17. Just What The Doctor Ordered - The Power Of Persevering Love
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"Just What The Doctor Ordered - The Power Of Persevering Love" www.marriage101online.com
Summary: Strategies for divorce-proofing your marriage
A cup of coffee soothes the tickle in the back of your throat as you rush out the door. The visor in your car shields your eyes against the unusually bright morning sun. A tissue from the box on your secretary’s desk muffles your sneeze as you head toward your office. But now you’re coughing, aching, sniffling and desperately wishing you’d gotten that flu shot. There’s no point in denying it any more; you’ve been bitten. And now you’re part of the problem.
Divorce can be as contagious – and more deadly – than any flu bug. The virus thrives on the conflict stirred by personality differences and seasons of stress, and it’s reaching epidemic proportions in today’s society. But Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg have just what the doctor ordered. In this video, they offer some strong spiritual medicine in the form of persevering love, as well as tips on how to guard your heart each day for the health of your marriage.
Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg
Gary Rosberg: Some of you grew up in homes where, when your family hit a hard place or a fork in the road, you saw deterioration. You saw destruction. Maybe you saw families give up. But maybe the other person in the relationship forged through those trials and tribulations. One of the secrets that Barb and I have found to a lasting love is to purpose together, regardless of your history, to get to the other side of your pain. We call it persevering love; and more important than what we call it is what Paul has to say about it. Listen to this verse out of Romans:
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.
You know what, folks? You are going to hit hard times. Marriage can be very difficult. It can be painful. Yet, when you hit those hard times, there is an opportunity to forge together to support one another. Often, when Barb and I have gone through problems, she will remind me that there is a beginning, there is a middle, and there is an end to every tough time we’re going through. And there have been times we’ve been smack-dab in the middle and I’ve said, “Barb, are we there to the end?” And she’s said, “No. I think we’re one day closer to the end.” You see, we’ve got to persevere. And other people around you may say, “You know what? I wouldn’t put up with that. I’d walk away from that relationship.” Barb and I have learned that divorce is contagious; and yet, a couple can begin to change the voices they listen to, and they can say, “We’re going to get through to the other side. Let’s make biblical marriage contagious.”
We can really affirm a strong and biblical marriage. Persevere. Regardless of what you’ve experienced in the past, purpose to do that. The vast majority of couples that do persevere and get to the other side report being either happy or very happy five years later. Persevere!
Another important takeaway is really my heart’s message. It’s the issue of guarding our hearts. Solomon gave us a lot of wisdom; but the only time in scripture the words “above all else” are ever used is in Proverbs 4:23. Here’s what Solomon says:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Everything emanates from the wellspring. Our fears, our prejudices, our biases, our judgments, our intuition, our discernment – everything comes through the wellspring. And when the wellspring is tainted, everything else is tainted. As you step into marriage, or as you’re going through stages of marriage, there will be temptations. There may be temptations of pornography. There could be temptations through Facebook or social networking. There could be temptations of emotional connection to somebody that you went to high school with as you’re looking at your marriage and thinking, “You know what? This isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.” Maybe you’re allowing your gaze to last just a little bit too long, or you’re allowing that wall of protection that guards the heart of a marriage to diminish and you’re allowing somebody else into the interior of your life that you did not share wedding cake with. You need to be intentional to guard the heart of your marriage. And if you’re stepping into a step-parenting situation, Barb and I want to encourage you not to let any man, woman, or child come between you. A biblical marriage needs to have a husband and a wife committed to one another.
Just like the castles of old, you have to be intentional to guard the heart of your marriage. You can’t put this on automatic pilot. And yet, when you are intentional to guard the heart of your marriage, and one of you is struggling while the other one is doing well, we have learned that you can come together and support one another.
From “Marriage 101: Back to the Basics” DVD series