Participants: Alane Waters, Tom Waters
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000002
00:01 A promise
00:03 to love
00:06 in good times
00:07 and bad
00:12 for richer
00:14 or poorer
00:17 forsaking all others
00:19 as long as
00:21 you both shall live
00:25 Marriage In God's Hands
00:28 Marriage Heart to Heart with Tom and Alane Waters
00:32 Welcome to Marriage Heart to Heart!
00:35 We're Tom and Alane Waters with Restoration International.
00:38 And we're going to be continuing today to talk about principles
00:42 that will make a vital difference in our marriages. We want you to experience a
00:48 marriage that's heart to heart.
00:50 So today we hope you brought a paper and pencil so that you can
00:54 take notes. because we're going to be talking about a very important topic: Two "me"-s or
01:00 one "us". Well, you may remember, last time we were talking about the fatal cycle,
01:05 and how that affected us in in our marriage.
01:09 And it was very difficult and it was painful for a period of
01:13 time. And you remember that, dear. You remember what actually lead us into that fatal cycle
01:19 and how we began to recognize it.
01:21 Oh, yes. The "me"-s in both of us were very big.
01:26 When two people are in a marriage and they both have the
01:31 "me focus", that self focus, that looks for what you do for me and how you affect me,
01:37 if we're both in the "me focus", we can't have a marriage that's
01:43 heart to heart. So we're gonna be talking about how we moved from the "me focus" to the "us
01:49 focus". There are two distinct people in a marriage. And we come from different backgrounds,
01:54 different personalities, we have our own idiosyncrasies,
01:59 we have our own educational backgrounds and many things that affect us individually.
02:05 And we have to find what those things are in us and in each other and we must learn
02:10 to blend them so that we can truly have a marriage heart to
02:13 heart. Otherwise what we end up with is the strong "me" in myself and the strong "me" in
02:20 you, and we often then find conflict.
02:24 Let's talk about what God's word says about the two "me"-s
02:28 and how that moves to the "us".
02:30 It'd be great, if you have your Bibles, you can open with us to Matthew the 19. chapter,
02:35 and we're gonna be looking there at verses 5 and 6. These are very familiar verses.
02:40 "For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife:
02:47 and they twain shall be one flesh." And then verse 6 says:
02:52 "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined
02:58 together, let not man put asunder."
03:04 So that word "cleave", that's an interesting word.
03:07 - Strong word.
03:08 Very strong. It means that we're gonna be glued together. I mean,
03:12 I think of magnets that attract each other, kind of stuck. And when they're together,
03:16 they're hard to pull apart. That's that cleaving that God wants to help us to develop,
03:21 but when we are in the me focus, there's no adhesive to that glue
03:28 or the magnets are almost in reverse, where they repel each
03:30 other. And that's what we found happened in our relationship;
03:33 when I was focused on what I wanted, and everything in the marriage only focused on me,
03:39 or when you were focused on what you wanted and what you thought
03:44 needed to be done, or how you wanted things to happen, then we found that those two me-s
03:50 clashed and they actually repelled each other instead of drawing each other closer
03:54 together. Yes. You know, many people think that when that verse is read: "let no man put
04:01 asunder", people often think that's something outside. Some outside force, that's there.
04:07 And it is often an outside force that comes in, but many times it's right within the marriage.
04:14 It can be my selfishness, that's repelling and pushing you away.
04:19 So when we talk about: let no man separate, then we have to look at the two in the marriage.
04:25 That's right, because those outside forces that want to come in are the ones that
04:30 affect us, it's our choice how we deal with those outside
04:35 forces and if I choose to stay in the me focus, those outside forces only strengthen us
04:43 pulling apart. But if I choose to think on what is best for us, how is this going to affect us,
04:48 what would you like, how should I consider what you want in this
04:53 situation, then that will draw us together and the outside
04:56 forces aren't going to be influencing us, they're not gonna be separating us.
05:01 So the real issue is how you and I choose to deal in the marriage
05:06 with those outside forces.
05:07 That's right. Many times, we would go to town... Town days for us are very busy,
05:16 we live up in the mountains of Montana and actually we don't like to go to the city
05:21 any more than we have to, we love our little haven up there,
05:24 but when we go to town, it's a busy day, isn't it?
05:26 - Always.
