Put Away the Bad
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Colossians 3 calls Christians to “put away” certain behaviors in order to love others. Ray and Robyn McKelvy explain to us what that looks like when relating to our spouses.
Put Away the Bad
Dave: I think it would be really interesting if we could like pull back the curtain and see behind the scenes what’s happening/really happening at a wedding.
Ann: I know where you’re going with this; because you’re thinking, “If we could see all the baggage the bride and groom are bringing into this marriage, we would all be scared.” [Laughter]
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: Can you imagine?—a groom comes down the isle; and he’s got three or four bags, and a carry-on, and a backpack—and then the wife is walking down/the bride, pulling this bag behind her. I mean, it would be/I mean, it never would happen; but the truth is—
Ann: Do you think the bride would have more than the groom or vice versa?
Dave: I know I had more in our marriage. [Laughter] I brought on a whole airplane cargo section. [Laughter]
But here’s the thing: they don’t know it!
Dave: When you get married, we didn’t know.
Dave: I mean, we’re standing there, just smiling, “This is going to be the best, the easiest, the most wonderful wedding/marriage in the world,” and we were bringing some stuff. [Laughter]
Ann: Yes; I think, if we would see all of that, we would be petrified. And yet, in marriage, we’re getting rid of things all the time, like: “Oh, I shouldn’t bring that in,” and “I need to get rid of that,” or “I need to put some new things on.”
Dave: I think the most important thing is, first of all, you’ve got to identify what bags you’re carrying and bringing. And then, you’ve got to make the intentional choice to say, “Okay, one by one, I’m going to put these away.”
Today, we get to hear a message just about that. It was given by Robyn and Ray McKelvy on the FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It® virtual cruise, which means we really didn’t get on a boat; we pretended we were on a boat. But the good news is we get to get on a boat in 2022, because we’re going cruising again. The Love Like You Mean It cruise will be happening on the seas, and you can sign up right now. You better sign up, because we’ve got deals going until June 28; so sign up at FamilyLifeToday.com.
They gave a message, not so much about standing at a wedding altar with baggage, but in our walks with God, we all are carrying stuff; and we have to put that off and put on something. They used a clothes analogy—and I tell you what—if anybody can dress, they can dress!
Ann: They’re so fun. I love Ray; I love Robyn. Ray is actually a graduate of Dallas Seminary. He’s a church planter—started two churches—and he’s currently the lead pastor at Christ of the Nations Church in Nashville. We’ve done some speaking with them, because they have been speaking for FamilyLife Weekend to Remember® conferences for over 25 years. They’re really fun! They also do women and men’s retreats; and here’s the thing that’s pretty amazing: they have—you ready?—ten kids!—
Dave: —ten kids!
Ann: —two sons-in-law, three grandsons; and they have a house-full.
Dave: Yes; they had a great time, probably getting away from some of those kids, to give this message on the virtual cruise. You’re really going to love it.
[Previous Love Like You Mean It Message]
Ray: What we want to talk about is something very practical. It’s called “Getting Dressed”: getting dressed in the morning; all of us get dressed for work; or you get dressed to go workout; you get dressed for bed—
Robyn: Basically, what you’re doing—
Ray: —or not. [Laughter]
Robyn: —you’re taking—[Laughter]—basically, what you’re doing is you’re taking off the stink of the day, and you’re putting on something that’s fresh.
Robyn: It’s so easy for us to physically do that; we take care of our faces and hair. We do that on purpose so that, when we greet the world, the world is not turned off by us.
Ray: What Robyn and I want to talk about today is how to dress for success in your marriage: “How do you get dressed in such a way of relating to each other that your marriage is successful?” We’re going to look at Colossians, Chapter 3. If you have your Bibles with you—this is a devotional—so grab your Bibles.
Robyn: Turn with us to Colossians, Chapter 3. I’m going to read in verse 8 through verse 13; it says: “But now, you must put them all away…”—wow! And this is Paul talking to the church; but if we applied this to our lives, our families would look differently.
