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700 Club Interactive - October 30, 2018

Licensed professional counselor and author, Debra Fileta discusses what it takes to have a great marriage. Read Transcript


- [Gordon] A country divided.

In a new age of outrage.

- Division is not helpinganybody, in the long term

harming the witness of the gospel.

- [Gordon] How Christianscan make a difference,

plus, a man with no home and no job

is left holding divorce papers.

Why he says that's exactlywhere he needed to be.

And counselor and author Debra Fileta

on how to take your marriagefrom average to exceptional.

All on today's 700 Club interactive.

Well, welcome to the show.

Political divisions are growing wider

across America and one author says

it's giving birth to a new age of outrage.

- Well, author and pastor Ed Stetzer

sat down with Charlene Aaron to talk about

his new book which encourages Christians

to bring their best whenthe world is at its worst.

- [Charlene] Signs ofincivility and outrage abound.

- [All] Leave survivors!

- [Charlene] From our nation's capital,

where protesters angry over the

Kavanagh confirmation processjammed senate hallways

and interrupted CBN News'coverage of the demonstrations.

- Well today has beenone of the rowdiest days

during the hearing, bothinside the hearing room

and outside.

The hearing began with the first hour

was just very intensebetween the senators.

- [Charlene] To collegecampuses, where last year

rioters virtually took over Berkeley

because they wanted to stop a commentator

from the conservative Breitbart website

from speaking on campus.

- It seems that we'rein a time when people

are increasingly at odds with one another

and it's an outrageoustime with a lot of anger.

- [Charlene] In his new book, Christians

in the Age of Outrage, speaker and author

Ed Stetzer points out ourcountry's deep divisions,

hoping the church can bring about healing.

But before that canhappen, he says the church

must focus on itself.

- I think one of the thingsthat has been important

to note in the last few years

is that sometimes the political divisions

has actually gotten into the church

in a way that maybe it hasn't in the past.

- Stetzer says Christians can counter

the growing outrage wesee in our culture today.

Simply by exercising greaterspiritual discipline.

- My desire is we mightact and love and listen

and speak more like Jesuswould in these situations.

- [Charlene] Stetzer, whois also the Billy Graham

distinguished Chair ofChurch Mission and Evangelism

at Wheaton College, and executive director

of the Billy GrahamCenter, says social media

is a big part of the problem.

He says Christians can hurt their witness

by not properly engagingdebates on hot topic issues

such as gay marriage or politics.

He offers a road map tonavigating online conversations.

- We can be in an evangelical echo chamber

where everyone sort of thinks like we do,

and then we're shocked to find out

people have a different world view

and they do, and we actuallyfound in our research,

evangelicals are verylikely to mute people

or block people who disagree with them

and so you're neverhearing different views.

So we have almost anundisciplined approach

to social media that'salienating our neighbors

and building sometimes evendivisions between Christians.

And what we're calling for in Christians

in the Age of Outrage is a change to that.

A more thoughtful, biblical,spirit-filled approach

that ultimately engagesculture more effectively.

- [Charlene] He goes on toencourage evangelical Christians

to model the message of the gospel.

- And so the questions is,we have to make choices.

How do we speak up for what's right

and also, how do we showand share the love of Jesus

in the midst of the brokenness.

And I think our research shows

that people are sayingwe've gotta see a shift

in the way we ultimately engage culture.

The division is not helping anybody

in the long term, harmingthe witness of the gospel.

- [Charlene] He saysthe best way to do that

is through proper discipleship.

- I actually used tolisten to a political show.

But I found that I couldn'tpray for the President

at the time and listen to that person,

because I got so riled upand so what I had to do is,

in my own discipleshipthrough spiritual disciple,

I'd say that's shaping mein a way that leads me away

from what actually thebible calls me to do.

So I quit listening to that program,

kept praying for that President,

kept speaking up aboutthings that mattered to me,

but I was more discipled by my Bible

and the promptings of the Holy Spirit

than I was by the radio program or today

it might be the cable newsprogram that I'm watching.

- [Charlene] Meanwhile,in this current culture,

Stetzer challengesChristians to intentionally

live in a way that makesthe gospel more appealing.

- I don't know that Christians can

solve all the outrage issues.

I think the culture has just gone,

it's turned up the volume to 11

and is just going all in on the outrage.

