Introduction

In this week’s Marriage Matters, Andy B and Jo tackle some seriously difficult issues that can rear their ugly heads in marriages. And, as usual, Jo and Andy share their own experiences to encourage and support us in celebrating marriages in spite of these unattractive problems and help us find a healthy way to grow our marriages.

Jo highlights the fact that we can and will hurt the ones we love and how we need to be understanding and forgiving and Andy reminds us of what love is as described in 1Corinthians 13, noting that we should not keep records of wrongs!

It’s a hard-hitting stuff which was inspired by Hosea 3 which describes a challenging marriage involving adultery and prostitution and God calls the husband to take his wife back. Have a read for yourself and maybe read Hosea 3 and some chapters before and after to help you prepare for this episode – You can’t say we didn’t warn you!

The Meaty Section

Andy and Jo chew through some difficult topics and try and make sense of it all.

#RealTalk and #RealLife is just what we do!

Tips and Resources - some websites you can check out

The Take Away

Jo – “Marriages can face some really tough issues and we need to get help and pray!”

Andy – “Listen to the pain not the words. God forgave us, and He forgivers us with the measure that we forgive others – a sobering thought!”

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

READ THE TRANSCRIPT

Jo 0:28
Hello, and welcome to another episode of a Marriage Matters. My name's Jo.

Andy 0:34
And my name is Andy.

Jo 0:35
And this is the place where we talk about marriage.

Andy 0:40
Yes!

Jo 0:40
And how much it matters to us.

Andy 0:42
Yes! 'Cos Marriage Matters.

Jo 0:44
Absolutely.

Andy 0:45
Jo started, so you don't get my jokes. Sorry!

Jo 0:48
So what are we covering on this episode Andy?

Andy 0:51
Well, we're looking at, we're actually looking at the chapter of Hosea number 3 and I've forgotten the, I've forgotten the. Hang on. Love hurts.

Jo 1:00
That's it.

Andy 1:01
Well rehearsed. Love hurts.

Jo 1:03
And, so, if you want to keep in touch with all that we're doing, especially Marriage Matters, then you can like us on Facebook. If I get this wrong, you can correct me can't you Andy! Subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Andy 1:15
Yep.

Jo 1:16
And we're also on Twitter and Tumble?

Andy 1:19
Tumblr.

Jo 1:20
Tumblr. And obviously, do sign up to BerryBytes, for our weekly newsletter, and then you really won't miss out. It's www.family, Berry Bunch.family.

Andy 1:34
We've only been doing this for 2 years. www. 3 of them.

Jo 1:39
Yep.

Andy 1:39
BerryBunch

Jo 1:39
Berrybunch

Andy 1:41
.family

Jo 1:41
.family. Fantastic. It's really simple, really straightforward.

Andy 1:45
It's so simple we can't remember it

Jo 1:47
So, episode 3, Marriage Matters.

Andy 1:50
Yes.

Jo 1:50
And it's Love Hurts.

Andy 1:52
Love hurts. You can sing the song if you know the song. I'm not going to! That's not my thing. So, yeah, we're looking at Love Hurts. We're looking at divorce. We're looking at affairs. We're looking about infidelity. We're talking about pornography, we're looking at when is a marriage over? When do you fight for a marriage? And what does God say about all of that? So, a nice, simple, easy topic. A little bit of domestic violence thrown in as a subject.

Jo 2:16
yeah

Andy 2:17
Just saing. So yeah, that's what we're looking at.

Jo 2:19
Yeah, that's some really tough subjects you've just listed there. But they are in the Bible, aren't they. I mean that Hosea 3 really shows us something of a different relationship.

Andy 2:30
I'm not going to read it all out.

Jo 2:31
No.

Andy 2:31
Hosea 3 is in a part of a slightly longer narrative. Hosea 3 is actually quite short. But let me give you a title "Hosea's wife is redeemed". And 'll just read a few little snippets, just to give you a taste of what inspired me for this one. "Then the Lord said to me, go and love your wife again, even though she commits adultery with another lover."

Jo 2:51
Whoa!

Andy 2:52
Now you might take this as prophetic. You might say, this is literal. This is about Israel, actually. It doesn't really matter which way you take it, it's still pretty hard hitting. "So, I bought a bag for 15 pieces of silver" and it carries on. "You must live in my house for many days and stop this prostitution". Can you imagine having a chat with your spouse, and saying stop being a prostitute?

Jo 3:11
Wow.

Andy 3:13
I mean you know,

Jo 3:14
yeah, it's a whole

Andy 3:17
This, tha'ts a little tiny snippet of Hosea 3. So that's what we wanted to look at today. And it was a bit of an inspiration that I had.

Jo 3:23
Yeah.

Andy 3:24
I saw a post. The name's gone. Intimacy in Marriage, maybe no.

Jo 3:30
Yeah.

Andy 3:31
Anyway, a blogger. We'll link to them. And it was really interesting post.

