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Marriage that Works - Is There a Woman in the Home?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 7, 2024 5:00 am

Marriage that Works - Is There a Woman in the Home?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 7, 2024 5:00 am

The role of women has been changing for the past several decades and here’s the question: “are women living more fulfilled lives today?”  Chip provides a fresh perspective on this issue and his findings may be surprising.

Main Points

Womanhood in our marriages and homes

  • It always begins with mutual submission.
  • A great dance/marriage requires clarity of roles.
  • Wives are to "step in" and support, affirm, and encourage their husbands with strength and respect to lead their families in righteousness.
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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Ladies, let me ask you a question. Do you wish your husband was more supportive, loving, more helpful around the house, maybe help out with the kids just a bit more? Are you kind of getting tired of trying to change your husband and realizing it's just not working?

Well, let me tell you, there's a better way to bring out the best in your husband, and that's today. Thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry motivating Christians to live like Christians. Well, in just a minute, Chip wraps up his message, Is There a Woman in the Home? Now, if you missed the first half or any other part of our series, Marriage That Works, catch up through the Chip Ingram app or at livingontheedge.org.

Those are great ways to listen to Chip and Living on the Edge anytime. Okay, go in your Bible now to the book of Ephesians, Chapter 5, as we join Chip now for today's talk. Let's just pretend you were like at the coffee shop at one of the corporations here or a job site, and someone said, hey, what'd you do yesterday? You said, I went to church yesterday.

Oh, really? What'd they talk about? Oh, they're talking about like marriage and stuff. So what's going on? I mean, what are you learning?

You're two women, you know, and you say, yeah, my man's supposed to step up, provide, lead, make it happen, lay down his life for me, even physically die if he needs to. Hey, it's great. What time's that thing meet? Oh, well, you better hear what they're saying about women first. Oh, what do they say?

You know, it's the S word. Well, what do you mean? Like, there's this sort of submission thing that God has sort of this structure where he holds the man responsible to be the servant leader, but that, you know, like we talk and we dialogue and I'm supposed to bring all my strengths and all my gifts and share what I really believe.

But when we get to an impasse, I'm really supposed to defer and like submit to him. No, you're kidding. That is so antiquated. I mean, he said that out loud in front of everybody.

Yeah. And I think he believes it. And he reads from this book. He reads from this book like it's really true. Like, are you kidding me?

No, no. Now, could I just stop for a moment? If you think what I just read and stated is politically incorrect in our day, go back to the evolution of women. See, we read things through this tiny little context of 21st century and about the last 50 or 60 years. Can you imagine?

Are you ready, guys? Imagine being a man and you grew up in a culture, a Jewish man, a Roman man or Greek man. And it's the first century. And maybe you're a pretty new Christian and so you're nicer to your wife than most people and you really love her and you know, you got a decent relationship. But I mean, you do understand that you've grown up thinking women are slaves. You've grown up thinking women are just an object of pleasure. And you're growing up thinking, I mean, everybody around you has been divorced 10, 20, 15 times if you're Roman.

And it's not a big deal. And now you receive Jesus as your Messiah and you're following Him and you're in this church in Ephesus and God through the Apostle Paul speaks and they open the scroll and they start talking about mutual submission. You're going, whoa, whoa, a mutual what? Then she's a co-heir of the grace of God that she's not only equal, that she's your partner in life and you're supposed to lay down your life for her? Die for her? Do you understand that the greatest liberator on the face of the earth of women was Jesus and the Apostle Paul?

The greatest liberator. And when they talk about submission or being subject to, it is in the context of a sovereign good God who created roles that when they fit together and each does their part, it's the healthiest, richest. You know what a woman wants? She wants to be secure. She wants to be protected. But out of your fear, you want to control. And the radical feminism pushed all the buttons into a place where we not only don't need men, we hate them. And there's some vestiges of that planted in our culture and society.

And ladies, at the end of the day, I'll tell you this, I've watched very, very bright, well-educated, great women who unconsciously have bought into what the culture says and end them on paths where they hate their life. I was on a plane and I sat next to a very young, bright woman. She's probably 28. She spoke five different languages and she was going into, I think, Atlanta in a pretty high-powered job. You know, you live five languages.

