About the Guest
Experience the sights and sounds of the Love Like You Mean It® cruise. Jim and Carol Shores portray in a skit a support group for the romantically challenged. Also, Matthew West performs an improvisational song and Gary Thomas gives a message about intimacy all from the recent cruise.
Experience the sights and sounds of the Love Like You Mean It® cruise.
Bob: [Previously recorded] You may now—now listen—wait, wait, wait! We don’t want any sissy kissing here. (Laughter) You may now passionately, and like you mean it, kiss your bride. Let’s go! That’s what I’m talking about.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, March 5th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We’re going to let you experience a little of what we experienced a few weeks ago on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise®. Stay tuned.
Bob: [Previously recorded] You can do it again, if you like.
Gentleman: [Previously recorded] How about a nice hand again for the Annie Moses String Quartet. (Clapping)
Bob: [Studio] And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Monday edition. That was quite a night. To be there, with those couples, on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise, as they recited their vows—it was just a special way to spend Valentine’s week. In fact, I was just thinking about this. If I were to ask you how you spent Valentine’s Day five years ago—that would be what—2007—
Dennis: It was a romantic setting—
Bob: You’re making this up.
Dennis: —the sun was going down.
Bob: You don’t know.
Dennis: I had a fresh piece of salmon cooked for Barbara. I served her. I washed her feet.
Bob: I’m asking what you really did.
Dennis: Then, I woke up from my dream.
Bob: Yes, what you really did—not what you were imagining. (Laughter) Now, if I asked you what you did Valentine’s Day last month?
Dennis: Worked my tail off! (Laughter) I was there with Barbara, and we were on a cruise ship with 2,000 folks—guests—who were a part of the Love Like You Mean It Cruise. Barbara and I were speaking. We were greeting people. We were in various meetings, and it was not a romantic getaway for us. Was it one for you, Bob?
Bob: Well, since I was working, as well, and since Mary Ann wasn’t along on the cruise—no, it wasn’t a romantic getaway; but you know what it was? It was a great week—
Dennis: It’s a grand-slam event. I mean, Monday through Friday morning—just a great getaway for couples. Nothing we do throughout the year gets the kind of response we get from the Love Like You Mean It Cruise—in terms of life change, in terms of people expressing appreciation, in terms of people talking about what it did for their marriage, their family, their lives, their mission, their vision for life. It’s like a spiritual wheel alignment for a couple—except it’s on the high seas.
Bob: This was the second year, in a row, that we have hosted this cruise; and both times it has sold out. We’ve had the entire boat to ourselves. We’re on our way to another sellout for 2013. In fact—
Bob: —already there’s a groundswell of folks signing up to be on the cruise; and I asked our team if we could do something special for our radio listeners, who might want to go along with us. They said, “We do have a special offer that we can make for two weeks to FamilyLife Today listeners.”
If you want to go online at FamilyLifeToday.com, the details are available there—the special offer we’re making this week and next week only—the two weeks it’s available. We hope that a lot of listeners will join us on the cruise in 2013.
Dennis: Bob and I have mistakenly referred to this cruise as being on the high seas. I said that; and then, Bob said there was a swell—
Bob: No, I said we had a swell time—is all I said.
Dennis: Yes, it was a groundswell is what you said; but you just need to know that the ocean at this time of year and all the years we’ve been doing cruises—and we’ve done several—not always the Love Like You Mean It Cruise—has been rather flat and really calm. So, for those folks who maybe get a little queasy about the ocean and seasickness, it really is a great time of year to go as a couple and to get four or five days together alone.
Bob: Because it’s Valentine’s week, we talk about themes of love, and romance, and—
Dennis: That’s right.
Bob: —intimacy, and—
Bob: —try to bring to bear what the Bible has to say about this. In fact, this year, Gary Thomas, who wrote the book, Sacred Marriage, was onboard the ship. He gave a message on sexuality in marriage. In fact, we are going to hear a portion of that before today’s program is over—
Dennis: Not a stodgy message at all—
Dennis: —very, very tastefully done but, nonetheless, forthright.
Bob: Voddie Baucham joined us and spoke onboard this ship as well; and some friends of ours, Jim and Carol Shores, who have a drama group that’s called Acts of Renewal®—they did a couple of dramatic pieces that were very well done. In fact, the first night on board the ship, they took us right into the middle of a support group. This is a support group for the romantically challenged.
Acts of Renewal: [Recorded skit]
Joan: For those of you, who have just joined us, welcome to our support group for the romantically challenged. Yes, we just all want to have romance come back into our marriages; so, please, please, feel free to share.
Man: That’s right. Joan and I are moderating this, but we’re learning along with you. We figure we could all use some encouragement as we figure this out ourselves. Would anybody else—Yes! Doreen.
Doreen: Hi. My name is Doreen; and I, too, am romantically challenged.
