Love on Fire | Thrive This Winter Week 1

Relationships are all about the match, right? We spend so much time trying to make sure we’ve found the right one…but what if that isn’t the match we should be thinking about? Today Kyle talks about the one decision you have to make in order to keep love burning for the long term.

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    The best way to watch Crossroads Church
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    is on your smart TV,
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    because that's where your family hangs out.
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    And plus, taking a break from your phone
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    and tablet feels good.
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    Download the Crossroads TV app on your smart TV
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    and your TV becomes your church,
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    your community,
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    your new rhythm,
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    your "I finally went to church this week."
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    Set a time to experience church on your TV.
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    See, you've already made your TV smarter.
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    Download the Crossroads TV app.
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    It'll give you the boost
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    you and your family need for your week.
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    Winter's coming: (bird chirps)
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    cold, long, dark
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    and it's going to be...
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    amazing!
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    Get yourself a shot in the arm of encouragement.
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    Just survive? Hibernate?
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    No way!
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    God wants you to thrive this winter
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    and we'll show you how.
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    A new weekly series from Crossroads.
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    Check it out by downloading the Crossroads App
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    on your smart TV or at Crossroads.net.
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    - Hey, everyone, and welcome to Crossroads Church.
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    I'm so glad that you joined us today.
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    I'm Hannah Sheppard and I'm here with my friend Justin.
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    He's a worship leader. Right?
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    - That's true.
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    - He doesn't do this often, so it's his first time.
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    - How do I do this? What do I do?
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    - Well, you stand, smile and wave. That's the first step.
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    - Like this?
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    - So, hey, everyone, so glad you're here. Yep.
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    We're starting a new series today
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    called Thrive this Winter.
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    Now, I know what you're thinking, "Hannah, it's fall.
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    You're holding a pumpkin spice latte,
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    which is amazing because it is fall."
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    But we want you to thrive this winter, not just survive.
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    And winter is coming.
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    So we've got some practical tools
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    to help you get to that next level.
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    It looks like you have a pumpkin spice latte also.
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    - False.
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    This is a pickled spinach liquor.
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    It is tangy a little bit.
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    - Tell the folks at home where they can get that from.
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    - You can get -- it's homemade. Yeah.
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    I get the pickles and the spinach out in the garden.
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    - Okay.
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    Today, we're going to talk about an exciting new message
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    and hear from our teaching pastor,
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    Kyle Ranson about marriage.
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    Now, I don't want you to tune out if you're not married.
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    This is not the time to turn off the television
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    or wherever you're watching.
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    Is's a time to tune in because this message applies
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    to everyone, no matter what their relationship status is
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    and it can apply to any relationship.
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    So if you're looking for a way to make things stronger,
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    Kyle is going to talk to us a little bit about that today.
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    Let's get started.
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    - Hi, I'm Kyle,
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    one of the teaching pastors with Crossroads.
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    And I believe that today is critical because today is about
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    a widespread and yet almost completely unaddressed lie
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    that wants to steal from you.
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    It wants to snatch one of the very best experiences
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    that God has designed right out of your hands.
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    It's a lie about love and marriage
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    and its carnage is piling higher and higher
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    every single day.
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    And if you don't get wise to it, you may be next.
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    Now, if you're married,
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    if you're thinking about getting married,
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    if you ever have been married, this message is for you,
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    because the truth is
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    every relationship starts out the same.
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    It starts out with a spark, a flame.
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    There's a fire between you.
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    There's a connection that burns bright.
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    But then all too quickly,
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    the winter comes,
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    the spring turns to summer.
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    The leaves start to fall, start to fade.
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    The cold sets in.
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    The fire that burned brightly,
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    starts to flicker and grow faint.
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    And you wonder, "Can the flames ever be reignited?"
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    If that's where you're at today, you're not alone.
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    There was a recent study done that said that
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    divorce is up a shocking 34% since the start of COVID,
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    and it's even higher among young couples.
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    One article that details the study,
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    The New York Post, said this:
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    Now, why are all these marriages,
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    especially the young ones, the one that literally
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    had a spark and a flame only months ago,
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    why are they burned to the ground?
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    Let me just say, by the way, if you're listening
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    and you've been divorced, please, please,
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    please don't hear condemnation today. Do not.
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    I know divorce is painful and it's complicated.
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    You may have done everything you can
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    to keep the marriage alive and they still may have left.
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    If that's you, hear grace, give me grace today
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    and hang with me because I believe
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    your trust in marriage can get resurrected today.
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    Here's the truth, everyone, at some point,
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    usually multiple, will question their marriage.
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    It starts as this little whisper
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    in the very back of your head
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    after yet another conversation goes sideways.
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    It sounds like, "Man, do I really want to keep doing this?
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    What if it never changes?"
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    Or, "I think I'm just the easiest thing
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    for her to blame our problems on."
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    Or, "Gosh, she doesn't care about me.
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    I just want to go live my life.
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    I think I'd be happier without her
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    or I'd be free to sleep with whoever I wanted
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    if he was gone."
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    Or, "We just got married too young, you know?
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    Maybe we just didn't know enough about ourselves."
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    Now, I don't know where you are with that voice.
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    Maybe you've heard it, maybe you've been fighting it,
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    or maybe you've been listening.
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    Maybe you've moved out.
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    Maybe you've already filed your divorce papers
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    or maybe you just heard it for the first time yesterday.
