Growing Love God’s Way
About the Guest
Is your view of marriage shaded by feminist ideas? Mary Kassian discovered how the roots of that ideology had found their way into her own heart, and how the Word of God became the Master's gardening tool in her marriage.
Mary KassianMary A. Kassian is a Word Guild award-winning author and international speaker. She has published several books and Bible studies, including Girls Gone Wise, Conversation Peace, and True Woman 101. Mary is a popular conference speaker at women’s events such as Revive and True Woman. She has appeared on numerous radio and television shows such as Focus on the Family and FamilyLife Today. She has also taught cluster courses at Southern Semina...more
Is your view of marriage shaded by feminist ideas?
Growing Love God’s Way
Bob: Mary Kassian was a young wife. She and her husband had been married a couple of years. She was eight months pregnant. One day, they had one of those encounters.
Mary: My husband and I were supposed to be going to his brother’s graduation. He was driving too fast, in my opinion; I was not happy. Then, I had forgotten the graduation tickets, and we had to go back home. He was not happy. So, we were both not in very good moods. I stormed into the house, got the graduation tickets, threw them into the car, and said “You’re going without me.” At that point in time, he said, “Mary, get into the car.” I crossed my arms and I said, “No!” He said, “Mary, get into the car.” And I said, “No!”
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today forFriday, November 8th. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. Ever been there? Had one of those head-to-head clash moments in your marriage? What do you do? We are going to find out today. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the Friday edition. Thank you for letting me fill my role and open the program.
Dennis: You noticed I was quiet.
Bob: You jumped right on top of me, earlier this week, and just took over things.
Dennis: I was introducing my wife Barbara as the guest—
Bob: You thought, “Who needs Bob for this?”
Dennis: That is exactly right. “Let us get to the content because it is so good.” Well, today it is not Barbara; so, I thought—
Bob: You’d let me have it.
Dennis: I thought I would let you roll in the broadcast; and then, I would introduce Mary Kassian, our Canadian friend, who has joined us on FamilyLife Today on numerous occasions. Mary is a speaker, an author, a wife, and mom—just is a winsome difference-maker for women, and marriage, and family today.
Bob: We had the opportunity, back when we were putting together The Art of Marriage®video event,—
Dennis: Yes, and you were the producer. I just have to say you did a great job—
Bob: Thank you. [Laughter]
Dennis: —on The Art of Marriage. In fact—
Bob: Is this on your script here?
Dennis: No, it is not on my script; but just a couple of days ago, we were with Stephen and Alex Kendrick. They said: “Who produced that thing? That thing is good! It’s really good!” I pointed over at you and I go, “Cecil B. Lepine created it.” [Laughter]
Bob: I had the opportunity, as part of putting The Art of Marriage together, to talk with Mary and to film some segments that are featured in The Art of Marriage. But honestly, we have had some of our listeners, who have already looked ahead, and they have seen what we have seen—which is, Valentine’s Day, in 2014, happens on a weekend.
Dennis: It’s on a Friday.
Bob: The thought occurred to us—
Dennis: Oh, yes it did—“Let’s turn this into a giant national statement, on this weekend, on behalf of marriages and families in all 50 states.”
Bob: What if there were 2,014 events—on 2-14-14, Valentine’s weekend—all declaring that marriage is important? That would make a statement; don’t you think?
Dennis: There is a Designer of marriage, and guess who it is?
Bob: And here’s the thing. An Art of Marriage event is so simple for anyone to do. Anybody who cares about marriage can say, “We’ll host it.” All you have to do—we have it all laid out for you. You stand up—you say: “I want to welcome you to The Art of Marriage. Here’s what we’re going to be watching. Let’s watch video one.” You get up, at the end of video one, and you say: “Wasn’t that great? Here’s what my wife and I have learned.” It really is simple to do.
Dennis: It really is; and I’ll let you in on a little secret, folks. [Whispered voice] What we want to do with this is—the issue of marriage and family is so on everyone’s tongue, across this country—
we want to use The Art of Marriage as an opportunity to introduce people to the God who created marriage, in the first place, and to His Son, Jesus Christ. They can receive forgiveness of their sins and come into a relationship with Him.
You can make a difference. These are days when—I’m telling you—[Normal voice] If you don’t make a difference; who will? It’s time. It really is!
