Participants: Willie and Wilma Lee
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000037
00:30 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hands.
00:33 I'm Willie Lee, your host, and my co-host is Wilma, my wife.
00:39 Welcome. Today we're going to talk about richer/poorer.
00:44 So, let's being our session with prayer.
00:49 Thank you, dear Lord, for all that You have done
00:53 every part of our lives. And we ask You to continue to
00:58 be with us as we experience each part of our lives to come
01:04 and what we will share today.
01:06 Lord, because you are a God for everything and all things,
01:11 we thank You for your consistency
01:14 and we are thankful that You can be with us through all things.
01:18 And we praise you!
01:19 In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen and Amen.
01:25 Well you can tell by the scope
01:28 of our subject today
01:31 that there's a ring of
01:33 familiarity about that.
01:34 I don't know if you are one who had a traditional marriage vow
01:39 or you had vows that were other than what we just said:
01:46 But you can recall, those of you who were in somewhat of a
01:51 conscious state during that time, that during the wedding
01:56 ceremony when it's time for the vows, those are familiar words.
01:59 You have heard them said on many occasions,
02:02 and we have heard them said on many occasions.
02:04 And they were part of ours as well, and I didn't think
02:08 seriously about what richer and poorer meant.
02:13 But maybe we do need to stop and think about that a little bit.
02:17 Well I think most people think
02:19 richer and poorer means money.
02:22 Because in our society, that's
02:25 what richer and poor has
02:27 always referred to: wealth.
02:30 And so when people say that I take you in richer and poorer
02:36 and most people think the richer part, certainly not the poorer
02:40 part. Because, after all, who wants to be poor?
02:44 Well, when I looked at our bank account when we got married,
02:47 I knew there was no richer involved.
02:50 I was hoping that maybe that was in our future, but...
02:52 I definitely knew the poorer part.
02:55 But at the same time, I don't think I remember
02:59 in our household of thinking, as we were growing up,
03:03 that we were poor.
03:05 Even though we didn't have a lot of money,
03:07 and even though money was not necessarily
03:10 something to be missed or to be desired when we were little,
03:14 you don't think about money so much when you're small.
03:17 Other things occupy your mind. But as you grow older and
03:21 you begin to understand that others have different things
03:23 or more things... then richer and poorer becomes
03:28 a little bit more meaningful. And when you have to handle
03:31 your own budget in your own household, then for sure
03:34 you don't want to fall into that trap of thinking
03:39 "I'm poor, " but it does come to us that sometimes there are
03:42 poorer times than others in many different ways...
03:45 including financial.
03:47 And I think that when you begin to look at what God's Word
03:52 has to talk about when we think about richer and poorer,
03:56 um-hmm - that maybe it gives us a better view
04:00 of what God is talking about and what that means
04:04 in the line of Christian marriage.
04:06 And Proverbs 15:16 says in The New Living Translation:
04:11 "There is treasure in the house of the godly. "
04:15 And by treasure?
04:18 Is it talking about financial wealth or gold or silver?
04:24 What kind of treasure do you get from that particular saying?
04:30 Well, there may be gold and silver... but I don't think
04:35 that that's what God had reference to.
04:38 I think He's talking about treasure being joy,
04:41 peace, and happiness that comes because God abides there,
04:47 and that that is most significant.
04:50 You know, when you begin to look at God's Word
04:54 and you begin to look at what's really valuable,
04:58 you think back to what happened
05:02 when people shared their wealth. Um-hmm.
05:09 And they showed all their wealthy things - yes -
05:11 and they didn't share how God blessed. Ahh.
05:14 Well, you know when you look at the other part of that verse
05:16 I know in the King James Version it also mentions there:
05:20 "But in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. " Ummm.
05:24 So the opposite of having treasures or having something
05:29 that is rich is having trouble.
05:32 And maybe we need to re-focus
05:37 and look at that as far as how God looks at the household
05:41 that's built on faith... the household that's built
05:44 on the things that God possesses and shares with us.
05:50 And I think that as we moved into our marriage -
05:53 and look back - that we had a richness that we felt.
05:56 Even though we didn't have things or money,
06:01 we had a richness.
06:02 And some of those things were very meaningful.
