Trent and Andrea Griffith share truth from the Bible to counter some common myths about marriage, including "Marriage is obsolete" and "Marriage will make me happy."
Trent and Andrea Griffith share truth from the Bible to counter some common myths about marriage, including "Marriage is obsolete" and "Marriage will make me happy."
Bob: Have you ever thought to yourself, “I would love to be a supermodel”? Andrea Griffith says, if you’re married, you can be that.
Andrea: You know what a model does; right? A model puts something on, and they make it look really good—like so good, that you want it. We, as married couples—we have the privilege and the responsibility of modeling marriage.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, March 11th. Our hosts are Dave and Ann Wilson; I'm Bob Lepine. So are you making marriage look good so that other people want what you have? We’re going to hear more about that today from Trent and Andrea Griffith. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Monday edition. We really didn’t get a chance to talk about this last week, but I just got back from being on the FamilyLife®Love Like You Mean It® marriage cruise.
Dave: Aren’t you special.
Ann: Oh, wait. Are you rubbing it in that we weren’t there? [Laughter]
Bob: We missed you this year.
Ann: Oh, okay.
Bob: It was sad not to have you guys joining us on the cruise, but you were very busy with the launch of Vertical Marriage; so you had a lot of stuff going on. I’ll tell you—it was a great week onboard the cruise. We’re going to feature, this week, some of the messages we heard on the cruise.
We want to encourage listeners—if you’ve ever thought about going on one of these cruises—first of all, it’s a remarkable event—surprising to me. I don’t know how you guys felt the first time you went on the cruise, but I was surprised at the kind of ministry that happens onboard—how couples connect on this event.
Dave: Exactly; we were blown away.
Dave: First cruise we took—we sort of weren’t excited.
Bob: Really? [Laughter]
Dave: Honestly; I’m just being honest. We were glad to go—we were going to speak about marriage, and we were excited about that—but we were like, “A cruise/a marriage”—I kept telling Ann [sarcastically], “We’re going on the Love Boat!”—you know?
Ann: He goes: “What are we going to do? We’re going to be on that cruise.”
Dave: And then we experienced it. We got off the boat after that week and it was just what you said—not only was it a fun time and enjoyable—but God does ministry in couples’ lives. There’s so many great things going on, on that boat. It blew us away; it was one of the best things we’ve ever done.
Ann: It’s rich, and there aren’t just speakers—which they have dynamic speakers that are inspiring—they take you to a depth of your soul; but then there’s comedians; there’s music. It is really, really good.
Bob: Well, next year’s the tenth anniversary for the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. To celebrate, we’re going to be on a completely different ship in 2020. In fact, we’re going to be on one of the largest cruise ships in the world. It’s a ship called the Allure of the Seas from Royal Caribbean. I looked at this—there is a zip line; there’s an indoor ice skating rink. I mean—
Ann: Ooh, I’m doing all of that.
Bob: All of that plus the speakers/plus the music—plus all of this stuff. We’re going to have the whole ship—5,500 people. Here’s the thing—70 percent of the cruise for next year is already sold out—
Dave: Yes; that tells you how great it is.
Bob: —this is people, who have been on it before, who have said, “We want to go again.” Our team said, “We’ve got to let our FamilyLife Today listeners know about it before it’s all sold out.” We want to make sure you’re aware this is going to be Valentine’s week next year, February 9th through the 16th. We’ll be leaving from Ft. Lauderdale. We’re going to Puerto Rico; we’re going to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands; we’re going to Coco Cay. We just want to make sure you are aware and have an opportunity to sign up. This month is Cruise Madness—that’s what they are calling it—Cruise Madness.
Dave: I’m getting in the tanning bed right now.
Ann: Do we get to go?
Dave: We’re going.
Bob: You are lined up for next year. Dennis and Barbara Rainey are going to be on the cruise with us next year. Dr. Gary Chapman from The Five Love Languages will be there—
Bob: —Charlie and Kirstie Dates—a great line up of singers.
This month, it’s Cruise Madness; because if you sign up, there’s a special offer for FamilyLife Today listeners. You just have to use the promo code, “CRUISE MADNESS,” to take advantage. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com for the information about next year’s cruise. And again, I hope a lot of our listeners—if you’ve never been on one of these, this is a great year to come—the tenth anniversary year. If you’ve been before, come join us again on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise next year, Valentine’s week.
Now, we’re going to hear Part One of a message today from our friends, Trent and Andrea Griffith. You’ve spoken at Weekend to Remember® getaways with them; right?
Dave: Oh, I love this couple.
Ann: Me too.
Dave: They’re dynamic.
Ann: And they’re super wise; they bring a lot to the table.
