Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Superglue in Your Marriage

Leslie Basham: Denise Glenn says physical intimacy in marriage is more important than a lot of wives realize.

Denise Glenn: It is the superglue God gave relationships to bond them and forge body, mind, and spirit. Ask Him to form a firm and indestructible bond between you and your husband.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Wednesday, July 13.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: We’re joined again today on Revive Our Hearts by Denise Glenn who is the founder of MotherWise, a ministry helping mothers become wise in God’s Word and His ways.

We’ve just been hearing the testimony over these few days of God’s redeeming power and grace to take a marriage that was headed in the wrong direction, probably headed toward divorce, but God intervened.

Denise, thank you so much for opening your heart, sharing your story. I know that God is going to use this testimony to bring about rescue and redemption work in many other marriages, so God is using you to multiply that work in other lives. Thank you so much.

Denise: Thank you, Nancy. It’s my joy to be here.

Nancy: Just to recap for those who have not been with us—I feel like we jump in and out of the story. I hope you’ll go back and listen to the previous two days because it will be such a blessing to you. Order a copy of the CD to give to a friend, a family member who may be struggling in their marriage. Let them know there is hope, that God can intervene. He can rescue, but it takes going back to the Word of God.

Denise, you’ve shared how the first seven years of your marriage were not living up to expectations, headed the wrong direction, but how you and your husband came to the place of saying, “Lord, help! We need You.”

God brought five women into your life to mentor you, not just one mentor but five, praying, older women. Thank the Lord for praying, older women! You may be one of those older women, by the way, and I hope that you’re taking courage from Denise’s story. There may be a younger woman in your church, you don’t even know that her marriage is on the rocks, but to take her under your wing, and to say, “How can I pray for you?” Then to start to pray with her through the Word of God and to give godly counsel and input to that younger woman.

That’s why, Denise, you’re sitting here today and have MotherWise ministry and are mentoring women all around the world. Those women used the Word of God, and God’s Word began to transform your life, and to show you three gifts that you needed to give your husband.

We talked about the first one yesterday. Just remind us of what that gift was.

Denise: Well, the first gift they led me to, they actually led me to the whole book of Ephesians. In chapter 5, you just cannot avoid Ephesians 5:22, “Wives submit to your husbands.” So the first gift I learned to give my husband was the gift of leadership and to allow him to be the head of our home.

It was a huge sacrificial gift to give him because I’m a strong leader-type woman. But as I began to learn to give him that gift, it set the stage then for me to enjoy giving him the other two gifts. I had to lay the foundation of letting him be the head of the home, and for me to be the submissive wife, which was a massive change in our relationship. But when we did, then I was ready for the second gift.

The second gift a wife can give her husband is a strong physical relationship. Of course, early in marriage, the husband is ready for sex, and you may feel like he’s chasing you around the couch, and he’s ready for it all the time, and the wife is tired and exhausted and has the little kids. So God began to teach me and to train me about the sexual gift I could give my husband and how to be a sensuous woman and still be a godly woman. That was a huge leap.

I was raised in church, and it was a big thing for me to learn that sex was actually a gift from God that I needed to give my husband.

Nancy: But I’ve heard you say, Denise, what I’ve heard other wives share, and that is, in the early years of your marriage, it was hard for you as a woman to understand this need of your husband for sexual intimacy.

Denise: Of course, God made males and females differently. We are wired differently. We know our physical bodies are different, but somehow we don’t realize that even our minds, and on the inside are different. Yes, our sexual physical bodies are different, but our mindset about sex is so different.

I didn’t realize how intricately it was tied to his sense of being a man. I just thought it was something physical that he did. I separated it as just a physical event. So if I wanted soul-oneness with my husband, which I desperately wanted, to be a soul mate to my husband, I had to realize that the physical, intimate relationship between us, for him, that was a whole part of it. It was exactly how he expressed soul-oneness as well as body-oneness.

So when I was being mentored by these godly women, I was very open with them. I’m a pretty open person anyway, but I began to open up with these godly women and really share with them. What I shared with them is that the sexual part of our relationship was driving me crazy. It just seemed like David wanted and needed this physical oneness so much more than I did. We were not equal when we came to this.

