Put On the Good
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Colossians 3 tells Christians to “put on” certain behaviors toward others. Ray and Robyn McKelvy explain to us what that looks like when relating to our spouses.
Put On the Good
Dave: What do you think, when I walk out of the bedroom, when we’re going out for the evening, and I’m wearing like a pink sweater or a turquoise pair of shorts?—you know, just the hottest thing I can find in my closet.
Ann: Man, I’m telling you: you look good in anything.
Dave: Come on, be truthful!
Ann: You can pull it all off; but I would be thinking, “Maybe we should stay in for tonight.”
Ann: Welcome to FamilyLife Today, where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most. I’m Ann Wilson.
Dave: And I’m Dave Wilson, and you can find us at FamilyLifeToday.com or on our FamilyLife® app.
Ann: This is FamilyLife Today.
Dave: No, you would say what you’ve said many times: “Are you wearing that?”—[Laughter]—which is your way of saying, “Go back in the closet; find something better.”
Ann: I said that?
Dave: Oh, yes; you’ve said that many times. And you know what? You’re right every time; I just got right back in.
Ann: Do you have turquoise pants?
Dave: Yes, they’re—
Ann: Oh, yes! You wear them on the cruise.
Dave: I do; I like them.
Speaking of the cruise!—we’re going to listen to a message today from the FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It virtual cruise from this year, when we couldn’t go out on the water because of COVID. We did a virtual cruise, which thousands of people watched from their homes. By the way, I’ve got to say this right here/right now: “We’re going on the water next year—
Ann: Yes, we are.
Dave: —2022, February 6th through the 13th—we’ll be back on the Love Like You Mean It cruise. You can sign up right now at FamilyLifeToday.com and get a rate that you can’t beat, so do it right now.
But this message was given by Ray and Robyn McKelvy, who are our good friends. They’ve been on our FamilyLife speaker team, which means they’ve been speaking at Weekend to Remember [getaways] for over 25 years.
Dave: They’ve got ten kids!
Dave: He’s a graduate of Dallas Seminary. They’ve planted a couple churches; they now live in Nashville. They gave this great message about putting off things—it’s really from Colossians 3—where Paul talks about/sort of our clothes we put off.
Ann: Yes, it was so good; and it’s super-practical, too; because they talked about Paul saying, “Put off anger, and wrath, malice, slander, obscene talk, and lying.” That’s kind of where they’ve come from; and man, that was so helpful and practical.
But today, we’re going to talk about what we should put on in replacement of those things: “What does that look like?” In other words: “Go take off those turquoise pants”—what we take off—[Laughter]—“but what should be put on?”
[Previous Love Like You Mean It Message]
Ray: I think, so many times in our marriages, we just want to know: “What do I need to stop doing? Just give me a list of what I shouldn’t do.” But that’s only half the story. I love the fact that there are things that we are to put on.
Robyn: That’s right—just like you put on deodorant everyday [Laughter]; and you put toothpaste on your toothbrush, so you brush those teeth to make them clean; and then, some people put on tons of cologne, so everywhere they go, people smell a fresh scent—well, in the same way, God tells us to put on some things.
Robyn: He tells us to do that so we can be salt and light in this earth. People are looking for a good-flavored meal, and they’re looking for clarity. So if you can see salt and light, God has those things all packaged up in the clothes that He wants us to put on.
Ray: And I want to encourage you: “Give attention to what you put on.” How is it that—you know, we know what to take off! We all struggle with anger in what we say—but the first thing we want to put on is compassion. You know, I thought about this whole idea of what it means to have sympathy, and that’s what this is—this is the word, “compassion”—it’s the idea that we are to have empathy. If my spouse is hurting, I shouldn’t be rejoicing.
This Christmas, we were surprising our kids with getting a puppy. I know we have a lot of animal lovers here, so that’s saying nothing. I love animals. Robyn loves children, but she doesn’t have as much tolerance for animals; so they’ve been begging for a puppy for years. So Robyn—I went to her this Christmas—and she said, “Yes,” to getting a puppy. I was totally shocked!
We found a Border doodle, and it hadn’t come home yet; so we just had a picture of this puppy that we had put on the television, so the kids could see it. Now, we had a lot of—all of our kids were home/just about all the kids were home for Christmas—and all the grandkids. We rushed into our den to say, “Surprise!” to our two youngest, who had been asking for a puppy. Now, when we did that, Robyn was not in the room.