05:28 And so, quite often, I will take things along, and I'll be
05:34 efficient. And I remember that one day that we were together, and you went to Super One, to
05:39 the grocery store, and I was ready to go into my normal
05:44 routine, that is I've got my correspondence that I need to
05:48 write, and I've got things I need to read, and you had gone into the store, and there I was
05:54 sitting quietly, and the Lord called to my heart and prompted me, that I needed to go in,
06:01 and spend time with you of all places, in the grocery store.
06:06 Now, you didn't know this was going on, of course, but I responded to that after I did
06:10 a little bit of negotiating with the Lord, and you know, many times, friends, that's what
06:15 happens. The Lord is prompting us to a better way and we want to negotiate with the Lord,
06:20 we want to reason it away.
06:22 Well, I opened my heart there to the Lord,
06:25 and I got up and I went in, and met you in the store; that was a little bit surprising, wasn't
06:32 it? I was not expecting you, I was there in the produce section, and you came up
06:36 behind me and greeted me, and I could just feel by the atmosphere around you,
06:44 that you wanted to be with me. It wasn't that you were there because you had to,
06:48 or you're there, because I asked you to be there, you were there,
06:52 because you wanted to be with me, and I saw the difference
06:55 immediately. And it was really great, I mean, you've been with me in the store at other times
06:59 I'd asked you to come with me, or sometimes you'll say: Oh, I
07:02 will go with you. But it's more of an efficiency. I'll get this and you do that, and
07:07 you know... This was truly a heartwarming experience.
07:12 I find that just being with you, for me is exciting; so for me,
07:20 it's not a death of self -shall I say- to go into the Hardware store with you, or to go into
07:27 the automotive store with you... I just like being around you.
07:30 Well, I like being around with you, too, but the problem is
07:33 that I also want to be efficient all the time,
07:35 and this is what God was trying to teach me this day,
07:38 you see, He wanted me to move out of the me focus, which in
07:42 this case is: just getting the things done that I think are so
07:47 necessary, and God's efficiency is often very different, than
07:52 our efficiency. What God was trying to show me that day is that He knows the need of my
07:56 wife. He knows what's in her heart. And He was calling to me
08:00 to reach out, to move away from my focus, to move into the us
08:05 focus. And you know, I realized that day in that little
08:09 situation, that God's efficiency is much better than my
08:16 efficiency. And you know, really, when we're talking about
08:19 God's efficiency, we're talking about: not my will, but Thy will
08:23 be done. And that's when God can really work in our hearts to bring us from the me focus
08:28 to the us focus.
08:30 That's right. He's the one who instituted marriage in the first place and He's the one who
08:35 wants to teach us as husbands and wives how to live together in happiness and harmony.
08:41 - Amen!
08:42 And so He's always (and that's an absolute word) sending little thoughts to us if we will start
08:49 tuning our minds into Him, of ways that we can turn from the me to the us focus in our
08:55 marriage. So your strengths are not my strengths and your weaknesses aren't my
09:00 weaknesses, because we're very different. But God wants to work
09:05 with us in our individual personalities, and He wants to change the me in both of us to
09:11 focus on the us that we can have that happiness in our marriage.
09:14 So for me it's no problem going in with you to any store; for me, the Lord calls to my
09:19 weakness in dealing with my thoughts. Am I gonna let them start going down that wrong
09:23 channel? And this for women, is one of our greatest weaknesses
09:30 in a gender sense, is that we often start letting our minds go down the wrong channel, we start
09:35 having negative thinking, and that thinking will be deadly to
09:40 a marriage. We have to be willing to address our thoughts, we have to be willing to let
09:45 Christ change our thinking and start thinking not about just me
09:50 and how I feel, or what he's doing that doesn't please me, or what he's not doing that doesn't
09:54 please me, but we have to start thinking what is best for us, how can I be different to make
10:00 our marriage better.
10:02 You know, I think it's important that the people understand what
10:06 this me focus really is. When I'm in the me focus,
10:11 when I'm really just thinking about how you effect me,
10:16 what you're saying, what you're doing, that me focus doesn't
10:23 take into account your needs as my wife, your needs as my sweetheart, your needs as the
10:30 us, that's what the Bible verse talked about there, that the two
10:35 shall become one. It's not that we have to think alike, that we loose our individuality,
10:40 it's that we are blended together; that's the us focus.
10:44 And so, whenever I'm concerned about how you're affecting me, and what I want you to do...
