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Simple Steps to Improve Your Marriage

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Simple Steps to Improve Your Marriage

Authors Matt and Lisa Jacobson describe how seemingly minor decisions can impact on your marriage and offer practical suggestions to help your marriage thrive.
Original Air Date: October 9, 2020
Side by side cover images of the books "100 Ways to Love Your Husband" and "100 Ways to Love Your Wife"

"100 Ways to Love" Book Bundle

Receive the Jacobsons' books 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife for your donation of any amount!

Featured

Today's Guests

Side by side cover images of the books "100 Ways to Love Your Husband" and "100 Ways to Love Your Wife"

"100 Ways to Love" Book Bundle

Receive the Jacobsons' books 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife for your donation of any amount!

Featured

Episode Summary

Authors Matt and Lisa Jacobson describe how seemingly minor decisions can impact on your marriage and offer practical suggestions to help your marriage thrive.
Original Air Date: October 9, 2020

Episode Transcript

Excerpt:

Mr. Matt Jacobson: But the thing is that God has a beautiful marriage for every couple who is willing to do things His way. And the thing is, is people look at a wonderful marriage and they say, “Wow, that couple got lucky. They fell in the hole backwards and just had a great marriage.” But that’s just not the case. A wonderful marriage comes out of making many, many everyday choices that say, “I love you” rather than choices that say, “I love me.”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Matt Jacobson. He’s our guest today on Focus on the Family along with his wife, Lisa. And I’m John Fuller and your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly.

Jim Daly: Hey, John. Our goal at Focus, as you know and we all know, is to help strengthen marriages. Let’s make a good marriage great. Uh, basically, because those of us who claim Christ, it’s a testimony to people who are watching us. And we want that witness to be as strong as possible. We want to honor the Lord in our marital relationships. And I’m telling you, it’s not always easy. Right from my mouth, Jean and I don’t always do it well. We can get on each other’s nerves from time to time.

John: Shock! News flash!

Jim: Yeah. In fact, just this morning…

John: (Laughter).

Jim: No, I’m kidding. We had a beautiful morning reading the Word together. It’s so fun. Um, if you’re experiencing, kind of, the – the clunkiness and need a tune up, this program today is going to be for you. If you’re experiencing more serious issues, you know, we have caring Christian, counselors. We want you to call. We have a wonderful program called Hope Restored with an 80% post two year success rate for those marriages that are really experiencing, you know, dramatic stress, potentially even divorce. And we are there for you at that level as well.

John: Yeah, we’d like to invite you to call us if that’s something you need. 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And as I mentioned, Matt and Lisa Jacobson are with us and they host a podcast called Faithful Life. Matt is a teaching pastor. And together they write and speak on topics of marriage, parenting, and Christian living. And today we’re going to be highlighting a couple of books that they’ve written, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and the companion called 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. We have both of those at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Hey, Matt and Lisa, welcome to Focus on the Family.

Matt: Great to be with you.

Mrs. Lisa Jacobson: Thank you.

Jim: Now, first of all, 100, we’re not going to cover all 100, but it’s pretty daring to (laughter) put out 100 ways you can improve your marriage, both from a husband’s perspective and a wife’s perspective. How did you guys negotiate this? (Laughter)

Matt: Well, actually, we just thought it was a good round number.

(LAUGHTER)

Matt: Why don’t – why don’t you tell the story of how it got started?

Lisa: Well, actually, how it began was we were on a coffee date just holding hands, enjoying one of those sweet moments in marriage after about 25 years of marriage. And I looked over at him and I said, “You know, it’s this moment that is really made out of so many other little choices that are made over time.” And we said, “You know, it’s a lot times we talk about the big things in marriage and those are important, too. But so much of the magic even is in those small choices that you can make each day.” And we said, “Okay, you know, it’d be kind of fun to figure out – you sit down and write out, let’s say, 100 things that you think went into our loving marriage. And I’ll do the same. And we won’t look at each other’s notes just to keep it authentic and just see what we came up with.” And so, that’s literally how it started. He went over to his corner with his coffee, and I went to mine and we just started writing. And then eventually shared our notes and it became a book.

