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Broken Hearts Broken Dreams - How to Make Your Marriage the Exception, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
February 23, 2024 5:00 am

Broken Hearts Broken Dreams - How to Make Your Marriage the Exception, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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February 23, 2024 5:00 am

Would you like to stop the fighting in your marriage, the damaging outbursts of anger, the mistrust, the hurt? Your marriage is worth fighting for, so join Chip as he gives you two keys to restore and revive your marriage. Help is on the way! 

Main Points

The Four Keys to Intimacy

  • Fuel of commitment - “A lifelong choice of unconditional love.” 
  • Oil of communication - “A lifelong skill of learning to understand each other.” 
  • Tune-up of companionship - “A lifelong adventure of friendship, fun, and mutual fulfillment.”
  • Navigational systems of commission - “A lifelong vision to impact the lives of others.”
Broadcast ResourceAdditional Resource MentionsAbout Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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If your marriage partner or fiancé or boyfriend or girlfriend makes you nuts because you just can't communicate with them, you can't get through, today is the day to pause. I'm going to teach you a tool to help you communicate, and instead of sharing words, you'll touch hearts. Stay with me.

Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. And in just a minute, Chip will wrap up our series, Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams. We hope you and your spouse have been challenged by this short teaching, and to help other couples learn as you have, take a minute after this message and share it through the Chip Ingram app. In our last program, Chip talked about the conference, a communication tool he and his wife use to stay connected that centers around three questions. Last time he addressed the first question, what are you concerned about?

Today he'll walk through the final two. So let's join Chip now with part two of his message, how to make your marriage the exception. Second question is, what do you wish? What do you wish? And again, we'd have to keep this like super spiritual. I wish we would have won that lotto of $1.5 billion.

We could buy someone to date our daughter that we like, right? I wish I could lose five pounds. I wish that just the two of us could get away for a weekend and really talk. I wish whatever's on your... What do you wish?

It's just like here's a genie in the bottle, whatever. What do you wish? And then you take the duct tape off and she asks you, what do you wish?

And anything that comes to your mind. And then the final question is, what are you willing to do? But there's a rule, you don't have to do anything. What are you willing to do? And what I want you to do is this will take 15, 20 minutes.

It might take a little bit longer the very first time. Your assignment, men, is to do one of these this week. And I'm not kidding, do it. If you do it, I will tell you something will begin to happen in your relationship. Because you know what those do? Number one, you can't talk back so you can't argue.

That's a good deal. But when you say, what are you concerned about? Every human being has things that weigh them down. I'm concerned about I threw out my bag. I'm concerned about this. I'm concerned about the future. I'm concerned about that. I'm concerned about this.

I'm concerned about one of our kids. You know what I'm concerned about? And everything that's weighing me down, or everything that's weighing Teresa down, now without an argument, and it's all been laid on the table. I know the burdens or the weights in my wife's life. I also know that if I would choose to, and I don't have to, because if I have to, then it's manipulation. The first time we did this, you know what I was willing to do? I just heard all this stuff that was really hard to hear, and just not getting mad and feeling defensive. I said, I remember what I said, I'm willing to have another one of these. I'm willing to have another conference. Actually, I think we must have been a needy case.

We were assigned like two or three a week from our counselor. But you've heard the burdens, and you know what you could do? You could lift one off if you wanted to. And you know what you've heard?

You've heard what would put wind in her sails, or wind in his sails, something that would help them. And you could choose to, but you don't have to go, whew. Maybe she says, I just feel like we've drifted apart, and I miss you, and I love you, and I understand work, I understand all the things, but I wish we could just get away.

And what if you said, you know what? I'm willing to plan a time away with you in the next eight weeks. Let's get out the calendars as soon as we get done with this. Or I remember one that I still remember, it's one of the early ones, and our kids were doing homework, and of course they got home early, and Theresa was doing English, and this, and this, and this, and that, and it was like, she was really frustrated over all the math. I remember we had a conference, I said, well, I will do the math for all of our kids.

And it was, I like math, I'm good at it, and I remember she goes, oh man, I just felt like you loved me so much. And I thought, I really don't know how to communicate, because I would have never, right? And so what you'll find is, you might do one of these a week at least, or a couple, and in this tool, you'll start to have the meaning of meetings. Even if you do one, you will talk about some things, or hear some things that you haven't talked deeply about in ages. And the more you do it, the more you'll feel free.

