FamilyLife Today® Podcast

Having a Marriage Without Regrets, Part 2

with Kay Arthur | January 20, 2012
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Do you want to develop greater love and intimacy in your marriage? Learn how today as internationally known Bible teacher, Kay Arthur, talks about the goal of marriage and the unique roles of a husband and wife.

  • Show Notes

  • About the Host

  • About the Guest

  • Do you want to develop greater love and intimacy in your marriage? Learn how today as internationally known Bible teacher, Kay Arthur, talks about the goal of marriage and the unique roles of a husband and wife.

  • Dave and Ann Wilson

    Dave and Ann Wilson are hosts of FamilyLife Today®, FamilyLife’s nationally-syndicated radio program. Dave and Ann have been married for more than 38 years and have spent the last 33 teaching and mentoring couples and parents across the country. They have been featured speakers at FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway since 1993 and have also hosted their own marriage conferences across the country. Cofounders of Kensington Church—a national, multicampus church that hosts more than 14,000 visitors every weekend—the Wilsons are the creative force behind DVD teaching series Rock Your Marriage and The Survival Guide To Parenting, as well as authors of the recently released book Vertical Marriage (Zondervan, 2019). Dave is a graduate of the International School of Theology, where he received a Master of Divinity degree. A Ball State University Hall of Fame quarterback, Dave served the Detroit Lions as chaplain for 33 years. Ann attended the University of Kentucky. She has been active alongside Dave in ministry as a speaker, writer, small-group leader, and mentor to countless wives of professional athletes. The Wilsons live in the Detroit area. They have three grown sons, CJ, Austin, and Cody, three daughters-in-law, and a growing number of grandchildren.

Do you want to develop greater love and intimacy in your marriage?

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Having a Marriage Without Regrets, Part 2

With Kay Arthur
January 20, 2012
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Bob:  The Bible makes it pretty clear, “God is very serious about faithfulness in marriage.”  Here's Kay Arthur.

Kay:  Marriage is a commitment.  In the Book of Malachi, God is taking His people to task.  He says, “You're putting away your wives.  You're putting away this wife of covenant, and I hate divorce.”  The thing that we forget is God is the sovereign administrator of every single covenant—not only a covenant made between God and man, but a covenant made between man and man.

Bob:  This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, January 20th.  Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  How can you experience real fulfillment in marriage?  We’re going to talk about that today.  Stay tuned.

And welcome to FamilyLife Today.  Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition.  Today is the last opportunity I have to remind listeners about the special opportunity they have to sign up for one of our upcoming FamilyLife Weekend to Remember® marriage getaways that we’re going to be hosting this spring in cities all across the country. 

If you sign up today or by the end of the weekend—you’ve got through the weekend to do this.  If you sign up today, we’re offering for FamilyLife Today listeners a buy one, get one free opportunity.  You buy one registration to the conference, and we’ll throw in your spouse’s registration for free.  Really, it’s a one-week, half-price opportunity.  Today is the last day we’ve got to talk about it.  The weekend is almost upon us, and this is the last weekend for you to take advantage of this. 

Let me encourage you—go to  Find out when the conference is coming to a city near where you live, check and make sure that weekend works for you; and then, you can sign up online.  Keep in mind you’ve got to identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener. 

Here’s how you do that.  As you’re filling out the registration form, when you come to the promo code box, type my name in—type “BOB”.  Then, when you finish the registration, we’ll automatically deduct the cost of one registration; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY and say, “I heard about the special offer for FamilyLife Today listeners.  I’ve got some questions.”  We’ll answer whatever questions you have.  We can get you signed up over the phone.  Again, the number is 1-800-FL-TODAY.  Online, you’ll find us at

Do it today in order to take advantage of these savings. 

Keep in mind—the Weekend to Remember comes with an unconditional, money-back guarantee.  If for any reason, you want your registration fee back; we’ll return it to you—no questions asked.  So, you really can’t lose.  You’ve got an opportunity to save some money if we hear from you before the weekend is over.  1-800-FL-TODAY is the number; or go online at  We hope you have a great time this spring at one of the Weekend to Remember marriage getaways.