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    But no matter where you are,
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    I believe a successful, thriving, life giving,
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    unmatched by anything is possible for you.
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    A marriage that's unbelievable is possible for you
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    and today I'm going to tell you how to get it.
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    But I have to be up front about what it costs,
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    because it does have a cost and it's not a small one.
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    It will cost you everything.
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    But, you know, there's a better question to ask
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    than what is the cost, it's what is it worth?
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    There's a parable in the Bible of Matthew 13
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    where Jesus tells where a man goes out
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    and he goes to this field
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    and he starts searching around the field
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    and he finds buried treasure hidden in the field.
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    And so he goes out, he sells everything he has
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    and he buys the field. Why?
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    Because he was smart enough not to focus on what it cost,
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    he was focused on what it was worth.
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    It was worth everything.
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    There was treasure buried in it.
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    So what's a great marriage worth?
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    It is worth more than everything you have.
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    There is no other human relationship that can match
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    the joy, the safety, the satisfaction,
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    the complete unity and love of marriage.
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    None. There's treasure in it.
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    How in the world would you get it?
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    Well, according to God, there is a way
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    and it all comes down to the match.
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    Dating is all about the match, isn't it?
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    That's basically what you do,
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    you go out on date after date,
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    you ask a bunch of questions, you know,
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    how many kids do you want?
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    What kind of music do you like?
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    And you just hope to find a match.
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    "Oh, you want three kids. Me too.
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    This might have a shot.
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    You like the same music as --"
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    That's out of tune.
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    "You like the same music as me?
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    Awesome. This is going to be great."
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    Question after question, and if you find a good match --
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    Nice -- then you basically you get engaged
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    and married and hope it worked out,
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    hope that you were right.
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    And if you were right, you stay married.
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    And if you got it wrong
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    or you weren't that good of a match
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    or if one of you changes
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    because of the weight of the last eight months
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    has changed you or the fit doesn't match anymore,
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    well, then you get divorced.
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    And that's just kind of how it works.
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    IT's all about the good match.
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    Now, Sarah and I, to be honest,
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    we were helped out with our match.
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    We had a matchmaker, someone who saw us
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    and was like, "You guy'd be perfect together,"
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    just like these mugs. Absolutely perfect.
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    So he set us up, his name is Paul Owens.
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    He's part of the Uptown Crossroads staff.
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    Thank you, Paul. Appreciate it, by the way.
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    He set us up without us even knowing it,
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    like got us together and thought we would be a good match.
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    Early on, there was amazing science. It was great.
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    I remember the first conversation
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    I discovered that Sarah --
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    Sarah loved dark beer, sports, and steak.
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    It was the holy trinity of stuff
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    that mattered to me at 24 years old.
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    It was amazing. Like this is great.
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    Now, that's a fairly typical story up to that point,
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    but this is where the story gets weird.
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    Because one month into our relationship,
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    Sarah and I went on the very first GO Trip
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    ever in the history of Crossroads to South Africa.
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    And our first night there,
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    we're having this conversation, you know."
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    I was talking about, I don't know, whatever,
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    the day and what we were hoping for the trip,
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    something like that.
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    In the middle of the conversation, midsentence,
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    I'm talking to her and this voice comes out of nowhere
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    and drops in the back of my mind.
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    It was a voice that I immediately knew was God's.
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    How? I've no idea, I just knew it was.
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    And the voice said, "This is your wife."
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    at the exact same moment as I freeze mid-sentence,
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    I see Sarah and her face all of a sudden just goes blank,
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    she's like, "What?"
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    It's at the same exact time
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    that voice drops into her head and said,
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    "This is your husband."
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    And we both just gulped and looked at each other
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    and stared for what felt like forever.
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    I think I'm the first one who talked
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    and I basically just like, "What -- What did you hear?"
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    And she's like, "I heard that you're my husband?"
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    I was like, "It's crazy. I heard that you're my wife."
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    I hadn't even kissed her yet. It's insane.
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    Listen, here's the point: God literally matched us.
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    And I know that sounds insane, so here,
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    let's verify that story like really quick with Sarah.
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    - Why are you taking -- Don't take a picture of me.
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    - I'm not taking a picture of you.
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    - What are you doing? - Taking a video of you.
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    - Because I have a question for you.
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    I just told everybody our story of God
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    telling us to get married in South Africa,
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    and I feel like they don't believe me.
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    So can you kind of verify the facts real quick?
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    - We went to Africa.
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    The Lord spoke audibly and told us,
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    "Kyle, this is your wife,"
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    and "Sarah, this is your husband" at the same time.
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    - Then what happened?
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    - Like immediately after? - Yeah.
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    - We just stared at each other, like,
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    "Did you just hear what I just heard?"
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    - OK, who talked first?
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    - Me, I think.
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    - OK, I thought it was me.
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    - No, I think it was me.
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    I don't like uncomfortable silence.
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    - Ok. Then we got married? - Yeah.
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    - And everything was awesome and easy?
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    - Sure.
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    - She absolutely hates being on camera,
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    and I just want you to know,
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    I risked sleeping on the couch to get that video for you
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    because you have to get the point.
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    I have experienced the absolute pinnacle
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    of getting a perfect match.
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    God himself matched us.
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    Did you catch that?
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    I know what you're thinking,
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    you're like, "Oh, that's cool, Kyle.
