Marriage in God's Hands

Learning To Become One

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Alane Waters, Tom Waters


Series Code: MGH

Program Code: MGH000001

00:32 Welcome to Marriage Heart To Heart.
00:35 We're Tom and Alane Waters with Restoration International.
00:38 And we want you to experience a marriage that's
00:42 truly heart to heart;
00:43 heart to heart with our heavenly Father,
00:46 and heart to heart with the one you love.
00:50 So we hope that you brought paper and pencil so that
00:52 you can take notes.
00:54 And if you didn't, we encourage you to get that so that you can
00:57 remember more what you've learned from today's program.
01:02 Today we're going to be talking about learning to become one.
01:06 Now that wasn't necessarily as easy as we thought it
01:09 was going to be, was it honey?
01:10 No, I thought it would just happen spontaneously.
01:13 So we're going to be sharing with you very openly
01:16 and honestly how it began for us.
01:18 It began wonderfully, but things started to happen
01:22 shortly after our honeymoon.
01:25 Yea, and I'd like to take us back to our courtship.
01:27 And we encourage all of you that are viewing today,
01:31 to also think about your courtship and your wedding day
01:35 as we share with you from our experience.
01:37 But our courtship was so special.
01:40 I can remember any time we had a few minutes,
01:43 we'd look for ways to communicate with each other.
01:46 You know, when you were on break from your responsibilities
01:49 in the hospital and I would be in my apartment,
01:51 I would anticipate your break time and anticipate that
01:55 phone call because I knew that we loved to have every
01:58 moment together, even if it was only by phone.
02:00 Oh yes, we never ran out of things to talk about, did we?
02:03 No, all through our courtship and engagement,
02:06 we just wanted to have more time.
02:08 We weren't getting enough time with each other and
02:10 we never ran out of anything to talk about.
02:12 And it seemed to me like we really didn't run
02:14 into any conflict.
02:16 We had a great time.
02:18 So let's talk about our wedding day.
02:21 You know, that day that we looked forward to
02:23 was such an exhilarating adventure.
02:27 But I have to tell the people, that day when I was standing
02:31 up there waiting for you to come through those doors...
02:34 And go back with me as we talk about this.
02:37 I don't know how it was for you men, but you think about
02:40 what it was like on that wedding day.
02:41 I was standing there in my tuxedo and I remember
02:45 as you were back there, and we were in a pretty big church,
02:49 and you were behind those doors, and I knew my bride
02:52 was going to come through those doors.
02:53 And that was exciting.
02:55 But I remember thinking, "My heart is pounding so hard,
03:00 I wonder of these people can see it. "
03:02 So I very discreetly looked down at my tux jacket
03:06 to see if it was flopping up and down, but it wasn't.
03:09 But I was anxious and I was excited.
03:13 This was going to be my new life with my new bride.
03:16 Now were you pretty nervous too?
03:18 I didn't feel nervous at all.
03:20 I was just so excited and I was waiting for those doors to open.
03:24 I could hardly wait to go down the aisle
03:26 and stand by your side and make that commitment for life
03:30 that I wanted to be your wife.
03:32 And the excitement and the enthusiasm,
03:34 it just seemed like it was nothing but all my energy
03:39 was focused on you.
03:41 Now we wanted our love to start out right.
03:44 So what we did, I found this book that had 31 versions
03:50 of the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.
03:53 I wanted us to be able to have something very special
03:56 in that very first wedding day when we were
04:00 heading off for our honeymoon.
04:01 Do you remember what we did?
04:02 Yes, that evening, you brought out this book and you said,
04:06 Honey, I would like to start our marriage, and from this day
04:10 forward to read 1 Corinthians 13 about love.
04:15 It sounded like a great start, wasn't it?
04:16 It was, I was very impressed and very happy.
04:19 Well then we set off, we flew out the next morning
04:22 to our special place on Hilton Head Island.
04:26 I know you remember that.
04:27 Yes I do.
04:29 I asked that we, I didn't care where we went as long as we
04:32 had a warm place to go because I like heat and sunshine.
04:35 And now we were starting our wonderful new lives together.
04:40 Well, do you remember what happened the first time we
04:42 went out to play tennis?
04:44 Yes, we had never played tennis in our courtship
04:46 or engagement and it was interesting.
