Participants: Willie and Wilma Lee
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000039
00:29 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hands. I'm Willie Lee, your host
00:34 and our co-host is my wife, Wilma Lee.
00:39 Welcome, today we talk about "Rejoice".
00:43 Rejoicing, that sounds like fun, and I think rejoicing
00:48 is what we do first in the Lord, don't you?
00:51 - Definitely. - Let's pray.
00:54 Dear Lord, we rejoice in you because You have provided for us
00:59 through our marriage a source of joy and happiness,
01:03 and we praise Your name for that.
01:06 Lord, without You our joy could not be complete, so we thank
01:10 You for all that you have given us in the name of Jesus
01:13 we pray, amen.
01:18 We've enjoyed in this series as we have talked about
01:22 marriage in God's hands of many different areas, and the focus
01:28 that we have on each program was a little bit different,
01:32 but this is certainly one that brings a smile to our faces
01:37 and a certain type of upbeat in the heart.
01:42 Well, I think that it's important that we realize that
01:45 marriage is something to rejoice about and in, and through
01:51 because it is serious, but God intends for us to rejoice.
01:57 The Bible says, in The Message, Proverbs 5:18,19:
02:02 "Enjoy the wife you married as a young man, lovely as an angel, "
02:07 "beautiful as a rose, don't ever quit taking delight in her"
02:11 "body, never take her love for granted. "
02:14 Wow, boy, is that permission or what?
02:19 - That says "Rejoice! " - Yeah, rejoice.
02:21 And it also gives us a lot of different ways to rejoice,
02:25 and I'm sure that it allows the imaginations to go into a hyper
02:33 type of manner so that we don't have to be limited in just one
02:39 way of rejoicing, and that's what I like about it, God just
02:42 opens up the whole imagination for us.
02:45 Yes, and I think that He is encouraging us that it isn't
02:49 something that starts...you know we've been talking about this
02:52 consistently, that it's not just the wedding, it's for
02:56 the marriage because you notice He talks about "the wife you"
03:00 "married as a young man", so this is obviously something
03:04 that's for maturity and it's throughout the marriage.
03:10 It also suggests the consistency and long life of a marriage,
03:16 - doesn't it? - It does.
03:19 ...Not multiple wives in different ages and seasons.
03:23 Oh, you don't trade in your 40 for two 20s.
03:25 That's right, you enjoy the wife of your youth,
03:30 and what it says, as we often do when we have our marriage
03:35 retreats, we encourage our couples to think about those
03:41 special times that they had, can you remember some special
03:45 times that you had before you got married, and just after
03:48 you got married, the fun you had together, that's what we're
03:51 encouraging them to think about and for their imaginations to go
03:55 back and re-experience the joy that you've had with your
04:03 wife that you've married at a very young age.
04:06 Well, you know I think it's also interesting that the Bible talks
04:09 to the man because maybe it's easier for men to forget,
04:15 women tend to remember, they tend to be the keeper of
04:20 the keepsakes, and they have all these things tied with ribbons,
04:24 so maybe the Bible thought that the man needed to be reminded
04:30 to keep these things in mind across the ages because
04:35 it's not a typical man thing to do.
04:38 Well, that can be drawn, but also remember that during
04:42 the age that it is written, of course, it was up to the man
04:45 as the head to maintain things and to be the leader in things
04:49 as well, not just to take the wife for granted, but to also
04:55 know that it was his place and his leadership role to remember
05:00 that, and to bring joy into the years gone by, and remember
05:06 - them and recall them now. - Oh, so you mean that's a part
05:10 of the headship and the leadership of the man?
05:12 - I think it ought to be both. - Hey, I like that.
05:15 So it really gives you a real momentum that you are
05:20 to establish as a male in doing this, and it doesn't necessarily
05:25 mean that you have to be a romantic.
05:27 It means that you have to be one who encourages the imagination
05:31 and the rememberance, so you don't have to be considered
05:34 a romantic, but it sort of suggests to you what to do.
05:38 Oh, okay, I can go along with that, but if you suggest,
05:42 and all that, that seems to me that you be a romantic.
