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Observations About Marital Love Pt. 2

In the last episode, we discovered that marital love must be grounded in friendship, that the ultimate expression of love is unselfishness, and that sexual desire practiced before marriage clouds the ability to evaluate a relationship. Today we continue to discuss three more observations about marital love.


Transcript

Chris Grace:

Hey. Welcome to our podcast on the art of relationships. We're your hosts.

Tim Muehlhoff:

I'm Tim Muehlhoff.

Chris Grace:

I'm Chris Grace. We're with the Biola University Center for Marriage and Relationships. We're here to talk about all things relationships.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Chris, I think it would be great to continue a conversation we did last podcast. The conversation simply is a lot of people want to get married. Not just get married, but want to have a thriving marriage. But what criteria do you use to commit the next 50, 60, 70 years of your life? We're surprised how many students or singles don't have a robust definition of what love is or even a criteria by which to consider it. Last podcast, we offered some criteria. The first one was marital love must be grounded in friendship. The second one was that the ultimate expression of love is unselfishness. The third one was that sexual desire is natural, but when practiced before marriage, it hinders the ability to evaluate a relationship. We had a great conversation about all three of those. We've gotten some great listener responses to those, some great questions. Maybe we can even tackle some of those during this podcast.

 

But hey, there's more observations. It's not just limited to those three. Let me throw out another one and get your thoughts on it. Not all love is permanent, but marital love requires a lifelong commitment. In other words, the first time you fall in love ... High school or maybe college or a work type setting, we're not saying that every love must last a lifetime, right? All of us fall in and out of love before we make that ultimate commitment to step into a marriage. We're saying that marital love, that when it solidifies, results in a lifelong commitment. Another observation I want to get your opinion on, Chris, is the observation that not all love is permanent, but marital love requires a lifetime commitment. In other words, we want to allow for people to fall in love while they're in high school and not diminish that. To say, "Hey, I fell in love in college or at work but it didn't last." That's okay.

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Love fades in and fades out sometimes. But when you make that commitment, right? When you stand at the altar before God, your best friends, her parents, your parents, whatever, you are making a lifetime commitment to that person. As we mentioned in the last podcast, we're seeing that in our culture today, which has been known as the divorce culture, that a lot of people are not making these lifetime commitments to each other. It's a wait and see attitude when it comes to lifetime commitment.

Chris Grace:

Right. Yeah, and I think what ends up happening is people feel ... They don't really understand oftentimes that word, or they fear it or there's some part of them that is unable to do this. They're just not ready or they don't feel like ... Because I think maybe some of them accurately realize, "Wow, this is going to involve a whole lot of changes. This is a lot of time. I am going to have to give everything to this person. Am I willing to do that?" There's some doubts. All relationships have an element of doubt to that. You don't always know if this is going to be the one that God has designed for us and the perfect person for you, but that's what part of a commitment does. It says, "I am willing and ready to make this step," but it can be hard for couples.

Tim Muehlhoff:

We're even willing to say to an individual who might say, "Listen, I think I'm in love. I think I love this person. I'm just not ready to get married." We would say, "Hey, great."

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Now is not the time. Don't force it, right? But people think, "No, I'm in love and that's the only sign I need for me to jump into a lifetime commitment." We're saying no, there is so much more to consider than just whether you're in love or not. My students got mad at me when I was doing my Ph.D. work at UNC Chapel Hill. They got angry at me because I made this statement. Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt had just gotten married. I said to them, my class, about 50 students, I said, "Okay. I'm going to take a bet right now. Here's the bet. They won't last five years. They'll get a divorce within five years." They were like, "You're so anti Brad Pitt. You're anti Jennifer Aniston. Why would you say such a thing?" Here's why I said it, Chris.

 

I read a Rolling Stone interview in which Brad Pitt was asked the question, "What do you think about this whole until death do us part stuff?" You know what his answer was? He said, "Yeah, Jennifer and I really aren't into that. We're just going to see where this takes us." Right? With that kind of an attitude, that is not going to make it past all the challenges that come with marriage. This lifetime commitment thing is very important.

