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In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo talk about the wider family – Parents, Siblings, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents and the in laws and how these family relationships can affect our marriages for good or bad. Jo opens by sharing some family matters found in the bible, the good, the bad and the ugly!

Andy, as usual, makes sense of it all with scripture verses:

  • Genesis 1:28
  • Matthew 12:46-50

Like Marriage Matters, so does Family matter!

Tips and Resources

  • Look out for, and watch, Skit Guys movie - Family Camp.
  • Take some time, a year if you can, when you first get married to learn what God wants you to do to serve Him – together - now you’re a married couple.
  • Pray – ask God about family relationships and how he wants you to handle them!

The Take Away

Andy notes how the bible tells us to do family very differently from how the world or even the church culture tells us.

Jo has noticed how important family is from Genesis to Revelation!

Andy and Jo



Andy 0:38 Well, hello, and welcome to another episode of Marriage Matters. My name's Andy.

Jo 0:42 And I'm Jo Jo.

Andy 0:43 And this is Marriage Matters where we discuss matters of the marriage, that matter, 'cos Marriage Matters.

Jo 0:49 Yeah, absolutely.

Andy 0:50 And we got a cow.

Jo 0:51 Yey

Andy 0:51 A Highland Cow, which is awesome. So, if you wanna keep up to date with all the way down, you can like us on Facebook, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel. 850 odd, no 450 odd videos on there. Yeah, you can like us on Facebook, subscribe to our YouTube channel. You can also now follow us on Twitter and Tumblr, which is super exciting. And, as ever, the best thing you can ever do is to sign up to Berry Bytes, our weekly newsletter, and you'll never miss a thing. And it's Berry Bytes with a why because why not! And today we're not we're, we're looking at

Jo 1:24 Family matters.

Andy 1:26 Thank you.

Jo 1:26 So what we mean by that is our family. When you get married, or when you're planning to get married, you start to get to know the family, not just your family, but the family of your other half. So you've got parents, grandparents, siblings, aunties, uncles, cousins, and in laws. And so we're thinking about how that works when you come together in marriage. Where does the family fit in? What do you do about Christmas and holidays? Is that a good thing, a bad thing? And if you look at the Bible, there's some really interesting families in there. And it's not always pretty.

Jo 2:00 You think about Abraham and Sarah right in the Genesis, where they got really impatient about having a child, and they had, Sarah managed to convince Abraham to have a child with Hagai. And that ended in some really difficult problems there.

Andy 2:14 Forced family creation doesn't go well.

Jo 2:16 No! Jacob and his wife, Jacob, the famous Joseph coat of many colours story, but Jacob had two wives, and they were sisters, Leah and Sara. No, Rachel, sorry, and that caused quite a lot of problems as they had children. Sibling rivalry there. But it's not all negative. There are problematic families throughout the Bible. But I remember with Moses, he had a really helpful father in law called Jethro, who gave him some advice. So there are challenges around family, around in laws, or our own biological family. But there are also benefits. So it's working out what the Bible says, and how we get through it, isn't it?

Andy 2:58 Yeah. And we're going to be looking at what does culture teach us? What does culture say to do? And what does church culture tell you you should do and why most of that is a load of rubbish. And what does the Bible actually teach?

Andy 3:11 And, as ever, we're gonna have real RealTalk. We're gonna SpeakTruth. So we're gonna share some of our own experiences, some troubles with family that we've experienced, and what family looks like for us.

Jo 3:20 Yeah.

Andy 3:21 And it's probably not what you're expecting. So we're gonna go through all of that today. Marriage Matters. So it's quite good.

Jo 3:27 Yeah. And what I was thinking, what the way I've been taught, you have God at the centre, don't you?

Andy 3:30 Yep.

Jo 3:30 Then you have your spouse, then you have your children, and then you have the wider family, whether that's church family, or your biological family,

Andy 3:37 and we discuss whether that's right or not. Or whether we think it's right or not, perhaps.

Jo 3:41 Yeah, it sounds like a great principle, but whether we stick to it or whether it helps, I don't know.

Andy 3:45 We're alluding to something.

Jo 3:46 Yes.

Andy 3:47 hall we take a break.

Jo 3:48 Yeah.

Jo 3:48 So let's pray. Andy's gonna come on and show us how to pray. Excellent. What, What have you got there?

Andy 3:55 It's my world atlas.

Jo 3:56 Okay.