Bob: Yes. And the way I would do this—I’d have a Valentine’s banquet on Friday night—serve the food, have everybody come for dinner, and then kick off The Art of Marriage after the banquet. Have it go Friday night and into Saturday. I just think it works easily, but here’s what our team is doing.
We’re so committed to The Art of Marriage getting out into communities, all across the country, that if you would agree to host one of these—in your community, in your church, or wherever it makes sense to you—go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link you see there. We’ll make arrangements to get a certificate to you for a free Art of Marriage kit.
It has everything you need: It has the DVDs. It has a manual for you to lead out of.
Dennis: It’s like falling off a log to lead.
Bob: It is simple. And then the certificate—when you’re ready to order, at least, five couples’ sets of manuals, you send that back with the certificate. We’ll send you the DVD kit for free. Go to FamilyLifeToday.com. Click the link. Get the certificate. Make your plans, and then get the free kit when you’re ready to order your manuals for the other couples who are going to come; alright? Again, the website: FamilyLIfeToday.com. The offer is good now through Thanksgiving. Go online and get your certificate right now.
Dennis: And you’re about to hear a great mini-message from The Art of Marriage by Mary Kassian. She’s a Canadian. She is a very gifted communicator and writer; and she’s a wife, who has got a stout, stout will.
Bob: She does. I asked her, when we sat down to tape for The Art of Marriage—I asked her about how the family she grew up in influenced the way she thought about what her role would be, as a wife, when she got married.
Mary: The era that I grew up in was just after the Leave It to Beaver era. In Leave It to Beaver, the roles were very defined. The whole story of Leave It to Beaver really was the story of a nuclear family, where you had a stay-at-home mom and a father who went and provided for his family. So, that was the era that we came out of. In a sense, my home situation looked like that, as well. It was Dad who went out to work, and it was Mum who worked in the home. Both of them were extremely hard workers.
I don’t think that our family would have functioned without them both contributing in the way that they did. Mum worked extremely hard. She was a seamstress. She sewed a lot of our clothing.
We had a massive garden and a freezer that was humongous because of the five boys. We didn’t have a lot of money. So, really, the issue of who did what—it really almost wasn’t up for debate. You just did what you had to do to make the family work. It was the Leave It to Beaver era, but I kind of crossed out of that Leave It to Beaver era into a whole different era as I grew up through the feminist movement.
I was the only sibling in my family that actually went to university and got a professional degree. So, when I hit university, really, the feminist movement had just exploded. The talk on campus was all about women’s rights, and about the issues that women faced, and how important it was for us to change those roles that had been traditional roles—how important it was for women to establish a career and to establish an identity for herself.
I don’t think that anyone, who is alive today, can say that they haven’t been influenced by those thoughts. I mean, young women today would say, “I’m not a feminist;” but in a sense, the ideas of the feminist movement are so pervasive and so engrained in our culture—it is like we are all feminists.
I was raised in the church, and so I had the Bible as my guide. I gave my life to Christ at a very young age, and I have always been a follower of Jesus. The way that I had been groomed, through university, was to think that the world was mine. I could go out, and I’d work—and that staying at home, with kids, would be demeaning or diminishing my potential—and that really, there were a lot of things that I ought to be doing and should be doing.
I had that in my mind; but I also had the model of my family—which was just: “You sacrifice for the sake of family. You put family first. You put each other first. You put your family’s needs first.” I saw that lived out in my family; and then, the Word of God also influencing. All of that—wrestling with all those ideas and coming to an understanding of what God would have me do.
Bob: Well, that is Mary Kassian and part of a conversation that we had—for a video shoot we were doing when we were putting together The Art of Marriage video event—that has now been hosted in thousands of churches, all across the country, and, in fact, around the world.
Dennis: We’re hoping that there will be thousands of these events right before Valentine’s Day to make a difference in marriages and families. But what she was talking about here, Bob, I think, is important today because a woman really has to sort through the messaging of the culture and decide: “You know what? Am I going to believe the Bible, or am I going to embrace the modern view of womanhood?”
Bob: As Mary found out, it’s one thing to wrestle with that intellectually. It’s another thing to deal with it practically. Although she had intellectually said, “I’m going to follow what the Bible has to say about a wife’s role,” that did get put to the test on at least one occasion.
Mary: I got married. I was 22 years old. I really had to think through how I was going to live my life, as a woman, and the choices that I was going to make. I had to think through and wrestle with what the Bible had to say to me, as a woman, and how I ought to interact with my husband, Brent. Yet, when I hit some situations where the rubber hit the road and I actually had to put it into practice, it was a challenge for me.