 

The Book of Genesis talks about this. In one of the oldest poetry in known literature, the writer says that this is what marriage is. "For this cause, a man shall leave his father and mother, shall cleave to his wife and they shall become one flesh." Two interesting words there. One, they will cleave to each other. They leave their parents. I'm cutting the financial umbilical cord. We can be on our own. We're going to leave and now we're cleaving to each other. In Hebrew, that word 'cleave' means all of you is being stuck together and you literally ... The second word, you become one flesh with each other. Now can you rip that one flesh apart? Yes, but there is going to be damage to both people. The Bible is saying this one flesh mentality carries you the rest of your life.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. That's the commitment that's implied there, that this is what you're getting. You are now one with another person.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

That's it. This commitment ... What's the word they use now? A lot of people are saying. They're "taking this trial run" or it's a marriage ...

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

... that's just a practice marriage.

Tim Muehlhoff:

It's called a starter marriage.

Chris Grace:

They call them a starter marriage. That's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

A starter marriage. Just like a starter house. You buy your first house with the assumption that we're probably going to move on. People say, "Hey, this first marriage is most likely going to be a starter marriage. I don't know if it's going to work. I want it to work, but I wouldn't be shocked if it didn't work." Hey, when I was at UNC Chapel Hill, I attended a lecture. This guy gave a lecture on marriage, and he said this. "The only way marriage can work is if you have a back door to the marriage. In other words, you have an escape exit, right? But love means that you know what my escape patch is, but I choose never to use it." Right? Noreen would know ... My wife, Noreen, would know that this is the limit Tim has, and that if we cross that limit, he most likely is going to exit the marriage, but he has chosen never to do it. He said, this lecturer, "That's the only way marriage can work today."

 

I think the Bible takes a dramatically different approach when it says, "No. You will never experience the fullness God has for marriage if you have an exit strategy."

Chris Grace:

What I worry about, Tim, are some of the trends we see out there. Let's just take even that group called the millennials, right? They support this form of marriage, that it's easy to split up, that it's not necessarily something that they want. Or better yet, they just simply ... When we compare them to Gen Xers and baby boomers, they are among those who say, "I am most likely to want to try this starter marriage." Because they just simply have a lot of people out there who are telling them, "This is an easier way to do it because it'll save you all of the pain and all of the problems that come, that other people are experiencing in the area when a divorce happens or when a relationship goes sour." You can see it's almost based on fear or based on an accurate perception of what's about to happen.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Again, the fear part is natural. It ought to stop you dead in your tracks ...

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

... when you realize what you're doing. I am committing to a three-legged race for the rest of my life. Everywhere I go, I'm now either going to be dragging a person ... But that person is going to affect me the rest of my life. We were at another lecture, me and a good friend of mine, who had been dating a woman for a long time. He was later in life. I think he was like in his early 40s, but hadn't pulled the trigger yet to get married. We literally listened to this lecturer, Chris, and the guy is getting into a limousine and is leaving. My friend shouts out to him, "Hey, how do I know if I should commit to this woman?" The guy literally says as he's getting into his limo, I'll never forget this, he said this, "Answer one question. Do you want to eat breakfast with her for the rest of your life?" I thought that was brilliant.

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

The dailyness of it. Here are some questions that listeners might want to ask as they're thinking about, "Hey, can I commit to this person the rest of my life?" Here are the questions. Are you willing to put a lifetime of effort into this one relationship?

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Another question. Are you ready to leave the financial and emotional security of your family to start your own family?

Chris Grace:

Yeah. You could even say that same kind ... A similar question would be are you going to stick with this person?

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

In good times and bad times, right? That is easy to think, "Of course. I love this person and all of the bad times." But you really need to consider what that means to stick with this person. When that bad time does hit, you've said this question before, what will remind you of the rightness of your decision, to be one flesh with this person?

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right.

Chris Grace:

What are those things that you write down and that you remember and that you ponder, that reminded you to get into this and why you want to stick with this person?

Tim Muehlhoff:

That brings up the old ... Remember that old joke about Barbara Bush? She spent a lifetime with President Bush. Somebody said, "Hey, did you ever think about divorce?" She goes, "No. Murder? Yes. Divorce? No." But there's something powerful about that, right?

