Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Your Marriage: The Gospel on Display, Day 2

Leslie Basham: Andrea Griffith knows that she’s more likely to be the one to talk in her marriage, so she needs to make sure she’s leaving space for her husband.

Andrea Griffith: For me, as more of the talker, I have to learn to sometimes be quiet so he will talk. Choose wisely what you’re saying if you are the talker. And I know, for us, communication is just finding the time to make it a priority.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of True Woman 101, for Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: Yesterday, Pastor Trent Griffith began a series from Ephesians 5 for husbands and wives. He laid the ground in for this passage on husbands loving their wives as Christ loves the Church.

Now, I understand that Revive Our Hearts is a program for women, but we want you to hear his teaching for both wives and husbands. If you’re single, understanding a husband’s role will help you to know what to look for in a potential spouse. If you’re married, hearing about a husband’s role will help you know how to pray for your husband and how to encourage him.

And another reason to listen is that today Trent’s wife Andrea will speak to men about what makes a wife feel loved, and I think Andrea’s explanation of a wife’s needs is an example to all of us of how to respectfully talk with our husbands about important issues.

Now, as you listen, you’ll need to imagine a green plant up on stage next to Trent and Andrea. In the message we heard yesterday, Trent used that plant as an object lesson of how a husband is to nourish and cherish his wife.

Today we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday in Ephesians 5.

Trent Griffith: Your marriage will either display or distort the glory of God! Do you know what’s at stake in your marriage? The gospel being known to the world! Because people are supposed to look at your marriage—the way that a husband loves his wife—and understand, “Oh, I get it now! You see, that’s the way that Christ loves me!” But if husbands aren’t showing the world love for their wife, they are robbing the world of a picture of Christ loving them. That’s what’s at stake. It’s not just about you and your little marriage. It is about the gospel!

Finally, in verse 33: “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, [and then, a note to wives: Wives . . .] see that she respects her husband.”

So, husbands, love your wife as you love yourself. There are two word pictures here we need to look at. First of all, he nourishes her, verse 29. He nourishes his wife as Christ, the Head, nourishes His body.

That means he feeds it; he doesn’t starve it. He doesn’t keep things from this person that it needs. Husbands, do you know what your wife needs?

“Uh-uh.”

I’ve got a great suggestion for you! Why don’t you ask someone who knows what your wife needs?

“Who would that be?”

Your wife! She knows. And she’s probably pretty good at articulating it. But for you to go and say, “I want to nourish you. I just need to know what groceries you need. Would you give me some suggestions?” And, in just a moment, you’re going to have some suggestions, okay?

So he nourishes it, and then the second thing is he cherishes it. Isn’t that a great word? He cherishes it as a treasure.

In studying this passage a few years ago, I found what this word actually means “to keep warm,” like a mother would coddle and protect an infant from the cold.

At this point, I am totally out of material, and I feel a little bit like a hypocrite, telling husbands in here how to love their wives, because I’m still trying to figure that out myself. So we need someone who knows this a little better. I’ve invited my wife to come up here and help us, before I “step in something” up here.

Now, we’re going to give you five ways that a husband cherishes his wife. I’m just going to kind of introduce these things, and then Andrea’s going to help us see it from a wife’s perspective, in a way that maybe I would be clueless to.

And so, here’s the first thing: Five ways a wife feels cherished.

Number one: A husband provides security. He gives her security.

Do you know what that means? Men, we need to be men of our word. We need to be trustworthy. We need to be people who say, “No matter what happens, no matter how bad it gets, we’re not giving up. We’re going to the finish line together. Divorce is not an option—murder, maybe, not divorce! (laughter) Okay? We are going to the finish line together! You never have to question if there’s another woman; I don’t have wandering eyes; pornography is not an issue. I want you to feel secure!”

There is nothing that breeds insecurity in the heart of a wife more than a man who has wandering eyes. We have to provide security.

Andrea: So, lately, we’ve had a way that this security issue has been playing out in our marriage. Just about, I don’t know, three winters ago, I literally got stuck in three different carwashes! (laughter)

The first carwash, I went through. You know, you choose which one you want, you put your money in, and it washed the car, and then it came time to do the dry. And it says to drive slowly, and it tells you the countdown and how it’s going to dry your car.

Well, as I was pulling forward, the garage door only opened halfway. Like, it only opened enough so that I could get the hood of my car out, but not the windshield and all of the top.

