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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Going All Out for Your Wife (Part 1 of 2)

Going All Out for Your Wife (Part 1 of 2)

Steve Farrar warns that Satan has a two-fold strategy for every Christian man - to sever relationships between husbands and wives, and to alienate parents from children. Steve encourages men to renew their commitment to their families, and offers five strategies for marital fidelity. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: November 11, 2021

Jim Daly: Hi, this is Jim Daly. And today is Veterans Day in the US and Remembrance Day in Canada. A day set aside to pay tribute to all veterans of our armed forces, including those who gave their lives for their country. Let’s thank them for their service. I’ve never had the privilege of wearing a uniform, but I’ve had the pleasure of knowing many men and women in the armed forces, including my own brother, Mike, who served with us Navy during Vietnam. And on this special day, I think of the words of Jesus, who said that the greatest form of love is to lay down your life for your friends. So next time you see a veteran, let me encourage you to say thank you to them, pay for their coffee or their meal at a restaurant, express your appreciation in some tangible way, and if you can thank their families who also make sacrifices while their loved ones are away from home. Also, please join me and praying for our veterans, asking the Lord to bless them for their service and sacrifice. We owe each person a debt of gratitude.

John Fuller: When you got married, did you make a vow that included this kind of phrasing, “For better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health?” Well, if you did, listen on to today’s Focus on the Family, because we have encouragement, especially for men who are keeping that promise.


Dr. Steve Farrar: Anybody can be committed when it’s better, but the test of commitment is when it’s worse, worse than you ever thought it would be. Anybody can be committed when it’s richer, but it’s the test of commitment is when you lost your job or when the money is not there. Anybody can be committed when there’s health, but the test of commitment is when there’s sickness.

End of Preview

John: That’s popular speaker Steve Farrar, and we have a message from him today on Focus on the Family with your host Focus president, Jim Daly.

Jim: John, today’s message will be a great one for men. Uh, but I want to tell women to stay with us, because I think you’re going to enjoy our guest as well. In fact, the last time we aired this show, a wife wrote in to say, “Thank you for airing this message from Steve Farrar. My hubby has been making huge changes and doing all he can to implement these ideas. I’m so grateful that I stepped aside and let God work in his heart.” Uh, man. Wow, that is perfect.

John: That’s a great story, and what an important point she makes about allowing God to work in her husband’s heart.

Jim: (laughs) That’s so right, John. If you’re a believer in Jesus Christ, you have access to the Holy Spirit and he can create change in the heart of either of you, and that’s a great source of hope to hold onto. So if your marriage is maybe more worse than better, uh, don’t despair, Focus on the Family is here for you and we want to encourage you. Uh, we have resources, tools, counseling, and in depth, marriage intensives, if that’s what you need. Uh, we’ll talk about that at the end of the program today.

John: And Steve Farrar, as we, uh, continue here is the founder and chairman of Men’s Leadership Ministries. He was a pastor for 15 years, but now devotes all of his time to leading men deeper in their walk with Christ, and with their families. He’s written a number of books over the years. And what we’ll hear today is from his bestseller, Point Man: How a Man can Lead his Family. Here now, Steve Farrar speaking to over 50,000 men at a Promise Keeper’s event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

Audience: Applause.

Dr. Farrar: A young polar bear was out fishing one morning with his dad. Not a lot was happening and as they were waiting for a bite, young polar bear said, “Dad, can I ask you a question?” His father said, “Well, sure, son. What is it?” He said, “Dad, am I a 100% polar bear?” His dad said, “Well, sure, you’re 100% polar bear. I’m 100% polar bear. My folks, 100% polar bear. My grandparents, all the way up the line, you’re 100%. Your mother, she’s 100% polar bear. Her folks, her grandparents. Both sides, son, you’re 100% polar bear.” And then he thought for minute and he said, “Son, why would you ask if you’re 100% polar bear?” The little guy looked at his dad and he said, “Dad, I’m freeze out here.”

Audience: laughter.

Dr. Farrar: Hey, how many of you guys are 100% married? Let me see your hands.