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    No, you definitely have nothing to say to me whatsoever
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    because if God had matched my marriage,
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    I'll bet it'd be great too."
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    Now I get it, but like, why do you think that?
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    You think it because you believe
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    what the world has taught you to believe
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    so deeply you don't even question it.
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    That a successful marriage comes down to
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    how well you match, how you fit together.
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    The world says that what you need to find
  • 00:11:30
    is somebody who matches you so well,
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    they just make you happy without even trying.
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    That, my friends, is the lie and it will destroy you.
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    I know because I've experienced
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    the pinnacle of being matched,
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    and yet that match has mattered exactly zero percent
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    in the success of my marriage.
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    And it will matter exactly zero percent in yours too.
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    After God said to get married,
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    we did, like really quickly because,
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    you know, like God Himself said to.
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    So quick timeline, we started dating in February,
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    God matched us in April, in May I ask her to marry me
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    and we bought a house together,
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    which she lived in until we got married,
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    which wasn't a very long wait
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    because we got married in September,
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    which means on our first Valentine's Day
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    we had already been married
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    for almost half a freaking year, which was insane.
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    I honestly was like, "So wife, like what do you
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    like to do typically on Valentine's Day?
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    What was your name again? Like Susan or Sandy?"
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    You're like, "I don't know."
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    Which meant we got to know each other
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    after we walked down the aisle,
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    after we signed the mortgage together.
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    And that's when we discovered,
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    despite what God thought,
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    we were the world's worst match.
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    Like we're the exact opposite in every single way.
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    She's an introvert. I'm an extrovert.
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    She's a planner. I'm spontaneous.
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    She's a morning person
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    and I do my best creative work late into the night.
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    She's safety conscious, and I've got to be honest,
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    I completely zoned out
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    right after you started talking about safety.
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    We were an awful match and it was rough.
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    I was honestly just really hoping I hadn't made a mistake
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    and that somehow, some way
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    we could still prove to be a good match.
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    So I did the only logical thing I could think of,
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    and I made a plan to fix it.
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    And by it I meet her.
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    I decided I would change her to match me
  • 00:13:32
    to be the spouse that everyone wants,
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    the one that fits you so well, they just make you happy.
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    So I try to get her to hang out with people more,
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    tried to get her to be more spontaneous, more risk loving.
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    And to be honest, it almost killed us.
  • 00:13:46
    And I wonder about you.
  • 00:13:48
    Is this what you're placing your hope in right now,
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    that your girlfriend or your fiance,
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    your wife, your husband, that they'll change
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    to become a good match for you.
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    That she'll just get okay with seeing friends
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    as much as you like to see friends.
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    That he'll just go okay with planning out your calendar
  • 00:14:02
    the way you like to plan out your calendar
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    as far as you like to do it.
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    That she'll just embrace your hobbies
  • 00:14:07
    and how you want to spend money.
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    If so, you're obsessing over the wrong match.
  • 00:14:15
    I'm telling you, that match utterly does not matter.
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    It doesn't.
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    If you want a thriving marriage,
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    there's a completely different match
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    that should be getting all of your attention.
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    You know, one good reason to get married
  • 00:14:31
    is you get a lot of free stuff.
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    Now, I don't know who the genius is
  • 00:14:34
    that invented gift registries,
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    but like cheers to that person.
  • 00:14:37
    Guys, this is great, but it could be better.
  • 00:14:40
    See, I wanted to register for practical stuff,
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    like stuff that you actually need,
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    like a table saw and a kegerator, maybe a hot tub.
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    And allow me just let you down gently,
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    that's not how it works.
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    Instead, you have to learn this entire
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    new set of mysterious, intimidating vocabulary terms
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    like duvet cover, which friends in college,
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    this is an actual thing people care about.
  • 00:15:02
    It's basically like an incredibly expensive
  • 00:15:05
    and unnecessary wrapper for a blanket.
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    Like that's actually what is.
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    And you have to buy it, then you have to buy a blanket
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    to put inside it to make it useful.
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    I just imagine there was a big brainstorm
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    with the blanket company, you know,
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    like maybe sales were down or whatever.
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    And they're like, "We've got to turn this thing around.
  • 00:15:20
    What are we going to do?"
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    They're all around a table and like Carl from accounting,
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    he like shyly raises his hand, "Like, guys, I have an idea.
  • 00:15:26
    I have an idea.
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    What if we sell the outside of the blanket
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    separately from the inside
  • 00:15:31
    and we could charge people twice?"
  • 00:15:33
    He sits back in his chair, the boss stands up,
  • 00:15:36
    she shook her head.
  • 00:15:37
    She's like, "Carl, that's a terrible idea."
  • 00:15:40
    And everyone else is like, "Yeah. Carl,
  • 00:15:41
    typical stupid idea, Carl.
  • 00:15:43
    Jeez, why don't you shut up, Carl."
  • 00:15:45
    And then Lauren from marketing, she slowly raises her hand.
  • 00:15:48
    She says, "You know, actually, that could work
  • 00:15:51
    if we named it something French sounding like duvet cover."
  • 00:15:54
    And everyone was like, "Dang it, you just might be right.
  • 00:15:56
    Lauren, that's a great idea.
  • 00:15:58
    People buy anything they think is from France."
  • 00:16:00
    Like anything like this crap, Pamplemoose,
  • 00:16:03
    whatever this is LeCrap. I mean, LeCroix. This is awful.
