daily Broadcast

Why Marriages Don't Work Anymore, Part 2

From the series Broken Hearts Broken Dreams

Imagine trying to put a 10-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle together without the picture! You’d eventually give up. Chip suggests that your marriage is a 10-million-piece jigsaw puzzle and unless you find the picture on the box top, you'll spend years in frustration and heart ache. If you want to find that picture, for your marriage jigsaw puzzle, this message is for you.

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Message Transcript

God wants a man and a woman in a marriage to be one spiritually. And after you write the word spiritually, what I want you to do is put - are you ready? Put Co-worshipers.

God's actual design is that you and your wife would come together and talk to God together.

The second area of oneness is psychological. Next, to this one, I want you to write best friends. In fact the emotional and the psychological, the Bible would use the word your soul - Your mind, your will and emotions. God wants you to have a connectedness of personalities, a connectedness of mind, an ability to share an emotional connection that you know when you have it where there are times you don't have to say anything. You're just with them. And so you have a love that's spiritual that comes from God, that supernatural called agape love in the New Testament, where it's a love that gives and expects nothing in return.

And then here in the psychological and the emotional, you're best friends. And the Bible calls this phileo love. That's taking walks together. That's hanging out together. It's drinking coffee together. It's working in the yard together. It's sitting down and writing out the bills together. It's processing together, "What are we going to do with one of our kids?"

It's sharing together about "Wow, that the pressure in the job situation." It's you being your mate's best friend.

And then finally, at the top, God wants us in our marriage relationship to have physical intimacy. And the Greek word here would be eros love. And so the word you want to jot down is passionate lovers. God created sex. Sex is a very important part of the marriage relationship.

There’s actually, in a man's mind and endocrine system, when he is in physical union with his wife, oxytocin is secreted it into his brain. It causes a man, especially those of us that maybe it's difficult to share, this happens in the brain and causes a sense of bonding with his wife. And most men are more open to share and kind of what's going on your life, in your heart and feel a freedom in a security. God’s designed it and hardwired this intimacy into the spiritual realm, the psychological realm, the emotional realm and the physical realm.

Now, here's what you need to understand. They're all interrelated. When I said you might be surprised, and this is true unfortunately of not just men in general but I do a lot of work with pastors, and when I asked most pastors, "Do you pray with your wife?" The answer is "No."

In fact, when couples are dating I encourage them to pray now and then, but don’t pray too long with one another. It builds unbelievable bonds. There is an amazing correlation between spiritual unity and sexual intimacy. In fact, when you even go through Scripture, when it talks about passion, it will often use metaphors and similes about the love of the bride and the bridegroom.

And so what you have to do is realize that the spiritual oneness, the soul oneness, and the physical oneness are all related.

And here’s… I do a little test now and then. If I had just the men in the room, ladies close your ears. If you could just take your relationship to the next level as either passionate lovers, best friends or co-worshipers, which one - just honestly. It's just us guys - would you like to see it go - anybody have any idea whatsoever, what about ninety-something percent of the men would say? "Yeah. It's more physical intimacy." A man feels profoundly loved in ways he can't understand when he makes love with his wife.

If I had only the women here...now, by the way, this is not an either or and it's not like the others are unimportant and guys don't want to be best friends and oneness and all the rest. I'm just saying as a general rule, when I've talked to lots of audiences, if I would have a large group of women - and the guys shut your ears - and I said, "When it comes to, "Where you're at in your marriage and what's going on right now?

And if I said spiritual oneness or being best friends or physical intimacy, which one do you feel like, "Gosh, if we could go to the next level, if we'd be connected, where I feel like my heart aches," most women would talk about being best friends." "He doesn't open up. He doesn't talk. I don't know what's going on. He shuts down. I don't know what's happening at work. When I ask him questions about some big decisions what we ought to do, he gets defensive, he feels angry." I say, "Do you want to take a walk?" He goes, "Where?" And you say, "Just to walk. Just to be together." "We're not going anywhere. Why would we do that?" All those kind of things.

You see, a woman's heart gets filled up by connection and talking, and walking, and doing stuff in the backyard and walking around, you know, downtown, places like the mall and you're the guy. And they say, "Can we go in here?" And your mind says, "No," but your will says, "I'm going to nourish and cherish my relationship because love is always giving another person what they need the most when they deserve it at least. A great personal cost."