It was going to be international. She'd be traveling all around the world. And, you know, I was talking to her and we had this great conversation. I said, well, what's your husband think about this?

Because she said she married about 18 months. And she goes, oh, well, he's excited about it. I said, you know, I've done quite a bit of overseas travel.

How do you think this is going to work for your marriage when you're gone two, three weeks, sometimes a month at a time? She goes, oh, it's not bad. We only see each other for a half a day now. I said, what do you mean? Well, he has this job, and it makes this much money, and I've got this job, and I've been moving up the ladder. And so he works this shift and I work the early shift, so we only have about a half a day on Saturday when we really get to see each other. And then we see each other briefly, but I'm really tired, or he's really tired in.

And I just wanted to say, and you're doing this on purpose? Understand unconsciously what she's bought into? High levels of education, making a lot of money, big job, this. Tell you what, she's going to wake up in about 10 or 15 years, and at some point she's going to have a kid, and then she's going to be in crisis. She's going to have all these motherly pangs that say I should nurture and help and take care of, but I've invested all this time over here, and when and how and what? And he's going to say, hey, look, we start on two incomes, baby, we need two incomes, because look at our lifestyle.

We've got to pay for this and this and this and this, and it causes really difficult. So you've got to get clear on who is it that God wants you to be as a woman, and what really matters? And be able to make some hard decisions, and choose when and how and why you're going to work, and when and how and why you're going to be a couple, and where can you live, and economically how are you going to play this out? Because I will tell you fast forward, wherever you're living right now, 5 to 7 to 15 years, what will be better than anything you could ever achieve is a deep, rich marriage with someone that cherishes you and you love them, and if God wants and you so have children, kids that actually grow up that are stable, that love you, want to be around you, and I'm kind of getting there so it gets kind of crazy, and then you actually grow up and your kids grow up, and they still want to have a relationship with you, and they look back and thank you for the huge sacrifice and investments you've made in their life.

I've never buried anyone where we talked about how many languages they spoke, how much money they made, how many letters they had behind their name, what their portfolio was, but every person I've ever buried, people sit around and eat usually kind of funny food, and they talk about relationships, and they talk about love, and they talk about giving and caring and connection, and I just want to say, ladies, God has a plan for that, and He has a plan for men, but we've, I mean, how is the present plan working for most of us? I mean, think about it, if you think this is radical, ask yourself this, most women I know would like their men to be more romantic, maybe, okay, more responsible, like actually pick up their own stuff, lead spiritually, financially provide, and communicate more. So God says if that's what you would really like to see happen in the life of your husband, submission is your greatest ally. Most of you have learned nagging does not work, right? Withholding sex does not work. Yelling, screaming, and having fights does not work. I want to tell you, when a man feels honored, respected, affirmed, and encouraged, now, it's the office too, there's times where his behavior, you don't respect his behavior, you're thinking he's out to lunch, but God put him in this place, I'm going to respect the office, and I'm going to treat him the way he ought to be treated, even though he doesn't deserve it, because there's days going to come that I don't deserve it. So let me talk about some very specific things that this does not mean so you can understand what we're really talking about in practice, and then I'm going to ask my wife to come up and give you some real practical ways, ladies, that I hope will be helpful. Number one, it does not mean that you're to be passive or inferior.

You're to step in, but not over. Some of you who think Theresa, you kind of meet her and she seems so sweet, you know, and she is, sort of. She's strong. I mean, when we have a disagreement, when there's an issue, I'll tell you what, she's not passively going, oh, whatever you think, dear.

Now, wait a second, what about this, this, this, this? I mean, she's strong and she brings it, and a lot of decisions that I thought we really ought to do this is after we get done talking, I'm thinking, you know, I got another idea. Why did you confuse me with the facts and reality? And that's how it works. The second thing is it doesn't mean that you submit only when you think he's right. That's just called agreement.