So what I would say is, we need to show

a counter-culture message.

The gospel's always beencounter-cultural, right?

It's always shown a different way.

When the world's running this way,

the scriptures teach a different way,

Jesus calls us to a better way.

So I think the betterway is not to join in

and turn up the outrage volume,

but instead to enter in on mission.

- [Charlene] Charlene Aaron,CBN News, Wheaton, Illinois.

- That's good advice, enter in on Mission.

Terry, what do you thinkabout the current state

of debate, I don't even think

you can call it debate anymore.

- Well, yeah, it's notdebate because it's so loud

and so awful, you know.

To debate you have to listento each other's, you know

points and then respond accordingly.

And how can we listen ifwe're busy screaming, so.

You know, the question is whensome are screaming so loudly,

how do you take your message gently in?

You know, they say as parentsif you want your children

to listen talk very quietly so

that they have to listen to you.

- Really?- Not sure that would work.

- I never used that technique.(laughs)

There is something thathappens that I think it just

generates and if you'veever been in a loud room

whether that's a restaurantor some kind of party

that you literally haveto yell to be heard.

It just everything seems toratchet up and it doesn't

people don't go quieter whenit gets louder, they go louder.

- Well and when super super loud people

wind up just respondingto the super super loud

without even sometimes understanding

what the real message is, so.

- And I think the danger for our republic

and our Government is it'sgotten so loud at that level

that there's no way you can compromise.

You can't really consider Bills anymore.

You can't consider isthis good for the country,

is it good for our future, and I worry

because of the partisanshipwe're going to end up

going over a cliff becausewe can't drive it anymore.

- I think you're right, we need to ask God

to help us find a wayto stop the craziness.

- And be on Mission.- Absolutely.

- That's what Christiansare supposed to do.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Well, it's been over aweek since the unranked

Purdue Boilermakers shotthe then second ranked

and undefeated Ohio StateBuckeyes by a score of 49-20.

The game was big news in college football

but the headlines belonged toone special Purdue super fan.

- [Terry] Tyler Trent is a20 year old Purdue student

who's battling terminal bone cancer.

The Boilermaker footballteam and coaching staff

recently visited Tyler in the hospital

where he predicted anupset victory for the team

over Ohio State.

With Tyler in attendance,his prediction came true

and he quickly became a national story.

What hasn't been reported as prominently

is Tyler's strong faith.

In spite of not knowinghow long he has to live,

Tyler wrote on Twitter the next day.

"At the end of the day.

"All glory goes to God,without him there was no way

"I was going to make the game yesterday."

He goes on to say, "from havingto have emergency surgery

"at the beginning ofthe week, to throwing up

"all day Friday, 1stThessalonians, 5:18 all day long."

- Well that is a great verse.

Here is is, 1st Thessalonians.

It reads, "Give thanksin all circumstances;

"for this is God's willfor you in Christ Jesus."

and if he can do it in themiddle of cancer treatments.

- He's on mission.

He's on mission.- He's on mission.

- Well, up next, how to take your marriage

from good to great.

Licensed professional counselor and author

Debra Fileta says you can.

We're gonna ask her how, right after this.

(upbeat music)

Recent studies suggest thatthe Biblical view of marriage

has fallen on some hard times.

The result is a decreasein committed couples

and an increase of singlenesseven in the church.

Licensed professional counselor and author

Debra Fileta is here to help take a look.

- [Narrator] Debra Fileta is a licensed

professional counselorand popular blogger.

She specializes in datingand marriage issues.

Her blog, TrueLoveDates.comreaches millions

of readers each year.

After years of counseling others,

as well as dealing with her own marriage,

Debra understands that relationships

can be the hardest and greatestthing we'll ever work on.

In her book, Choosing Marriage,

Debra shares her eight significant choices

that will equip you to take your marriage

from average to exceptional.

- Well Debra Fileta joins us now,

great to have you

on the interactive show.- Thank you.

It's good to be here.

- Is the culture that we live in today

making it more difficult to have

a really wonderful marriagethan it might have been

in years gone by.

- Yeah, I think there'sa lot of factors at play

when it comes to marriage today.

Singles have seen the thingsthat their families have done

their parents, they'velearnt the good things

and the bad things.

We're also putting an emphasis on career

and so culture kind ofmakes it a little bit harder

for singles to committo marriage these days.