10:49 You know, I used to think -and I didn't realize I thought this way-, but I used to think
10:53 that if I could just get my wife to do everything I wanted her to
10:58 do, to do it my way, then I would be happy.
11:01 - I tried.
11:03 And that's really the me focus, and we'll never find true
11:09 happiness there. We have found the true happiness in a marriage that's heart to heart, as we've
11:14 come to understand the us focus.
11:16 So we want to talk about two areas today that will help us move from the me focus
11:22 to the us focus.
11:24 The first one: Be determined! Now, there's a word of action!
11:29 - Very strong word!
11:30 It is, and it's good. A word of determination. Be determined to be all that is possible to be
11:39 for the other person. You see immediately in this, it's not be determined to get my way,
11:46 it's not be determined to make my wife do what I want her to do, the focus here is:
11:53 be determined to be all that I can be for her sake.
11:59 That's quite a big emphasis change,
12:02 it's the benefit for you, for us, not get my way.
12:10 When we recognized that and we began to challenge ourselves with this first point
12:15 here: be determined to be all that I could be for us or for
12:21 you, it started turning our marriage around,
12:22 - That's right.
12:23 because I wasn't focusing on myself anymore the way I used
12:27 to, -and I'm still subject to doing that as you know, from
12:31 time to time-, but the Lord will call to our hearts and that's the exciting thing about the God
12:35 that we serve: He, more than anyone, wants to help us to keep that marriage heart to heart.
12:41 And so being determined to be all I can be for you, that crosses my mind many times in a
12:46 day, and it changes the focus that I have, and even the little duties, the every day duties in
12:53 the home that a wife has, the responsibility of the home upkeep, and the day-to-day
12:59 things, and taking care of the children...; when I have you in my thoughts, it makes
13:04 my work more joyful. If I'm just thinking about myself sitting at home and doing all these
13:09 things, well, sometimes I can loose the joy in that.
13:13 So, what I've noticed is, when you are in the us focus,
13:18 you're always very expressive of appreciation for me.
13:22 One of the things... -and that's a wonderful benefit-
13:26 - I think it comes spontaneously, doesn't it?
13:27 - Yes.
13:29 - Because we're not really thinking about ourselves.
13:30 - And the beauty of it is that when we're in that kind of a
13:36 focus, - and this is the amazing thing to the selfish heart-, when I am really focused on the
13:42 benefit of looking to my wife for how I can be a blessing to
13:47 her, it's amazing that I find much more happiness in that
13:52 myself. That's how God's economy works.
13:54 And one of the things that I've really been appreciative of is how you take care of
13:58 yourself, when nobody else is around.
14:01 You know, a lot of women, they dress up great for church, and they look good when they
14:06 go out shopping, and... Who are they trying to impress?
14:09 You look great at home, not that you're in your church clothes, but I really appreciate that.
14:13 And what that tells me is you're just thinking of me, you want to make our home a happy place,
14:19 and I tell you, I love to come home to you.
14:21 Well, I know you do, you don't even like to leave, and that's
14:25 even better. But I have that in my heart. I wanna be everything
14:30 I can be for you, and the thing I've really appreciated in you is the honesty that you have.
14:37 When things don't always go smooth, just trying to be everything you can be,
14:42 being determined, gives you an honesty of heart that you can say: Honey, I'm sorry that
14:48 I did this, or I'm sorry that I said that, and I can honestly see you growing and seeking
14:54 the Lord and looking to better our marriage.
14:59 And to me that's the exciting thing about being determined to be all we can be for each other.
15:05 Well, it has certainly made an impact in our marriage and
15:09 continues to, and it's nice to be able to say, as a result of moving from the me focus to the
15:14 us focus, there's nobody in the world that I'd rather be with,
15:20 than you! - And I know that!
15:23 Well, we're going to take a break now, and when we come back, we're gonna be talking
15:26 about point nr.2: How we can advance the happiness of each
15:32 other. Stay with us!
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16:11 marriage. Welcome back to Marriage Heart to Heart!
16:15 We're talking about the difference between two me-s and
16:19 one us. And our second point to develop that "us relationship" instead of having two me-s,
16:25 is that we will study to advance the happiness of each other.
16:30 That's a new thought, another thing that is calling upon us individually, right, dear?
16:35 - That's right.
16:36 Upon us individually that we have to do in order to make a marriage heart to heart.
16:41 I have to look for ways to advance the happiness for you.
16:45 And you know, when we were dating, it wasn't hard at all.