And so my heart is pounding out of my chest because thinking, I am stuck in this carwash! And the car behind me is getting washed, and there’s a long line, and I know they need me to go. So I’m inching up, I’m inching up—the dry time is done—and still, this garage door—I can only get the engine of the car underneath it, and it will not go up.

And I don’t know what I’m going to do. And I’m thinking, Surely, someone is seeing this; they will come; they will help me. No one comes!

So, eventually, I just crawled onto the hood of my car and lifted the garage door up, and I got back in and drove out!

And then, I got literally stuck in two more different carwashes that winter. So I have grown to be very insecure when going through a carwash! (laughter) What I have noticed, though, is sometimes I will go out to my garage and my car is spotless—and it wasn’t spotless before. I was just getting stuff on my pants as I was putting it in the car, because it’s so dirty.

I put the key in, and I crank it up, and I’ve got a full tank of gas. Someone has taken my car, filled it up with gas, and taken it through the carwash. Yes! And that means so much to me, because I see in that he knows me. He knows I’m insecure. He knows my weakness, that I can’t handle carwashes, and he has gone to the trouble to meet me where I am, to cover that need.

Now, men, most of your wives are not insecure about carwashes, okay? But I bet, you know some areas in their life where they deal with insecurity. I bet if you think about it, you could think of some ways that you could go to work to meet those areas of insecurity in her life, to cover it, to encourage, to help her right there.

Now, another thing that Trent does that’s way bigger than carwashes, and I think the biggest thing he does, just to help me in this area of security, is every morning I see him in the Word. And I know that if he is following after God, then I can follow behind him and just in the Word, so that as we’re doing life, and it’s hard, and we need wisdom, and we need help. We don’t have it in us. We don’t! But we know where to go to find it. And I see him go in there, and that puts more security in my life than anything else.

Trent: What’s really amazing to me about what she just said is that, I didn’t have to “emote” to get the car washed. I didn’t have to feel it. I wasn’t feeling anything when I was washing the car. I’m like, “That works for you?" That’s amazing! Because I didn’t have to feel anything! But that communicated that she was cherished.

So, security—big deal.

Number two: Honor. Honor simply means “placing high value on someone or something.” For Andrea, it’s very important that I give her my attention, that I listen to her, that I value her opinions.

I’m a preacher. An occupational hazard is that I’ve got some stuff to say—I can be convincing, I like illustrations, I can talk for forty-five minutes at a time without taking a breath. And if I try to do that here, that’s not going to work. That’s not honoring to her.

So I need to value, to understand, that God has given me a wife who needs to help me. She sees things differently, and she can help me. That is honoring to her.

Andrea: A few weeks ago I was talking to a young wife. She’s been married eight years. Her husband is an entrepreneur, and so she said, “A lot of times as he’s starting up a new business, I’ll go in and I’ll help him. Like, I’ll be the receptionist, or I’ll do whatever he needs on the computer. That type of thing. I just come alongside and help. I’ve told my husband over and over, ‘It would mean so much to me if, when I’m in your office, you would even just wave, or if you would make eye contact, or even come over to me and just put your hand on my back so that I know that you know that I’m there.’”

And she said, “Or, at home, ‘I would just love it if you would just say my name. It just means a lot to me when you say my name.’”

But, she said, “It’s been eight years. None of those things have happened. I’ve just kind of died to that,” which is not great, in and of itself. They recently moved, and they moved into a house where, they didn’t know it at the time, but their next door neighbor also works at that business.

And this next door neighbor always goes to her and says, “Is that a new dress you’re wearing? You look so nice today!” or “Wow! Did you get your hair cut?” He makes the time to notice her.

Now that they’re living next door, she pulls up in the driveway, and he sees her and knows she has groceries in the car or something, he comes out and helps her with the groceries, asks her about her day. And she said, “I know he’s just being kind, there’s nothing there. I’m committed to my husband. He’s committed to his wife.”

And at this point, she starts sobbing, and she says, “But I am shocked at how my heart is so drawn to this man! [She said] I keep thinking about him during the week, and I hope that he’s home when I drive up and the car’s full of groceries.”

Why? Because honor is a powerful tool to draw the heart of your wife to you! Husbands, are you using it?

I look at the wives in this church, and I see so much beauty and so much strength. I see that they’re under the financial pressures, and yet they get up every day, and they go work a job. Or they have all these little kids, who need them every second, and they’re laying down their lives for these kids.