06:05 Well, you know, as I think about that first house we lived in,
06:10 It was a very small house; it was less than 1,000 sq. feet.
06:16 Like a small apartment - a very small apartment -
06:20 on a lot of land. But I can remember many joyous times
06:25 we spent with each other.
06:27 We opened our house to lots of people.
06:31 Um-hmm. It was an open door.
06:33 People enjoyed coming to our house;
06:35 we enjoyed sharing what we had.
06:38 And I think that if we were to look back on those times
06:42 early in our marriage, that was a joyous time not only for us
06:47 but it was a treasure because it was an open door for us,
06:52 for our friends, for our family, and it was great treasure.
06:57 Well, I think if we start with where we started.
07:00 We started with the Lord. We started knowing that our
07:03 purpose for being in this world and our purpose in life
07:07 was going to be to work for God, on behalf of God.
07:11 So... we took that seriously.
07:14 And I feel... and from the experience that I have had
07:19 with you... is that we had a treasure.
07:21 Just looking forward to and having new things unfold
07:24 every day and people and things come into our lives,
07:28 but our marriage was increasing in those opportunities
07:33 to share together. Whatever we had, we shared mutually,
07:37 and that was a rich experience.
07:41 And sometimes, though, marriages go through poor experiences
07:45 because it says "for richer or for poorer" which means that
07:48 when you don't have the richness of that relationship
07:52 there are times when there's... for whatever reason...
07:55 there's a removal of that relationship that takes on
07:59 that special hue and that special glory and it tarnishes
08:04 a little bit, and you go through a poor time
08:06 when you have to fight through some difficult periods.
08:09 Well, yes, and we've had those as well.
08:12 I think that one of our poorer
08:14 times was when we lost our son.
08:16 And I think that that was a
08:19 poorer time. We had to struggle
08:22 through that. And yet and still it turns out
08:27 that because we had those times before, we had friends.
08:33 They, in turn, became treasures because they held us up.
08:37 And that is part of the riches.
08:40 That's part of the riches that helps you through
08:41 the poor times. You have something that
08:45 you would say even if you are
08:46 looking at finances,
08:48 something for a rainy day.
08:50 Lay aside something for a rainy day.
08:51 Your mother often says that:
08:53 "Well you know, I just need to keep something aside for
08:56 a rainy day. " So those rainy days, those poorer times,
09:01 those difficult periods of time, when you have that which
09:05 you have built and treasured, it comes back to bring you the
09:09 comfort and the joy - and the assurance - that there is
09:12 something at the end of this dark period.
09:15 Something that is to be realized even though you cannot
09:19 see the end, that it's going to come out OK.
09:22 And maybe that's what Ecclesiastes 4:9 through 12
09:26 is talking about - OK - when it says "Two are better than one
09:30 because they have a good return" - ahh - "for their work. "
09:34 Yes. "If one falls down, his friend can help him up.
09:37 But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.
09:43 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
09:48 But how can one keep warm alone?
09:51 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.
09:55 A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. "
10:00 So the Word of God gives us, then, a formula, doesn't it?
10:05 It does. And the formula talks about the various things
10:09 that happen when you have a friendship in marriage.
10:13 You know, I think it would be a very poor thing,
10:16 a very difficult thing or a troublesome thing, if you were
10:19 in a marriage with someone who was not your best friend.
10:22 That you had to go somewhere else to find a best friend.
10:26 And I haven't had to do that!
10:29 And I think that's a good thing.
10:31 I know that my best friend is right there with me
10:34 in my marriage. And you have been a best friend to me so that
10:38 even in those times when we were alone, moving around to
10:41 different areas of the country and we may not have been
10:43 close to family or close to those we consider
10:47 our good friends, we could always turn to one another
10:51 and find a comfort and a strengthening and binding up of
10:55 whatever we needed in our friendship as well.
10:59 And that's why marriage must be more than just an emotional
11:04 tie that is based upon sexuality. It must have a mutual
11:08 relationship of friendship that is offered one to the other.
11:13 I guess that's why I am typically a spectator
11:16 and not an involved person in sports.
11:21 But I have learned at least to understand football
11:25 so that I can watch and be intelligent and I know
11:30 what's going on. So, you remember those times
11:33 when we only had one channel? Oh, oh, OK!
