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Loving the Story of Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
July 28, 2022 6:00 am

Loving the Story of Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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July 28, 2022 6:00 am

Co-founders of Grace Marriage, Brad Rhoads and his wife, Marilyn, offer insight to couples as they describe how they've learned to love and serve each other well. Our guests discuss the importance of modeling a good marriage to our culture, and the work of their ministry, which assists local churches in strengthening marriages. (Part 2 of 2)

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This is Focus on the Family with your host Folkers Pres. and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller and today will help you discover how more grace can transform your marriage but we begin with a very important update about a vote that's expected soon. In the U.S. Senate on the issue of same-sex marriage, John. We don't often bring these issues to the audience, but this one I want people to be aware of because of its potential impact for a little bit of background. Last week the U.S. House very quickly past the deceptively named respect for marriage act. All Democrat representatives voted in favor of it, along with 47 Republicans HR 8404 require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states and seeks to codify it into federal law, which goes a step beyond the right to same-sex marriage created by the Supreme Court in that narrowly decided 5 to 4 decision in 2015.

This act is an assault on religious freedom and free speech and I'll tell you why in a moment on the heels of the Dobbs case and overturn Roe V Wade. Many in Congress are concerned that the Supreme Court could rule at some point in the future that same-sex marriage is unconstitutional even though it is now recognized as legal in the US this bill is intended to force representatives and senators to commit to a position on same-sex marriage, presumably to impact the general election in November and Jim to understand correctly that this bill would also recognize in federal law marriage by any definition allowed in any state, including polygamy. That's how her reading it. I think it's true, it's another concern John if this bill passes, it could open the door for the federal government to force everyone force everyone including religious organizations to affirm not only same-sex marriage but as you said, polygamy, and other relationships in that way the law could lead to costly lawsuits and harassment of millions of Christians, profamily Americans in organizations like focus who believe in one man one woman marriage. So here's what were asking you to do and again we don't do it very often, but please call your senators and respectfully asked him to vote no on HR 8404, the so-called respect for marriage act, which is really disrespect for marriage and its attempts to enshrine same-sex marriage into federal law.

Democrats have put the bill on the fast track and they're looking for 10 Republicans in the Senate to get it passed, but by contacting your Senators now you can help persuade them to not even bring this damaging bill to a vote. This really is a religious liberty issue. Make your voice heard on this matter called the Senate switchboard to date.

Merger senators to vote no on HR 8404 and the phone number is 20222431212022243121 of vote is expected very soon. Maybe even this week and will provide a link to all the information about reaching your senators@focusonthefamily.com/broadcast that's Focus on the Family.com/broadcast some my role in marriage is the forgiveness of Marilyn Meltzer Lemert's forgiveness of breath we richly enjoy one another, despite both being messed up like when your spouse for something annoyed a trigger to do something nice to you, Christ for his enemy, you are sinning for you and I don't let your spouse like that for me on displacement and the main thing would be put your marriage under the grace of Jesus. Don't respond with withdrawal or consequence withdrawn with pursuit that spread roads with a powerful reminder of how the relationship with your spouse is supposed to measure the relationship with Jesus Christ. Brad and his wife Marilyn are back with us today on Focus on the Family's book as president and author Jim Daly I'm John Fuller, John. We had a great conversationalist time with Brad Maryland about couples who aren't in a marriage crisis where they need special help and were here for you if that's your situation.

We have incredible resources hope restored intensive marriage counseling along with the books and other helps that we are there to provide you with but were talking today about that. You know, average marriage where it's just drifted apart. A bit certain things have not addressed your kind of in the business of doing life together and it's dry. That's what were trying to address today and if you missed last time, get a copy.

There were so many gold nuggets in their John, as we talked, you know, four, five, six things that both Marilyn and Brad express that I thought were really really good for those of us who are looking to improve our relationship and be all that we can be in God's view when it comes to our marriage is you. If you missed the last episode of this program, you can contact us and get a copy of the website is Focus on the Family.com/broadcast or call 800 K and the word family to to get that and to learn more about hope restored and other resources that we have for your marriage when here's the good news. Your marriage doesn't have to end up that way you don't have to live in that rut. That's not good for the witness of Christ either because he's created this institution of marriage.

There's a right way to do it in a wrong way to do it and that we in the body of Christ need to really concentrate on making our marriage is strong so that when the world looks at us the same man they have something so different.

I want that that would be the right thing in the conversation we had last time again gave us so many ideas to click into your Focus on the Family were here to help you.