Audience: cheering

Dr. Farrar: All right, that’s great. You know, sometimes even though we’re 100% married, we don’t always feel married. I heard about a guy recently in Dallas where I live, and he had a horrible week, on Monday he found out a deal he’d been working on for several months and he’d been counting on, fell through. He wasn’t going to get the commission. On Tuesday, he missed a major deadline because of some things beyond his control. His boss got on him. By Wednesday, all he wanted to do was just survive ’til Friday. Things just kept getting worse, and all he wanted to do is, he said in his office Wednesday afternoon, he said, “I just want to make it to Friday. I want to get home, have some dinner and, and watch the ball game.” Well, he finally made it to Friday. Things did get worse. He’s in traffic going home. It’s gridlock. It’s like, he’s coming to Promise Keepers. It’s unbelievable. He walks in the door. Finally gets home, walks in the door and there’s his wife standing there and she’s all dressed up, obviously, ready to go. And she can tell by his face, he doesn’t have a clue. And she said, “Sweetheart, you obviously forgot, we’re having dinner with the Wilsons.” He said, “Oh no.” He said, “I don’t want to.” She said, “Sweetheart, we’ve canceled twice, we have to go.” He said, “Okay, let me just get a quick shower and a shave. Why don’t you pull the car around front and we’ll go.” She said, “Fine.” He gets in the shower shaves. He walks out and his wife is standing by the car next to it and the car is running. She’s got a strange look on, on her face, and, and she says, “Sweetheart, I’m sorry I locked the keys in the car.” Well, you know what? That was it, the guy just lost it. You guys ever heard of something called displaced, anger? All the anger from what had happened at the office that week just came out on his wife and he looked at her and he said, “You know.” He said, “Honey, I don’t know how God could make someone so beautiful yet so cotton picking stupid.” A harsh thing to say, but she knew this guy and she knew he was under pressure. And she said, “Well, sweetheart, I’m sure it’s for our benefit.”

Audience: laughs

Dr. Farrar: He looked at her and she said, “You know, I believe God made me beautiful, so you could love me, and he made me stupid, so I could love you.”

Audience: laughing and cheering.

Dr. Farrar: I couldn’t believe it when Mary said that to me.

Audience: laughs

Dr. Farrar: You know, gentlemen, this is great to see all these guys here in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s great to see what God is doing. And gentlemen, we all need to understand something that as we gather here, if you’re a guy who loves your wife, if you’re a guy who loves your kids, you need to understand that as you follow Christ, you, you need to understand, my friend, that we’re at war. The scriptures have told us in Ephesians chapter 6, the church has always been at war. But it seems over the last few decades that the enemy has trained his full assault forces on the Christian family. There is an enemy out there who is very, very real. And there’s an enemy, gentleman, who has, I believe a twofold strategy for every Christian guy that’s in the, this racetrack this morning. He has a twofold strategy for you. He has a twofold strategy for me. And just quickly, let me tell you what the twofold strategy is. Number one, he wants to alienate and eventually sever the relationship that you enjoy with your wife. It used to be our laws kept families from divorcing, but then we changed our laws and we’ve made it easy for men and women to leave their commitments. The scripture says this, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two shall become one.” That’s God’s plan. You and your wife are one flesh. If you love Jesus Christ, there’s an enemy who hates your guts. He wants divorce to hit your home. Now we’ve got divorced guys here, and I want to tell you something, I’m glad you’re here. Some of the most teachable guys that I’ve ever met my life for guys that have been through the heartbreak of a divorce. We’re glad you’re here. But those of us who are married, those of us who are remarried, we don’t want that to happen. We want to be aware of what the enemy is up to in our lives. We’re at war guys. That’s why, I was in the shower one morning and I was thinking about the fact of the families at war and how many families are going down. And I thought about the fact that if that, if you’re a husband and father, you know, a lot of you guys were in the military. Some of you guys were of my generation, some of you guys were over in Vietnam, and some of you guys know what it is on a particular day to be chosen, and you’re going to lead on that day a small patrol, maybe it’s a reconnaissance mission, but you’re the point man. You’re walking the point and your leadership is critical to the survival of your men. Well, we’re at war in this nation, over the family. And if you’re a husband and father, you’re the point man. You’re not leading a bunch of guys, you’re leading your wife and kids through the moral chaos of a nation that’s lost its moral compass. And the enemy is trying to bring us down, gentlemen. That’s the fact of the matter. You know, I’m just curious. This would be interesting to know. How many guys here served our nation over in Vietnam? Let’s see your hands. Why don’t you guys stand up for a minute?

Audience: Applause.

Dr. Farrar: Yeah.

Audience: Cheers.

Dr. Farrar: That’s right. Now that’s what should have happened when you guys came home. We appreciate what you did.

Audience: Cheers.

Dr. Farrar: That’s right. Let’s thank those guys.

Audience: Cheers.