Bob: Trent is the founding pastor at Gospel City Church in Granger, Indiana. Andrea’s a speaker all across the country as well. They’ve got five kids. They live near South Bend, Indiana. They spoke this year about myths that exist in our culture today related to marriage and helped us recognize that the cultural perspective on marriage is different than the biblical perspective on marriage.
Trent: Okay; how many married couples do we have in the room? [Cheers] Alright. How many of you are still in love? [Cheers] I like that the volume went up and didn’t go down there. That was designed well there.
Trent: Let me show you a picture of a happily married couple; here it is right here. Actually, when that picture was taken, they weren’t yet married; they would be married about two hours after that photo was taken. I want you to zero in on the one in the middle—that is Brooke, my first-born child. I also want you to notice the creepy suspicious guy standing next to her, who just looks like he stole something!—[Laughter]—that’s David—that is now my son-in-law. Actually, I love David—he’s a great guy; he’s one of my best friends now. Anyway, that picture was taken about seven months ago; that was our family on that beautiful afternoon before the wedding.
Andrea: Yes; and as the mother of the bride, I was so excited; and Brooke was so excited. As I talked to my friends and tell them the plans about the wedding, some people would catch the excitement with me; but then others, I noticed they would just get this really puzzled look on their face. Some of them actually said: “Wait, like you mean people still do that? They still get married? Isn’t that a little risky?”—or I don’t even know how many times I heard—“Aren’t they going to live together first? You know, they really should try it out before they get all in in this marriage thing.”
I started to learn that not everyone thinks about marriage the way I do. I was so excited and so happy; and yet, all these other responses. I began to realize, “You know, people really think that marriage is old fashioned, at best, and maybe even obsolete, at worst.
Trent: As the wedding date was approaching and the countdown was coming—you see I was, not only father of the bride, I was also the pastor of the church—so during the wedding ceremony, I had to do double duty; right? Brooke came to me—she’s like: “Dad, we know you have a lot to say about marriage. We don’t want a four-hour wedding; okay? [Laughter] So you’ve got like 12 minutes.”
I said: “That’s alright; that’s alright. Because the five weeks leading up to the wedding, I’m taking the church through a sermon series on marriage.” [Laughter] I told the church: “I’m not pastoring these five weeks—I am parenting—because David and Brooke are sitting on the front row, and I’ve got a few things that they need to know before they dive into this.” There were a few myths about marriage I wanted to make sure that, especially, David understood and Brooke was reminded of. [Laughter]
So out of that came these myths. These are modern marriage myths that, unfortunately, I think probably a lot of people in this room believe; okay? You’ve already figured out what myth number one is—here it is: “Marriage is obsolete,”—you know, like the encyclopedia. One of my younger children came to me a few weeks ago and said “Dad, what’s an encyclopedia?” I said, “Just google it.” [Laughter] Anybody bring any film on the boat?—anybody take any film, and take it to Wal-Mart®, and get it developed like, you know, four days after you get off the ship? Yes; it’s obsolete; right?
Well, see, the culture thinks that marriage is like an encyclopedia or film—it’s just obsolete: “We don’t need that anymore. It’s so old fashioned.” Did you know that
40 percent of unmarried adults in America admit they think marriage is obsolete? In the year 1960, 72 percent of Americans were married. Today, that number is less than half.
I’ve got a question for you: “If we think marriage is obsolete, can I ask you, ‘Why did two billion people on the planet watch Harry and Meghan exchange vows to one another during the royal wedding?’” I’ll tell you why—it’s because, inside the heart of every woman, there is a princess, who is longing to be loved for a lifetime with an exclusive promise by a prince to love her, royally. We all want this dream of marriage. We really don’t believe it’s obsolete, and there’s really no evidence that it is. If you are married, you are doing something the culture thinks is counter-cultural.
Andrea: Our culture—we want something—we want to connect. We know we want something more than dating but maybe something short of a lifelong commitment to marriage. So you kind of have to ask the question: “Why?—why are we moving away from marriage, as a culture?” I don’t know all the reasons for that, but I think one reason is—I don’t think many of us have seen a durable, permanent, intimate marriage; so we just don’t even know if it exists anymore.
Think about the home you grew up in: “What was the atmosphere? What was the culture? Was it sweet? Was it something that you wanted for yourself?” I think those friends of mine, who were thinking Brooke was getting into something risky and scary—they’ve never seen a good marriage, and so they were taking backwards steps; they were backing up from it.
You know, now—we, as married couples—we have the privilege and the responsibility of modeling marriage to our children/to a culture that is watching. You know what a model does; right? A model puts something on, and they make it look really good—like so good, that you want it; right? Like take, for instance, Trent and his shirt—isn’t he just modeling this aqua shirt for us so nicely? [Whistles in background] It just makes you want the shirt; right?—[Laughter]—yes; well, that’s what we get to do with marriage. We get to make it look so good that our kids/that our culture says: “I want that. I’m all in.”
