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Broken Hearts Broken Dreams - Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 20, 2024 5:00 am

Broken Hearts Broken Dreams - Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 20, 2024 5:00 am

Remember your wedding day - the planning, the dreams, the excitement?  Do you wish you could rekindle those “just-married” feelings and passions all over again? Chip gets this series started by explaining how you can spark that flame of love, and at the same time build a friendship and foundation that will stand the test of time.

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Unfortunately, we all know someone, and it may be you, whose marriage isn't working right now. You're struggling. Maybe it's at the private thoughts level.

Maybe you're sleeping in separate rooms. Maybe there's resentment and bitterness and hurt, but you don't know what to do. Stick around. God has a word of encouragement.

There is hope. 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 today we're kicking off his insightful series, Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams. For the next handful of programs, Chip will identify the many problems facing the institution of marriage today, and then share a few practical ways we can protect our relationships, or rebuild one that's maybe fallen apart. But before we begin, let me encourage you to try using Chip's message notes while you listen. They contain his outline, scripture references, and key fill-ins to help you remember, then apply what you hear.

To download these message notes, go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org, app listeners tap fill in notes. Well, with all that said, go in your Bible to Genesis chapter 2, as Chip kicks off this series with his message, Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore. I think there are a few things more painful in our lives than being in a marriage at a time where it just isn't working, where you feel wounded, where you're wounding. Sometimes you're the wife in that situation. Sometimes you're the husband.

Sometimes you're the child. I know what it's like when parents yell. I know what it's like when alcohol is in a home and you wonder whether your mom and dad are going to split up. Weeks ago, we had a very special time where we asked people with any need to come, and we just will pray for you. One out of every three people that I prayed for, will you pray for my marriage?

It's falling apart. Will you pray for my mom and dad? Their marriage is falling apart. Will you pray for my son and my daughter-in-law when their marriage is not working? What I want to do is I want to talk to you today about why most marriages don't work, and then we're going to talk about how to make yours the exception.

My background was in psychology and undergraduate and graduate work. If I brought three professional counselors in here, let me give you the top three that they'll talk to you about. Number one reason marriages don't work is ongoing, unresolved conflict. It can be about finances, sex, in-laws, work, priorities, habits, toothpaste tubes, you name it, right? But ongoing, unresolved conflict. You fight, you shut down, she's silent, this happens, conflict, conflict, conflict. And after a period of time, and by the way, marriages don't work, don't always end in divorce. A great majority of marriages don't work, they just coexist.

You just make up a new set of rules and you kind of live in the same house, but the joy, the romance, the love, the connection, the environment, the design that God has is almost completely missed. The second reason that a professional would tell you is not just ongoing, unresolved conflict, but the lack of communication. Now, by that, don't hear people don't talk.

Sometimes they talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, and then they scream or they say nothing. But communication is the meeting of meanings. In other words, communication is what's on your heart and what you really feel you share and it actually gets received so the other person actually gets what you're actually saying. And when you bypass and when you don't communicate or you don't talk or you don't feel like what's inside your heart really gets connected with that other person, then you feel wounded and hurt.

And the irony is, I spent a lot of times with couples. Often people can be trying as hard as they can and their very attempts to love the other person produce some of the worst things because they don't get how to do it. The third thing that a professional would tell you is it's not just conflict or communication, but it's commitment. Under pressure when the first baby comes or under pressure when there's two year olds or under pressure at work or under pressure when you're lonely is lots of people in a very sex-actuated world find their eyes wandering and they either fall in love with a screen or another person and they break their marriage valve of fidelity. And there are few things that will damage a relationship, not necessarily irreparably, but there's few things that will damage a relationship than being betrayed sexually. Now what I want to tell you is that that's what the professionals would tell you and I would like to suggest that all those are true, but they're primarily symptoms, they're not the cause.

The number one reason marriages really fail is most people have no idea what a marriage is supposed to be and if you don't know what it's supposed to be, you don't know how it works and if you don't know how it works, then you find yourself frustrated. In fact, let me give you a picture. I like to give you a good close-up shot. Does anybody recognize what these are? Can we get a good close-up shot of this? These are pieces of Legos, right? Here's your job. You ready?

You got this? Put this together so that every single piece in this box fits together to make something beautiful. I will guarantee you on a certain day at a certain time, someone has a design for every piece in there.

I will guarantee there's a picture on the front of a Lego box and on the directions that every single little piece on that, it fits. And here's what I will tell you that's amazing to me, not being very gifted in this area. I've watched five-year-olds who can't read take a box like this and then take a little pictorial thing like this and sit on the floor of my living room and put the thing together.

It's unbelievable. Now, here's what I would like to suggest. How successful would you be even as an adult? Now, you're smart people, right? I mean, even I can do this. Well, I guess I can't. I guess that doesn't fit. I told you I wasn't very gifted at this. But right, there's some of these things. You're not a rocket science.

Those two things go together, and you can piece some stuff together. This is how most people do marriage. Well, my parents heard this. I watched a movie over here. I got a background here.

