Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Nancy Van Pelt
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000207
00:30 Hello, I'm Shelly Quinn,
00:31 and welcome to another Issues and Answers.
00:33 I've got a question for you today: are you fit to be tied?
00:37 Well, if you're single, we want you to stay tuned,
00:39 or if you know a single, or want to give some good advice
00:42 to a single, stay tuned and learn about smart love
00:46 for singles, because our topic today is going to be
00:50 "Getting Fit to be Tied".
00:52 Let me share a scripture with you, and it comes from
00:54 1 Corinthians 13:11. I'm going to read
00:57 from the Amplified Version. This is Paul speaking, he says:
01:01 "When I was a child, I talked like a child,"
01:03 "I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child;"
01:07 "but now that I have become a man," - or mature adult -
01:11 "I am done with childish things and have put them away. "
01:14 Well here today to talk with us about putting childish things
01:18 away and really as a mature adult being fit to be tied
01:23 in matrimony, the holy bonds of matrimony, is Nancy Van Pelt.
01:27 Nancy, thank you so much for joining us again today.
01:31 I'm delighted to be here, thank you.
01:32 Well, we're delighted to have you.
01:34 Nancy has written 28 books, she's talked and given
01:38 over 1000 seminars and she's traveled 55 countries,
01:42 soon to be 57. That's right.
01:44 Where are you going? I'm going to Nigeria and Nepal.
01:47 Wow, well you've been pretty much around the world then.
01:50 I have, it's been fun too. I'm sure it has.
01:52 Let's talk about our topic, and just jump right into this.
01:57 How do we go about evaluating if we are mature enough
02:01 to enter into a life union, a marriage?
02:06 I like what you just said because you were talking about
02:09 evaluating yourself, whether you are ready to be married.
02:14 Most people don't think of themselves as whether
02:16 "I'm ready to be married", they're busy looking
02:19 at the other person, and you need to do that too.
02:23 I tell people sometimes, when particularly, it seems like
02:26 young women will come up to me and say:
02:29 "I am praying for the perfect husband, and I'm praying"
02:31 "that God will prepare a man for me. " And I say:
02:33 "Uh, you pray that God will prepare you to be the perfect"
02:37 "wife for someone, and then let God prepare the man for you",
02:41 because we do need to have that focus on ourselves.
02:43 Not that, as we said, we should evaluate the other person,
02:47 but it needs to begin with us. It is much harder
02:51 than ever before, to find a really healthy person,
02:55 because so many people nowadays have been raised
02:58 in dysfunctional homes.
03:00 Now I kind of hate to use that word "dysfunctional"
03:02 because it's almost a word that is in vogue and everybody's
03:06 using it. The truth is we are all dysfunctional
03:10 because we are here on this sin-filled Earth,
03:14 but it's the degree to which we were raised and live
03:18 our lives in the dysfunctional manner.
03:20 And certainly, some people are much more dysfunctional
03:23 than others due to the home background that
03:27 they were raised in. But those who were raised under
03:31 an alcoholic home, for example, or drug users,
03:36 or where there was abuse, emotional or sexual abuse,
03:42 these are people that are going to have problems that need
03:46 to be worked through as they are adults.
03:49 They may have addictive tendencies, and if you have
03:53 an addiction in one area, the chances are, you're going to
03:57 have several more addictions. So you handle one, and then
04:01 pretty soon you find that you have another one to handle.
04:05 And all of this needs to be looked at before we get married.
04:09 So, if you're examining yourself to see if there's some type
04:13 of addictive behavior that you have, and you know,
04:15 you can be addicted to a lot of things
04:17 - even to the approval of man, instead of the approval of God.
04:22 If you have those insecurities, and you have addictions,
04:24 and you're looking at your own life, I mean,
04:27 that's where we've got to begin, it's with ourselves.
04:29 But how do you spot
04:31 serious dysfunctions in another person?
04:35 Through this testing that I have been talking about before,
04:39 this "Prepare" test would be one of the best ways of spotting it.