And by the way, you don't use this to come back at them, you say, just you're honest, this is what I'm concerned about. This is what I wish, this is what I'm willing to do. You got it? Gentlemen, your assignment is to plan a time, and have a conference at least once with your wife. Pillar number one, commitment. A lifelong choice of unconditional love. Pillar number two, communication. A lifelong skill of learning to understand each other. Pillar number three, caring. An adventure of lifelong friendship, fun, and mutual fulfillment. You might circle the word adventure here.

I mean, marriage ought to be an adventure, there ought to be excitement in it. Jesus, in Matthew chapter 11, this is a phenomenal passage where Jesus is talking to a group of people that are just feeling overwhelmed with pressure, and he makes this phenomenal offer, and I think about how part of being married is this is what we do for one another. Jesus said, come to me, verse 28, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Those are kind of old-time terms. Here, all of you that are stressed out, burned out, overwhelmed, come to me. Don't do life on your own. Don't stuff all that stuff. Don't try to be the strong one.

Don't be the individualistic, I can make this happen, I'll prove myself, blah blah blah blah blah. Come to me. Come in your weakness, come in your hurt, and then notice the reason. He says, first take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I'm gentle and lowly in heart, and you'll find rest for your souls. It's an agrarian picture of a couple ox that you would yoke together, and he's actually saying, here's that yoke, I will stick my head in here, I want you to stick your head in here, and let's walk together at the pace, and I won't walk too fast, and I'll pull more of the weight, but let's get connected, for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

That's our model. You know what your wife wants to hear? You know what your husband wants to hear? Come to me, and I'll be a resource, I'll be a rest, I'll understand, I'll listen. We can go through this cancer together, we can go through the job change together, we can go through the financial downfall together, we can go through the crisis with one of our kids together, we can go through the rehab together, we can go through the sort of the stressor and the pressure together, and the way you do that is you have to become best friends. Caring says, I like you.

I like you. See, there's a lot of couples, I love her, I told her so. Right when I said I do, we got married, I love you, but you don't treat her like you like her. The kind of activities that say that I like you are walks and talks and weekly dates and hobbies that are fun, gardening, doing stuff around the house, planning in a weekend away, just the two of you. Why do you think romance dies in a marriage? Because you stop doing the things that made you feel romantic and close to one another. I mean, when you were courting and dating, you sent flowers, you'd jot a note, you'd call for no reason, right?

So are you doing any of that stuff? This isn't mumbo jumbo magic. Like, start caring, go on a hike, go on a walk, plan a weekend away, jot him a note, surprise her.

This is not rocket science. You all did it early on when you were trying to catch him or catch her, correct? That's what caring is all about. It's saying, I love you, I'm going to make these choices. I trust you, I'm going to share open from the heart, but I care. We need to have fun.

We need to enjoy one another. I mean, just, I just, Teresa and I were talking, I think it was just early this morning, we were, because one of the things we do to care is drink coffee in the morning and talk. And we were just sitting there and she did something like, so what are you thinking about? And she just made this comment, she goes, you know, it's just, I just like sitting in the same room with you.

That's what I thought. You know what that is? That's years and years and years and years of caring, of becoming really good friends.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Before we hear the rest of Chip's message, let me remind you that we are a listener supported ministry. Your financial gifts help us create this program, develop new resources and encourage pastors globally. Prayerfully consider supporting us today, won't you? Then go to to give a gift.

Thanks so much for your help. We'll hear again as Chip. God doesn't want you to have an okay marriage. And here's the thing. Would you stop believing the lie that all the romance novels and all the TVs and all the movies are telling you that there's some hot, great, wonderful thing out there with someone else? There's not. These four things are in a relationship.

They work, they're great, or they're not. And starting over with someone else. Now, for some, and you're in crisis.

Yeah, you need to go to counseling. For some, it's major repair. Hey, been there, done that. Here's the deal. It's worth it.

It's absolutely worth it. The fourth and final one is commission, a shared vision to impact the lives of others for Christ. Circle the word shared vision. For those of you that are single, everything about this applies. You can have a conference. You can do this with, I mean, this conference, that's a great communication tool with two ladies or two men. If you're dating someone and you're getting serious, make sure you have a shared vision.

