Participants: Willie and Wilma Lee
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000033
00:29 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hands.
00:32 I'm Willie Lee, your host, and I have as a co-host
00:37 with us Wilma Lee.
00:40 Today we're going to talk about marriage for all times.
00:44 And we have had a marriage for all times because we have been
00:48 through all times and we - hmmm - know that it takes God
00:51 to get through those times, don't we? We definitely do!
00:55 Let's pray.
00:56 Thank you, Lord, for having been with us.
00:59 And we know, dear Lord, that the same God who is with us
01:02 is also available for each and every marriage.
01:05 And we pray for Your help today.
01:09 Lord, we are thankful that you have promised that You
01:12 will never forsake us and that you will be with us
01:15 through the end of the age.
01:17 In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen. Amen.
01:22 As we discuss this particular area, it's important
01:27 to understand that God
01:29 is not a stranger
01:31 to the fact that living in a sinful world
01:35 that there are challenges to maintaining marriage.
01:39 And the enemy has made it his point to at every part
01:45 and every stage of marriage to interject and to cause
01:50 difficulties. And God predicted that in
01:54 Genesis 3 verses 16 through 19.
01:57 And He told us from the very beginning through Adam and Eve's
02:02 experience that their marriage and their relationships
02:06 would be challenged. In fact, if we read very carefully
02:11 through there, there are some areas He said to the woman:
02:14 "You are going to bear children, have intense pain and suffering,
02:17 and though your desire will be for your husband, he will be
02:22 your master. " So that causes some difficulty, doesn't it?
02:25 It definitely does.
02:27 And He also talked to Adam. It says: "Because you listened
02:30 to your wife and ate the fruit I told you not to eat,
02:34 I have placed a curse on the ground
02:36 and it will grow thorns and thistles,
02:41 and it will be tough.
02:45 You will have to eat of its grains. You will struggle
02:48 to scratch a living from the ground.
02:50 All of your life you will sweat to produce food - wow -
02:54 until your dying day. " So the challenges of married life
03:00 and having things cared for for your family
03:04 were always prophesied and told that it would be difficult -
03:10 um-hmm - and it would not be easy.
03:12 And because of that, many marriages have fallen
03:15 along the way. Because of many different things.
03:20 But God gave instructions, didn't He? Yes He did.
03:22 That you must maintain your marriage and that you didn't
03:25 have permission to bail out just because it's difficult.
03:29 Um-hmm. Well, if you look into Matthew the 5th chapter
03:32 verses 31 and 32, we also hear from God through Jesus
03:37 when He says: "You have heard that the law of Moses says
03:41 a man can divorce his wife by merely giving her a letter
03:44 of divorce but I say that a man who divorces his wife
03:47 unless she has been unfaithful causes her to commit adultery.
03:50 And anyone who marries a divorced woman
03:53 commits adultery. " God says that also in
03:57 Romans 7 and in I Corinthians 7
04:02 that the only way a marriage should be dissolved
04:06 is through unfaithfulness. Or sometimes, one of the mates
04:11 deserts a marriage, or, of course, death
04:17 changes the marriage situation.
04:20 But if it's not because of those situations,
04:23 we need to be ready to live through all of the seasons
04:29 of a marriage. And there are many seasons.
04:32 Just as our weather goes through
04:34 seasons, there's spring
04:37 and summer and fall and winter.
04:40 All right. So a marriage has its own seasons.
04:45 And a family has its own seasons.
04:48 And, you know, as we have talked about... most people
04:54 only plan for the wedding... that one day - yes -and so
04:59 they are not prepared for the seasons of the marriage.
05:03 And they are very shocked to find out that the wedding
05:08 is not all that there is and that a marriage has seasons.
05:14 Well, I've heard of honeymoons even being difficult.
05:19 That honeymoons have been terrible and because of the
05:23 honeymoon being so terrible many have left their marriage
05:26 not too long after the honeymoon
05:28 because they expected more, different.
05:31 If you are a student of the Word of God, though,
05:33 you will not expect anything different than you expect
05:37 in life. The enemy, Satan, has made it his point
05:42 to destroy the marriage because the marriage, then,
05:45 grows the family. And if he destroys the marriage,
05:50 and then the family, and then you have children
05:53 that grow without having both parents, it makes it difficult
05:57 for parents to parent a child with just one
06:02 of the parents there.