11:36 I'm trying to figure out where the football comes from.
11:39 Well - OK - there was the time when we lived in an area
11:42 where we only had one channel and you liked football
11:45 and I was clueless. But thank you for being patient
11:48 enough to teach me.
11:50 Well, thank you for watching the game with me
11:52 and knowing that that is something that we could share
11:55 together on those Sundays when things were slowed down
12:00 a little bit for us. But gaining that appreciation
12:06 for one another when you are off to yourselves and knowing that
12:10 you have someone to share those moments DOES make it special.
12:15 And that's what marriage is about.
12:16 And when you have those vows,
12:18 and I don't know which vows you used,
12:20 but did you share a vow with each other that says
12:24 "for richer for poorer "
12:25 "for those good times or in bad times "
12:28 or "in difficult periods of time? "
12:30 And it's really not all about money.
12:33 And, unfortunately, this world is.
12:36 So, we need to back off of that a little bit and look at
12:39 the other things that God has given us.
12:40 And we are going to share a little bit more - yes - of that
12:43 as we go along today in our program.
12:46 But we want you to sort of talk with each other
12:50 and bring back some memories of those time periods
12:56 when you and your spouse went through some poorer times
13:00 and the richness of your previous experience or your
13:04 friendship or the richness of the binding together
13:08 as cords together that would not break under stress.
13:12 Those are the things you want to recount and add to your list
13:17 of things that show that God was rich with you
13:20 during richer or poorer.
13:22 And then we are going to continue with our discussion
13:24 in just a few moments. So stay close by
13:27 and let's enjoy our discussion today.
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14:14 Welcome back to Marriage in God's Hands.
14:18 We've been talking about the expression and what it means
14:22 to our marriage
14:23 when we say "richer or poorer. "
14:27 And we want to make sure that you are with us on that.
14:31 And maybe you have discussed some things in your relationship
14:35 where you have relied upon the richness of
14:38 your married relationship, your friendship,
14:41 God's presence in your home, to make your home richer.
14:45 Not necessarily by monetary means... even though
14:49 God provides for that, doesn't He?
14:51 He does. And I think that if you
14:54 come to your marriage with a
14:56 generous spirit, then God can
14:58 bless you with wealth because He only blesses
15:03 those who have a generous heart.
15:05 And like we often say: "God won't give it to you
15:08 unless He can get it through you. "
15:11 So, marriage is that way, too.
15:14 Sharing who you are with others enriches your marriage.
15:19 Not keeping it all to yourself.
15:21 You know, just me and mine.
15:23 And we sit down at the corner like I did with my
15:26 boyhood friend, and we got his toys
15:31 and he went to one corner - I went to the other corner -
15:34 and the big pile of toys sat in the middle
15:37 no one played with, but we chugged our own toy.
15:40 That's not a very good feeling
15:42 if you take what you have and go to your corner.
15:45 So, marriage is about sharing the good things God has given
15:51 and provides and taking that word. And I think that's
15:55 the word that we are trying to take to other couples.
15:57 That's why we do this ministry.
15:59 We have found the richness of the love of God in our
16:03 relationship, and we want to share it with others.
16:06 And we hope that you are willing to do the same thing
16:09 with what you have received from God.
16:10 Well, I think it's also important, particularly
16:14 in this day and time when we find there are so many
16:18 unmarried people living together. And secondly,
16:22 so many people saying "I'm not going to get married
16:25 because I don't see any happy marriages "
16:28 that it's important for people who are blessed with a joyous,
16:31 happy marriage to go out and share that with other people.
16:35 To show them what God can do with two people
16:38 who are so very different, and that God can bless a marriage
16:42 and that He can make it GO and GROW.
16:45 Well, there's one other aspect that we haven't talked about
16:48 that we have been able to experience a certain richness
16:51 because God has kept us from going completely to the
16:55 poor house... as the old folks would say...
16:58 and allowed us to exist in a manner in which we had enough
17:04 from day to day. Isn't that what He did with
17:06 the children of Israel when they walked though the wilderness?
