Marty and Lore on Marriage, Restoration and the Word of God
Today’s resource recommendations (outside of the Bible):
“It was my marriage falling apart, that brought me to the Lord”.
Had the attitude that I was never going to get married again but thankfully, God had other plans.
I was very successful in my career back then, plenty of money, plenty of wining and dining, unfortunately that’s not what the Lord counts as good. Very thankful things are different now.
God took those things before — it was the taking of those things away that brought me to my knees. That those things didn’t matter, it was the Lord that mattered. I was left divorced, “three kids and a mini van”.
Both were previously married, what makes this marriage different?
The bottom line is the Lord is in it.
God created the Heavens and the earth, He created mankind and He’s the one who created man and who said it was not good that man be alone and created marriage.
And then He gave us the Bible , gave us the rulebook. He gave us The power of the Holy Spirit to live the Christian life, he gave us prayer so we can communicate with God, he gave us the church if we have any challenge, he’s given us everything.
Marriage does take work, it’s dying to self. If we have disagreements it doesn’t take long before the Holy Spirit convicts us. There’s no use arguing, we need to figure out the way God wants us to and see each other as a blessing that God has given us.
Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church, which is an unconditional sacrificial love just like Jesus had for us when he went on the cross. And a wife is meant to respect her husband as the church respects Jesus and when you do your part it’s just glorious.
If your mate isn’t doing their part, if you stay doing your part it often inspires the other to do the same.
You see the Lord building your relationship. Instead of you struggling or striving to build it, you see the Lord building it.
Because of our past, we have a passion for marriage. We really dug in to the Bible to see the role of the husband and wife and were able to take that into counseling. And God has all the answer so it was great to see marriages healed.
The Lord loves marriage, and in fact it says He hates divorce. Sadly a lot of people give up and get swayed by the things of the world and culture, but if they’re following God and know that God loves marriage and does not want to see that thing divorced they’re going to see that God wants to work it out and He does.
A lot of couples would say they’ve fallen out of love. But really it’s a choice. An unconditional choice. I know there’s a lot of things I do in my life that I’m not worthy of God’s love but yet God has chosen to give me His love and His grace and many times when a person can get over that and realize they haven’t fallen out of love but that they’ve chosen to look at the negatives instead of the positives that makes a huge difference.
What if your spouse isn’t in the Word or growing in the Lord at the same pace you are?
God can give you such a joy even in the midst of a marriage that’s not going well to where He’s the one that’s giving you the fulfillment and affirmation. All of a sudden the other sees a joy and confidence even though things aren’t going good and loving them unconditionally and often that’s going to draw them to want to do their part.
God calls us to be the best spouse that we can be. It’s not conditioned on what the other spouse does.
I’ve seen a lot of women make that choice to seek God, to get into His Word, to read what God says about forgiveness and to read about what God says about being a godly wife and start to do those things, even though it’s difficult to not have the reciprocal feelings from their spouse. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen once they do that, the husband realizes what he’s missing because the wife has gone and done that.
It’s good when the wife chooses not to play Holy Spirit. A lot of times it’s coming and pointing fingers at each other. But when the wife says, “Okay what is it that I need to do?” and of course husband do the same, “How do I need to change?”, we’ve seen so many marriages healed and it’s all the Lord’s doing.
How do you make time for emotional intimacy with the business of life?
You have to make time for emotional intimacy. Make sure you get a sitter for the kids and go away fro the weekend, but keep the flame going. We’ve been intentional about that, you make time for the things that are important. We love each other and love our marriage and we value it. Lore’s good about reminding me if I’ve gotten too driven at work or overtaxed to say we need some time together.
With young couples with young kids, it can be a lot more difficult because there’s so much going on with school and sports, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do things throughout the day. Send little text messages, something that lets your spouse know you’re thinking about them.
She always used to leave me little notes in my lunch and it was a really good witness and testimony. We always made sure we would go to bed at the same time instead of doing different hours because you can start drifting away. She would get up when I’d get up, we would purposefully make that extra time together.
