Participants: Willie and Wilma Lee
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000030
00:30 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hands. I'm Willie Lee,
00:34 your host, and our co-host, because she is married to me
00:39 - is Wilma Lee. - Welcome. Today we're going
00:43 to talk about about a sacred circle.
00:45 And as we talk about that sacred circle let's enter into
00:49 the sacred right now with prayer. Thank You dear Lord
00:53 for all that you do for us as couples. And we know dear Lord
00:59 that marriage is ordained of God and we want You to ordain our
01:03 marriage and make it holy unto God.
01:08 Lord, we rejoice because You ask and answer all prayers
01:12 that are a joined to You, and we rejoice because You've agreed
01:17 to come and be in this circle. So we thank You for Your
01:20 presence, and we thank You for all that You will do for us,
01:24 in the lovely name of Jesus we pray, amen.
01:30 Today we're going to discuss something that is a very
01:34 important dynamic in marriage relationships and the family.
01:40 As goes the family, or should I say, as goes the marriage
01:46 also goes the family, and it's very important for us
01:50 to understand that we set the tone for our family members
01:57 by how we relate to each other in our marriages,
02:02 so we have something very special that we want to share
02:05 - today. - You know, we have talked
02:08 around it, we have talked about it, but we have never
02:11 specifically talked to this point, and it's an important
02:16 part of marriage. We've talked about leave, we've talked about
02:20 cleave, but how do you do that in the setting that God
02:24 requires, so we have to talk about this sacred circle.
02:29 What is it? What is it all about?
02:32 And how does it apply to a Christian marriage.
02:35 Well, first of all, I think we need to introduce you
02:39 to the sacred circle, so we're going to read from
02:43 "Happiness Homemade", pages 45-46. This particular passage
02:52 in that book addresses the sacred circle and we're going
02:56 to read it. It will come on the screen so read along
03:00 with us please. [Text on screen]
04:43 This is the sacred circle that we've been talking about
04:47 in other ways because we first described the relationship
04:52 that Adam and Eve had in the garden, as God in the center
04:58 and Adam and Eve with Him in that circle. Both of them had
05:06 a relationship with God, both of them were within that circle,
05:12 and around them no one should have intruded in the marriage
05:17 and that's where the trouble began, when Eve allowed someone
05:21 else to speak about their relationship to God and cause
05:25 doubt about the viability of that relationship.
05:30 And that was the problem. With that entered shame,
05:35 with that entered blame, and we know the rest of the story,
05:40 - we're still living it. - Now, there's some of you
05:42 who may have experienced some of these things in your marriage
05:46 where you had a core, a center, in which God was there,
05:52 but others may have tried to come in, or may have been let in
05:57 by someone in the marriage, and we're here to talk about that
06:00 today. Just reflecting on what we read, it's an illustration
06:04 of that a simple a fact as someone making light, or making
06:09 a joke, or making the wife or the husband the butt of a joke,
06:13 or laughing at some faux pas, or some error that had been made,
06:17 or a way of cooking, or a way of dressing, or a way of acting,
06:22 you tell it as a joke to your friends and they all laugh
06:26 at the expense of your spouse, it creates hurtful feelings
06:30 and it has gone across a boundary in which you've taken
06:34 that which is very personal and shared it with someone outside
06:39 - of that marriage. - That was an interesting
06:41 - word you used, "boundary". - Yeah, boundary is something
06:47 that is very special. If we can imagine a circle
06:54 and in that circle is the husband and wife, with God,
06:59 there is a boundary, we're told, in this particular reading,
07:04 that no one should meddle in that boundary.
07:07 Of course, in the next circle, the concentric circle outside
07:12 of that are the children, and it even said "Do not cross"
07:19 "the boundary into that", there's some people who should
07:22 not even meddle in your family affairs from outside.
07:27 It's others who are others who are outside of that,
07:30 let's talk about who some of those others might be.
07:33 - Parents. - The parents of the mother
07:36 - and father? - The general term is "in-laws".
07:41 Oh, in-laws, now that hits it right on the head, doesn't it?
07:47 Okay, some people here call them "out-laws" at times.
07:51 Now I didn't say that, I'm going to let you say that.
07:54 Yeah, but we're saying "in-laws" of those who are a part
07:57 of our family by blood of either spouse.
08:00 - Yes. - And they're our friends,
08:03 they're close friends, even best friends, a lot of times there's
08:06 discussions about the marriage, discussions about
08:10 the relationship, of difficulties, and we shared
08:13 with everybody but the spouse, the spouse might
08:16 be the last to know how we might feel
08:18 - about some things. - True, and of course, in church
08:22 circles there's the church family.
08:26 Oh my, that's another boundary, because a lot of times
08:33 the discussion among the church is what's happening in
08:36 - so-and-so's family. - "Did you know... "
08:39 - Oh my, let's not go there. - Well, I wasn't, but you know
08:44 we think about this, and it's very real, and you could
08:50 equate it to what you see advertised as invisible fencing.