Now, at this point, with the guest that we’ve got on the program today, I’m just going to go ahead—check out, say goodbye.

Dennis:  Well, you know what?  It’s interesting—

Bob:  I’ll see you in about—

Dennis:  No, I’m going to join you, Bob.  (Laughter)

Bob:  You coming, too?

Dennis:  Well, I'll tell you what—

Kay:  I love you guys.

Dennis:  Yes.  We love you, too.  Well, she has written a book called A Marriage Without Regrets.  Today, I want to talk about something that Bob and I would—we wouldn't find it difficult to do because I don't have a problem representing Scripture; but it has to do with the next generation of daughters that we're raising and the young women coming out of our homes, our youth groups, college programs and entering into a commitment with a man to forge and form a marriage.

Now, I know Kay, because you've made it very clear you embrace Scripture, that you have some very solid convictions when it comes to a woman who has decided that God is calling her to be a man's wife.  When she enters into that covenant, she's making a decision about the rest of her life; isn't she?

Kay:  Exactly.

Dennis:  She’s making a relational commitment to a man to support him, come alongside him, and to—

Kay:  —be what she was created to be. 

Dennis:  —be a helpmate.  Now, that doesn’t mean she becomes a non-person.  That doesn’t mean that she’s worth less than him.  It’s not a matter of value.  It’s a matter of call, and it’s a matter of God’s design.

Kay:  Exactly.  One of the chapters in my book is called “What Is My Value as a Woman?”   I want you to know it does not precede the chapter on men.  The chapter on men, “The Role of a Man”, comes before my chapter on “What Is My Value as a Woman?”  I believe the man is the leader.  I believe the man is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.  I believe what the Bible says—just like you.  You know?  He's to love her sacrificially, he's to nourish her, and he is to cherish her. 

The thing that we forget is God is the sovereign administrator of every single covenant—not only a covenant made between God and man, but a covenant made between man and man.  You see that throughout the Scripture.  As I enter into covenant, I have a role in that covenant.

As a woman, I have a role.  If I'm going to be married, then, I am created as a helpmeet, a counterpart, a “complementer”, a completer to that man—not a “competer”.  Well, I have to understand that I was not created male.  He didn’t create two males.  He created a male and a female. 

Now, if I'm going to have a strong marriage, if I’m going to raise godly children, I have to see that, as a woman, that my career—and it’s a high, high career—my career is motherhood.  My career is being the homemaker.  My career is being the wife that I should be. 

Dennis:  Let's just move it down to the bottom line.  You believe that a wife, when she moves into a covenant relationship with her husband—do you believe when they make the decision or they're blessed by God to have children, should she be working outside the home?

Kay:  No, I don't believe that she should.  The Bible very definitely teaches that those are my responsibilities.  Now, the husband plays a big role with the children, but I am to be the keeper of the home.  I am to see that that home is in order. 

So, ideally, and if I want the very best—I don’t want any regrets, and I’m not looking at today, and I’m not looking at me, but I’m looking at tomorrow, and I’m looking at the fact that God opened my womb—God gave me these children, and they need mothering.  I mean, I can tell you story after story. 

We bought a lie in the '60s.  We bought a lie that women needed to be independent, that women needed a career.  Do you remember that ad about being an Enjoli® woman?  “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget that you're a man.  I'm an Enjoli woman.”  So, now we say, “I can bring home the bacon, I can fry it up in a pan; but I am too tired to let you know that you're a man.” 

That's the problem—we are tired, our children are tired, our husbands are tired.  When you—I’m talking about being physically, physically tired—she’s out in the marketplace doing whatever.  Then, she comes home.  She still has the laundry—even if she has a housekeeper.  In this book, Marriage Without Regrets, you can go into the financial section, and you can find out it is possible for you to stay home financially.

Now, I'm not talking about a single mother.  I'm saying God knows and He understands those situations.  There are answers there, but we're not dealing with that right now.  We're dealing with a husband and a wife.  I would say, “Darling, stay home.  Take care of that house.  Don’t let another person raise your children.” 

