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Planting Hedges in Marriage (Part 2 of 4)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
June 21, 2022 4:00 am

Planting Hedges in Marriage (Part 2 of 4)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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June 21, 2022 4:00 am

Often, it’s care for life’s little things that greatly contributes to the success and enjoyment of our relationships. On Truth For Life, Alistair Begg teaches us how to promote and protect a healthy marriage. It’s hard work—but it’s worth it!


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The way we demonstrate care for one another. The little things of life can often have a huge impact on the success and enjoyment of our relationships today on Truth for Life. Alastair Ben discusses the hard work that's necessary to promote and protect the healthy marriage. When marriage is disintegrated is not usually as a result of some desired event which appears out of the blue, but it is a result of a slow lead that has gone on undetected for a period of time and it is neither some kind of superficial optimism or debilitating pessimism that I do permeate our thinking in relationship to this but if were going to be realistic, then it includes a healthy dose of skepticism. Skepticism starts with an examination of our own motives. The man might ask himself just why it is that he so concerned to be calling his secretary at such a late hour on a Friday evening to be skeptical of that yet, ask yourself the question of my emotionally attached invite is the height of naivety and foolishness to assume that we can enter high-risk areas without facing the potential for failure Gordon McDonald writing on this in his book rebuilding your broken world quotes Oswald Chambers always beware of a friendship or of a religion or of a personal estimate of things that does not reconcile itself to the fact of sin. That is the way all the disasters in human friendships and in human lives begin and where the compromises start.

Jesus never trusted human nature. He was never cynical.

He trusted absolutely what he could do for human nature but he recognized that with which he was dealing soberly realistic and preventing that kind of demise that would alluding to this evening.

Then we need to make sure that we put necessary boundaries in place and I want to give to you at one or two hedges if you like England is a land of hedges.

If you have driven in England at all you know that her huge big hedges everywhere and it's downright scary, especially in the home counties in Buckinghamshire and Surrey and all around their you meet these cars going at breakneck speeds all around the lanes and you can see around the corner. Because of the hedges. Some of the hedges are beautifully fashioned with care, others are wild there haphazard. Apparently, in each case there usually planted as a line of demarcation between farmers fields or as a means of protection from the elements for the things that are within their precinct and the care which the average Englishman thinks of his hedgerow is actually an indication of the importance all that far, and not simply as a thing of beauty, but also as a boundary or you say well what kind of hedges are you thinking of all very simple things. Let me give you just one or two let's call the first hedge the hedge of carefulness is nothing dramatic about that. Is there no one deliberately so the principle is that which is found in Paul's writings to the Corinthians. Let the man or the woman who feel sure of his standing to be careful that he doesn't fall tomorrow and his men were supposed to live in paralyzing fear we wouldn't be well served by living every day imagining all the dreadful things that might happen to us. The fight of the matter is if we're going to live insanity we have to proceed leaving the best will be the case.

And yet at the same time making constant provision for possible failure when you and I tonight think about our children heading down the road of life. When we think of them getting their drivers license and going down the street and when we try and affirm for them the importance of the stop signs and not becoming a member, gambler, and not trying to jump the red and sustain it beyond the green. We teach them. All these things because we want them to come home in the evening and in the same way as we think of them going into marriage. We want to teach them about the green lights, stop signs, the cautions and we want to tell them about the importance of hedges seems very foolish for us to live with a kind of naivety that assume somehow or another we are immune from the external forces that would work against our marriage anybody in the tonight believes themselves to be immune from those things is in a perilous situation.

That is why you see that to expose our minds constantly to ungodly thinking is in great danger and ungodly thinking will be formed by this stuff that we take in through our eyes and through our ears. That's why to read trashy novels will be imperiling to our marriages to watch movies which glorify adultery and infidelity will be perilous to our marriage to listen to stories and jokes and conversations which constantly undermine the framework of godly living will be perilous to our minds and as a man or a woman things so is that man or woman. Please don't tell me that you can live with impunity in relationship to these things.

You cannot your silly to think that you may and if there is a direct correlation between the issues of violence and so much on our streets.

Isn't it interesting that no one is prepared from the Hollywood jet said to stand up and acknowledge a direct correlation between a bad rash of filth and immorality, and the extent of chaos amongst our young people in our generation. It is true. For one, it is true for both in the Bible says it is. That's why you have to plant hedges when you travel the prepare.

You don't leave those nice ladies for the worst. While all the time hoping for the best.

So therefore if you are going to be effective in staying against the marauding hand of the evil one who is a roaring lion looking for those whom he may devour. Make sure that you constantly are suing, planting, cultivating, nurturing, clipping and caring for the hedge of carefulness. Second, hedge my call endeavor endeavor is another word for hard work. You see, we dare not assume that a healthy marriage can ever be discovered and enjoyed without hard work, we will witness the transformation in the neighbors yard. After a new owner has moved in pathways that were previously just totally unkempt are not manicured in the bartered with flowers. The large expanse of grass, which was one of the greatest seed beds of dandelions from miles around has now become a lawn small stone walls which we never knew existed suddenly and we appear to define flowerbeds and the borders are now tailored in such a way that there is an exquisite eye for detail behind it all. And what can we deduce from this kind of metamorphosis. Certainly that the new owner, lobster garden, but more than that, that he or she or both of them and their helpers were prepared to put in long hard hours to turn the jungle to beauty.

