Rethinking Your Marriage with George & Tondra Gregory

Rethinking Your Marriage with George & Tondra Gregory


(applauding) – We are so excited to be here today. How many of you are
excited to be here to day? (applauding) I mean, I actually thought
today was Christmas. I know it’s Mother’s Day, but
I thought it was Christmas. ‘Cause I’m thinking, man, we
get to teach at Saddleback. We’re so honored to be here. In fact, we wanna
welcome you this morning, welcome all of our online viewers, and all of the campuses around California and the rest of the world As Pastor Rick said, we are chaplains for the Las Angeles Chargers. Any Chargers fans out there? (applauding)
– Woo! – I just sensed. I sensed there more Rams fans around here. – Oh my God.
(laughing) Okay, ushers get all those
guys out of here, okay. (laughing) And we’re Chargers chaplains, but we also created an organization, a marriage ministry
called Journey For Life. We believe that marriage is a journey, and it should be for life. And the reason why we
created is to help equip and educate couples on their relationships to have a successful
marriage and relationship. – Yes, so today is a special day. We’re really excited. Today is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day!
– Happy Mother’s Day again. (applauding) – Awesome.
– Yes. – So our mother’s couldn’t be
here with us today physically ’cause they live on the East Coast, but we thought we would honor them by introducing them to you. So this is my mom, Shirley Sanders. Isn’t she cute? (laughing) And then next, this is
George mom, Coleen Gregory. I love her. She’s sweet as pie.
(laughing) – [George] As pie. – [Tondra] Yeah. And so, I’m also a mom. So today’s Mother’s Day I
wanna brag on my sweet family. These are my kids. This is my family.
(applauding) And we’re affectionately
known now in our family as the California Gregory’s.
(laughing) – That’s right. When we first got married, and the first Mother’s Day rolled around, I contacted my mom like I always do, and I say, Mom, what can I
get you for Mother’s Day? By the way, that’s what all good sons do. If you haven’t done that
already, you’re too late. (laughing)
All right? But my mother, without
hesitation quickly said to me, I don’t want anything. What I really want, I don’t
want you to buy me anything. What I really want you to do is, I want you to love your new wife. And when you have kids, I
want you to love your kids like your dad and I loved each other, and we were an example,
and how we loved you guys, and not only you guys but each other. And then she says this,
I want you to love God, and always put him first, and always fight for a healthy marriage. – Yes, so what better way to honor Mothers than to have a healthy family? And what better way to
have a healthy family than to have a healthy marriage. – Yeah. – Now, before I lose
anyone who’s not married, this message is for married couples, because even if you’re not married, most people desire to be
married or in a relationship, and these are principles
that we’re gonna share today that can benefit any relationship. So marriage is the first and one of God’s missional tools to reach the earth. In fact, he uses marriage
to exemplify himself. If we look at the first
marriage of Adam and Eve, the first marriage, he designed
the family unit in marriage to be the vehicle in
which he would pass along from generation to generation his legacy. Also he uses the family
to reflect his image. That’s two important things. God uses what we grew up
in to reflect his image, and who he is, but also
to pass along his legacy to the rest of the world. Here’s what it says in Genesis. It says, then God said, let
us make man in our image, according to our likeness; and let them rule over
the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the
sky, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing
that creeps on the earth. God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them and said to them, be fruitful and multiply,
or fill the earth. – Yes. So we live in a selfie generation. We’re all about taking the selfies, posting the best image of ourselves. And I just love, my daughter, she’s 17, and she’ll kill me for saying this, but I just love seeing
her and her friends, and this is what it looks like. (laughing) You know? So all different angles.
(laughs) – Anybody know what she’s talking about? (laughing) I mean, let’s take a survey. How many of you took
a selfie this morning? (laughing)
Right? – Uh-huh, yeah. So I wish I could get in
on the selfie movement. My arms are just not long enough to get a good selfie in there.
(laughing) So God’s intention for marriage
is to be his reflection and his image to the world. Marriage is God’s best selfie. So, sometimes it doesn’t always look good when we do it though. So we live in Orange County, and we’ve found out that
the divorce rate is 72% here in Orange County. That’s staggering. – How many did you know that statistic? That in the area that we
live it’s 72% divorce rate. – Yeah. And in the NFL, the world
that we minister in right now is 70% after retirement. So when George and I first
got married, we were in, well, one of the things, we would have what we call
intense fellowship, i.e fight. (laughing) – Anybody ever had any intense fellowship? – Come on now. – In fact, in fact, how many of you had an intense fellowship on your
way to church this morning? – Yeah.