Dr. Farrar: We appreciate you guys so much. Now, you know, you just didn’t have to be in Viet- … Hey, you know what? There have been other wars. There have been other conflicts. Maybe you were in Operation Desert Storm. You walked the point over there. Uh, maybe you were in World War II. Maybe you were in the Korean Conflict. I see a gentleman over here who was in the Civil War.

Audience: laughs

Dr. Farrar: We’re glad you’re here, sir. We’re glad you’re breathing. Guys, the point is we’re at war and here’s what the enemy wants to do to every Christian guy in this room. He wants to neutralize me. He wants me to keep me from leading. Our issue right now is on the marriage relationship, gentlemen.

John: You’re listening to Steve Farrar on Focus on the Family, and you can get Steve’s book called Point Man: How a Man Can Lead his Family, as well as the CD of this broadcast to share with someone else when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. That’s 800-232-6459 or you can donate and request those at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead and return now to more from Steve Farrar on Focus on the Family.

Dr. Farrar: We used to have laws in this nation that made it hard to divorce. We were watching an old movie from the ’40s not too long ago, and the whole plot of the movie, a guy was a businessman and had a nice family, several kids, you know, beautiful wife. He got involved with a secretary at the office, decided he was in love with her and wanted to divorce his wife and marry a secretary. But the movie was set in 1948. The whole plot of the movie was his wife wouldn’t grant him a divorce, because in 1948, if a guy wanted to leave his wife on a whim, the law prevented him from doing that, and you couldn’t do it in 1958. But in the ’60s and ’70s, things started changing in this nation, and we came up with something called No Fault divorce. About a year ago, my wife called me. I picked up the phone and as soon as I heard her voice, I knew something was wrong. And she said, “Steve I’ve had an accident.” When I heard that my wife had been involved in an automobile accident, I had two questions. Question number one was, you know what it was, “Are you all right?” She assured me she was fine. Okay, we established that. Gentlemen, what was my second question?

Audience: laughs.

Dr. Farrar: I knew there were godly men in this room.

Audience: laughs.

Dr. Farrar: Yeah, my second question was, “Mary, whose fault, was it?” You know what she told me? She said, “Steve, I’m driving down LBJ in North Dallas on the freeway about 55. This guy’s next to me. And all of a sudden, just all of a sudden, these two cars, metaphysically on their own decided to come together of their own volition. It was nobody’s fault, Steve.” I said, “Makes sense to me.”

Audience: laughs

Dr. Farrar: I didn’t say that. No, and she told me she was stopped, and someone hit her from behind, it was clear whose fault was it? You know what, gentlemen, we can’t make our spouses do what’s right. We need to be concerned about, about ourselves doing what’s right. You know, gentlemen, this is called, I love what Swindoll said a couple years ago. He said, “This thing is not called promise makers. It’s called Promise Keepers.” That’s what distinguishes this from the world. You see, guys, when we walked down that aisle and we made that vow to our wife, we said something like this. We said that we would be committed for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer. You know, gentlemen, anybody can be committed. Anybody can be committed when it’s better. But the test of commitment is when it’s worse, worse than you ever thought it would be. Anybody can be committed when it’s richer, but it’s the test of commitment is when you lost your job or when the money’s not there. Anybody can be committed when there’s health, but the test of commitment is when there’s sickness. We need some men in this nation who are men who will follow through with their commitments. We need to see a revival in this nation. And this is why God is filling stadiums around this nation. He’s looking for some guys to follow through and to finish strong for him and their marriages.

Audience: Applause.

Dr. Farrar: I have the privilege every year of, uh, speaking to three or four NFL teams. Every NFL team, five hours before kickoff has a, uh, chapel service. And earlier this year, actually last year in the fall, I was up in Wisconsin, so I did a, uh, chapel service for the Packers. And it was, I was at Lambeau Field. And you know, it’s a great old stadium. I don’t think they’ll ever build a new stadium in Green Bay, there’s just too much atmosphere there. But across the street, the Packers have built a beautiful multimillion facility, indoor fields, AstroTurf. It’s state of the art. One of the things you’ll find there is that they have some small theaters. Uh, people that don’t know a lot about football have a misconception. They think football coaches and football players spend the majority of their time outside. Especially in the NFL, that’s not true. Football players and coaches spend the majority of their time inside, in the dark. Why? They’re watching film. Average NFL team, I’ve been told, will watch their upcoming opponent. They’ll watch the last three or four games, and they won’t watch it just once, they’ll watch it two and three times. One of those coaches will be in that film room at one in the morning watching that film for the sixth time. And all of a sudden, he’ll say, “Hey, look, look at, look at number 66, look at that guard. Every time that guy runs that sweep, look at his stance. Every time he runs that sweep, he sets his stance. Look at his left foot. He sets up six inches back with his left foot. Run it again. He doesn’t do that on the other. See?” And so, he tells his linebacker, “You key off 66, watch his left foot. When he sets his left foot back, that’s your tip. He’s going to run that sweep.” Why do they watch so much film? I’m going to tell you why guys. They want to know their opponent and they want to know his habits. They want to know his tendencies. They want to know his weaknesses. Let me tell you guys something. Satan watches your game films. And he watches mine and he knows my habits. He knows my tendencies. He knows my weaknesses. He knows that when I get tired, I get irritable. He knows that I can be impatient. He knows that it’s very easy for me just to fly and say a harsh word without thinking to my wife. I did that earlier this week. I spoke in Atlanta four weeks ago and the same thing happened to me. Every time before I come to speak on one of these things about marriage, I screw up.