Andy 3:35
There was one from Hot, Holy and Humorous, and was talking about pornography and, and whatever. And one of the things that, that J. Parker actually tackled was, please don't give advice from 155 words of a comment, 'yes, get a divorce'. Because you actually need some specialist help. And I think that's worthwhile saying.

Andy 3:50
We're not big into caveats. We're saying, look, this is what the Bible says, this is what we should do as a marriage based on 25 years of marriage. We're not really one for caveats, you know, 'ooh, be careful out this situation and careful about that situation'. But we do want to tackle this head on. And we do want RealTalk, and real life stuff, so that's what we're going to be sharing about. But there won't be any caveats because that's not really our thing.

Andy 4:12
But it struck me that somebody was giving advice, 'Yes, that's, that's pornography, that's therefore that's infinitely, you must get a divorce'. And I think J. Parker was quite right to say, 'Look, don't, please don't give advice. You need to be a counsellor. You need more than 155 words of a conversation before you even have the right to even speak into that life'. And preferably some letters after your name would be really helpful.

Jo 4:32
Yeah, I was thinking what we were going to cover as well is really about how we do hurt each other, don't we. We, we know things about each other as you journey in your marriage with your spouse. You learn and know things about each other, 'cos you share and you become intimate. And that is the vulnerability we've been talking about. But, of course, when you get into a bad place, you can cat start chucking things at each other, and hurting each other. And so love, love, love is a good thing, but love can hurt when we get into these arguments. And it's, and, so, that we'll also be talking about forgiveness and all those kinds of things.

Andy 5:06
Chuck away society, All that kind of thing.

Jo 5:07
Yeah. So, yeah, lots to talk about.

Andy 5:11
Shall we take a little break?

Jo 5:11
Yes.

Andy 5:12
Do you want to know Marriage Matters is all about?

Jo 5:14
Go on then!

Andy 5:20
So, Jo.

Jo 5:21
Yes.

Andy 5:21
Marriage Matters. What is it?

Jo 5:24
It is all about marriage 'cos it matters.

Andy 5:29
You're nicking my lines now, matters of the marriage because marriage matters a Marriage Matters of the marathon.

Jo 5:35
Yeah, cuz we've been married 25 years and we think it's really important to encourage one another, and build one other up, and help each other, because we can learn from each other as well.

Andy 5:46
We've made so many mistakes, where I've had to learn what Jo's done wrong and fix it. Like a mobile phone under a car wheel. A mobile phone at the bottom of the stairs. A mobile phone left outside overnight, and I get the blame. So, I've learned how to deal with these little issues.

Jo 6:01
Yeah.

Andy 6:02
Bowl of rice. Well, not if she's driven over it twice.

Jo 6:05
The bowl of rice won't help.

Andy 6:06
Some things are beyond help. But not Jo. And not in you're, not in your marriage, it's never beyond help.

Jo 6:12
No, absolutely not!

Andy 6:13
So, Marriage Matters is all about matters of the marriage that matters, because Marriage Matters. Saturday podcast from 4.

Andy 6:32
And, welcome back. There's even more of us, You can't escape us. We're even in the advert breaks. When we talk about what is it I'm supposed to be saying, you know? Now, normally Jo does this bit. Because she loves me, and I had the idea, she said I should start. So really sorry! So, yeah, we're looking at Hosea 3. We're not really looking at Hosea 3. That was just an inspiration for me, because it got me thinking about going through life, stuff's gonna happen, and we're going to hurt each other. And, actually, the more intimate we are as a couple, not just sexually, but, you know, in every kind of aspect of our life, whether it's your bank account, or the car you drive, or your car insurance, or whatever. All these things start to create a vulnerability. And the more vulnerable you are, the better the relationship gets. But the better the relationship gets, and the more vulnerable you become, the greater the propensity for possibly hurting each other. And that's kind of a double edged sword. But that's really what we're talking about at one level, is, as you get deeper in a relationship together, actually, you can hurt each other more.

Andy 7:29
How easy is it to say, 'Well, last time we had this, you did that, and we start throwing the past back in each other's faces. And we looked at, was it 1 Corinthians? About love?

Jo 7:41
Love is patient. Love is kind.

Andy 7:42
Thank you. Love is patient, love is kind. It's about covering over the faults of the other person. It's not about hiding sin. That's a different thing! But it is covering over the faults. For example, leaving the toilet seat up, you know, we teach our boys to put the toilet seat down. Well, if I don't put the toilet seat down one time, just Jo go 'What are you doing? You need to put the seat down?' Or, does she think, well, he maybe had a good reason? And actually, if the toilet seats ever up, you come to me and say, 'Is it up for a reason?'. And it's normally 'Yeah, I was in the middle of cleaning, so I left the seat up so you wouldn't use it? But it depends how you want to look at it. There's different perspectives.

Jo 8:17
I was just getting into it what you were saying.