So, as John said get in touch with us at last time we described Brad and Marilyn situation early in their marriage. Marilyn came in with lots of great expectations about having a walk together in the warm afternoon and she realized quickly that Brad was about building his law practice and that he had all his attention was drawn in that direction. There wasn't much left for her.

That was the kind of the environment and then Brad went to a promise keepers event.

Whoever spoke there got a hold of a shattered and was the word that he used and he couldn't wait to get home. Got home at two in the morning. Woke up at 530 in the morning. Marilyn's out in the garden already. You must be quite a gardener and there he was to help her and say it's all going to different down here to help you beautiful beautiful transformation were picking up from that point in talking about the months in the years since then and what has transpired.

They have created a ministry called grace, marriage, and I'm sure they would love for you to tap into them as well will give you those details.

This is a wonderful wisdom filled opportunity for you to know the steps toward a healthier, happier marriage, Brad Marilyn, welcome back to Focus on the Family. Thank you. Try to set the stage their John so his job. Let's pick up their year doing better.

You're engaged your helping one another. Your loving each other you now doing marriage meant touring at your church, and marriage ministry pre-marriage counseling correct correct and about 100 couples have now been at that point coming to you and what happened at that point we we worked with youth for years and the youth and watched our marriage. Instead, we want what you guys have some one asked us to do premarital, then another, and we started groups and got by God's kindness and favor at a long waiting list to be in the groups and then we started getting a lot more involved in reading and educating ourselves in marriage and just the Lord is cause us to be more more involved in the marriage didn't 2012 I talked about the business coaching last episode the network and marriage with you was intentional with your marriage is your with other aspects of life could not come alive. So we did an experiment in 2012 took 10 couples and marriage coaching once every 90 days got together and worked on our marriage.

Worked in crew had no clue about 2015 I was at a law practice. Brad, you talked about just being single focus compartmentalize like we men can do to build a business so see you later.

By the way, make sure were eating and I'll talk you emotionally. Maybe on Saturday from 3 to 330 and that's got it and we can live in that space.

Women cannot and moving forward. Talk to that man who has lived there.

He comes away from promise keepers. He's not shattered. He's got A good provider shatter them right now say that marriage is posterior reflection of Christ and his church bubble starts the marriage ends with the marriage people should be impressed with Jesus impressed with marriage. By the way you love your spouse Scripture says let your wife as Christ loved the church and gave his life up for her.

I just challenge guys to put the love, grace, and sacrifice of Jesus on display. By the way you treat your life now tell you it's worth it. The, the joy I received having a close relationship with male laughing, traveling, dating is much greater than any of the things that I did golfing basketball leagues all the stuff I did that I wanted to do.

It's true relationship is more satisfying and I've learned that whoever perceives pleasures become poor and I do whatever I wanted to do and then I put attention in the Maryland that's it God's way is way better and it doesn't come natural at first it may right now the statistics are staggering about how little one on one time couples spend together. As a result, it makes sense why so many fall apart so if you take care of it now, you'll likely never birthing to crisis some I told her the 50% chance you can adopt something if you do this you probably won't die. You do it. Statistics is a 40 to 50% chance your marriage a land.

They also show if you invest in, you'll spend time in you'll do things with your spouse and you engage with her 90 days in coaching together.

It's likely never to happen as an attorney I have seen the wreckage of divorce. The pain the sadness the bitterness the anger the complications at last an entire lifetime. If you do things now to avoid that.

I can assure you won't regret I so well said you speak about a couple that you encountered. I think you counseled them where you saw this incredible transformation.

I think the wife was in an affair and describe what was going on there because Megan many people will identify with aspects of the story.

I've got teenage daughters and a couple I worked with that had teenage daughters. They're getting ready to divorce and going through a really difficult time long period of stagnancy led to crisis and he just ate my lunch box and spun my daughters and their struggles and what it's gonna be like for them traveling back and forth between parents and having trouble already and just them by God's kindness you just learned. Let's God moves nothing we do matters. And God moved to the heart of this family. There is repentance and restoration is intermarried with way better than it ever was.

Even before the crisis. They were so thankful to the Lord and so grateful to us. I didn't do anything at share with him God's truth. But God moved in the hearts and it was awesome.

Paint the picture for so what was that couple going through specifically and what did you say or do that gave them the hope that they were desperately needed. Basically I played the tape forward to look me to a divorce looks like what stepparents told him to look like one another guys talk in your kids. And while you're away from them. 12/14 days with you look like travel back and forth what child support. Looks like what the complications of it look like and we played the tape for and painted what the future look like so I can be a little prophetic for you because of what so many people go through it and that was appealing to them and then they made the decision we gotta move their heart.