Jim: Well, on the one hand, you must have a passion for writing, because I don’t know about you, John, but if Jean said to me., “Okay. Go write a hundred ways you can…”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I would go, “What?”

John: Days later… (Laughter)

Jim: I mean, it’s a beautiful thing to do. But first of all, that sounds a little daunting. (Laughter) So, how did you respond?

Matt: Well, actually, we have been involved with a lot of couples over the years. And what is in this book, these books, really are the things that we have employed in our marriage. So, we’re literally sharing the things that we’ve done in our marriage for other marriages to employ. So, a lot of it really was – and I don’t want to make a sound, first of all, that we walk on water. We don’t because, um, Lisa doesn’t agree with everything I say.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Way to go, Lisa.

Lisa: Wait a minute.

Matt: And so – yeah. Like, that happened right from the start, you know. But anyway…

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: It’s a rude awakening isn’t it?

Matt: (Laughter) It is. Right. But the thing is that God has a beautiful marriage for every couple who is willing to do things His way.  And the thing is, is people look at a wonderful marriage and they say, “Wow, that couple got lucky. They fell in a hole backwards and just had a great marriage.” But that’s just not the case. A wonderful marriage comes out of making many, many everyday choices that say, “I love you” rather than choices that say, “I love me.”

Jim: Wow. That is that is profoundly said, honestly. Lisa, you alluded to this, but I want to grab a couple of examples in terms of those small things that make marriages so strong. I’m kind of envisioning and, you know, some of you might feel this is trite, but it’s, kind of, like weaving cloth together, right. The strands of that – a single thread, you can snap easily. But when you weave something together, there’s strength in that. And I hear you saying that. That it’s not the big dramatic moment, the big breakthrough, although those are great. It’s the little things. Give us examples of what those little things are concretely.

Lisa: Well, for example, this is a small thing, but it has a powerful impact on your marriage. And this is just when you see your husband – I’m talking to the wives now – just lighting up and giving them that look you did when you were dating. Just like, “Hey, here he comes.”

Jim: Wait a second. I’m hearing through the microphone, people – women are saying, “Are you serious? You don’t know my husband.”

Lisa: I am very serious. (Laughter)

John: Moan. (Laughter)

Lisa: I am very serious.

Jim: “Light up? Come on.”

Lisa: Yeah, I make a point of lighting up. And I’ll – if I can, I’ll tell you a story of how this became obvious to me that this is what I need to do. So, Matt and I were out on a, kind of, a lunch date and I was a mother of many small children. I was tired. I was just doing the “And then there’s this and then there’s that”, kind of, thing and, you know…

Jim: Yeah.

Lisa: …Just venting with him. And – and he was patiently listening to me. Well, while we were talking – we’re out the – at a mall – a girlfriend of mine walked by and I said, “Oh” – I jumped up – I said, “Oh, Susan.” And I gave her a big hug. And I just, you know, lit up and – and we’d just yik, yak for just a few minutes. And then I went back to my – my date and, uh, he said – just really, kind of, quietly said, “You know, I wish you would do that for me.” I said, “Do what?” He said, “Oh, just the way you light up. Just how that warm smile for your friends.” I was so convicted right then and there. I thought, you know what? I have left off with doing that with you and you should have that from me.

Jim: Well, let me ask you about that, because I think when you live with somebody, you’re married to somebody, you get very comfortable. Sometimes you see a different side of a person in that intimate relationship where you’re together every day, eating dinner together every night, everything. And then, yeah, the girlfriend comes by and oh, the light up and all that. Is it wrong to expect that kind of happiness that you’re showing a friend? I agree that it’s right. But I guess I’m asking the question, how do couples get there? How do you how do you think about doing that?

Matt: Absolutely. Well, it is wrong to fall into that pattern. This is what life does it – it gets us so busy. The noise of our lives and busyness of our lives gets us so distracted that we wind up just, kind of, getting in this rut, putting our head down and plowing this furrow of the next thing that needs to be done, forgetting that the most important relationship we’ll ever have this side of heaven is the person that God said you are one with. And so, one of the things that we like to remind people and I certainly like to remind men about, is that just take a moment and ask yourself, when did your wife stop desiring to be desired? Never. See, that way you kissed her on your wedding day, or maybe even the months leading up in the months right after – when did she stop wanting to be kissed with that kind of passion and that kind of desire? Never. See, this is something that we need to remember. And she is an important, valuable individual that your job is to pursue and to cherish.