04:49 I always thought I was a good tennis player
04:51 and I told you, "Oh yes, I really love to play tennis. "
04:54 So we got out on the court and we began to play tennis.
04:58 It wasn't what I thought it was going to be.
05:00 And I think you were use to the guys that you were with before
05:05 hitting the ball to you.
05:07 And I was a bit too competitive, wasn't I.
05:09 Well, it seemed that way.
05:11 I just felt like I was spending a lot of time running
05:14 back and forth from one side of the court to the other.
05:16 And it seemed like if I hit the ball, it often wouldn't
05:19 even go in the court.
05:21 So, you know, it did...
05:23 I thought, maybe I was just having an off day or something.
05:26 But as we tried it a couple more times, I soon realized
05:29 that I am really not a good tennis player
05:31 and this really isn't enjoyable.
05:33 It was just a lot of extra hard work for me.
05:35 Well, we decided tennis wasn't for us.
05:39 At least not now.
05:40 So we moved from tennis into canoeing.
05:43 Which was another new experience that we had not
05:46 done together before this.
05:48 And we just really encourage you, if you are engaged
05:52 at this point, or you have a special relationship
05:55 with someone, do some of these things together so you really
05:58 know how you each really are.
06:00 But my husband didn't know that I had a fear of water.
06:05 And so we got in the canoe and the first thing I wanted to do
06:08 was put this life jacket on.
06:10 Do you remember that?
06:11 I just wanted to make sure.
06:12 And you probably thought "What is she doing
06:14 putting a life jacket on in a canoe. "
06:15 At least they had it in the canoe, but I wasn't use to just
06:17 putting it on, especially when it was warm.
06:18 Yes, well I tightened all mine up and I was ready to go,
06:21 but it seemed like every time you turned to one side
06:24 or the other, the canoe started tipping and I would hold on
06:26 at the end, the edges, and I was quite fearful.
06:30 Well, we don't want to paint such a negative picture
06:32 because we did have a great honeymoon.
06:34 We did.
06:35 But really, where we had a great time was bicycling.
06:39 Now I have to tell you, this is quite humorous, but
06:41 they would not rent us a car.
06:43 Here we are nearly 24 years old and we can't rent a car
06:48 on our honeymoon because we're too young.
06:50 You had to be 25 to rent a car.
06:52 So we rented bicycles.
06:54 And we had a great time riding bicycles.
06:57 I was pretty good at riding a bicycle.
06:59 I had a little work to keep up with you but it was enjoyable
07:02 and we had a good time.
07:03 Just being together, that's what I was looking forward to.
07:07 Just having every moment with you,
07:09 because I loved you so much.
07:10 And I just knew no matter how, you know, uncoordinated
07:15 I might have been in some of these things,
07:16 life was just going to be happy ever after.
07:20 And then we went back to the real life.
07:23 You know, that's one of the things, after the honeymoon,
07:25 you go back to real life.
07:26 And we were both working at the hospital and we both had
07:30 rather stressful jobs at time.
07:33 And what began to happen then, dear?
07:36 Well, it seemed that as we would get up in the morning
07:40 and travel to the hospital together, it seemed that
07:43 you were very quiet in the morning.
07:45 And I wasn't use to you being quiet.
07:49 I was use to you talking to me and feeling free
07:52 that I could share with you.
07:53 And so I can remember after a little while, I'd start saying
07:56 things like, "How come you don't talk to me in the morning?"
08:01 You know, I really hadn't had that experience because
08:05 we weren't talking early in the morning and so you didn't know
08:09 that I wasn't really a morning person.
08:11 And so I used as my excuse, "Well, I'm just not very
08:15 talkative early in the morning. "
08:17 That's right, that's what you told me.
08:19 "I'm not a morning person. "
08:20 So you told me, "Go ahead and talk. "
08:22 And so I would, I can talk any time of the day.
08:25 You know that.
08:26 So I would talk to work, going to work.
08:29 Then I noticed coming home you weren't very talkative.
08:32 And I said, "How come you don't talk to me?"
08:34 And this is after work.
08:35 You've been awake all day, you've worked hard.
08:37 I'm interested to know what your day was like
08:40 and who you talked to and what you did in your job.
