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Bob Lepine: Build a Stronger Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
September 27, 2022 3:00 am

Bob Lepine: Build a Stronger Marriage

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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September 27, 2022 3:00 am

Wondering how to build a stronger marriage? Bestselling author and former FamilyLife Today host Bob Lepine suggests ways to restore and heal together. Show Notes and ResourcesChange Your Marriage and Sign up for a Weekend To Remember In Your AreaFind resources from this podcast at more content and resources on the FamilyLife's app!Help others find FamilyLife. Leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify.Check out all the FamilyLife podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network


I think so. Often couples don't realize the patterns, the habits, how we learned to relate to another person that all got in printed pretty strongly in our family of origin and it gets subconsciously carried in the marriage and then we find ourselves at odds with family life today help you.

The relationship means nothing and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find is that family life or on the family life and his family life today so sitting down with the counselor during covert over going here.

Today was one of the best things of everyday memory because I said I should've done is my 30s I sure do miss my 40s.

So I went to my 60s career I have been to a council reform at this counselor said let's dive into your family of origin. It was awesome. You love that I did love it. It was so good that I said were bringing and back next and then we dove in your family of origin and there were light bulbs going off yeah they really were that were transforming for us in our marriage again because they were so transforming is like.

I wish I done this 20 years ago.

I don't think either of us understood how much our baggage from the past had affected us not only the beginning of our marriage, but throughout our marriage we really were both dealing with stuff from our past. Yeah, we got Bob Lapine live studio to talk about baggage in marriage.

Bob welcome back. I am just so glad that I don't have to sit there and think how do I start today's your live like that. How many how many times did you say welcome to family life before you answer. I almost put it in my song.

Yes, it was close to 8000 times.

Well let's see 28260 yeah yeah that would be a lot of fun again to state right now and welcome to family like today. You're absolutely right about this holy show family of origin. I was sitting with a couple a while back and they had had a bad day. They were telling me about their bad day. The husband had been stressed out. He was frustrated.

He said things he should not have said to his wife about his wife about their marriage. He had just let his emotions out and as much as what he said was kind of an exaggerated version of what he was feeling. She heard it as the truth so she's walking away now with an imprint on her soul. This is what he really believes so when he comes back around and he says I was stressed out. She's thinking I don't know. So as I started talking to them about this day about all that had gone on and about why his statements had been so hurtful to her. She started talking about the family she grew up in and things her brothers had said to her things. Her dad had said to her growing up that now when her husband would get near a statement like that you never do this or you don't do that or I can't depend on you for this or you always those kinds of statements to come up marriage when she would hear that from her husband without her even realizing it. There are ghosts there are phantoms from the past that get triggered.

I hate that you that's almost a clich anymore to talk about triggering what it would bring back to her soul hears what is her husband got near a scar area and it still sore and it's never been addressed and she would hear it and she would think he feels about me when my dad felt about me. He feels about me the way my brothers felt about me and she would start to project onto him things that were true about him or his feelings for her.

Just because it all gets kinda mixed together in our psyche and I think so. Often couples don't realize the patterns, the habits, how we learned to relate to another person that all got in printed pretty strongly in our family of origin and it gets subconsciously carried in the marriage and then we find ourselves at odds with one another. I would say it's not even a skylight sit still a wound. If we get triggered so much that we respond or react in a way that feels like wow she's really out of control, and her reactionary feels like this is way bigger than I intended it to be. I would say in my case, at least I hadn't dealt with the wounds in my life most of us have. I agree we don't even know what they are, what we grew up thinking those wounds were normal and there in the past, and I remember friend of mine in high school and his dad was bipolar and I remember talking to him later about some of the stuff his dad had done.

I said that that's crazy and he said it just seemed normal to me because it was my dad. I thought that's what dads do. I mean it's funny you know we said here many times. Your first exposure. Family life was a we can remember two weeks before our wedding. So were sinners and engaged couples get married 14 days we honestly all we can thought we don't really need this, we are told to be here this is nice, but you have a very marriage. We love Jesus we love each other and think about this if you could put a camera on her life in that moment like hover above us like a drone. Looking down, say, okay, what's their pastor bringing in. Here's a guy me two alcoholic parents adultery and divorce is my history and sexual abuse, surpassed right of all couples who should be going.