Each day we would make a pledge to each other, we would recommit to each other every day, and it might sound corny but it was like I really mean it, she’s my best friend and we want to honor our marriage vows.
We still do that, 21 years later.
Everything in life will run in the negative by itself if it’s left in default mode so you have to make an effort. We make a lot of effort to do things for each other. She blesses me all the time, which makes me want to bless her.
You have to be intentional. Satan would like nothing more than to get in there and wreak havoc and divide and conquer.
When couples come in and say they don’t love each other anymore, we’ll remind them, “You know that’s the same person you fell in love with years ago when you said I want to spend my life with that person but things have gotten in the way but God wants to reconcile.”
The Bible talks about the armor of God. As a couple, you got to have your shield and sword and stand back to back against the enemy. What happens is when we get in an argument, we take that shield and sword and turn on each other and we don’t realize it’s the enemy prompting us to be at odds with each other because he hates marriage because marriage glorifies the Lord.
And if you’re fighting against each other, Satan just sits back and laughs.
And you got to recognize those attacks because Satan does not like a godly marriage cause it brings so much fruit and does so much good for the Kingdom and for everybody around and he hates it.
Going back to what Marty said, with those couples one of the things that we’d have them do is write the 5 things that drew them to love each other from the beginning. We’d make them tell each other those things, and it’s like you can almost see them start to melt…that hard outer shell thats built up you can see it diminishing because they’re going back and saying, “Oh yeah I’ve forgotten those things.”
All those things we just said, those are just biblical things the Lord tells us to do. We’re supposed to be forgiving, we’re supposed to show grace, we’re to use our speech to build up and not to put down, we’re not to gossip, all these things we’re telling them are basically what the Bible tells. When they put it into practice it’s amazing to watch the Lord start to do the work.
As a couple how could they counsel another couple going through a divorce?
This is not God’s will for you and God wants to heal it. And He has all the answers. I understand it’s hard but we’d love to sit down and talk with you about it show you what the Bible says. God loves your marriage more than you do but you need to ask for His help and be willing to do it his way.
Anne Graham Lotz said something, “Marriage is two good forgivers”.
That’s huge, forgiveness is really huge. And extending grace.
And there is nothing we have gone through or seen that inmarriages that God can’t heal. From abandoning/walking out on a marriage, to infidelity, using and anger, any of that…if the couple really decides to be committed, God heals all marriage, it’s not us. We just take them to the Word.
We’ve had quite a few that come through that have had adultery, Jesus gives the allowance for adultery. And they’ll say something like that, and we’ll say, “Well it’s an allowance but’s not His desire. He’d rather see restoration. We point them to the fact that you could bring so much glory to God by allowing Him to restore your marriage.
And we’ve seen it plenty of times where you fall deeper in love with that person, because you’ve gone through some stuff, some suffering that will draw you even closer.
And God wants to do a work in your marriage in that way and it’s going to bless your kids, your friends, your family, your neighbors, your coworkers, everybody that knows your story, you’re going to let God’s glory go out. So we really try to point them to not give into self like the world says, but to be selfless and say, “No I want to serve God and glorify Him.”
We have one couple, the wife…she was done. But yet she was reading her Bible everyday and felt the Lord telling her, “You’re not done”.
And eventually, her husband repented yet there was so much hurt that had been done as well as with his children. And it took a while but this man, the more he got in God’s word and what God wanted him to do, the more forgiveness was there. He would do things for his wife and she said, “I have the husband I never thought I’d have.” He reconciled not only with his wife but with his children. The relationship that this family has now, not only are they serving the Lord, his kids are serving the Lord. And they’ll say it’s because they saw the change their dad went through and my mom forgiving my mom. The impact of that is just amazing. So God truly does bring beauty from the ashes.
There are verses in the Bible about adultery being an allowance for leaving the marriage.
The only time I think you’d go that way if it were a repeated offense is if they’re showing no repentance and over a long duration and they’re not even thinking of changing. But often, somebody will fall into that sin and realize the error of their way, and want to come back. The Bible says if you’re not willing to forgive others, how can you receive God’s forgiveness?