Jim: Yeah.

Matt: And so, that responsibility didn’t change just because a few years went by. So, date your wife before, during and after the wedding, after the children come, after they go off to college. Pursue your wife. And that pursuit isn’t just a pursuit for sex. That’s a pursuit for her as a valuable person that God has blessed you with. She’s never stopped desired – being desired.

Jim: I hear both of you describing choices. You know, these are choices that we’re making…

Matt: Absolutely.

Jim: …Or choosing to be intentional about dating our wife. We’re choosing to be intentional about lighting up when my husband comes into the room. Because it can get really, kind of, blasé – kind of, comfortable. And if you don’t show that enthusiasm. So, did you guys have to remind yourselves, “Okay. You know, Matt’s coming home. I got a light up.”

Lisa: Sometimes there is something like that. So, when I was a mother and I would – before I went out to see my kids who are, you know, all about their noisy and – and I would take a moment before I walked out my bedroom door and I would say, “Okay, Lisa, get your happy mom face on” because I saw that it was so powerful to my kids. If I came out already grumpy, if I came out, “Hey, good morning.” It’s super powerful. So, I’m choosing to do that.

Jim: Right.

Lisa: I’m trying to – and I thought, you know what? Why wouldn’t I be able to do the same thing in my marriage? Now, sometimes it comes more naturally than others, but there are times where I go, he’s home and I have to remember I’m excited that he’s here and I do love him. And we can work out that other thing a little bit later.

Matt: One of the things that is so critical about this and that we tend to forget about because we just get absorbed in our own life and our own day, we forget that we’re literally teaching our children what a great marriage is.

Jim: Yeah.

Matt: Teaching them how to do marriage, we’re discipling the hearts of our children, by the way we interact with each other.

Jim: Yeah and another one that you mention is probably one of the more difficult ones for husbands, and that is to stop and listen. I mean, sometimes we’re just problem solving. We, kind of, know the statements that are made. You know, “Oh honey, I think you just need to do this, this and this.” And she’s not wanting that. She’s wanting you to hear her heart.

Matt: I want to tell the story, okay.

Lisa: I’m nervous!

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Should be.

Matt: (Laughter) So, yeah, and it’s funny. This is one of those iconic moments in our relationship because I’m a problem solver, too.

Jim: (Laughter) Yeah. It’s just innate.

Matt: And after you’ve spoken for roughly 10.5 seconds – (unintelligible) somewhere in there – after you’ve spoken for a very short period of time, of course, I don’t need to listen to the rest of what you’re saying.

Jim: You’ve got it.

Matt: Completely understand the issue is and just go right in for the solve, you know. So…

Lisa: (Laughter).

Matt: …One (laughter) – one time – this was way early in marriage. But one time I was doing that, and she just screamed in my face. She really did.

Lisa: I don’t recommend that, but…

Matt: This demure, loving woman.

Lisa: (Laughter).

Jim: Yes.

Matt: And she said, “I don’t care if I right or wrong and understand this, I just want you to know and care how I feel!”

Jim: Good for you.

Matt: Just listen to me, right? And we look back on that and laugh. But it was a moment of revelation for me that listening is the fix. Not in every case and not in every couple, but by and large, listening is the fix…

Lisa: It’s super powerful.

Matt: …Making her feel heard goes a long way to making her feel that her problems is solves.

Jim: So true and that’s a heart cry. It – speak from the woman’s perspective why that’s so critical? Because I’m serious. We’re like hard dirt. We don’t understand this at all. Isn’t the value in this quick discussion solving the problem? Can we just get there?

Lisa: No, you can’t.

(LAUGHTER)

Lisa: And even if Matt thinks that he already knows what I’m going to say or he understands the problem, he doesn’t necessarily, believe it or not, understand. And it’s important to me to actually say this out loud, to get this out there and to get a fuller picture before you start in on the fix. And sometimes after I’ve said everything, then I’ll go, “Okay. Now what should I do?” He goes, “I thought I was supposed to just listen.” I go, “Okay. Yes. You listened. Now solve.”