08:44 And it seemed that you were very quiet.
08:46 And yet, when we were courting, you would call me all the time
08:49 and tell me all about your day.
08:51 And you know, folks, what I was experiencing,
08:54 and I didn't realize all this at the time,
08:56 but I was feeling pressure now because now I was in
08:59 the real life, I was in these stressful situations.
09:03 Now here's my wife putting pressure on me that I'm
09:07 not communicating right.
09:09 And so she started feeling this pressure and I started
09:13 feeling the pressure, and the little walls started
09:17 going up between us.
09:18 And I started thinking, "You really don't seem like
09:21 the same person that I married either. "
09:23 You know, you were this bubbly vivacious woman.
09:27 You know, you were very confident and organized
09:31 and on top of things.
09:32 And now I started noticing that you're withdrawing.
09:37 And I'm thinking, "Well, is this just because, you know.
09:40 What is she really like?
09:42 Did I really not get to know her?"
09:43 And so the walls started coming up between us.
09:46 And I think at that time, we didn't even recognize
09:49 those walls were being built.
09:50 I think that we both were in a new phase that we had
09:55 never experienced before.
09:56 And when I married you, I just expected that you were
10:00 just going to make me a part of every aspect of your life.
10:04 And that's what I was wanting you to become in my life.
10:07 And so I was pressuring you, questioning you,
10:10 I want you to do this for me.
10:12 And that was making you pull back.
10:15 And yet I was trying to include myself into your life
10:18 and all these other areas.
10:20 And that wasn't what you were expecting, and so you were
10:23 kind of, you know, a little bit shy of that.
10:25 You know, you liked to be with your buddies,
10:27 you liked to be with your friends at work.
10:29 And then when you'd come home, then you could
10:31 be with your wife.
10:32 And so I think that what happened is we didn't
10:35 recognize that these little things were starting to
10:39 build in our marriage.
10:41 And I found myself at times feeling frustrated and hurt.
10:48 And I think every woman out there knows
10:50 what I'm talking about.
10:51 We can easily be hurt.
10:53 And I found myself responding to you in ways that
10:57 I wasn't accustomed, that I even had done before.
11:00 You know, sarcastically saying sharp things to you.
11:06 Because you weren't meeting my need.
11:08 Or my perceived need.
11:09 And I wasn't really understanding you.
11:12 And I wasn't being sensitive to you and I didn't
11:15 recognize these things.
11:16 And so I remember it got to the point for you
11:19 that there were times I could actually walk in the kitchen,
11:21 you know, several months down the road in our marriage,
11:25 I could walk in the kitchen and you would have a reaction.
11:30 Do you remember that?
11:32 Oh yes.
11:33 I mean, there were times that I'd actually start
11:35 seeing your hand shake, and you would start fumbling.
11:39 And instead of me having tenderness and pity for you
11:44 and being sympathetic, it irritated me.
11:48 It was like, what is going on here?
11:50 Where is this vivacious wonderful woman that I married?
11:56 And I found myself just withering away and withdrawing.
11:59 And, you know, when you would respond that way,
12:03 I would feel like I wasn't doing things right.
12:05 And so I would try really hard.
12:06 And, you know, I might cut myself or burn myself.
12:09 And it seemed like once a week, I had a new injury somewhere
12:12 from being in the kitchen.
12:13 And I think also that I didn't understand the effects,
12:20 something was happening different in me that I
12:22 had never experienced.
12:23 The effects of the birth control that I had been put on
12:26 was really messing up my thoughts
12:29 and my emotional stability.
12:30 Which having never experienced that before...
12:33 Not to mention your hormones.
12:34 Yes, really.
12:36 But we didn't know that was a factor at the time.
12:38 But it was a very real factor, we discovered later.
12:41 But it only made these things more difficult to deal with.
12:45 And, you know, as we've had the opportunity to talk with
12:48 many, many couples over the years, we were entering into
12:52 what I now call, the fatal cycle.
12:56 And we have seen scores of couples enter this fatal cycle,
12:59 not even knowing that they're entering into it.
13:02 And for us, the fatal cycle for me, without even realizing it,
13:06 I was living a single lifestyle and trying to fit you into it,
13:12 as a married man.
13:13 I didn't even know it.
13:14 I was just trying to fit you.