Andy 3:57 So I can pray for the world.

Jo 3:58 Okay.

Andy 3:59 You see, prayer's good,

Jo 4:00 Right. Okay. You're gonna show us how to do that then?

Andy 4:02 Yeah. Yeah. So I've gone, I've got me atlas. And if you go to the letter A, I'm gonna start here so,

Jo 4:08 Yeah

Andy 4:08 Please God, please bless Abenra and Arcshun and Arbor.

Andy 4:08 What did you like about the story?

Dave the Dog 4:15 Bob.

Jo 4:15 You liked Bob?

Dave the Dog 4:16 And the stick?

Jo 4:19 And the stick

Jo 4:21 You like the stick?

Dave the Dog 4:22 Me like sticks a lot I do.

Jo 4:23 Well, ok, we'll try and make sure there's more stories with sticks in

Dave the Dog 4:27 Thank you.

Jo 4:27 Dave especially for you.

Andy 4:42 And we're back for the meaty bit. What do we call this?

Jo 4:46 I don't know! So, scripture wise is what we usually start.

Andy 4:51 Can I move your microphone?

Jo 4:52 Yeah. Thank you.

Andy 4:54 There you go!

Jo 4:55 Scripture wise, so, obviously, in the Bible, family is important. That's the principles, are right across, aren't they. New Testament, Old Testament very, from the very beginning,

Andy 5:06 indeed. And we're gonna go to nearly the very beginning. So we're gonna get to Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 28, which says this,

Andy 5:14 "God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful, and increase in number. Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Andy 5:27 Said with a Back Country accent, 'on the ground'. You can see where I'm from can't you! So, God's God's best design. We're at the start of the Bible so, as ever with Marriage Matters, we're looking at what's God's best, what's His design, what's His desire for us. But we're in Genesis Chapter 1, so, right at the beginning of time of the earth, and all that, and God's plan is for a husband and wife to be married to one another, to be physically intimate with one another, to be spiritually intimate with each other and with God, and to have children. That is God's design.

Andy 6:01 Now, clearly, that's not gonna happen today for everybody. We have plenty of broken marriages. We have plenty of families who can't have children. Perhaps they're not able physically to have children, or maybe they've even have chosen to adopt. Or they've just not got married. You know there's lots of situations, but we're talking about marriage and God's best, and God's design, God's purpose. And God's purpose is for a married couple, to have children. We know that psychologically, that's been shown very clearly to be the most stable for children, for society, and this is God's building block for life.

Jo 6:32 Yeah, absolutely. And that's scattered right across the Bible. But, clearly, God knew that we were gonna get it wrong. So, in the 10 commandments, He gives them some clear instructions, doesn't He. about how we should manage our family. Have you got those have you?

Andy 6:32 Yeah, we're going to cherry pick a little bit.

Jo 6:48 Yeah.

Andy 6:48 On those parts that are more specific to the family. So first of all, Verse 8, what's that got to do with family?

Jo 6:53 Exodus 20 isn't it?

Andy 6:54 Yeah Exodus 20, Verse 8,

Andy 6:54 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy."

Andy 6:58 What's that got to do? Well, it's really important that there's a seven day cycle. God worked for six days, made the world in six days, 6, 24 hour periods. There was a day time, there was a night time. At the end of six days, six days, six nights that was a rest day. It's really important that, as a family, we rest together.

Jo 7:16 I'll add to that because research tells us how important it is to have a meal at the table, isn't it? Where the family gather together, chat, and things like that. And that has been lost. Some families may not have that time, and they're all sort of rushing around. But the importance of spending time together as a family, definitely.

Andy 7:32 We love our table time for food.

Jo 7:34 Yeah.

Andy 7:34 Right? So then we get to Verse 12,

Andy 7:36 "Honour your father and mother so that you may live" sorry, "you may live long in the land that the Lord your God has given you."

Andy 7:43 I mean, this is a promise. If you honour your parents, you live longer. There's not many scriptures like that.

Jo 7:48 No.

Andy 7:48 That give you a, you know, a way of having a longer life.

Jo 7:51 And I suppose I mean, you know, again, we're talking about culture and stuff, we celebrate Father's Day and Mother's Day. But I just think, wow, that's a biblical principle under that isn't there,

Andy 7:58 No there is.

Jo 7:59 To respect our parents.

Andy 8:01 Verse 14, a little bit more obvious,

Andy 8:03 "You shall not commit adultery."