05:45 Well, sometimes you can develop that even if you're not
05:49 naturally a temperament, or by nature, create some romantic
05:55 moments in remembrance. That's a part of being joyful,
05:59 - don't you think? - I think so, I like that.
06:02 And then you can't leave out the troublous times, but remember,
06:06 there's 2 sides of trouble, isn't there, like James 1:2-4
06:10 says: "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come"
06:13 "your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy, "
06:19 "for you know that when your faith is tested your endurance"
06:22 "has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance"
06:26 "is fully developed you will be perfect and complete, "
06:29 "needing nothing. " Isn't that great? That's wonderful.
06:34 - That's rejoicing. - Well, you know, James says
06:37 it's an opportunity for joy when you have trouble.
06:39 - Yes, that's right. - Isn't he confused?
06:42 Oh no, you rejoice because you have it,
06:44 because you know that God considers you able
06:48 because of your connection with Him to come through it.
06:52 Remember the Psalmist: "Weeping for a night, "
06:54 "but joy in the morning. "
06:58 So you mean that this marriage process isn't all going to be
07:04 - roses and ribbons. - It's not going to always
07:08 feel like that, but it's an opportunity for joy.
07:11 - Oh, okay. - And I think that we have to
07:13 understand that because we have experienced that and we have
07:17 been through that, and we have been able to find that even
07:21 the tough moments opened up into silver linings,
07:25 and the clouds that past gave us an opportunity for understanding
07:29 things better, we get to know each other better,
07:32 and appreciate one another better.
07:34 Okay, so in talking about the wedding versus the marriage,
07:42 the wedding day may be magnificent, we hope,
07:46 and that the sun shines and all of those things that
07:48 go perfectly, but in the marriage there may be some days
07:53 where everything doesn't go well, but that's okay because
07:57 you can still count it as joy and rejoice.
08:00 That's right, because those were days, it didn't say "forever",
08:06 and that's what you have to keep in mind, when you look at
08:09 the big picture, when you pick the long view and look at
08:14 the whole you can see the joy, you may not see it at that
08:17 moment, but if you stay round long enough joy will come,
08:23 and we need to be joyous in our relationships and in our
08:27 marriage partner because we have been told in Proverbs 18:22
08:32 for instance: "The man who finds a wife finds a treasure"
08:35 "and receives favor form the Lord", because God says
08:39 that it's not good for man to be alone, that means that if
08:43 he's not alone it's going to be good. If you have a wife
08:48 and you have a treasure, it's going to get better as you
08:52 - go along. - Okay, well you know,
08:54 there's more than 1 way to look at that because you know,
08:57 when you have treasure it's opening the box and you can't
09:03 get to all of it at once. So it takes a while
09:08 to do that, and that's what a marriage is all about,
09:11 - discovering the treasure. - Ah, yes, because the treasure
09:16 is not just looking at yourself and what you feel, we're in
09:20 this for each other, and that's where the joy comes in because
09:24 I can know that there's a certain joy that I get out
09:28 of pleasing you, there's a certain joy that I get out of
09:32 brining something special to you, but it's also a joy just
09:35 to have you with me, you can bring a joy to my heart
09:39 that I can't provide for myself, and that makes it joyful.
09:44 I think also that it's the joy of discovering.
09:47 "Eureka, I found it", and knowing that when I discover
09:53 things about you that make you happy, that please you,
09:58 that make you feel safe, then that also for me is a delight
10:04 to know that I'm creating an environment, a culture,
10:08 that makes you feel comfortable, that makes home the place
10:12 you want to be above any other place, then for me
10:16 - that's treasure. - And really, when I was
10:20 considering getting married and I believe that I probably had
10:25 many choices that I could have made in different ways at
10:29 different times, but I was looking for someone who would
10:34 bring joy to me, I didn't look for someone who would bring
10:37 joy to my congregation, or joy to my parents, but I looked
10:44 at someone that I could be joyful with, someone that
10:48 could bring a smile to my face, and bring a song to my heart.