04:45 But another recommendation... Just a second, before you go
04:49 forward there, explain to our listeners
04:52 what the Prepare test is. Alright.The Prepare test is done
04:56 in several different forms. It's called Prepare.
04:59 If you are never married it's called Prepare MC.
05:02 If you have been previously married and have children,
05:05 it's called Prepare CC.
05:07 If you are in a "live together" relationship with somebody,
05:10 and may, if you are over the age of 50.
05:14 So we have these different versions, they're administrated
05:17 by pastors, and it can tell you within 86% accuracy
05:22 whether you will go through a divorce or not.
05:25 So pastors, or a mental health counselor,
05:27 family counselor can give this test. Yes, Uh huh.
05:30 Okay, so that's one way, but how's another way that
05:32 you can spot dysfunction in someone.
05:34 I recommend that everybody go through a "12 Step Program".
05:40 I think a 12 step program, and regardless of which
05:45 branch of program you might go through,
05:48 will tell you a lot about yourself.
05:52 It gets into evaluating your character traits.
05:55 In a 12 step program, you have to go back and work
05:59 through your childhood area,
06:02 your area as a young adult,
06:06 as an adult. It is more thorough
06:10 in evaluating your character and who you are,
06:14 than any other thing that I, personally,
06:16 have ever been through, and it will do a lot to make you
06:21 wake up to who you are.
06:23 Of course, it's easier and a lot less expensive than going
06:27 through counseling, but if you know that you have had
06:31 an alcoholic mother or father, drug abuse, any of these serious
06:35 abuse issues, you need to go through some kind of help.
06:38 Now, that may be professional counseling
06:42 and a mental health worker of some kind.
06:45 It can be gotten that way, to find out who you are.
06:49 And there are many excellent self-help books out there.
06:53 You know, I don't think a person should just sit back and say:
06:55 "Oh, God, do something about me. I'm a mess, fix me. "
07:00 God expects us also to use the resources that we have
07:04 at our fingertips. So there are many areas. Oh boy, have I got
07:07 a scripture for that, Romans 8:13 says that if we live
07:14 by the flesh, we will die, but if by the power
07:16 of the Holy Spirit we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh,
07:20 we will live.
07:21 So that scripture shows that we really can't change ourselves,
07:24 Jeremiah 13:23 says that we can't change ourselves more
07:27 than an Ethiopian can change his skin, or a leopard his spots,
07:31 but it also shows that God's not going to change us without
07:35 our cooperation. He says: If by the power of the Holy Spirit,
07:40 it's only by His power, that we can put to death.
07:43 So it's that cooperative effort, we do have to make an effort.
07:47 So, going through a 12 step program, if you know you're
07:51 coming from a dysfunctional background,
07:55 that can be very beneficial for you, but what about, I mean,
07:58 if I'm out on the dating market, and perhaps I've had a friend.
08:04 And we've just been friends within a circle of friends,
08:06 we've just started some casual dating and we're going
08:09 into a little more of a serious dating relationship,
08:13 an exclusive dating relationship.
08:15 How do I recognize in that person, if he's still
08:20 wearing a mask, how do I recognize some dysfunctions?
08:23 Are there some telltale signs?
08:25 There are some telltale signs, and they're listed in my book
08:29 "Smart Love', and I've had women say: "Nancy, if I had read"
08:33 "this book before I got married, I wouldn't be in a divorce"
08:37 "situation now. " But there are some things that you can look at
08:41 Is this person extremely jealous? Danger signal!
08:46 Is he a Hypochondriac? Danger signal!
08:52 Does he have an anger problem? Danger signal!
08:57 Is he ridden by phobias and fears? Danger signal!
09:03 So we can look at some of these things, but they don't
09:07 evidence themselves early in a relationship because people
09:11 do this masking, and we need to get beyond those masks.
09:15 I believe these masks can be in place and secure,
09:19 for up to a year. But masks get hot and heavy,
09:22 and they begin to slip after a year of dating.
