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Broken Hearts Broken Dreams - Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2024 5:00 am

Broken Hearts Broken Dreams - Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 21, 2024 5:00 am

Imagine trying to put a 10-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle together without the picture! You’d eventually give up. Chip suggests that your marriage is a 10-million-piece jigsaw puzzle and unless you find the picture on the box top, you'll spend years in frustration and heart ache. If you want to find that picture, for your marriage jigsaw puzzle, this message is for you.

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Can you imagine being assigned to put a puzzle together with 10,000 pieces, but there's only one thing missing? The box top.

It would be impossible and frustrating. Many people's marriages are confused and struggling because they don't see the box top of what a marriage is supposed to look like. Today, I'm going to share with you God's blueprint, God's box top for your marriage.

Three key words that are going to really help. Thanks for joining us for this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Chip's our Bible teacher for this international discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Well, today, Chip picks up where he left off in our series, Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams, with a remainder of his talk, Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore. And before he dives in, let me encourage you to stick around after this message. Chip has some practical steps to help you protect and preserve your relationship with your spouse.

You won't want to miss it. Okay, if you have a Bible handy, go now to Genesis chapter 2. Last time, Chip explained that God's goal for marriage is oneness, both with him and our mate. So right now, he'll continue walking through the areas where we can develop deeper intimacy in our marriages.

If you're ready, let's get going. 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. There's actually, 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 the freedom and the 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. And here's, I do a little test now and then, and if I had just the men in the room, ladies, close your ears. If you could just like take your relationship to the next level as either passionate lovers, best friends, or co-worshipers, like which one, just honestly, it's just us guys, would you kind of like to see it go? Anybody have any idea whatsoever that about 90 some percent of the men would say? Yeah, it's more physical intimacy. A man feels profoundly loved in ways he can't understand when he makes love with his wife. If I had only the women here, now by the way, this is not an either or and it's not like the others aren't important and guys don't want to be best friends and oneness and all the rest.

I'm just saying as a general rule, when I've talked to lots of audiences, if I would have a large group of women and the guys shut your ears, and I said, you know, when it comes to where you're at in your marriage and what's going on right now, and if I said spiritual oneness or being best friends or physical intimacy, I mean, which one do you feel like, gosh, if we could go to the next level, if we'd be connected, where I feel like my heart aches, most women would talk about being best friends. He doesn't open up. He doesn't talk. I don't know what's going on. He shuts down. I don't know what's happening at work.

When I ask some questions about some big decisions, what we ought to do, he gets defensive, feel angry. When I say, you know, you want to take a walk, he goes, where? And you say, just to walk, just to be together. Well, we're not going anywhere.

Why would we do that? All those kind of things. You see, a woman's heart gets filled up by connection and talking and walking and doing stuff in the backyard and walking around, you know, downtown places like the mall, and you're the guy, and they say, can we go in here? And your mind says, no.

But your will says, I'm going to nourish and cherish my relationship, because love is always giving another person what they need the most when they deserve it the least at great personal cost. And so you walk in these little shops, and they say, isn't this cute? And you go, yeah. Isn't this cute? Yeah. Isn't this cute? Yeah.

And what do you think about? And you're just going. And then you're walking, and she grabs your hand and looks you in the eye and says something like, man, this is so special. And you're thinking. And if you learn how to become a godly man, and you stop on a bench and say, you know, both of us are really concerned about our youngest son.

There's no one around. Why don't we just bow our heads in maybe 30 seconds, and let's ask God to intervene. And when your wife sees you care and be best friends and lead spiritually, you will be amazed and surprised that something happens in her heart where now she doesn't feel used at 9 or 10 o'clock when you kind of wink and say, hey, I'm feeling pretty good. What about you? That headache will go away, you know?

Well, we might as well talk about how it works, right? What I want you to understand is that so many of us are living in a world, and this is what you got. You got a bunch of pieces.

And some of the pieces, they don't even belong. And so you figure out basically how to give what you think they want, but your whole goal is to get what you want. Now, I'm going to have you do an experiment. This is going to require two fingers, and you will have to put this piece of paper on your lap, okay? Humor me, okay?

Okay? Both fingers have to be free. Now, I want you to take your fingers, put your right finger where it says woman and left finger where it says man, and you know that the goal is for you two to become one, right? Intimate.

I mean, we all want that. What I want you to do is move halfway up the triangle and stop with your fingers. Each of you has gotten a lot closer to God, right? What did it do to your relationship with each other? Are you closer or farther apart? Okay, now I want you to move them all the way up right to the very top, just under where it says God. What's happened to your relationship?

Here's what you got to get. God has actually designed you with this passionate drive to be connected with another human being, spiritually, physically, emotionally, all those things. And so, because of gender differences, because of baggage that you have from the past and other relationships, because you don't have a design, because you don't know really where you're going, because of expectations, and because down deep all of us are selfish, it doesn't work. And so God has actually created us to long for something that doesn't work unless you come to him and say, this doesn't work.

