there's always going to be weeds in your life, and there's always junk. And you just feel like, well, I'm over the next hill then, over the next hill then, and at some point in time you wake up and smell the roses and you realize you're never ever going to do it without tons of pain. And God gave that curse to us as men to say, you were never intended to live like this.

I'm going to frustrate you to the point where you come in dependency upon me and realize only through my supernatural power and my forgiveness and my strength can you live out this life because there's a new barrier, it's a fallen world. It's like the world got cancer. It's like there was a coup. There was a cosmic conflict. This world isn't like this anymore.

It's tilted this way. And so living out this life is always going to be difficult and painful. Now, notice what he says after he disciplines the man. Verse 21, then the Lord, this act of grace, he says, verse 21, the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and he clothed them. He sheds blood as a prefiguring of what will happen and then he covers their shame.

Isn't that awesome? He forgives them. There's always a price tag to forgiveness and this foreshadows the great forgiveness of Christ.

And so an animal must die. And the word covering here, we get our same word for atonement. He's going to do something that will cover their sin and cover their shame. And then the Lord God said now the man has become like one of us knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and live forever. So the Lord banished him from the garden to work on the ground from which he was taken and he drove the man out and placed him on the east side of the Garden of Eden and then he put this cherubim, it's this huge powerful, I mean I've never seen one personally but the definitions I get are the most powerful angels with this flaming sword and another act of grace.

You never can get back in here where the state that you're in and this fallen state could become permanent. And all the rest of scripture, really all of scripture is you have a reality that goes up to Genesis chapter 3 and at Genesis chapter 3 we start a parenthesis and you go all the way through all of life and all of scripture until you get to Revelation chapter 20 and all of life is one big parenthesis and then in 20 and 21 all of God's reigning in a perfect environment with people that he loves comes to fruition but you and I get to live in Genesis 3 up to Revelation 19 or a little bit of 20. Your marriage is always going to be hard forever because you are married to a selfish person who wants their way, now they can get sophisticated and learn a lot of verses and God changes things in significant ways but at the core of the flesh of us as human beings I want my way, at the core of my being I want my wife to fulfill my needs on my terms.

In fact I summarize all of Genesis 3, here's the changes that occurred, notice in your notes, differences, okay male and female very different, differences originally designed to complement and complete one another have become sources of friction, confusion and competition. See in a perfect world where there's grace you celebrate differences, oh Adam I'm so glad you're so different than me, this is wonderful. When I was dating Teresa she was so organized, then I married her, she was so rigid, do you get that? Right?

So structured, made me nuts. When we dated I was spontaneous, adventuresome, going to change the world, then we get married now I'm irresponsible and I'm doing all kind of wild crazy things. Second, sharing has turned to shame. Our insecurities and shame bring condemnation and fear.

So deep in your heart and deep in my heart you've got to realize there's a barrier, your fear is down deep you don't measure up and so you don't want to open up who you really are to your mate because you're afraid they'll see who you really are. Givers have become takers and manipulators. The unconscious goal in our marriages is meet my needs, fix me, satisfy my longings. And it takes a radical supernatural intervention for that to be turned around when you want them to meet your needs, when you want them quote to fix you and to meet your needs and to say they are unable to do that, they are hurting right now and so love by the supernatural power of the Lord Jesus Christ, his spirit dwelling in me, empowered by his word and the community of believers, I'm going to give my mate what they need the most when they deserve it the least at great personal cost.

You know what that's the definition of? Love. That's what love is. Love isn't ooey gooey feelings walking on the beach, love isn't walking down the aisle, love isn't everything's wonderful, love isn't there's money in the bank, the kids are healthy, love is giving another person what they need the most when they deserve it the least at great personal cost and that's what Jesus did for you and me, didn't he? It's a choice, it's not a feeling. Now I love all the good feelings that come with marriage but all of us or most of us have been so brainwashed by the culture that we keep waiting and manipulating trying to get all the good feelings instead of realizing what we need to do is operate under we got barriers and learn to love our mate.

God's way and God's power and then it's an amazing thing some good feelings really come. Builders have become blamers. You know when you have a problem in your marriage, I don't know about you but I don't go I bet I really have a bad attitude. You know I must really be not living up to my measure as a husband. When we have a problem I'll tell you exactly where I go.