I had little kids hanging on my body. I was a nursing mother. I had all this physical contact. I was like, “Thank you very much, I’ve had plenty of that. I’d like to take a bath and go to bed.” He had just come from his work day and whatever, and this physical unity is the way he wanted and needed to express soul-oneness with me.

So when I began to catch on, and it took me several years, unfortunately, but as I began to grow in this area, God brought about the spirit-oneness, the soul-oneness and the body-oneness that we were actually both craving.

My mentors took me to, of course, I didn’t even know there was a verse in the Bible about sex, but 1 Corinthians chapter 7, starting in verse 3:

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife (vv. 3-4 paraphrased).

So clear instruction that I didn’t get to have control over my body, that actually surrendering to marriage, and surrendering myself to my husband, also meant surrendering my body and making it available for him and for the two of us to enjoy it.

When I talk to young women today, and many young women who come to MotherWise, they’re in church or they’re in a MotherWise group, or they’re taking wisdom from mothers, and they’re married to a Christian man now but they have a past. They grieve it, and they’re ashamed of it, and they bring that past with them to the marriage.

Nancy: They have a lot of shame and guilt.

Denise: They do, and what we talk about is when you have had multiple sexual partners in your life, you become like a Post-it note. Post-it notes were designed by the 3M company with glue so it would easily come off and not damage the piece of paper that you take it off of.

So young teenagers or young people who start a sexual relationship before marriage think that they are a Post-it note: “I can stick on to one person and be removed, and it won’t damage either one of us, and I can go to the next one.” But you know what happens to a Post-it note when you use it over and over and over? Pretty soon it won’t stick anymore.

So the ability to bond is broken down, and when this couple comes together in marriage, they can’t stick. Sex that is meant to be superglue. It is the superglue God gave relationships to bond them and forge body, mind, and spirit.

What I say to young women, and I know we have listeners who that is their experience. They go, “That is me. I had multiple sexual partners. I’ve turned from that. I asked God to forgive me, and now I’m married, but Nancy and Denise, somehow I can’t bond with my husband in this physical relationship.”

I would urge you, kneel at the foot of the cross. Lay those past relationships there, and ask Jesus to change you from a Post-it note to superglue. Ask Him to form a firm and indestructible bond between you and your husband.

The Lord Jesus is all about redemption. His redeeming blood can heal and cleanse and can cleanse you all the way back to a state of purity where you can come in full surrender and make your bedroom a sanctuary where the two of you can be together body, mind, and spirit. And it is beautiful.

It’s going to take work. You may need to go to a Christian counselor. You may need to have a godly mentor who will pray with you, and the bedroom becomes a sanctuary where God is glorified.

Nancy: So in your marriage, what did it mean to David, and what did it do in your marriage when you began to give him that gift?

Denise: We fell in love! That was one of the big turning points. He started praying, and I started being sexier. And, oh my goodness! There were fireworks! Of course, not every day, we’re not perfect and all that, but we knew how to get back there and how to get healing.

As we began to experience more and more, exploring how the sexual part of our relationship could be fulfilling and purposeful and God could actually bind us together, bind our hearts and our lives together, there was a forging of our personalities, not only our bodies but our minds and our wills, so that today, what we do for families, could only be possible for us to do it together.

I don’t have a mind of how to publish books and how to organize the ministry and how to take care of that. But together, David and I can do something that neither of us can do apart. It started happening when we started giving the gifts to each other.

Nancy: And what a powerful thing it is when Christian couples begin to take back the sexual aspect of the relationship. What Satan has tarnished and tainted and made such a throw-away, ungodly thing in our culture, for Christian couples to say, “We’re going to take this and see it from God’s point of view.”

I’m so glad you pointed out that the Scripture addresses this subject, and some of our listeners may not have realized that God’s Word gives you wisdom and direction for every area of life, including the sexual relationship, physical intimacy.

Three gifts that you gave your husband: Giving him the freedom to be as God has made him to be, the head of the wife; the gift of physical intimacy, sexual pleasure. What’s the third gift?

Denise: The third gift is sincere praise—learning how to use my tongue to build up my husband, to use my words to build him up and not tear him down. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up, that it may benefit those who listen” (NIV).

God began to really address in me my critical tongue. When we were first married, we got into this cycle of criticism, a cycle of rejection. We were just hurting each other. You know, Nancy, hurt people hurt people, and so we were.

As he would wound me, I would wound him back even more. There was a battle of words.