09:26 So get past that first year of dating, then take
09:29 the second year to evaluate carefully;
09:32 how does he spend his money?
09:34 Is he going to be a good financial manager?
09:38 What kind of background is he from? Because maybe you have
09:42 worked to get yourself healthy, maybe you come from
09:45 a dysfunctional background, but you want to make sure
09:49 that he also has worked through his issues.
09:53 You see, once a couple get married, we have two people
09:57 in the boat. And if one's rocking the boat, we still need
10:01 one person to stabilize the boat,
10:04 but if both people are unhealthy,
10:08 we're not going to have anybody to stabilize.
10:11 Self-esteem is another major issue that I tell people
10:15 to look at, in fact, I think it is one of the critical
10:19 areas that you must look at.
10:21 How healthy is this person's self-esteem?
10:25 If you've done your work and you have been through
10:28 the grief process, and you've been through a 12 step program,
10:32 and you are healthy, then you've got to make sure that
10:35 the other person that you are marrying is emotionally healthy.
10:39 Either that, or I hope you're going to be a doctor or a nurse,
10:43 because you're going to spend 24 hours a day nursing care.
10:47 But in a relationship we want somebody to nurse our hurts,
10:51 and our wounds once in a while, and a person without healthy
10:56 self-esteem isn't capable of doing that.
10:58 They will take, and take, and take,
11:00 but never be able to give back.
11:02 And you are using the male pronoun "he, "he", "he",
11:06 but it can be "she", she", "she", too, and, you know,
11:09 there's sometimes that I've counseled with a number of men,
11:14 and my husband I, I've counseled with him, who were involved
11:18 with a woman, who, perhaps, they said: "Oh, she needs me"
11:21 "so much", and they were
11:23 actually drawn to this kind of clinging
11:26 vine type personality at first.
11:30 Until, when they married, and suddenly
11:32 they wanted them to be able to be a help mate,
11:35 and not just someone who needed them so much,
11:37 or always a Hypochondriac to,
11:42 maybe, control what was
11:44 happening in the family situation.
11:46 It's a difficult thing that, I think the most important advice
11:49 you can give to someone who's thinking about marrying someone,
11:52 is to say: "Okay, can you live with this"
11:56 "for the rest of your life?" and not think you're going
11:59 to change them, because only God and that person can work
12:02 together to change themselves.
12:04 And people don't try to think of changing prior to the time
12:07 that they are married. I'm thinking,
12:12 when I met Harry, he was absolutely perfect!
12:14 I have letters that I wrote him
12:17 at the time, telling him how perfect he was. Now how long
12:20 did this man stay perfect? Well, probably right up until the
12:24 "I do's" were said, and then I went into my
12:27 "remake Harry" mode,
12:28 and what happens to a relationship after
12:32 a wife begins that - the nagging,
12:34 the complaining, the fault finding?
12:36 The relationship goes downhill in a hurry.
12:39 So we don't talk about it before marriage, but after marriage,
12:43 in my marriage seminar, I spend one whole lesson,
12:46 or 2 hours, teaching people how to accept the other person
12:50 at face value.
12:52 But that needs to be thought of prior
12:54 to the time that we get married. We can't change that person.
12:58 And, especially a man, doesn't want a mother.
13:01 You know, it's funny that you said that about Harry
13:03 because with JD and I,
13:06 he was a true commitment phobic,
13:09 and you've probably dealt with some of those in the past,
13:11 so what he did in our relationship,
13:14 he did not try to, he showed me his very worse side.
13:18 He didn't do anything to, as the world says:
13:22 "Wine and dine you". He had done that
13:23 with all these other women, but because he knew I was
13:26 the real thing, and he really wanted to marry me,
13:28 it was kind of like he did everything he could to make sure
13:31 that it wouldn't happen if I wouldn't accept him.
13:34 And so, it was kind of pleasant. Once we got married
13:37 it was better than before. That's unusual.
13:40 It is unusual, but I knew him well before we married.