We are gonna restore our marriage and were going to make it right and they made the decisions I needed to make. Can I never forget II call months later, the number popped up scared me as I just wanted tell you forgot thank you were doing wonderful and just every time I see them together on Facebook a different place it is? Having that, and that's the true life story. That's what you want to see happen, not the mistakes.

Obviously those things when they occur they can rip a family apart with the idea that were to get this back under God's authority to do the right thing. I applaud that couple all right let let's talk about the trip you took. So you planned. I don't know where this came about in the garden. Maybe it started at 530 in the morning idea that what was it and what were you thinking you were going to accomplish with this massive nationwide trip. Well the catalyst with he came home from in this Internet and we've been working marriage ministry for a number of years and it was growing taking more time in our past and was there for likely just we need to do this full-time and so that started him transitioning out of practicing law into grace, marriage ministry, and while we were talking about this transition are our children 16 down to four this point and thought when would we ever have an opportunity where your transitioning from one thing to another. Or we could take time. He can work from the road that we could travel as a family. So this idea I ablate us from God and I landed, I started sharing with Brad since Dean is lacking. We do this we can get January until summer take the kids out of school just homeschooled for six months. See the United States, you can visit with charges and our kids are to be gone before an elegant right now they are our oldest is given readily for college and so I thought this is an opportunity us fresh to have Tom's family together so that's about the idea and they kept growing in my mind as national parks and hiking, camping, unemployed for a long time. There is a great idea Angus thought it was a great idea not all this they were in high school and six McKenna had to take them against their will hold them hostage a hard time again.

All the friendships are yielding the independence is, yes, and what you did it. Yes, I tell them I said you won't remember the winter of your freshman and sophomore year but if we do this you won't forget this trip, so that's good. Tell me about what happened. I said no you to start something brand-new. The first step you do is leave for six rhizome different amounts and hold her off and see if it passes over the quote was John Wayne work well without always supported your dreams. Time to get on board with falling why not okay and I had a dream that they are not a house on the way to Louisville for a legal seminar member think and what you resisting in six months with your kids so the mama started rice and we can meet with churches all over the country. Grace mayors can get pockets all over the place and so I got all excited about what it will could mean from a work standpoint, ministry standpoint and not talk to my board and they said no grace marriage while you're gone. 11 no board when you return. While they sit with unity marriage. The rest of your life to see how you do just as a husband and father for six months. You yourself as Marilyn's homeschool system so your ministry board said you can't talk to churches while you're on the road, no doubt, no meetings, no deadline. This is Brad's big vision for what's can look like was started and there's Israel Marilyn's thought that he feels like you've killed his baby.

They said no. We've delayed the delivery so be a healthy oh well. So let's end the trip because I'm a camper. I love it so you get going everywhere. Their disasters of many six months on the road, you name it, it happened all that many ERs in LA to broken foot to you name it we we so describe it, every word you end up. What are some of the national Park. She went to like it was amazing. It was difficult and there were days if he could have been a fly on the law. You have been highly entertained because with five kids in a van. Seven of us traveling how many thousand miles 22,895. What did you learn as a family from doing that.

I mean that's the fun stuff but spiritually what took place. If we had your kids here and were asking them this question. What would you all say about the spiritual development of your family and those in that six months I fell in love my kids so that the first month I have to admit was rough because I was amused like you intense amused people in the lobby may come back for appointment for 30 minutes and I used to be in family seven people all the time used to make the kids, McCamy Fahmy, father, mommy, father, mocha them now help with lunch up and did a lot of things I never member January 31 on the back porch and marathon Texas literally feel like I can lose my another thought in two months I'll be halfway done in two months, but David thought in February I settled in and literally cried as we pulled back in the road I'll never have this again every meal. All seven of us every day. I'm running with two beautiful teenage daughters, I'm running with, not with her team that would further with me. It was just just the unique characteristics watch my son go crazy, NBA games and interest it was.

It was Rich that for the two of you in your marriage. What what helpful experience. Was it in that regard, for your own marriage it.