Robyn: I just had to go to the bathroom; I told him, “I’ll be back.” [Laughter]
Ray: Now, you’ve got to get the feeling of this. She really sacrificed a lot to say, “Yes,” to a puppy; she really wanted to be there in the unveiling of the surprise. But in all of the chaos, she was not in there. It had already been unveiled; and all of the excitement had been had, and she walked in. She was hurt! She walked out and shed tears.
Now, when that happened, I can tell you—my heart/I felt like I had been the one who missed out; I felt like I was the one who was gut-punched—I couldn’t even sleep well that night. I remember the next morning, when I said to Robyn, “I am so sorry that happened,” I began to weep myself; that’s compassion, and that’s what we’re to put on.
If your spouse is hurting/if your spouse is struggling, it’s not just them/it’s us; so we’re to put on compassion. That’s the ability to feel with someone.
Robyn: And like compassion, the next thing that God asks us to put on is kindness. Kindness is nothing but benevolence in action. It’s how you speak to somebody; it’s how you treat somebody—it’s an action.
Robyn: Kindness is very important. A lot of times, we don’t know how to be kind; because we haven’t had anybody come alongside us to teach us. But one of the things that you can do is—you can ask the Lord—and He will teach you kindness. Kindness is something that you do; it’s an action. It’s not just something you put on; it’s something that you try over, and over, and over. If at first, you don’t succeed, try/try again.
Ray: Try/try again; yes.
Robyn: Kindness is very important.
Ray: I’m thinking about the world in which we live; we’re not very kind to each other. Kindness is that ability, not only to have compassion, but it’s seeing someone who may not be seen. I know this sounds simple; but sometimes, I’ve had to say to people: “I see you,” “I see you.” And just having the kindness to recognize a person, as Robyn said, it’s an action. It’s in what you say; it’s in what you do. And I think it leads to this next one, which is the idea of humility.
Humility is not putting yourself down. I think biblical humility takes place in two ways: one, there is a humility that we have before God—we humble ourselves before God—it’s an attitude of saying, “God, You are first in my life. I humble myself before You. I bow before You.” In this passage, I believe it’s talking about that type of humility. When [I] recognize who God is, then it makes me treat my wife in a different way. Because I recognize how great God is, and my position before Him, then I’m going to treat Robyn—I’m going to put her before myself—I’m going to want to seek her needs before I seek my own.
This next word is very, very close to it; it’s the word, “meekness.”They’re like cousins. I don’t know if I can get both of these on here—maybe not—I’ll just keep meekness here. Meekness is also recognizing who you are, but choosing to humble yourself. It’s power under control; I’m sure some of you have heard that before. It’s like walking a humongous dog that is not running away from you. I’ve seen people walk their dogs, and then I’ve seen dogs walk their—
Ray: —people. [Laughter]
Meekness is that humongous dog, who is under control. We’re to put on meekness: you’re not always pushing for your rights; you’re not always pushing for your way, but you’re preferring your spouse above yourself.
Robyn: With humility and meekness, you will serve your spouse differently. Your service to your spouse is different, and the world will take note. Another thing, and I was praying I didn’t get this word, but when you look in Scripture, you see it over and over—I’m still working on this one in my life—it’s important that you put on patience. Patience is just self-restraint; it’s self-restraint.
It’s every time I go to Chick-fil-A® to pick up a child—they tell me they get off at seven—and I’m there at seven, waiting, waiting, waiting. They don’t realize that my time is important; so I’m like, “Lord, what can I do for this time?” That’s my time to memorize Scripture; to do something so that, when that child gets in the car, I can encourage them. Patience is waiting with restraint.
Ray: And we have to realize we need to have patience with our spouse, because we’re a work in progress.
Ray: I mean, we’re not done; we’re not finished; we’re not who we should be; and we’re not who we will be.
Ray: And we’re not who we can be, so we need to have that patience with one another.
Robyn: That’s right. So the next thing that the Lord tells us to put on is to bear with one another/bearing with one another. That means—and it doesn’t just mean: “I’ll put up with you; because I’ve got you/I’m stuck with you,”—
Robyn: —it’s bearing with them. It’s with all these other attitudes—with the humility, with the kindness, with compassion—but you’re bearing with that person, because you know that they’re God’s child. Because they’re God’s child, I want to serve them with all my heart. I want to make sure that when I bear up under them; I’m helping them to be able to be all that God’s called them to be.