I remember one particular occasion. This is a funny story because I was probably eight months pregnant. My husband and I were supposed to be going to his brother’s graduation. He was driving too fast, in my opinion; and then, I had forgotten the graduation tickets. We had to go back home. We were both not in very good moods. By the time we reached our home, to pick up the tickets, I had had it. That was it! I stormed into the house, got the graduation tickets, threw them into the car, and said, “You are going without me!” At that point in time, he said, “Mary, get into the car.” I said, “No!” He said, “Mary, get into the car.”
I remember, at that particular point—and that was a real crisis moment for me because, at that point, the Holy Spirit started, like this in my ear and convicting me: “Mary, do you truly believe the Word of God.
Are you truly going to live and honor the way of Christ? Are you going to walk the way of Christ here, or are you just going to go with what you feel is your right, at this particular point?”
So, I am standing there, in the middle of the road—big-belly pregnant, defiant, angry, just seething with all this resentment, and really seething against God—like, “God, why is it me who is having to bend and bow here?” It was one of those moments where it really did define the path that I was going to take for the rest of my marriage and for the rest, really, of my life.
Dennis: I’m married to a woman like that.
Bob: We’ve all had our driveway moments; haven’t we?
Dennis: We have. [Laughter] I thought I was married to this sweet, demure, beautiful, young lady; but I found out that she has a will of her own, on occasion, that doesn’t necessarily go along with mine.
Bob: We have had a standard joke around our house that Mary Ann wants me to lead our relationship as long as I do exactly what she wants: [Laughter] “You lead.” Then, when I lead, she goes, “Well, that wasn’t the leadership I was counting on.”
Dennis: No. That is exactly right.
Bob: I asked Mary about that in the video shooting that we were doing for The Art of Marriage video project. I asked her if it went against her nature to respond, and to support her husband’s leadership, and to submit to him. I thought her response to this was very perceptive—very interesting.
Mary: People do ask me sometimes, “Do I struggle with submission?” I say, “I struggle with submission when I struggle with the authority of Christ in my life.” So, as we begin to live according to His designs, we discover more of who we are. We begin to delight in more of who He made us to be. In a sense, we just really blossom.
I have seen that time and time again in the women who I have discipled, where they have points where they have to counter their sin nature and submit their will to God. Then, as they begin to walk in that, they begin to flourish. They begin to love who God made them to be. Submission becomes much less of an issue.
There is a tension in submitting for some women because they have a desire to be safe. They do not want to be out of control because they are afraid. I think Scripture speaks to that. It says, “You are Sarah’s daughters if you do what is right and do not give into fear.” Fear is usually the reason that women struggle against submitting because there is a fear element that: “If I take my hands off this situation, I might get hurt. It may not go the way that I want it to go. I don’t feel safe when I am not in control, and I don’t know if I can really trust God to take care of me.
I don’t know if I can really trust this guy to look after my best interests.”
So, there is a growth process, as well—where we learn to trust the Lord, we learn to trust the guy we’re married to—and trust that God is going to do His good work in his life and in my life, and look after us, and look after me, and really fight for me.
Bob: You know, as I listened back to Mary—and again, this was part of the video shoot we were doing for The Art of Marriage, which has now been hosted in thousands of churches, all around the country—and which, again, we’re hoping listeners will join us, this year, in hosting an Art of Marriage event—maybe, Valentine’s weekend—that’s Friday night, the 14th, and Saturday, the 15th, in 2014.
There is information on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com if you’d like to find out how you can host one of these events—how you can bring it to a community where you live.
Dennis: And my challenge to every listener is: “Would you consider bringing The Art of Marriage to your neighborhood, your church, your community, maybe, your business?” This is a way to strengthen marriages, at the grass roots.
Bob, I really believe, today, that the hope of the home is not headquartered in a ministry like we are, here in Little Rock; but the hope of the home is really going to be those who are listening to these broadcasts and who are saying: “You know what? I’ve had enough with divorce and just doing nothing about what’s happening in our culture. I want to make a difference. So, I’m going to bring this here. I’m going to promote it.” We’ll give you all the tools you’re going to need—to host it, to promote it, to actually lead it when it comes. It’s designed so that you don’t have to be a seminary grad to lead this thing.