13:17 I wanted to keep all my interests, all my friends,
13:19 all my buddies, and I wanted to fit you in.
13:23 And that's not how you viewed the marriage.
13:25 I didn't know I viewed it that way, but that was what was
13:27 beginning our fatal cycle; is me trying to fit you
13:31 in to my lifestyle.
13:32 I was holding a single life, and didn't even realize it,
13:36 while I was a married man.
13:39 Well, sometimes when we were together in the evenings,
13:41 there were many happy times, but there were also
13:44 some evenings that were quite stressful.
13:46 It depended upon how responsive you would be
13:50 to me, at least coming home.
13:53 And if you were more withdrawn or quiet, then I would
13:55 find myself withdrawing from you.
13:57 And my communication with you, again, would be a little
14:00 sharper or more indifferent, like, "You can't really touch me
14:04 or, you know, you're not going to hurt my feelings. "
14:07 But it really wasn't true, it was a cover up.
14:09 Well, we're going to talk about that.
14:12 We need to take a break here, but when we come back,
14:14 we want to talk about where that fatal cycle led us
14:19 and how God broke through to restore us.
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15:02 Welcome back.
15:03 We're talking about how we became one.
15:08 And so far, we haven't really given you much evidence
15:11 that we're doing a very good job.
15:12 But, stay with us because I really was in love with my wife
15:19 and she was in love with me.
15:21 But, you know, as we've talked to so many couples,
15:25 this is not so uncommon in marriage.
15:29 Many people just don't know how to deal with it.
15:32 So we're going to be talking about how God takes these
15:36 difficult situations and makes a marriage that's
15:41 truly heart to heart; heart to heart with God
15:44 and heart to heart with one another.
15:46 So here we are, we're back at this dreadful evening, dear.
15:51 I remember it very well.
15:52 Probably too well.
15:54 I'm thankful that as we recount this evening and the pain
16:00 that was there, we are past that.
16:03 And we got past it very soon after that evening.
16:06 Because God is going to do great things in people's lives.
16:10 God does want those people out there to have
16:13 a marriage heart to heart.
16:14 That's right, He still does miracles every day
16:17 in our hearts.
16:19 And that's the exciting thing about God, is He's bigger
16:22 than all of our problems.
16:24 And He has a way to heal those hurts and fix those problems
16:28 and really bring us heart to heart.
16:30 And sometimes we have to go through some hard things
16:33 before we really realize where our solution is.
16:37 So that evening we had another one of our blow ups.
16:44 And you headed one direction and I headed the other.
16:48 And I ended up down in the basement,
16:50 the basement of our house.
16:53 And I was sitting down there and I was feeling
16:55 pretty sorry for myself.
16:57 You didn't know that at the time.
16:58 But I was sitting there thinking, "Here we go again. "
17:04 I was so frustrated, so upset, and I was so focused
17:09 on my selfishness.
17:12 And I didn't know what to do.
17:14 I was questioning our marriage, I was questioning,
17:17 "What is going on here?"
17:19 And I don't know what was happening with you.
17:21 What was going on with you upstairs?
17:23 Well, I started to go to the bedroom, but realized I didn't
17:28 want to go there because I figured when you came back up,
17:30 that's where you'd find me.
17:31 So I went into the office because I figured you
17:35 wouldn't find me there so quickly.
17:37 But I was feeling quite hurt, again, and feeling
17:41 very discouraged.
17:42 And yet in my heart, I knew you loved me
17:44 and I knew I loved you.
17:46 And I was confident that God had brought us together.
17:49 Amen.
17:50 You know, sometimes these difficulties
17:52 cause us to question.
17:53 But we can't really question.
17:55 We have to believe that when we join as husband and wife,
17:59 we are making that commitment to one another forever
18:02 and before God.
18:03 And that's a forever commitment.
18:05 Amen.
18:06 And I was really questioning in my own mind, you know,
18:11 "What's wrong with me? Am I losing it?"
18:15 And so I turned my focus off of you and I started
18:18 looking at myself, but not in a positive way.
18:22 In a very negative way.
18:24 And so it brought me more and more discouragement,
18:26 and I found myself feeling incapably even of making
18:31 simple decisions and fearful of not knowing how to react.
18:37 I'm sorry I put you through that, dear.