Oh boy oh boy were bringing baggage and we were nave, and I think most couples are. And so in that situation. It's now two or three years later and am walks in the USA. You look really attractive tonight and am thinks about the time when she was six or seven years old and somebody said something like that to her and she thinks this is the same thing or and says to you in a moment of frustration something like sometimes I think we just don't belong together and you think I remember my dad saying stuff like that to my mom and that's where we get near those stars, those wounds from the past and unless somebody comes in and says we need to identify those we need to address those and we need to try to bring some healing to those wounds there to continue to be tender spots and sore spots in your life and in your marriage is almost a clich in counseling when somebody goes in for counseling the to Mesa so tell me about your relationship with your mother's relationship with her father. There's a reason it's a clich because there's so much imprinted in our relationship with our parents.

We were taught we saw modeled by them, shaped us in a profound way.

And when we have some scars from at the start to get exposed in marriage that can be a trouble spot for us.

Well why did you experience by. That's a traumatic moment in our family.

I watched how my mom and dad process that separately how they process that grief together helically see she was 23 I remember a time when she was still at home when she was in high school I was a cub scout and I was can really go the Cub Scout baseball game.

The Cardinals was Boy Scout day with the Cardinals.

So we were all going to the game and somebody was coming to pick me up and and right before they came my parents and my older sister were heaven a physical confrontation. The argument had gotten so bad that my dad was having to restrain physically restrain my sister in the middle of this and that moment for me.

I was seven or eight.

Watching this happen with my older sister and just thinking this is uncomfortable and unpleasant and I'm glad I'm going to the baseball I'm glad I'm out here and then I kind of went away and I came back afterwards and we didn't talk about it.

There was never any follow-up so here's what kinda gets imprinted into me is like those things happen and then you just go away and then you never talk about right.

And if that's your patterning then you can learn how to cover up toxic waste dump. You just leave it over here just we won't go near that. Again, we will bring that up because that was just unpleasant know we want to talk about that. Let's just move on. Well, we wish it was that simple but little things can come up again where you can become national conflict averse in marriage that anybody expresses conflict and you are back down and I don't know what we would gotta stop this right away as opposed to how we deal with this conflict, to be honest with our feeling. You mentioned that in your new book. Build a stronger marriage and a whole section on conflict, but man I tell you this section were tongue, but right now family of origin lies.

We grew up with. I didn't even know till last year when rest my sisters 10 years older that when my brother died I was seven. He was five. My sister said I'm coming home from high school I walk down her driveway. A priest walks out of her house and says hey your brother just died and Pam tells us this year. She said you know mom never mentioned we never had a conversation about it.

I never had a conversation about it. So Bob exactly just said so I get married. Decades later, and starts anything. It feels uncomfortably. Guess where I go to the right. Never talk about anything in my life. I think that's normal. She's like you don't love me you don't want to be in this marriage of what you talking about. This is huge and this is where were focused on some of the scars and traumas of our families of origin, but there are there are normal simple things in family of origin that are really stars or promises just ways we learn to relate to one another. So in our family. One of the ways that we expressed affection for one another was by teasing each other you know if you had a good-natured funny way of teasing somebody about something your hair looks like it was just water. A wind tunnel yeah I know I was there that we laugh about it. Move on right so when I get married is a the Marianne man look like Dr. a wind tunnel and she goes back to the bedroom crying was just trying to be funny and fun with you and well it's because in her family. You didn't tease like that and in fact if you said things like that you were being critical or helpful, but it was it was hurtful.

We talked often of the week and remember marriage getaways about the fact that when it comes to conflict. Some people are avoiders and some people are skewers and the concealers. Some want to fight up and some want to hide it all. These are just different patterns of relating to one another.

How do we express affection. Why is it that some husbands almost never say to their wives. I love you. Why would a husband hesitate to say that, well, you can trace that back. Most often, how was affection expressed in the family you grew up in, and this is where a wife who never hears her husband say I love you and thanks he doesn't love me is discounting the fact that part of his family of origin. Programming was that you express it this way.

I remember my dad. He would say to my mom I love you and my mom would say I don't want to hear it show me how she didn't want empty words.

She wanted to see the actions the company that so what is that imprint on my soul. How does that carry over what is that make me think or want or need all of these things are a part of the suitcases that we bring into marriage with us, some of which we've never opened and looked up right but some of them are just this is how we learned you played college quarterback you know that you had to have your throwing motion corrected at times. What came natural to you was not the best way to throw the football. So you need a coach to come in and say no no no. If you if you take him back here you spend it this way.

I don't know because I don't know I'm not but you had to have some of the mechanics worked out so that you could throw better what came naturally to you.

Just from throwing the ball in the backyard was not the right way to do it. What comes natural to us in terms of relating to one another patterns we learned from the family. We grew up in.

