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Marriage that Works - What's a Woman to Do?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2024 6:00 am

Marriage that Works - What's a Woman to Do?, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 13, 2024 6:00 am

Ladies, when you think about all that’s expected of you, do you ever want to just pull your hair out? Do you wish there was a way to put your life together so priorities would get clear, relationships would grow deep, and you could get refreshed? It’s possible. Chip shares some insight, straight from scripture, on just how to do it.

Main Points

How to "step in" and support to lead your family in righteousness

  • A wife's first priority is to support, affirm, and empower, her husband to fulfill his God-given calling both within and outside the home.
  • A wife's second priority is to create an environment in the home that nurtures and develops her children to fulfill God's will for their lives.
  • A woman's third priority is to train younger women in the art of becoming a godly wife and mother.
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, there are a lot of voices out there telling you what you need to do. I mean, there's talk shows, blogs, books, magazines, experts at every aspect of family life. So who do you listen to? Who do you believe? Well, today you'll discover what the creator of the universe has to say about your role as a wife and mom.

It can be beautiful and blessed beyond your wildest dreams. Stay with me. 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 focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Today, we'll wrap up our series, Marriage That Works. We pray that you and your spouse have learned a lot from Chip's teaching. And to help others learn as you have, would you take a minute after this message and share it with another couple in your life?

You can do that through the Chip Ingram app or by sending them the free MP3s that you'll find at livingontheedge.org. And thanks for spreading the word about how series like this one impact you. Okay, let's get going and join Chip for part two of his message, What's a Woman to Do? He begins by continuing to walk through what the Bible says a woman's responsibilities are in her family. The counselor, the consoler, and the refuge for her children and her family. There's a single mom boom in Hollywood. There's something inside these women that say being a mother matters.

They bought the whole deal and now they're in their late 30s or mid 40s and realizing there's something about the connection and this role. And I can tell them why, because God put it in you. Does it mean that every woman needs to become mother?

No. But in likelihood, a great majority will be. And God says this is a high and holy calling. Practical outworking is model dependency on Christ. Your children will not end up doing what you tell them.

They're not even doing that now, right? They will end up being like you. You might jot down Luke 6 40. Jesus said when a student is fully trained, he or she will be just like their teacher. How you think, how you drive, how you respond in a crisis, your love for God, how you treat your husband.

I mean your kids more really is cop than taught. That's why the greatest thing you can ever do when you just live out the life, the imprint, it's not what you say. I had one of my sons go through a season about three and a half years of real rebellion.

I mean it was horrendous and it was painful. And he came full circle and now he writes music for a living about God, which is a great answer to prayer. But I remember later when he came full circle, I remember asking him, I said, Jason, what was it? You know, I'm thinking like maybe one of my really great sermons did the trick. He said, dad, Jesus is so real to mom and her life is so powerful. And when I rebelled, I didn't see you get uptight and worried about what people in the church would think. I saw tears come down your face that I didn't embrace the Jesus that you love.

You know what he's really saying? The end of the day, our kids emulate what really matters to us. Second, pray for your children.

And let me just give you this word fervently, fervently. The things that mean the most with your kids, ladies, you have very little control of. When they're outside the home, the decisions they make, the values eventually that they pick up, the priorities that they're going to have, you have so little control. You do the best you can and you teach them.

And they're out in the car this night with this parent and their school over here and they're doing something over here. And someone says, oh, it's not that bad. You know, just take a drag on this, all the kind of things that you have no control over, but God does. And you talk to your heavenly father and pray very specifically, not just for external things like you hope they do good in school. And this pray God will give him a heart for him. Pray God would give him a thirst for righteousness. Pray God calls him to love holiness. Pray God will give him wisdom and they're choosing the right friends.

Pray God will help them resist temptation. Ask God to work in your kids' lives and he will. Third practical outworking is create structures and scheduled times that make family life a priority. You, the chief operating officer of the home, speed kills relationships. That which is hoped for, but not scheduled rarely happens.

There's times where as a mom, you just lay down the law. We're going to eat at this time. Everybody, do you understand that includes you, dear? Turn off the computer, turn off the ball game. We look, you can watch ESPN.

All the highlights will be on here later anyway. Everyone's going to be together. Meal times, bed times, vacations. You develop a structure and a system where love can grow and enforce it. You're the glue.

And we will all listen to you. Finally, teach your kids how to live. The most powerful teacher, I mean all the research, the most powerful teacher in any person's life is the mom. The mother will have the deepest connection.

Let's face it. You have known the child longer than anyone on the planet, right? Like I didn't really get involved in the whole parenting deal until at least nine months after we got going.

Is that correct or not? And the first four or five months as a dad, you're just lame. It's true.