13:44 But now, let me ask you, because I hear so many young adults
13:49 say that what they want to do to make sure that they're right
13:54 for each other, is that they want to live together
13:57 for a while and test this relationship,
14:00 and see if that's right. What advice could give to, perhaps,
14:04 some of our viewers who are thinking about moving
14:07 in together to see if they're right for marriage?
14:10 This has been one of the greatest social phenomena
14:13 that has taken place, particularly in America,
14:16 although America is not the only country
14:19 - Sweden, is another very secular society.
14:24 What they don't recognize, couples who live together,
14:27 is they are actually sabotaging
14:29 the possibility of having a healthy relationship.
14:33 That is, in addition to the fact
14:36 that it is not part pf God's plan for us prior to the time
14:39 that we are married. But there are seven major studies
14:43 that show that relationships, couples, who live together
14:47 before they are married have a higher rate of break-up.
14:51 In America it's 50% higher, in Canada it's 54% higher,
14:57 and in Sweden it's 80% higher divorce rates when a couple
15:01 live together.
15:02 You know something that is so funny,I tell people:
15:05 "You don't know somebody truly"
15:07 "until you marry them. " And you see so many times people
15:10 who've lived together for a year, or two years,
15:12 and then they get married, and they think by living together
15:15 they've learned who that person is, and then they get
15:18 married and they're like:
15:19 "Who is this person that I've married?" because, really,
15:24 I guess for all of us there's some sort of camouflage
15:28 that goes on until that final "I do" and then it comes off.
15:33 We might use that term "masking" again. You see,
15:35 when you're married, you can't get out of it without
15:38 going through a divorce.
15:40 Now actually, they have what they call
15:42 the "Honeymoon phase", the "glow"
15:44 that will last about 6 weeks, but then you begin
15:47 to let your guard down. But with a couple now who
15:51 is living together, you stay on your best behavior
15:55 maybe for a little longer period of time because
15:58 that person could dump you at any point, but eventually,
16:03 the real you will come out
16:06 and you may not like what you are seeing in the other person.
16:09 Yet, it's hard to get out of these
16:12 live-together relationships.
16:16 They also find that there is more abuse - [host] Really?
16:21 Yes, more abuse, more alcoholism
16:24 more drug abuse, in live-together relationships.
16:28 And again, I think a lot of women
16:32 do it for desperation.
16:34 Alright, let's look for a moment now why women want
16:36 a live-together relationship and why men do.
16:40 We come up with two separate reasons: women do it because
16:44 they are hoping that this will lead to a permanent relationship
16:48 or to marriage.
16:49 But you know what men say? I get sex,
16:52 when I want it, how I want it, and it's safe sex.
16:58 Men are doing it to avoid that commitment.
17:01 Yes, and men are getting all the advantages,
17:03 and women are paying the price, and they're not smart
17:06 enough to hold out until they are married
17:10 and follow God's word.
17:12 Well, certainly, living together is no insurance against
17:15 a divorce, should you once then decide to marry.
17:18 Is there any divorce insurance?
17:21 The best divorce insurance that's out there, is a required
17:26 waiting time prior to the time
17:28 that a couple get married,
17:30 and I believe that our churches should be insisting
17:34 that a couple wait close to several months,
17:38 maybe even as much as 6 months.
17:41 She may be pregnant, she... you know,
17:43 there may be a lot of reasons for rushing through this.
17:47 There's a time period where
17:49 I believe they should be going into intensive
17:52 premarital guidance, and following a curriculum,
17:56 meeting with their pastor or a pastoral couple,
18:00 a counselor of some kind
18:02 who is trained in this, to go through these issues.
18:05 The best divorce insurance, of course, is going to be
18:08 this prepare test that I mentioned,
18:12 that can actually evaluate
18:14 the relationship, in black and white,
18:16 making sure that the couple is ready?
18:19 Can you cheat on that test?
18:21 I don't think you can cheat on this test.
18:23 And what would be the advantage of cheating?