(laughing) Yeah, we would have some of
our best intense fellowships on the way to church. – On our way to church, and
I was a pastor by the way. – Yes.
(laughing) And it was like, we would
pull up in the parking lot, pull into the parking space, and as soon as we put our
hand to open the door, it was like we had instant transformation. Good morning, hallelujah.
– Bless the Lord. – God is so good.
– We’re so good. God bless you.
– Bless the Lord. Everything is well.
(laughing) So, this wasn’t a true
representation of God. It was our best effort to
reflect our best image. We cared more about our image than we cared about
reflecting God’s image. God’s image is a true reflection of his heart towards each
other and towards the world. – So this morning we’re gonna talk about rethinking your marriage. Now, again, we know some
of you aren’t married. So don’t not miss us this morning. We know some of you,
if you’re not married, you desire one day to
probably get married. Or if you’re single, I know
you want your boo one day as well, right, just to
be in a relationship. So there’s gonna be something
for everybody to learn. And so we’re gonna start off
by talking about four steps to rethinking your marriage
or your relationship. Number one, are you guys ready? Number one is to relisten or to listen to the rethinking your life series. How many of you have heard
a portion of these messages over the last few months by Pastor Rick and the great church? Has it not been a
phenomenal preaching series? It’s one of the best series
that I’ve found in a long time. Why? It’s because it’s all about
how I can, as an individual, begin to look into myself to figure out the things that I need
God to touch in my life. Well guess what, as a married
man, well, I’m an individual, but then when I get married, guess what? What I have as an individual impacts my relationship with my wife. Or if you’re single now, what you deal with as a single person, if you don’t get it right now, you will bring that into a relationship once you have a boyfriend,
or a boo, or a bae, right? Or if you have your
forever partner, right? And so we want you to
go back and relisten, or if you haven’t, just go to that website and look up on that watch list there’s a sermon series called
Rethinking Your Life Series, and a few of those messages about renewing the way you think. A few titles are Learning
to think like Jesus. How many of you think,
man, we need to learn to think more like Jesus and our culture, or rethinking your view of yourself, or rethinking your view of God. And here’s my favorite, change the way you
think about love, right? We all have to have these
things as individuals to take along with us on our marriage or relationship journey. Number two is we have to
embrace the journey of weeding. Now, I hope it’s okay
for me to say, weeding from Saddleback’s pool pit, right? – Yeah. – Now let me not confuse you
because we know California, it’s illegal to smoke weed, right? We are not suggesting to smoke weed on your marriage journey. We are not suggesting that.
(laughing) We are suggesting on your marriage journey that you have to embrace
the journey of weeding. – Yes. – What in the world is
he talking about though? Embracing the journey of weeding. Today we’re gonna sorta
juxtapose what marriage or relationships are by our desire to have the picture-perfect manicured lawn. Now how many of you have a
picture-perfect manicured lawn? I see some people out there. You dare raise your hand.
– Yeah. – Aren’t those the people that we hate in our community, right? Right, we like, man, she thinks she has the best looking lawn. Now, let’s pull up that picture. Let’s pull up the first. How many of you would love a banging– – [Tondra] That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful. – Manicured lawn like this? Now before you judge us, I know we should of gotten a picture with some succulents and cacti, right? I know we should of done
that for California. However, many of us,
we wanted to start off in our relationships or marriage, and we think it’s gonna look like this. And we start, man, my marriage is gonna be happily ever after, and then two years later you’re like, wow. You know what, it is happy, but maybe it’s not that happy, right? Not like it was when we first started out. And so we have this image
of what we want it to be, but when I try to do something like that, let me just cut to the chase. Let me tell you what my lawn looks like when I try to do that.