Ray: Wow! So we’ve got compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, bearing with one another. Here’s a big one; I would say most people struggle with this one a lot—it’s the idea of forgiving each other—the Bible is so clear about that. I need to wear this one around all day long.
Robyn: Me, too!
Ray: Forgiveness is the idea of releasing someone from a debt. It’s the idea of, really saying, “I feel like you owe me this, but I forgive you of it. You are indebted to me, but I release you from this.” I don’t remember who said it—but: “Great marriages—
Robyn: —“are made—
Ray: —“are made up of great forgivers.”
I remember, after I apologized for Robyn missing out on the unveiling of this puppy, she didn’t say the words, “I forgive you”; but I knew she did, because she didn’t hold it over my head; we were able to go and enjoy the rest of the day. It’s an attitude of letting go.
But I can tell you—if you’re struggling with humility, and kindness, and meekness, and patience—you’re not going to be a forgiving person. The Bible is telling us: “Put this on; let this be a garment,” “Let this be a badge to you, that you are forgiving,” “Even if you have a complaint about your spouse, to be able to freely forgive them.”
Robyn: And I think some of us may need to ask our spouse: “Am I a great forgiver?” “Am I a good forgiver?” Because the person that you’ll have the most problems with is your spouse. If you don’t go and seek forgiveness—and I think that’s something we forget to do; we need to go and seek—and then also grant. If we’re not good forgivers, we have messed-up marriages.
The world is seeking! They want to see what this love/this unconditional love really looks like.
Ray: You know, Robyn hit on something really good; and that’s the fact that our marriages aren’t just for us. People are watching! We represent Him; we represent Christ. We are a living illustration of God’s relationship to His people; we are that living illustration to the world. If, as a husband and wife, we can’t forgive each other—and I know there are some hurts out there! If you were able to sit across our dinner table, and we were able to share some of those things, I know that there are some really significant hurts out there—but I can tell you from experience, there is something freeing/that frees you when you free your spouse.
This passage tells us what wraps it all up; it should all be done in love. This is that sacrificial love. This is not the world’s kind of love that says, “I love you when I feel like it,” or “If I have these good feelings about you, then I love you.” No, this is a costly love. It’s a love that will lay down and die for the other person. It’s a love that will deny myself. I will deny what I feel like [are] my own rights/what I feel like I should get. I can deny myself of those things—I can bear up under; I can be patient; I can be humble—I can be all of those things because of love/mainly because I know God loves me that way.
Robyn: That’s right; this is a supernatural love.
Robyn: This is something you aren’t able to do by yourself; but if you understand the love that God has for you—that He gave His Son to die for you, even when you were in sin/even when you were doing all those things we just took off, and you determined to wear them—God sent His Son for us.
Robyn: It’s important that, if you know Him, and you have a relationship with your spouse, and you want your spouse to show off God’s love, you’ve got to do this. It’s supernatural. The only way you can do this is you lay your life down before Christ every day.
Ray: And that is so true. When you put your feet on the floor in the mornings, just pray, “God, may I put on the garment of love? ‘Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’”
Robyn: And can I just—one of my favorite passages is Romans, Chapter 12. We know Paul wrote Romans; Paul wrote Colossians; Paul wrote Ephesians; and he wrote others—it’s almost some of the same things he’s putting in here—because he wants us to get this! But he says, in Romans 12:9; he says: “Let love be genuine.” He wants your love, not to be fakey; he wants your love to be genuine. He said, “Hate what is evil, and then hold fast to what is good.” The only way you can do that is through the supernatural love that the Lord puts on you every day.
Ray: And I love the fact that Robyn is using the word, “supernatural,” because you can’t do this in your own strength. I can tell you—when you try to muster it up: “I’m going to do this!”—it’s almost like making a New Year’s resolution. You can’t live this way without God’s strength.
Robyn: That’s right.
Ray: So we de-throne ourselves—cast aside/die to ourselves—and we say, “Lord, I need Your help. I need Your strength; I want to put off anger; I put off wrath; I put away malice; I put away slander; obscene talk; I put away lying. I don’t want to treat my spouse in that way. I need Your help to put this away.” But what am I going to put on?