My wife, by the way, this has been a pretty big challenge in our relationship, which you will hear in just a minute. But, you know, if you only submit and say, yeah, I'm on board with a good attitude joyfully when you're right, we're just agreeing with him. The test of submission is when you're thinking to yourself, I think this may be among the top three dumbest things he's ever done. I've talked about it, I've made my case, I've laid out the evidence, I've passionately argued my case, and I mean, just absolutely convinced this is what God wants us to do, then you just give him and God and say, okay, Lord, please don't let us get hurt too badly and show him what he needs to know. But you say, I remember I made a decision about a timing issue. I don't think it was the wrong decision, but how I did it and when I did it, and I'll never forget, my wife looked at me and said, I will go with you because the Bible commands me and I will choose to have a good attitude, I do not want to, I don't think it's wise, and I think it's a really dumb idea.

Nevertheless, and looking back, it wasn't wise, it was a really dumb idea and we paid a pretty big price for it. She gracefully did not elbow me and say, see, I told you so. Third, it doesn't mean that you violate scripture, reason, or morality to support your husband. Submission, there is no male chauvinism, you never lie or cheat or break ethics or wife swap or bizarre things in the name, we've heard of people.

You know what, your first commitment is to submit to God and submit to his word and if your husband ever asks you to do anything to violate scripture, you say, sorry, can't go there. Fourth, it doesn't mean that you're a doormat. You come with strength, beauty, concern, persuasion, you exchange ideas in a strong way, but it doesn't mean you roll over and his ideas are the best ideas. And five, it doesn't mean that you use submission as a tool to get your way. And what I mean by that is that there is a way where you can, what I call, sort of fake submissive, oh yeah, dear, you know.

I had a son that we went through a difficult season with him and he has many of his mother's genes in terms of being smart. And so being very, very smart, he would be sort of a rebellious kid until he knew, I really want to do this and he could turn on this submissive, whatever you say, dad, I'm on board, I'm on the team, just long enough to get what he wanted and then the real him would show up. Now ladies, I'm sure there's not many of you that have ever done anything like that, but submission really is not very much about your relationship with your husband. Submission is everything about your relationship with your heavenly father. I think it's time for the men in the room who are talking the most, that would be me, to sort of zip it. And what I thought as I prayed this through was, ladies, I mean this is another one of those statements that we can't use. You may not realize this, or yes you do, is that not being a woman, I really don't know what I'm talking about in practice. Okay, I mean I know what the truth is, I know how it works, and so I asked my wife if she would take a couple minutes and ask what I thought would be asking the answer, maybe the top two or three most difficult questions about this issue of submission. So honey, could you come up here just for a minute before we wrap things up? And I just want to go on record to say that although we have issues, you're not manipulative publicly.

I thought we better get this out of the way right away. Men number one, what has helped you the most in fulfilling God's role, especially in this area of submission? You know, what are the positive factors that have helped you do that?

Well I got to think about this today, Chip told me he was, tells me at the last minute that he's going to ask me these questions, so I asked him if, can we just spend a little bit of time together and tell me, you know, what are you going to ask me so I could have time to think about it? And I came up with three things that have been real helpful for me in being able to submit as a wife, and I was thinking one of the things Chip did, one of them I did, and one of them we did together, and what I have to say about my husband is that he has been a wonderful leader in our home. He's a strong man. I have a real man in my house, and I'm very grateful about that, but he has been a man of God. He doesn't just make decisions hastily without a careful thought and prayer, and I respect him, and I feel secure. I feel like his leading is good and that I can entrust my life because I know that he's hearing from the Lord.

So that's number one. That's probably been one of the greatest things for me, and I know all women don't have that in their homes. The second thing for me is that just because I love the Lord and I love His Word, I want to obey God, and His Word tells me that I should be submissive to my husband and I should respect him, and so I just strive with all of my heart to be able to do that, and I pray. I ask God to help me. I claim His promises from His Word when I don't understand what's happening and I don't feel like submitting, and I know that God will always take up my cause. He cares for women. He cares for wives, and He could make the worst mistake, and He's made a few, I have to say, but God is watching over me, and He does that for us as wives. He will take up our cause for us.

The Lord will. He's the one who cares for us, and the third thing that's been real powerful for me in submission is that we talk about everything. Communication is really a key, I believe, in a good marriage, and we've truly worked at communicating. We spend time nearly every day talking about what's going on, what we're thinking about, what we're struggling with, what our dreams are, and so we know each other's heart, and when big issues come up, it's a lot easier then to talk about things when we disagree because we've communicated so well when we're not disagreeing.