(laughing) Anybody with me this morning? You try that first picture, but that’s how it ultimately looks, right? So that’s about enjoying or embracing the journey of weeding. – So we lived in New
York City for 10 years, and it’s affectionately
known as the concrete jungle. And so coming from the concrete jungle, moving here to California,
I have been enamored by the beautiful
landscaping, and the lawns, and the gardens are just gorgeous. However, I don’t wanna do
any of the work that it takes to get that beautiful landscaping, okay? I don’t wanna plant. I don’t wanna feed. I don’t wanna weed. I don’t wanna do anything. I just wanna, poop, get out
there, hit the easy button, and here’s my beautiful lawn. – But isn’t that so easy to say, right? When the spouse says,
hey, here’s what I want, and then the other spouse has
to go out and do it, right? She says, no, no, no, here’s what I want, and then we can’t sit
back and not do it, right? We just gotta go out and try our best. Well let me tell you what
marriage is, or relationship is. It’s hard work. Right, it’s not about haphazard,
hitting the easy button, just wishing it would go. It’s all about intentionality. Everybody say intentionality. – Intentionality. – Here’s what God’s
word says about plants. It says, every plant that my
heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted. He says, every plant that my
heavenly Father didn’t plant will be uprooted, which leads
us to point number three. We must watch the seeds
that we allow the take root in our life or your life
and your relationships. We have to watch the seeds
that we allow to take root in our life or relationships. Why do I say that? It’s because God’s word
says that he plants things, but also what it insinuates is, if he plants things, and he says, if I didn’t plant certain
things it must be uprooted. Then there’s someone else
planting other things, right? And so we have to be
willing to watch the seeds that we allow to take root in our life. Life is about sowing seeds. In fact, as we read, we
know that God sowed seeds to produce, or to
germinate, or to grow us. He never does things to stunt
our growth or to hinder us. He does things to produce
certain things in our life. And so, seeds is all
about that production. Genesis eight says this. That while the earth remains,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and
winter, day and night, shall not cease. And so seedtime and harvest is
all about those sowing seeds, but that’s just not. What we realize is that it’s
not just God sowing seeds, but there’s someone else
that’s sowing seeds. – Yes, so God, he plants
things to produce fruit. He plants things to
produce fruit that is good and that will cause prosperity
not to wither and die. So Psalm says it best when it says this. He is like a tree planted
by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaves do not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. – All that he does, prosper. How many of you would say, I want everything that I do to prosper? Right? Including my marriage, including my kids, including everything about
what God has given to us. And so, God sowed seeds, but there’s other entities that sow seeds, and we call that Lucifer and the triple P. Doesn’t that sound like a rock band? – Yeah.
(laughing) – Who you gonna hear tonight? I’m gonna hear Lucifer and the triple P. Well who is Lucifer? Lucifer is Satan. It’s the enemy of your soul. In fact, John 10 to 10 says this. It says that the thief, it says that the thief
comes only in order to kill, in order to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come in order
that you might have what? Life, life in all its fullness. – [Tondra] Yes. – So there’s an enemy of our soul. There’s Satan himself. He doesn’t want you to have a
happy life, individual life. He definitely doesn’t want
you to have a happy marriage or a relationship. Lucifer comes to sow seeds
that are not godly seeds. But then there’s the triple P. The triple P stands for
people, problems, and pain. Has anybody been in your life as a person caused you any pain? – Mm-hm, yeah. – Sowed some seeds in you life that you didn’t really want or desire? You see, there’s something
about Lucifer and the triple P that creates something that
we call its counter divine. It’s not what God originally intends. In fact, you can call it counterfeit. How many ever had something
counterfeit before? Hopefully it hadn’t been money. (laughing) But when we lived in New York City we could go shopping on
places like Fifth Avenue, and Madison Avenue, and Park Avenue. How many of you moms would
love just a shopping spree on Madison Avenue, right? And we could go there about
how many times every 10 years? – Once. – Maybe one time.
(laughing) Because it was so expensive
to get the brand items. But there was another
place in New York City where you could go and get counterfeit. – Yeah. – The knockoff brands, right? And it looks so real, but it wasn’t real. – Yeah. – You see, God has real things, but then there’s some counterfeit things. We call counterfeit things, counterfeit things brings disfunction, disorder, and displeasure. You see, God’s word says this. Whatever he didn’t plant in
your life must be uprooted. Those seeds that need to be godly. So the question tonight, this morning, is what is choking or
prohibiting God’s seeds or plans from your life
and your relationship? – So as for me, when we first got married, the seeds that were germinating in me were mistrust, bitterness,
and disrespect towards men. See, I was raised by two
strong independent women. – Strong.