10:56 It has truly been that because the rich times, the times that
11:02 were poorer, the times that we were in good health and bad,
11:06 but through it all our relationship with the Lord
11:09 and with each other has been a source of joy, and that is worth
11:15 celebrating, and we need to celebrate marriage.
11:19 Yes, I think that you are right, I guess that when we look back
11:24 across these past 40 years there's been lots of laughter
11:28 and lot's of joy, and you know, actually it's been covered
11:34 with a lot of music, if that has anything to do with
11:37 rejoicing, then I would think that that would be reflective
11:42 of our time together, and that that's what we have shared with
11:47 lot's of people: laughter, and joy, and music, because that's
11:52 - been how we have rejoiced. - Well, all that said we also
11:57 share with others, and we hope that you will be able to look
12:02 back and count those areas as joyful as you have been able
12:07 to see God's hand moving and providing you with a spouse,
12:12 with a mate and with opportunities to enjoy
12:16 one another. But the thing that I like about it is that
12:20 the fact that we're talking about it, it's not over yet.
12:23 You see? We don't have to wait to the end to be joyful,
12:28 we can celebrate what God has done to this point
12:31 and be joyful even into the future. A lot of times there
12:36 are those who cannot appreciate what marriage is because
12:40 we don't show joy in our wives and in our husbands,
12:44 we don't show joy in the marriage so they were wondering
12:48 "Should I really get married because those people over there"
12:51 "don't really look very happy", so I feel that that's part of
12:55 our witness for the Lord, is to create joyful moments
13:01 and celebratory moments, so that when we are out among others
13:07 they look at us and see someone who's not sad with a long face,
13:12 but they seem to be enjoying themselves with each other,
13:16 marriage must be good, and God is good.
13:19 Yes, didn't God say that after He created Adam and Eve?
13:22 Yes He did, and it was perfect, very, very good.
13:27 We'll be right back with even more perfection.
13:41 There are many "How to" books available, but there's one
13:44 that's free, and perfect for every couple:
13:47 "How You Can Build a Better Marriage".
13:50 Bible-based matrimonial advice is given in a light
13:52 hearted, easy to read manner for those contemplating marriage,
13:56 newly weds, couples in their golden years, and everyone
13:59 in between. Simply call or write for your copy of this amazing
14:03 little booklet, a handy little tool to help build a better
14:17 Welcome back to Marriage in God's Hands, and we've been
14:21 very excited about what we've been able to share, and we hope
14:25 that you will have an advantage now in knowing that there
14:30 are others who are like you, enjoying marriage and want
14:34 to enjoy it even more. We have some things that we do
14:39 from time to time, be it marriage retreats, or workshops,
14:45 or seminars, but that comes out of your work place,
14:52 out of the non-profit. Give some information to contact
14:56 so that if people want to get more information than we've been
14:59 able to share just in these programs they might be able
15:02 to contact you.
15:04 The Center for Family Wholeness is the area that we do marriage
15:09 and family retreats, and you can contact us through
15:14 The Center for Family Wholeness, www.familywholeness.org,
15:21 we'll be happy to hear from you, and we'll be happy to respond
15:25 to anything you might like to contact us for.
15:28 We look forward to hearing from you.
15:31 And also, we'd like for you to know that we have often done
15:35 things in partnerships with the North American Division Family
15:40 Ministry Department, and even this is done out of that
15:44 partnership with them, and their contact information is
15:48 www.adventistfamilyministry.com, and if you will contact them
15:58 they also can get in touch with us in case you can't get us
16:01 through the other number. We've even done things with
16:04 them as they're continuing to do now on one of the programs
16:08 on marriage that they do, we used to do some of those too,
16:11 they were called "From This Day Forward", and they are
16:14 1 day marriage seminars, you might be able to celebrate your
16:19 marriage at one of those, check the website and they'll
16:22 tell you when they're going to be done in different areas
16:25 of the country. But those are just some of the things we do.
16:29 With a lot of the counseling that we've done, and a lot
16:32 of the marriage education that we do we have found a way
16:37 to inject some of the celebration and joyfulness.