16:48 I could think of a lot of things that I would like to do just to
16:52 make you happy. And for many couples it's that way when
16:55 they're dating, and that's that way when they're engaged, but when they get married, somehow
16:59 the focus turns off the other person, or off of the us and on
17:03 to ourselves. So we have to consciously begin to study how I can make you happy.
17:08 - That's right.
17:09 And it's not really hard.
17:11 You know, the Bible talks about it in 1 Corinthians 13.
17:14 That is the love chapter and - everybody knows that's the love
17:19 chapter -, so... Lets look at a couple of things there.
17:22 It says that love is kind. Now that's pretty basic, isn't
17:27 it? Love is kind. We can be kind to a lot of different people:
17:31 we can be kind to the person at the grocery store, we can be
17:35 kind to the... - well, you know, we've seen people that are much more kind to their pets, and how
17:42 they talk to their pets, than how they talk to their own wife
17:47 or husband. So, love is kind. Can we not be kind to the one that we've said we'd love?
17:52 I think we should.
17:54 And love seeks not it's own.
17:59 There it is! It's not the me focus, it seeks not its own.
18:06 Somehow we think that if we can just make ourselves happy, seek
18:12 our own, what makes me feel good, oh, then I'll be happy!
18:15 But true love is only happy when it seeks the best good of the
18:21 other. That's right. And it's not just looking for things we can do for each other in the
18:26 day, but I think that word "study" has another application and that means really study,
18:32 look for things in the word of God that will help us to be a better wife or a better husband.
18:37 And the scriptures are full of beautiful stories of couples, of
18:43 marriages, and of how a proper love relationship works.
18:46 And I found for me that when I stopped reading books that were only causing me to be
18:53 discontent in our marriage because it was focused on what a woman needs to have
18:58 in a marriage. When I read those kind of books, and I wasn't
19:02 feeling like I was getting that, I became more and more discontent. But when I set those
19:06 books aside, and I began to study what God wanted me to be in our marriage, what He wanted
19:10 me to be for you, and I would challenge myself with the Proverbs 31 chapter.
19:16 It began to change my whole outlook in our marriage, and I
19:20 think I'd became a better wife for you.
19:22 - Oh, I've definitely benefited from that!
19:24 We both did. In my heart and you. And what did it do?
19:27 It drew us together as one. It had an us focus instead of me,
19:31 me, me. - Mhm. Well, it's interesting, because the Lord was putting the same kinds of
19:37 thoughts in my mind. You know, we need to talk about these things as husband and wife if
19:42 you've run out of things to communicate about in your marriage, this is a great
19:47 subject to communicate about. Lets talk about whether we're operating like two me-s
19:52 independent atoms; my focus, your focus, or lets see if we're allowing God to make
19:59 the two become one, and talk about the us focus.
20:03 I started doing the same thing. I started studying to look for
20:07 ways to advance your happiness. I started studying God's word and you know were I put my
20:12 focus, it was on becoming the man that God wanted me to be.
20:16 becoming a husband that God wanted me to be and the father, since we have our three children
20:21 to be the father that God wanted me to be and as I started
20:26 looking for ways to make you happy; and that wasn't like to indulge you in things, but to
20:33 really look to promote your happiness in the marriage.
20:36 It had a tremendous blessing in my own heart.
20:41 And this is what I wish people could understand: that really moving away from the me focus
20:47 is when we gain the greatest blessings, in the us focus
20:52 together. Well, then we like to share things together, we like
20:57 to be together, we like to talk, and we can talk about anything, and that's what that studying to
21:02 advance each other's happiness and drawing us together as one
21:06 has done. It has given us the opportunity, it's provided the framework - shall I say -,
21:11 that our communication is improved, everything about our relationship has grown,
21:17 so that we just want to do what pleases the other person, because in serving,
21:23 - can now we use that word "to serve" - in serving I find my
21:28 greatest joy; and that's really what Christ demonstrated. Our relationship as husband and wife
21:33 is to represent the relationship He has to us as His children,
21:37 as we, as a bride and a groom, as a husband and wife. And He
21:43 came to serve. And I believe, in our marriages if we looked to study to make the other one
21:48 happy, that means that we would serve them, and in that service we would find our greatest joy
21:53 and we would have the us focus.