Andy 8:18
Oh, there's more!

Jo 8:20
Yeah, so love hurts. Lots of things can go wrong in a relationship. Lots of things that we can say to each other in the heat of the moment. And, do you know, this society, we sort of live in a society on Facebook a lot, or social media, where we get offended very easily, you know. And you hear about it, and you think, you know, sometimes I think maybe that might be creeping into our marriages that we get offended.

Jo 8:44
I'm sure there's something in scripture that we shouldn't be offended so easily and, as Christians.

Andy 8:49
"Do not be quick to anger".

Jo 8:49
Yeah. And so, you know, we need to go to God and think about the relationship that, that, we have with God. Our relationship with God, in our, in our marriage, is important. The relationship we have together, prayer and everything. But, yeah, taking everything to God in prayer. And, yeah, 'cos if we get too offended, too quickly, the relationship's not gonna, not gonna last, or be strong enough to get through the tough times. And sometimes

Andy 9:16
And the tough times will come.

Jo 9:17
Yeah, I mean, sometimes we need to vent, don't we. We need to just, sometimes we just need to know the other person's just letting off a bit steam, or needs to get something off their chest. And they don't really mean it. If we come back at them with 'You just said that' and it just gets worse, doesn't it? So yeah, it's thinking about how we might respond to each other. And love is key. Absolutely.

Andy 9:39
Love is really key. So, we wanted to touch a little bit. So here here's a real, a real life situation that happened. This is when we were courting, so pre married. And back in the days of mobile phone were kind of brand new, and you didn't have them, so we used phone boxes back in the day. And I was on a phone call with Jo

Jo 9:53
Or phone booth in America.

Andy 9:55
Phone booth, yeah. And it was late. We were on a phone call. I was tired, and I had a bit of money left for the phone box and I actually lied to Jo 'cos I just wanted to go home and go to bed. And it wasn't a brilliant conversation. I don't even know what we argued about. Not a clue. Wasn't, you know, great. So I said, 'Well, that's it, I've got to go, I'm out of money'. And when the phone ran out, I went home. And I felt dreadful, because it put this huge wedge between us.

Andy 10:15
Now, we weren't married at that point. However, it put a massive wedge in between us just in terms of our normal relationship. When you do that kind of thing within the context of a marriage, it's much, much deeper, it's much more painful.

Andy 10:29
So I wanted to touch a little bit on pornography. I do not struggle with it. It's not something I have a personal problem with. I remember going to a men's weekend and there was me and another lad, and a really good Christian guy. And we were saying, do you know, we're getting really bored of being told how we really struggle with pornography, 'cos every man does. And, do you know what? We've got lots of things we struggle with, and this is not one for us, actually. And don't assume that only men can struggle with pornography. We've talked about this before. The Unveiled Wife, and her husband, had a real issue pornography. She had lots of pain when they first having intimacy together physically, sexually. And, because of the pain, it led to problems in the marriage, 'cos they'd waited for one another. And they're both from Christian backgrounds, and pain, and then pornography came in, and actually it's something that she struggled with, as well. And, so don't ever think it's a male issue. It's not!

Andy 11:20
Pornography. I would ramp into that anything from sex scenes on films, that I would class that as pornography, quite frankly. Romance novels that paint graphic pictures, it hasn't got to be moving images, it can be painting the words, you know. We've got very good creative minds. There's all sorts of things that I think we can lump in with pornography, from magazines, and books, to films, to all sorts of things. And it is an issue. It is serious.

Andy 11:46
If God says that what we do in our heart, it's as if we've, there was a thing in the New Testament, wasn't there, when he said, 'Well, if you're murdering someone in your heart, then God sees that as just as bad'.

Andy 11:57
Now we struggle with that as humans because well, they didn't actually murder anybody, therefore it's not as bad. Well, it's pornography therefore, it's not actual, physical, sex with someon, therefore it's not as bad. But, actually, in God's eyes, it is! There is no distinction. And the reason why I lump lots of films in with that as well, is, if something is sexually stimulating me, that is not my wife, I don't want it! And I've always, 'I don't want it'.

Andy 12:22
I'm not saying I'm perfect. I've not said I've never strayed, or struggled with this stuff. But I just I find it boring and stupid. And it's just It doesn't interest me. It never has. And, yet, if I did, that's still adultery in the eyes of God, as far as I'm concerned.

Andy 12:36
Now, you can disagree with that. We're happy for you to disagree. But if murdering in your heart, to God, is just as bad as murdering someone in the flesh, pornography where you're imagining having sex with somebody in your mind is gonna be just as bad as having sex with someone in the flesh.

Jo 12:53
Yeah, I mean, Hosea 3 talks about how God has called Hosea to get his wife back, having gone off and been promiscuous, adulterous, being unfaithful. And we know that that's one of the things that you can have divorce for, isn't it, is unfaithfulness. And, I suppose, actually, pornography could be a form of unfaithfulness can't it. And it's very hard to to have a relationship with, with that in the relationship. So, it's not an easy sort of thing to have to deal with.