It was challenging to find time, we still would do dates we would leave the kids can allay any Campari you know when were staying in a small house later in it. We would take time. We would just have to sell intentionally take that time because it was extra difficult when you're together like that for six months to find time to pull away the to do so we just wait and our kids know and we just that that's a priority working to make that happen. Will we learn as you can never put marriage on hold. I don't care if you're in crisis in your family. I don't care if you trip you have to make space for your marriage if you don't take care of something to get stagnant, vulnerable and often guilt. So, we've learned that when our kids are in crisis, or when we are on a trip or whatever it is not an option disabled. This isn't the season that we can spend time together. This is the season we can date because that's a destructive experiment. Yeah, that idea of a kid a child centric home.

Let's plan ourselves there for a moment, because I think a lot of us make the mistake as a were trying to do the right thing in following the Lord and making sure our kids are raised in the admonition of the Lord that takes a lot of parenting, especially in today's environment with social media and almost things the parent has to be diligent and you have to be engaged to the point where it does take a lot of time.

So how do you not make your home a child centric home so that the marriage flounders.

It's a daily fight we have to fight that and that's one thing that said, get about the coaching and as talking weekly because we have to prioritize our marriage because our kids with father Evan and we have said teaching new ones. For we only do one sport attempt. If you have five kids and one sports this crazy it'll still it's just it is so challenging, especially with the median out loud how everybody lives.

I think there and relax. Take vacations on his his pants and what we need to do and panting our kids in a sake of being good parents were actually doing our children to service if we make in the center of everything. What is you just described that that's what I was thinking when the kids observing you the fact that you're on the six month camping trip. I would love to do, but they see you say we need time for just mommy and daddy and you go and make that time and the older kids 14, 15, 16 there there in charge that's all good stuff and they they're saying what it means to take care of a marriage you're modeling that and be there to be okay.

It's okay to let them kind of you don't think will what I do now I'm in charge would. And right now it's interesting because couples will go away numerous weekends for you, sports and other things and you say we don't have time for six hours every 90 days to work on her marriage. If you look at the amount of time them if I could just and 10%. The time together you do with your kid sports you drive you think of that. Just think of that. And when people start flipping their mentality toward an investment mentality marriage and really enjoy in their marriage and well as I have the freedom to do that we don't have to be conformed to the patterns of the world. Everything revolves around their kids which is both a disservice to them and their children. I agree I agree you know right in the last few minutes Give some bottom-line advice to couples to help their marriages.

You tell husbands and wives that they need to spend more time having fun in doing these things that you a lot of couples. Practically speaking, they may not be able to get away for six months and do great grand camping trip, but what are some bottom-line helps that you would recommend that you would given your seminars with grace, marriage, the number one thing would be build your marriage on the grace of Jesus. Neither one of us handle struggles were well she gets down I get stressed in the Scripture says he'll have no dominion master control over you.

If because you are under grace, not law. So my my role in marriage is the forgiveness of Maryland mandrel and there's forgiveness of Brad and we richly enjoy one another, despite both being messed up so Mike, when your spouse does something annoyed you a trigger to do something nice to you is what Christ did for his enemy while you are sinning. He died for you and I don't love your spouse like that for me on display such of the main thing would be put your marriage under the grace of Jesus. Don't respond with withdrawal consequence were drawn with pursuit and grace that is so good Maryland from a woman's perspective any practical advice for that wife. That's what he just said what we talk about is just the foundation of a great space marriage rather than a workspace because our our world teaches us. If you do for me and I'll do for you. It's a workspace mentality.

I think lots of so that every time we come together couples every 90 days where reminding that year to help us in Christ and make the extension of grace to your spouse and people he freed and energized. 11. Well, rather then there's this list of things I've got a deal if I'm in a be a good life.

It is list of things I gotta do to me. It has been. We talk about the extension grace plus the intention of the date night. Other than our relationship. Lord, one of the best things we done over the past 22 years this week on a date every week and it is a battle to make that happen mean with our kids and all the things going on that we make it a priority.

And that's one of the best things we dare not even tell people a bad day is better than no date still spending time together than any great dates that not all going to be that year. Your connecting intentionally that surveilling that need for you lately. I can hear the intensity in a good way. A healthy way that that that time together really meets your needs, particularly, and that's good. And in the coaching. We we help capitalists that you've got to make space and help them plan at time over the next quarter. How you spend time together as couples. What are you getting dealing is that look like you and that regular date night is so important because as we said it's easy to drift apart. I want to remind our listeners about the bottom line of what we've been sharing both last time in today because it's the little things that are going to kill your relationship. Very few marriages have a blowout that comes out of nowhere, it's more likely the result of years of little annoyances that are building up where you eventually just turn away from each other in basic selfishness eventually destroys a marriage, a slow leak is probably an apt description of what I'm talking about.