06:05 So, you create a family brokenness that is cycled
06:10 over and over again. God says there is a remedy:
06:15 that He will be with you through every season,
06:18 through every change, through every difficulty.
06:21 And that's what we want to assure everyone today.
06:24 We are evidence that through difficulties God will be there
06:29 and you can come through. You have a famous saying
06:32 that "you'll get through it but it just won't look the same. "
06:36 Well, there may be some changes in the way you look,
06:39 but that's because there is experience.
06:41 And these gray hairs are for something, aren't they?
06:43 No, they are platinum - oh, they are platinum - and they are
06:45 for years of service. And you know platinum is rare.
06:48 Everybody doesn't get that. So, it's platinum.
06:51 All right. Well, we are going to be discussing and sharing
06:55 some of those things you can expect in marriage...
06:57 just in case you did not have that opportunity to know and
07:01 understand this. Some of you who have been in marriage
07:05 for a while will understand that you have been through
07:10 some of these things and how difficult it is.
07:12 Those of you approaching going through some of these things
07:15 will be made aware and so it won't catch you by surprise.
07:20 Because you need to know what you're going to be faced with.
07:24 So we have developed a graphic
07:27 that we will be going through.
07:30 And we are going to be going through it right now.
07:34 And you can read on that graphic
07:36 at the very beginning of that
07:39 graphic it says:
07:41 newlywed or newly married
07:44 couple. What are the things
07:46 that the newly married couple go through.
07:48 A newly married couple has to work through new rules
07:50 because they are establishing a new household.
07:53 So they bring rules from their
07:55 households, but that doesn't
07:58 necessarily work in the new household.
08:00 So they have to establish
08:02 new rules, and they've got to
08:03 establish interdependence
08:06 from both families of origin.
08:08 And that's a challenge...
08:11 especially if they live in the same town.
08:15 And so they also have to
08:17 establish how they separate
08:19 from those same families of origin.
08:23 Let us go ahead and discuss these areas that we have
08:28 read through. What about that first area?
08:32 Work through new rules.
08:35 If you have a new household, you need new rules.
08:38 You've got new dishes, new china, new linen.
08:42 Everything needs to be new.
08:44 OK. So there are also new rules about roles in the home
08:48 and things like that. Is that what you're talking about?
08:50 Because you are bringing some things different from each house
08:55 and so you have to establish your own rules
08:56 in your new house. Yes. OK.
08:58 And what about the next area?
09:00 Establishing the interdependence
09:05 with both families of origin. How does that work?
09:08 Well, you know, you've been
09:10 dependent - um-hmm - and you are
09:13 no longer dependent
09:15 and you don't cut yourself
09:16 totally off. But now there's a new relationship...
09:20 so you are interdependent.
09:22 You are adults, but there is an
09:26 adult relationship. And that's usually very difficult
09:31 to establish because I think it's difficult for parents
09:34 to really let you go.
09:36 And it's a challenge if you live in the same town.
09:40 It's probably not as difficult if you don't
09:43 live in the same town.
09:44 But a lot of couples do start out their new marriage
09:47 in the same town as parents.
09:49 And what if you are...? Let's say there are two
09:52 independent people who have left a previous marriage or
09:58 have never been married before but they are independent
10:00 Now they are moving into or either they have their previous
10:04 families like a blended family or a step-family that are
10:07 involved. What does that say about what they have to
10:10 establish? That, too, is a challenge because you've got
10:14 then if it's a blended family you've got a group of families
10:20 then to combine. And that goes back to rules then.
10:24 How does this work? Who sets discipline if there are children
10:29 in families? So there are a number of things that you really
10:32 have to talk about to make this work.
10:35 And all of this talks about separating from the family
10:37 of origin. That's always a thing that's most difficult
10:42 for that newly-married couple who were dependent upon their
10:46 families before. And you continue to be dependent
10:49 upon these families in ways that you don't realize - OK -
10:52 until you establish a new union.
10:55 OK. We are going to move to our next graphic now
10:57 which talks about a family with young children.
11:00 What are those particular components?
11:13 OK. Well, that's pretty clear,
11:15 and I think that we need to establish exactly what it
11:18 talks about in balancing pressures of parenting
11:22 with couple hood. That's a difficult area.