(laughing) They are strong. – They have been hurt, and disappointed, and let down by the men in their lives. So in an effort to protect
me from that same pain and disappointment, they always taught me, have a plan B, have a backup plan, don’t put all your eggs in one basket because it’s not if he’s gonna fail you, it’s when he’s gonna fail you. – I was working from behind the
eight ball, I tell you that. – He was doomed to fail.
(laughing) He was doomed to fail. So, these were seeds that were put. ‘Cause George and I, imagine
us having these type of seeds germinating in me, and
we didn’t even know, and we’re trying to have a marriage that reflects God’s
image, trying to be one, but then all of these
seeds are just fighting against that oneness. So these are the seeds that come from people, problems, and pain.
– Yeah. – That really are sometimes
unknowingly causing division, and you might not even know it. – Yeah, listen, I thought
I was the man, by the way. I thought, man, I’m making my wife happy. She’ll never think I’m
gonna leave her or anything. And in fact, in a church
setting quite like this, we were on stage, and they were doing some sort of prophetic
words of inspiration, and the prophet goes something like this. He says, Mrs. Gregory,
there’s something about you that you don’t really believe that your marriage is gonna work. And I’m thinking, oh man, somebody needs to stone this prophet. He is a liar.
(laughing) And then he goes, oh,
and he said, in fact, right now you thinking any
day that he could leave you. And she starts to shake like this. And I’m like, oh my God. He’s hitting something that I didn’t know. – Yeah, yeah. – Sometimes we think our
marriage, or relationship, or individual, we say, we’re batting 1000, and yet there’s certain
things that will come up from your past that
will impact your future. Number four is this. We must be will in to uproot the weeds. Everybody say, I must be willing– – [Audience] I must be willing– – To uproot the weeds. – To uproot the weeds. – So if God plants things,
and Lucifer plants things, and people, problems,
and pain plants things, he says, whatever I didn’t
plant must be uprooted. We’ve gotta be man or woman enough to be willing up uproot
the weeds in our life. What we do not uproot will actually choke and destroy the life that
God intended for us to have. – Yeah. – For me it worked out in sort of, sometimes it was rage, or bitterness, or past hurts, or fears. Now, as a man, I gotta tell ya, can I confess this this morning? – Confess, tell the truth.
– Confess, woo. – Tell the truth.
(laughs) – When I first got married, guys, man, my number one fear was, I’m gonna be married to one woman. He knows about it.
(laughing) For the rest of my life. – Yeah. – And it was this fear that came through. I thought, man, what in
the world am I doing? Because I thought I was God’s gift. (laughing)
– He did. He thought he was all
that and a bag of chips. (laughing) – I bought into what the world says is you’re a man when you conquer
all the women you can. Just put ’em in your check. You say, check, check,
check, check, check. And I was thinking, wow,
there are no more checks. Just one check, that’s it. (laughing) These were my player days, by the way. I’m now sanctified. (laughing) Okay?