Andy 8:05 So keep the marriage bed pure. That means no pornography. That means no sex outside of marriage. That means no overt flirting with other people. That means not spending so much time with your, with your friends, who are the opposite sex that you end up not being with your spouse which is far more important.

Jo 8:21 That's a previous episode isn't it, A Family Affair.

Andy 8:24 It is! It's a family affair. And then we're gonnna skip to verse 12. That's not right. Can't go from verse 12 to verse,

Jo 8:31 No, no, but there are 10 commandments aren't there. So there was two or three that

Andy 8:35 Ooh, 17 I can't remember read me own writing.

Jo 8:36 Ah.

Andy 8:37 I saw 2 as a 7.

Andy 8:38 "You shall not covet your neighbor's house, you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything belonging to your neighbour."

Andy 8:47 So if your neighbour's got a nice car, that's the ox. Ignore that. If they've got a brand new tractor, and you haven't, don't covet that. And don't look at the wife and think, oh, yeah, she's particularly pretty. He's got a very beautiful wife and my I wish my wife was like that. You know, this, this stuff does not help us!

Jo 9:01 No! Yeah, so there we go. From the very beginning, and right because the Bible, God is for families, and wants families to flourish. But it's difficult, isn't it Andy, in life, dealing with the in laws. You know there was always sort of a joke on comedy shows about the mother in law isn't there, particularly, which is a bit of a shame. I'm sure there are nice mother in laws out there.

Andy 9:23 Can I go a bit left field?

Jo 9:24 Go on then.

Andy 9:24 So I used to deliver a breastfeeding workshop. And the midwives did two weeks of teaching new mums to be how to breastfeed. What to expect. Problems that might occur, how to overcome them. I used to come in on the third week. And they brought me in because what I would talk about was cup feeding. So rather than using a bottle or breastfeeding, if you are breastfeeding it's best not to use a bottle because you can get nipple confusion. You end up possibly with a child who can't actually breastfeed, which would be against your choice, so use a cup. A little little tiny special cup for a baby. So I would talk about that because that's what we'd done.

Andy 10:17 But one of the things I always did with that inlaws was watch out for the mother in law. Okay, so this is the, to the new mums to be. Watch out for your mother in law, because she's going to try, most, more than anybody else, to stop you from breastfeeding. Because she'll want you to use a bottle so she can have a play. Or so the dad can have a go and bond with a baby. And I alwasy used to say, look, watch out for that.

Andy 10:20 And it was really encouraging to me thinking this is a bit out there. But the amount of mums to be that I would meet in various toddler groups who said, Thank you for that I was I was actually ready and prepared. And when they threw a bottle at my child, I said no. When they brought formula milk and I said no. Because remember, these are women who are choosing to breastfeed. And how, the whole point of this three week little course was, how do you sustain that breastfeeding? And I would say, look, the biggest thing is not breastfeeding, or problems with your milk, or whatever, it's the mother in law.

Jo 10:48 Yeah.

Andy 10:49 And there were lots of mums in that room who said, yeah, 'cos often the new mum to be would bring their mum as well, and they would say, Yeah, my mum was like that. My mother in law.

Jo 10:57 Yeah, you were talking earlier about in the Bible has this principle about when you first get married, you have a year together, don't you, or something like? It was more to do with the army. But it's a practical thing, isn't it cuz you can build that relationship and build that strength, so that when you do face your in laws, you've got, you know, what you both want isn't it.

Andy 11:12 Here's a radical thought, Okay, so you've got husband and wife, we'll call them Andy and Jo, because their names I know. And you get married, and you're both involved in ministry in the church, before you came together as friends, before you came together as husband and wife. And you've both got different lives, different jobs. You've got different cars, different everything. And now you're getting married, you're bringing all of that together under one roof.

Andy 11:34 Now that kind of makes sense to not have two houses with a third, you'd live, you'd move together. And we would very much recommend you have one bank account. You'd work out how to clean the house. You're probably going to go to the same church. Maybe a new church?

Andy 11:47 We've met a few couples that have decided we're gonna go to a new church so we can be an us not, that's his wife, and that's her husband. And, you know, so I think it's really important that when you do get married, if you've got a job in a church, you don't quit your job! Okay, but generally speaking, I think it's really healthy to take a year out of your normal stuff, in order to consolidate your marriage. And you can't consolidate your marriage if you're flat out busy doing other stuff. That's not saying stop doing ministry. But actually, maybe in a sense, I think we should be encouraging newlywed Christian couples to stop doing ministry for a while. And then to discover what they should be doing, under God, together, as one person, one one couple, rather than two separate individuals.