  • 00:16:07
    People fall for it and think it's from France.
  • 00:16:12
    Oh, that tastes like TV static, it's awful. Yuck!
  • 00:16:18
    - See, I've got to disagree with Kyle.
  • 00:16:20
    I like LeCroix, except when it's lukewarm.
  • 00:16:22
    Nobody likes that.
  • 00:16:23
    It makes me feel kind of fancy, you know?
  • 00:16:25
    - Everyone likes to feel fancy. - That's right.
  • 00:16:27
    - But I've got to tell you,
  • 00:16:28
    I've got to agree with Kyle, it tastes exactly like static.
  • 00:16:31
    Truer words have been said.
  • 00:16:32
    - I don't even know what that means.
  • 00:16:34
    - If you are in the practice of giving
  • 00:16:37
    or if you would like to partner with us financially
  • 00:16:39
    to help spread this message of hope,
  • 00:16:40
    you could do that right now.
  • 00:16:42
    - Yeah, you can do that just like I do
  • 00:16:43
    at Crossroads.net/give.
  • 00:16:45
    And now let's get back to Kyle.
  • 00:16:56
    - Here's the thing, the duvet cover, the dishes,
  • 00:16:58
    all the crap you get when you get married,
  • 00:17:00
    those are fantastic.
  • 00:17:01
    It's fun to get gifts.
  • 00:17:03
    When I got married, Brian Tome gave me a nice gift.
  • 00:17:05
    He give me a set of steak knives
  • 00:17:06
    that I still use to this day.
  • 00:17:08
    So thanks for those, BT, excellent gift.
  • 00:17:10
    But those aren't the only gift you get
  • 00:17:12
    when you get married.
  • 00:17:14
    See, the moment you walk down the aisle,
  • 00:17:16
    there is another gift that's in your hand.
  • 00:17:19
    What's that gift?
  • 00:17:20
    It's a set of matches
  • 00:17:23
    and this isn't any ordinary set of matches.
  • 00:17:25
    This is a special set of matches because
  • 00:17:26
    every single day when you wake up,
  • 00:17:28
    a new one appears in your hand.
  • 00:17:30
    And every day you will light one
  • 00:17:33
    and you will burn something to the ground.
  • 00:17:35
    And friends, there's only two choices
  • 00:17:37
    of what to light on fire,
  • 00:17:38
    either yourself or your marriage.
  • 00:17:41
    See, the world says that a great marriage
  • 00:17:44
    comes from finding a good match.
  • 00:17:48
    It doesn't. It doesn't.
  • 00:17:49
    A great marriage doesn't come from finding a good match.
  • 00:17:52
    A great marriage comes from the great use of a match.
  • 00:17:57
    That's it.
  • 00:17:59
    See, friends, the only match that matters
  • 00:18:02
    is the one you're holding right now.
  • 00:18:07
    Fires are pretty cool.
  • 00:18:09
    I mean, you might be thinking like,
  • 00:18:10
    "That's a really good metaphor, Kyle,
  • 00:18:12
    but what does this have to do with the Bible?"
  • 00:18:14
    Well, everything.
  • 00:18:16
    Do you know that fire is all over the Bible
  • 00:18:19
    to the point where one of the nicknames for God
  • 00:18:21
    is literally "The Consuming Fire."
  • 00:18:24
    Deuteronomy 4:24 says:
  • 00:18:31
    That's not the only place fire shows up.
  • 00:18:33
    It's literally everywhere.
  • 00:18:35
    God guided the Israelites by night using a pillar of fire.
  • 00:18:38
    God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush.
  • 00:18:40
    Elijah calls down fire from heaven.
  • 00:18:43
    John the Baptist even said that
  • 00:18:45
    Jesus will baptize with fire.
  • 00:18:48
    But that's not the most prominent use
  • 00:18:50
    of the word fire in the Bible.
  • 00:18:52
    The word fire is most associated with one thing:
  • 00:18:56
    the system of sacrifices.
  • 00:18:58
    Now, quick little overview
  • 00:18:59
    of Old Testament sacrificial system,
  • 00:19:01
    which I know you're excited about.
  • 00:19:02
    There are basically five of them.
  • 00:19:03
    All of them have little nuances
  • 00:19:05
    and differences between them,
  • 00:19:06
    but the main idea in all was the exact same.
  • 00:19:09
    You would take something as a stand in for you.
  • 00:19:13
    You would kill it.
  • 00:19:14
    You'd put it on a big old pile of wood
  • 00:19:16
    and you'd light it on fire
  • 00:19:18
    and let the flames completely consume it
  • 00:19:21
    as a sign of your devotion to God.
  • 00:19:23
    Now, this wasn't just something
  • 00:19:24
    that happened in ancient Judaism.
  • 00:19:26
    This is all old world religions across the world,
  • 00:19:29
    regardless of time period, geography, anything,
  • 00:19:32
    you find the systems of sacrifices.
  • 00:19:33
    And the idea is the same:
  • 00:19:35
    The way you prove your devotion to the divine
  • 00:19:38
    is through sacrifice.
  • 00:19:40
    It's actually the only true way to prove your commitment.
  • 00:19:44
    Before you go judging that as, you know,
  • 00:19:45
    like old and barbaric or whatever,
  • 00:19:47
    just think about it for a second.
  • 00:19:49
    Just think about this, because you have the same belief.