We don’t realize, for instance, how important touch is to a child.  We don’t realize what happens just hormonally and what is secreted within a person’s body just by reaching over, touching, patting, and rubbing.  In the book, I share—they’ve done experiments with premature infants; they have done experiments with children—we brought a child into this earth; we are responsible to take care of them—not a surrogate mother.

Dennis:  You know, it's interesting, Kay, there is a generation of young families that are starting today, and that is not their perspective.  The perspective is that, “We both need to work.  We need a certain standard of living, a certain style of living.”  There are even a number of them, Kay—and I know I’m moving on to some touchy ground here, additionally—who are so involved in ministries, so involved—

Kay:  Right.

Dennis:  —in the work of ministry, that they are abandoning their husbands and their children at home for the work of God out in the marketplace, so to speak. 

Kay:  Exactly, the Christian market place.  They think that that is going to be honored by God, and they think they are giving God first place.  See, they are not giving God first place because what’s happened is—let me go back to the 1960’s. 

In 1963, Betty Friedan really—in essence, the Feminist Movement was launched.  In 1963, I found out what it was like to be a real woman—I got saved.  So, she's launching this movement of independence, and I'm finding out the results of that independence with what I did and where I ended up.

Dennis:  I want to stop you there—

Kay:  Yes.

Dennis:  —because what was launched in the early '60s was a different ideology that told women to find their power, their influence, their fulfillment, somewhere else other than being submissive to any higher authority—whether it be God, a man in marriage, or to their family.  It was an encouragement for a woman to become independent. 

I believe the scourge of the divorce rate can absolutely be traced backwards to the escapism that was launched by the Feminist Movement in the mid-60’s; and now, has been embraced and taught like the Bible on our college campuses and universities for the past three decades.  So, we have an entire generation of men and women—Christians who have bought into a lie that a woman is to be powerful, a woman is to seek her own fulfillment.  We're talking about married women at this point.  I'm not speaking about those who do enter the marketplace.

Bob:  Well, let's be quick to add here that the Feminist Movement was born out of men who had failed to fulfill their responsibilities as husbands and as fathers, who had left wives restless, who had undervalued and under-appreciated their involvement at home—leaving that restlessness in the heart of a woman.  It's not something we can simply point to women and say, “You led us down the primrose path.”  We, as the guardians of the city, we men, let down our guard.

Dennis:  If men had been men and they had loved their wives, they had cared for them spiritually, they had nourished them, and cherished them, and given them value and esteem, and helped exalt them, and see their gifts used, and proclaimed them, and honored them in the marketplace as being the shapers of the next generation, I don’t believe much of the Feminist Movement would have ever occurred. 

Many of those women who gave birth to the Feminist Movement came from such dysfunctional families.  It was out of their own angry, spiritually-darkened heart toward men, that they gave birth to the Feminist Movement in the first place.

Kay:  Exactly.  In my book, in the chapter on my value as a woman—what happened?  We believed the feminist lie.  Then, I take it one step back, and I take you across the ocean to Julius Wellhausen, when he was the one that introduced higher criticism.   In other words, “The Bible contains the Word of God, but it's not the Word of God.  It has error in it.”  So, we believed that lie.  That lie blew across the ocean, came to the United States of America, landed in seminaries.  The seminaries that stood for the Word of God became cemeteries because Jesus’ words are Spirit, and they are Life. 

Now, they say they're not true.  Man, then, without the Word of God, starts living according to his own understanding.  Living to his own understanding, he doesn't know how to treat a woman.  Then, what you hear is just, “Wives submit.”  You don't hear, “Husbands, love your wives”—

Dennis:  Right.

Kay: —“as Christ loved the church”—

Dennis:  Right.

Kay:  —“gave Himself for a sacrifice.”  You don't hear that.  Alright, so then, the Word gets twisted.  That’s all they’re hearing.  People don’t study the Word.  They don’t know the Word. 