– Yes. He thought he was God’s gift to women, and he had to just spread it around. Everyone must be blessed by George. (laughing) – That’s the way I used to think. But I bought into this lie. I bought into this thing
where, man, I can’t do it. I don’t know if I’m gonna be faith. I don’t know if I can really do this. And in order to have
a successful marriage, what I had to do is I had to embrace. I had to kick out what the world says, and I had to embrace what God says. Listen to what Psalm says. It says, O Lord, you
have examined my heart. Sometimes we just need to
sit before God and say, Lord, examine my heart. And know everything about me. You know when I dit down or when I stand. You know my thoughts
even when I’m far away. You see when I travel,
when I rest at home. You know everything I do. Isn’t that kinda scary that God knows everything that you do? Search me, O God, know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you and lead me along the
path of everlasting life. Now, if I took a survey and said, man, how many of you
think you’re not perfect, or you have issues, you probably would just point,
like look at somebody else. Like, yeah, who has issues? I don’t have issues. But when we’re really
honest with ourselves, every last one of us brings
baggage into our marriage, into our relationships. We all have issues. But what we need to just to
sit those issues before God and say, search me Lord. See if there’s anything. You know everything about me anyway. You know my reactions. You know all these things. Listen to what Romans says. It says, do not conform yourself to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly. Everybody say inwardly. – [Tondra] Inwardly. – [George] By complete
change of your mind. – [Tondra] Yeah. – Now, here’s what I know about
Saddleback, our family here, is that you’re gonna get good
feeding for your marriage, and your lawns, right? You’re gonna get good feeding, and you’re also gonna get good weeding. But only you in these seats right here, only you know what
weeds you need to uproot in your marriage, or your relationships, or as an individual. You know the things that
you have to get right. – Yeah. – So in our marriage, sometimes
when my wife sees that bad attitude comes out
of me every now and then. How many of you be honest and say, I have a bad attitude every now and then? Right, every now and then she’ll say, you need to get that thing out of you. (laughing) Because she knows the scripture that I must uproot everything
that my Father didn’t plant. So everybody say this. I must–
– I must– – Get this thing out of me. – Get this thing out of me. – Now, now that you
know what I’m gonna say, help me out now. Say, I must–
– I must– – Get this thing out of me. – Get this thing out of me. – This bad attitude, right? Well, you don’t have to say that. (laughing) This bad attitude, this selfishness. Or men, how bout this, men, there’s something about us
when we get disrespected, we just sometimes we go
off the hinges, right? It’s like, Lord, get this thing out of me. If I gotta go crazy on my wife or kids when I feel disrespected,
there’s something not godly, not sort of right about that. – Yes, so uprooting is a
different process than cutting. So if I have a weed right here, and I wanna get rid of it, and I cut it, the weed is gone to the natural eye, but underneath the soil I’ve
left the roots in this weed, from the weed. And if I leave the roots, then it has everything
it needs to grow back. And this is what it produces in our lives is reoccurring cycles
that keep us going through the same things over,
and over, and over again. So uprooting gets those roots out so that you’re done with this cycle. So in my counseling practice
I work with couples. Well, my used to be counseling practice since I moved to California. Not in practice anymore. But when I would work with couples who dealing with infidelity, they would wanna just get past this. They would say, you know
what, I said I’m sorry. It was a mistake. I’ll never do it again. That’s cutting at the surface, but it’s not really getting
to the root of what led one partner to go outside
of their marriage. You gotta find out what
that was, and dig it up, and get it out of there. Also, I worked with couples
who were in toxic relationship, had toxic conflict. Toxic conflict is where you just shut down because you just cannot
get on the same page. You cannot get to a resolution. I’ve seen couples that just are like done, and they don’t wanna
have any more conflict, and they don’t wanna talk about it anymore ’cause they’re frustrated. I’ve seen couples that fight,
fight, fight, fight, fight until they’re both exhausted, and they just run out of words, right? And so, they’re cutting at
the surface in those ways. They’re not getting to the root, and those roots are gonna
cause the unforgiveness and bitterness to sprout up more weeds. And we also worked with
pre-marriage couples, and do pre-marriage classes. And I’ll have couples in there who will be struggling with pornography. And they think, oh, when we get married we won’t struggle with pornography again. That’s cutting at the root. I mean, cutting at the surface, but not digging up with what
is this producing in my heart, and what are the things that’s causing me to cycle in these pornography issues. – That’s right, how many
of you have cut a weed or tried to just cut it
off at the surface one week and it’s back the next week? – Yeah. – Doesn’t that annoy you?
– Yeah. – I just want it, when I get it, when I cut it I just want it to be gone. Well don’t cut it off at the surface. You got to get the weeds. You got to get the roots, right? – Yes. – And so, listen, those
are external things, but there’s sometimes internal things that we have to deal with. Listen to what Jesus says. He says, Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s
mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them. Sometimes what comes out of our mouths is just really shocking, isn’t it? (laughs) Am I the only one this morning? (laughing) I mean, when we drop certain words, or when we drop certain threats. Like if you do that one more
time, I’m gonna walk out. Or if we do things like, man, sometimes we talk the way
we were raised, right? – Yeah. – And we can’t, Jesus says this, he says, sometimes it’s what comes out of us. And I know we’re believers, and I know, man, I know, you
guys look so good, right? But I know sometimes there’s things that comes out of our
mouth that are like bombs. Like if you do that one more
time, I’m gonna hit the, never use the D word. That word divorce. Because it’s like a grenade. It just goes off, and it’s
kind of a threat to oneness and the things that God
wants us to really have. – So, my mom taught me this nursery rhyme. I don’t know if you guys have
heard this nursery rhyme, but if you have feel free
to join in as I say it. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me, right? So, that is not true.