11:25 And I think especially so in our society now because our
11:29 society is very child focused. Um-hmm. It always talks about
11:33 what do children want; what do children need?
11:36 And we don't always focus on our coupleness because
11:40 if you listen to all the voices around you
11:43 you'll feel guilty about worrying about coupleness.
11:47 OK. And so you still need to do that and nurture young children
11:50 at the same time. Yes.
11:51 And having young children is very demanding.
11:55 In fact, you don't get enough sleep.
11:57 You don't get enough time. So it is a very fine line
12:01 that you have to walk. That means that if the children
12:05 are now involved, then the time that used to be ours
12:07 belongs to children now instead of just us.
12:11 Yes. OK. So how do we adjust the role expectations?
12:16 What are we going to have the most difficulty with?
12:18 Ummm, making sure that parent is a neuter word in so that
12:23 fathers become a part of the parenting experience
12:27 and that it's not all Mommy.
12:29 Oh, my. Wow!
12:33 And that's moving into a new age
12:35 because we have the age now
12:38 where both parents work.
12:40 Does that means that Mom is
12:41 going to work away from the house and then come back and
12:44 do all of that and Dad does nothing?
12:47 That's what you're talking about.
12:48 How are you going to balance that as well? Right?
12:50 Yes. But Mom has always worked in most households.
12:54 OK. She's worked in the house and out of the house, right?
12:57 Yes! So there are challenges in adjusting to this period
13:01 of time. You can see now where just talking about these first
13:05 two areas that there are real challenges that you need
13:10 the grace of God going through these very things. You need
13:13 to provide each other with grace and patience as well.
13:16 And we want you to be patient with us, too, because we've got
13:20 some more of these discussions because we've got some more
13:23 stages of development coming up for the marriage and the family.
13:26 So stay with us and come right back,
13:28 and we'll be back shortly.
13:39 There are many how-to books available, but there's one
13:42 that's free and perfect for every couple:
13:45 How You Can Build A Better Marriage.
13:47 Bible-based matrimonial advice is given in a light-hearted,
13:51 easy-to-read manner for those contemplating marriage,
13:54 newlyweds, couples in their golden years,
13:57 and everyone in between.
13:59 Simply call or write
14:00 for your free copy of this
14:01 amazing little booklet.
14:02 A handy little tool
14:04 to help build a better marriage.
14:16 Welcome back to Marriage in God's Hands.
14:19 We have been discussing the
14:21 stages of marriage and family
14:23 development, and we have already
14:25 gone through a couple of graphics on newly-married
14:29 couples and their challenges.
14:31 And then moving on to families with young children.
14:34 So after that, we get to another stage,
14:38 and discuss this graphic with us now that's talking about
14:43 family with adolescents.
14:45 I guess this is probably the one where most families
14:49 pull out their hair... because it's a time when you are
14:52 preparing children for adulthood and you're providing
14:57 responsibility balanced with support and authority.
15:01 You mentioned pulling out hair. Why?
15:08 Because you... look at it:
15:10 you're preparing children for
15:12 adulthood. And that means that
15:15 you're really... The Bible says
15:18 that "the evil stirreth up the nest. "
15:21 And you're stirring up your nest because you're preparing them to
15:26 really fly. You're launching eagles.
15:29 OK. And launching eagles is difficult? YES!
15:33 Now don't you just push them and let them fly? NO!
15:36 Because looking at the other part, that means that you're
15:40 doing support with authority. Oh, that sounds like a difficult
15:46 balance, isn't it - yes, yes - for... Who does that?
15:49 Does the mother do this? Because Dad's gone to work so...
15:52 obviously the wife is gonna... Wait a minute! Back up, back up.
15:55 Parent is a neuter word - OK - that applies to both people,
15:59 mother and father. And you must remember
16:03 that this person you are parenting is full of
16:06 raging hormones. Well, that must put some strain, obviously,
16:10 on the relationship. Because the relationship
16:14 between the husband and wife, that marriage relationship,
16:18 now has in it the stresses that come from creating
16:23 a new dynamic dealing with these emerging hormones
16:29 that are flying all over the place and they are challenging
16:32 the manhood of the father and the womanhood of the mother.
16:37 And if you just think about where parents are
16:42 in this process in their lives,
16:45 this is usually at some point in their career where they are
16:49 being challenged with stressors from their job or something else
16:55 and then you've got this person at home that you don't know
16:59 who they may be at any given time. So it's kind of crazy!