Chris Grace:

There is. That's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Okay. Obviously some forms of love can come and go. That's fine. But when you're going to make that commitment, are you willing to make a lifetime commitment? Here's another thing to think about. Again, the Center for Marriage and Relationships, we come from a distinctly Christian perspective. We blend the timeless truths of scripture with current research. Another observation is inherently based on your relationship with God. That is divine love is the key to human love. When I talk to my students and I say, "Okay, what do you want from a person?" They'll say things like this. "I want a person who always cares for me, always looks out for me, always accepts me, always pursues me, always is interested me." Underline the word 'always'. I say to them, "Boy, good luck." That's hard. You're expecting so much of this person who is bringing his or her baggage into the marriage.

 

I think what's happening, Chris, is we're confusing divine love with human love. God is a lover. He is love, John would say. We've been hardwired for perfect love. If we look to a human being to provide perfect love, then we're always going to be inherently disappointed with what that person can give us.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. Because in essence, what a person who says, "I want someone who's always looking out for me, always caring for me." Well, guess what? That's what God does. That's a relationship with him, who always cares, always looks out and always there. If we try and substitute that in for somebody else, we are always going to be disappointed because somebody can't reach that. They can't fit that.

Tim Muehlhoff:

There's no way. I can for years at a time, but even I get ... I have a bad week and ...

Chris Grace:

We'll bring Noreen on next week and talk about that very thing.

Tim Muehlhoff:

No, we will not. You and I are both fans of C.S. Lewis. Lewis got married late in his life and afterwards reflected on love. He makes a great point. This is what he says. "Human beings can't make one another really happy for long. You cannot love a fellow creature fully until you love God."

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Boy, that's good.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, because if so, what that means is it allows us to get past these mood swings that we go through. It allows us to understand that He has, as a transcendent love, allowed something there and when we know that, then it allows us to love somebody else who is loved by God at all times and all things.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right.

Chris Grace:

They think, "Good lord. How do I do this? This is so hard." We have that model. Yeah. That's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right. Interesting study done by the University of London that said, is it possible that romantic sitcoms or romantic romance movies ... You know, think of any movie with Jennifer Aniston or Tom Hanks or Jennifer Lopez or Julia Roberts, right? Is that spoiling our view of love? The University of London said I think it is. It makes us think love can do things that it just simply can't overcome any difference. Fulfill me in a way that completes me as a person. I think we've been sold the bill of goods from pop culture to think that any human being can scratch the itch of divine love that God has placed in the human heart.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. Boy, doesn't that argue about what you put in is going to have an influence on you. That is if you start allowing some of these models to come in by just simply watching ... Great movies are fun. They're entertaining. We go and see them all the time. But to watch them in a certain way without having a critical eye, especially at a vulnerable time, leads you to a view of love that like you said, it's not sustainable. It can't be done. We can get a lot of confused people coming in, talking about this idealized view of romantic love. It's going to be awesome. They either air on one side going, "It can do all things and it'll meet all of my needs and this person completes me." When in reality, we realize, "Oh man, there's a whole lot more to this. If you simply believe this love, this person makes me complete," well, you're already starting off on some very dangerous grounds.

Tim Muehlhoff:

It just drives me crazy. I show clips from The Notebook in my class. My students know how much I rail on The Notebook. Here you have two people. They're in a thunderstorm. First, can I just say in 25 years of marriage, I've never had an argument standing in a thunderstorm. I think I would say to Noreen, "I love you. Can we please go inside? I'm soaking wet right now." But this passion, right? Where they're yelling at each other. They're angry at each other. Then suddenly, they're embracing and kissing.

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Boy, that is just not reality. Right? Noreen and I can be upset at each other, and I can still want to initiate sex. Noreen looks at me like, "Have you lost your mind?" I'm like, "I was just kidding. Is that a no?" Kind of a thing. Here are some questions to ask that I think are important when we're thinking about the balance of divine and human love.

Chris Grace:

Right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Questions would be, how strong is my relationship with God right now? If a person doesn't have a strong relationship with God, then how in the world are they ready to get married? Because the weaker the relationship with God, the more I'm going to expect from my boyfriend or girlfriend. How do I know to consistently love my boyfriend or girlfriend with God's love?

Chris Grace:

Yeah. That's an important question, because what you're doing is ... Are we expecting them or asking them to love you or to love us in ways that only God can do it?