Andy 12:29 I don't think that's very popular. I've never heard it spoken. I'm speaking it out now 'cos I think it's really important. Because, the thing is, if we know from Genesis one, that marriage is the building block for God's society, that He thinks is really important. It's not marriage against singles, singles just as important. Okay, Paul makes a really good point that being single is actually even better sometimes.

Andy 12:49 But marriage is God's block, one of His building blocks for society. Therefore, we should be protecting it. And therefore we have to think, as Christians, that the enemy is gonna want to stop marriage. He's gonna want to destroy marriage.

Andy 13:01 I've seen this picture so many times. It's so apt! The devil does all he can to stop, to to, sorry, the devil does all he can to get a couple of having sex before marriage, and to stop them having sex after marriage. And I think that's absolutely on the button. It's so, so right. Because it's a really good, binding thing together. But if you get married, and you just carry on doing everything the same, but you just happen to be married, you're missing out on new opportunities of ministering together.

Jo 13:26 Yeah, I must admit, we've had sleepless nights, long conversations about problems within, within our families, haven't we. And it can cause an awful lot of stress. And really can. I mean you talk about the problems that come up in marriage, we talked about how finances can cause our arguments, but in laws, and relationships with, with our family, can cause quite a lot of arguments and problems, can't they. And, as I say, it can make you ill, you know. You can become quite ill from from the sort of rivalry, and difficulties, that ensue within, within families,

Andy 13:57 We're going to come back into The Take Away at the end. We're gonna talk about our own situation and what this looks like for us. But we just wanted to look at what does the Bible say. You see culture, and I would say church culture, would tell you that you're supposed to go there for Christmas, and be with your in laws for whatever. Let's just assume that you're a married couple. That both of your parents have both got remarried. Now you've got four sets of families that you have a need to be at. And they're all gonna want you to be there. Bit stereotypical perhaps, but I would assume the mums are gonna be wanting to be there more when the child is born, your first child. Dad's might want to get involved in the house, and that's certainly part of our experience, and that can be good.

Andy 14:38 But this is going back to that take a year out. Everybody will tell you that you're supposed to just, you know, be with your in laws. And you're supposed to love them, and witness to them, and all that. But, if marriage is a spiritual thing, and actually there's more to it than just simply doing what you've always done and having rows about which house you're gonna go to for Christmas and Easter. Actually your, here's the, this a bit of a dropping a big stone in the water. When you get married, I would say that your blood family, it stops being a priority.

Andy 15:08 There's a whole thing. I used to get this wrong, but maybe I didn't. I used to think that when it said that the, the husband cleaves to his wife, I used to think of a butcher's, you know, meat cleaver. Do you know there's something in there. I got it wrong. That's not what the Bible talks about. But I think there's something in that, that when you get married, you should be severing ties, at one level, with your blood family.

Andy 15:27 It's not being rude, and horrible, and nasty to them, and telling them where to go. You still need to maintain relationships that's wise inappropriate for you. At the same time, I don't think it should be the same as it was. And I think, actually, a year away from family would do a lot more couples a lot more good to establish who they are in Christ, as one person. I know we always say the other halves, but we don't mean that. We mean the other person.

Andy 15:52 But I think culture in church is so ingrained into, 'we just grow the family'. But, do you know, what I see in the biblical model is not so much that we get married and it increases our parent's family. Actually we're starting a new family.It's something that's new. It's a new outreach. It's a new bit of the tree. So I don't think it'd be a popular thing to say. But I don't really care about popular so muchm at all. But I think, when you get married, do you know what. It'd be really good to take a year out. Take a year away from your family. Not to be rude to them, but say we're going to take 12 months, and we're going to work out who we are as a couple. Not who we are as two individuals joined together. But what, what is this couple? What is this Berry family going to do?

Jo 16:31 Because I suppose if you think about it, the family that you've been with, you've built those connections, those relationships, those habits over many years before you meet your spouse.

Andy 16:41 Yep.

Jo 16:41 And so there's a lot of history, and things that have gone down, isn't there, that you bring into your marriage. And so you do need to set up your new home, and your new way of life, and, and your way of being.