18:39 I forgave you a long time ago.
18:41 It was my own choice.
18:42 But you know, that night as I was sitting down there
18:44 in the basement, I was thinking about myself
18:49 and what's wrong with you.
18:51 It was a "me" focus.
18:53 And we're going to be talking about that.
18:55 But you know, I didn't understand how God really
18:58 speaks to us in that still small voice.
19:01 But that night, I'll never forget, that night as I was
19:04 sitting there on the couch, this thought came so vividly.
19:08 It might as well have been an audible voice.
19:09 It wasn't an audible voice, but the Holy Spirit came through
19:13 so forcibly, and this is the thought that came to me.
19:15 "If you don't stop picking on you wife,
19:19 you will destroy her. "
19:23 Ohhh.
19:24 It just sat me back, there on the couch.
19:28 And suddenly, for the first time I got my mind off myself
19:33 and I started thinking about you.
19:37 And I started realizing, this is my problem.
19:41 It's not just your problem, it's not what you are doing
19:44 or not doing, I've got a problem.
19:47 And so this is the next thought that the Lord brought to me
19:51 when I started to open my heart to the Lord there on the couch;
19:56 think of 10 things that you love and appreciate about your wife.
20:03 Ten things.
20:05 Now today, if I had to think of ten things about my wife that
20:08 I love and appreciate, it would be a very easy thing to do.
20:12 But that night, because of what we had been through,
20:15 it was not an easy thing.
20:16 And I sat there, and the only thing that I
20:18 could think of was...
20:21 I was a good cook.
20:22 ...a great cook.
20:23 I know.
20:25 But that had already caused great conflict in our marriage
20:28 because I said you were a great cook, didn't I.
20:31 Daily, daily, that was my great compliment.
20:34 I said to you one day, "Honey, I want to be
20:36 more than a cook to you. "
20:39 And so here I was trying to think of ten things,
20:42 that's all the Lord is asking me to do, think of ten things
20:45 that I love and appreciate about my wife.
20:46 And I couldn't.
20:48 And I cried out to the Lord. I said, "Oh God, help me. "
20:53 I saw my need, I saw the direction that I was going
20:57 and where it was taking us.
20:58 We were in a fatal cycle.
21:01 And I cried out to the Lord.
21:03 And the Lord began to open my heart.
21:05 And the thoughts began to flow and I started getting excited.
21:10 And I started writing things down.
21:12 And I got so excited, I wanted to come upstairs and find you
21:16 and tell you what great things God was doing in me.
21:19 And then the Lord restrained me.
21:22 The restraint was, "No. "
21:24 No.
21:25 "You need to demonstrate this love and appreciation.
21:29 Don't speak about it, don't tell her all these things
21:33 that you love and appreciate about her.
21:35 Demonstrate that love to her. "
21:40 And do you remember, I came up.
21:42 And you did find me.
21:44 I found you.
21:45 And when I found you and I saw you sitting in the corner
21:49 of our office on the floor, huddled, broken hearted,
21:55 weeping, God broke through to my heart.
21:59 Remember that moment?
22:00 Oh, I do.
22:02 I heard you coming up the stairs and I kind of
22:05 snuggled into my corner because I was embarrassed
22:07 for where I was and I knew that I wasn't coping
22:11 the way I should be.
22:12 And as you came up and you stood in the door,
22:16 after you looked for me in the bedrooms,
22:18 you stood in the door and you saw me there.
22:22 I sensed that moment of hesitation and contemplation.
22:27 And then you spoke so gently and so tenderly.
22:32 I mean, it's just as if you just spoke those words to me,
22:34 "Honey, I'm sorry.
22:38 I'm sorry for the way I've treated you. "
22:41 The first thing that you told me is that you were sorry,
22:43 and then you said, "Honey, I love you. "
22:45 And then you started coming into the room,
22:47 then you knelt down by me there on the floor.
22:50 And of course, I was embarrassed for being there.
22:53 But I was so embarrassed, I didn't even
22:56 really want to look up.
22:57 And then you shared with me what was really in your heart.
23:03 And as you shared it with me, I mean, I found
23:06 my heart just opening up like a flower to the sunshine.
23:11 And...
23:12 I find myself reliving the emotion at the moment.