Trent: A lot of people think that marriage is obsolete, because they think God is obsolete; and yet, God has spoken into marriage—God is the inventor of marriage. We believe that marriage is good—that’s what replaces the myth. Here’s where He has told us about that—it’s in part of the Bible—it’s Proverbs, Chapter 18, verse 22. This is what God says about marriage—He says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.”
Okay, guys; you missed an opportunity there; alright? [Laughter] Now, I’m going to rewind that; I’m going to give you another chance to love her like you mean it; okay? So we’ll rewind that a little bit—you see, in God’s Word, in Proverbs 18:22, God says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” [Loud cheering] There you go!
You see, marriage is good—it’s good for a man; it’s good for a woman, and it’s good for children. Scientific research has proven this. Do you know that married people live longer, are physically healthier, show fewer signs of mental illness? They make more money, build more wealth, have more sex—better than single or divorced people. Marriage is good—it’s good for you. And when I say, “It’s good,” I don’t mean it’s good like broccoli is good. [Laughter] I mean marriage is good like Krispy Kreme Doughnut® is good; okay?—[Cheers]—soft-serve ice cream, in unlimited portions, with no children to lick it or take it away from you. [Laughter] Marriage is good!
Here’s the second myth: “Marriage will make me happy.” Happiness is the universal longing of the human heart—God put it in there—but God did not design marriage to make you happy. There is not another human being on the planet that can meet your need for happiness. As good as I make this shirt look, [Laughter] it does not mean that me in this shirt always makes Andrea happy. You see, you take two selfish people and you marry them, what you have is two ticks; no dog. [Laughter] They will suck the life out of each other. [Laughter] If you believe that marriage will make you happy, what you’re saying on your wedding day is this: “My happiness is now your responsibility, and my unhappiness is your fault.” That is a crushing weight that your spouse will not be able to support.
So, in order to be happy, whether you are single or married, you have to look to something outside of the marriage. I tell single people all the time: “If you are a miserable single person, you are going to be a miserable married person,” and “You’re going to create another miserable married person—the person that you marry.” You have to look to something outside of the marriage.
Andrea: I really believed this myth when we first got married. I was looking forward to marriage making me happy. One of the ways that I just knew would make me the happiest—I just knew, every night as I was falling asleep, that Trent would hold me. [Laughter]
Trent: Well, you see what happened was—[Laughter]—I found it very difficult to sleep with another human being, like pressed up against me—like breathing. [Laughter] And then, somehow hair would migrate over and start tickling my face; so I’m like: “Listen, we need a gap. [Laughter] We need a border; okay? If I’m going to get any sleep, you’ve got to stay over here; and I’ve got to stay over here. Now, if you mean business, you can come over any time! [Laughter] If we’re going to sleep, we’ve got to have a gap.”
Andrea: Yes; yes. So I wasn’t so selfish that I just thought of me, going into marriage; I was thinking of him too. I thought, “I wonder how many times the average married couple makes love in any given week?” Here I am—about to get married—I’m thinking I really need to find the answer to that, because I know that’s going to help make him happy. I found this Reader’s Digest. [Laughter] Right there, on the front cover, it was just telling me that; so I read in there. I look it up and it says that the average married couple makes love 2.1 times a week. I’m reading that; and I think: “Okay; I can do this. I can do this.” [Laughter]
Trent: Let me just categorically state that .1 has never made anyone happy; okay? [Laughter] I don’t even know what .1 is. How do you—what is that; okay?—but then, Reader’s Digest? I wanted to make her happy, too; but I’d been reading the Guinness Book of World Records. [Laughter] They had a different number!
Andrea: So we all come into marriage with these different expectations. We don’t even realize how different they are until one of us ends up disappointed; right? Then, we kind of trace it back and we realize, “Oh, I had an expectation there,”—yes? Or differences—we think we’re so alike before we get married; then after we get married, we’re like: “How can we be this different? There’s no way that two people could be this different.” Just between those differences, or our own weaknesses, or where we fail in our differing expectations, all of a sudden, we’re like: “You know, this marriage isn’t making me so happy”; so we’ve got to replace that with the truth.
Trent: Alright; so here’s the truth that replaces myth number two. It is not marriage that will make you happy. Here’s the truth: “Marriage will make me better.” [Cheers and applause] Those of you that are clapping are quite convinced you are there to make your spouse better. [Laughter] You’re missing the point: “How does marriage make me better?” Listen: “Marriage will make me grow,” “Marriage will make me change,” and “Marriage will make me holy,” if you will let it.