Audience: laughs.

Dr. Farrar: I do. I’m just being honest with you. And let me say something about that. Gentlemen, the easiest thing in the world is to stand up here and teach this stuff. The hardest thing in the world is to go home and live it out. But that’s what we’re called to do.

Audience: Applause.

Dr. Farrar: Hey, I’m going to tell you something. The guy standing up here speaking, we’re just guys. We deal with things like you deal with things. That’s why the focus here is not on any individual except the Lord, Jesus Christ. He’s the perfect one. He’s the one we focus on here at Promise Keepers.

Audience: Cheering.

Dr. Farrar: How is it possible? The enemy is doing everything he can do. He knows my habits, my tendencies, my weaknesses. He knows how to drive a wedge between me and my wife. How is it that guys who start strong, how is it that they don’t finish strong? It’s because the enemy gets them off in their marriages. Hey, you know what? I want to hit the finish line married to the same woman that I’m married to today. And you do too. And again, you may say, “Steve, I’ve already been picked off. I’ve already been through divorce. I’ve been through two divorces. I’ve been through three divorces and I’m on marriage number four.” Well, then let me say this to you, my friend, “By the power of the living spirit of Jesus Christ within you, you make this marriage work. You, you implement the principles.” Let’s finish strong with our commitments where we are right day. We can’t go back to the past. All we can do is go forward. You see we’re talking about keeping commitments. In 1519, Fernando Cortez undertook a tremendous responsibility, loaded 11 ships, hundreds of men, and went to Mexico. He didn’t know what was awaiting him, but he felt like there was treasure. He felt like there was some conquest possibilities. They landed in Vera Cruz and then the men unloaded their stuff. And as they were going up the cliffs and making their way and they didn’t know if they were going to live. They didn’t know if they were going to be attacked. They didn’t know if they were going to be diseases, but as they’re going up that mountain side, as they got to this, one of the guys yelled and suddenly they looked back down in the bay, hundreds and hundreds of feet down where they saw their 11 ships. And their 11 ships were all going up in flames. All 11 ships were burning and there was not a thing they could do. What happened? How did the ships catch fire? Cortez set the ships on fire, because what he did, he cut off, he burned the escape route. He made sure those guys were committed. They had to finish because there was no escape. Gentlemen, we need to burn our ships. Divorce isn’t even in our vocabulary; it doesn’t even exist.

Audience: Applause.

John: What a great response from more than 50,000 men who were at a Promise Keepers event in North Carolina, hearing Steve Farrar as he shared a heartfelt message about the importance of men showing leadership in their marriages.

Jim: John, I love this message from Steve Farrar, especially since it flies in the face of what we hear from our culture. Uh, you know, the world says, “If your marriage doesn’t work out, just get a divorce and move on. You deserve to be happy.” But as we’ve seen over the years, especially since no fault divorce became the law of the land, people are not happier after they break up. In fact, the divorce rates are even higher in second and third marriages. So, divorce is not the answer. And let’s just burn that ship, as Steve said and see what we can do to make our marriages better. And by the way, happiness is not the goal. As a Christian, godliness should be your goal. And godliness is something that you can pursue right now in your marriage. In fact, it’s an excellent place to start. Show your spouse you love them by doing an act of service, like when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. Uh, you know, I don’t always get this right, but I have a good example from a few years ago when we had a long-term foster care placement and the kids were just toddlers. Uh, I could see Jean was getting pretty burned out, caring for those two toddlers and our two teen boys. And so, I encouraged her to go to a women’s retreat that Focus was hosting. I bravely said, “I think you need those two nights away and I’ll take care of the kids.” Now don’t get me wrong. I was panicking inside, trust me. How am I going to do this over a whole weekend? Am I equipped? But you know what? We got through it. We ate lots of pizza. (laughs) I changed a few diapers.