17:05 A lot of crazy making a lot of changes. So, uhh...
17:09 The parents are re-defining their personal goals.
17:12 Is that one of the issues that husbands and wives have to
17:17 work out this marriage now? You're beginning to shift.
17:20 You thought you'd be able to do this but now it looks like
17:24 it might be delayed or you might have to move into a
17:27 different area of expertise as far as your job is concerned.
17:32 Or where you're going as a family period.
17:35 And of course now... It used to be you worked for a company
17:38 until you retired, and that doesn't work anymore.
17:42 And stayed in the same town... because companies suddenly
17:46 merge, go offshore - um-hmm - whatever. And then you're
17:51 trying to figure out... Can I educate this child?
17:54 And so there are lots of crazy things going on.
17:58 And you don't exactly know what to do.
18:02 So does it make it easier, then, if they are home-schooled?
18:05 No, you still have to prepare them for adulthood.
18:10 Ahh. Which means what as far as preparing them for adulthood
18:16 and they are at home... they are not with other children.
18:19 So socially what's happening to them? You've got to stir up
18:21 the nest. They are supposed to leave your nest.
18:24 So you are supposed to challenge how you interact with the world
18:28 around you. Yes. And help show them from practical ways how
18:32 to emerge. Because if they are in home school, that means they
18:36 are not developing relationships with children
18:39 every day who are from other families at school, exactly, so
18:43 there are challenges for the husband and wife to create
18:47 environments where they can merge their children
18:51 with the world and at the same time they merge their own lives
18:56 with the world. Because isn't it a challenge for a mother
18:59 to get out beyond even her children and to,
19:02 if she is at home with the children, for instance, to
19:05 have her own set. Sure it is. So, you know, at some point
19:11 you want to know am I more than just a wife and mother.
19:15 Will I ever have a time when I am introduced as somebody's
19:19 mother or am I somebody? Wow! Well, you know, you brought
19:26 something to our minds and to our lives now that we are really
19:29 going to have to look at. So, let's go to our next graphic
19:32 and we are going to talk about what you've introduced
19:35 that fits. We are talking about launching our families. OK.
19:38 So now we have to help young adults establish independent
19:42 lives, and then parents need to re-define personal goals.
19:47 OK. So this is just a little bit further ahead but it's
19:53 some of the same things. Yes. But the children are older.
19:56 The marriage is older and perhaps becoming...
20:01 What? A little ho-hum?
20:04 Yes, but you know what we're finding is that young adults
20:10 don't like to leave the nest. Umm.
20:13 And they're coming back home and staying - Wow! - longer.
20:16 Oh, so we're dealing with "in-dependence. "
20:20 And I say independent because they're not as independent
20:24 as they are pretending to be. Yes, because they like
20:27 parental lifestyle. What is that parental?
20:30 What are you talking about? Parental lifestyle?
20:33 Well see, they want to have everything that Mom and Dad have
20:36 um-hmm - but they want it now.
20:38 And Mom and Dad are saying finally we are getting to the
20:41 place where we can have our lives back - yes -
20:44 and we can have our house back - yes - and can do things
20:46 we have always dreamed about doing - yes - as a husband
20:49 and wife and now... they're here. Oh!
20:52 They're still here. Oops!
20:55 Ahh. So that's a challenge, isn't it?
20:57 Very much so. Because you can't have grown people
21:01 living in your house but wanting to have the advantages
21:06 of not being grown.
21:08 Wow! So those are challenges, and we must say even right
21:13 here that this looks a little bit different in every home,
21:15 doesn't it? Yes it does.
21:17 Because it depends upon the
21:18 husband and wife. It depends
21:19 upon your relationship with
21:20 the Lord. How that's developed and grown. Yes, it does.
21:23 And also how you have helped, at every stage, to introduce
21:27 your children to God and helped teach them how to have a
21:30 relationship that is unique and special with God for themselves.
21:33 And then we go back to talking about boundaries again. OK.
21:37 Because the establishment of
21:39 boundaries will then decide
21:42 whether young adults will really
21:43 feel comfortable coming back to
21:46 the parental home to establish themselves. Ahhh.
21:50 Wow! These are a lot of challenges. And it takes
21:54 good communication between a husband and wife.
21:58 The marriage must continue to be viable and communicative
22:03 during all of this time... especially during the stresses.