  • 00:19:52
    You know this to be true.
  • 00:19:53
    Your closest friends, the ones who you love the most,
  • 00:19:56
    you'd say are your best friends.
  • 00:19:58
    They're the ones who you know what about?
  • 00:20:01
    They would sacrifice for you,
  • 00:20:02
    that they'd give up their time for you,
  • 00:20:04
    that if you were sad
  • 00:20:05
    they would come over and try to cheer you up.
  • 00:20:07
    That if you needed to move,
  • 00:20:08
    they'd come lug your furniture down the stairs.
  • 00:20:10
    It's sacrifice.
  • 00:20:12
    That's it in a nutshell.
  • 00:20:13
    This is the sacrificial system and everything
  • 00:20:15
    is about proving your devotion to the divine,
  • 00:20:17
    but then with Jesus, God completely flipped the script.
  • 00:20:22
    You see, rather than ask people, you and I,
  • 00:20:24
    to sacrifice, to do sacrifice after sacrifice
  • 00:20:27
    to prove our devotion to Him, God gave Jesus
  • 00:20:30
    as a once and for all sacrifice
  • 00:20:33
    to prove His devotion to us. It's crazy.
  • 00:20:38
    Scripture actually said that Jesus became
  • 00:20:40
    all of the sacrifices, that He willingly
  • 00:20:42
    walked through the flames of death for our sake,
  • 00:20:46
    that He became the lamb let the flames consume Him,
  • 00:20:50
    and in doing so, He completely redefined love.
  • 00:20:55
    1 John 3:16 puts it this way:
  • 00:21:03
    Well, what does that mean?
  • 00:21:04
    It means this, friends, love is sacrifice.
  • 00:21:08
    It is lighting yourself on fire
  • 00:21:10
    for the sake of someone else,
  • 00:21:12
    putting yourself on the pile of wood,
  • 00:21:13
    burning your rights, your plans,
  • 00:21:15
    your ambitions, everything.
  • 00:21:18
    And look, I know this is radically different
  • 00:21:20
    than the definition of love at the world perpetuates.
  • 00:21:23
    The world says that love is
  • 00:21:24
    a deep feeling of happiness felt towards someone else
  • 00:21:27
    because of how they make you feel.
  • 00:21:28
    That's what it says.
  • 00:21:29
    We know we're in love, because we feel it.
  • 00:21:32
    We feel happy when we're with each other.
  • 00:21:34
    But when happiness fades, we believe that love,
  • 00:21:37
    maybe it's left the building.
  • 00:21:38
    Friends, nothing could be farther from the truth.
  • 00:21:41
    Stop believing the lie.
  • 00:21:43
    Happiness is a by-product of love.
  • 00:21:46
    Love isn't a by-product of happiness.
  • 00:21:49
    In fact, if you want to be happy,
  • 00:21:50
    you have to change your goal
  • 00:21:52
    from feeling happy every day
  • 00:21:54
    to loving your spouse every day,
  • 00:21:56
    to lighting yourself on fire every single day.
  • 00:22:01
    In fact, this is the exact call that God makes to you.
  • 00:22:04
    He says, "This thing of sacrifices,
  • 00:22:05
    I don't need you to do that for Me anymore.
  • 00:22:07
    I don't need you to prove your devotion to Me any more.
  • 00:22:09
    We're good now.
  • 00:22:10
    Rather than that, what I want you to do
  • 00:22:13
    is to do what I did for you for others."
  • 00:22:16
    The very next phrase in 1 John 3:16,
  • 00:22:19
    very next sentence says this:
  • 00:22:24
    If you want a great marriage, you have to understand
  • 00:22:28
    a loving marriage is a sacrificial marriage.
  • 00:22:31
    The call to sacrifice yourself for your spouse.
  • 00:22:35
    And here's the big thing, not when they deserve it.
  • 00:22:39
    Because let me ask you a question.
  • 00:22:40
    When did Jesus sacrifice Himself for you?
  • 00:22:44
    Was it once you had it all together?
  • 00:22:45
    Was it once you proved yourself to Him?
  • 00:22:47
    Was it once you showed Him
  • 00:22:48
    you finally kicked that one bad habit?
  • 00:22:50
    "Oh, I'm good now, Jesus."
  • 00:22:51
    And He's like, "Yeah. Now sacrifice Myself"?
  • 00:22:53
    Was it when you memorized enough Bible verses,
  • 00:22:56
    finally got all your crap together?
  • 00:22:58
    No, not at all.
  • 00:23:00
    The Bible says that He sacrificed Himself for you
  • 00:23:02
    at the precise moment that you didn't deserve it.
  • 00:23:06
    That's what Romans 5:8 says, it says:
  • 00:23:07
    but God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
  • 00:23:12
    while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • 00:23:16
    When you're married, the sacrifice is you
  • 00:23:19
    and it's for the sake of your spouse.
  • 00:23:22
    Love is taking your match
  • 00:23:24
    and it's lighting yourself on fire
  • 00:23:27
    and letting the flames completely consume you
  • 00:23:30
    for their sake.
  • 00:23:32
    Friends, the only match that matters in your marriage
  • 00:23:34
    is the one you wake up holding every single day.
  • 00:23:39
    This isn't a one time thing.
  • 00:23:40
    It's an everyday decision.