– Total lie. (laughing)
Total lie. – It’s not true. – I mean, why would they
say that in nursery class. Just total lie. – No, words are very hurtful. In my private practice,
I’m working with people who are stuck with those
words in their head, and it’s limiting their potential. It’s limiting everything that God wants to do in their lives. Words are so powerful. They can either produce life in us, or they can produce destructive, defiling things in our lives. Words can defile us. They can defile our marriage. They can defile our family. They can defile everything around us. But I’m so glad that God does sow seeds. He sows seeds in us too. And Galatians said it the best. And it says, but the fruit
of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance,
kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the seeds that we
want germinating in our lives. These are the seeds that we
want to overtake everything else and transform us from the inside out. – They had one wife we
were working with one time, she said this. She says, if he wouldn’t be so stupid, I wouldn’t have to yell at him. (laughing) I thought, wow, that’s godly. (laughing) You remember that picture we brought up? Let’s bring back this. How many of you really want
a lawn that looks like this in comparison to your marriage? This is the type of marriage
that I want right here, but it rarely works out for me like that. It mostly looks like this one, right? But here’s some things that we learn. If you ever see that picture, if you ever see a lawn
like that, a pristine lawn, you know it didn’t get
that way haphazardly. It takes a lot of attention, a
lot of detail, a lot of time. And in our marriage, guess what? Marriage is not gonna be successful, relationships are gonna
be successful haphazardly. You gotta be intentional. And we call that word attunement. You gotta be aligned with each other during your now season. So I know a few of you have been married, you’ve been married for so long, but don’t rest on what used to be. You gotta ask what’s going on right now. So a question like, hey,
how are we doing right now? What’s your greatest
fears during this season? How could I be here for you? How can we have an even better marriage? How can we have more intimate moments that are not just sexual but
also are connecting wise? There’s something about
when we use our words to say we wanna attune or be very much aligned, we also notice that a good thing, good stuff never grows automatically. Weeds grow automatically. – Yeah, yeah. – You guys ever buy food to go feed weeds? – No.
(laughing) – Hey, Home Depot guy,
can you show me the isle that really makes my weeds look greener. (laughing) No. Good things you have to
feed the good things, but it’s the weeds that naturally grow. So here’s some lessons
from the art of weeding for your marriages that we’ve learned. Number one is, weeds will
compete with the healthy seeds. So there’s weeds that are in your lawn, but there are also healthy
things like the grass that you really wanna plant, right? But weeds compete against
the healthy things. So they compete for
sunlight, and nourishment, and also moisture. So they’re actually
fighting for the things that we really want. Number two is weeds need
to be dealt with quickly. Everybody say quickly. – [Tondra] Quickly. – Or if you ignore ’em
they will overtake you. Number three is best
is weed before seeding. It’s best to weed first before seeding. Now for some of us, we go back
to that picture number two, and we call a lawn and garden company. You know what they’re gonna tell us? Don’t sow anything in that lawn. I want you to wipe it all away. Get all of the weeds before you seed. That’s why we like
pre-marriage counseling. – Yeah. – Because when you get a
good pre-marriage class, or a good pre-marriage counselor, what they’re doing is saying, we’re gonna help you with
the weeds in your life, the stuff that you need to
get right before you say I do and take it into you marriage. Number four is some weeds
need professional help in order to be removed. How many of you are like
that guy that you’re just trying to pull weeds up
in your lawn one by one. Oh one here, one here, one here, one here. No, there’s sometimes you
gotta bring in the big guns. You gotta hire someone that’s professional and say, you know what, this
is too big for me to handle. Because they know what kills
that certain weed in your lawn, or maybe it’s that it’s
not just one application, but it has to happen
application after application seasonally for some of our marriages. And then lastly, weeds tend to grow and become active when it gets warmer. How many of you have those
intense fellowship moments. – [Tondra] Yeah. – That’s when it gets
warmer in your marriage. So when it starts to get hot, guess what? The weeds come out. And when we’re in that heated argument, then all of a sudden the weeds of our life becomes more apparent
in our communication. – Yes, so what we need to
do with these weeds first, we have to identify what they ware, and then we have to execute
a plan to uproot them. So some of you may know
what your weeds are. You just need a plan
on how to uproot them. – Yeah. – And then there may be others of you who don’t really know what the weeds are, can’t really put your finger on it, but you know something’s there. You will need help identifying
what those weeds are so that you can get a plan. So you have to weed and
feed simultaneously. It’s a simultaneous process. And what I love about
Saddleback is they have tons of resources.