John: (Laughter).

Lisa: So, it can be both. But we really do want to feel like you – that you’re hearing us, that you care about how we feel and what we’re wrestling with or struggling with.

Matt: And, you know, and there’s a heart issue there, too, relative to the men. Your wife wants to feel and believe that you wanted to listen to her, not that you had to listen to her, so it’s not just a matter of checking the box, but your heart actually being engaged with listening because you want to.

Jim: Right.

Matt: You care about her. So…

Jim: Right. That’s what the core should be.

Matt: Yeah. Absolutely.

Jim: Now, we’ve got to flip the coin a little bit, because you had an experience, too, where, I think, Matt came home. He came up. You’re making dinner. You’re really being pulled in a lot of different directions. But he came up and gave you this wonderful embrace, a hug from behind just to let you know I’m home. I’m in your corner. It didn’t go down so well, though, right?

Lisa: Well…

Jim: What a beautiful thing you did, Matt.

Matt: Thank you. I appreciate the – that being acknowledged.

Jim: I just wanted to say. That’s very kind of you to announce your homecoming.

Lisa: Oh, it wasn’t my proudest moment for sure.

Jim: What happened?

Lisa: So, yeah, I’m cooking dinner. I’m sautéing the vegetables in the pan. He comes behind me, does the loving husband thing, kind of, put his arms around me and all I could think of is I’m trying to make dinner here. The kids are, you know, all noisy. They’re hungry. Everybody’s falling apart. And, you know, you’re taking this moment to do the lovey-dovey thing. And I was immediately convicted, though, and I thought, okay, Lisa, here you’ve got a man who’s wrapped his arms around you and really, you’re going to shrug him off. That’s terrible. And I thought, wait a second, what if he just turn the stove off and I turn around and lean back into him? I don’t know what got into my head, but I did it.

Jim: (Laughter).

Lisa: And I did. And boy, right then and there, the whole, you know, kitchen caught on fire. And our kids were like, “Whoa, what’s with Mom and Dad?”

Jim: (Laughter).

Matt: That’s one of the joys of having kids…

(LAUGHTER)

Matt: …Is just embarrassing them.

John: Yeah. Absolutely.

Jim: I can see that. Yeah. Make ‘em sick.

John: (Laughter).

Lisa: But I thought, yeah, I could have missed out on that, you know, by being so task focused and so, you know, what’s going on in this situation instead of…

Jim: But to be really practical, Lisa. I mean, I’m thinking of Jean. We’ve had similar experience, maybe more than one in that way. And, you know, she’s a scientist. That’s her background. So, she’s really focused on the beaker. You know, 14 milliliters of oil have to go into that, whatever.

Lisa: Yes.

Jim: So, on behalf of those women who maybe have that disposition, how do they flip that switch like you did? Again, you’re making great choices all the time. It’s amazing. But talk to the woman who’s not made those great choices and is somewhat perturbed.

Lisa: Right.

Jim: “Don’t you know I’m making dinner?”

Matt: And it’s just – it’s two sides, too. There’s a women’s side and a husband side as well.

Lisa: Well, I’m a get it done girl. So, you’re right. I am – can be very task focused. And then on the other hand, I think, oh, why don’t we have a more romantic relationship?

Jim: (Laughter).

Lisa: Why don’t – why aren’t we more lovey? Why doesn’t he hold my hand? But then you start connecting the dots. Yeah, because you rejected him by shrugging him off.

Matt: Shut him down. Yeah.

Jim: Well, it has to be at the right time. (Laughter)

Lisa: Which is – which is true. But you can’t – beggars can’t be choosers either.

Jim: Right. (Laughter)

Lisa: So, and I thought, what does it cost me to just stop right now and communicate a little love and not only did not cost me, but even though I didn’t feel that passion right then and there, it happened just by, uh, giving it a second or two.