The Lord Jesus taught me that the third gift I could give my husband is to build him up, to encourage him, and to really just be his Barnabas person, that I would be the encourager and not tear him down but build him up.

It happened in very simple and small ways. Just when he came home from work, “Hey, sweetheart, tell me about your day at work.” As he began to realize that as he opened up a little bit . . . at first he wasn’t very open about that. Most guys are not going to just spill their heart.

Nancy: Fine, just fine.

Denise: Yes, exactly. But as I began to encourage him and even learn more about his work . . .

Nancy: Which is . . . he’s a geo-physicist, so you had to get an education.

Denise: Oh, good night. You know, I’m terrible at math and science. I don’t even know what that is. But as I began to learn a little bit about his scientific work and all that he is doing, and just to get involved in encouraging him and blessing him in that, also encouraging David about the way he was treating our daughters.

David does a great job. God knows who He can trust little girls with. We have three daughters, and he taught the girls how a man should treat them. And I’d say, “Sweetheart, I love the way you treat my girls. Oh wow!” They know how to be treated now.

And just little things. I love the way that David Glenn works out. I am married to a grandpa who still works out 3 and 4 days a week, plays racquetball and tennis and rides bikes. He’s very, very physically active. “You are my man!” I love that he is physically active and takes care of his body.

He’s very healthful about the way he eats. I love that.

So just finding ways to just invest in my husband, just to give him that encouraging word that says, “Man, you are amazing! I can’t believe you asked me to marry you! What a blessed woman I am to get to stand beside you.”

It means everything to both of us, and we’ve both learned to do that for each other. But it was a huge gift for me to stop the criticism and to start the encouragement.

Nancy: It must have meant that you had a change of perspective because up until that point you had been seeing him through negative and critical eyes. You had been seeing each other that way. So what got your attention off of the negatives and got you started focusing on the positives?

Denise: God’s Word. It was really in my quiet time that God began the transformation of my mind and of my heart.

Nancy, when we become immersed in God’s Word . . . I like to talk about the difference between a cucumber and a pickle. If you take a cucumber, and you dip it into brine one time on Sunday morning for an hour, one time from 9:30 to 10:30 at the morning service, if you dip that cucumber for an hour, you’re not going to get a pickle. You’re going to get a cucumber with a little bit of brine on it.

If you immerse it, and it cooks, and it stays down in that brine, there’s a chemical transformation between a cucumber and a pickle. I began to be a pickle instead of a cucumber. I began to immerse myself in God’s Word, and that transformation started from the inside out.

Once my heart changed, and I started lining myself up with God’s Word, it became much easier then to praise my husband and to just encourage him.

God began that transformation of my thought processes, and He broke down the stronghold and the barrier of both fear, anger, bitterness. God took out that bitter root and replaced it with the truth so that I was able to tell my husband the truth about who he is in Christ. It revolutionized our relationship.

Nancy: Now that pickle word picture, which people are going to remember—it can be used another way, too. If you think of your husband, if he sits in the brine of your critical, negative spirit all the time, he’s going to become a pickle, as in sour pickle. So that’s the bad way of using that word picture.

Denise: It is. Whatever we’re immersed in, whatever we constantly immerse ourselves in, it comes in, and it becomes a part of this. That’s why you don’t immerse yourself in the world’s messages that come through movies you shouldn’t be watching and television programs that are opposed to God’s plan for the family and God’s laws. You immerse yourself in the Word of God. Immerse yourself actually in the life of Jesus.

Jesus didn’t come just to help us be our life. He came to be our life. So as we immerse ourselves in Him, the transformation happens from the inside out, and then your mouth will start speaking the true things to your family.

Nancy: Because out of the abundance of what’s in the heart, the mouth speaks. That’s what comes out, and words have such power, Proverbs says, to harm, to destroy, or to help and to heal.

If anybody has been listening to Revive Our Hearts for any length of time, they have probably heard us give a challenge that I just can’t resist giving today. We call it the 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge. If you’ve not heard it, here’s how it goes:

For the next 30 days, you have a chance to give your husband the gift that Denise has learned to give her husband, and to see it do its work in your marriage. For the next 30 days there’s a negative side and a positive side.