All you do, can I change him? Okay. I mean, there is a bonding that occurs first inside the mother and then about the first five, six months. I mean, until they can kind of recognize what's going on. I mean, we do all the stuff.

We throw them up and stuff like that when they're babies. But the fact of the matter, there is a bond and a connection. And I watched my wife and other women teach their kids. But sometimes you just go through life and there's demands and there's pools and there's carpools and there's work.

And so let me give you some things that I've seen. And you don't have to write all these down, but these are things that I think you should teach your kids or consider teaching them. Teach them to read.

It's interesting. Before my kids got to school, my wife taught all my kids to read and they all became readers. Teach them to pray. Teach them to cook, even when they're small, both sexes. Teach them to listen. Teach them to celebrate.

We live in this fast pace, make a difference, go, go, go, perform, perform. Teach them to celebrate. Teach them to be generous from early on.

Teach them to be generous. Teach them a craft. Teach them how to make a talk.

Introduction, transition, two or three main points. Teach them how to communicate verbally. Teach them how to resolve conflict, whether apologizing or attacking the issue instead of the person. Teach them to write a paper. Teach them to play an instrument. Teach them to play a sport.

Teach them how to relax and not feel guilty. I mean, you are the teacher. This isn't like this to-do list for next week, but what if you said in the next two to five years, you know, for the next two or three months, I think I'll work on teaching them to read. Or, you know, I played the flute or the guitar.

I haven't had that out in ten years. You know, and I've got a five-year-old that seems to have a little interest in music. You know, I just think I'll teach him the notes. And for the next four or five months, we'll just do that.

Maybe, you know, ten or fifteen minutes every other day. And ladies, when you get some intentionality about this role and you see your kid light up, when are we going to stop and say, we ought to decide what matters in our home. We are going to take responsibility for how our kids turn out.

Not the school, not the Sunday school, not somebody else. We are going to be what our kids need, and we're going to give them the direction that they need to learn, both spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. I mean, I remember teaching my kids, you know, you kind of take it for granted. When my older boys were in sixth grade, ready to go into junior high, I just kind of looked one day and I just realized, no one's taken an interest in their physical development. I mean, one could do like three push-ups and one could do one. And I thought, you know, I used to be a coach.

Where have you been, Ingram? And I remember we started getting up in the morning, and you know what, we just started doing some push-ups and sit-ups. Three months later, they wanted to start on some weights. A year later, they had a little weight thing that they did, and I watched by the time they went into junior high, instead of going in as kind of these weak guys that people make fun of, all of a sudden they had some confidence.

Well, it's true. What does your daughter need? What does your son need?

How do you teach him? And then finally, make time. The best things in life are rarely on your official schedule.

Have you ever noticed that? I mean, the teachable moment, the epiphany, the time when nothing's planned and you just laid across the bed for a few minutes, and all of a sudden your daughter opens up and talks about this huge fear that she has or this relationship that she's thinking about or this temptation she had, or all of a sudden, you see, harried, stressed out, overwhelmed, overworked mothers with no margin miss the first step of their kids. Miss when the lights come on, possibly when they come to Christ. Notice those special conversations and those times, and you have to just be available. You have to create a world where we aren't always going somewhere, we're not always accomplishing something, and there isn't always some technology blaring.

Boredom is a gift that you give your kids that is the birthing place of spontaneity and creativity. And some of the greatest things you'll ever experience is when you're just hanging out, and as you're hanging out, some pretty exciting things happen. 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, love-filled 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 deal with their marriage.

And with that, here again is Chip. The third thing you're called to do is beyond the role of a champion and a mother, it's the role of a mentor. A woman's third priority is to train younger women in the art of becoming a godly wife and mother. Older women are commanded to impart wisdom and provide direction for the next generation. Older women are commanded to impart wisdom and provide direction for the next generation.

You are a spiritual guide to provide practical insight and coaching in their personal life, their development. See, we used to have a world where grandmothers and extended families lived close to one another, and one generation would pass on everything from recipes to wisdom to how to resolve conflict to how to get along. And we don't live in that world anymore.

Some of us have family across the nation, some have family across the globe. Now we live with such speed and performance and your young daughter, what's her view of a woman? She wasn't made to be strong enough.

That's not weakness. Takes both. And she needs a man that will love her for her and put his arm around her and be sensitive and be caring and lead and raise a child and say, you were made to put the imprint of your gifts and qualities into the life of this child and we're going to grow closer and closer together. And I can't do it without you and you can't do it without me.

And you know something? I love you through thick and thin. I love you till death do us part. That's what she needs. And that would fill her heart. And we've got women in this room from teenagers to 20s to 30s to 40s to 50s that our culture has so given us that picture and the people that have hit the very top of what we're supposed to be fulfilled by are now trying to figure out how to be moms and find mentors and be champions without a man.