16:43 I remember, we just came back recently from a cruise in which
16:46 we did some things on relationships and some couples
16:49 were there, and we enjoyed having a cruise that had built
16:54 within it a time for celebrating marriage, and we did some
16:59 very special things, including renewing
17:01 of vows, a recommitment service.
17:04 Yes, I think that that was very, very special, I know that
17:08 the couples who renewed their vows had an excellent time
17:12 doing that, and you know, I'm getting kind of partial to
17:16 the cruise and the rejoicing, and the sharing of marriage
17:23 because there's something about water and renewal that's
17:30 marvelous. I remember a few years ago when you were able
17:35 to serve as ship's chaplain and you were able to minister
17:39 to people aboard a ship, and you actually renewed a couple's
17:43 vows for them, and he had some type of illness, and the family
17:48 had brought him along for the cruise as a rejoicing,
17:53 not only in the renewal of vows, but because his health had
17:56 - been restored. - That's right, and what
17:58 a wonderful thing the restoration of health,
18:01 and recommitment for marriage for the rest of your life,
18:05 these are things that are valuable, and you ought to seek
18:07 to do that in your marriage, every moment, every event
18:11 that you can you ought to make it a point of celebration
18:17 with the wife of your youth, or the husband of your youth,
18:20 and that's what it's all about, you build marriage as God wanted
18:27 it to be from the very beginning, you're restoring
18:30 the image of God in marriage, because it is through
18:32 the marriage relationship that we rejoice in redemption,
18:37 that redemption that Christ gives also provides for
18:42 a celebration of marriage, because is only through
18:46 the blood of Christ that forgiveness comes, that there is
18:50 a new start and that every new start you can have with
18:53 your marriage makes it even more fun, more enjoyable.
18:57 Of course, I have to remember one year, and I can't remember
19:01 which anniversary it was, but it must have been one of those
19:04 years that was kind of lean in our marriage because I don't
19:08 think we had a lot of money, and I think we had some small
19:11 children and they went with us on our anniversary celebration
19:16 and I remember hearing in the back seat of the car:
19:20 "Oh good, now next year where are we going on"
19:23 "our anniversary? " But we rejoiced anyhow.
19:29 Yes, well that's what it's all about.
19:31 We read in the Word of God, 1 John 4:16-19,
19:37 you love The Message, the way it paraphrases and puts it in words
19:40 that are really celebratory: "God is love, when we take"
19:44 "up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God"
19:48 "and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, "
19:52 "becomes at home and mature in us, so that we're free"
19:57 "of worry on Judgment Day - our standing in the world"
20:00 "is identical with Christ's. There is no room in love"
20:04 "for fear. Well formed love banishes fear. "
20:10 Of course, the opposite of fear is love.
20:12 "Since fear is crippling, a fearful life - fear of death, "
20:14 "fear of judgment - is one not yet fully formed in love. "
20:18 So finally, "We, though, are going to love - love"
20:24 "and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. "
20:29 "He loved us first. " What a lovely passage
20:34 in 1 John 4, that is a book to go to often, isn't that right?
20:40 I think so, and it's a reason for rejoicing because if God
20:44 loved us first then there's so much love to give to our
20:49 spouse, and then we don't have to worry about being fearful
20:54 because God's love never runs out, and so we can give our love
20:59 to our spouse without being worried about "Well what if I"
21:03 - "don't get it back? " - That's right, because God's
21:07 love, agape love, is actually a love of giving, not a love
21:12 of taking, so that's the kind of love that we want to do.
21:16 In fact, you have even included in here something that we can
21:21 read very quickly: "But for right now, until that"
21:24 "completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward"
21:27 "that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope"
21:31 "unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of"
21:35 - "the three is love. " - And that's actually from
21:38 1 Corinthians 13, again, The Message, but it's one of those
21:44 paraphrases that when you think about it we tend to love kind of
21:50 stingily, "I'll love you if... ", "I'll love you when.. "
21:55 "I'll love you because... ", but the Bible says
21:59 "love extravagantly", and if we love extravagantly then there's
22:05 always cause for celebration, there's always cause for
22:09 rejoicing, and I think that as I look around and as I become
22:14 older I realize that every day that we have each other is
22:19 a cause for celebration and rejoicing.