Maybe they have grown children who are wayward, and they’re praying for them, and it’s breaking their hearts, and yet they hang in there in prayer, and they hang in there walking and obeying the Lord.

I see all that beauty and all that strength, and I wonder: Does her husband see it? Is he calling it out? Is he telling her that he sees that beauty and that strength in her? Because it’s a powerful tool to draw the heart of your wife back to you, just to honor, to place high value on your wife.

Trent: Okay, dudes, do you know what was happening while she was talking? I’m watching tears come down the eyes of the ladies, because Andrea just honored the wives for the stuff they do. That needs to come from us. We need to give our wives honor.

Here’s another thing: Understanding. This is so important. 1 Peter chapter 3, verse 7, one verse to men, says this: “Husbands, honor your wives, dwell with them in an understanding way.”

That has got to be one of the hardest verses in the Bible to obey! Men, understand our wives?

I heard of a boy who was in a geography class. He was seven years old. He was doing some homework. He came home, and he asked his dad, “Dad, I need help with my homework. I just read in my geography book that in some parts of Africa, men don’t even know their wives until the day they marry them! Is that true?”

His dad said, “Son, that’s true in every country!” (laughter)

It’s, like, we’re different. Have you noticed that? Very different!

Andrea: Okay, so men, I totally sympathize with you on this one. This understanding stuff, because half the time I don’t understand myself, and then once I figure it out, I change my mind! Right? (laughter) I see it from a totally different perspective, so I just sympathize with you on this. But it so important just to understand what we’re going through, what we’re thinking. You don’t have to get it perfectly, but just an attempt.

We’re doing a ladies’ Bible study right now that I just love, and one of the questions during the first week was, “What is your greatest strength, and what is your greatest weakness?”

I’m sitting there in my Bible study, and I’m, like, “I have no idea.” I’m running the gamut of characteristics, and I can’t come up with them. And I think, Well, I can ask a couple friends.

And then I think, Wait! No! I know someone who knows me best and understands me the best.

And so, two days later, we actually found some time to talk, and I just said, “What is my greatest strength, and what is my greatest weakness?” And he nailed it, totally nailed it. They happen to be one thing, both strength and weakness. Totally nailed it.

But this is the beauty of it for me: He knows it, and he doesn’t try to fix it. We just have to navigate it together. So when a different situation comes in, because he understands me, not fix me, but understands me, then we know how to tackle it and navigate it together.

Trent: And this is so hard for a husband, because our natural tendency is to fix problems. So when they bring a problem and want to communicate the problem, she just shakes her head when I’m trying to fix it.

One time, the dishwasher overflowed or something, and the kids were out of control, and she had a rough conversation on the phone with a friend and she got misunderstood.

She’s telling me all this at the end of the day, and I’m like, “Come here. Let me show you how a dishwasher works. You’ve got to load it this way, and you’ve got to make sure the door’s closed and do that thing there. And if you’re talking to kids about this and turn it this way and maybe at a better time. Did you have a quiet time today? Because if you pray really hard during the day, then the day will go better.”

That doesn’t work! That’s a fail! (laughter) And she’s like, “No!”

And I’m, like, “Why are you shaking your head?”

And she’s, like, “I don’t want you to fix it. I just want you to understand the way I feel about it!”

“Is that all?”

“Yeah!”

I have so much trouble getting this right!

Finally, I was reading this book, For Men Only. It’s by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhan. Jeff was writing, and he said:

This is what I learned: I must resist the temptation to want to fix it. When there is a problem, she needs to express it verbally. What she is feeling about the problem is more important than the problem itself. What she is feeling is the real problem. Therefore, listening to her feelings actually fixes the problem! Instead of filtering out her emotions to focus on the problem, I must learn to filter out the problem and focus on the feelings. After she feels like I understood her feelings, now she’s ready to solve the problem.”

I cut and pasted that. I hung that up in my office. I’m, like, “I’ve got to figure this out!”

So that is a new concept for men, because we want to fix it, and women feel cherished when we communicate.

Studies have shown that the average woman speaks 25,000 words a day, with gusts up to 35,000, on certain days. (laughter) Men, on the other hand, only communicate about 15,000 words. And so, there’s a gap there, and we have to learn to communicate at a different level.

Andrea: So, in our marriage, I’m definitely more the talker, and he is definitely more the quiet one. And he has used up his 15,000 words after three services on Sunday. Just trust me on that one.