That's not necessarily the right way to do it and a little coaching some mechanics to come along and say you know when you feel that way when you think that maybe instead of saying it this way, you should say it that way.

Or maybe instead of saying anything. Maybe that's something you take to the Lord and keep silent about just some of those mechanics of relationships were trying to work out some of the kinks that we experienced as we were wrong. I think one of the things that I love that we did in our counseling with that we really did our life timeline on this big white board.

He wrote everything up and was interesting just to see all that. Dave went through and all these light bombs going off like will no wonder I think that's really healthy to do.

Maybe in a date that we just sit with one another and kinda go through our timelines maybe high that some of the real lows could some people have never feel safe with one another to good point and I would say if you don't then get a counselor to help walk you through a process like that because some of this stuff is going to pop up and were back to the scars and were were near the wounded areas, so you gotta be very careful about that, but yes, I think for us to identify. First of all to identify and then go back and say okay this is what I kind of default learned is that true laming night. Go back identify identify what so to go back and identify as I just did.

When I learned about my parents in conflict with my sister and I thought okay so the way you deal with this is you just get some separation, you don't talk about.

So now I've identified that's the pattern. If that's the pattern is that the right pattern is that how God's word would have me address the situation is that the right way to deal with this and then to address and say no that's not the right way to deal with that there may need to be some some emotional processing that goes along with that and come to a place will go my dad or my mom or my big sister whoever it was that was processing these kinds of things they had their own issues, I gotta give them some grace and some distance and and learn how to let go of that. But walk away from their going what I learned about how to do this is not the right way to do it. This is what Romans 12 to says what it says don't be conformed part in the paraphrase.

Don't be conformed by your family of origin issues, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind and starting to think godly biblically about how this should work. Yet I know that sitting with a counselor. He sorta helped us identify beliefs we grew up with that as you look at them just like you said Bob you evaluate each one.

There were several that were lies they just weren't true.

And again. Soon Dennis my 30 so if you're listening in your 25 your 35 go find a trusted counselor are really good friend with discernment, wisdom, and identify these licenses. I looked it through the dominant lies that I grew up believing now an adult man I'm still believing them and then ends our 10 year anniversary story were answers. I lost my feelings for you. They were in the lot is like I grew up believing I have to perform to be important.

So I'm on a stage of the lion chaplain doing all the stuff she grew up in a home where she was not seen.

She was literally told of the dinner table. Hey your day will come, but right now it's your brother's time. Just be quiet and with the brothers left went on the college. She never got the day never came out of sinner gone 10 year anniversary story why she say last night and she didn't. She wasn't seen by me and I'm out try to be seen by the world. If we can identify that 20 years earlier. Maybe we don't have to go through that. Here's the other thing that I think couples are are not aware of.

We bring with us into marriage some level of guilt and shame about our our sinful past and all of a sudden got a simple past you're listening to Dave and Wilson with Bob Lapine on family life today, man, this is an important conversation about an important topic and we believe Bob's book will make a difference in your marriage so all this week with your gift. We want to send you a copy of build a stronger marriage is our thanks to you when you give and help families this when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329, 800 F peasant family L as in life, and then the word today. Right now, back to Bob Lapine on the guilt and sin can be brought into a marriage well in today's world, the biggest area of sin and guilt that we bring with us is in in the sexual area where couples have been sexually involved either with one another, prior to marriage or with other people prior to marriage and that's a part of our background and part of our story. Most couples come in not wanting to talk about that.

Not wanting to open up or share much about that and I'm not suggesting that every couple needs to sit on with our details about their sexual past, but until we address and deal with the fact that the guilt and shame were bringing in or carrying in because we've never gone through a biblical process of confessing that that this was simple, of going to another person and seeking their forgiveness for this sinful behavior on our part until we can apply. Romans 81. The guilt and shame that were experiencing. It will continue to be an issue in whatever relationship we have going forward I say Romans 81. That's the verse that says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, and we can say that verse and not believe it, we can say that verse and go.

I know, but I here's what I did.

I did this it was so bad it's so wrong. I'm so ashamed. Okay, I hear you, and it was bad and it's shameful. There's no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, I know. But how could God. Here's how God can free you from Jesus died with that sin on his shoulders and put it to death for you God when he looks at you.

He has chosen to remember that sin no more.

So your remembering something God has chosen to forget you're still feeling shame that Jesus away. I took this to the cross for you.

Why are you still feeling this. Why is this still controlling you. We have to get to the point where with that guilt and shame, we can identify we can address it. We can confess it, we can repent of it turn away from it and then we can experience the freedom that comes when God says forgiven restored your new creation in Christ. I don't hold that against you anymore.