Man: Hello, Doreen.
Doreen: Oh, hello. Well, this week, I was reading a magazine of romantic tips in the checkout line. So, yesterday, I met my husband at the door, wrapped in nothing but a shower curtain. I had a whole bouquet of roses in my hair—sort of twined all in there with knitting yarn and bobby pins.
Now, they’ve been in a vase for a few days. So, they were getting a little stinky, but Lloyd has an olfactory problem. He can’t smell since I made him that ammonia cake a few years ago.
Where was I? Oh, the shower curtain! Well, I heard him coming. I ran to the door. I threw it open. I said, “Hi!” Well, dog gone it if he just didn’t take off, running across the yard. A neighbor had to tackle him behind the dog pen.
Now, my daughter says, “It’s probably because of the fact that it was a clear shower curtain—that might have just sent him into post-traumatic shock.” I just don’t seem to be able to get it right!
Man: Well, perhaps, the element of surprise might have been too much for him.
Doreen: Well, maybe. I just wish with all these “How To’s” they’d give you a couple of “How Come’s”—like how come these tips sound good on paper; but then, they don’t really do the trick? I just want us to be all lovey-dovey again. Oh, dear, I think that’s all I’m going to share for this week, but that’s good to get that off my chest. Thank you.
Zane: Yes, my name is Zane. I’m like romantically challenged.
Doreen: Hi, Zane.
Zane: Hey. The other night my wife and I—I’ve got to take this—
[Speaking on cell phone] Dude, no way! Awesome! Fifth edition—awesome! I’ll see you online!
So, my wife was all like, “Oh, gahh!” I was like all, “No, way!” She was all like, “Huh-uh!” Then, she was like, “Sorry!” but she didn’t mean it. What do you think we should do?
Dudes! I just defeated Onox! Ho; awesome! C’mon celebrate with me. Do the dance! Woo-hoo. Dude, you’re just like my wife. She never celebrates with me. She just stares at me; and I’m like, “I have never been to this level before. They have zombie aliens that can read your mind.” No lie. So, anyway, that’s my story. Thanks. Bye.
Man: Those are some great questions, and we are in luck because our extra special help for the romantically challenged has just entered the room. That’s right, folks. We get to hear it straight from the hip, from the answer man extraordinaire, the Love Boat maestro, the Doctor of Love, Mr. Bob Lepine. Wooo!
Bob: [Studio] You know, there’s something about those drama pieces that just kind of capture—
Dennis: It’s where we all live. They have a fun time. Jim and Carol are really the best at bringing it down home; but we also had some entertainers who were with us, Bob.
Bob: We had some great musicians who came along on the cruise. Paul Overstreet was with us—the Annie Moses Band, Sanctus Real, Michael O’Brien—and on Valentine’s night, Matthew West was onboard and had a chance to do a few songs for everybody. In fact, he did something that I don’t think he’s ever done in any concert ever before—little song he created on the fly—that I thought we ought to share with our listeners.
Matthew: [Previously recorded] Hey, it’s great to be here. Happy Valentine’s Day, all of you crazy, Christian love-birds. (Piano playing in background)
This is special. That’s why I thought there was smoke. I was like, “Man, somebody’s making out during the motions”—wouldn’t be the first time—actually, it would.
My name is Matthew West. That’s Court, and that’s Jeff. They are half of my band, and we’re honored to be a part of this cruise. The other half—they’re not here.
Man: [Previously recorded] They are out with their wives.
Matthew: [Previously recorded] They are with their wives tonight. We are in the dog house, but we did it for you! (Clapping) Because of that delayed applause, it didn’t feel quite worth it to be here. I’m just kidding.
So, man, it is Valentine’s Day, and we’re on a boat. That means there’s going to be a whole lot of baby-making going on tonight. Did I just say that out loud? (Laughter) Christians can make babies, too; right? So, you mind if I play you some baby-making music? (Cheering)
There were only like four people that were—there were like three—actually, it was like three. It was an odd number, which is weird. You know, one of the spouses is going, “No, we are not having another baby. We’re 75 years old.” Okay. (Laughter) What? What? I’m going to sing now. This is some baby-making music, but I made it Christian for you. So, hit it, Court.
Court: [Previously recorded] One, two, three. (Guitar strumming)
Matthew: [Previously recorded] You’ve heard of wedding songs. This is a honeymoon song for the love cruise. Goes like this:
(Singing) I’ve been really trying, Baby, to get with you for so long. Yeah. And if you feel the way that I do, Baby, then, just come on, come on, come on. Let’s have a Bible study. Let’s spend some time in prayer—‘cause this is a Christian cruise—let’s go to a seminar. It’s going to get real hot when we read the Psalms.
Okay, that’s all I got. Thank you so much. (Clapping)
(Singing) Baby, you know I love you.