08:57 There's this boundary that you don't know about, but you've
09:02 crossed it, but this reminds us that there are boundaries that
09:09 we cross, and when we do that we're in trouble.
09:14 Boundary crossing creates pain, it creates mistrust, or distrust
09:21 in one another, because if we take something out of our
09:25 close, intimate relationship and share it with someone we're
09:29 not married to, even if it's our own children, we're crossing
09:35 a boundary. Some things are to stay right there and to be
09:38 worked out within that circle with the Lord, and not be
09:43 shared with others. A good illustration of that
09:47 is a simple thing like locks on doors...in bedrooms.
09:54 Sometimes children don't know, they have to learn, that some
09:58 places you don't go if that door is closed, and of course,
10:02 a little child doesn't know if the door is closed, that's
10:05 there for them to open it, but when it's locked,
10:08 that means "Do not come in at this time".
10:12 Exactly, and even if you knock and the door is locked,
10:16 then that's a message to you "this is a boundary".
10:20 So there are certain things that we are to be aware of,
10:23 and the Bible speaks to some of those things, and we can recall
10:27 some boundary crossing, not just in the garden of Eden,
10:32 but let's move on down to when even Noah with his family,
10:39 celebrating the good things. They were out of the ark
10:43 and in Genesis we understand that Noah had gone in
10:47 and forgot to drape himself as he fell asleep being full of
10:52 whatever they were taking. Of course, someone looked in
10:59 and saw him without the clothing, and the Bible spoke of
11:03 that as a boundary that shouldn't have been crossed.
11:06 We get down to Abraham's time with Sarah.
11:11 Oh yes, that's a boundary we're all experiencing still today
11:15 because Sarah told Abraham "Take my maid, Hagar", and out of that
11:23 union was born Ishmael. And Ishmael's children, and Isaac's
11:29 children continue to fight over that birth right today.
11:34 So crossing that boundary created generations of problems
11:39 for those families in that system that came out of that
11:44 mating with Hagar, who was an Egyptian, who was not a part
11:49 of the promise and there was argument, discussion and
11:54 disagreement about who was going to get the inheritance.
11:59 Yes, because God made a promise to Abraham and Sarah, and God
12:04 - keeps His promises. - That's right.
12:07 Not always in our time frame, but He does keep His promise.
12:11 And there was some blessing that came to Hagar just being
12:15 in that very blessed family, and to Ishmael as well,
12:19 but the inheritance was not to be His, God had said how He
12:25 wanted the inheritance to go. God gets the right to set
12:29 boundaries, and when He sets them, that means that when we
12:33 cross them that we have created a sinful situation that
12:38 there are repercussions and there are consequences that we
12:43 may feel for generations following.
12:46 - True. - So we want to learn what
12:49 some of those boundaries might be, and how they might pop up
12:52 in our homes, and some of you may already known where there's
12:56 boundary crossing in your household, or in your
13:01 relationship with your mate, and with in-laws, or with church
13:07 family even, getting involved in your business. So some
13:12 of you are ready for us to talk about that a little bit,
13:16 and create some understanding of how to avoid that.
13:20 And we'll be ready to do that, but we're going to break away
13:23 for just a few moments, and then we'll be back to talk about
13:26 the sacred circle and the boundaries that shouldn't
13:29 be crossed.
13:38 There are many "How to" books available, but there's one
13:41 that's free, and perfect for every couple:
13:44 "How You Can Build a Better Marriage".
13:47 Bible-based matrimonial advice is given in a light
13:50 hearted, easy to read manner for those contemplating marriage,
13:53 newly weds, couples in their golden years, and everyone
13:56 in between. Simply call or write for your copy of this amazing
14:00 little booklet, a handy little tool to help build a better
14:15 Welcome back to Marriage in God's Hands.
14:18 We've been talking about boundaries, the sacred circle,
14:24 the husband and wife God has placed in a sacred circle.
14:28 And we can appreciate that, and we have learned through
14:34 difficult situations that it's not always easy to maintain
14:38 that circle because everybody thinks they're getting into
14:41 something special if they can get inside and do whatever
14:45 they do inside your circle. But there are really some very
14:51 difficult boundaries to know about and to understand.
14:55 Maybe you could help us from your perspective as you've
14:59 worked with families and you've seen different roles, and you've
15:03 seen different things happening that sort of become contentious
15:10 when we don't know what those boundaries are because they're
15:12 - expressed in different ways. - Well, I think one of
15:16 the things that happens is that we look at the family from
15:21 which we came first of all, and we have a role in that
15:24 family where there's a birth order, so we may be first,
15:29 second, or the youngest, and that's our role in that family.