And God would say, I've got a better plan. This raises some very important questions to ponder. One is, should a woman work outside the home?

When, why or why not? And, you know, talk with a mentor, kick some stuff around. But here's what I can tell you.

If priority is number one in your marriage as a champion and priority number two, all those things are taken care of as a mother, then you just figure out when and how and why to work. It'll depend on the stage of life, the stage of your kids or if you have kids, your energy, your giftedness, your personality and your capacity. It's going to be really, really different. But here's what I will tell you.

All the research is very, very clear. That first about six years to seven, 80% of your child's personality will be formed and about 70 to 80% of the bonding that occurs and the imprints as that child is soaking up like wet cement. What matters? What's values? What are my morals? Am I secure? What is life all about? You just have to decide how much a second job, a second car, owning a home is worth compared to outsourcing your most precious possession and hoping that some way, somewhere, there's a really nice person in a daycare that will love your child the way that only you can.

So you've got to just ask that question, because what happens is we mortgage and think, I have to work. And you know what, by the way, this raises big issues, doesn't it? I remember teaching something similar to this a number of years ago.

So Art was a fairly young Christian, about six or eight months old in the Lord. I taught through this and he said, can I talk to you? I said, well, sure. He says, we can't live here on one income and my wife be with our kids and we've got two small kids.

One is a brand new baby and one's about two years old. I said, so what are you going to do? He said, we're going to move. I said, why? He said, because we can't live on one income. And what I know is it may be nice to live here, but 20 years from now, we will have wished we spent our energy and our time and our money on what only we could do with the people that only we could influence. I said, Art, have a good trip.

I remember about two, three years later getting a letter from him. Chip, it's the greatest decision we ever made. You know, maybe in times later our kids get older, we can move back. But you know, we have these invisible things like we have to have these kind of cars. We have to own a home. Who says you have to own a home? Who says you have to own a home?

Well, we have to because we need to build up equity. For what? Well, for later. Well, what's for later? Well, so good things can happen later. Like what good things?

Well, good things like we can have financial security and our kids who don't know us and don't want to be around us and don't hang out with us can come to our really nice house that they play. Hold on a second. And I will tell you, God will honor this.

And it's a pretty short window, but it might be hard. I was full time in seminary and working full time and I had two kids. And then somehow a third one came along the way. And I made $1,000 a month. And I just said, my wife's going to stay home with my kids. So I got up at four in the morning and I did schoolwork. Then I went to school and I worked, had dinner.

And you know what? It was a short season. But for about four years, I put in about 15 to 17 hour days. I mean, it was crazy. And I slept about four or five hours and then make it up a little bit on the weekend.

I wouldn't trade that for anything. We lived in government subsidized housing. We had one car without air conditioning in Texas. Our dates were we had a little stroller and we lived near Dunkin Donut. And we could afford two cups of coffee because they gave refills back then. And we bought one donut and split it. And you know, I don't look back on that like, oh, the sacrifice.

You know, those are neat stories. Now, we just decided we'd rather be poor with money and rich in family. But everybody makes decisions. So you decide what matters most. See, this is a disturbing series.

It challenges some of our premises. Some of your lives are going so fast at such a speed and you're pulled in so many directions. Some of you men need to say, honey, I don't know how you're feeling. Would you like to stay home?

Maybe she'll say no. But what would happen if a man said, would you like some margin in your life? I don't know what the implications are, but would you like to either go part time or would you like to stay home during this window of time? Now, you understand, whoa, and we're going to be on a journey because what we're going to say is your role as champion, mother, and mentor will pay a lot more dividends than the extra money that we can bring in.

I saw one study, and it may be different, especially for women that have very high-powered jobs, so I don't want to exaggerate, but I saw one study that after you pay for the second set of clothes, the amount of time that you eat out, the nice second car, and all the issues that come with the second job, the average couple's income increases by only about 15% by having both work. So it's just a life of trade-offs. Am I saying it's wrong to work? No. I'm just saying that Proverbs 31, it commends a woman for working.

It's different for different people in different seasons, the ages of your kids, your personality, I mean, your energy, your capacity. You need to figure it out. All I want to say is God makes it clear what your top three priorities are. Single moms, wow, this is where the church, we've got to step in and just keep helping. And ladies, you need to hear this and say the grace of God will cover what I don't have. I have to work. And so I need to be with some other women to get support, and I need to get my kids around some really positive environments to make up some things, and God will give you grace. And then I made a little list.

I've kind of gone to meddling, so I might as well just go for it. It says, what husbands can do to lighten the home front. I saw a list as I was studying this week of about 30 things that happen in a home. 30 things that happen.