Bob: Well, we’ve been listening to Part One of a message from our friends, Trent and Andrea Griffith, about myths related to marriage in our culture. This is from the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, which just ended a few weeks ago. You’d agree with that—you guys are better today because you married each other.
Ann: I made Dave a lot better. [Laughter]
Bob: He’d be a wreck today if it weren’t for you.
Ann: It’s because I had so many flaws, it made him need Jesus even more. [Laughter]
Dave: She did make me a lot better.
No; I mean what Trent and Andrea are getting at is so true. I mean, it’s like you can buy into the culture’s view of marriage, which is myth; or you can buy into God’s Word, which is what they were talking about. It’s strange how marriage makes you better. You think it’s because: “Now, I have a person, that’s going to make me happy.” The truth is: “You find out the flaws, and the trials, and the hard things that you go through—because you’re married—bring out something great in us if we allow God to do that,”—that’s what God does.
Bob: If you ask most people today, “When have been the times of accelerated spiritual growth in your life?” they will not point you to the mountain tops; will they?
Ann: Never; they always go to the valley, where they had to bend their knee before Jesus and cry out for help; and He always meets us there. He always is there when we’re crying out.
Bob: And that’s true, even when we’re at odds with one another in marriage/even when we go through dark times together. God is using those valleys to help us become more like Jesus. And then, when you’re out of the valley—and you get out of the valley—your marriage is better; you’re better/you’re stronger; and you look back and you say, “Wasn’t God good to take us through boot camp so that we could be ready for what we’re facing?”
Dave: Yes; and the myth is, you know: “When it gets hard, people say, ‘I’m out.’” You know, the myth is: “I don’t deserve this. It shouldn’t be this hard.”
The truth is: “It is hard. God is going to actually really do something to make you better. Fight for it. Hang on and fight through it; and you’ll be a better person—better marriage/better legacy—after.”
Bob: There was a study done in the state of Oklahoma, years ago, where they had asked couples, who had been considering divorce, and for whatever reason they had decided not to go through with their divorce. Well, they waited five years from that crisis point in the marriage; and they went to those couples and said “On a scale of 1-5—5 being “Great” / 1 being “Worthless”—where would you rate your marriage?” Eighty-three percent of the couples, who had been thinking about divorce five years earlier, gave their marriage a 4 or a 5. The point is: “If you persevere through the hard times, things are better on the other side. If you’ll just hang in, you’ll find that, when you press through the valley, there’s a green pasture ahead; and it’s a sweet place to be.”
Ann: Every single marriage goes through times that you’re in a valley—a good marriage and a bad marriage—and that’s normal. The question is: “Will we go before Jesus in that and ask Him to change us?”
Dave: And I’ll add this—because I asked my dad one time/I was in my thirties—“Dad, did you ever regret the divorce?” Immediate answer: “Yes; I wish I would have held on. I wish I would have fought.” He was looking at me and he said, “I missed out on your life.” You know, it’s one of those men that went through it to say, “Hey, if I could do it all over again, I’d say,”—what we’re saying—“’Fight for your marriage; hang on.’” He didn’t know it; but if you do—the study proves it—you might just have a top-10 marriage if you fight for it.
Bob: Well, again, the message we’ve heard today from Trent and Andrea Griffith—if you’d like to listen to it, in its entirety, you can go to our website—FamilyLifeToday.com—and the message is available there. This was from the 2019 Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise.
The 2020 marriage cruise is just around the corner. In fact, the President of FamilyLife®, David Robbins, is here with us, who was also on board the cruise, just a few weeks ago, and will also be joining us in 2020. If listeners want to go with us, they need to act quickly; don’t they?
David: Yes; I mean, we are so excited to—not only have some of the best speakers and artists invited to make it an extra special tenth-year anniversary—we, actually, have gone really big and just gotten a lot bigger boat. My first year, here, as the President of FamilyLife—last year, Meg and I got to enjoy the cruise; but we watched it sell out in 29 days. And this most recent cruise—you know, there were so many people that didn’t get to go, who wanted to go. So for the tenth year, we are upping the amount of state rooms we have by over 1,500.
Bob: —almost double the number of people.
David: Almost double; yes. We want as many people to come and celebrate with us and invest in your marriage alongside us.
Bob: This is one of the four biggest cruise ships in the ocean today—5,500 people. Again, we’re 70 percent sold out. If listeners would like to join us, now is the time to act and take advantage of the special offer. Use the promo code, “CRUISE MADNESS.” Again, all the information is available, online, at FamilyLifeToday.com. We’d love to see you on board the 2020 Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise.
Now, tomorrow, we’re going to hear Part Two of Trent and Andrea Griffith’s message about myths related to marriage and what the truth is; so I hope you can tune in for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, 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; a Cru® Ministry. Help for today. Hope for tomorrow.
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