You can just get your friends together and take them through this. In the process, you’re going to change a lot of lives.
Bob: And I thought it was interesting, as we talked to Mary—I asked her about the power that every wife has in the life of her husband, regardless of how he’s leading—whether he’s doing that poorly or doing it well. Every woman is powerful in her husband’s life, and she agreed with that.
Mary: It was very early in my marriage that it dawned on me that my role in my husband’s life was critical. He is a very confident man; yet, I had the capacity to wound him in a way that no one else could—which is really interesting to me because no one else has that capacity in his life. No one else can cause such destruction and such damage so quickly.
I saw, very early on, how important it was for me to be building him up and for the work that God was doing in his life, and affirmed that I believed he was a good man, and believed that I was for our marriage. It was very early in my marriage that I took Ephesians 4:29 to heart, and I memorized it: “Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” I memorized that verse.
I made a commitment to the Lord that I would put that verse into practice in my marriage. I would not let unwholesome talk come out of my mouth toward my husband, but only what was helpful for building my husband up according to his needs that it may benefit him. That verse served me well, over the years, because it allowed me to communicate even the tough things because I point out areas in his life in gentleness, and at the right time, and in the right way; and he listens to me.
I have an incredible clout in my husband’s life when it comes to challenging him and encouraging him. Women have powerful influence in the lives of their men.
Bob: That is good counsel from Mary Kassian. Again, what you’re hearing is what she shared as we were shooting video for The Art of Marriage video event. Only a portion of what we’ve heard today actually wound up in The Art of Marriage video series.
One of the things I really appreciated about Mary—and about your wife Barbara and the couples we sat down with—is that all of these individuals that we talked to—the folks who shared their stories with us—I just appreciated their honesty and their real life.
I think folks, who have attended The Art of Marriage, over the last couple of years—I think they have really appreciated the fact that what the video series presents is a real-life look at real marriages. It presents real hope.
Dennis: It is very similar to FamilyLife Today. We attempt to bring the practical, biblical principles of Scripture and the reality of Jesus Christ, in an authentic way, to your marriage and family.
I just want to challenge our listeners: “If you have wanted to make a difference in marriages—in families—in your community, I’d encourage you to sign up and host one of these events.” I think some of them will be as small as three to six couples. I think some of them will be five, six, seven hundred couples. The Art of Marriage—trust me—you are not going to be disappointed by the quality. This is not a cheesy, Christian video.
There is a lot of cheese out there, but this isn’t cheesy. It is going to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
Bob, you know my dream is that we’ll, ultimately, have one million individuals and couples who are making a difference—in all 50 states and all the way around the world—bringing these kinds of tools and resources to their communities, and making a difference where they live, and start a grassroots’ revival and moral awakening in our country.
Bob: And Valentine’s weekend, 2014, would be a great weekend to try to do that. Have a Valentine’s banquet at your church. Host an Art of Marriage evening with the first two sessions on Friday night—the next four sessions on Saturday. If that weekend doesn’t work for you, pick a different weekend. Between now and Thanksgiving, if you will go to FamilyLifeToday.com and click the link you see there for The Art of Marriage, you can get a certificate that is good for a free event kit.
It includes the DVDs. It includes a workbook. It includes a leader’s guide—everything you need so that you can host one of these events. And you can redeem that certificate and get the free kit when you are ready to place your order for workbooks. As long as you have, at least, five couples coming to join you for The Art of Marriage, the kit is free; okay? We really want to partner with you to make this happen in your church or in your community.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com for more information about how you can host an Art of Marriage event in your community or in your church. If you have any questions—if you need some coaching—we have some folks who can walk you through the process—answer any questions you have. Just call 1-800-FL-TODAY and say, “I’m interested in hosting The Art of Marriage.” We’ll get you all hooked up. Again, 1-800-FL-TODAY or, online, go to FamilyLifeToday.com and join with us. Wouldn’t it be cool if there were hundreds or even thousands of churches hosting an Art of Marriage event, Valentine’s weekend in 2014? Let’s see if we can make that happen; alright?
And with that, we have to wrap things up for today. Thanks for being with us. Hope you have a great weekend. Hope you and your family can worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday. Lysa TerKeurst is going to join us. We’re going to talk about what a woman can do when she feels like life has started to come unglued for her. Lysa has some thoughts on that, and I hope you can tune in for our conversation with her.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We will see you back Monday for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas.
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