17:09 There was never enough that they could call themselves prosperous
17:13 and rich with money, but they were never without
17:15 what they needed to make it through a day.
17:18 But God gave us something to share with more than just other
17:23 married couples. There are some singles that God
17:26 puts in this world because by either divorce or death
17:31 or separation of some sort or either not getting married
17:36 some people are single in life.
17:38 And we have taken the opportunity to reach out
17:41 for some of those that were single and bring them into
17:44 our marriage and into our home to help them feel welcome
17:48 and to help give them a place where they can say
17:52 they, too, are part of family even though they don't have
17:55 another self like we have enjoyed with each other.
17:59 But I don't think that it's been one-sided -
18:03 um-hmm - because I've seen the opportunity
18:05 then for our children to be blessed
18:07 because we both come from rather small families.
18:12 And so it's extended our family and so our children have a lot
18:16 of aunts and uncles that they wouldn't have.
18:19 So it's been a blessing on both sides.
18:22 Well, a lot of people don't understand this thing about
18:24 aunts and uncles. In some cultures we accumulate
18:29 aunts and uncles that are surrogate because we like...
18:33 they give us a family feel and they are there for us.
18:36 We call them aunts and we call them uncles
18:39 even though they are not related by blood. Exactly.
18:42 But they cause themselves to be related because they don't
18:44 mind - exactly - being a part of our family in a secondary tier
18:49 of family membership that's outside of the blood that flows
18:54 within us but now the blood of Christ then joins us
18:58 one with the other.
18:59 But there is a richness in sharing with others.
19:02 Um-hmm. And in opening your home and in opening your marriage.
19:06 You've got to feel safe with your mate
19:09 in order to invite someone else, be it male or female,
19:13 into your marriage to be a friend.
19:17 A lot of marriages don't have that blessing.
19:20 They are not rich with the assurance of Christ
19:23 and the assurance of one another's love.
19:25 And I think that we have done that.
19:26 That we can be safe with each other and invite others in
19:30 without feeling like that person is going to take away from me
19:33 anything if they are here in our home.
19:37 Don't you think probably that's a safe thing for us to say?
19:40 Oh, I think so. I can think of a number of
19:44 my friends who are single and female who have called and said
19:49 "I'm getting ready to buy a new car" - or what have you.
19:52 "Could your husband come because people respect you more
19:56 if there's a male along. " And you trotted along to
19:59 be the male figure, and I'm very comfortable with that.
20:04 And they are very comfortable with calling and asking.
20:07 And I think that that's a part of the blessing of having
20:10 that extended family circle.
20:13 And I know that it has been important now that
20:16 we only have a parent between us and it happens to be
20:20 my mother. So, I think that that has been a blessing.
20:24 Well those are blessings because we have a generous God.
20:28 And there's a text that is here that we want to share
20:33 about that generous God and what He does.
20:35 It says: "It won't be long before the generous God
20:39 who has great plans for us in Christ,
20:42 eternal and glorious plans they are, will have you
20:46 put together and on your feet for good. "
20:52 So no matter what's going on today, God has plans for you.
20:56 So if you're going through a poorer period,
20:58 He has a time in which He is going to put you up on your feet
21:02 and make it firm. And He says... the final word says...
21:06 "He gets the last word. Yes, He does! "
21:10 And that's I Peter 5:10 and that's The Message Paraphrase.
21:14 God does get the last word. When you include Him in your lives,
21:18 then you don't have to be concerned because God will
21:22 always step in and reveal His plan and give you and end that
21:27 was better than your beginning.
21:29 Yes. And the wonderful thing about our God is that
21:32 He promises that He can do above that which you can ask
21:35 or imagine. And that's one of my
21:38 favorite passages of scripture.
21:40 And here it says: "He gets
21:42 the last word. " That's right!
21:43 How exciting to know that!
21:45 And to know that if you've got your hand in God's hand,
21:49 that He's going to get the last word.
21:51 And His word is always the best word.
21:53 So that increases also and reveals what
21:58 the richer/poorer is about.
22:01 God is always there, and there can never be
22:05 a part of you that can ever
22:08 be given away. God would not
22:10 allow anything to happen to you
22:12 because you are His child
22:14 and He's got plans for you.