Part of it is, many people are just thinking of themselves like my pain and me and me me, instead of “Okay what’s the big picture? If we heal this marriage, it’s not only going to glorify the Lord, it’s going to bless my children and every relationship around me is going to be better vs. lil ol’ me but even lil’ ol me is going to be better when I put God first.”
Well they say, the grass is greener on the other side, it’s not that. It’s the grass is greener wherever you water it.
That’s the whole thing with comparing. Like Lore just said earlier, God calls you to do your part and you’re all in doing your part, you;’d be surprised at the results you’ll see.
For anyone engaged or dating, how did they stay pure in the dating/engagement season?
I’m not going to say it’s not difficult because it is. Especially when you know this is the person you’re going to be with. Those are natural feelings that God gives us but they are to be controlled until that time…that’s God’s wedding gift. It’s not his engagement gift, it’s his wedding gift to a married couple. Take precautions, if you really want God’s blessing then you need to do it God’s way and that’s all the way.
So many times we hear couples that they’re going to get married anyways, we’re engaged anyway. Well, that’s not what God says. Take those precautions. Be with other people. We’ve met several couples say we can’t even kiss anymore because it’s so tempting. So set those boundaries and set them at the beginning.
I think that’s also a gift back to the Lord when you stand at the altar and you have waited until your wedding night and you are able to glorify the Lord when you stand in front of all those people and then to have God’s full blessing on your life.
What happens with this, is delayed gratification. There are things that are good but in God’s timing. When you wait til that wedding it is worth the wait.
Also be sure you go to premarital counseling.
It’s even more difficult now because nowadays you got the world saying, “Go for it. What do you have to lose? Or you have to test drive it”. The world is against everything God tells you to do.
I also know couples who were engaged who that attitude “oh yeah we’re getting married anyways…” and then they didn’t get married. Anytime you have that intimacy with somebody else, when you finally do get married, those thoughts are still going to be there. Then there’s this comparison and that’s not what God intended it to be. God intended for you to focus solely on your husband or wife.
Talking about saving yourself for your spouse, physically and emotionally, Lore shares an object lesson she once taught at a purity conference I went to with her.
Emotional intimacy can be more difficult because you become so intertwined.
The donut object lesson she taught at the purity conference.
And the duct tape one is the analogy of you sticking together, when you have sex you become one. When you do that, you’ve already given a part of yourself, your emotion to that other person, you’re just giving Satan fuel to make you feel guilty.
This is the top recommendation when you’re dating, before you go out, pray for the Lord’s covering over you. Come together, ask for the Lord’s hand of protection so you can resist that.
For those experiencing their first or second year of marriage, and difficulty blending two lives together, what do you recommend?
A lot of what you’re going to encounter your first year is done in that premarital counseling and you deal with that. The biggest one for us was communication and non-verbal communication.
What are you saying without using words? It’s that getting to know one another. It all goes back to giving that grace.
It also goes back to your personal relationship with the Lord. That’s really the most important, it’s not even your marriage. With every couple we come across, either both of them or one of them is not in God’s Word every day. We help them get into the Word every day. Within a week or two, God starts changing those people without our counsel, it’s the Word that’s doing the work.
All these biblical truths are going to help them to work on the marriage and put the marriage first before the kids.
And to serve the Lord together. You realize that’s what we’re supposed to do. Like Ephesians says, Christ and the church, and you realize your marriage is like a mission field, you’re really reminded of that when you’re in the mission field together and solidifies your relationship even more.
One last thing, we would notice there’s a tendency to have the killer wedding and we would always say God is more concerned with your marriage than your wedding. A wedding is an afternoon, marriage is a lifetime.
Don’t spend so much focus on that that you lose your joy.
Put your time and money more into honeymoon.
Thoughts on finances?
Once you’re married, you need to have joint accounts.
There should not be separate accounts anymore. If you trust that person enough to marry them, you should trust them enough with finances as well. As far as while dating, you keep it separate. It’s not “I do” until you say “I do”.
And to close, a prayer from Pastor Marty over every listener and married couples.