18:25 You're only fooling yourself and ruining your chances.
18:29 And then afterwards there's a mentor couple
18:34 that would be great to work with.
18:36 Now let me recommend that the mentor couple
18:39 not be a pastoral couple. I'll tell you why,
18:42 because if anybody has to be on their good behavior,
18:45 it's the pastor and his wife at all times.
18:47 So let me make sure I understand what you're saying is that
18:52 if you've gone through this prepare test, that most pastors
18:56 and family counselors can give you this test and if those
19:00 results are good then you may go forward,
19:03 if they're not good then you probably want to go
19:05 for counseling and straighten these issues out
19:08 before you get married. But once you're married,
19:10 you're saying now you need to have a mentor couple,
19:13 and don't choose the pastor and his wife.
19:15 I'm saying before you get married you have a mentor couple
19:21 who have been married for a few years,
19:23 and you can talk over real issues with them.
19:27 How have they worked it out?
19:29 And this is another excellent piece of advice,
19:32 so if a couple were doing all of these things,
19:36 they would enter marriage intelligently.
19:40 Right now, we have no intelligent way of preparing
19:44 people for marriage.
19:46 Even a drivers license you have to study a booklet for,
19:49 and you have to take an eye test, and you have to do
19:53 several things, but for marriage we require hardly anything
19:57 of a couple before this. It's foolishness!
20:00 Yes it is foolishness.
20:02 Well, what are some of the things that you would think are
20:04 the best ways to select a mate, or what's to look for in a mate?
20:09 One of the best ways of evaluating a person,
20:12 and without knowing anything about them, you need to know
20:17 about their home background.
20:19 How was this person raised?
20:22 The healthier that their mother and father were in their
20:27 relationship when they were growing up,
20:30 the higher the chances are that this person
20:33 will be a healthy person. But the more issues that
20:38 this person grew up with, a single parent, abuse,
20:43 multiple divorces, all of these things are now going
20:46 to rise to haunt this person. Another issue that this person
20:51 has to work through. So the happier that person's
20:56 mother and father were, they start out with an advantage
21:00 right off the bat. Then there are many other things
21:02 that you need to look at, but just look
21:05 at how were they raised? That's the big issue.
21:09 Well, now I'm going to have to take issue on that a little bit,
21:12 and that is to say that there's exceptions to every rule
21:15 because when I first met my husband,
21:20 he was working on his doctorate in Psychology,
21:22 and when he first met my family he said:
21:25 "They threw away the book. "
21:27 My mother had been married multiple time, manic depressive,
21:32 I had an abusive alcoholic step-father and then she became
21:36 an alcoholic, she was not abusive, but she became
21:39 an alcoholic as well. And I came from an incredibly
21:42 dysfunctional family and was one of those who had that
21:46 exaggerated sense of responsibility, and very mature
21:50 at a very young age. Now, it did affect my sister differently,
21:53 she falls into that category you're talking about,
21:56 so there are individual circumstances, but surely,
21:59 one thing that my mother always told me, Nancy, was:
22:02 "Make sure that the man you're thinking of marrying has a good"
22:05 "relationship with his mother, because if he doesn't treat"
22:09 "her well, then you've got problems. "
22:12 That's right, and so, you need to see this person
22:15 with their family, if their family is anywhere
22:19 to be around; how do they relate to their family?
22:23 What kind of sex attitudes did this person grow up with?
22:27 Is there any strong aversion to sex,
22:30 and who was the primary sex educator?
22:35 How happy was their mother?
22:37 How happy was the person's father?
22:39 All of these are issues that are going
22:41 to come to play in marriage.