23:15 It was very meaningful and very tender, wasn't it.
23:19 It was a turning point in our relationship.
23:22 Amen.
23:23 And as you spoke those words and you told me, you said,
23:27 "God has put it in my heart to show appreciation towards you.
23:33 And I'm going to demonstrate these things.
23:35 I have written ten things. "
23:36 You told me how you wrote them on the paper
23:38 and that you weren't going to let me read your list.
23:41 And I really wanted to read it because wanted to know
23:43 what was on that list.
23:44 But you weren't going to let me read it.
23:46 You said, "I'm going to demonstrate these to you.
23:48 I'm going to show you and then you tell me how I'm doing.
23:53 You figure out that list by how I live and how I treat you
23:56 and how I respond to you. "
23:59 And then, I'm still not looking at you except, you know,
24:02 under my arm there.
24:03 And then you said to me, "And I want you to know
24:08 that being a good cook is not one of them. "
24:11 And with that, I tell you, my head popped up
24:14 and a laugh came just right out.
24:17 Do you remember that? I just burst out laughing.
24:19 And then all that pent up emotion.
24:22 Because we really did love each other.
24:24 But we had so long, or in our own ways, quietly subtly
24:29 built these walls that were barricading us from each other.
24:32 And as you spoke those words, and the laughter came,
24:36 you took me by the hand and you looked me right in the eye,
24:39 and you said, "I really do love you. "
24:42 And it was so meaningful.
24:44 It was like the past was done, we're in a new life,
24:48 and we're going to move forward from this point on.
24:51 And you knew at that moment that I really did love you.
24:54 I did, and I was convinced.
24:56 I knew it before too.
24:57 The beauty of that situation was that you already knew
25:00 I loved you, but now you were experiencing that love.
25:06 And I remember embracing you there in that moment.
25:10 That was a very special moment.
25:12 You know, Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be ye kind one to another,
25:19 tenderhearted, forgiving one another,
25:23 even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. "
25:29 You know, one of the things that I remember most about that
25:32 evening was your forgiveness.
25:36 That true forgiveness that only comes from God.
25:40 And it's beautiful.
25:41 And it's the only place that it can come from
25:43 because we cannot generate that forgiveness in and of ourselves.
25:49 Not only did I forgive you that night, honey,
25:51 but you also forgave me; my selfishness and
25:55 my self-focus and my stubbornness.
25:57 And it's never been the same since.
25:59 We had a new start and it's only gotten better.
26:02 Now I never saw the original list, but I knew what they were.
26:06 But I have a new list you gave me a few years ago.
26:09 It has 54 things on it that you love and appreciate about me.
26:12 And the exciting thing is that I know them because that's
26:15 how you treat me, that's how you live towards me every day.
26:18 Well, it's wonderful because I could write a new list
26:21 probably every day.
26:23 Because love continues to grow.
26:24 And we do have a marriage that's heart to heart.
26:27 And we want this for you, our listening and viewing audience,
26:31 to have that kind of marriage.
26:33 It only comes through Christ.
26:34 And if you find yourself in a stressful difficult situation
26:38 in your marriage, God can give you the answers.
26:42 Be willing to go to God, cry out like we did,
26:45 and God will be there for you.
26:47 In fact, I think it would be great right now
26:48 if we prayed together.
26:51 Father in heaven, we do thank You for the opportunity
26:53 to come to You in every situation.
26:56 You're the creator of life and of marriage.
26:59 We know in coming into oneness with You,
27:01 it's only then that we come into oneness;
27:04 to become one with each other and have a marriage
27:07 that's heart to heart.
27:08 Bless us to that end.
27:09 Through Jesus Christ we pray, amen.
27:14 Well, we're going to be talking about something that everybody
27:16 experiences, and that is, the two "me's" or the one "us".
27:22 What do you like better, the "me" focus or the "us" focus?
27:26 I'd rather have one "us" than two "me's".
27:27 That's right, and so we need to move from the "me" focus
27:32 to the "us" focus.
27:33 Because we're just focused on ourselves
27:36 when we're in a "me" focus.
27:37 It's a very selfish focus.
27:38 So that's what we're going to be talking about
27:40 when we get together next time; two "me's" or one "us",
27:45 on Marriage Heart To Heart.


Revised 2014-12-17