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right.

Chris Grace:

That's the gist of this is, "Wait a minute. I might be expecting too much, because there's only one person who can love me this way."

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right.

Chris Grace:

That's a great question.

Tim Muehlhoff:

The last question is, am I expecting my girlfriend or boyfriend to love me in ways that only God can? I think that's really important. Boy, this is a nice segway to our last one. Our last one I think is maybe the most important one, based on what we just said. What's your spiritual compatibility like? Now let's be very clear what we're saying with this one and what we're not saying. I'm not saying that two individuals need to have the same knowledge of the Bible as each other. I'm not saying that they both could get an A plus on a Bible quiz of the old testament, the new testament. I'm not saying that at all. But what they must have is the same spiritual interest.

 

One might have been a Christian much longer than the other, thus know far more than the other person. But we're saying they must have the same level of interest, because you don't want to have to drag that person along. Remember that three-legged race? You don't want to have to drag that person to church. You don't want to have to say ... "Hey, honey. Let's read the Bible." You want a person who just knows, that this person is interested in God and you don't have to always be the person pushing that person towards that interest.

Chris Grace:

I think you have to start asking questions when it comes to this about ... You mentioned the levels of interest. Also this are your hearts aligned in key areas?

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

Do you have the same passion and interest, for example, for the poor or for ... Maybe you want to go overseas or you want to work in a ministry type thing or you want to work in a church.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right.

Chris Grace:

You want to be in a business, but you want to use that business to [inaudible 00:17:19] well, those levels of interest need to be compatible. Otherwise, you're going to be fighting about things that are central and key. How do we worship? Where do we worship?

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

Ways in which I find that. Where do you experience God? You want to ask the question. If you see God and find him most when you're worshipping and having time of prayer, and the person you're with is like, "Worship music and times like that drive me crazy. I find God when I'm alone in nature." Well, guess what? There's some incompatibility there at one level that needs to be talked about.

Tim Muehlhoff:

The key is not where do you find God. We would allow for a ton of differences, but do you want to find God?

Chris Grace:

That's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Here's what I would say to our listeners, Chris. Let me talk to the women first. Ladies, it is irrelevant what he says. Ignore everything that man says. If he's a Christian, what do you want him to say? If you say to him, "Honey, how important is the Bible?" What do you want this poor Christian guy to say? He's not going to say, "Well, I'll be honest with you. I don't even know where my Bible is right now." No. What is he going to say? He's going to say, "No, the Bible is incredibly important. It is God's word. Hey, what do you think about going to church?" "Oh, of course. Church is incredible." Bringing together believers. Of course it's important. Forget all of that. It is completely 100 percent irrelevant. All you need to do is ask this question: What does he do?

Chris Grace:

Yeah. Watch his life.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Watch his life. By the way, this obviously applies to the men with the women.

Chris Grace:

That's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

It is irrelevant what they say. Just look at that person's life. Do you always gotta push him a little bit, push her a little bit? Or do you have a self starter? Man, you want a person who's a self starter in that marriage, that their walk with God is going to continue even if our relationship splits up.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. It's a lot of ways we discern other people, right? We can discern people by the way they answer questions or the way they might say something or what they believe, but in reality, one of the best gauges we have, and that's what you're alluding to, is this fact that your behavior is going to show me everything I need. One thing for couples to be able to do is to be able to watch that and realize if nothing changed today ...

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's good.

Chris Grace:

Nothing changed and I see their behavior, am I willing to accept that and live with that? Because that's about what you're going to get. There's not going to be a magic switch that's going to happen the day you say "I do" and all of a sudden, this person starts walking with Jesus and having prayer time with you. Instead, you need to see what they're doing now. That's a way to determine what you're going to get.

Tim Muehlhoff:

We close every pre-marital ... When we're done with pre-marital and the couple is ready to get married, we say this to the couple. It's our very, very, very last question. The question is this. If that person never improved or got worse, would you be okay with how she or he is the rest of his or her life?