A guy in the locker room said that. Had a couple of movies over here and marriage and love and finances and in-laws and how it's all supposed to work, you just have all this, and you start just piecing it together, and it doesn't work. But if you had the design, in other words, a Lego engineer started out with a picture. When you see the picture, not unlike a puzzle, you can say, oh, this is what I want to do.

I want to make one of those. The average adult, Christian or non-Christian, does not have a clear picture of God's design for marriage. Therefore, you don't know whether you're making progress or not. You don't know what she's supposed to do, what you're supposed to do. You don't know how to do it, when to do it.

You don't know why the pieces don't fit. And so you have conflict. And then when you have conflict, you try and figure it out, but then you can't communicate. And then you get really, really frustrated, and so you start loving something or someone else.

And it can be work, or it can be kids, or it can be another person. Here's what you got to hear. I'm going to give you the design, and I'm going to show you some ways that you can learn to put these into practice in our sort of joint counseling session. All right?

Just us together. I just want to say, when you leave, you'll have the design and you'll go, oh, so that's how God designed marriage. Because he made it.

And he made it good. And I will tell you, this little thing here, it's designed so that a five or six or seven year old could actually do it. And the goal is that they wouldn't be frustrated, right? That they would have fun. Right?

Aha. Can I tell you that God's design for your marriage was not like, oh, this is like a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I'm going to create something that frustrates mankind. The whole goal was that you would feel unbelievably loved and accepted and fulfilled and connected, and that it would be a joy, and there would be purpose together, and there would be passion together. And you would go, oh, my lands, the greatest gift in all the world was this amazing commitment and connection with another person that actually produces this amazing thing called life. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And today's message is from our series Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams. If you've enjoyed Chip's teaching so far and are trying to apply it to your life, would you take a minute and share it with someone?

You can easily do that through the Chip Ingram app or by downloading the MP3s at livingontheedge.org. Thanks for spreading the word about how series like this one impact you. Okay, let's get back to today's program. And so here's the design. The picture for me is best pictured by an equilateral triangle. And since God made it, God's at the top.

And then you'll notice that the bottom left is the man, and the bottom right is the woman. And God's design is Genesis 2 24. And if you're like me and didn't grow up reading the Bible, you have no idea what that is. So if you have a Bible, open to Genesis chapter 1. If you don't, this is gonna be like your greatest time ever in church.

I didn't grow up in church. But this would be my greatest time ever. Turn to page 1.

Right? Page 1, that works. So if you'll turn to page 1, it's Genesis chapter 1. And chapter 1 is basically a macroscopic view of creation where God gives an overview of all that He does. And it opens up in verse 1, in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

And at the end of the creation story, skip down, you have to go to page 2 on this. Verse 26, then the pinnacle of God's creation, then God said, let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and the livestock, and over the earth, and all the creatures moving upon the ground. So God created man in His own image. When you read man, think mankind. In the image of God, He created him. Male and female, He created him. So in mankind, in the first Adam, there's all the components of male and all the components of female.

Mankind. And God blessed them and said, be fruitful and increase and fill the earth and rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every living creature. Now, if this was a movie, that would be the wide angle lens of this is the big what God created, and then chapter 2 is the zoom lens that says, now, I wonder how He did it. And so it gives very specifically how this all occurred, and then you pick up the story that we're interested in in verse 18. And the Lord said, it's not good for the man to be alone.

I will make him a helper suitable for him. The Hebrew word here is a corresponding part. It's literally the picture of one piece of a puzzle that's connected to the other piece of a puzzle so it fits correctly. Now, the Lord formed out of the ground all the beasts and all the birds of the air, and He brought them to the man to see what he would name them. And whatever the man named each living creature was his name.

And so the man gave names to all the livestock and the birds of the air and the beasts of the field, but for Adam, no suitable helper was found. So the Lord caused a deep sleep to come upon the man, and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place where the flesh had been. And the Lord God made woman from the rib that He'd taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man, so it's a gift. And the man said, this is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, so she shall be called woman, for she's taken out of man. Verse 24, Jesus quotes this twice.

The apostle Paul uses it. It's the most foundational verse in Old and New Testament about the purpose of marriage and what marriage is. For this cause, a man will leave his father and mother, will be united or literally cleaved to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

And then here's the result of a marriage that works. And the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. And let me tell you that the nakedness here goes well beyond anything of physiology. They were naked emotionally. They were naked psychologically.

They were naked physically. The goal of marriage from the designer God is oneness. We're to reflect His image, and He takes a man and a woman, and He says, my goal is that you progressively become one. Now in our psychological terminology, you might write this in your notes, write the word intimacy, because that's the way we think about it. That's what oneness is. It's intimacy.

It's connectedness. It's the sense of being loved and accepted just as you are. What I'd like to suggest is that it's not just in the physical domain, but it's oneness spiritually. Write the word spiritual at the bottom of your equilateral triangle. God wants a man and a woman in a marriage to be one spiritually.

And after you write the word spiritually, what I want you to do is put, are you ready to put? Co-worshipers. God's actual design is that you and your wife would come together and talk to God together.