I was just kidding. Are we having fun yet? If my wife was here, she’d be rolling her eyes so badly right now. Then, she’d leave and go get dessert.
Bob: [Studio] I noticed more than a few people going to get dessert on the cruise. (Laughter) I did that on occasion myself.
Dennis: Yes. Well, you can get a lot of dessert on the cruise, but you get more than that. Listen to this comment from the cruise this year. This came from someone who attended it.
“The cruise definitely brought my husband and me closer to each other and closer to God. The speakers were all wonderful, and the application projects helped us better connect and learn more about each other. My husband prayed out loud for us at dinner one night, and it was the first time I have ever heard him pray in ten years that we’ve been together. The money we spent on this cruise was worth every penny because it was an investment in our marriage that has huge returns. See you next year.”
Dennis: We have over 41 percent of the staterooms that are already sold because of folks like this who said they are coming back.
Bob: Since I knew there was some momentum toward next year, I went to our team and said, “We want our listeners to be able to come along, and we don’t want the cruise to sell out too soon before they get a chance to sign up.” For the next couple of weeks, our team has put together a special offer for FamilyLife Today listeners. The details of that offer can be found online at FamilyLifeToday.com.
If you want to check it out, find out who’s going to be joining us on the cruise next year. Anthony Evans is going to be with us, and Sara Groves is going to be along. Voddie Baucham is coming back, as well. We’ve got a number of folks who are lined up for the Love Like You Mean It Cruise of Valentine’s week of 2013. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information. You’ll have a chance to hear from some outstanding speakers onboard the cruise who will come along to talk about marriage.
This year, Gary Thomas was one of our speakers. He’s the author of the book, Sacred Marriage, and he shared a story on Valentine’s night—in fact, his message, Valentine’s night, was about intimacy. He talked about the fact that he had been on a cruise before—he and his wife—but they had had their children with them, and they’d all been sharing a stateroom.
Dennis: This year, when he came back, he—
Bob: —did not bring the children.
Dennis: —didn’t have any children.
Bob: As he shared the story, he mentioned that, after a few days onboard the ship, he was looking for just a little alone time with his wife.
Gary: [Recorded message] The first cruise that my wife and I were on was given to us by my parents. It was a multi-family vacation. They decided to splurge. They took everybody on this Caribbean cruise. So, I had all my siblings, and all the kids, and grandkids, and whatnot. We shared an interior cabin with my two daughters. I have a son, but he was with his cousins in a different cabin.
Some of you know, if you’ve been on one of these cruises with your kids, they just lower a thing; and you’re sleeping about 18 inches from your kids. Our kids were a little too old for us to pretend that, “They are just sleeping through this,” or, “—wouldn’t know what’s going on.” So, it was a rather frustrating week because we wanted to act like a married couple, at least one time on this boat; and we wouldn’t have that opportunity.
There was—the last day of the cruise—I had watched my brother’s and sister’s kids and given them time alone. Nobody had reciprocated. It’s the last full day of the cruise; right? We were just thinking, “This is crazy;” but there was one restaurant our kids had really been wanting to go to. It was called Johnny Rockets. It had hot dogs, and hamburgers, and milkshakes, and whatnot. It was the only restaurant on the boat that had a line.
Lisa and I saw our opportunity. (Laughter) Now, remember, the girls had key cards; right? You can’t really lock them out. They’ve got the key cards. So, I had to put the fear of their father in them. We got in line.
I said, “Now, kids, your mother and father have an errand to run. If you get up toward the front of the line and we’re not back, we don’t want you to come and get us because you might go down the staircase; we’ll go up that staircase. We’ll miss each other. We’re really hungry; right? We want to make sure we eat. I just want to make it clear. You will not leave this line until your mother and father are back.” “Okay, Dad, we’ve got it.”
“If you get up to the front of the line and we’re not back, go ahead and sit down. It’s okay. They’ll serve you. It’s fine. You’re old enough for that. Again, you don’t want to come find us because we might miss each other, and we’ll never get to eat. I want to make it clear: You’re not leaving here, right, until we’re back.” “Yes, Dad, we got it!” “Good.”
“Now, if you finish your meal and we’re not back, I’ll buy you the sundaes. (Laughter) I’ll buy you the milk—I will buy you this boat if you just promise me you’re going to be here”—“Dad, Dad, we got it. We got it.”
It is so easy to let life, in every stage, crowd out making this a priority; but one of the best ways to look at it is—I think Juli Slattery talks about this, and I think it’s a brilliant analogy. She describes sex as a Lego® set instead of a Tonka® truck. You know, a Tonka truck comes on Christmas morning. It’s put together. You take it out of the box. You’re playing with it. You’re moving around. Sexual relationships are a Lego set. You are building it. Then, you get bored, and you’ve got to tear it apart; and you rebuild it.