- And it seems likepeople are getting married

later, that they're travelingand doing a lot of the things

building their businesses,whatever, you know

before making that commitment.

Your book is called

Choosing Marriage.- Right.

- Tell me about the choice factor.

- Yeah, yeah absolutely.

Choosing Marriage is avery deliberate title

because I wanted to make sure that I was

addressing marriedpeople as well as singles

and when you read thetitle, Choosing Marriage

I think as marriedpeople we can understand

okay, yes, we have to choose our marriage

every single day, but really for singles

who are reading thisbook, I want them to know

that this book is for them too, because

just because you're a Christian

doesn't mean you're goingto be good at marriage.

And you've gotta understandthat a good marriage

requires us to make certain choices.

And there are choices you can make today,

even as a single person, that will impact

your future marriage and help you to have

a healthy, strong relationship.

- Do you think somepeople long to be married.

Maybe not some people, maybeit's a lot more than that

without really understanding what it takes

to be happily married?

- Absolutely.

I took a survey of one thousand singles

and one thousand married people

and I asked them do youthink that you understand

the sacrifice required in marriage?

Most singles said yeah,I think I understand

the sacrifice, you know, we all hear

that marriage requires sacrifice.

- Can't travel as much anymore (laughs)

- Right, you know, andthen when I surveyed

the married people, they actually said

95% of them said that theythought they understood

what sacrifice meant, I meanwe all think we understand

what sacrifice means, butwhen we're really there

and the process day in and day out,

having to put someone else before us,

having to choose we overme, I think that sacrifice

takes on a whole new meaning.

- Is that kind of the key take away nugget

putting we over me, because self-sacrifice

is at the center of every relationship.

- Absolutely and for me,the subtitle of this book

was really important,why it has to start with

we is greater than me.

We live in a culture today where it's

all about me me me me me, I mean,

and when you're single as well,

all you think about is yourself.

You do things when you want to do them

how you want to do them and theway that you want to do them

and all of a sudden you'refaced with somebody else

and you've gotta takethem into consideration.

But this isn't about me versus you.

This is about choosing we over me

because when you put a you versus me

that could cause a lotof tension in a marriage.

And that's not how God intended it,

we've gotta see the bigger picture

and why the we matters.

- You know, selflessness is key.

Passivity though is not selflessness

and passivity can be a real destructive

thing in a marriageeven though it's quiet.

- Yes, yeah, that's areally important factor

and I start this book by explaining

when we're talking about the first choice,

which is moving fromselfishness to holiness,

we are not talking about being a doormat.

We are not talking aboutlaying down your needs

and laying down your emotionsand always saying yes

and never expressing what you need.

That's a recipe for an unhealthy marriage.

So really this isn't about passivity

and I think there's a lotof Christians out there

who are practicing a passive lifestyle.

Who hold things in and they think

they're being selfless, but it's actually

doing harm to their marriage, so learning

what it means to understand our emotions

understand our needs,express them in a healthy way

and then identify them in our partner

and learn to meet their needsin a healthy way as well.

- So what do you suggest whensomeone's in a relationship

where one person seesthe need in the marriage

and wants to make someadjustments and corrections

and the other person justsays, uh, is passive,

no problem, not changing, not doing this

this is your problem, what do you do?

- It's always tricky andthere's so many marriages

out there that are like that.

And I think our tendencyis to look at our spouse

and say you've gotta change this,

you've gotta change this,you've gotta change this

or this isn't working, but really,

for effective counseling,for effective psychology

to take place, what we need to do

is focus on ourselves andfocus on our personal health.

Focus on the choices we're making

the boundaries we're setting,

the healing we need from our past.

Our identity and clingingto identity in Christ.

And the healthier webecome as individuals,

the healthier our marriage will also be.

- One of the things you suggest in doing

to invest in yourmarriage is to have weekly

couch talks, couch sessions,what does that look like?

- Well, if you think about it,

couples don't talk that much.

- Especially after children.

- In my survey of athousand married people

you will not believe this,but they said that they

spoke to each other lessthan 30 minutes a week

of quality conversation.- Wow.

- Less than 30 minutes,and I'm not talking about

the conversation of honey,will you pick up milk

but more significant choices,more significant emotions

and feelings and opinions and ideas.

Talking about what Godis doing in your life

and exchanging that information.