Actually, there would be a priority about things like what you're doing right now, and you would be sitting next to your husband or your wife and singing songs of worship and learning about Him, and even maybe reading the Bible at times together and talking about its application in your life. There's a spiritual connection. The second area of oneness is psychological.

Next to this one, I want you to write best friends. In fact, the emotional and the psychological, the Bible would use the word your soul, your mind, your will, and emotions. God wants you to have a connectedness of personalities, a connectedness of mind, an ability to share, an emotional connection.

You know when you have it where there's times you don't have to say anything. You're just with them. And so you have a love that's spiritual that comes from God that's supernatural called agape love in the New Testament, where it's a love that gives and expects nothing in return.

And then here in the psychological and the emotional, your best friends, and the Bible calls this phileo love. That's taking walks together. That's hanging out together.

It's drinking coffee together. It's working in the yard together. It's sitting down and writing out the bills together. It's processing together.

You know, what are we going to do with one of our kids? It's sharing together about, wow, the pressure in the job situation. It's you being your mate's best friend. And then finally at the top, God wants us in our marriage relationship to have physical intimacy. And the Greek word here would be eros, love. And so the word you want to jot down is passionate lovers. God created sex. Sex is a very important part of the marriage relationship. In a man's mind and endocrine system, when he is in physical union with his wife, oxytocin is secreted into his brain. It causes a man, especially those of us that maybe it's difficult to share, this happens in the brain and causes a sense of bonding with his wife. And most men are more open to share and kind of what's going on in your life and your heart and feel a freedom and a security. God's designed it and hardwired this intimacy into the spiritual realm, the psychological realm, the emotional realm, and the physical realm. Now here's what you need to understand.

They're all interrelated. When I said you might be surprised, and this is true unfortunately of not just men in general, but I do a lot of work with pastors. And when I ask most pastors, do you pray with your wife, the answer is no. In fact, when couples are dating, I encourage them to pray now and then, but don't pray too long with one another. It builds unbelievable bonds. There's an amazing correlation between spiritual unity and sexual intimacy. In fact, when you even go through scripture, when it talks about passion, it will often use metaphors and similes about the love of the bride and the bridegroom.

And so what you have to do is realize that the spiritual oneness, the soul oneness, and the physical oneness are all related. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to part one of Chip's message, Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore from our series, Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams. Chip will be back shortly to share some helpful application for us to think about. Divorce is a disastrous part of our society today. So if you're in a committed relationship or want to be in one someday, how can you avoid becoming part of this depressing trend? In this short study, Chip will share some practical step-by-step instructions to protect and enrich your relationship. Learn about the common problems that plague marriages and the biblical solutions to make your relationship the exception. If you want to build a marriage that can endure anything, don't miss any part of this series. Well, Chip joins me in studio now, and Chip, as we dive into the short series, take a minute, if you would, and tell us why this one is one of your favorites. Absolutely, Dave. I just have to tell our listeners that, you know, we had so many struggles early in our marriage, and I thought it shouldn't be so hard.

And after lots of research and marriage counseling and a number of years of counseling other people, there's some very specific reasons of why most marriages don't work, but they're solvable. And then the second half of this series is about how to make yours the exception. And so it's sort of a Reader's Digest version or a bit of a short sort of shot in the arm to help people say, wow, now I get why it's so hard, but this is what I can do about it. I think it's going to really help people, Dave. I couldn't agree more, Chip.

Well, I hope you can join us for every part of this series. And as we get started, let me encourage you to invite a couple of friends to listen with you, either through the Chip Engram app or at LivingOnTheEdge.org. Everyone's marriage will benefit from this teaching. Well, with that, here again is Chip to share a few final thoughts for us to think about. As we wrap up today's program, I want to come back to something I said right near the beginning of today's teaching. You know, there's a lot of marriages that, there's not like fighting, there's not like tension every single day, but there's like these parallel paths of coexisting. There's a commitment to God, there's a commitment to a covenant, there's a commitment that, for many, especially until the kids grow up. But there's this sort of agreement that we're not going to have what we either dreamed or hoped for. There's not the intimacy that we dreamed of, the adventure, the excitement, the connection. And here's what I want to say.

It doesn't have to be that way. I want you to know, I have been there, I have counseled hundreds of people that have been there, but it will require intentionality and focus. And are you ready? You asking yourself, what does God want to do in me?

Instead of asking, what needs to happen in my mate for real change to occur? Here's just my plea. Don't give up. Don't coexist.

Don't just pour your life into the kids if you're a woman or pour your life into the work if you're a man. I want you to pause right now. Let me pray for you. Oh God, will you please rekindle the desire and the passion to make marriage apart from you the number one priority in every couple hearing my voice. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen.

Thanks Chip. As we wrap up this program, Living on the Edge depends on listeners like you to help us continue encouraging Christians to live like Christians. So would you consider becoming a monthly partner to help others benefit from this ministry? You can set up a recurring donation at livingontheedge.org or by calling us at 888-333-6003. Again, that's 888-333-6003 or visit livingontheedge.org. Have listeners tap donate, and thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, join us again next time as Chip continues his series, Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams. Until then, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-20 05:41:00 / 2024-02-20 05:49:55 / 9

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