Andy 13:26
No, and you need proper skilled counselling and help. I think we have to be really careful here. If somebody's having an issue with pornography then, hang on, my alarm's going off, supermarket tomorrow. If someone is having an issue with pornography, then it's not 'That it that's the end of the marriage', 'cos here's the thing, the whole thing of Hosea 3is God's saying to Hosea, that's Israel, well, they've been a prostitute, they've been having sex with somebody else, they've broken the marital contract. The Bible talks frequently about us, as brides of Christ in the relationship. So, Israel has broken the contract with God, but what does God do?

Andy 14:03
God then says, 'Well, I still love them, and I'm still gonna forgive them'. Now, this is where this is not a caveat. If you are in a situation in your marriage, where your marriage contract has been broken, it's an area of expertise, this stuff, that Jo's particularly excelled at, for the last 25 years. She is genuinely an expert in the field of domestic violence prevention in all sorts of levels, and ways. And, so, I'm being careful what you say, 'cos you can correct me if I'm wrong, which is quite handy. But the thing about domestic violence is it's what someone does to another.

Andy 14:31
Really, domestic violence is a fancy way of saying bullying. Now, bullying may be physical. It may be emotional, might be financial. You might be surprised to find out that more women actually physically abuse men than the other way around. There's an interesting little one from the Office of National Statistics. That usually baffles people, but it's true from the Government's own data.

Andy 14:50
It doesn't have to be physical. It doesn't have to be financial. It can cover a whole multitude, but it's basically bullying. It's just bullying within a certain context. And it's very serious bullying.

Andy 14:59
If you're in a situation where you are being physically abused, you need to get out. That's it? Can that marriage be redeemed? Absolutely. Should it be? Yes, if possible? Does it have to be? Not necessarily. You need to seek skilled counsellors. But if, you know, if the, if your wife is beating you up in any kind of way, whether it's financial, or physical, you know, get the police involved. Don't stand there and say stuff.

Andy 15:24
Now I wanted to touch really quickly. There's been a big thing in America in particular, about women who've gone to their pastors, particularly, and said, 'I'm in an abusive relationship, my husband has been beating me up' and the pastor says, 'Go home and be a wife'. Can I just say, please, don't ever give that advice! Because that is just so wrong and stupid. If somebody comes to you and says, 'I am being beaten up in my, in my marriage, my here's, here's the bruises from what my husband's done, or here's the debt, my, that my husband, my wife is forcing us to have' or whatever way around it is, call the police protect that person and care for them! That's it. That's what Jesus would do. That's what you must do.

Andy 16:04
Having said all of that, we want to be trying to, we're trying to tread a careful line here, because divorce is never ever gonna be good. That doesn't mean to say you shouldn't get divorced. Jesus was very clear on that as well. Like I said, RealTalk tonight. But, at the same time, if someone's beating you up, there's no marriage contract, period. It's gone. So there is no marriage to save. Now, you can redeem that marriage. There are plenty of websites out there, and marriage ministries, that will help you if your, if your husband's gone off and had an affair, they will help you to work through that. 'Cos here's the thing. We wanted to touch on forgiveness.

Andy 16:39
As a young lad, I wa, I've never said this publicly. What the heck! I was sexually abused as a boy. And I went to some pastors to say, look, this is what I've realised happened to me as a child. I went to 3different ministers from 3 different, very different, churches, in desperation for help. And I had 'Well forgive and reconcile, go back and say sorry, to the person and go and make yourselves right'. And I remember at the time thinking, would you say that to a woman who's been raped? Do you know gang rape joke? 'Well go back, and you know, but yourselves right?'

Andy 17:10
Forgiveness? Absolutely important! Reconciliation? Yeah, it can be right! But there's a phrase that went round, 'Forgive and Reconcile'. It's not biblical! Can I just say this? To forgive and be reconciled is not a biblical principle ever! To forgive? Always! To reconcile? Possibly. If you can, great. If it's healthy and appropriate. But it may not be. I'm saying a lot aren't I.

Jo 17:34
No, I mean, if forgiveness is really key, no matter what's going on in the relationship. Whether you're talking about really serious issues, that we've been talking about. Or whether, you know, you've had an argument and things have got out of hand. Forgiveness is key because, when you forgive that's about you, and not about the other person. Too often we think, 'Right, I'm not going to forgive them, I'll show them'. But you don't show them at all, because all you do is you cause harm to yourself. And we also, you know, our relationship with God is important. If He's forgiven us, and He's told us to forgive, then it's really important! And, so, forgiveness is really key no matter what. But it doesn't mean to say, like you say, you're gonna reconcile. It doesn't mean to say you have to put up and, you know, shut up and everything. Forgiveness is very, very different to then what you might do. So you can forgive someone and still call the police. You can forgive someone and still say, 'No, that's, that's, that's enough, you need to leave'. Or, you know, you can, like you say, God is an amazing God who can redeem and change lives incredibly.