So I think those are just three of the major things. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and he'll continue our series Marriage That Works in just a minute. But first, do you long to have the God-honoring, fulfilled relationship Chip's been describing? If so, keep listening after this teaching to learn about a tool we've developed to help husbands and wives deepen their connection to one another and with God. Stick around for more details.

Well, with that, here again is Chip. What has been your greatest—why did I write these questions? What has been your greatest challenge in your role in this area of submission, and how do you or how did you deal with it? Well, my greatest challenge is submitting when I don't want to submit. I don't want to do that.

I don't believe that's the right thing to do, so that is a challenge. Like Chip said, when our children were growing up, probably the biggest issue that we just knocked heads over was disciplining our children. And also, another issue was taking care of our home and repairs and just doing things to make our home better. And we've had many, many conflicts over that because we see it differently, and it's been hard for me to submit sometimes when I want to have things done, and you just don't see it at all. In fact, we were talking about this yesterday, and we were having a little discussion about something about the house that needed repaired, and he said, you just care too much. And he said it in a kind way, and I said to him, well, you just care too— Little.

Yes. And so, but we understand each other, and I pray. I just pray a lot, and God changes his mind if we get it done anyway. And another time—I'm probably talking way too much— Hey, it's Saturday night. Let's have fun.

It's just moving. That's probably been, of all everything, is the most difficult times I've had when Chip has really believed that God is leading us to a different place, but I like to be settled. I don't like to leave my friends and my home and my kids, and I really, in one particular move, just gave him a real hard time over that. And what helps me when we have those issues and when it's very difficult for me is just crying out to the Lord. I really do want to do God's will, and so I just claim his promises, and a promise that I claimed many, many times is from Romans 832, and it says, He who spared not his Son, but gave him up for all of us, how will he not our God with him freely give us all things? And I have realized that we may disagree, but if he strongly believes God is leading us in a certain direction, and I submit and follow him, God's going to provide everything that I need, because God's just like that. I hope you know that. He's just like that.

He loves us. And I think the last thing that I thought about here was just, well, you already said it in the message. I state my concerns. I'm not shy about that. And we just... I will echo that. He is not shy about that.

That's very important though, because if you bury him, what happens? It comes out in other areas. You'll be resentful. So I think it's way better to say, I mean, we did one thing, and I think I made the right decision. I think I really did it at the wrong time and the wrong way.

And she just looked at me and goes, I will submit to this. I want you to know. I don't think it's a good idea. I don't want to do it.

I will go, but... And it couldn't have been stated any stronger. And I will have a good attitude, but... I didn't have a good attitude a lot though. I struggled with my attitude, but I finally got there. Sometimes it's a struggle. It takes us time to work through those things.

It doesn't happen. Let me ask you one last question, and that is what counsel or what would you say to a woman who's, from her perspective, feels like her husband's not leading well and she fears. I mean, she's thinking, okay, now, if I do what I believe God is teaching here, things are going to fall apart. If I let go of the reins in this area, you know, maybe it's our finances or spiritual leadership of the home or something. If I let go, I'm really afraid things are going to fall apart.

What would you say to that lady? I think, first of all, the woman, she needs to ask herself, am I really willing to submit to my husband? You know, am I really willing to allow him to lead in our family?

Because there's so many of us that we want control, and we want to run our homes and our families, and so we have to be willing, first of all, to allow that to happen. And secondly, to just remember that when you do that, God cares for you, and that He will take up your cause in whatever situation that you're dealing with. He will take up your cause for you and work in your husband's lives as you submit to the Lord, submit that situation to the Lord. And another thing, you know, I'm big on prayer, but pray for your husband. God can change him. He can move in his heart and change circumstances, and I would say give him room to change. Give your husband room to change. Sometimes we see people act a certain way for so many years, and we want them to change, but we never give them space to change.