22:06 So you should have developed... And if you haven't developed
22:09 that kind of communication system and a relationship with
22:12 the Lord that you share together in your marriage,
22:15 then those are primary in order to help
22:20 your young adults to really find God for themselves
22:25 and to be launched into the world.
22:27 Well let's go to our final graphic.
22:30 That final graphic talks about empty nest and retirement.
22:34 All right. Where couples then...
22:46 Umm. That's kind of deep.
22:49 Yeah. Normally people don't like to talk about these things.
22:54 And if you have not developed all along the way
22:58 and adjusted your lives as a couple to the changes
23:04 that have been taking place, when you get here,
23:06 there may be insurmountable challenges. That's right.
23:10 Because, again, if you've been totally child-focused,
23:16 - um-hmm - then maybe you're not really important to each other.
23:19 Wow! That means there's nothing between you
23:23 that you can share and enjoy
23:27 if it's only been children before. That's right.
23:30 And so that means that you don't have any goals that are
23:35 not child-focused because you don't know this person.
23:38 This person isn't your friend. Um-hmm.
23:40 You have nothing in common, so you really do have an
23:44 empty nest... and that's all.
23:47 So, an empty nest, then, is not really a positive thing
23:53 if you think of it in those terms.
23:55 I think we have tried to change that.
23:58 And we started long before the children even began thinking
24:02 thinking about leaving; we began talking about the time when we
24:05 would have a renaissance marriage.
24:07 That we'd get a re-birth to our years that we enjoyed
24:12 before the children got there and when we would travel
24:15 and do things uniquely for us and develop that kind of
24:20 life purpose. So here we are talking about
24:23 establishing this importance for each other.
24:28 The best way to do it is to establish it now
24:31 so when you get there it will be like a breath of fresh air.
24:35 And the freedom that you've always expected will be yours
24:38 and you'll know each other as this couple who have learned
24:43 to grow together. That's true.
24:46 And I guess really the preparation for the loss of a
24:49 spouse goes back to celebrating uniqueness.
24:53 Because that means that you have developed all of the gifts
24:56 and abilities that God has given you so that you are not just
25:01 sitting around being totally dependent on the other person.
25:07 You know how to take care of yourself.
25:10 You do have a life. You do have interests.
25:14 You do have your own set of friends.
25:16 Now, one unknown quantity that we haven't talked about
25:19 is having to deal with an aging parent
25:23 even previous to now and in this period of time.
25:27 That's true, that is true.
25:29 These are things you must talk about and discuss.
25:31 Yes, and they do happen. And, of course, these stages
25:37 of development are never this orderly.
25:39 But they do happen in life and they are things to consider
25:43 because they do happen to families
25:46 and you need to be aware of them.
25:48 So that gives us a lot to communicate about.
25:50 A lot to grow toward, including growing toward the fact that
25:54 we may lose one another some- where in this period of time
25:59 or even before this period of time, and we need to be
26:01 prepared. Being proactive and planning your life
26:06 with your partner, with your spouse, is important.
26:10 And you need God's help through all of this.
26:12 Let's pray for ourselves and the couples who are watching now.
26:16 Dear Lord. There are so many things that You know
26:20 about us and about our future that we do not know
26:24 about ourselves. Lead us and help us to
26:26 follow You as we prepare for each stage of our marriage
26:31 and our development. And because You love us, Lord,
26:34 we know that there is nothing that You would do
26:37 that would harm us.
26:38 And we thank You for your love and care.
26:41 In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen and Amen.
26:45 The one thing we haven't talked about is the fact that
26:48 as you have grown to the age where you might lose one another
26:54 there is always the hope of the resurrection
26:58 and the coming of Jesus Christ
27:01 where families are united. Where couples and marriages
27:06 will once again take on significance.
27:09 Because it prepares you to accept the inevitable.
27:12 But at the same time, the greatest inevitable
27:16 if you are a Christian couple, is looking forward to the
27:20 coming of Jesus Christ and being in the New Earth with Him.
27:24 We hope that you are making these plans.
27:26 We hope that you, like we have done,
27:29 are basing our faith on our relationship with God
27:33 as well as with one another.
27:35 He has us in His heart, and He has prepared a place
27:39 and He is ready for us. I hope that you are getting ready too.
27:43 God bless you.