– Tons. – To help you weed and to help you feed all at the same time. So the first resource is counseling. We all have blind spots. And we’re so emotionally
involved in our relationship, we really can’t push that lens back to see it objectively. And a counselor can help you kinda see it from a different vantage point. And Saddleback here
offers free counseling. That’s amazing. – Wait, did you guys hear that? They said free. – Yes. – It’s like the Oprah Show. You get free counseling,
you get free counseling, and you get free counseling. – Come on, let’s do it. – Right, I mean, man, listen, my wife is a professional counselor. That means when you go see her, she makes the ching go bling. (laughing) When you come here Saddleback
says, it’s a ministry. – Yes. – We just wanna be here for you. – Yes. And the second resource
that helps you weed and feed is mentorship and support. Everybody needs a guide and a roadmap. Thank God for GPS. Like when I first moved to
California two years ago, I had no idea where I was going. And if it wasn’t for that
GPS, I would be lost. – How man GPSers do we have in here? – Literally, all I could do was follow exactly what it was saying. Turn right. Turn left.
(laughing) You have arrived at your destination. (laughing) I’m like, I’m here. I’m here. I made it. – She would use the GPS to go like one mile down the street though. I would say, sweetie, we been
here for two years almost. You don’t need the GPS, right? – Listen, I’m not good with directions. So GPS had be in mind when
they thought about that. And Saddleback offers for
mentorship and support, they have mentoring couples. They have small groups
that you can be a part of and do life together with other couples. The third resource to weed and feed is education and enrichment. Anything in life that we
wanna be successful at, we have to educate.
– [George] Yeah. – We have to be trained. No one’s gonna let you just do a job. Like George was saying,
like you want a doctor who’s gone to medical school, right, and he’s practiced before he
has to do a operation on you. – That’s good to have a doctor
that went to medical school, right?
(laughing) – Right? So, and then in the world
that we’re in with the NFL, no one expects to make a team if they haven’t put in the work, if they haven’t educated
themselves on the playbook and what it takes to be successful, and if they haven’t worked out, and trained, and been coached. All of that helps us to be successful. And marriage is nothing less than that. – Yeah. – If you wanna be successful at marriage, you have to put the work in. You’ve gotta get the education. You’ve got to get the training. You’ve gotta learn the new skills. So I’m gonna do a shameless plug here, but if you wanna get
started on your education and enrichment, George and I are hosting a four week marriage group
called The Marriage Game Plan that kicks off this coming
Thursday here at Saddleback. And if you want more
information about that, if you put that on the connect card, they can send you all the details
of The Marriage Game Plan. – There’s some things
about our relationships, sometimes we’re just
floating and coasting, or sometimes we’re losing. Now, I know none of you guys
are losing in your marriage, but sometimes people lose. In fact, the LA Chargers, we were playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. I see a guy out here with a
Pittsburgh on, a jersey on. We need to escort him
out of here real quick. Anyway, and listen, we were down, we were down zero to
22 going into halftime. How many of you know Coach
Lynn went in that locker room, and he says, guys, we got
to change the game plan. So some of us, we might be losing, but it’s never too late
to change your game plan. Or sometimes you’re winning, but you know what, you
wanna win even more. So you gotta be willing
to change your game plan. The moral of that story is we came back and beat those Steelers pretty bad because we changed our game plan. – Yes, so what I wanna leave
you with is this personally. Please don’t die in a sea of lifeguards. – Don’t die. – So many people die
because they’re not willing to raise their hand and say, I need help. Please raise your hand
and say I need help. Some of you in here who are married, if you felt God tugging on your heart, don’t dismiss that. And if you’re in a relationship
and you see red flags, don’t look away from that. Don’t down play that. Listen, it’s too important. God’s image to the
world is counting on you to do the work that needs to be done to reflect a proper image
of who he is to the world. We know a few lifeguards, and
they will actually tell us that a lot of people drown because they fill like they can’t cry out, or they don’t raise their hand