Every season of married life—when the kids are babies and all the challenge there—the challenge of pregnancy, the challenge of toddlers, the challenge of teens who stay up later than you and share a wall—every stage of marriage represents a new challenge—but when we understand God’s creational purpose for sexuality, when we understand how He blesses it to keep our families together, to preserve our families’ homes.
After infatuation, He’s now created us, men, with vulnerability so that, when we’re together with our wives, our affections are renewed like they never have been before. It’s a brilliant plan, and that’s what God is calling us to. Men, I would just say that one of the ways we could look at this is sort of like the sexual relationship. As a pastor, I call it the “canary in the mind”—when it dies, it often represents that something else has gone wrong because, particularly with our wives, it has everything to do with what’s happening outside of the bedroom.
I know men; and let me speak to your wives, on your behalf. It is so intimidating to a guy to be this vulnerable to our wives that God created us with a need that only you can meet in a biblical way—that only you can meet in a healthy way. We hate it. It’s humiliating; and you can use it against us, or you can use it to preserve your kids’ home to love the husband that God has given you.
Then, we can use it to have the healthy lives and to affirm our wives that they are the standard of beauty in our lives, that we become focused on them. If we ever go outside our marriage for any sexual desire, of any kind, at that point, that’s where sin, that’s where destruction, that’s where relationships die. That’s exhausting. Here’s the thing. As a guy, I’m saying to you, “Let’s fix it.” In humility, let’s go to our wives, and let’s listen. “Where am I wrong? Do I have a critical spirit?”
Wasn’t that long ago a guy in my office, who is a pastor, came in. He’s a CEO-type of guy. He heads up a business, and he knows how to fix a business. If they lose market share, he knows what to do. If they have to cut costs, he knows what to do. If they have to renegotiate a lease, he does it; and he admitted—I got him to admit it—he gave up on his marriage in the first year because it was too hard.
We’re guys—we like to fix things; but so often, when we face this issue in our marriage, we let it die. It would be one thing to let it die, but I’ve seen very few men navigate life when they live sexually-hungry. I’ve seen very few wives who feel completely fulfilled and connected with their husband when this area has died in their life. I’m not talking about medical issues, where it’s not a function of relational choices, but more of medical necessities.
As men, will we recognize, “God has created us vulnerable”? He’s given us an incredible gift; and by the way, it’s not that bad a payoff when we get it to work right.
Bob: [Studio] Well, we’ve been listening to just an excerpt of Gary Thomas’s message from the 2012 Love Like You Mean It Cruise—a message he titled, “Sexual Saints”. I thought he handled the subject with skill, with an appropriate candor, and yet, with some real challenge for us to embrace God’s design and plan for our marriage.
Dennis: Bob, here’s the thing about marriage. It works best when we do it according to God’s design. Another guest on the cruise made this comment, at the end—they said, “This cruise was used to help us realize to put God first in our marriage. For the first time in our lives, we prayed together, specifically about our marriage, our goals, and our commitment to Christ. My wife and I are closer than ever before, and we have a new interest in helping other married couples.”
Bob: It was interesting to me to see how many couples were with us who were celebrating a milestone anniversary—10 years, or 15, or 20. There were some 25. There were a couple of 50-year anniversaries onboard the cruise.
These are couples who have said, “We’re going to mark this special occasion with a special event that is not ‘just going on a cruise’; but it’s going on a cruise with a purpose—where we can deepen our relationship, our commitment to one another, where we can enjoy being together and celebrate the marriage that God has given us.”
I just want to encourage our listeners because I know how this has worked in the past. This cruise will likely sell out before long, and we’d like to have you be able to join us. In fact, our team has put together a special offer, available this week and next week, for FamilyLife Today listeners.
If you go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click on the Love Like You Mean It Cruise link, you’ll get the details of the special offer for the Valentine’s week cruise in 2013. You can sign up now and join Dennis and Barbara; and me and my wife, Mary Ann; and Voddie Baucham; and Priscilla Shirer; and Sara Groves; and Anthony Evans; and—we’ve got a great line-up for next year. We’d love to have you be a part of it.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise in 2013. Again, if you want to take advantage of the special offer that’s available this week and next week, we need to hear from you soon. Again, go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information. There is a link there. You can click on the link and get all the information you need about how you can be a part of the Love Like You Mean It Cruise in 2013.
Now, tomorrow, we’re going to hear the morning devotional that Dennis and Barbara Rainey shared with folks onboard the Love Like You Mean It Cruise—a devotional where they talked about how you keep your marriage strong in the midst of tough times, when life is throwing high and inside fast balls in your direction. How do you stay strong, together, as a couple? We’ll hear about that tomorrow. Hope you can be here for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.
Song: The Honeymoon Song
Artist: Matthew West
Recorded onsite: FamilyLife, 2012
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