  • 00:23:44
    One of those everyday decisions for me
  • 00:23:47
    is about running because a number of years ago
  • 00:23:49
    Sarah got into running, probably five or six or so.
  • 00:23:52
    It started as like she'd go for a three mile run
  • 00:23:54
    and I watch the kids.
  • 00:23:56
    You know, it took, I don't know, an hour.
  • 00:24:00
    Then she decided she wanted to run marathons.
  • 00:24:02
    And do you know how much time it takes to run marathons?
  • 00:24:06
    I do, because it's a lot.
  • 00:24:08
    She'd go on like four or five hour runs
  • 00:24:11
    on Saturday mornings.
  • 00:24:13
    One of the ways I saw I could light myself on fire
  • 00:24:15
    for her is to watch the kids, so I do.
  • 00:24:18
    See running for her is not just like
  • 00:24:20
    a physical benefit thing, it's like a mental,
  • 00:24:21
    emotional, everything health thing.
  • 00:24:24
    So every Saturday morning I watch the kids.
  • 00:24:27
    I do pancakes, clean up.
  • 00:24:30
    I get them dressed, get them going for the day
  • 00:24:33
    and then I make lunch and I clean up.
  • 00:24:36
    And I watch them while she stretches.
  • 00:24:38
    And the thing is, it's costly.
  • 00:24:41
    But I do it for her
  • 00:24:42
    because it's a way I can sacrifice myself.
  • 00:24:45
    I see that it's worth it.
  • 00:24:46
    A number of months ago when COVID hit,
  • 00:24:49
    she had just started a new job
  • 00:24:50
    and I could tell it was just stressing her out.
  • 00:24:52
    And she'd get to the end of the day
  • 00:24:54
    and just like just wiped, you know?
  • 00:24:55
    Just get to the end to dinner
  • 00:24:57
    before the kids were getting put to bed
  • 00:24:59
    and she was just so exhausted.
  • 00:25:01
    So I decided to light myself on fire.
  • 00:25:03
    I said, "Babe, you stay downstairs.
  • 00:25:05
    I'll do bedtime from now on."
  • 00:25:07
    She hasn't walked upstairs to put the kids to bed,
  • 00:25:09
    to brush their teeth, tuck them in,
  • 00:25:11
    to read them a book and then another book
  • 00:25:13
    and then another book and all that stuff in months.
  • 00:25:17
    And it's costly, it hurts.
  • 00:25:19
    I'm tired, too, but I do it because love is sacrifice.
  • 00:25:25
    It's lighting yourself on fire.
  • 00:25:26
    And our marriage, I'm thankful to say,
  • 00:25:28
    it's not a one way street. It goes both ways.
  • 00:25:31
    She does the same thing for me.
  • 00:25:33
    A couple of years ago,
  • 00:25:35
    we were living in this great house.
  • 00:25:36
    It was a house we bought at a steep family discount.
  • 00:25:38
    You know old and big.
  • 00:25:40
    And she worked for four or five years to make it ours.
  • 00:25:43
    And it was just perfect,
  • 00:25:44
    in a beautiful running neighborhood, by the way,
  • 00:25:46
    like the best running routes. She loved it.
  • 00:25:49
    But it was kind of the place
  • 00:25:50
    where houses are packed together.
  • 00:25:51
    Not like a yard, not a lot of room to move around.
  • 00:25:54
    And for me, see, I grew up out on land, out on property.
  • 00:25:57
    I got to roam in the woods and explore.
  • 00:25:59
    And I think a lot of my creativity,
  • 00:26:01
    a lot of my courage, spontaneity even
  • 00:26:04
    comes from those times growing up as a kid
  • 00:26:06
    getting to explore and not worry about stuff.
  • 00:26:09
    And I wanted that for our kids.
  • 00:26:10
    So one day I said, "Hey, babe, what do you think
  • 00:26:12
    about moving out to the country,
  • 00:26:14
    about selling this place?"
  • 00:26:17
    The truth is, she didn't want to do it, but she did.
  • 00:26:20
    We sold that house.
  • 00:26:22
    We bought a house out on six acres.
  • 00:26:24
    And she traded a perfectly manicured house for
  • 00:26:29
    what is at this point, a 2.5 year construction project
  • 00:26:33
    and still going.
  • 00:26:35
    You know the crazy thing? She'd do it again.
  • 00:26:38
    I know she would.
  • 00:26:40
    Because see I know she knows something.
  • 00:26:43
    Every day she wakes up with a match
  • 00:26:45
    and she chose what to burn, herself.
  • 00:26:49
    She'd do it again.
  • 00:26:51
    See a transcendent marriage will cost you everything,
  • 00:26:55
    but don't get stuck on what it costs.
  • 00:26:58
    Yes, it costs everything,
  • 00:27:00
    but it is worth so much more.
  • 00:27:02
    Because of my marriage I am stronger, I'm more confident.
  • 00:27:06
    I have a safe place where there are no secrets.
  • 00:27:08
    I am a better person in so many ways.
  • 00:27:11
    This message is better.
  • 00:27:12
    I made her sit and listen to the entire thing
  • 00:27:14
    and she made it better.
  • 00:27:15
    This is marriage.
  • 00:27:16
    The flames refine you and make you better.
  • 00:27:20
    And you can have it.
  • 00:27:22
    You can have it, but you have to be willing
  • 00:27:24
    to light yourself on fire and burn down everything.
  • 00:27:29
    Where do you start?