Andy 18:33
I think one of the fascinating things was a couple that I knew. The husband had had an affair with someone who was in the house. There was a lot of calamity, which I'm not gonna say 'cos I'm not! That would draw too much detail to who these people were. There was a lot of stuff that went on, and there was a miracle that came out of that. And the wife realised, and I heard talked about this. She knew that, okay, her husband's had an affair. That's really bad! She knew she'd failed him. And that was what she talked about. She knew that she hadn't been a great wife. She knew that she pushed him into the arms of another woman. In no way does that ever, ever make what he did okay, by the way. But she knew that it wasn't just about him, because they're in a marriage, for a long time. And, actually, if he's having an affair, it's not that he's not having enough sex at home. Utter rubbish! I was gonna some't stronger.

Andy 19:18
Sex at home is never going to stop an affair. So, don't think more sex, therefore no affair. That's cobblers, that's a nice clean word. But, yeah, she realised that the affair, she was part of that because she'd pushed her husband away from her and in many ways, and that actually kick started a redemption for them, as a marriage, and they they came back together. And God did something really beautiful and special. Now, that doesn't mean to say that has to happen for you. It doesn't mean to say it's gonna happen for you. But that's their, that was their story. That was their situation. And God did some amazing miracles.

Andy 19:49
And this is the thing about forgiveness. I had to forgive the person that abused me as a child. It doesn't let em off the hook. But it lets me off the hook, by forgiving them. And that that's the same. Always forgive! Boy, it can be hard. You know, I was abused when I was a boy, and it was in my 30s when I finally realised. It took me a long time, a good few years to actually come to a place of forgiveness. It wasn't immediate.

Andy 20:10
And this is the thing about infidelity. Is pornography the same as having sexual sin with somebody else physically? Well, of course it isn't. And of course, it is. You're not having actual physical relationship with someone else. But you're still being drawn to somebody in a different way. So, it absolutely is not. And it absolutely is. So, you're going to have to seek some counselling, and guidance, and see where you're at as a marriage. But I think what struck me about this couple, that did get back together, having had an affair on the part of the husband, was the wife realising that it wasn't just about him having an affair. It was actually a consequence of a bigger problem in the marriage. And she wanted to fight for her marriage. And if you want to fight for your marriage, God is gonna bless you for that.

Andy 20:50
But that does not mean affair, carry on and get on with your life together as you always were, because you're married. Okay, marriage, marriage is not until death us do part, if the contract has been broken. But that doesn't mean to say yes, I'm gonna get a divorce. Isn't that wonderful? 'Cos there's no such thing as a good divorce.

Jo 21:07
I think if you are unclear, and you're confused, read the Bible. That's the instructions for life for a marriage, for everything

Andy 21:13
Get some decent advice.

Jo 21:14
And, as couples, I mean, we're moving on to tips but, you know, let's read the Bible together as couples. That's really helpful.

Andy 21:19
I know this is a deep one. It's a tough one. I've shared some't, but hey. that's fine. But forgiveness, I mean, you know, when I, when I lied to Jamie, before marriage, she needed to forgive me. We had some real issues. Have we talked about our getting married, and all the stuff around that?

Jo 21:33
We have done a bit, yeah.

Andy 21:34
We have done that one. Okay. Couldn't remember if we had, 'cos I didn't want to just drop stuff in? Yeah, so we had some real issues getting married, and Jo had to forgive me, for something that wasn't even my fault. I wasn't at fault for the struggles that we had to get engaged, the first time, and trying to get married. That was just, you know, more abusive stuff in my life. But Jo had to still forgive me. And in that forgiveness, you found real love, and a desire to help me. And, in a sense, became my knight in shining armour, or knightess? So yeah, forgiveness, always forgiveness! Forgive and reconcile? If you ever hear that from anybody, please, if you hear somebody saying, 'You need to forgive and reconcile', can you just go and tell them to get in touch with me, and I'll have a little chat with them. Because to forgive and reconcile is never, ever, ever a biblical principle or construct. Forgiveness? Always! Reconciliation? Possibly! Shall we take a little break?

Andy 22:24
Yeah, let's do that.

Jo 22:25
So, let's pray. And's gonnacome on and show us how to pray. Excellent. What, what have you got there?

Andy 22:31
It's my World Atlas.

Jo 22:33
Okay.

Andy 22:33
So I can pray for the world.

Jo 22:34
Okay.

Andy 22:35
You see, prayer is good.

Jo 22:36
Right. Okay. Are you gonna show us how to do that then?

Jo 22:38
Yeah. Yeah. So I've gone I've got m Atlas. And if you go to the letter A, I'm gonna start here. So

Jo 22:44
Yeah

Andy 22:45
Please, God, please bless Abenra and Arcshun and Arbor.