Along then, like you say, women are not being treated right.  Women are hurting.  So, along comes Betty Friedan with a message that actually came out in 1895.  It described a woman feminist as a woman who has in her the capacity of, “Fighting your way back to independence.”  That was back in April 27, 1895, in this edition of this publication.  That's where the root of it comes from. 

So then, we believe the lie; and I take it back to the Garden of Eden.  How did we get in trouble?  Eve believed the lie.  The lie was that, “God doesn't mean what He says, and you're not going to suffer the consequences if you eat of the fruit of this tree.  You can be as God”—now, what is that?  “You can be independent.”

Bob:  Okay, what if a woman is working today because her husband has told her he wants her in the marketplace?  She's got “submit to your husband” on one side; God saying, “Be a lover at home.”  What does she do?

Dennis:  Let's add a little flavor to this. 

Kay:  Okay.

Dennis:  Let's say one of the reasons why he is wanting his wife to work is to support some of his hobbies—

Kay:  Yes.

Dennis:  —that he enjoys, okay?—some of his sports that he partakes of on the weekend.

Kay:  One of the things that we have to understand is that, “Yes,” a woman is to submit.  She is to be under his order.  She is to submit to him as to the Lord.  The woman is not anything less as a person because she's a woman.  God made them equal.  God made them to rule over His creation. 

Dennis:  Right.

Kay:  So, she's just as intelligent as he is—

Dennis:  Right.

Kay:  —she's just as gifted as he is—there has to be a head.  So, she goes to the head and she says, “Look, this is what God says,” or, “Let's find out what God says.  You're asking me to do something; now, let's see what the Word of God says.”  I believe, then, you sit down; you study the Word of God. 

Then, the husband is brought face-to-face with, “What does God say about the woman?  What does God say about the man?”  Then, he becomes responsible.  So, she comes back.  She says, "Look, this is what it's going to do.  This is what it's going to cost us, and this is not according to the Word of God.  Now, are you willing to trust God?  Are you willing to be obedient to God?

“Are you willing to watch God provide our needs?  I'm willing to live on this kind of a budget.  Alright, I'm willing to do this.  Now, are you willing?”  If he says, “No, I want you to work,” then, what I would do is I would start fasting, I would continue to pray, and I would say, “God, it's down to this.  I’m going to obey him.  You're going to have to bring him in line.”

Dennis:  In that, you're exhorting that wife not to resent her husband's lack of direction, passivity, maybe wrong values, disobedience to the Scriptures, or his lack of understanding of the weight that this is upon his wife.  I hear a strong exhortation there to embrace God and not become embittered towards your husband because your kids will feel that.

Kay:  Exactly.  See, the thing is—and I tell women this all the time—it is not your responsibility to make your husband holy.  That's God's.  That's between God and your husband.  44444 task is to make him happy.  Happy means that you provide the circumstances, the happenstance, where you get out of the way so that you are not the adversary. 

Dennis:  Right. 

Kay:  You need to continue—see, a woman is smart if she knows what a man's basic needs are.  A man has two basic fears.  One is the fear of being ruled over by a woman.  The second is the fear of being found inadequate.  That's why He says—and these are the two commands He gives to a woman—reverence your husband. 

So, if I do that, then, I'm doing what 1 Peter, Chapter 3 says, “I get out of the way.  If I have a husband that is disobedient to the Word, then, I win him without a word.  I win him with my spirit.  I win him with my genuine winsomeness.”  I’m to remember that someday I’m going to stand before a holy God, and I don’t want a marriage with regrets; I want one without regrets.

Dennis:  That's what you write about in your book, A Marriage Without Regrets—is for a husband or a wife to lean upon Jesus Christ and to gain his or her joy from Him rather than gaining that sense of joy and, really, circumstantial pleasure just from things going right in the marriage relationship.  You're calling people to dig into their relationship with Christ—

Kay:  Exactly.

Dennis:  —and to grow there first.  Bob, I've got to believe our listeners are going to benefit greatly from a book like this because, as you might predict, this is a very thoroughly biblical book and is one that points people back to the Source and the Maker of marriage in the first place.

Bob:  Well, just like today's broadcast has been challenging to some of your thinking, perhaps—

Kay:  Bless your hearts. 