If you don't put it on the schedule,

it's not gonna happen, so Ireally advocate for couples

to take that time tointeract with each other

in a meaningful way.

- What should singles belooking for in a future spouse

because I know so manypeople who want to be married

who want to find Mr. or Miss right.

But how to they do that,what do they look for?

- I'll tell you what,human beings are magnetic

and we attract peopleon our level of health.

And if you're a singlewho finds yourself drawn

to the wrong kind of people

and the wrong kind of relationships,

I say take a couple stepsback and ask yourself

why am I attracting these type of people?

Why am I allowing thesetype of people into my life?

When you focus on getting yourself

emotionally, psychologicallyand spiritually healthy

you will start attractingthe right kind of people

and recognizing the wrongones so much faster.

It saves you so much heartache

when you start withyourself, because you're 50%

of the equation of a healthy relationship.

- So I hear you saying thatthat's the place to begin

whether you're single, wantingto find that right person

or whether you're in amarriage relationship

and wanting to make it better.

- Absolutely, we're only in control

of this piece of the puzzle, you know?

- Much as we'd like to, wecan't change the other person.

Well, I want you to know Debra's book

is called Choosing Marriage,why it has to start

with we before me and it's available now

wherever books aresold, thank you so much.

- Thank you.- Great message.

- Thank you for having me.- Enjoyed having you.

Gordon?

- Well, coming up, a little boy

sees his dad lose a fightto his mom's new boyfriend.

- And I remember just looking at my dad

and feeling hurt that my dad was defeated.

No one is supposed to beable to defeat your dad.

- Find out how thatstarted a downward spiral

leaving him homeless, don't go away.

The Cookery in Nashvillehas a near-perfect rating

on both Google and Yelp.

In addition to servinggood food at great prices,

this restaurant servesits community as well.

Owner Brett Swayn has made it his mission

to help the city's homeless,

because he used to be among them.

- [Narrator] Brett Swaynwas one of those people

we see nearly every dayon our city streets.

Unemployed, homeless, and alone.

He grew up in Perth,Australia and was five

when his father abandoned the family.

His father stumbled back home one night

after drinking, and was metby his wife's new boyfriend.

- There was a scuffle thatoccurred and he'd been

he was intoxicated, and he was pinned down

by this other man and I remember

just looking at my dad and feeling hurt

that my dad was defeated.

No one is supposed to beable to defeat your dad.

If the guy who was my dadwas so easily beaten then

who, who's gonna be there?

- [Narrator] The boyfriendwas abusive to Brett

and his sister and he eventually left too.

Brett got a job to support the family

but it never felt like enough.

- This purveying annoyingsense that something is wrong.

And you are wrong, you're bad,

and everything thathappens around you is bad.

- [Narrator] When Brettwas 16, his mother gave him

a keyboard, and music became his escape.

- And I felt this whooshon the inside of me

this level of excitement,this breathlessness

that I can remember putting it akin

to being on a rollercoaster.

Just that (gasps) that rush that happened

and if it makes you feel this way

then if I can just bottle that feeling,

and then give it to other people,

I've have some worth.

- [Narrator] He taught himself to play

several instruments and formed a band.

In 1991, he moved to the United States

hoping for his big break.

- Fame and fortune meant to me

it wasn't about the drugs or the alcohol,

it wasn't that, it meantthat I would finally

have a platform to be accepted.

That I would be in a placewhere people would love me

and I would feel okay aboutmyself if people loved me.

- [Narrator] Brett joined a cover band

and found some success.

He got married, but therelationship was unstable

and after years of constant fighting,

Brett had an affair.

- And I was driving back,thinking what have you done?

You wanted to hurt me as a kid,

all you had to say was,you're just like your father.

And I just realized Ihave become the monster

that I never wanted to be.

- [Narrator] When Brett'swife discovered the affair,

she made him quit musicand sell his instruments.

She even destroyed his original music.

- And I thought I deserved it.

It was a dreadful, out of control feeling.

Dreadful, and it was in the middle of that

dreadful out of control feeling

that I woke up one day, with this sense of

get to the Bible.

We had never, I didn'tknow we had a Bible,

I'd never read a Bible.

I'd like to say it was sucha safe place of comfort

it was not a safe place for me

'cause it was dealing with who I was.