21:56 Well I know it lead me to begin making time for you to
22:01 communicate and -you know- sometimes people think that that's just something a woman
22:06 really needs and maybe that is a more vocalized need, but I know
22:11 in our marriage we both needed that. And really, the devil didn't want us to have that kind
22:17 of meaningful communication. And we're gonna be talking about this in much greater depth in
22:22 some of our other programs. But that made a huge difference as we began to communicate,
22:27 as I began looking for ways to open communication.
22:31 And with that communication, really listening with the heart
22:37 to understand makes a big difference, doesn't it?
22:38 It makes a huge difference! It makes a huge difference to one who's hearing, and to the one
22:44 who's expressing, and it gives us the opportunity to really understand each other
22:53 from the heart. And that's what has made our marriage so
22:57 meaningful. There was a verse that really spoke to me and I
23:01 want to share it. Ephesians 5,28. It says: "So ought men to love their wives as their own
23:08 bodies." Isn't that an interesting thought? You know, I won't go into the whole thing
23:13 about bodybuilding and how men are with their bodies and stuff,
23:15 but obviously, the apostle Paul here understood something. He
23:19 said men ought to love their wives as they love their own
23:24 bodies. "He that loveth his wife loveth himself."
23:27 And oh, how true I found it to be. The more I have sought to advance your happiness in the
23:32 marriage, the more I've sought to love you in an unselfish way,
23:36 translating the selfishness - "I want! Give me what I want!" - as I have translated that
23:44 to an unselfish love for you, to promote your happiness,
23:48 it has actually done exactly what this verse says.
23:50 "He that loveth his wife, loveth himself."
23:54 Isn't it beautiful?
23:55 - It is beautiful.
23:58 We really want to help people understand that the me focus is
24:04 not bringing them this illusion of what they think they will have "if I can just get what I
24:10 want!" It's the us focus that's so meaningful and so much more fulfilling in marriage.
24:17 It is. And that's what we found. And maybe this would be a good
24:22 time to challenge you, out there, our listening audience
24:26 today, with the same things that we have been challenged with, ourselves, in our own marriage.
24:30 So lets look at those two areas and challenge ourselves today
24:35 - to move from the me focus to the us focus.
24:40 We need to be determined to be all that I can be for my
24:48 wife. Be determined to make a commitment! That means something, that it's worth
24:55 making a commitment to, and it is. You're worth every commitment that I make.
25:00 And that we will then study to advance the happiness of the
25:06 other person. Once we've made the commitment, now we're going to do what we need to do
25:10 to put our focus on really advancing the happiness of the
25:16 other person. And I want to be determined to be all I can be
25:22 for you. And each day as I make the commitment of my day, when I
25:27 start the day, it helps me to think before I speak. It helps me to think: "What I want to say
25:34 right now? How will that effect us?" instead of just saying
25:40 what's on my mind. And I don't always do that right. You remember last night I didn't do
25:45 it right. I said what came to my mind first, but even with that as soon as I recognized it,
25:50 I retracted it, because I saw that was all me and I wanted it
25:55 to be us. So I restated it and this is what's important. And I hope that you, listening today,
26:00 Won't be discouraged if you don't always do it right,
26:04 but when you hear yourself becoming in the me focus or speaking in the me focus,
26:10 that you will, as you hear it come out of your mouth even, and that you will say: O.K.,
26:15 let me restate it, because I really want what's best for us.
26:19 That's right! They can't do it apart from Jesus Christ; not
26:26 with true success. We need to surrender ourselves to Christ and He will help us to move from
26:31 the me focus to the us focus. Why don't we close together in
26:37 prayer? Father in Heaven, what a blessing it is to be able to turn to You in all of our
26:43 selfishness wherever You find us, Lord, we want to turn to You
26:47 to move from the me focus to the us focus, that we might truly move away from two "me"-s in
26:56 this marriage to an "us", blended in Jesus Christ; in His name we pray. Amen.
27:06 Well, we've got something to look forward to next time we get
27:10 together: "An enduring commitment". Do you want to have an enduring commitment?
27:17 You know, it's one of the things that's missing in many- many
27:23 marriages today. An enduring commitment, one that is a lifetime commitment, with a
27:30 marriage - divorce rate being what it is today, it's tragic!
27:34 -; but if we want to have a marriage that's heart to heart,
27:37 we need a marriage union and a commitment that will endure for
27:45 a lifetime. We look forward to seeing you next time on Marriage
27:51 Heart to Heart. You to can have a marriage made in Heaven!
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