Matt: And this really does go back to that issue of making a choice that says, “I love you” rather than a choice that says, “I love me.” So, that means that we’re, kind of, ebbing and flowing with each other through the day and being mindful of where the other person is at. There’s a beautiful verse in the Word that says, “Live with your wife, according to knowledge.” And that means I make a study of this woman. I’m mindful of who she is. I think about her personality. And so, I interact with her in a way that is according to who she is as a person, according to knowledge.

John: Mm. Our guests today on Focus on the Family are Matt and Lisa Jacobson. And they’ve written a couple of books, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Get in touch with us here at Focus on the Family to get your copies, donate as you can, as well. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. And online we’re at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Um, let me ask you, Matt. Um, you thought you were being a super husband by getting the dishes done, helping out with the chores. I mean, here you are doing all the tasks that need to be done. I mean you and Jean need to meet.

(LAUGHTER)

Lisa: I could see that.

Jim: This task list thing. But you thought you were getting it done.

Matt: Doing it. Absolutely.

Jim: And what happened? It sounds wonderful.

Matt: Well, I actually had seen a lot of marriages that I didn’t want. And I thought, you know what? When I get married, I am going to be super husband. And so…

(LAUGHTER)

Matt: So, he’s here. This should work out really well. And so, I was doing all sorts of things. And if I could vacuum, if I could find the clothes, if I could help with the laundry, I just did everything that I thought would bless my wife. And she’s over there washing a dish and then she sets it down on the counter, almost breaks it, all right.

Jim: (Laughter).

Matt: And it’s a good thing towels don’t break because she threw that in the corner. And she turns – I’m assuming…

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: So, you’re getting some attitude.

Matt: I’m getting some fire now. Yeah. The flames, you know, the one…

Lisa: I have my moments.

Matt: …The flames. The ones coming out of her eyes.

Jim: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah. They were pointing my direction. I’m going, “What is wrong with the woman? I’m doing everything. What more can I do?”

Jim: Hold the line. Lisa, what was not being done?

(LAUGHTER)

Lisa: I didn’t – I – well, this is what I said, “I don’t need you to fold laundry. I can fold laundry. I just want to get out of this apartment. I just want to be a woman and go to coffee and have adult conversation” – because we had little ones at the time. So, that’s what I was longing for. So, all this chore stuff, I could do that.

Jim: Wow.

Matt: Yeah. Right. It’s so easy. And I was doing all this hard…

Jim: Well, no, I – I wasn’t thinking that way actually.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: I would’ve missed that, too. Oh, okay.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: But thanks for the help.

Matt: Right. So, she literally was just wanting me to want her.

Jim: Hmm.

Matt: Right. Again, your wife never stopped desiring to be desired. She wanted me to want her. And part of that was saying, “Hey, let’s step away from all the normal stuff and let’s go have a cup of coffee.” It’s amazing that just focusing on your wife being genuinely interested in her as a person can turn any cup of coffee into a hot date.

Jim: Yeah. Lisa, you had a girlfriend, I think in the book you mentioned this. That was jealous of your marriage. That’s what we talked about at the open. I mean, that’s the way the testimony of our marriage should be, that people see and go, “Hey, Bob, how come we don’t have that marriage?” Right? I mean, it’s a good thing. I think Christians should be displaying what it means to have knowledge of your spouse and to love your spouse. And this is part of the experience, spiritually, emotionally, physically. But you had a girlfriend that said, “I’m jealous.” What was that about?

Lisa: Well, she saw that I spent a lot of time with Matt. We spent a lot of time together. Just doing all kinds of things at home, maybe running errands together. And she thought she hardly ever saw her husband. He’s working all the time. And she just felt lonely in her marriage. And so, she’s confessed that she felt jealous. And – and she blamed her husband entirely on the state of the relationship. And I just said to her I said, “Well, to be honest, I pursue my husband. I seek him out. And I’m willing to take – it doesn’t have to be an out at dinner date. If he’s running to the hardware store or we joke about having dogfood dates because he’d had to run to the grocery store to pick up dog food. And I say, ‘Hey, can I come?’ You know, if the kids would take care of.”

Jim: Sure.