Andy 16:52 Slightly silly example, but! When you get married you don't bring your rubbish do you?

Jo 16:57 No.

Andy 16:58 And you don't bring the toilet brush

Jo 17:00 No.

Andy 17:01 that you used to use. It's a bit silly. But, actually, it's not! Because you want a new toilet brush for your new toilet. It's a little thing, and actually you break ties with your old toilet brush. And, maybe a bit fickle, but do you know what? I think there's, there's something in that. We don't bring the fridge that belongs to our family with us. They might gift it to us. But we don't drag it out with us. Actually there's a lot of new. And in that new, if we are together as a couple before God, and working out what is it God wants us to do now that we are husband and wife, one flesh? Not, you know, two people who just happen to share the room, actually I think that could be really beneficial.

Jo 17:36 Lots to think about.

Andy 17:37 Take a break?

Jo 17:38 Yeah.

Jo 17:53 How do people talk to you normally? Do they talk in burning bushes?

Dave the Dog 17:56 Sit.

Jo 17:57 Sit

Dave the Dog 17:58 Fetch. Know what I say back?

Jo 18:02 What do you say back?

Dave the Dog 18:03 You chuck the stick? Get it yourself!

Jo 18:11 Dave. Are you there?

Dave the Dog 18:13 Ar, I'm here ar.

Jo 18:14 Oh, hello, Dave. Oh I think we got the same problem as last week. I can't see you.

Dave the Dog 18:18 Have you opened your eyes?

Jo 18:20 Yes, I've opened your eyes?

Dave the Dog 18:22 Oh!

Jo 18:27 You name it. He could play it.

Dave the Dog 18:30 Pipe organ?

Jo 18:31 Pipe organ. Yeah, with all those pipes.

Dave the Dog 18:33 Lots of buttons, like a spaceship.

Jo 18:34 Spaceship.

Jo 18:35 Yeah, you're looking good. Have you done something to your hair?

Dave the Dog 18:39 I had my hair sorted

Jo 18:40 You had your hair sorted?

Dave the Dog 18:41 Went to the dog groomers.

Jo 18:42 Cor, brilliant. You look great.

Dave the Dog 18:44 Thankyou.

Jo 18:44 It's good to see you. Do you know what your name means Dave?

Dave the Dog 18:54 Dave.

Jo 18:54 Dave. It just means Dave.

Dave the Dog 18:56 Yes.

Jo 18:56 Well, I looked it up and it's short for David. And it means beloved. That means you're lovable.

Dave the Dog 19:03 Long for d.

Jo 19:05 Long for d.

Jo 19:11 Big long stick to help him protect his sheep.

Dave the Dog 19:15 I like sticks.

Jo 19:16 You like sticks?

Dave the Dog 19:16 You gona throw a stick?

Jo 19:43 Tips and Resources section.

Andy 19:46 Tips and Resources Section.

Jo 19:48 When I was thinking about Family Matters, it made me think about the Skit Guys who've got their first film coming out ,movie if you like. I think it's coming out in the next couple of months in the USA. I don't know whether it be available quite so quickly, obviously, in the UK, but it's called Family Camp. And so it's certainly the, the adverts about it, sounds like that'd be really awesome to think about family. It fits in with family life and stuff. So I'm thinking that'd be a good one to watch.

Andy 20:13 Yeah, the advert, is it's a very functional family that perhaps isn't. And a very dysfunctional family that maybe is.

Jo 20:18 Yeah.

Andy 20:19 And then, in typical Skit Guys fashion, it kind of opens up a little bit.

Jo 20:23 Yeah.

Andy 20:24 So here's another one. Let me go to Matthew 12, Verse 46, through 50,

Andy 20:30 "When Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brother stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him your mother and brothers are standing outside wanting to speak to you. He replied to him, who is my mother, who are my brothers. Pointing to his disciples he said here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and my sister, and my mother."

Andy 20:53 Now, I was chatting to a friend of mine, the other night, and he was talking about his blog, and there's somebody who doesn't like to be called brother. And he tried to explain, look, if, if me is a Christian, you is a Christian, then now we're going to be brothers. And it was really profound. And it makes me think about this, because who is my mother? Who is my father. Who is my brother?