Bob:  —the book's going to be challenging to your thinking.  Here's what I'd say, “If you listened to the program today, and it made you flush in the face, you got a little angry, and you said, ‘I don't like what she's saying.  I don't agree with her, and I don't think that's right,’ I'd encourage you to get the book, read it, then, study the Scriptures, and see if she's wrong.  If she's wrong, write her and tell her she's wrong.”

Kay:  Right.

Bob:  If she's right, and if what she's writing does bear out with what the Scriptures teach, then, you have to deal with the issue, “Am I going to do what the Scriptures have called me to do?”

Dennis:  Everyone has got a life that they're wagering, based upon something.  The question is, “Is it going to be a life wagered in faith, in trust, and dependence upon the Word of God and the blueprints he's given us?”

Bob:  The book that Kay has written is called A Marriage Without Regrets.  We have copies of her book available in our FamilyLife Resource Center.  Go online at for more information on how you can get a copy of the book. 

Again, the website is; or call toll-free at 1-800-FL-TODAY, 1-800-358-6329; and we’ll make arrangements to send a copy of Kay’s book out to you. 

Then, don’t forget.  This is the last opportunity I’m going to have to remind you of this special offer we’ve been making this week for FamilyLife Today listeners.  Sign up for an upcoming FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway.  When you register this week and identify yourself as a FamilyLife Today listener, you will save 50 percent on your registration cost.  It’s a buy one, get one free registration.  You pay full price for yourself, and your spouse comes absolutely free; but you’ve got to sign up today, or at least by the end of the weekend, to take advantage of the special offer.  It expires at the end of the weekend. 

Go online at  You can investigate, find out when the conference is going to be in a city near where you live or a city you’d like to go to on a weekend that works for you.  Once you’re ready to sign up, fill out the registration form online and type my name—just type, “BOB”—in the promo code box.  That way, we will know you’ve been listening to FamilyLife Today, and you’ll qualify for the special offer.

Or simply call 1-800-FL-TODAY and ask any questions you have about the conference.  We can get you registered over the phone.  Just make sure you mention you heard about the special offer on FamilyLife Today, and you’ll qualify for that.  Again, it’s a buy one, get one free offer.  By the way, the registration comes with a complete money-back guarantee.  If you come and, for any reason, you want your registration fee refunded, we’ll send it back to you—no questions asked.  You really can’t lose on this deal. 

Again, the website is; call 1-800-FL-TODAY to register over the phone.  Plan to join us this spring at one of our upcoming FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaways.

By the way, as most of you are aware, there are a number of U.S. servicemen and women who are coming home, finally, after a long tour overseas.  As you know, it can often be challenging at home when a mom or a dad is back on the scene after having been gone for a long period of time.  Here, at FamilyLife, we have established a scholarship fund to try to send as many service people and their spouses to one of our Weekend to Remember marriage getaways this spring as possible.

We are asking you, “If you can, help make a contribution to that scholarship fund.”  We’re calling it, “The Finally Home to Family” scholarship fund.  All you have to do is go to and click on the link that says, “Finally Home to Family”; or you can call 1-800-FL-TODAY and just mention that you’d like to make a donation to the scholarship fund for service people, “The Finally Home to Family” scholarship fund.

If you’d like to make a donation using a text message, text the word, “HOME”, to the number 28950; and you’ll get instructions on how to make a donation using your mobile device.  Again, the word is “HOME”—text that to 28950.  Let me just say, “Thanks,” on behalf of these service people and their spouses for your participation in this scholarship fund.  We’re hoping that we can see thousands of these servicemen and women and their spouses at an upcoming FamilyLife Weekend to Remember marriage getaway, thanks to your generosity. 

With that, we’ve got to wrap things up for this week.  Thanks for being with us.  Hope you have a great weekend.  Hope you can join us back on Monday when we’re going to hear from Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace about what real marriage looks like.  We’re going to start off Monday by hearing a little bit about their very real marriage and some of the challenges that they have faced.  I hope you can tune in.

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 Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today

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