You know what if Teresa would shape up this would be solved in about 24 hours. Now I hate to say that I'm just being honest with you right? I mean how many of you have a conflict and immediately you go I must be a jerk, I must be so narrow, I must be so selfish.

Personally I don't go there until the spirit gets a hold of my life. Finally openness has given way to hiding. Women fear abandonment so they hide. See at the core core core of a woman the reason you want to control you're afraid you're going to get left. And we do things we don't even know as men that give you this fear that we're going to leave you either emotionally or spiritually or physically.

Men fear failure so they hide. And we're going to talk about how we compensate and how this works. The barrier first and foremost is spiritual. The answer is grace. The answer is grace.

The answer is I can't do this. The answer is I need someone to save me. I need someone to remove the barrier from me and God and I need someone to remove the barrier from me and my wife. I need to have open access supernatural power. I need to be covered with his blood. I need to be forgiven. I need his spirit deposited in me and then I need to strengthen the power to give my mate what they don't deserve. What I don't want to give when they don't really deserve to get it from me and to pay a real cost whether I get anything back or not.

Only grace does that. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message What Went Wrong? Barriers to Intimacy from our series Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage.

Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. Movies, romance novels, and social media constantly tell us that the purpose of marriage is to find love or a soulmate. But in reality, that idea hasn't really worked out for many couples, has it? In this 12-part study, Chip examines the biblical design for marriage and explains how you and your spouse can experience all God intended for your relationship.

If you want a marriage that lasts and is more fulfilling than any fairy tale, don't miss any part of this series. I'm joined in the studio now by Chip and Chip, as we continue learning about God's dream for our marriages, I want to stop and point out that there are couples out there thinking, you know, our relationship feels more like a nightmare than a dream. What would you say to those whose marriage is on the rocks right now? Well Dave, that is a really good question. 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've sat down with my wife and we've met with them. And I mean, things are kind of falling apart. And so I'd 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 have figured 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, I've been married over four decades. And I can just tell you of multiple seasons, in fact, even one coming out of this pandemic time where Teresa and I just sat down and said, boy, we need to refocus and give more energy to our marriage because of all the stuff that's happening.

We just sense 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 it I address the heart issues, communication, fighting fair, role differences, when you're discouraged 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. Well, to order the Small Group Study Guide or the DVD, go to or call 888-333-6003. And let me tell you, just by investing some time in this study, you'll be blown away by what you'll learn about marriage and what God has in store for you and your spouse. For complete details about the small group resources for experiencing God's dream for your marriage, go to or call 888-333-6003.

App listeners, tap Special Offers. Well, here again is Chip to share some application for today's program. As we begin to talk about the barriers in marriage, I talked about the first and most important one, the spiritual barrier. In our next broadcast, I'll talk about the psychological barrier, the gender barrier, and what I call the historical barrier, the baggage that we bring in. And I gave a lot of information.

I hope you got this main point. Conflict is normal, okay? I mean, conflict is normal. So many of us come into marriage thinking that if we really love one another, it's all ooey, gooey, wonderful feelings, and that when there's conflict, we read that as rejection instead of we need to work through some things. I don't have the power and you don't have the power to give your mate what they need when they don't deserve it.

I mean, let's face it. As much as I try, I'm going to really let Teresa down, and as much as she tries, she's going to let me down. The spiritual barrier demands God's grace. That's why the most important thing that I have done is walk with God.

That has helped me more than anything else. It has given me power and grace to forgive, to love, and to choose to do what I didn't want to do, what I didn't feel like doing, that built intimacy at times when we could have gone separate directions. Your marriage isn't going to be easy, but it can be great if you're willing to work at it.

Let's sign up. Let's make our marriages great for the glory of God and for our personal good. Thanks Chip. As we close, I want to thank each of you who makes this program possible through your generous giving. One hundred percent of your gifts go directly to the ministry to help Christians live like Christians. Now if you found this teaching helpful but aren't yet on the team, consider doing that today.

Sending a gift is easy. Go to or call 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit App listeners tap donate, and let me thank you in advance for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. We'll listen in next time as Chip picks up in his series, Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage. Until then, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-06 06:02:02 / 2023-11-06 06:17:39 / 16

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