We must put them all away—then he tells us what to put away—you must put away “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there is not Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Ray: You know, as Robyn is reading that passage, it reminds me: “You know, we look at these verses, and the Bible is telling us how to live as believers: what we’re to put off or to take off and what to put on as we relate to each other.” But here’s what I find: a lot of times, as believers, we don’t apply it to our spouse. We look at this and we go, “Oh, how can I treat people on the outside?” Often, we treat people on the outside better than we treat the person that I’m committed to/the wife of my covenant.
What we want to do now is read this passage one more time. But this time, I don’t want you to think how you can live this on the outside but live this inside your marriage. I want you to have a mind shift—not just: “How do I live this in front of my church friends? How do I live this in front of those on the outside?”—but: “How do I live this way in front of my spouse?” Let’s have a mindset change as we read this: “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self and its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there is not Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”
Let’s jump in into the specifics.
Robyn: Okay, what we’d like for you to imagine with us is, when you get dressed in the morning, there are some things that you take off. They’re usually dirty things, and then there’s some things you put on. We’re going to relate this to the things that we need to take off, as believers, to let our light shine, even in front of our spouse. Make sure that you understand “put off”—when we talk about this—“put off” is that you take it off; you cast it off; you take it off like it’s a bunch of dirty clothes. I’m going to tell you: I know all about dirty clothes.
Ray: I’m going to interrupt, Robyn; because this is so good/this idea of casting off. When it says to “put away from you,” it is that idea: “You take it off; it’s a dirty garment; you throw it away.”
In Romans 13, it says to “…cast off”—it uses that same word—“cast off the works of darkness…”
Ephesians 4, “…take off your old self…” or “…put away the old self…”
Ephesians 4:25, “…put away falsehood...”
I mean, all of these things just remind us: “This is something that is dirty,” “It’s a dirty piece of clothing, and you want to take it off.”
Robyn: Okay; I’m going to get back to me doing laundry.
Robyn: Because over the years, I’ve done tens of thousands of loads. I usually do at least—even now, when our house is down to just four of us—between sheets and towels and everything, I’m still doing ten loads of laundry every week. I do my son—he’s 12 years old—and I love him to death, but I hate this part about him. My wonderful son—
Ray: That’s a strong word. [Laughter]
Robyn: Okay, well, I do. I’m telling you—my wonderful son—I fold up all his clothes and I put them on his bed. There’s so many times that he gets the clean clothes mixed in with the dirty clothes. The only way for me to tell the clean clothes from the dirty clothes is to smell them. I’m going to tell you one thing: “It is not a pleasant smell; okay? When you have dirty things on, you are not pleasant.”
We’re going to get to: “What are some of the things that we must/absolutely must take off?”
Ray: The first one we’re going to talk about is anger. The Bible says: “I want you to cast off this anger.” This anger has to do with the simmering—the kind of anger that you stew over; you may not have even expressed it; you haven’t said it to your spouse—but it’s something that you’re holding onto. It’s the idea of resentment: of being angry in the sense of that, even when your spouse hasn’t done anything necessarily wrong, if they just do a small thing—because you’ve not dealt with that anger, and it’s been simmering on the inside—you just have this bitterness and resentment.
The Bible tells us to take this off; and so this anger, you’ve got to get rid of it. You don’t keep it with you, so you take it off.
Robyn: The next thing that we’re going to talk about is wrath. It is similar to anger, but it’s different. Wrath is the kind of anger that is built up—it’s like you keep thinking about it; it’s like a simmering pot—you know, when you boil your water for your tea, you let that pot simmer, and simmer, and simmer; and then it boils over. That’s what wrath does; it takes on an explosion: this is yelling, name calling.
There’s something that you have to do when it comes to wrath. What do you have to do, Ray?!
Ray: [Laughter] Well, before I mention this part of wrath, I think about—now, we didn’t discuss this—but—
Robyn: That’s alright; tell it all. [Laughter]
Ray: —but that first type of anger that I said to put off, I struggle with that more. I struggle more with that internal anger that, I mean, it just simmers there.
But this wrath, that’s more explosive—[Laughter]
Robyn: Oh, I guess confession is good for the soul. You’re telling all our business today. [Laughter]
Ray: So in this devotional, what we do, we take off the wrath. I mean, you don’t keep it on: you get rid of it; you throw it away like it’s dirty laundry.