22:15 And when you are a part of His life as a married couple,
22:19 then He's got His hands around both of you.
22:21 Remember that sacred circle? Yes.
22:23 It brings glory to God for Him to prosper you.
22:26 It speaks well of Him for there to be that joy, that contentment
22:32 in your life. I Timothy 6:6 tells us that.
22:36 It says: "Yet true godliness, with contentment,
22:40 is itself great wealth. "
22:44 We don't often look at contentment as wealth.
22:47 But you watch people who have a lot of material wealth
22:52 but yet lose health or don't have friendships
22:55 or have difficulties in life in which they don't know God.
22:59 And so, there's not contentment in having the wealth of the
23:04 world. But to have a wealth of relationship with God...
23:07 God provides that happiness and peace that comes.
23:11 Well, I think also couples need to realize
23:13 that you cannot spend your marriage and your time
23:18 in your marriage in competing with whoever and whatever.
23:23 Yes. That a marriage is spent in developing a love for each
23:27 other, a love for Christ, and in building a family.
23:31 And that's what true contentment is.
23:34 In being happy in what you are blessed with
23:37 and with each other, and not looking around
23:40 to see what other people have.
23:43 And too often in our society we're comparing ourselves with
23:47 other people... not in being happy with what we have.
23:51 So, instead of filling your life with things
23:55 and concern about procuring or storing up
24:01 or hoarding things, it's better to allow the freedom and
24:07 contentment to come because God provides you with
24:10 one another and will provide your coupleness with everything
24:14 that you need to be rich in the things that are most important
24:20 that you can take from this earth to the heavenly kingdom.
24:23 Definitely. And while you are sharing each other
24:29 then share what you have with those around you.
24:32 Because the Lord promises you that you'll never run out
24:36 because He is the source.
24:38 And, just as He provided the children of Israel
24:42 with manna every day sufficient for their needs,
24:45 He will take care of you.
24:47 Isn't that what He says?
24:49 "Consider the lilies of the field...
24:51 the sparrows... they don't ever have to worry,
24:55 and I will take care of you. "
24:56 So, even though that applies to a personal relationship,
25:01 it also applies to a marriage relationship.
25:05 Because it's a promise that God will keep your relationship
25:08 rich and giving - yes - if you become that individual.
25:13 Remember, it's very important that you establish your own
25:16 relationship with the Lord as well as your mate.
25:19 Your spouse should have their place with God
25:22 and their time with Him as well as you.
25:25 And then when the two of you are together,
25:27 God blesses the relationship that you have with each other
25:31 even more so because you enter it on a sacred
25:35 and very, very resilient cord... silver cord of attachment
25:40 to God. And He does give us silver cords.
25:44 They're not just common cords, are they?
25:46 Not at all. They're very rich cords that hold us together.
25:49 John 10:10 says: "Don't worry about the things
25:53 on this earth. The thief's purpose is to steal
25:57 and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them
26:01 a rich and satisfying life. "
26:04 God has made that promise.
26:06 We want to claim that promise today.
26:08 Don't you want to claim that promise for your marriage?
26:11 For your home? Let's pray for a moment.
26:17 We thank you, dear Lord, for the provision
26:20 that you have given and provided us across the years.
26:25 And yet there are many who are blessed by You, dear Lord,
26:29 because they reach out to you continually.
26:31 We pray not only in thanksgiving for your presence in our lives
26:36 but in the presence of so many marriages that have been
26:40 generous on behalf of God.
26:42 And Lord, we know that You are the constant source of blessings
26:47 and that as long as we trust in You, You will continue to
26:51 bless us. Help us to share everything that You give
26:55 with those with whom we come in contact.
26:57 We pray this in the name of Jesus, Amen and Amen.
27:03 We certainly hope that you are joining us in prayer from time
27:07 to time and that your prayer is about your relationship
27:11 as well as praying for us and the many married couples
27:16 across this nation. We ask of you to continue that support
27:21 and that prayer. And also reach out and be generous
27:25 with others around you. Let them know the joy and the
27:29 contentment and peace because you have great wealth in Christ
27:35 in your relationship for richer or for poorer.
27:38 May God keep His hand in your marriage.
27:42 And God bless you to continue to stay with Him.