Jo 22:51
What did you like about the story?

Dave the Dog 22:53
Bob.

Jo 22:54
Bob, you liked Bob?

Dave the Dog 22:55
And the stick?

Jo 22:57
And the stick?

Dave the Dog 22:57
Me like sticks.

Jo 22:57
You liked the sticks.

Dave the Dog 22:58
Me likes sticks a lot I do.

Jo 23:00
Well, okay, well, we'll try and make sure there's some more stories with sticks in

Dave the Dog 23:03
Thankyou

Jo 23:03
Dave, especially for you.

Andy 23:16
So here we are for Tips and Resources after a nice, lightweight, meaty section.

Jo 23:21
So you've got a lot of books that touch on these subjects actually, don't you. And some, lots of websites that we can link to.

Andy 23:27
Yeah, there's all sorts. If you've had infidelity in your marriage, there are loads of places you can google Christian resources for that. Or go speak to your local minister. People like Fierce Marriage. A really good website. hot, holy and Humerous is another great one. And they've got resources. Unveiled Wife is another great website. And these are all pointing to different places.

Andy 23:48
If you've got a real issue with pornography in your marriage, there are loads of really good, thankfully now, good websites. Don't think pornography is like a soft sin and it's okay. It's like saying there's a white lie, or a soft sin. It's either good or it's bad. So yeah, get some advice. I haven't really got much in the way of links immediately, 'cos I've never had to look!

Jo 24:09
No. I was just thinking about sort of tips and stuff. And, you know, you hear about marriages that go through a really tough time, time, don't they? Like, you know, really tough things that just pull them apart. Like maybe a loss of a child, or something like that. And, somehow, the marriage doesn't seem to be able to hold together. But, oftentimes, and I think if God's involved, actually, those hard times can bring you together. So, if you do suffer with infidelity, or pornography, or some really tough stuff in your marriage, where you've really hurt each other so badly, or things have just gone on for a long time. Sometimes it doesn't have to be such big subjects as this. It could just be saying one nasty word, and they just sort of pile up, don't they? And it's, it's rather than one big thing it's lots of little things isn't it?

Andy 24:52
It's the pea under the mattress isn't it.

Jo 24:54
But I'm just thinking, you know, God is a healing God. And, actually, if you allow God in, it can make you stronger, you know. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or something.

Andy 25:04
Yes. I saw a thing the other day. It was a woman holding a fork up to her husband, looking at is as if throughprison. It's like, no, it's not worth it. It's not worth it. It made me chuckle anyway.

Andy 25:15
I think another tip is, as Christians, we have to be saying, God forgives us, for all the dirty stuff that we've, all the bad, all the evil, all the sin. Jesus went to the cross just for you and just for me and just for Jo, and He redeems us. Now, your marriage may be beyond, beyond redemption in your eyes. It may not be in God's. It may be that you need a divorce, because it's not safe for you. Fine, get out of the house, get some safety, get the police involved. If your church is not gonna support you find one that will. And I think one of the tips is, sort of tip and resource that kind of feeds into what we're talking about, is God loves marriage! God hates divorce!

Andy 25:56
In Hosea 3 we see God reaching out through Hosea in this prophetic message to Israel, that He's not given up on them. And I think any situations we're in, it's really important to remember that God hasn't given up on us, and we shouldn't be giving up on each other.

Jo 26:09
Yeah.

Andy 26:10
It may be that you have to give up on the marriage, it may be that that has to come to an end. And that's really tragic when that happens. But, you know, it happens.

Jo 26:17
I did, I've met lots of different couples who have had to go their separate ways. And what really, sort of makes me feel good, although I know that separated and, and never get back together again, how they speak highly of one another, perhaps almost even have a better relationship. And it isn't just ,and not just for the children, but they like to speak highly of the other person, particularly when there's children involved. And I just think that's, you know, it's lovely, isn't it, that you can go your separate ways, and have that healing, and that sort of positivity. So, you know, God, God can help us wherever we're at on these journeys.

Andy 26:55
I think part of the Tips and Resources, as well, is get yourself some help.

Jo 26:58
Yeah.

Andy 26:59
If you're in an abusive relationship, if your wife is beating you up physically, go to your pastor, call the police, et it involved. If you pastor says, 'oh, be reconciled', ignore them, and find someone that will help you. Leave that church. That's not, that's not a godly church if that's gonna happen. I'd also say some ministers really don't understand this stuff, they really haven't got a clue. They can be really quite naive sometimes. And I found three in a row, sadly, of really good respected churches where I lived. And I knew these people, I knew the churches, and they were sadly quite useless. And what we've seen in America, I think, was it the Southern Baptist Convention and stuff is more, sadly, very naive ministers 'Oh, marriage is the only thing that's important.' Well, Marriage Marriage Matters, you know, we, that's whole point of this podcast. But, do you know what, God loves you more than your marriage. And I think that's worth saying.