  • 00:27:31
    Start with the scorecard.
  • 00:27:34
    Early in our marriage,
  • 00:27:35
    the scorecard was part of every conversation.
  • 00:27:38
    It was stuff like who did the laundry the last time?
  • 00:27:40
    How many times have I done it
  • 00:27:41
    versus how many times have you done it
  • 00:27:42
    or how many times did you do the dishes last week
  • 00:27:44
    versus how many times did I do the dishes last week?
  • 00:27:46
    Or things like how many days last week do we have sex
  • 00:27:50
    versus not have sex?
  • 00:27:51
    How many nights were you out versus me?
  • 00:27:53
    I don't know what's on your scorecard,
  • 00:27:55
    but I know you have one.
  • 00:27:56
    Maybe it's how many nights
  • 00:27:57
    she's been away traveling for work
  • 00:27:59
    or how much money he spends on camping gear,
  • 00:28:01
    on his music hobby or whatever.
  • 00:28:04
    Here's the thing, friends, most couples have a scorecard,
  • 00:28:07
    but most happy couples don't.
  • 00:28:09
    If you want a transcendent marriage,
  • 00:28:11
    you have one choice:
  • 00:28:13
    You have to burn the score card.
  • 00:28:16
    It doesn't matter who did laundry.
  • 00:28:18
    It doesn't matter, utterly doesn't matter.
  • 00:28:20
    You have to burn it. You have to burn everything.
  • 00:28:22
    You can save nothing.
  • 00:28:24
    You might have to burn your nice nights
  • 00:28:27
    where you just get to sit and relax
  • 00:28:29
    and have a good night watching whatever you want to on TV.
  • 00:28:33
    Maybe for you it's burning that job that takes you away,
  • 00:28:36
    keeps you up late at night, keeps you away from the house.
  • 00:28:39
    Maybe it's burning your weekend hobby that you love.
  • 00:28:45
    Maybe it's burning your weekends with the guys.
  • 00:28:50
    Maybe the thing that you have to burn
  • 00:28:53
    is that habit that you know
  • 00:28:54
    you should have kicked a long time ago, but you haven't.
  • 00:28:57
    The one we use get high and you get checked out,
  • 00:29:00
    burn it, burn everything.
  • 00:29:02
    Anything you say becomes a barrier, everything must go.
  • 00:29:07
    Maybe it's the job that has you out of town.
  • 00:29:10
    Burn it.
  • 00:29:12
    Whoo.
  • 00:29:13
    You've got to burn your habit of checking out at night.
  • 00:29:16
    You sit on the couch and you decide,
  • 00:29:18
    maybe I'm just going to surf the Internet
  • 00:29:20
    while you sit next to me checking your phone.
  • 00:29:23
    Burn it, everything must go.
  • 00:29:26
    Sacrifice is everything.
  • 00:29:28
    Maybe it's your hobby,
  • 00:29:30
    the dream you've held on to a little too long.
  • 00:29:32
    It's time to let it go. Let it go, friends.
  • 00:29:36
    Save nothing.
  • 00:29:39
    Everything, everything has to be burned.
  • 00:29:43
    Everything, every dream that's not in the picture,
  • 00:29:47
    everything.
  • 00:29:52
    Maybe the thing that you have to burn
  • 00:29:55
    is all the care and attention you give your kids.
  • 00:29:58
    You have nothing left for her.
  • 00:30:01
    You've got to burn it.
  • 00:30:02
    Because, friends, every day you wake up with the match
  • 00:30:06
    and you will burn something to the ground.
  • 00:30:08
    It will either be yourself or your marriage.
  • 00:30:11
    One leads to loss and loneliness
  • 00:30:13
    and the other leads to a lifetime of love.
  • 00:30:16
    So what will it be?
  • 00:30:17
    What will you burn to the ground?
  • 00:30:27
    Crowns and Kingdoms high above the walls
  • 00:30:38
    Towering around us when we fall
  • 00:30:48
    what if we strike a match set the walls on fire
  • 00:30:55
    strike a match set the walls on fire
  • 00:30:59
    Bring the fire when love has hit a limit
  • 00:31:02
    Bring the fire burnin everything in it
  • 00:31:05
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:31:08
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:31:11
    Bring the fire when love has hit limit
  • 00:31:13
    Bring the fire burnin everything in it
  • 00:31:16
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:31:18
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:31:22
    Burn it
  • 00:31:25
    Burn it all
  • 00:31:33
    If these walls would keep your hand from mine
  • 00:31:44
    Before they grow much too steep to climb
  • 00:31:54
    can we just
  • 00:31:55
    strike a match set the walls on fire
  • 00:31:59
    Burn it all
  • 00:32:01
    strike a match set the walls on fire
  • 00:32:05
    Bring the fire when love has hit a limit
  • 00:32:08
    Bring the fire burnin everything in it
  • 00:32:10
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:32:13
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:32:16
    Bring the fire when love has hit limit
  • 00:32:18
    Bring the fire burnin everything in it
  • 00:32:21
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:32:24
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:32:27
    Burn it
  • 00:32:31
    Burn it all
  • 00:32:39
    Set it on fire
  • 00:32:41
    Set it on fire
  • 00:32:42
    Keep our love alive
  • 00:32:44
    Set it on fire
  • 00:32:46
    Set it on fire
  • 00:32:48
    Keep our love alive
  • 00:32:49
    Set it on fire
  • 00:32:52
    Set it on fire
  • 00:32:53
    Keep our love alive
  • 00:32:56
    Keep our love alive
  • 00:32:59
    Keep our love alive
  • 00:33:02
    Bring the fire when love has hit limit
  • 00:33:05
    Bring the fire burnin everything in it
  • 00:33:08
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:33:10
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:33:13
    Bring the fire when love has hit limit
  • 00:33:16
    Bring the fire burnin everything in it
  • 00:33:19
    Yeah Ooooooooooooo
  • 00:33:21
    Yeah
  • 00:33:24
    Burn it
  • 00:33:28
    Burn it all
  • 00:33:35
    Burn it
  • 00:33:39
    Burn it all
  • 00:33:57
    - You want a great marriage?