Robyn: You need to put on—you need to put on compassion—
Robyn: —and kindness—I’m talking to Ray and me, too; these are things that we have to put on—we need to put on humility, and meekness, and patience. “Lord, we need to put on patience!”
Ray: —and bearing with one another; it’s an attitude of being long-suffering—you bear up under that; you bear with one another.
Robyn: And then forgive each other. That/I think that is one of the things you can do to make sure your own light shines. If you learn how to forgive, then your light shines; because you don’t have all of this stuff that is harboring in your heart. Your heart is free.
Ray: And let me tell you this, cruise family: “Don’t wait for your spouse to do this.” I can tell you: many a spouse has been won over, because one spouse decided, “This is the way I’m going to live!” I want to encourage you to put on love as the garment.
I’m going to have Robyn pray for us, and pray for you, that we can all experience this together.
Father, thank You so much for, first, being who You are. We thank You that You are God, and You know everything; You’ve created everything! And thank You that we get the privilege of being Your hands and feet here on earth.
So Father, I have one thing that I would pray for every couple out there—everyone who’s hearing what we just shared—that our lights would so shine before men that they would see our good works and bring glory to You. That’s our prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ann: We’ve been listening to Ray and Robyn McKelvy. I always love their teaching; I love their hearts; I love their passion for marriage.
Dave: Yes; and I’ll tell you: as they got into what Paul wrote—as “This is what you put off; this is what you put on,”—they did a great job, saying, “We can’t do it apart from the supernatural love and power of God.”
That’s really what has to happen, I think, every day in a husband and wife/in a marriage. It’s a daily surrender, saying, “God, I can’t do this in my own strength. If I try, I’m just going to keep failing; but if I surrender to You and allow Your power/Your Holy Spirit power to give me power, [so] I can be the husband”/“I can be the wife You call me to be.”
Apart from Him, we can do [nothing]; we can’t put on any of this!
Ann: What do you think I need to put on?
Dave: We don’t have that much time. [Laughter]
Bob: Hang on; I want to hear the rest of this conversation from Dave and Ann Wilson, [Laughter], talking today about putting on kindness, and humility, and compassion, and gentleness, and patience. These are/I think of these as additional fruit of the Spirit/things that need to be true about us, as followers of Christ, and need to be true in our marriage.
If you would like to hear the entire message from Ray and Robyn McKelvy about putting off the bad and putting on the good, you can download their message from our website, at FamilyLifeToday.com. Ray and Robyn presented this message on the 2021 Love Like You Mean It virtual cruise. You guys know that we were not able to go out cruising in February this year, as we’ve done for the last decade-plus; but come , Lord willing, we are going to be back on the boat.
The boat is starting to fill up. If you are interested in joining us on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise in 2022, this is a great week to call and secure your cabin. In fact, we’ve got going on right now what we’re calling the Back to Cruising sale. It ends on Monday; so if you’re at all interested in being part of the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise in 2022, call us at 1-800-FL-TODAY to find out more. We can answer any questions you have. There is information available online at FamilyLifeToday.com.
Again, the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise, Valentine’s week of 2022. Today is the day to sign up and secure your cabin for the cruise. It’s starting to fill up; the last
12 cruises we’ve done have all been sold out, so get in touch with us today: 1-800-FL-TODAY is the number, or you can get more information online at FamilyLifeToday.com.
By the way, if you’re thinking, “Man, we would love to go on that cruise. I wish there were some way we could go for free,”—well, for someone, that’s going to be the case; because some FamilyLife Today listener is going to be joining us on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise in 2022 as our guests.
As you know, our commitment, here, at FamilyLife is to effectively develop godly marriages and families; that’s what the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise is really all about: helping you strengthen your marriage. Our team has just put together something called the “Love You Better Plan,” 30 days to loving your spouse better. This is a free download. Again, all of the information is available on our website, at FamilyLifeToday.com. As soon as you do the download, you’re automatically eligible for the drawing we’re going to do for someone to go on the 2022 Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise as our guests. Download the “Love You Better Plan,” and hope to see you on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise in February of 2022.
Now, tomorrow, we’re going to explore how important it is for husbands and wives to peel back some of the veneer/some of the layers that can separate us from one another—to get really honest with each other—and maybe expose some of the hidden parts of our lives with each other. David and Meg Robbins will talk about that tomorrow. I hope you can be here for that.
On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll see you next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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