Are you prepared to put in the long hard hours necessary to ensure that your marriage is like a botanical garden, rather like a disaster zone and some rain forest. See if you live in shambles for long enough you actually become unaware of how bad things really are. That's what it happened to the man that Solomon describes the field of the man who lights judgment. He said thorns and come up everywhere. The ground was covered with weeds and the stone wall was in ruins and he looked at it all and he made a mental note to himself.

He said to himself, listen, laziness and neglect will make his uneven prey of poverty and scarcity will grab is like a bandit. He looked at it. He said you know I could be like that my yard to look like that my life could be like that my marriage could be like that in just a moment.

If you want a marriage like that, let me tell you what to do. Do nothing. Just do nothing and you will have it sooner than you ever realize you just do nothing and it'll get like that. But in order to have the 50 mark smiling and order of the big picture in the weed picture it's going to take the hedge of carefulness in the hedge of endeavor.

That means it would constantly have to review where we are regularly assessing where we are, we would be and where were going strategic points along the journey demanded of is the arrival of children.

The development of our careers. The college years. The decisions of retirement so long. Probably one of us will be better at doing this than others more of an initiative taken but together we have to have a united plan of action learning with an eye for detail to take care that we don't allow our garden to be infected in a destructive way by all kinds of weeds and he can be telling you things you know that I have a psychological problem with dandelions already admitted that openly to and I can be seen on my hands and knees with a screwdriver digging a things out from the road and pouring inordinate amounts of Roundup down holes in my lawn which not only cures the dandelion but makes dead patches for about a foot and 1/2 in circumference all around but little things. For example, I just recently read a lady in her 60s who is tired of having her husband open mail which was addressed directly to her as an individual.

If you saw the setting aside in the newspaper and intrigued me. I just caught it on the court live somewhere like 60-year-old lady is ticked off with her husband open her mail.

I said I got a read on here. The reason was because I'm guilty of the same thing. I can open everybody's mail. I wobbled in mail. I mean the people in the officer. Second me going.

Where is the mail you know I love open mail. The good the bad the ugly. I can get mail and lay it down and go away somewhere on the bathroom.

It comes with me from going in the car.

It was with me. I'm tearing it open as I drive I'm reading it, stashing it filing a crumpling it, chucking it, but I deal with mail so I said wow I gotta read this and as I read it wasn't that the lady wanted to keep anything from her husband, because I'm going to fight everything that she got. She always read to her husband. It was simply that one of the things that she looked forward to every day was the joy of opening our own mail and her husband was in sensitively depriving her of the privilege and he was oblivious to his wife's sensitivity see its care and little things which make a huge contribution to the enjoyment of our relationship and if we are to ensure that things don't dry up underneath us, then we need to make sure that we are sitting under the word of God so that it can and confront us with things like this element is just one more because our time is gone is about the hedge of communication. Communication in a line before I was married I would let it lie awake at night thinking of all that my fianc had told me that evening. And now that I am married I fall asleep before my wife is still talking that vaguely humorous statement is actually too close to the mark.

For too many couples because in tracing the roots of extramarital affairs. It is very common to be told that in the beginning, the appeal of someone of the opposite sex had been the appeal of a listening ear and mean that the year was attractive. It was simply the beard was opened in direct contrast to the ears of their spouse, which apparently were closed and somewhere along the journey of life together. The couple and failed to take time to let each other know just what was going on inside their heads is very very important.

Incidentally, in preparing for marriage that this issue is addressed and the potential pitfalls in this area are identified because you see, unless young couples are friends when they marry.

And by that I mean that there are those who really enjoy each other and want to know what each other is thinking and what their view is on this particular subject, and what their view is on that if they do not begin in that way they will not easily cultivated in marriage.

Communication is absolutely essential to all human relationships, and it is imperative if were going to discover and maintain any kind of level of intimacy which is God's design for marriage.

Now I trust you see that all of this is biblical and I'm giving you chapter and verse here, but for example if we returned to the book of Genesis we would notice that the origin of any kind of communication breakdown is traced to Adam's sin. Prior to that there was absolutely perfect communication between God and man between man and his wife. There was complete openness between them. That is why they were naked and then you no shame, but suddenly we discover them covering their bodies hiding from God, hiding from one another. Another big cover-up is begun, unconfessed and unforgiven sin always leads to a cover-up with this inevitable consequence that is a breakdown in one's relationships with others. Husband's hide from their wives and whites cover-up parts of their lives. When there is unresolved sin in order to reestablish communication and intimacy. It is first necessary to eliminate the sin that blocks our communication. When you understand this love when she could no longer hide behind the excuses of temperament or childhood patterns sit and listen to couples explaining why this happened and that happened the next tab and along along the line, it always comes out so Mrs. well that's just the way I am. For example, husband explaining why it is that he doesn't talk to his wife very much as if somehow justified what just the way I you see temperamentally I'm that way or I never smelled much when I was a kid and finally don't feel like speaking much now. And hey, that's just the way I am. So what are you supposed to do is post to say something like this.