If you're feeling like your marriage is headed in the wrong direction.

Maybe it's not a crisis. Yet you're seeing those signs of drifting, I urge you to contact us today. Don't wait here at Focus on the Family we want to help you. We want to rescue hurting couples and strengthen those relationships that may be slipping just a bit, or maybe a lot. That's why we have our counseling team our websites and our hope restored marriage intensive's where we provide in-depth counseling over several days for those relationships that are truly on the brink of divorce, don't put it off get the help you need you not to surprise us with what you're going through.

We've been doing this for 40 years. Call us or visit our website. We want to help your marriage thrive in Christ and our phone number is 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459. You can find help and information@focusonthefamily.com/broadcast Maryland that were winding down, but I do want to ask you this last question it.

It's been on my heart for a while and you know both through experience but observation of other couples.

I II don't mean to offend anyone. But in this regard, the curse of Eve, the daughters of Eve. If I can steal that from CS Lewis. This idea of fear and control. I think wives mother's grapple with that so much and you talked about in of the very behavior that you want out of your husband or your children for that matter when you're cutting and when you're sarcastic and when you're demanding and you feel those are alright thanks because the righteous things I want more righteousness you as a husband's child as my child. It's not wrong in and of itself.

You want to call them to a higher standard. I get that but that daughter of Eve that fear and control so many women, the more fear that they are experiencing. It's like the more control she wants to exert in her husband and her children and you end up creating in that marital relationship are in that parenting situation.

The very child of the very spouse. You don't want to set fear and control drives them away, yes, I've set a lot there but are you relating to that you understand what I'm sure share in managing and parenting. I think we do. We and I think Taylor is that daughter of Eve, we struggle with feeling accused more than men is well talk about that that I feel like I'm not enough like I'm not being a good enough life. I'm not being good enough matter of not being to get enough rain and you live with this. You have Brad have talked about this and he told her couples.

I think that's a special part of the curse as well that we endure, and you just have to surrender it all up to the Lord in your kit. Seemingly we had health issues with our kids.

We want 37 really scary things and it does it makes you want to and I mean find myself now is a daughter unitedly for college. I think all these things right now because she's going to be gone, but that's the worst thing I can. Dave and I have a sweet gentle husband that all help her mommy that we do in that fear and that desire to control. We do the exact opposite well and with our kids so it's so important to remember that coming in and as they get older we learned the hard way when I can control one when I is the irony is, that's what got us thinking to teach you.

That's right as they were nodding felt as if I were it really and it doesn't turn out pretty but is anyone we truly rest in that we can have peace and that's what you've experienced.

That's why wanted asked the question because right from the get-go. Last time, and through today. That's what I hear and what you're saying. Specifically, as a woman that I learned quickly to bury my bar of expectation that I understood I get this from my relationship with the Lord. Brad's not going to meet all the needs inside and I I think that right there would do so much for marriages to help them in a course bread your wonderful testimony having a tender heart toward your wife that that convicts all of us as men because we so often overlook it.

So this is been great. Thank you for being vulnerable again and just laying it out there for us to learn from. Thank you so much. Thank you friends can.

What a wonderful conclusion to our today conversation with Brad and Marilyn Rhodes, the cofounders of grace marriage and will have more information about them in that ministry at our website along with additional resources to strengthen your marriage. One example would be our free marriage assessment, which is easy for you and your spouse to fill out. It'll help you discover what's working well in your relationship and maybe you'll find some areas where you can improve a bit. We also have a great book written by two of our colleagues here at focus.

Dr. Greg Smalley and Dr. Bob Paul is called nine lies that will destroy your marriage and in this book. The authors offer godly truths to replace those lies in encouraging couples and offering hope to those who are struggling.

It's a terrific resource will send a copy of that book to you.

When you make a generous financial gift of any amount to Focus on the Family will be our way of saying thank you for joining us in working to strengthen and support marriages around the world donates and get these resources at our website. The link is in the episode notes or give us a call 800 K in the word for coming up tomorrow the incredible story of how one Jewish woman came to believe Jesus the Bible before starting out teeth learned Jesus was in June on behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once more help you and your family thrive you now nearly 60% of American adults don't have a will in place a big number and having a well can leave a heavy burden for family left behind if you need a well but don't know where to begin. Let Focus on the Family help download I resource 15 questions to ask when preparing a well it's our gift to you@focusonthefamily.com/prepare my well that's focusonthefamily.com/prepare my well