Licensed professional counselor and author, Debra Fileta discusses what it takes to have a great marriage.
- [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
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.
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?
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.
- 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.
Here's a verse for you.
"Give thanks in all circumstances;
"for this is God's willfor you in Christ Jesus."