  • 00:33:58
    You have a match, use it.
  • 00:34:01
    Start with this, tell your spouse
  • 00:34:03
    the things you've been holding back on
  • 00:34:05
    or write them down on a piece of paper,
  • 00:34:06
    strike the match and burn it in front of them.
  • 00:34:08
    It will be more powerful
  • 00:34:10
    than the day you walk down the aisle,
  • 00:34:12
    because when you sacrifice yourself,
  • 00:34:14
    you will unleash love like never before.
  • 00:34:17
    Then you become one of those couples,
  • 00:34:18
    one of those couples that everyone envies, the happy ones.
  • 00:34:24
    - So I want you to sit in this moment.
  • 00:34:27
    This is not a moment to run away from or pass you by,
  • 00:34:31
    I want you to sit right here.
  • 00:34:33
    Whatever you're carrying right now,
  • 00:34:35
    you can bring it to God.
  • 00:34:36
    If it's heavy or light, you can bring it to God.
  • 00:34:39
    God uses words like refuge and shelter to describe Himself.
  • 00:34:42
    That's who He is.
  • 00:34:44
    And so we put these songs together
  • 00:34:47
    to help you connect with Him.
  • 00:34:48
    They're not music videos for you just to watch.
  • 00:34:51
    These are tools to help you connect with God.
  • 00:34:53
    These are videos of us with cameras on yes,
  • 00:34:56
    but us crying out to God
  • 00:34:57
    to help you cry out to Him right here, right now.
  • 00:43:52
    - Man, we've had such a wonderful time today.
  • 00:43:55
    I hope that God spoke to you,
  • 00:43:56
    that you got something out of this,
  • 00:43:58
    just like I know I did.
  • 00:44:00
    Just a few things that we want to note today.
  • 00:44:02
    Here at Crossroads, at our physical sites,
  • 00:44:04
    we've been doing something
  • 00:44:05
    called Thanksgiving Food Drive for a long time.
  • 00:44:08
    So whether you usually go to a site,
  • 00:44:10
    are near a site or not near a site,
  • 00:44:12
    we want to help you know how to get involved.
  • 00:44:14
    And you can go to Crossroads.net/TFD.
  • 00:44:17
    - That's right.
  • 00:44:18
    And if you normally join us at a site,
  • 00:44:20
    but you've been joining us at home online
  • 00:44:23
    because of COVID and all the things,
  • 00:44:26
    we've got some important updates
  • 00:44:27
    happening at some of our sites.
  • 00:44:28
    All good things, are good things,
  • 00:44:30
    some shifts in leadership, all good things,
  • 00:44:32
    but we want you to know about them
  • 00:44:33
    and not miss out on them so go to Crossroads.net/update.
  • 00:44:37
    You know, so I mean be honest,
  • 00:44:40
    first time. How did I do? Come on, critique.
  • 00:44:43
    - You'll get better.
  • 00:44:44
    - Oh, cool.
  • 00:44:45
    - Thanks so much for joining us, folks,
  • 00:44:46
    and we'll see you next time.
Process, journal or discuss the themes of this article - here's a few questions to get the ball rolling...

Welcome to the Weekend Follow-Up. These questions are for the weekend of Nov 14th & 15th.

  1. We all love a perfect match. Whether it’s Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cereal & Milk, or Kool-Aid & Sugar. Share your perfect match. It could be your favorite coffee combination or favorite dish.

  2. Relationships can be hard and messy—especially the closer we get to someone, like in marriage. Discuss your default in your relationships. Where do you tend to keep score, look for others to meet your needs, or prioritize other activities over your relationships?

  3. How would your marriage look different if you flipped the script on those things?

    If you’re not married, how could you invest in your relationships now? (Spoiler: it will improve your friendships and prepare you for your future marriage.)

  4. Having a strong marriage demands sacrifice. Read 1 John 3:16 & 1 John 3:18. Whether you’re married, want to be someday, or just trying to be a better friend, take 2 mins to think of the thing you “need to burn” in your life to have strong, fulfilling relationships. Then, share with the group one way you can do that this week.

  5. This conversation probably brought some emotions—gratitude, grief, hope, worry, etc. Take 3 minutes to connect with God in prayer, just sharing those emotions with him. Then close with a simple blessing. “God, thank you for the gift of relationship with others, especially marriage. May we all go into this week with a new posture to love others and look more like You. Amen.

More from the Weekend

If you would like to take a deeper dive on this topic check out our Talk appointments, relationship articles, counselor services, or submit a prayer request.

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Nov 14, 2020 44 mins 51 sec

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