22:43 You know, this is something that as Christians we believe
22:46 that you should not have sex before marriage,
22:49 which the Bible is very clear about,
22:51 but I remember my pastor when I was very young,
22:55 he and his wife, as I grew into an adult
22:59 and I was involved in part-time ministry, I became
23:02 very good friends with them, and they talked very openly
23:04 when I was single and thinking about getting married,
23:07 they talked very openly with me and they'd had a lot
23:10 of horrible problems in their marriage, which never showed,
23:15 none of us knew that, but they were basically living together
23:19 till the children got old enough to
23:22 go off to college, and then they were able
23:24 to salvage their marriage. But the issue was that
23:28 the Christian home in which he was brought up,
23:29 his mother was the sex educator
23:32 and she taught him that sex was dirty, that it was nasty,
23:36 and so that was their main problem in their relationship,
23:41 is that he had an aversion against this.
23:44 And he had to eventually face this and go to counseling.
23:48 So there's so many different things that come into play here,
23:51 aren't there? There are many different things,
23:53 and this type of an aversion, or poor background is going
23:57 to come into play with a person perhaps thinking of sex
24:01 as something ugly, or dirty
24:04 and not as the beautiful gift
24:06 that God has given to husband and wife.
24:09 And I do stake a very strong stand about no sex prior
24:13 to the time that we are married. You have to look
24:17 at the word "virgin" to really understand this.
24:21 When you look at the word "virgin" in the dictionary,
24:24 it talks about purity and chastity;
24:28 and it mentions a person of either sex.
24:32 So this isn't something that's only required of females.
24:36 God wants both male and female to be sexually pure,
24:41 which gets into some other areas
24:43 which are questionable sexual activities.
24:46 A lot of people are thinking that they can do certain things
24:50 and they still are not part of God's plan for our life.
24:54 Did you know that 39 times in scripture, God speaks against
24:59 sexual activity prior to the time that we are married.
25:03 This is a very strong message that He's trying to give to us.
25:07 And single's are having big problems with this. Why?
25:11 Because they've been married previously, they're not used
25:15 to a dating relationship where some place along the line
25:19 you can express romantic affection for the other person,
25:23 but you're supposed to call a halt. Where is this line?
25:26 Where should we be calling a halt? Big issues!
25:29 But I also feel that this is one of the big issues why there's
25:34 a higher divorce rate the second and third time around.
25:38 Stats show us that about 95% of singles do engage in
25:43 sexual activity prior to the time that they are married.
25:48 Now you're talking singles, people who are single again
25:52 and have been previously married.
25:54 Because - even among Christians? Even among Christians -
25:58 which affects the divorce rate.
26:00 I believe the closer we come to God's pattern,
26:04 the closer we follow God's rules, the better and higher
26:08 our chances are going to be.
26:11 And the living together business is not part of God's plan.
26:16 You know when you were saying how people don't know
26:19 if they've been accustomed to,
26:22 when they are romantically involved with someone,
26:25 if they've been married and they're accustomed to that
26:27 they don't know how to go into a new relationship
26:30 and once it becomes a serious relationship,
26:32 express that romantic intimacy with one another without
26:37 going beyond that place that is acceptable
26:41 in God's eyes for unmarried people.
26:44 I thought of the scripture in Romans 13:14 that talks about
26:48 making no provision for the flesh, put off the old [?],
26:51 clothe yourself with Jesus; make no provision for the flesh
26:55 because the only way, if that is,
26:58 and boy I've talked with a lot of people here who'll say:
27:01 "we never intended to, we agreed we weren't"
27:04 "going to do this, but you know,"
27:06 "it was just late and we'd had a nice dinner"
27:09 "and we were cozied up by the fire all alone,"
27:12 "and the music was playing, and it happened;"
27:15 "and it just seemed so right. " The thing that we've got
27:18 to do is make no provision for the flesh. Avoid those places
27:24 that you could get into those problems.
27:26 Well, you know what? Our time is all gone already,
27:29 I can't believe it. Nancy it goes by so fast
27:31 when you're here.
27:32 Thank you so much and I think we've got some good advice
27:34 out there for our people, and I hope people watch
27:39 this program and be fit to be tied. Thank you so much
27:43 for joining us and remember, put off the childish things,
27:47 become mature in the Lord Jesus Christ,
27:49 and you can have a happy relationship again.
27:53 Thank you.