Andy 21:14 We're going to come on in the next section, we're going to talk about what, what family and in laws look like for us. But here's my Tip and Resource. Go away, study this Matthew 12, verse 46 through 50, as a couple and say, right, God, who is my mother? Who is my father? Where do they fit into our life? And coming back to that meat cleaver analogy, we need to cut those ties. It's not being rude. It's not about being horrible to people and saying, get out of my life. Perhaps that actually might be right, wise. We needed to do that, jumping ahread a bit to our next section. But, actually, it's about do you know what, you are a couple. You are one flesh, one person. And now you need to work out what does that look like for you.

Andy 21:55 So go away, as a couple, and consider who is your mother, who is your father, who is your brother? And specifically, what does that look like to you? What does it need to look like for you. The classic one is the son that's always going around to his mum's to get the washing done, even though he's married. And you know, that, that's not okay, unless your washing machine's broken. And, actually, it's good to move away. We don't move away quite as much as we used to do. But, in some senses, there's a real healthiness to moving away from your family so you're not relying upon them quite so hard. But you're relying upon each other. 'Cos the Bible tells us He's gonna give us what we need to accomplish, what He has for us to do. Therefore, when you get married, you will have everything you need, as a couple, to do all that God has for you to do, together, as a couple, for God.

Andy 21:56 Yeah, fantastic, brilliant one. And the other thing is prayer. You know, not accept the status quo, and yeah, we have to do this, or we have to do that, we have to go to this in law for this celebration. Whether it's Christmas or whatever. Or we have to keep doing the things we've always done. Take it to God in prayer. Because is it really God's best? Is it what God's asking you to do?

Andy 23:04 Ooh, if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

Jo 23:10 Who was that again? I forgot.

Andy 23:11 I don't know. But maybe God's got something even better.

Jo 23:13 Yeah, absolutely. So yes, prayer is absolutely vital, obviously. But pray into it, rather than just accept it, and think 'well, that's what you do'. Because God might have a better plan.

Andy 23:25 God does have a better plan

Jo 23:26 Well, He does, obviously.

Andy 23:27 Just sayin.

Jo 23:28 It might not be the plan that He has for you what you're, you normally do. Yeah.

Andy 23:33 I can pretty much guarantee it!

Andy 23:34 Shall we take a break?

Jo 23:36 Yep!

Andy 23:36 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is a new book. My first very, very first book that I've ever written. And it's all based out of the fact that, in life, we have hardships and we have difficulties. We have things that will break us physically, emotionally, mentally, financially.

Andy 23:52 There are these things that can come along that can cause immense hurt and pain. Maybe we've made a mistake, we've done something wrong. We have to face the consequences of that. We get broken.

Andy 24:01 Maybe we've just been caught up in a tragic accident and we've been accidentally involved in something that was nothing to do with us. It breaks us.

Andy 24:11 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is a book that I've written specifically because I've been through some difficult times. I've been broken! But, despite being broken, there was hope and that hope has a name.

Andy 24:24 Broken Dreams, and Hope! is all about the fact that no matter how broken we may have been there is still hope. And that hope has a name, and that name is Jesus Christ.

Andy 24:33 So here we are for The Take Away. And we wanted to touch a little bit on, 'cos we, we always say that Marriage Matters is about Real Talk and Real Life. And our family situation is such that we don't have in laws. They're not dead! But we don't have any contact with them. That makes me kind of sad. It makes me sad to say it, but it's really healthy for us, as a family. And there's lots of reasons for that. I'm not gonna go into those. But there are really good reasons why, actually, do you know what? In laws are not helpful in your life!

Andy 25:14 And if your priority is your spouse and your in laws, in your blood family, perhaps let's call it that. If they're getting in between you and your spouse, me and my wife. If they're getting in between you and your relationship with God, then what does the Bible teach us to do? Not a popular thing coming up! Tough!! Cut it off! Get rid of it!

Andy 25:32 If it's not helping your relationship with Jesus, then it's not good. God's got better? Coming back to your circle, about God in the centre? I would agree with that! Your spouse, within a marriage, obviously. Your spouse, yes, absolutely. Children, yes, I would then put your work. I would then put your service in your church. And I could go on with this. Your, your blood families kind of almost off the chart at the bottom. Not because they're not important, but there's much more important things that we can do as a married couple. And your blood family stops being the most important thing.

Andy 26:04 Now it's great to have family. We've had family involved in our life. It's wonderful. You move house, you make a phone call, people turn up, and that's great. We don't see Jo's family. We don't see mine. That's our life, and that is by choice. But it's also out of protection for us as well. And it wasn't, there was just nothing good about having a family in our life. It was so destructive and damaging to us.