Will you help me? You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and we'll continue his series Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams in just a second. But first, whether you're single, married, or dating, God has a clear blueprint for relationships that he wants you to know, so keep listening after this message to learn about a resource we've developed to help you get a life full of genuine love and intimacy. Stick around to learn more.

Well, here again is Chip. And so, the only way that I can have the grace to walk in those little shops, or my wife can have the grace to make love with me when she's tired because that's meaningful to me, or we can do the bills that neither of us like to do, or whether we can work in the yard, the only thing that gives me the power to do what I don't want to do when I don't want to do it is the spirit of the living God where Jesus showing up inside of me says, not my will, but yours be done. And so by the power of the Holy Spirit, as I'm taking in God's word and living in the support of biblical community, it gives me the ability to be a giver in the relationship instead of a taker. And when even one person becomes a giver by the grace of God, it changes the dynamic. And so the greatest thing I can ever do for my marriage is to follow Jesus with all my heart because the more you hang out with anyone, you become like them. And there is no one in the world that wouldn't like to be married to someone that has the character qualities of Jesus.

What are they? He was loving, kind, patient, gentle, self-controlled, right? The fruit of the Spirit. We all want to be around a person that is considerate and caring and loving. And God, over time, as you get into his word, talk to him honestly, learn to share your life, he actually produces that in you and now you have a design and can figure out how to get there.

If you'll take your little design right side up and turn it upside down, all right? Now, for those of us that did not grow up understanding the Bible and never had any teaching from God's word, this is how we learn to do relationships, right? It's physical, wow, she's hot, he looks good in those jeans, right? So you meet, you chat, maybe it's at a bar, maybe it's at this, maybe it's a gathering. In our day, you meet a couple times, you know, in our day, heck, you can hook up the first night, right? And then you hook up with this person, that person, that person, they don't do much for you. And then some guys, he's not just a big muscle airhead or she's not just, you know, really pretty, there's something more and there's an emotional connection. And usually you date for a little while and, oh, that's all there is and then you meet the family and you realize, actually, he's actually, you know, not the kind of guy you want to be with so you start over, right? But sometimes it's physical, then it's emotional, and then it's psychological, he actually thinks, she actually thinks we have some things in common.

Usually then you bring in your friends and some family members. In our day, about 60% of the people will then live together for a while thinking that, you know, test drives are really a good way to make something work. It is for cars.

I would encourage you to test drive every car. However, in 10-year longitudinal studies, people that live together 10 years later, whether they eventually marry or not, 60% do, only 1 out of 10 are still together. And when you test drive things, a fantasy occurs where you pretend you're really caring but what you know is she can walk out anytime and he can walk out and so you can never be totally vulnerable, totally honest.

And so what you do is you have pseudo relationship and then when pressure comes, lots of people, it doesn't work, so you're practicing divorce. And what happened was you didn't follow the design. And if you turn it right side up again, how long have the pyramids been around?

How are they doing in terms of stability? Not bad, huh? By the way, almost every movie you watch, every romance novel, everything you hear from all quarters tell you this is the way to go about it. It's upside down. So we fell out of love. I don't love you anymore.

I never loved you. We always reframe and make up a new history so we don't have to deal with the guilt and issues and struggles. And so we take all of our baggage and what we did last time into the next relationship. And so it just multiplies and there's this loving, kind, heavenly Father who goes, oh, if I could just get them to read the directions. And so that's God's design. Now there's three little words that I'm going to highlight in verse 24.

You know what they are? For this cause a man will leave, right, his parents break away, cleave or be deeply united. It's a picture of epoxy glue that can't come apart. And the third verb is becoming one flesh. Leave, cleave, become one flesh.

And I just want to give an overview because if you don't follow this process along with a picture, it doesn't work. Each person, the man and the woman, have to have a shift in loyalty both emotionally and financially away from their parents to be free to connect to their mate. Some marriages don't work and don't get connected because when there's pressure and there's emotions and there's hurt, someone runs home to mom or to dad instead of to their husband or their wife. And sometimes in-laws are messing with all kind of stuff.

The other way is you have to leave financially. And some of the baby boomers like myself and others have often tried to help your kids. And when you talk about people that have gone 30, 40, 50 years, what were the great times in marriage? And they'll talk about these difficult times and they'll talk about, you know, how we had just one car, we lived this little apartment and, you know, they went through all these hardships that bonded them together, right? And so what we've decided is since that helped us so much, why don't we remove all of that for our kids?

You know, we didn't think we'd ever be able to own a house or a car or this or that and it was a process and it was a journey and we waited and we did this and we did that and we were together. And now we say, wow, here we'll make the down payment for you here. We'll take care of this here. We'll pay for this here.