Robyn: And one of the things—sometimes, people have to tell you you’re stinky—so if your husband comes up to you and tells you that you have this explosive anger, don’t go raging or wrath-ing on him. Make sure—
Robyn: —“wrath-ing”—I made up a word. Make sure you take it to heart. He’s telling you because, when it comes to husband and wife, you want each other to look more like Christ. Christ is telling us: “Put these things off,” “Take them off,” “Throw them away,” “They’re dirty laundry; they make you stink.”
Ray: So it’s: “anger,” “wrath”; and then it uses this word, “malice.” It’s not hard to describe, but it’s the idea that malice is the foundation of all this anger—it is actually the desire to get even; it’s the desire to get back—it’s the desire that drives all of this. He’s saying, not only, “I want you to get rid of the foundation of all that anger.” It’s/it’s almost like we live in a time, where we believe we have so many rights.
I don’t know about you guys—it’s good to be on this virtual cruise—because I need a vacation from all of the issues that are happening in our world. It’s, so often, we are experiencing anger, wrath, and malice—in our culture, in our politics, in our wearing of masks or not wearing a mask—in our relationship with each other. It’s interesting to me that the foundation of all of this is malice: it’s that idea of a desire to hurt someone, a desire to get back/to get even. The Bible is telling us that: you need to get rid of it; don’t let it hang out with you; you get rid of this malice; cast it off.
Robyn: Take it off; take it off.
Ray: Take it off; yes.
The first three that we just talked about—which, whew!—by the way guys, I’m glad to get rid of all that; I feel so much lighter.
Robyn: Yes, you do. [Laughter]
Ray: And I’m not as hot.
These first three attitudes had to do with bitterness and resentment. A lot of it is expressed, though, in what we say. I’m going to let Robyn start us on that.
Robyn: Okay; and then the other things that the Bible tells us to take off begins with slander. A lot of times, we want to be able to say that slander is asking for a prayer request. But we’re really not asking for a prayer request; we’re talking bad about someone. That’s slander—talking evil about your spouse to other people—and God is telling us to take it off.
It’s important that the evil—this is the part that used to be who you were—God is saying we’re no longer that person. We’re no longer who we used to be; we’re new creatures, so slander has to go.
Ray: Let’s keep that on just for a second, because I just had a thought: “Who is the father of slander?” Because the Bible talks about how Satan is the accuser of the brethren/that he’s a slanderer. Sometimes, a slanderer is the one who whispers lies in our ears and slandering our spouse—which I don’t know if we know that we do that—but to slander our spouse, we’re calling them names. We are sharing information about them that would make them look bad or to hurt them. Anyway, I just thought I’d throw that in.
Robyn: So with slander, we have to take it off. I want to get rid of some of these clothes, too; [Laughter] but we’ve got to take it off!
The next one that the Bible says that we need to get rid of is obscene talk. We all know what this is. This is that filthy language: it’s shameful; it’s abrasive; it’s calling names, sometimes, where we’re just/and we’re belittling our spouse. It’s easy for us to do that; but the Bible tells us that’s who we used to be and, now, we’re new; so we’ve got to take off this obscene language that we have between each other.
It also says that we need to have language that builds the other up, that our language should be filled with grace so that those that hear it are renewed. That’s the kind of language that God is telling us to put on. This obscene language is who we used to be before we knew Christ; He’s telling us, also, to take it off.
Ray: —to take it off. As we think about all this: there’s anger; wrath; malice; slander; obscene talk, which is shameful; and there’s one that we’re missing though.
Robyn: We need to take off this [lying]. Boy, I tell you—in several passages in God’s Word—He tells us to be people who are honest with one another/to not lie. It’s so easy for the father of lies to tell us to use the lies: “It won’t hurt anybody,” but it does; it hurts your relationship. It’s important that you not lie, and this is one of the things that the Bible says that we need to put off.
He tells us to be characterized by truth. The only way to do that is you take off the lies. Ephesians 4—now Ray studied this in Colossians, and I studied it in Ephesians—but Ephesians 4:25 says the same thing: “Therefore, having put away falsehood,”—or lies—"let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor,”—that’s your family—"we are members one of another.” We need to put away or take it off—these falsehoods.