Andy 26:25 But here's the beautiful thing. 'Who is your mother and your father? And Jesus replies, looking at his disciples, these are my brothers. These are my sisters.' You know, we've got people that we're in contact with who are amazing. We've got mums and dads. We've got uncles and aunts. We've got brothers, and sisters, and nephews, and nieces. It's fantastic. All these amazing relationships that come out of church family. Because God gives us what we need as a couple, to do everything that He wants us to do, for His Kingdom. And family is important. But family does not necessarily mean people you're physically, blood related, to

Jo 26:59 Yeah, I mean, yeah, that scripture you gave about Jesus saying who is my brother, who's my sister, He's talking about those who are obedient to Him. And we're really blessed to have children who know Jesus,

Andy 27:10 Yeah.

Jo 27:10 And it is good. I know that's not always possible. But that, that is really lovely, how we can just talk about God, and pray together. And that is the spiritual family, as well as being the biological family, which is nice.

Andy 27:23 So that's our situation. You know it aint what you might want it to be?

Jo 27:27 No.

Andy 27:28 It's not necessarily what we would want it to be. But you need to protect yourselves first. And by protect, I'm not saying, you know, physical violence. I'm saying protect yourselves. Our marriage. We protect the marriage bed, and that includes anybody, and anything, that would come in to defile, or put a wedge between, Jo and I. And what we found with our families is they wanted to separate us. Well, that's not conducive to a good, healthy marriage. So, do what you need to do for your marriage.

Andy 27:52 Once you get married your spouse is the most important person in your life after God. So that's why it's important.

Jo 28:02 Yeah.

Andy 28:02 So what are you taking away today?

Jo 28:04 Oh, you got it in first.

Andy 28:05 Yes! Get in.

Jo 28:06 What are you taking away? I suppose it's just how important the family is in the Bible. It's from beginning to end. I think there's just there's something about it in the, in Revelation as well. It's right there, absolutely through, how important family is, how God loves the family. And his plans for us are to prosper us and not harm us. And it's just beautiful isn't it, really, how God loves family.

Andy 28:30 My Take Away would be that God always provides what you need. And we need family. It's really important! Your blood family, like us, maybe this is helpful to you, to release you in your own marriage a little bit. In your own life, you don't have to have your blood family involved in your life!

Andy 28:47 I remember chit chatting to somebody talking about their other half saying, well they feel like they've got to go and see their parents, and it really was not healthy! It was beyond toxic. It was quite physically bad. 'Well, he, you know, they feel they have to go and, and spend time with them, and my skin crawls.'

Andy 29:03 You know, if if your alarm bells aren't going off at that point, then speak up for yourself! Really!! Because that's not healthy and that's not good. We're not supposed to spend time with people who terrify us. Or who can cause us physical, emotional harm. Not that we'll never get that sort of thing going on. But we shouldn't be choosing to be with people like that. And that's why we're supposed to cut things off. And that's the biblical way. And then you pray for a Nathan to come along and speak to them.

Andy 29:26 Jesus, it's interesting about Jesus, because He didn't really speak to His own people. He kind of went away, because they didn't really want to listen to Him, because they knew little Jesus the carpenter. And they didn't want to see Jesus the Son of God. So, you know, don't be afraid of following God wisely, prayerfully, biblically, righteously with wisdom and counsel, and saying, 'do you know what, this family is just not helpful for me. I need to get away from this situation'. You know, be honest and be real. But don't be afraid of doing what God's calling you to do. Because if you do, and we had to, He will provide what you need.

Jo 29:59 Yeah, absolutely!

Andy 30:00 So my Take Away is simply this. God provides everything you need as a married couple, to do everything that He desires for you to do, for His kingdom.

Jo 30:08 Yeah. Amen!

Andy 30:10 That's a good place to end isn't it!

Jo 30:11 Absolutely.

Andy 30:12 So thanks for watching Marriage Matters. We'll be back again next week for more of the same. Sorry about that. And, yeah, let us know what you think. Maybe you have a very, very different idea of what we're talking about with family. Maybe you completely agree, or disagree, that's fine, you can get in touch and let us know. There's loads of social media to do that,

Jo 30:29 Yeah.

Andy 30:29 Or a contact form. Or all sorts. Bye for now.

Jo 30:32 Bye.

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