Chris Grace:

Right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Never improved. Never got worse. You should see some of the reactions, Chris, we've actually gotten. People are like, "No." Okay, then you're not ready to get married. Hopefully they're going to change, but you can't bank on them changing.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. That's right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Hey, there's the theological component to this, as we wrap up this last thing that we're considering. This spiritual compatibility. I think there needs to be a theological compatibility. You and I have talked about this. Some of our listeners may know the phrases egalitarianism and complementarianism. Egalitarianism basically believes that there is no established leader. We mutually submit to each other. We mutually love each other. But it's not that you're the spiritual head of the marriage more than I am. It's equal. Complementarians believe that yes, there is mutual love, mutual submission, but a woman submits to the man in a way that is distinctly different. He is her spiritual authority within the marriage. Now maybe we'll do a podcast on this one day. It's above our pay grades. I think we'll bring somebody in. But whether you're an egalitarian or complementarian to me is irrelevant, but you both need to be the same. You both need to be complementarian or you both need to be egalitarian. To mix it, in my estimation, is to have disastrous results.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. I think a lot of that comes in. I agree. It's one of the biggest areas for couples to disagree on. Most of the time, couples can discern this without even knowing those titles. They just simply know that one of the ways that they want this marriage to be or the relationship functions this way. Again, that's a very important question to ask about when big decisions come in, how do we do this? If it's a major decision or a minor decision. I remember of a person I was talking to recently. He said that him and his wife, before they got married, made a decision and they agreed to this. All major decisions, he would make. All the minor decisions, she would make. Then he says, "We've been married 48 years and we've yet to come up with a major decision." What that means is they ... It's a great marriage. They know that. They know, "Hey, we're pretty equal in this. We like making decisions together."

 

Well, that's compatibility. Knowing that is critical for this, especially in the area of theology or spirituality of where you land on this. If it feels like you guys have had that conversation and can talk about it and there's compatibility there, whether you're egalitarian, complementarian, probably doesn't really matter.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah. Let me make a controversial ... Maybe a controversial statement. Listeners know, if you've been listening to our podcast, we teach a class on relationships. We co-teach it. There's a theologian and his wife. Dr. Grace and his wife, Alisa. There's me and my wife, Noreen. About 230 students. We were just talking about this a little while ago. A student asked a very interesting question. She said, "Well, what if I don't know? What if I don't know if I'm egalitarian or complementarian?" I want you to react on this, Chris. I said to her, "Then you're not ready to get married." If you don't know yet what you are, then you're not ready to get married because what happens if you develop a conviction later? I think this is the theological study that needs to precede making a lifetime commitment to each other. I think that's important to know.

 

You don't need to know everything about it, but I think you need to know, "This is what I think the Bible is saying about male leadership or submission," and how you come out on it is up to you and the Lord and your study. But I think you need to know generally, "This is where I'm at."

Chris Grace:

Yeah, I guess I would say ... I remember the response that I first thought of. I thought, in a relationship, when you're having these conversations with somebody, when this student is in a dating relationship that starts to get serious, I believe she'll start to know deep down some things that she might not be able to articulate now. They'll come out and she'll probably realize ... Especially if she doesn't like a particular view or perspective, or if she agrees with. Then I think they'll become a little bit clearer for her. But sometimes in relationships, these things come out.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

Questions that we don't know to ask. There might be a little bit of uncertainty until she realizes the questions to ask. Those sometimes don't come out until you get a little bit more serious.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Let's tackle a quick thing we mentioned last podcast that we'd get to. What if you're stuck?

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

We have good friends of ours, Ben and Janet, they actually speak with FamilyLife. I'm telling you the end of the story. But man, he couldn't pull the trigger. He could not pull the trigger. He just didn't know. He was stuck. Eventually, he got help. Right? I think that's important is to get ... If you feel like you're stuck ... "I can't pull this trigger. I can't commit." What would be some of the things we'd want to say to this person, Chris? To help him or her make a very significant life-altering decision.

Chris Grace:

Well, you would point a person in that case to just spend some time first of all going through and spending time with God, asking the very question, "Lord, what am I doing? In what ways could this maybe lack of understanding, lack of commitment or even doubt that's going on, is it something going on with me? Is this something between me and you and my relationship with you and I'm not fully trusting you, or is there something going on in this relationship with this other person that I really have some concerns, but I don't want to articulate them or I don't want to bring them out?" Knowing where that stands, is this something between ... That's within you and between you and God and you're not really ready to do this, or is this something that's prompting you that you really are dealing with at maybe a subconscious level about the other person?