22:23 You know, as we sit here and share, a lot of people might
22:26 think that this is not something that is productive, but try
22:31 it first. It's very productive to talk about loving because
22:36 even to talk about loving brings a smile to your face.
22:39 You can't sit and talk about love and being loved and not
22:43 smile and have joy in your heart, God planned it that way.
22:48 In fact, you wrote some other things for us to share with
22:52 others, and I'm glad that you put these Scriptures here,
22:55 and these messages because they're very important.
22:58 The Word of God talks of love all the time, and we don't even
23:03 - read it that much. - Well, Philippians 4:4 says:
23:09 "Always be full of joy in the Lord, I say it again, rejoice. "
23:15 and as Christians, if we were always full of joy in the Lord
23:19 then we would rejoice, and certianly, if God has given us
23:24 each other then we have cause for rejoicing, and that everyday
23:29 ought to be a celebration, and we ought to rejoice in
23:33 that love, because when we look around us there is
23:37 so much hate, and so much
23:40 unhappiness in the world that if we are blessed with a spouse
23:45 who loves us and cares for us everyday, that's a reason
23:48 to rejoice, and it's a reason to be happy, and a reason
23:53 to say to one another "I love you".
23:56 Alright, now that is really what celebration is, celebration is
24:01 not, in the words of the world, "a party time", according
24:05 to the world because at the end of that party there has
24:08 to be recovery, we're talking about a celebration by simply
24:13 saying "I love you", that ought to be a part of everyday,
24:18 "I love you", "I care for you", "you mean so much to me",
24:21 that is celebration, any time you take the time to appreciate
24:25 your spouse, your mate for life, that is a celebration,
24:32 that's what we're talking about. We're not talking about
24:36 a worldly type of party, we're talking about the type of joy
24:39 that only God can bring, He can bring a deep joy, and peace
24:42 to your heart that no one can touch, and those are the types
24:48 of joyful moments that we most need.
24:51 Well, Ephesians 5:1,2 says: "Watch what God does, "
24:55 "then you do it, like children who learn proper"
24:58 "behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does"
25:02 "is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life"
25:06 "of love. Observe how God loved us. "
25:11 "His love was not cautious, but extravagant. He didn't love"
25:15 "in order to get something from us but to give everything"
25:19 "of Himself to us. Love like that. "
25:26 That's a wonderful expression, and the Word of God is full
25:29 of such wonderful expressions of love, and in case you don't know
25:34 how to share that, go to His Word and read it to one another,
25:38 and then echo it to your mate, to your spouse.
25:43 As we come down near the close today I'd like for us to pray
25:48 for all of the couples who have been a part of this program,
25:54 who have received something, or would like to receive more.
25:58 So why don't we pray for them right now, as well as for
26:01 ourselves. Dear Lord, we are so grateful
26:06 and so thrilled that you could love us so much and give us
26:12 not only yourself, but someone else to bring joy
26:16 to our hearts. We are basking in that joy, and we praise You
26:22 for that joy in our marriage that comes from the throne
26:25 - of God. - We thank You, Lord,
26:28 that You did not love sparingly, but that you loved extravagantly
26:34 and we will rejoice in that love always. In the name
26:38 of Jesus we pray, amen.
26:43 We've had a lot of things we've talked about across
26:46 a period of time, but nothing brings as much pleasure
26:51 as being able to just talk about how much joy, and how much
26:55 enjoyable time we have with each other.
27:00 God made that possible, God also makes it possible for others.
27:05 We would like to invite you to allow God to be in your
27:12 marriage because this topic of our program for the whole series
27:18 was "Marriage in God's Hands". We want you to make sure
27:24 your marriage is in God's hands, and when we leave you today
27:30 we want to leave you with that theme ringing in your ears
27:35 and in your heart. "Always be full of joy in the Lord",
27:39 Philippians says in 4:4, "I say it again, rejoice. "