The consequences of premarital sex. There may be consequences of of guilt or shame issues that we bring in a marriage that are always going to be there gotta be dealt with but the shame and guilt can be addressed through the finished work of Christ. So I get I hear him think of you and I can say I just think in when you hear Bob say that you brought sexual abuse in your past and other things as you walked in our marriage. Were you able to appropriate that forgiveness in Christ.

As I was listening to Bob.

The thing I thought less. I went to seminary and had all the political teaching of this is the truth.

Everything that you just sent you have been forgiven, there is now no condemnation Christ Jesus.

I knew that in my head I can get it down in my heart and I remember after seminary somebody was saying what you think about most the time. What is your self talk like working to getting this mumbo-jumbo that stocking out but that night and went home and I thought I say to myself like I hear in my head and almost everything I heard were words of condemnation are not good enough. You're not measuring up your your fullest same haven realized that it was connected to my past and so was good for somebody asked me like what are the things you say to yourself, and I realize I had not taken my thoughts to Christ Jesus. I had not opened up to friends about this. I had not gone to counseling and so that's what I was thinking Dave. It took me years to get over that and I think it was that combination. This is God's word. I read the Bible every year. Not just because I love it because it transforms my mind is your mind. It renews me every day and so that's a good reminder winning that love Jesus, that reminded me you have done like this is who you are in Christ.

And so it can take a while.

The counselor helps to. There is a him and people at the church I pastor in Little Rock know that this is one of those hymns that it's in my top five. Who could have a favorite hymn. I mean, I love so many hymns, but this is in my top five. It's the him before the throne of God above and in the second verse of the hymn it says this when Satan tempts me to despair and tells me of the guilt with them is the accuser of the brethren upward.

I look and see him there, who made an end to all my sin because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free for God. The just is satisfied look on him and pardon me, I'm getting chills just reciting that because the truth of that is so liberating for anyone who is caught in a web of shame inward shame, guilt, and that's a pollutant in a marriage relationship that will create conflict in marriage that has nothing to do with the marriage is nothing to do with your relationship with one another. It's just your guilt and shame and you got have someplace to let it spew and so you spew it on one another and and deal with it in the midst of the that's again why we gotta identify these things take him to the cross apply God's word and the truth of that and then we can start to move in a new direction. Yeah I would say Bob here you quote the lyrics to that him I want to encourage a listener whose been carrying some guilt and shame around for whatever reason, today could be your day right now as you say no. I just envision a woman or man, even a boy or girl get on her knees and saying you know I got. I need to confess this. I need to receive your forgiveness and I need to move on and move on. If you want to get a shovel and got the backyard and bury it, do it, but for free. I mean we are living free.

It was a journey.

It was a process but there's nothing like freedom in Christ. I think a lot of us in the church can say it and not experience that you've got a like Bob said you got confess it.

Agree with God. It was sin. Give it to him late at the cross and start a new life you been listening to Dave and Anne's conversation with Bob Lapine on family life today is book is called build a stronger marriage and will send you a copy when you give any amount I got David Robbins the president of family life here with me and we all miss Bob here on the program. I may not too much, but some now I'm just getting. We all love and miss Bob and what he's talking about today is so helpful right you know this is exactly what I needed today. I'm so grateful for you, Bob coming and sharing these trees because for Megan I is been a super stressful season like for many of you I'm sure and there's so many things with the start of school and getting kids in rhythm again and kids finding their relationships with teachers, and thriving with them that pull at you in so many ways and this is been a great reminder for me of how do I be intentional to not only make the adjustments that are needed for Megan I to be the priority in our home because everything will trickle down from there, but also thinking. All right, as I think about the next few months to come. How can I be intentional for us to really poor indoor merit that keeps us strong in order to keep our home and our kids strong in passing on what we want to pass on to them and so I just hearing Bob and so many of these truths that he is unpacked today are the truths that are spoken at we can to remember I was to Bob's been a huge part of curating and cultivating what a weekend to remember is and so if you have not been to. We can remember or you have not gone in a while I would encourage you to go check them out and invest in your marriage yet you can head to family life do a little research on when and where to attend and watch God work through one weekend to change your life as a mentor in your life.

Could you be a mentor about Melissa Kruger joins David and tomorrow to talk about going deeper in our relationships in small talk and prayer requests on behalf of David and Wilson.

I'm shall be added. See back next time for another edition of family life today. Family life today is a production of family life crew ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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