 

I think to figure that out is very important. Just getting insight and talking to somebody else can be very helpful.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah.

Chris Grace:

Realizing where the issue might lie when it comes to lack or not wanting to make this kind of commitment, for example.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah. The Center for Marriage and Relationships offers conferences for pre-marrieds. They can get that information. But let me mention one thing. I think there are yellow lights and there are red lights, okay? To me, a yellow light is a personality difference. You're a spender. She's a saver. You're on the neat side. She's on the more messy side. I think that's a yellow light. Again, you want to ask the question, "Hey, how am I going to feel always constantly asking her to pick up or be more on time?" That's a yellow light to me.

Chris Grace:

Yeah.

Tim Muehlhoff:

But to me, a character quality is more red light.

Chris Grace:

Yeah, sure.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Like, "I don't trust that this person is telling me the truth."

Chris Grace:

Right.

Tim Muehlhoff:

I ask him about this, I ask her about this, and I walk away feeling like I think that person is spinning the truth.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. I think that's a red light.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's a character issue.

Chris Grace:

It is. It's a character issue. There's a lot of red lights like that, that if you can't trust them or for example, there is a form of jealousy that comes up every time because you just don't trust this other person with other people. That could lie with you, that the cause of this, but it could also be with the other person. Those are character issues that need to be talked about and decided. I think the last one that we talked about in here was that notion of being stuck also in a relationship in which the passion is overtaken you. That is, you are sleeping together, having sex and you simply can't break out of that. You're not sure if the friendship and the relationship has developed enough. For couples that are dealing with that area, I think there's a couple of things to do. We would always recommend that they take a break. Take time away from each other and they simply commit to maybe it's six months. Maybe it's two months. They're saying, "We will not have sex together during this time. We are going to commit to our relationship, put this on pause."

 

If you can handle it, if you can do that, if you can make this commitment and stay free from that for this X amount of time until you feel God has prepared you and given you the unclouded eyes to see ...

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yeah, that's good.

Chris Grace:

... then you are prepared to probably make the decision about whether or not this is a person I want to spend the rest of my life with. It'll be a much clearer, more accurate decision again, depending upon how much time and how much commitment you can make to that.

Tim Muehlhoff:

We do a version of this. Let me understand what you're saying. You would say this couple would actually be physically away from each other, would take a break from actually seeing each other on a daily basis.

Chris Grace:

Yeah. They would take a break initially, and then for sure, once they get back together, there would also be protection over the sexual side.

Tim Muehlhoff:

Yes. I love that. Because then you start to realize, "Hey, I don't know if I enjoy being around this person that much. I don't think this person is as funny. We have all of these conflicts and they're not being resolved with us being in bed together," which is a pseudo [inaudible 00:28:44] resolving the conflict. I think Chris, you're absolutely right. I think that's so important that a couple is actively sleeping together. I don't have the confidence to say to them if they're ready to get married, because they're so clouded.

Chris Grace:

I don't think they're able to understand clearly whether or not ... To accurately understand the foundational things that we've talked about. Is there a commitment, a selflessness, a friendship? Those things can be misunderstood, misperceived and misevaluated when there is too much physical intimacy that's clouding.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's all we have, but if you're thinking, "Noooo, I want this conversation to continue," we actually do continue it in many different ways. Go visit our website, right? Chris, our website is?

Chris Grace:

Yeah. It's cmr.biola.edu. We have a number of different blogs on this topic.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's right.

Chris Grace:

We have videos. You can see some different events that we put on and conversations that we're having about issues just like this.

Tim Muehlhoff:

That's great.

Chris Grace:

Hey, we're just out of time for today. We are so glad you joined us for this podcast. Man, this was fun, Tim. We hope you guys had fun, too. You learned a little and you laughed a lot. Once again, just thanks for being with us. If you want to see more, as we mentioned, go to cmr.biola.edu. We're just grateful to have you all here with us. Thanks again for being with us here today. I'm Chris.

Tim Muehlhoff:

I'm Tim. We'll see you next time on the Art of Relationships.

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