Of all the things that break people apart, make sure your relationship is more than just, how fulfilled am I and how do I feel? Because that's going to wear off. Our model here is Matthew chapter 28. It's the very last thing he says to the disciples. All power and authority has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of every ethnos, every ethnic group on the face of the earth, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe, to actually do everything I taught you. And never forget, I will be with you always till the end of the earth. It's sandwiched with all the resource and power you need has been given to me, and I'm giving it to you, and I will never leave you, forsake you.

Go make disciples. Serve. Commitment is to love. Communication is to know. Caring is to share.

But commission is to serve. There's something amazing that happens. There's a synergy that happens when you two together are doing something that's bigger than you two to care about other people. It just draws you together. We've come to believe that the whole purpose of marriage is, am I fulfilled? Is everything okay with me?

Am I happy? You can have everything in the world, but if you don't come together to love people, serve them, care for them, take them food, serve together, go in the nursery together, be ushers together, go on a short-term missions trip together, find a family that's in need and say, we're going to help them. It's in doing those things together that synergy is built. The commission says this, I need you. I need you. I have gifts. She has gifts. He has gifts.

She has gifts. God brought us together, and he sees us as one, and we can do something together for the cause of Christ, and as we do that, we're forged together. Teresa and I have done tons of different things together, but one of the things that is really fun that sort of uses both is we'll do Bible studies in our house. We've done all kind of other things, but especially we like to do it with 20-somethings, and we just started another one, or we get to be the host, and she's the hostess and fixes all the stuff up, and then pretty soon we just sort of hang, and we're sort of at the age where other people do the teaching and stuff, and then you get to know them, and having done this now, and I remember the early ones when we first came here, and they were all single and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and then Teresa ends up sort of coaching and counseling some of the gals, and I get to know some of the guys, and then now it's nice to see they're married, and they get a couple kids, and you watch their journey, and then we get to talk about them, and our conversation just isn't about me or just about her.

It's about us and how do we serve. That does something powerful. Final point I want to make is that some of you are very conscientious, and I think that is awesome. Some of you are not, and so you need a good, swift kick. I'm serious in the posterior. I'll tell you what. The people in this room on this day who walk out of here and say, I'm going to seize the day. I'm going to have a great marriage. It's more important than work, more important than kids, more important than anything.

You do that, your life will change, and your kids will have a different world, but unfortunately, the great majority of people hear truth and walk away. We're too busy right now. I'm not sure about this. I'm not sure about that. He never really opens up.

She's not very affectionate, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, and all you focus is on the problems. Commitment is just saying before God, I'm in. Communication is, okay, I'll do those conferences. Caring is, I guess we could take a walk.

It's pretty inexpensive. Take a walk twice a week. A guy emailed me, said, I started walking with my wife every day.

We walk a mile or two or whatever it was, and you know what? I listen most of the time, but it's been the greatest thing that ever happened to our marriage. And minister.

I mean, you can only watch so many football games on TV, right? Serve. That's what most of us need to hear, but for just the small group that I call them the overachievers that are going to bust it and give, give, give, give, give, here's the warning. You need to make sure that you get filled so that you can give. At the very bottom, personal time for you, supportive friends, renewing activities of fully alive you produces a full battery to be a giver.

Sometimes in our best efforts to really work on our marriages and make them great, one of you can sort of unconsciously become this martyr. I'm giving to him. I'm doing this.

Or you're the guy. Okay, I'm going to be committed. We're going to eat together as a family. We're going to pray together.

We're going to do these conferences. And pretty soon you realize, man, I don't hang out with any guys anymore. I don't have a good friendship with a woman anymore if you're a woman. And I don't do anything. I stop working out. You need to understand you need to do what you need to do for you to come and show up so that you can give.

And the very first thing I would say is get in God's word and have at least one great same-sex friend that you can process life with so that you can say, man, I did that conference. It was a disaster. I just couldn't keep the duct tape on my mouth. And in the middle of it, you know, I did what I always do. Well, if you wouldn't have done X, Y, Z, and Z, that wouldn't have happened.

How many times have I told you? And you need a friend to say, do another one. We all need that. Because it's in giving that you receive good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, back into your lap for whatever measure, small, medium, large, super, whatever measure you give to others so it'll be returned to you. At the end of the day, love is giving. It's giving time and attention and grace and patience and forgiveness. And the only way we can do that, right, I get closer to God.