I don't doubt that's the way you are but I want to tell you something. Charlie will it's not the way God wants you to be.

And if you confess your sin and do what God tells you to do. You won't be that way in the future as a little bit of a revolution because contemporary counseling says now we're just going to have to work with this. This is obviously an embedded condition. This goes back a long way. This is a temperamental flaw in some kind of genetic thing. Blah blah blah blah walking. Blah. It's flat-out sin. The Bible says you talked your wife does your told you take the initiative.

You're not doing your flat out sinner pending your sin and ask God to help you and start talking. She line item but I never gave you for counseling help and so you should be see, instead of hiding away behind a file drawer full of theories of temperament and incidentally these temperamental things I pay scant attention to them about Italian theories of temperament. Incidentally, do not have their basis in the Bible databases in pagan Greek thought that's where they come from. They don't come from the Bible become from paganism and from Greek thought, doesn't mean that they're all wrong and everything's wrong with them.

I just want you to know that I don't come from the Bible therefrom not want to use temperamental analysis as a means of determining who somebody is and what we are and why they're not mother going to be. The Bible stands champion over all of that stuff. Therefore, instead of high hiding away behind a file drawer with all this stuff about temperament. We need to step up and fulfill our obligations in the awareness that the changes which God demands in his word he makes possible by his indwelling spirit. You see, that's the difference with Christianity.

The changes that God's word demands God's spirit takes possible.

He does not call for behavior from eyes that he does not provide the resource within us to be able to will and to do of his good pleasure. We can go home and tell our wives I'm sorry that's just the way I am. I can say more about that but time is gone. Yeah, the beer a long time we can to this yet. We shouldst sorry is is okay. I mean, it is helpful in any way. Is it that I don't do much of the stuff you know the next one is sacrifice, but we'll save that for next time he wants only to go away with just ask yourself the question, what have I done in the last seven days. That was an act of sacrifice on my part for the sake of my spouse, you probably shouldn't be coming up with to coat the garbage. Incidentally, I pray that one is not not on the list and try to learn to like baseball. I think I like.

I think I'm beginning understand I don't understand the games within the games in five. I think I'm prepared to say that I like baseball, basketball, American sports, but I don't understand how it all works but I do understand the principal of sacrificing yourself for the advancement of another who's already on base. I don't know what you call it your bond and you're out and he's on and essentially this bunting business is what will come back to next time bunting for the sake of the advancement and well-being of the one that God is given to us as a partner about some important boundaries for hedges in marriage today.

Carefulness endeavor and communication listing to Truth for Life with Alistair Begg Alastair returns in just a minute to close the program. Now if you're enjoying learning about marriage relationships in our series, we too are one. You can only study on the USB comes along with other teaching from Alister about Christian relationships like healthy friendships, family relationships, parenting priorities, this collection of studies is called God's design for life together, you'll find it in our online store today for just five dollars when you visit Truth for We also have a great book about marriage that is brand-new hot off the presses. Titled gospel shaped marriage grace for sinners to love like saints getting married involves seemingly endless decisions. But as were learning from Alister the most important decision is to determine how to set up our marriage for success. Healthy marriage involves a conscious decision to follow God's instructions for who to choose how to live together how to handle conflict. This book gospel shaped marriage will take you step-by-step through these issues growing directly from Scripture requester copy of gospel shaped marriage. When you give a donation to Truth for Life. Visit Truth for or you can call us at 888-588-7884.

Now here's Alister close with prayer God our father, we thank you that your word is fixed in the heavens that your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to our path. Thank you that today is the first day of the rest of our lives that past regrets, and disappointments and failures and fears belong to yesterday.

We thank you that sin, confess his sins forgiven. We thank you for clean pages fresh starts new opportunities and we pray that you might grant us grace to resist the inroads of the evil one who would seek. So tomorrow the benefit of positive advice by dragging his bank to the garbage cans of sin already confessed and forgiven. God help us to hold on. We pray by the power of the spirit to be able not only to live within the hedges that are provided by your word, but to begin to sew them in the lives of our children so that is they look out fearfully on the prospect of leaving is where the protective care of our homes and our influence that they may even on nights like this be crying out to you oh God, help me and provide for me and make me the kind of young man or young woman that you want me to be an grant that I might live in this arena without regret, and so weak in trust one another into your care and keeping we thank you for being with us this day and we thank you for those whom you represent, we command them all as we name them in our hearts to you tonight.

I love ones, many of them far from us children at college and university mothers and fathers and siblings. And Lord, we thank you that when they meet you at the throne of grace and we join you there then were never far apart now unto him who is able to keep us from falling to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy to the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion and power tonight and forevermore from Bob P.

Join us tomorrow if I don't like putting our spouse first leads to greater joy than when we focus on looking out for number one Bible teaching of Alistair Begg furnished by Truth for Life learning is reliving

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