15:35 So there's the challenge from the family from which we come
15:40 to not assume that role when we go back in that family
15:45 grouping. And that often happens when we go to family reunions,
15:51 weddings, whatever the occasion is, even though we're
15:55 married now to our spouse and we've created our own family,
15:59 we drop into that role and our spouse looks up and wonders
16:04 "who is this person, it's not my spouse? "
16:07 Well no, that person has dropped into their family of origin
16:11 role, and they've become the child of the family unless
16:15 they've thought about that before they get there
16:18 because they have to remember what boundaries and what roles
16:21 - they fit into. - So this goes all the way back,
16:24 then, I imagine, if you can recall when we talked about
16:29 leaving and not cleaving to your family of origin,
16:33 you create a new home now, you create a new place for you
16:38 and your spouse to be one. And when you're truly one
16:42 you can't go back to being 5 and 6 like you were in your family.
16:48 So you can't go back and share your secrets with your brothers
16:50 and sisters, and with your mom and dad, or go back there
16:54 and tell your mom all your problems, or your dad all that's
16:56 going on and try to get it fixed that way, because it
17:00 may have been okay when you were back in that house
17:04 and they were mom and dad and in charge of your life,
17:07 but God says when you leave the house, now you create a family
17:13 and put a boundary around that family, so that even your
17:16 family of origin does not have claim on you and your wife's
17:21 - relationship. - But you also must then must
17:25 make some explanations one way or another to your family of
17:30 origin so that they can't say "This is the way that we do it",
17:37 because in your new home that may not be the way
17:40 - you do it. - Oh, so they may not be there
17:43 in person, is that what you're saying?
17:46 - Uhuh. - But it sounds like they're in
17:48 - the room. - Because you hear these voices,
17:51 or sometimes the voice comes out of your mouth, so you have
17:58 to make intention then for this to be your new home.
18:02 I can remember that there was some difficult times for us when
18:09 I would be reflecting what my parents expected to happen,
18:15 and you were wondering "Where in the world did this idea... "
18:18 "I thought we'd worked this out", and here we were talking
18:20 about their expectations in our house, but yet it was no longer
18:26 their house, so they didn't have the right to set expectations
18:29 once I married and began a home of my own and had my own wife.
18:34 I don't know if you've had that problem at home, but this
18:37 happens in the best of families because everyone wants their
18:41 family to be a good family, and of course, good families will
18:44 always do "like we've always done it", so there's that
18:47 - pressure, isn't there? - Of course, it's as simple as
18:51 how people eat. My family ate one way, your family ate
18:56 another, you had jello for dessert, and I thought it was
19:00 - salad. - Okay, that sounds funny,
19:04 but when it's time to prepare a meal
19:07 and you set it out and you're wondering "Why is dessert"
19:11 "on the table now? I thought we were going to have that after"
19:14 "we eat. " We said "Oh, that's the salad".
19:17 You know, that's humorous and it's funny...
19:20 - ...Now... - ...But if you insist on doing
19:22 it only one way and you haven't decided as your family, is it
19:26 going to be salad, or is it going to be dessert, or can it
19:29 be both, we have to make those choices and those decisions
19:33 - in our lives, don't we? - We do.
19:36 ...As a new family, and that's something humorous that we can
19:38 talk about. I don't think there's been any real
19:41 consequences of wars around jello, but...
19:43 - Not at our house. [Both laugh]
19:46 Not at our house, jello is still jello, and we still choose
19:49 to like it like we like it, but it doesn't have any consequence
19:52 beyond that. But there are other things that happened,
19:56 more serious things, how we manage money is one of those
19:58 area, or who manages the money. Or who makes the most money,
20:04 and therefore gets to have their way since they make the money,
20:08 and those things aren't discussed, but back home I don't
20:11 care who made the money, dad was always the one who
20:14 told everybody what to do. So the husband gets to have
20:19 - his way no matter what. - Well, and then there's always
20:22 the Scriptural emphasis that you can always pull out Ephesians
20:27 - and say... - That's Right, Ephesians 5
20:30 tells us that the man ought to be the head of the wife,
20:34 - isn't that right? - That's right, whether he
20:37 makes no money, or less money, or whatever.
20:42 So how does that work when we discuss what happens at our
20:46 house, because maybe at your house that's how it worked.
20:51 And it's okay, but see, you can still follow the Scripture and
20:57 have the Scripture as your guide, but it must come from
21:01 your and your spouse's discussions and decisions,
21:06 because God says the wife should submit in Ephesians 5,
21:10 to her husband, but the husband ought to lead as Christ leads.
21:15 And the last time I checked the dictionary, submission has
21:18 to be a choice, otherwise it's no longer submission.