Lisa: “And I jump in and. Yeah, it was this – you know, wasn’t it exciting? But I got that 15 minutes to the store back to be with just him and me. And so, those little things, again, build up to that relationship that we were enjoying. But it wasn’t just him inviting me. It was myself inviting myself.”

Matt: I think one of the things that happens often is and, you know, I don’t wanna be hard on the wives, but it’s sometimes easy to think that you’re the one that has the feelings in the relationship…

Lisa: Oh, that’s a good point.

Matt: …And your husband doesn’t. He might not be expressive or demonstrative relative to how he’s feeling, but he has deep and strong feelings about the relationship and that business of pursuing, that business of reaching out, that business of being interested in – that matters so much. And if he feels like he’s been shut down, if he feels like what he does has been diminished in a comment, in any way, it shuts him down.

Jim: Okay. You’ve mentioned shopping a couple of times. I’m sad to say, I finally learned a good lesson. Jean and I were, uh – I think – I think the boys went skiing and we didn’t feel like skiing. And so, we just took the day off and we were down in Frisco and Jean wanted to go shopping. So, I’m thinking myself, okay, I’m going to be intentional. I’m going to be into shopping, which is really hard for me because I’m a bagger. You go in. You know what you want to get, you shoot it, you grab it.

Matt: Well, that – okay. I’m the same.

Jim: Yeah. Right.

Lisa: (Laughter).

Jim: So, you know, we go to the first shop. I mean, this shop is only like 30 foot wide and 50 foot deep.

Matt: 30 seconds, tops.

Jim: It’s 30 – if that.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: So, we go in there. It was an hour and a half, an hour and a half.

(LAUGHTER)
Jim: I mean, I think she looked at everything…

Lisa: Sounds delightful.

Jim: …And I was, like, but I’m – I’m committed. I’m smiling and gritting my teeth. I’m going, “This is so much fun. I can’t wait to do this in the next shop.” And we had about five shops to go, so I said, “You know what, Jean? Here’s what I’m going to do. Let me – let me just go ahead of you and I’m going to see what shops are down the street.” (Laughter) So, I went to each one and I picked out three or four items I thought she would like. I hung them – with the permission of the clerk – I hung them in the dressing room.

Matt: Oh, this is…

Jim: Yeah.

Matt: Okay. This is big stuff.

Jim: I finally figured it out.

Matt: Way to go. That’s awesome.

Jim: And so, I mean, what was great is she literally – she accepted like half of what I picked out, which I thought was pretty good. It’s a D-minus, but, you know. (Laughter) But literally, she – yeah, she bought, you know, several blouses and a couple of sweaters I picked out.

Matt: That is perfect.

Jim: And it was good because it made me feel, like, efficient.

(LAUGHTER)

Lisa: Everybody won.

Jim: And we cut that weight time down, significantly.

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: But, uh, you know, so the motive may not have been pure, but the outcome was good.

Matt: Oh, I don’t know. That sounds really great to me. I do the – I do the exact same thing.

Jim: Yeah.

Matt: Okay. When we’re shopping, we do that. I do that very thing. I pick stuff out for her to look at.

Jim: It’s so much faster. Okay, John, you’re on the hook.

John: Well, I – I actually backfill. I wander away and then I pay attention to what she’s looking at. And then when she’s not looking, I swoop in and buy something that she was looking at.

Jim: Oh, wow. That’s good, too.

Lisa: Big scores here. I just wanna say big scores.

John: That has worked well for me. Better than the first time I tried to buy her something, which was a dress she wore once. We have a photograph of her in the dress once. And then she gave it away because it was like, so not her. (Laughter) It was a – it was a total miss on that.

Matt: Yeah. Well, there’s that knowledge thing.

John: Yeah

(CROSSTALK)

Jim: Let’s hit – let’s hit this issue right at the end here. We don’t have a lot of time. But words matter. I think for me, that’s probably the weapon of choice, if I could say it that way. And if there’s a discipline that I have to continue to struggle with, it’s, kind of, using my words in a way that are sarcastic or just cutting or, you know, just – sometimes it’s humorous, but not to her.

Matt: Yeah.

Jim: You know, and I think it’s funny. I’m laughing. She’s not laughing.