We don't give them the time and the belief in them to change, and so give them room to change. And just the last thing that I thought about was kind of a motto scripture for my life with Chip, and our marriage is out of Proverbs 31, and it's talking about a wife here in relationship to her husband, and it says that she does him good and not evil all the days of her life. And I just think that's the best thing. If we could keep that in mind, you know, in any situation, does this do him good? Am I doing him good, or am I doing him evil? And sometimes doing him good means that we submit to something that we really don't believe is God's will for our life, but he really does. And sometimes doing him good is not doing things for him in the home and caring for things that he really needs to take responsibility for, and so it can look different. But if we would just strive to do our husband's good and not evil all the days of our lives with the Lord's help, I think God will do amazing things.

Well, thanks very much. And I just, as we, you know, the triangle, we had a little triangle that we talked about as you, the man and the woman, as you move closer to the top to God, you can kind of hear that we both come from really dysfunctional families, we both come from alcoholic families. This is a real journey and a process, but what you see is as you move closer in your relationship to God, he really will work in you and through you, and with lots of bumps. We've certainly had lots of bumps, and as I guess you heard, we still have a few.

But that's normal. I don't think that's going to end. But our heart's desire is to see you embrace God's design for your relationship or God's design for your future relationship. And I can tell you now, every area of a relationship that you can imagine is richer and deeper and better than I thought it could be and way better than it was the first 10 years to the second 10 years. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and the message you just heard, Is There a Woman in the Home, is from our series, Marriage That Works.

Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. Are you looking to strengthen your marriage or lay the groundwork for a healthy relationship in the future? In this 10-part series, you'll get helpful marital advice through Chip's study in Ephesians chapter 5. Discover the biblical basics to creating and maintaining a deep intimate bond with your spouse. If you've missed any part of this series, Marriage That Works, catch up through the Chip Ingram app or at LivingOnTheEdge.org.

Chip's back in studio now, and Chip, you know this series has been an insightful guide for couples on how to walk through life together. Unfortunately, many out there feel like they and their spouse are on separate paths, maybe heading in opposite directions. What word do you have for those marriages on the rocks? 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 hard 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. To order the Small Group Study Guide, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org 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 learn about marriage and what God has in store for you and your spouse. So for complete details about our Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage Small Group, go to LivingOnTheEdge.org or call us at 888-333-6003.

App listeners, tap special offers. Well Chip, at the end of today's teaching, you asked Teresa to share her perspective on what it means to be the woman in the home. Why did you feel that was important? Mostly self-preservation.

You know, just basically I wanted to, you know, dodge the flying objects that would be coming at me. No, I'm kidding. I mean, here's why I did it. It is emotional. People have preconceived ideas. They have prejudice.

Everyone has prejudice. And here's what I knew people needed to hear. They needed to hear reality from a tender, soft voice who's very strong, who is living out what I'm talking about, who did not grow up that way. I mean, she didn't grow up in a Christian home. So everything that I'm talking about, what I've had to learn about being a man, what she's had to learn about being a woman, what we had to learn about mutual submission, what we've had to discover in really hard, difficult times about loving each other, I wanted people to hear her voice and sort of authenticate, you know, this isn't Chip's deal.

This isn't some male-oriented thing that people were supposed to do. This is God's deal. And from a heart of a woman that longs to be deeply feminine, deeply satisfied in every way, this is what God says.

And so it's really been exciting. In fact, she's done a Bible study with another lady in our church with about 20 plus women. And what they've done together is they've really talked about what it means to be a woman and how did God make you and what did the fall do to you and how has God redeemed that? And I just want people to hear.

I mean, I'm talking about high powered, 20 something women from all nationalities, from all around the world with Stanford educations that are coming together around the Bible. And from January going through May and talking about, wow, I feel liberated. I get it. But this is so different. This is where I've struggled. It is an amazing thing to watch these women discover what it means to be a woman.

And so, you know, I shared this last time. Ladies, you're going to be trapped by the culture and they're going to tell you one thing and expect everything. And if you want to be a woman deeply valued by God just for who you are in the role that you need to be, let me encourage you do this study. Find a handful of women.

If you're a woman that's married, find three or four couples. When the family gets aligned with God, amazing, beautiful things happen. And that's God's desire and that's our heart's desire.

That's absolutely true, Chip. Great word. 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 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003 or visit livingonttheedge.org. App listeners tap donate and thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, until next time, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-07 05:19:38 / 2024-03-07 05:32:21 / 13

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