Jo 27:44
Yeah.

Steven 27:54
So Endurance, wait, no, I'm Steven.

Nathan 27:57
I'm Nathan.

Steven 27:58
And we're brothers actually,

Nathan 28:00
Yeah, in case you hadn't noticed. I mena, I know the much more masculine physique on this side may have thrown you off.

Steven 28:08
Yeah, I'm actually older.

Nathan 28:10
Yeah.

Steven 28:11
Taller. Stronger.

Nathan 28:14
Maybe?

Steven 28:15
No, definitely.

Nathan 28:17
Anyway, that's not the point of Endurance. It's Spiritual Training, not physical.

Steven 28:21
Yep, yep.

Nathan 28:21
Not that we obviously we don't compete that much.

Steven 28:24
Nor spiritually. You shouldn't compete spiritually either.

Nathan 28:27
No. But I am better than you.

Steven 28:29
I dunno know what to say to that.

Nathan 28:33
There is no, no answer.

Steven 28:35
So, the point of Endurance is all about 1 Timothy,

Nathan 28:37
Taking the mick out of each other.

Steven 28:39
It's all about 1 Timothy 4, verse 8 which says

Steven 28:43
"Physical training is good, that training for godliness is much better."

Steven 28:46
And so it was an idea which, I think it was my idea actually, wasn't it?

Nathan 28:51
It was a joint effort. There's no I in team.

Steven 28:54
Yes, so it was definitely my idea.

Nathan 28:56
Yeah.

Steven 28:56
And the idea being that we have to, well, I was challenged because basically I enjoy exercise. I was doing lots of weight training, lots of running, and I was getting a bit obsessed

Nathan 29:06
You were failing to train spiritually.

Steven 29:09
Yeah, you could say that I was idolising physical fitness rather than

Nathan 29:13
So we created Endurance to help him learn better how to balance spiritual and physical training.

Steven 29:19
Yeah, basically. Okay.

Nathan 29:23
Because I've already cracked it.

Andy 29:24
No, no.

Nathan 29:27
No.

Steven 29:27
You've got a long way to go yet. So go check us out.

Nathan 29:32
I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I mean, you're way behind.

Steven 29:36
Cut!

Andy 29:49
So here we are for The Takeaway.

Jo 29:50
Yes.

Andy 29:51
The Take Aaway. So what are we going to take away from today? Well, we've had some pretty honest conversations. We've shared some pretty strong words. Okay, I've said some pretty strong things. The church has, let's be honest about this, as someone who was in full time ministry, I think I have a right to say this, the church has abjectly failed men and women who have been suffering domestic violence at home, who have been suffering physical violence. And to be bit more specific, the church has failed too many times. And one of the things I'm really conscious of is the importance of standing in a gap. And I taught our boys to do this at school. 'If you see someone being bullied at school stand in the middle. And if you get into a fight, I don't care what the school says, if you're defending somebody, that's what we should do as Christians'. We should stand in the gap and not worry. It's not about being violent. It's about standing in the gap, actually. And I think marriages needs people standing in the gap. And that's partly what our heart and passion is.

Andy 30:46
So part of my takeaway is a reminder that this this podcast is really important. This is about saying, look, this is our marriage. It ain't perfect. But, 25 years in, we've learned a lot. We've come a long way. We've survived this long, because God in the centre. We've had some difficult times. The divorce word was thrown around really badly at one point, by both of us, which was not helpful at all. And, actually, my Take Away is a reminder that what we're doing is quite important. Because God loves marriage. The devil hates marriage. We touched on the fact that the husband, wife, model that God created in Genesis is the very strongest building brick for a society, for children in particular. There's lots of research behind that. I'm not gonna bother going listing all tha. There's loads of research for that. And that's God's plan. Unsurprisingly, it was a good one.

Andy 31:39
And I'm reminded of the importance of what we're doing. So get behind a marriage. Pray for a marriage. Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer for your marriage. And don't ever underestimate the power of prayer for somebody else's. We've had, I think it's about three weeks in the last 15 years, where we've taken a week at a time to fast, and pray, for a marriage that we saw was in trouble. Now, that's not all about divorce.

Andy 32:00
One couple we prayed and fasted for, for seven days because they couldn't have children. And we wanted to pray and fast. There was another couple that we prayed for, they were having some real struggles with illness with one of their child, so Jo and I prayed and fasted for a week. I like my food. And I'm not very good at fasting, but do you know what? Marriage is worth it.?