21:21 That is true. So it has to come out of those
21:25 2 people as a husband and wife to make those decisions and
21:29 choices, and it doesn't have to look like your home of origin,
21:35 it can be the new home, the way it has decided, spiritually,
21:40 to have that leadership, and it shouldn't be cast only 1 way,
21:45 it should be the source and the product of our coming together
21:50 and being 1 in Christ. Are there some other things
21:53 - that we ought to be aware of? - Yes, I think we ought to pause
21:56 and talk to people who are single parents because if
22:00 you are a single parent the sacred circle still applies.
22:05 You can't move your child into that circle with you,
22:08 your child's not your equal, then you become a parter
22:12 with God in raising your home, and then God says that He
22:17 will be whatever you need, He says "I will be your husband".
22:21 So therefore your child does not become your equal,
22:25 you must be the parent, your child must remain the child,
22:29 and still, other people are not to be involved in your life,
22:33 there are still boundaries, there are still things you must
22:36 do as the head of your home in concert with God leading you.
22:41 What do you mean they shouldn't be involved in your life,
22:44 that means no body can come into your life and be
22:47 a friend, or be involved with anything that you do?
22:51 No, that means that you are the head of your household
22:56 and that a single parent then has that responsibility along
23:00 with God to lead and to guide that household.
23:04 Okay, so it should be very clear then that boundaries that are
23:09 created by a family, God has given permission for those
23:13 boundaries to be around that family, and it has already been
23:17 stated, Wilma stated very clearly that God says
23:21 "I can be what you need, come to Me and get that help"
23:25 "if you do not have a spouse. " Well, let's go back to spouses,
23:32 and let's go back to boundary crossing for just a moment,
23:35 and before we close out today we want to talk a little bit
23:40 about Isaac and Rebecca because they were a spouse who did some
23:48 boundary crossing. They had twins in that home.
23:55 I guess they didn't learn from the previous generation.
23:57 I guess not, they didn't listen to the stories passed on down
24:00 by Abraham and Sarah because they got into some of the same
24:04 situations with taking favorites, and the mother
24:08 pulling 1 child in close and triangulating that situation,
24:12 and the father pulling in a child.
24:15 What's "triangulating"?
24:17 Well, that when you choose to line up with someone who is not
24:20 your spouse and form an alliance in order to accomplish
24:25 something. Whether you knew it or not, you were triangulating
24:30 when you did that, when you grabbed your daughter or your
24:33 son, and you had secrets that dad didn't know about,
24:36 or you had secrets that mom didn't know about, and that
24:39 you use that as a power wedge to get your way for that child,
24:44 or that mom was feeling badly and needed companionship,
24:48 so they thought that they would get close to one of the children
24:51 and leave dad out there. That unequal power base
24:57 is triangulation. So we have there, in that home that's what
25:02 happened. Esau and dad against mom and also against their
25:09 favorite son, Jacob, at least her favorite son,
25:12 because his favorite son was Esau. Well, we know the mess
25:16 that that made, and if you look down in Jacob's family
25:20 - he didn't learn either. - No.
25:22 Because when you look at the situation with boundary
25:25 crossing, he married 1 wife, Leah, and then he married
25:29 another wife, whom he really loved later on.
25:32 But you see, it ran in the family because Laban
25:36 cheated him into marrying Leah.
25:38 Yeah, isn't that something. Yeah, there's boundary crossing
25:41 there, getting involved in someone else's selection.
25:43 - The family system had issues. - Yes.
25:46 That's a long story, but it's interesting that at the end
25:50 of Isaac's life he had to tell his children "Your children"
25:56 - "will be just like you". - You set up situations that
26:00 could end up being very difficult and very painful for
26:03 a family, so boundary crossing is very important. We must make
26:08 sure that we do not enter into that, that a husband and wife
26:12 as a father and mother, or as a husband and wife, must band
26:15 together with God to secure your home with Christ and follow
26:20 the principles that Christ has set in the Bible, in the Word
26:23 of God so that you can create a good family now, and a good
26:28 family in the future. Well, it's almost time for us
26:33 to leave, and you have anything else that you'd like to share
26:35 - before we do our final prayer? - That if you stay in that
26:38 sacred circle with God you can be successful.
26:41 Alright. Let's pray. Loving Father, help us make
26:46 a sacred circle with our spouses, and keep us honest
26:51 and open in our relationship with You.
26:54 And Lord, we know that we can't do this without You, so draw
26:58 Your arms around us and keep us close to You, and we promise
27:03 to stay within Your arms, we pray in Jesus name, amen.
27:10 Well, you've learned something about boundaries, I'm sure
27:14 we haven't exhausted the subject, but it's something that
27:16 you need to take back to your circle, and that you need
27:20 to talk to your spouse about, to make sure that you are not
27:25 crossing those boundaries and creating difficult and painful
27:29 times for your family. God wants you to celebrate
27:32 with joy, so enter into that joy with Him, follow God's Word,
27:38 and God will heal your marriage and your relationship.
27:43 God bless, until next time.