I spent seven months on my faith,

weeping before this book,begging for forgiveness.

Begging for healing.

- [Narrator] Then one morning,

Brett received the answerhe had been longing for.

- That morning I was standingin a basketball court,

the gym where I spentso many mornings praying

seven months praying, cryingout, and I was looking up

at the ceiling and I said,what else do you want from me

there is nothing left, and all of a sudden

fire came upon me, ithas the sensation of fire

but it didn't hurt, and I'mfeeling something happening

on the inside, I'm feeling life enter.

And I was so filled with fire,

to find out that he wasreal, that I wanted to run

everywhere I could and bang on every door

and tell them that He is risen,

he is alive, he's real,he's real, he's real.

- [Narrator] He surrenderedhis life to Christ

and was filled with his spirit.

He believed God wantedhim to move to Nashville

and he boarded aGreyhound bus the same day

his wife served him divorce papers.

- I spent the night in the Greyhound

and the Bible became my blanket,

my pillow, in the morningI meet a homeless guy

and he says there's a Missionjust around the corner.

I go round the corner, I was so jazzed

and I walk through the front door

and I see the hopelessness and I see

everything that youthink about homelessness

and I thought what are you doing, God.

I'm gonna die here.

- [Narrator] Brett washomeless for four months.

Until he met chef Thomas Oglesby,

who was serving meals atthe Nashville Mission.

The chef told Brett about a job opening

at his restaurant, Fleming's.

- When I came in that next day,

I saw him in the kitchen and

it surprised me because Ididn't think he was gonna show.

(laughs) Which he did.

And after that, he kept, heasked me a lot of questions

and I gave him a lot ofanswers about the kitchen

and he just took it off from there.

- Within a few months, fromentry level cook and day cleaner

they offered me thekeys to the restaurant.

A little while later,they're starting to fly me

to different parts of the country

to train up opening crews forbrand new Fleming's stores

and eventually, I becamesecond chef in charge

of the Nashville store.

- [Narrator] He worked atFleming's for eight years.

In 2014, he opened his ownrestaurant, the Cookery.

He employs as many menfrom the Mission as he can.

He trains and certifies them as cooks.

- It wasn't just about takingcare of people's needs anymore

it had to do with restoring hope

and giving them a sense of dignity

through their own gifts and hope restored

is a very awesome thing.

- [Narrator] Brett married Merari in 2011

and together they run the restaurant

and two discipleship homes.

They also feed the homelessof Nashville every Saturday.

But the greatest gift he offers

is the hope he's found in Jesus Christ.

- I was taken from darkness to light

and to someone who doesn't know

how dark it can get, it's hard to say

but to someone who isexperiencing something like this,

the word safe glows golden.

And He is real, He is hope, He is life.

He is forgiveness, He's restoration.

And He is everything He says He is.

- And He will be all of that for you.

All it takes on yourpart is to invite Him in.

Here's Brett and he's lost everything.

He says, I don't haveanything more to give

and he cries out to God,what more do you want,

I don't have anything, and for him

that was his moment of surrender.

And for him, that was his moment

where that prayer is answered.

Answered in a very dramatic way,

where he knows that Jesus is real,

that God is real, and yes, you can have

experiences with him, yes hewill lead you and guide you.

For Brett, that was not an easy journey.

He ends up in a homelessshelter for four months

and he's going, you know,what am I doing here.

Well, what he was doing there was learning

that what people need most of all is hope.

And how do you get that?

Well, you get that fromthe God of all hope.

You get that the same way Brett got it.

You have an experience with Him

and it changes everything.

If you want this, justbow your head with me.

Let's pray His prayer, a very simple one.

God will answer, he will show up for you

all you have to do is admit you need him

and when you do that,that's when he shows up.

Pray with me.

Jesus, that's right, just say his name.

Jesus, say it out loud, Jesus.

I need you in my life.

Lord, I don't wanna go this way anymore.

I don't wanna be this way anymore.

I need you.

So I open the door of my heart,

I ask that you come in.

I ask you make me new again.

And if you do this, I want to follow you

all the days of my life.

Hear my prayer, for I pray it

in Jesus' name, Amen.

If you prayed with me, let me know.

1-800-700-7000.

Here's a verse for you.

"Give thanks in all circumstances;

"for this is God's willfor you in Christ Jesus."

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