John: (laughs)

Jim: But it gave her a much-needed break. And I think that’s a good example of an attempt to wash my wife’s feet.

John: Well, that is really commendable, Jim. I, uh, uh, applaud you for stepping in like that.

Jim: (laughs)

John: That really is an act of service for a lot of guys.

Jim: Sorry guys.

John: And (laughs) it is, uh, interesting though, isn’t it Jim? That, uh, even though we have good marriages, we really have to be deliberate in our efforts to meet the needs of our spouse.

Jim: Well, you’ve got to think about it. It just doesn’t come naturally.

John: And it is easy to forget, uh, for me, how Dena needs me to love her. I’m using Dr. Gary. Chapman’s love languages. I’ve learned, and, uh, over the years, this has been pretty consistent. Dena’s languages are quality time and service. And if she says I’m going out for a walk, what I need to say is, “Let me go with you.” She’s kind of bidding for my, uh, attention and wants a connection. So, um, part of me may not want to go, but I serve her well, if, uh, I just say, “Yeah, let’s set aside some time, we’ll connect that way.” Uh, but there isn’t that friction between what I need to get done and what Dena needs from me. And my relationship does need for me to choose to nurture and to feed into her needs as much as I can.

Jim: Well, you have to be intentional about it. Uh, Jean really responds to words of affirmation. I mean, who doesn’t.

John: Yeah.

Jim: But for her, that is her love language. She blossoms when I give her those encouraging words and the opposite is true. Uh, criticism is really painful for her and for people in that category. So, if your, uh, spouse responds to words of affirmation, be careful when criticism or correction needs to be spoken.

John: Yeah, and if you need help with some serious aspects of what we’re talking about here today, uh, get in touch with one of our caring Christian counselors. They can offer a free consultation over the phone, and you can schedule that when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY.

Jim: And for marriages that are really struggling, uh, ask about our Hope Restored marriage intensives. Uh, we have an incredible success rate, and I am grateful to the Lord for this. Let’s give him the recognition. Uh, over 80% of the couples that complete that program say that they are doing well and are much happier two years later when we do that survey, and many of these couples were on the brink of divorce when they first came to see us at Hope Restored. Here’s a note from Janice who attended just a few years ago. She said, “I arrived feeling very hopeless and skeptical. My wounds were too fresh. My husband revealed his affair just three weeks before. I was terrified of airing our dirty laundry in front of a group of strangers. I was completely out of my comfort zone, but from the very beginning, I felt God’s love in this place. I was able to open my heart to our group and I understood my husband’s heart for the first time. We were able to connect in a way I never thought possible.” That’s great. She went on to, “We have a long road ahead, but I believe we have the tools to make the journey.”

John: Jim, what I find so fascinating is that is not an unusual letter. It’s pretty typical of the feedback we hear from those who go to Hope Restored. And as you said, we’re so grateful to God for how he’s worked through those marriage intensives, that part of Focus on the Family.

Jim: That’s so true, John. Uh, we have hundreds of letters just like this one. So, if you’re in that spot, um, if you feel like your marriage is hanging by a thread, don’t hesitate, don’t be embarrassed, don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us so you can get the help you need today. And if you’d like to partner with us in helping these marriages, please make a generous donation to Focus on the Family. We’re doing all we can to strengthen marriages and bring families hope. In fact, over a hundred thousand couples say, we help them through a major marital crisis over the past year, but we can’t do it alone. We need your financial support and certainly we need your prayers, so please get in touch with us by phone or online today. And when you give, we’ll say thank you by sending you a CD of this message from Steve Farrar for a donation of any amount. And right now, special friends of this ministry are offering to double your gift dollar for dollar so that you can have twice the impact with your donation today.

John: And you can do that when you call 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY, 800-232-6459 or donate online and request your CD at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. If you enjoyed today’s program, please tell a friend to tune in next time as Steve Farrar explains more benefits of having a 100% commitment to your marriage, like the impact that has on your children.


Dr. Steve Farrar: We need boys in America who have dads that they know in their heart their dad is thoroughly and totally committed to their mother. If you want your boys and you want your daughters to grow up and have godly marriages, then you show them what a godly marriage looks like. That’s our job, gentlemen. We’re the point men. We’re the leaders.

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