The negative part is: For 30 days you can’t say anything critical or negative or demeaning to your husband or about your husband to anyone else. Bite your tongue. Just don’t say it. Just don’t go there. It may be true; it may be deserved; but don’t say it.

And here’s the positive part, which is so important: For the next 30 days, every day, find one thing that you can praise and compliment your husband on—sincere praise, as you said, Denise, on something that you appreciate about him, something that you value about him. Say it to him, and say it to someone else about him. Don’t just think it. Say it. You think, “Well, he knows that I feel that way.” Say it.

I’ve said to women sometimes, “If you can’t think of 30 different things to say through the course of the month, then think of one thing, and just say it every day for 30 days. Just say it.”

I have a file on my laptop, a document, of over 100 pages of emails that I’ve received back from women who have written to tell me what a difference this 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge has made in their marriage.

If you’ll go to ReviveOurHearts.com and let us know that you want to take that challenge, we’ll send you every day for the next 30 days an email that will help you apply this in a practical way in your marriage. It’s just a short, daily thought just to help you practice this in your marriage. We’ll send that to you every day over the next 30 days if you’ll let us know that you’re wanting to take that challenge.

Denise, just describe for us what your husband would say is the difference of this sincere praise and sincere encouragement has made as he’s received that from you in your marriage?

Denise: Well, the encouragement has helped David step into the role that God has called him to, not only for our own family—he’s the patriarch of our own family; we now have 3 grown, married children, so not only do we have daughters; we have 3 sons-in-law; we have 8 grandchildren. David is the patriarch. He’s the spiritual leader for all 16 of us, and God has enabled him to do that. I think my encouragement has helped him.

But even in his role in taking our ministry to the ends of the earth. God has opened the door for us to share with families all over the world. As I’ve encouraged David in his leadership, I’ve just watched him blossom and grow as the godly, spiritual leader that God has called him to be.

Nancy: And so for the woman who says, “Look, we’re stuck in this messy cycle of criticism and rejection and pain and dysfunction; I can’t sincerely praise my husband. There are too many hurtful and hard things,” and their frame of mind just isn’t there. You’re feeling like there’s nothing to encourage him about, nothing to praise him for. He’s not respectable; he’s not honorable; he’s not responsible. What do you say to that woman?

Denise: Start somewhere. Find something. If it’s the way he takes out the trash. Whatever it is, find something to start with somewhere, even if he rejects you—and he might—because he’s still in the cycle of rejection. Just because you’ve had this revelation doesn’t mean he has.

So even if he rejects you, you continue, continue to walk in love—unconditional love—and just speak truth. Speak truth, and speak it directly into his heart. The rest of it is God’s problem. As you are walking in obedience, do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up, then it’s God’s job, to take your marriage on.

Nancy: That verse you just quoted, Ephesians 4:29, would be a good one for every wife to write out, to post it, to memorize it, to meditate on it, and to make sure, regardless of what your husband is or isn’t doing, that it is the standard that you’re meeting as you let Christ fill you with His Spirit, His life, His love. Then what flows out of you are words that build up, that minister grace to the hearer.

That’s what your husband needs from you. He needs God’s grace which can come through your words to his life, and you may just see the effect be absolutely transformational. And even if it isn’t, if it doesn’t change him, I tell women as they take this 30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge, he may not change—good chance he will—he may not; but even if he doesn’t, you will.

Leslie: Nancy Leigh DeMoss has been talking with our guest, Denise Glenn, about important gifts that wives can give their husbands. We know each marriage and each situation is different. Your challenges may not look exactly like the challenges Denise faced as a young wife.

We have listeners who are eager for intimacy with their husbands yet feel rejected. Let me challenge you to do what Denise did: Open up to wise, older women you know, and get their specific counsel.

I hope you’ll follow up on today’s program, study biblical womanhood for yourself, and dig into the Scriptures with Denise Glenn. She’s written an eight-week study called Wisdom for Mothers. This workbook will challenge you to build your life on God’s Word. You’ll think through ways to grow as a wife; you’ll gain perspective on the importance of moms devoted to the Lord and to their children.

We’ll send you Wisdom for Mothers when you contribute any amount to Revive Our Hearts. Ask for it when you donate by phone. The number is 1-800-569-5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Well, how do you grow close to a husband who doesn’t share your faith? Tomorrow, we’ll hear from a guest who has had to wrestle through that question. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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