to sort of say, I’m drowning, because they don’t want people to know they’re actually drowning, right? – Yeah, yeah. – Don’t do that here. There’s so many resources. There’s so many people
who wanna cheer you on, so many mentors, and there’s free things for you to take advantage of. A few years ago when I was
going back to New York, I was driving back, and I
began to weep before the Lord as it relates to marriages across America. The divorce statistics are true. At least 50% of
relationships end in divorce. Somebody’s gotta really
take that before the Lord and begin to repent of some things, and ask God to come in, and
really help our marriages. Especially, listen, if marriage
is 72% in Orange County, how many of you know we
need God more, and more, and more in our marriages. So I begin, come on, you
can give that a hand. (applauding) So I just begin to weep before the Lord, and the Lord responded to me immediately, and he gave me this scripture
in First Peter five and 10. And he says, and the God of all grace. He was saying to me, I’m
the God of all grace. What’s grace? Grace is unmerited, undeserved favor. He says, although you don’t
deserve this in your marriages, or your relationships, he says, the God of all grace, who called you into his eternal glory
through Christ Jesus after you have suffered
for a little while. There’s plenty of people
suffering right in our homes. There’s plenty of people, our co-workers, and for some of you,
you got great marriages, and I hope you didn’t tune us out. Tell your co-workers
to get this video link. Send ’em the link. Why? Because if we have healthy marriages, someone else marriage might be suffering. – Yeah. – Remember, the church, the world sees God’s reflection through its family, families that are made of godly believers. He says this, that after
you suffered a little while he himself will restore
you, make you strong, firm, and steadfast. There’s something about our God. How many of you like when God shows up? – Yeah, yeah. – Right? Only you over on this side.
(laughing) What about you guys over here? You like when God shows up? (applauding) I love when God shows up in my life. Now every now and then
when he sends a angel, that’s kinda weird, right,
when he sends a angel. But every now and then he’ll send a angel. But no, he says, I’m not
sending a angel here. He says, I’m coming to show up. And my prayer is that
God is coming to show up in your marriages, and
in your relationships, and in the community’s
marriages and relationships all across California, and
especially in Orange County. Why? It’s because he says that
after you’ve suffered for a little while, he
will make you strong. How many of you want a stronger marriage? He’ll make you firm. How many of you want a firmer marriage? – Yeah, yeah. – He says, I’ll make you steadfast, and I’ll make you complete. – Yeah. – You know what I think the number one miracle of day would be? If our generation could
find happiness at home, if we could just be
content with coming home, loving our spouse, and just saying, how can I raise a family in
the ways and means of God. Would you bow your heads
with us as we close today? Father, we pray this scripture. We pray this scripture. Lord, over our community, our
Saddleback community here. And we’re not just gonna
play games in church and act like oh, we’re just believers, and there’s nothing wrong
with our communities. No, no, no, no, if divorce rate is 72%, we’ve got an issue that
we’ve gotta deal with. And yet you said you’re
the God of all grace. If you’re here and your marriage
needs help this morning, just cry out to the God of all grace ’cause he’s here this morning. He says, he himself, he
himself will restore you, make you strong, firm, and steadfast. God, we pray for the couples to our right, the couples to our left, the individuals, the singles that are in
thinking about dating. Lord, we pray that God
of all grace would come, make us strong, make us
steadfast, make us firm. In Jesus name, Amen. God bless you Saddleback. – God bless you, thank you. – Thanks for checking out
this message on YouTube. My name is Jay, and I’m
Saddleback’s online pastor. I wanna invite you to take your next step by checking out our online community or help get you connected to
a local Saddleback campus. Three things we have
to offer you right now. First, learn more about
belonging to a church family by taking class 101. Second, don’t live life alone and get into community with others by joining an online small group or a local home group in your area. Third, join our Facebook
group to be more engaged with our online community
throughout the week. Take your next step and learn where a local campus is near you by
visiting Saddleback.com/online or email [email protected] Hope to hear from you soon.

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