Jo 32:18
Yeah, I mean, this, the Take Away for me then is just realising just how many things that can come up against a marriage. And so many challenges there are. And some really, really tough things that can go on. Whether we're talking about domestic abuse, whether we're talking about pornography, or unfaithfulness, adultery. These are really, really hard things to struggle in life with. And, you know, there's no two ways about it, we need things like Marriage Matters, we need to fight for marriages and we need to help each other. We, we can't do this on our own. And, again, when you get married, you know, people stand up with you and say, 'Right, we're going to come alongside these guys'. And I think you're right, you need to seek help when you need it. Because we can't do it on our own. I mean, it's just us together, isn't it? We're, we're the guys who are responsible for whether this marriage works. It's a two way thing, isn't it? But we do need other sometimes to help us through and to stay strong and get through some of the difficult times.

Andy 33:19
Definitely.

Jo 33:20
Yeah, so yeah, you need people, a network of friends, family, people that you can go to, books and advice, and things like that. But, yeah, marriage is under attack, isn't it, by all kinds of things in this world. And I think we've highlighted just a few.

Andy 33:35
We've, we've glanced over, as I say, Jo's an expert in the field of domestic violence. We are, I think at 25 years experts in a marriage that works. We're exposing our marriage. We're pretty good at that. So okay, let's try and lighten things. So when have you, when have you struggled with our marriage and how did you decide to keep fighting? We haven't had any of these really massive issues. But, yeah, how did you help? When kept you going?

Jo 34:00
When di I struggle When did you struggle? Well, sometimes you have, you can be really difficult and you get, you, sometimes, how do I word it? And yeah, I can get frustrated by that. I just feel like I'm not getting anywhere fast. You know, you're not listening to me. So I suppose there are times there, like that, isn't there where

Andy 34:28
I am listening to you. I'm just choosing to ignore you.

Jo 34:30
Yeah, yeah.

Andy 34:32
So, how do you get through that?

Jo 34:33
I'm not being listened to. How do I get through that? I've learned I suppose to just chill out about it really, 'cos part of it is, it's always like, you know, again, it's coming back to not being offended, isn't it? It's a bit like, really does it matter that much, and try and stand back a bit and go well why are they not listening? Are they, are you busy? Or is it, have I taken something the wrong way or just just letting it go?

Andy 34:58
Sometimes we can take things so badly. "Why don't you ring me? I've been texting you all day. I never had a response. What's the problem? Are you in a ". "My phone battery was flat and I didn't know, didn't know your number."

Jo 35:09
Yeah.

Andy 35:10
We can, we can we can take fating for sneezing.

Jo 35:12
Yeah.

Andy 35:12
Is that phrase we can use? I've used it now!

Jo 35:14
And I just go, what I do is I go alone, if I feel frustrated and think, oh, okay, I just need to go and shut the door and spend some time with God. And then just chill out and let it wash over me, or maybe some really heavy music.

Andy 35:31
Well, that works. We hear that.

Jo 35:33
A little bit of moshing.

Andy 35:34
A bit of moshing. Yeah. Yeah, I think likewise, when I'm struggling with you, for whatever reason, I think there's a ministry from the States. Dr Neil T. Anderson, and he has freedom in Christ ministries, which is great. Go and look that out. You want a resource that will change your world? Then go and look at that. He just takes all bits of the Bible and sticks it in a lovely little condensed way. It's wonderful.

Andy 35:54
Anyway, he talks about this, about listening to the pain. And he painted this brilliant picture about he came home one day from, he was a minister in a church. He came home exhausted. He had so many intense situations, and so many emotional problems to have to try and deal with, for people during the day. He came home and everyone was kind of shouting and screaming. And he just wanted 10 minutes, peace and quiet.

Andy 36:16
His wife, unbeknownst to him, had been at home with three screaming kids and was having a really intense day. And when he came through the door, it wasn't a very good greeting between the two of them because they both wanted time. And he put some of his own work into practice. And the thing is, we need to understand the pain. And if we understand why their response is like this, hy, what's hurting them? Where are they struggling? All of a sudden it's not about 'they've done this to me', but 'how can I help them?' How can I encourage my wife. She's having a bad day. She's just snapped at me for no reason whatsoever. What's the matter? Ok. Her water glass is a bit empty. It's a bit hot in here. She looks like she's a bit intense on something. So she's probably stressed about something. So I'll go make her a cup of tea. And look for the pain. Try not to hear the words so much. Look for the pain. That's my Take Away.

Jo 37:02
Good advice that.

Andy 37:03
I've got good at that! So, we'll be back for more Marriage Matters next week. This is a slightly longer episode. We've touched on some rather delicate issues. But, hey jo, this is Marriage Matters where we discuss issues that are real. RealLife and RealTalk. So, we hope you've enjoyed that. Get in touch if you got any questions or thoughts or comments. If you disagree, you're welcome to. Let us know. We may disagree back. That's okay. We're not going to cancel you. We're not into that. So, yes. Thanks for joining us and we will be back again for more next week.

Jo 37:32
Yeah, bye for now.

Andy 37:33
Bye for now.

Jo 37:48
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Steven 38:01
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Andy 38:08
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Nathan 38:18
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Andy 38:32
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Andy 38:43
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