And so you walk in these little shops. And they say, "Isn't this cute?" You go, "This is cute, yeah." "Isn't this cute." "Yeah." What do you think about...? And you're just going, "Uh." And then you're walking and she grabs your hand and looks you in the eye and says something like, "Man, this is so special." And you're thinking...And if you learn how to become a godly man and just stop on a bench and say, "Both of us are really concerned about our youngest son.

There's no one around, why don't we just bow our heads and maybe thirty seconds and let's ask God to intervene." And when your wife sees you care and be best friends and lead spiritually, you will be amazed and surprised that something happens in her heart where now
she doesn't feel used at nine or ten o'clock when you kind of wink and say, "Hey." I'm feeling pretty good. What about you?" That headache will go away. We might as well talk about how it works.

What I want you to understand is that so many of us are living in a world and this is what you've got. You've got a bunch of pieces. And some of the pieces they don't even belong. And so you figure out basically how to give what you think they want but your whole goal is to get what you want. Now I'm going to have you do an experiment. This is going require two fingers and you will have to put this piece of paper on your lap. Okay? Humor me. Okay? Okay. Both fingers have to be free.

Now I want you to take your fingers, put your right finger where it says, "Woman," and left finger where it says, "Man." And you know that the goal is for you two to become one – right? Intimate. I mean, we all want that. Now, what I want you to do is move halfway up the triangle and stop, with your fingers.

Each of you have gotten a lot closer to God – right? What did it do to your relationship with each other? Are you closer or farther apart?
Okay, now, I want to you to move them all the way up right to the very top just under where it says, "God." What's happened to your relationship?

Here's what you’ve got to get. God has actually designed you with this passionate drive to be connected with another human being spiritually, physically, emotionally - all those things.

And so, because of gender differences, because of baggage that you have from the past and other relationships, because you don't have a design, because you don't know really where you're going, because of expectations and because down deep all of us are selfish, it doesn't work.

And so God has actually created us to long for something that doesn't work unless you come to Him and say, "This doesn't work. Will You help me?"

And so the only way that I can have the grace to walk in those little shops, or my wife can have the grace to make love with me when she's tired because that's meaningful to me, or we can do the bills that neither of us likes to do, or whether we can work in the yard, the only thing that gives me the power to do what I don't want to do when I don't want to do it is the Spirit of the Living God where Jesus showing up inside of me says, Not my will but Yours be done.

And so by the power of the Holy Spirit, as I'm taking in God's Word and living in the support of biblical community, it gives me the ability to be a giver in the relationship instead of a taker. And when even one person becomes a giver by the grace of God, it changes the dynamic.

And so the greatest thing I can ever do for my marriage is to follow Jesus with all my heart because the more you hang out with anyone you become like them.

And there is no one in the world that wouldn't like to be married to someone that has the character qualities of Jesus. What are they? He was loving, kind, patient, gentle, self-controlled – right? The fruit of the Spirit. We all want to be around a person that is considerate and caring and loving. And God, over time, as you get into His Word, talk to Him honestly, learn to share your life, He actually produces that in you and now you have a design and can figure out how to get there.

If you'll take your little design right side up... and turn it upside down. Now for those of us that did not grow up understanding the Bible and never had any teaching from God's Word, this is how we learned to do relationships. It's physical. Wow, she's hot. He looks good in those jeans – right? So you meet, you chat. Maybe it's a bar, maybe it's at this, maybe it's at gathering.

In our day, you'd meet a couple of times. In our day, heck, you can hook up first night. And then you hook up with this person, that person, that person and they don't do much for you. And then some guys he's not just a big muscle airhead, or she's not just really pretty, there's something more and there's an emotional connection. And usually you date for a little while and oh, that's all there is and then you meet the family and you realize he's actually not the kind of guy you want to be with so you start over.

But sometimes it's physical, then it's emotional and then it's psychological. He actually thinks, she actually thinks we have some things in common. Usually, then you bring in your friends and some family members.

In our day about sixty percent of the people will then live together for a while, thinking that test drives are really a good way to make something work, but it is for cars. I would encourage you test drive every car. However, in ten-year longitudinal studies people that live together ten years later, whether they eventually marry or not only one out of ten are still together.