Ray: So fellow cruisers, I mean, before you can get dressed with what is right, the Bible is telling us what to put off. I think this is so convicting in my own life, with my relationship with Robyn, that you know what? When I wake up in the morning, or as I’m going through the day, that in my own natural flesh, I’m wanting to—there might be some ways in which she hurt me or that I hurt her—and we’re commanded that: you put away that anger that simmers; you put away that wrath that explodes; you put away that malice that really demands its rights and wants to get even; you put away that slanderous talk, where really, you’re trying to make your spouse look bad to other people; you put away that obscene talk/calling names—I don’t know; you guys can fill in the blanks there—and then to put away lying/to be honest people.
But that’s not all. I don’t/if we were to end there, that would just be half the story.
Robyn: That’s right.
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.
Dave: So we’ve been listening to Ray and Robyn McKelvy/the message they gave on the Love Like You Mean It virtual cruise.
Ann: That’s a devotional; isn’t that good. That’d be a great way to start your day/to have a devotional with Ray and Robyn.
Dave: Yes, and I think it’s only halfway done. As they said, it’s like: “This is what we put off,”—which, by the way, I don’t know if I can do that—you know, when you’re stuck in anger or you’re just in the grip, it’s like we need Part Two of this message; because we don’t have the power to put it off,—
Ann: Right; and—
Dave: —and “What do we put on?”
Ann: That’s what I was going to say: “What do we put on?” because that’s what we need to hear. If we could apply these truths/these biblical truths to our marriages, it would really change things.
Bob: It is so critical for us to identify the things that need to be put off. But as Dave and Ann Wilson just said—not to focus exclusively on what we’re putting off—but also what we’re putting on. If all you do is put things off, you leave yourself exposed. We’ve got to put on godly character and godly virtues.
We’re going to hear more on this from Ray and Robyn McKelvy in Part Two of this message. In the meantime, if you’d like to hear the entire message, it’s available online at FamilyLifeToday.com; you can download it from our website. This is a message that Ray and Robyn shared as part of the 2021 FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It virtual cruise.
But guess what? Next February, the cruise is not going to be virtual; it’s going to be live and in person. We are really excited as we plan ahead for the 2022 cruise. In fact, right now, we’re in the middle of a Back to Cruising special event for FamilyLife Today listeners. We have dropped the prices on our cruise cabins to the lowest price they will be this year. If you are interested in joining us on the cruise in 2022, now is the time to call and reserve your cabin.
The last 15 months have been hard on all of us; the cruise gives you a chance to reconnect and to realign with God and with one another. And I should just mention, these cruises in past years have sold out; so if you are interested in being on the 2022 cruise, this is the week to call and reserve your cabin. You can call 1-800-FL-TODAY if you need more information; it’s available online at FamilyLifeToday.com. Again, the number to call is 1-800-358-6329; that’s 1-800-“F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.”
Now, speaking of the cruise, somebody over the next 30 days is going to win a free cabin on the Love Like You Mean It marriage cruise. Somebody is going for free in February, and it could be you. Let me tell you how this works. Our team has put together something called the “Love You Better Plan.” This is 30 days to help each one of us love one another better in marriage—pretty simple; it’s a downloadable PDF—there are suggestions and tips on how we can do a better job of loving one another in marriage. Everybody who downloads the “Love You Better Plan” is going to be instantly entered in a drawing we’ll be doing. And like I said, somebody is going to win a cabin on the cruise.
Here’s what you do: you download the “Love You Better Plan”—go to FamilyLifeToday.com and download it—when you do, you are instantly/automatically eligible to win a cabin on the cruise; there is no purchase necessary. All of the information about the contest is available online. Find out more when you go to FamilyLifeToday.com.
Now, tomorrow, we’re going to hear from Ray and Robyn McKelvy about the things we need to be putting on. If we’re going to put off anger, and wrath, and malice and all the rest, what should we be putting on? We’ll hear about that tomorrow. We hope you can be with us for that.
On behalf of our hosts, Dave and Ann Wilson, I’m Bob Lepine. We will see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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