Matt: Right.

Jim: So, speak to the importance that your words carry weight.

Matt: Oh, they do. They do. You know, well, all of us bring into marriage a set of filters that are based on our childhood, the experiences that we had in the home that we grew up in. And again, that’s part of the knowledge base – understanding, you know, where that other person came from. But this business of making a joke at your wife’s expense. You know, you can get a little chuckle out of it. And she might chuckle go along with it. But what you’re doing is your closing the door of her heart. Sarcasm poisons your relationship, and it’s just nothing but cutting somebody else down, making a snide remark about something. And “Oh, I was just joking.” But, you know, I like jokes that are at your own expense.

Jim: Yeah, that’s better.

Matt: Tell those jokes. But never, ever speak in a sarcastic manner with your wife. It does nothing but close her heart. And a woman never slams the door of her heart in one moment. She closes it incrementally over time. And men find out once that door is closed, getting it open takes an act of God.

Jim: Yeah.

Matt: So, yeah, don’t close the door of your wife’s heart with sarcasm. There’s nothing good, there’s nothing fruitful that comes up.

Jim: That’s powerful statements. And I hope husbands are hearing that really clearly. And maybe some wives that also use sarcasm to get their points across. But let’s close with the story. You have about a couple in Georgia who were on the brink of divorce. That’s a great story. And it really – some people are listening that this will speak to very loudly.

Matt: Absolutely. Well, we got this email from out of the blue. And this woman says, “Hey, I’m – I’m writing you from California. I’m don’t – I’m not from California, but I just left. I want you to – I want to tell you my story.” And she said, “We had a terribly rocky marriage for so long. And then we saw your books online. We thought” – and these are 100 Ways to Love Your Husband100 Ways to Love Your Wife books – “We thought, ‘Eh, let’s order them. Last ditch effort.’” She said, “But it took several days for the books to get there. And I decided before they arrived that I was done.” So, she said, “I got on a plane and I flew to California.” She said, “That was about a month and a half ago.” And she said, “But unbeknownst to me, my husband started reading your book.”

Jim: Mm.

Matt: “And I could just tell on the phone that he was thinking about me differently. He was speaking to me differently. He was interacting with me differently. And all of a sudden, I was feeling like he actually cared about me as a person. I felt like he had changed.” And she said, “So, the reason I’m writing you is I’ve actually purchased my plane tickets. We’re not getting a divorce. I’m flying back and we’re going to continue on with our marriage.” And she said, “And I’m going to read your wife’s book.”

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: That was a good additive thing. But what a  – again, what a tremendous testimony to the power of, you know, the content that you’ve put in these two great books. 100 Ways to Love Your Wife, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband. That is what it’s about. And, again, with the purpose of being a good disciple of Christ. And it starts right there, doesn’t it?

Matt: It does.

Jim: And with your family. So, we’re grateful for you putting this together. And I know our listeners are going to want to get copies of this. And again, as we often do, if you can send a gift of any amount, we’ll send you these books as our way of saying thank you. If you can’t afford it, we’ll send them to you. Just get in touch with us. We’re gonna trust that others will cover the cost of that because we believe in developing your marriage and helping you and equipping you to have all the resources you need to do it well. You know, Matt and Lisa can write it and they can live it, but they can’t live it for you. You’ve got to embrace it, understand it, be convictional about it and have the want to do these things. So, if you’re in that spot, get a hold of us.

John: Yeah. That’s right. This pair of books by the Jacobsons is a great resource. And you can make a donation and today get your copy of 100 Ways to Love Your Wife and 100 Ways to Love Your Husband – both books. Call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Or stop by focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And then be sure to take a few moments to complete our free, online marriage assessment. Uh, I think about a million people now have taken that. It will give you a great idea of what’s going well in your marriage and maybe an area or two that you and your spouse can work on. That assessment and more at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Matt and Lisa, thank you so much for being with us. It was a lot of fun, even though it’s a delicate topic. You’ve done so well expressing your thoughts. Thank you.

Lisa: Thank you for having us.

Matt: An honor to be here. Thank you.

John: And, once again, let us know how we can help. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller, inviting you back as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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