Go on record. You cannot give away money without there being strings attached. And the moment they start making decisions that you don't think are very wise, then they feel these pressures.

You have to leave. I'm not saying it's wrong to help out your kids, but what I'm saying is it better be a clean gift. And what I'm saying is be sure that you're helping them, not just their financial status or their level of living. Because they need to trust God.

They need to depend on Him. One lady told me after she heard this, it was earlier in the marriage and her mom was a very godly woman. They had a huge fight. She'd only been married about two years. She slammed the door, got in the car, drove 45 minutes. You know, it was in the middle of the night. Long drive, gets there about 5 a.m., starts knocking on the door, knocking on the door. Finally, you know, tears from, Mom, I can't believe what he did. And she said her mother opened the door about this much and, What is it, dear?

We had a fight and I came. And her wife says, Well, then go home and make it right. And she shut the door and locked it. Smart mom.

The second one is not just a response to our parents, but it's a response to our maid. It's cleave. It's a picture. Remember the old epoxy glue? Does anybody remember what that is?

It came in the blue cap and the orange cap and you would squeeze it and then you would stir it and it was just like. In fact, part of my finger is somewhere where I put that, you know, the skin. To cleave is, it's your response to your maid. She or he is more important than work, more important than kids, more important than money, more important than anything. You say you are the most important. Our relationship matters most.

It's number one priority always. We cleave. So the most important is we're going to work on spiritual intimacy. We're going to work on psychological intimacy. We're going to work on emotional intimacy. We're going to work on physical intimacy. We're going to plan those things through.

We're going to make that what matters most. And when you do, it creates this atmosphere, this environment for kids that feel safe. It creates this atmosphere where neighbors can't quite figure out what's going on. It creates this joy and this love inside of people's hearts.

And then finally they leave, they cleave, they become one flesh. And that's our response to the world and its pressures. I mean, the biggest detractors of a great marriage are a woman's tilting toward making kids more important than her husband and a man making work or hobbies more important than his wife.

All the days that you live and whatever season you're in, that other person needs to know you're number one. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, why marriages don't work anymore, is from our series Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams.

Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. 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, before we go on, Chip's here in studio with a quick word.

Thanks, Dave. Before I come back with some application today, I want to ask you a question. Are you stuck in a frustrating loop of failed relationships? You meet someone, you date for a while, maybe you go steady, maybe you become a couple, maybe you even get very serious. And then after a few months or a year or so, you break up, then you do it again. Then the same thing happens and you do it again. Or maybe you've done it with a marriage or two or more. And just no matter what you try, the same thing keeps happening. God made us for relationships, but the way most all of us have been taught to do them is dysfunctional. I call it Hollywood's formula.

It doesn't work for them, it doesn't work for us. There's a different way, there's a better way. And in my book, Love, Sex, Lasting Relationships, I will give you God's prescription, a paradigm that works. You're going to love it. I just can't tell you how excited I am for you to understand that there is a way to have a great relationship with the opposite sex.

You can get out of that loop. To learn more about this valuable resource, visit Special Offers on the Chip Ingram app or LivingOnTheEdge.org. If you're ready to experience God's blueprint for intimacy, romance, and security, then you're going to want to get your hands on this book. Again, to order your copy of Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships, go to Special Offers on the Chip Ingram app or at LivingOnTheEdge.org.

Well, with that, here again is Chip with his application. As we wrap up today's program, I want to just remind you, you've heard a message about God's blueprint, his model, the box top of a marriage. You've heard those three key words, you leave, you cleave, and you become one flesh. If we were sitting over a cup of coffee, I would just lean back and say, have you really left? Have you really cut the apron strings, the umbilical cord to Mom and Dad emotionally and financially?

Because you can't connect if you don't second. Are you cleaving? Are you making that person the number one priority in saying, this marriage, this relationship, it has to be planned. We're going to have time with one another. I love you and I'm going to demonstrate it by my attention and my behavior and all the kind of different things I shared. And then finally, are you becoming one flesh?

Have you begun to see your mate as the most precious gift God has given you? Here's what I want you to do. I want you to do one thing today that would just cause your mate to go, whoa, what's gotten into him or what's gotten into her that would communicate in a way that simply says, you are precious, you matter, and I love you.

OK, just do one thing. And by the way, if it goes really well, email me right here at Living on the Edge and you'll give me some great ideas to pass on to others. Hey, God bless you and have a great time. Thanks, Chip. And if you do have a story or testimony you'd like to share with us, email chip at Living on the Edge dot org. That's chip at Living on the Edge dot o r g. We look forward to hearing from you and the remarkable ways God is using this series for chip and the entire team here. This is Dave Drewy thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 05:13:24 / 2024-02-21 05:23:07 / 10

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