And then I give this other person, especially when they don't deserve it, what God has given me, forgiveness and grace, not a doormat. And then a new system starts where you begin to reinforce a marriage that's going in a positive direction. You can have a marriage that works if you seize the day.

You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, How to Make Your Marriage the Exception, 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 shared some practical step-by-step instructions to protect and enrich your relationship. We hope you identified the common problems that plague marriages and will apply the biblical solutions Chip laid out to make your relationship the exception. Let me encourage you to go back and revisit any part of this series by going to

That's Well, Chip's joined me in studio now. And Chip, we are an international teaching and discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. But many of our listeners may not know what that means or the meaningful work we're involved in. So take a minute, if you would, and share some examples of how Living on the Edge is supporting, encouraging, and ministering to people everywhere.

I'd be glad to, Dave. One of the great joys of my life is the letters, emails, Facebook messages that I get from people literally all around the country and all around the world. And they tell me these amazing stories of how Living on the Edge has been a tool used by God to change their life. Maybe you're one of those people that have really been impacted by the ministry.

I mean, I hear from people from every age, profession, background, every person imaginable. And what I hear is this same constant drumbeat of God spoke to me, I took a step of faith, now God's using me. And what I want you to know is that that's the heart of our ministry. We want to put teaching and tools and small group materials and downloadable things that we actually give away to help people not just live like Christians, but be ambassadors and agents of change and grace in their homes, their schools, and their workplaces.

And if you're one of those people that God has impacted you and actually you're impacting others because of Living on the Edge, I have a very specific request. Would you consider becoming a monthly financial partner? And of course, it helps us practically, no doubt about it.

It would really help us to know that X amount of dollars are coming in from a monthly partner. But literally, even more than that, it's about a group of people saying, we want to be a part of this mission to make a difference in the crazy world that we're living in. We want to make an impact, and we want to make an impact with you all. God's spoken to us.

God's changed us. We want to help you help others. And so here's my request today. Would you pray and just simply say, Lord, if this is part of your desire for me to partner with Living on the Edge on a monthly basis, will you show me and then show me what that looks like and how much? And what I will say is whatever amount that is, it's perfect, whatever God shows you.

But what I long to see is people who partner that are on the team, a part of the family, and we make a difference together each and every day. Thank you in advance for doing whatever God shows you to do. Great encouragement, Chip. Well, if you want to be part of supporting believers all across the world, consider becoming a monthly partner. Your regular support will go places and accomplish ministry work like you wouldn't believe. So set up a monthly gift today by going to or by calling us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit

App listeners, tap donate. Well, with all that said, here's Chip to share a few final thoughts. As we wrap up this little series on marriage, I just want to say there is nothing little about this topic. Marriage is the awesome, beautiful foundation that God created for healthy people in society and for your heart and mine. And what I know is for many, many, many of you, you're inspired and you've taken some baby steps and you feel like, yes, I'm going to work on my marriage, but you don't know exactly what to do.

So let me give you two or three options. Number one, if you're in crisis, if it's really, really hard, especially if you're the man, initiate going to a quality Christian counselor. It was difficult for me. It was humbling.

It's the best time and money I ever spent. The marriage I have now I could not have imagined years ago. Second, if you realize, you know what, there's not some huge problem, but it's just not what either of you really want, I did a series called, listen carefully, Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage. It's a six-part teaching.

We have it in small group format. You could get a couple other couples or just do it, you and your wife or you and your husband. And I've actually had people do it when they were separated and they each listened to it and came together and God restored their marriage. It's super, super practical where I take each of the things that you've heard and I develop them in a full way with how to actually do it in your marriage. So if that would be helpful, experiencing God's dream for your marriage, I think it would be the next step to help you grow. The best thing you'll ever do for your life, apart from walking with Jesus, is love your wife or love your husband. It'll be the best thing that ever happens to your children, the best thing that ever happens to you, but it requires intentionality and it's really hard work. But God will meet you because he's for your marriage.

Thanks, Chip. To learn more about our small group study, Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage, go to or the Chip Ingram app. Through this fun, engaging tool, you'll discover the biblical blueprint for marriage and how to strengthen the bond with your spouse. So whether you're a newlywed or have been married for many years, this resource will deepen your relationship. Again, to order our small group study guide, Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage, go to SpecialOffersOnTheChip IngramApp or at Well, from all of us here, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-23 05:48:12 / 2024-02-23 05:58:38 / 10

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