And I mean, it's like an organizational, I mean, unbelievable number of things. And I looked at that list and I realized in most homes, the women do about 28 of the 30. I mean, wash, clean, plan, groceries, cook, finances.

I mean, it listed like every possible thing that has to happen. Dress, wake up kids, think ahead. And so I thought, how could a husband, men, here's a list of things that we might do to help your wife step in and support you. One, list all the jobs that happen in a home and just make a list of everything that happens in the home and say, who owns these?

And it's just a little exercise that you might say, wow. You might ask, where could you help with homework? Where could you help with housework?

I mean, we live in a whole different day. I wash dishes, I do some vacuuming, I clean up after my, you know, finances. How could you make sure she has some time with some other women?

I'll take the kids. See, it's guys, us stepping in and saying, where and how can we step in at home and take the load of some of these responsibilities to say, I'm in this with you and I want to help you. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram and the message you just heard, What's a Woman to Do, 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, Chip shared some helpful marital advice through his study in Ephesians Chapter 5. We hope you discovered the biblical basics of creating and maintaining a deep, intimate bond with your spouse. Let me encourage you to go back and revisit any part of this series by going to LivingOnTheEdge.org.

That's LivingOnTheEdge.org. Well, before we go any further, Chip's joined me in studio now. And Chip, you know, the last several programs, you've been talking about how to grow and strengthen our marriages. And I understand you have a good analogy to help us better understand the practical ways we can do that.

You know, Dave, marriage is a unique experience. And I don't mean to make light of this, but, you know, we all have cars, and I have noticed that people, most of us are better at keeping our cars in shape than we are the most important relationship. I mean, you know, I have this little light that comes on that says, hey, you need a tune-up, right? You've got to align the wheels, change the oil, you know, check the tires. And, you know, you do that, and if you do that, your car runs really well for a long time. And what I want to remind people is that our marriages need a tune-up.

It doesn't mean anything's wrong. It just means, hey, how's the communication going and where are we at in this season of marriage? And left to ourselves, work pulls us in directions, children pull us in directions, and just to pause and say, let's give some real energy and focus to our marriage. And I found the very best way to do that is to find two or three couples and say, hey, let's do a study together. And the study that we have that, for me, is the absolutely most practical is called Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage. It's a resource that talks about communication, resolving conflict, fighting fair, I mean, all the kind of things that we all need tune-ups on. Experiencing God's Dream for Your Marriage has been just one of the best small group resources we ever created.

So, Dave, why don't you tell people how they can get that, and let me just encourage you to check it out. Well, 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, here again is Chip with his application. Ladies, as we close today's program and actually close the entire series, I'd like to just step back and maybe get a little perspective. There's lots of demands on your life.

You're very aware of that. The Bible's very clear that your number one responsibility after your relationship with God is to affirm and strengthen and help your husband be the man that you long for him to be and God wants him to be. The second priority is the nurture and the development of an environment for your family where they can grow and understand who God is and become who God designed them to be.

And then the third is one that we often don't think about. It's you passing on to younger women how to be a great wife, how to be a great mom, how to discover their gifts, their skills, their dreams. And as you do that, I just would remind you that sometimes women are afraid that they're going to miss out because a woman doesn't step back and realize there's a different role in different seasons.

And I think you get bombarded that you're going to miss out on everything if you really give attention to those young kids and the career path and all that's going to go down the drain. If you could grasp and understand that those roles in the right season, they shift, some when their kids are small and some when they're preteens and others when they're teens and others when they leave the home. And if you can trust God and if you can say, Lord, I just want to be the woman you want me to be for this season, I will tell you that fulfillment that you long for, God wants it for you more than you want it for yourself. On the flip side, guys, I just have to tell you as we wrap up this series, you have to step up. I mean, I'm asking your wives and God is asking your wives to step in. You've got to step up.

I mean, you have got to say, how do I create a home environment with leadership that gives my wife some time to herself? I mean, I never saw my dad do this, but I've got to tell you, when my kids were small, out of obedience to God, I helped with the baths. I told the stories. I actually sat down and did the finances with my wife every two weeks.

I had to learn it all from scratch. I had to learn how to pray out loud with my wife. Guys, it's not easy for us.

It's not easy for them. God has a blueprint for you for a great marriage. It takes focus, knowledge, intentionality, grace, and a lot of hard work.

And my prayer is that you'll stop at nothing less than turning your house into a godly home. Inspiring words, Chip. Well, if you want to go back and listen to any part of this study, check out the Chip Ingram app. It's an easy way to listen to our latest series plugged in with a few of our helpful resources. We long to see every Christian living like a Christian, and the tools available through the Chip Ingram app can help. For Chip and the entire team here, this is Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 05:30:49 / 2024-03-13 05:41:59 / 11

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