And when you test drive things, a fantasy occurs where you pretend you're really caring, but what you know is she can walk out any time and he can walk out and so you can never be totally vulnerable, totally honest. And so what you do is you have pseudo relationship. And then when pressure comes, with lots of people it doesn't work, so you're practicing divorce. And what happened was you didn't follow the design. And if you turn it right side up again, how long have the pyramids been around? How are they doing in terms of stability? Not bad, huh?

By the way, almost every movie you watch, every romance novel, everything you hear from all quarters tell you this is the way to go about it. It's upside down. So, “We fell out of love… I don't love you anymore. I never loved you." We always reframe and make up a new history so we don't have to deal with the guilt and issues and struggles. And so we take all of our baggage and what we did last time into the next relationship, and so it just multiplies. And there's this loving, kind, heavenly Father who goes, Oh. If I could just get them to read the directions.

And so that's God's design.

Now there's three little words that I'm going to highlight in verse 24. You know what they are? For this cause a man will leave his parents, break away; cleave or be deeply united - it's a picture of an epoxy glue that can't come apart; and the third verb is becoming one flesh. Leave, cleave, become one flesh.

And I just want to give you an overview because if you don't follow this process along with the picture, it doesn't work. Each person, the man, and the woman, have to have a shift in loyalty both emotionally and financially away from their parents to be free to connect to their mate. Some marriages don't work and don't get connected because when there's pressure, and there are emotions, and there's hurt someone runs home to mom or to dad instead of to their husband or their wife. And sometimes in-laws are messing with all kind of stuff.

The other way is you have to leave financially. Some of the baby boomers like myself and others have often tried to help your kids. And when you talk about people go on thirty, forty, fifty years, "What were the great times in marriage?"

And they'll talk about these difficult times and they'll talk about how we had just one car, we lived in this little apartment and...they went through all these hardships that bonded them together. And so what we've decided is, since that helped us so much, why don't we remove all of that for our kids? So we didn't think we'd ever be able to own a house or a car or this or that and it was a process and it was a journey, and we waited, and we did this and we did that, and we were together.

And now we say, "Wow. Here, we'll make the down payment for you here. We'll take care of this here. We'll pay for this here." Go on record. You cannot give away money without there being strings attached. And the moment they start making decisions that you don't think are very wise, then they feel these pressures. You have to leave. I'm not saying it's wrong to help out your kids, but what I'm saying is it better be a clean gift. And what I'm saying is be sure that you're helping them not just their financial status or their level of living because they need to trust God. They need to depend on Him.

One lady told me after she heard this, it was earlier in her marriage and her mom was a very godly woman. They had a huge fight. She'd only been married about two years. She slammed the door and got in the car, drove forty-five minutes. It was in the middle of the night, long drive, gets here about five am, starts knocking on the door, knocking on the door and finally it's tears, "Oh, mom. I can't believe what he did." She said her mother opened the door about this much and "What is it dear?" "We had a fight and I came..." "Well, then go home and make it right." And she shut the door and locked it. Smart mom.

The second one is not just a response to our parents but it's a response to our mate - it's cleave. It's a picture. Remember the old epoxy glue? Does anybody remember what that is? It came in the blue cap and the orange cap and you would squeeze it and then you would stir it and it was just like, "Whoa." In fact, part of my finger is somewhere where I put that. To cleave is, it’s your response to your mate. She or he is more important than work, more important than kids, more important than money, more important than anything.

You say, "You are the most important. Our relationship matters most. It's number one priority always.” We cleave. So the most important is we're going to work on spiritual intimacy. We're going to work on psychological intimacy. We're going to work on emotional intimacy. We're going to work on physical intimacy. We're going to plan those things through. We're going to make that what matters most. And when you do, it creates this atmosphere, this environment for kids that feel safe. It creates this atmosphere where neighbors can't quite figure out what's going on. It creates this joy and this love inside of people's hearts.

And then finally, they leave, they cleave, they become one flesh. And that's our response to the world and its pressures. The biggest detractors of a great marriage are a woman's tilting toward making kids more important than her husband and a man making work or hobbies more important than his wife. All the days that you live, in whatever season you're in, that other person needs to know, "You're number one."