What I’ve come to see is that we each have bent. We’re either more talkative or we’re more quiet. We need to figure out which way our bent is and then move toward the middle.

Sometimes I’ll be listening to wives talk about their husbands, and it just breaks my heart, because I think, If only the men knew the damage they were doing to their marriage simply by not talking, just being silent.

Because that’s how we “learn” you. That’s how we know what’s going on in your heart, in your life, in your brain. That’s how we know to encourage you or come alongside or how to relate to you. If you’re not talking, we’re just kind of stuck, and we don’t know where to go with it or how to move it.

Also, for me, as more of the talker, I have to learn to sometimes be quiet, so he will talk. And the Lord has just been asking me, “Andrea, when you are talking, are your words wise? Are they building up? Do you even hear what you’re saying, or is it just like cats that you’re trying to herd, and you don’t even know where it’s going?”

When you talk, choose wisely what you’re saying, if you are the talker. I know for us, communication is just finding the time to make it a priority. Everything else in life is so busy, but communication has got to be a priority, or everything in else goes spinning out of whack.

Trent: Five ways a wife feels cherished: Security, honor, understanding, communication, and physical affection.

I read a study one time that said the average woman needs between eight and twelve non-sexual touches every day.

Now, some of you men are saying, “I can take care of that right now!” (laughter) That’s not we’re saying, okay? It is so important. And Andrea read some stuff, recently, that confirms that.

Andrea: As we were talking through the message just a little bit last night, Trent said, “And we’ll get to the physical section, and we can just race right past that.”

And I was like, “No, no, no! No, you can’t! You cannot race right past that because physical affection means more and affects women more than men. Research has shown this to be true. Okay?

It’s just like a nice rub on the back or grab my hand or something like that, it releases in women, and in men, too, but more so in women, oxytocin, which is the bonding chemical. When that happens for a woman, I’m drawn to you. I can relate to you as my husband.

It’s been shown that nonsexual physical touch also releases emotionally positive brain chemicals. It lowers a woman’s heart rate. It lowers it her stress level. And it decreases feelings of loneliness—just by grabbing her hand or rubbing her back.

Trent: I thought I had to feel something to fix all that?

Andrea: No, just act like you do! (laughter)

Trent: Oh, okay. Then act like it!

One more thing real quick: If you are not already holding your wife’s hand or have your arm around her, this would be the time to do that.

And this is what I want us to do: I want us to all stand right now. I want to give you the last point as we stand together. Husbands, hold your wife’s hand.

And here’s the last thing: Husbands, love your wife as you love yourself. He nourishes her. He cherishes her. And He inspires her.

Do you remember how hard her job is to submit to somebody like you? Well, here’s the thing: When a husband does his job right, her job gets easier because a husband’s love inspires a wife’s respect.

Nancy: That’s Pastor Trent Griffith from Harvest Bible Chapel in Granger, Indiana. We also heard today from his wife Andrea. Trent and Andrea have been good friends of mine for a long time. I’m so thankful for how they’ve been showing us that our marriages aren’t just about us, but they’re designed to put the beauty of the gospel on display.

And I’ll add this: If you’re an unmarried woman, your life and your relationships aren’t just about you. Your devotion to Christ and the way you faithfully wait on God’s timing and His plan also puts the beauty of the gospel on display just as powerfully.

Now, if you’re intrigued by what you’ve heard today, I want to encourage you to explore the archives at ReviveOurHearts.com. You’ll find some additional series to help you grow in the areas that we’ve touched on today.

One of those series is called “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs. And another is “For Women Only” with Shaunti Feldhan.

There’s a rich reservoir of material for you to enjoy at ReviveOurHearts.com, and it’s all made possible by listeners like you who believe in this ministry and want to see it continue.

When you donate any amount to support Revive Our Hearts this week, we’d like to send you a workbook that I co-authored with Mary Kassian. It’s called “True Woman 101: Divine Design.”

It will help you discover new ways to put the beauty of the gospel on display and embrace God’s calling for your life.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy.

To get your copy, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. You can make your donation there, and you’ll find a place to request the book as part of the process, or ask for True Woman 101 when you call 1–800–569–5959.

Tomorrow, Trent and Andrea Griffith will be back to show us as wives effective ways to encourage and respect our husbands. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants your marriage to experience some fireworks. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

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