Sid Roth - How To Heal Your Marriage
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here. Welcome to my world where it's naturally supernatural. My guests, bestselling authors John and Lisa Bevere, unmasked. What do I mean by that? They were sabotaged when they got married. There is no way in the world their marriage should have survived and they have decided if they will tell people what happened to them it will give hope. But what happened to them wasn't natural. What happened to them that gave them a marriage from Heaven was supernatural. Hello. Look, I cannot believe what I read in the newspaper. The institution of marriage is under assault. John Bevere, what's going on and what's behind what's going on? What is the reason that the institution of marriage is under such assault?
John Bevere: Marriage was authored, created, designed up by God himself. Satan hates anything that's of God. The spirit of this world wants to destroy marriage and is on an active path to do it. And this is why Lisa and I decided to start speaking on marriage because we know now not only are marriages under attack, and they are under attack, but the very institution as you just said is being assaulted. And so we need to voice out what God says about marriage because it is so valuable.
Sid Roth: You know, John looks like he's kind of meek. But would you believe on his first date with Lisa he gets her saved, he gets her speaking in tongues filled with the Spirit and he gets her healed of a life-threatening disease, on the first date. I guess I'd better find out what happened on the second. No, I'm just teasing. Well I'll tell you what happened. He marries Lisa. Now you've heard the saying, opposites attract, but this is ridiculous. Lisa, what was your background?
Lisa Bevere: Okay. So I'm half Sicilian, Apache Indian, French and English. My grandmother had been married four times.
John Bevere: And I'm fortunate to be alive.
Lisa Bevere: Yes. My grandmother had been married four times. My parents were married, divorced, remarried, divorced. My dad was an alcoholic. I came from dysfunction way before it was popular. We were doing it way before the Kardashians. And basically, you know, John and I, we just came together. I had no good thing. I brought adultery, I brought alcoholism, I brought dysfunction and he brought all the good, and I brought all of the bad. I remember when he introduced me to his mom, his mom was like, "Wait a minute, we have never had divorce in our family before". And I was like, that's not my name. But it was really a scary thing when I came in. But you know, we decided, Sid, God wasn't interested.
Sid Roth: You got me laughing so much, I don't know what to say.
Lisa Bevere: Well we decided it wasn't about John's good and my bad. It was about holy. And the truth is God wants to do a new thing with couples. And I brought nothing to the table, and we wanted to do our marriage different, but we didn't know how to do it different. And I personally had a vision about three months into my marriage, and it was the vision of a perfect man, and this man looked like my husband, but he did not act like my husband. And so I decide my job was to change my husband from the man he was to the man he could be if he would work with me, but John had a vision of his own.
Sid Roth: But Lisa, not one woman listening to you understands.
Lisa Bevere: No.
Sid Roth: No woman wants to change her husband.
Lisa Bevere: None of us do.
Sid Roth: Okay, that's what she brought in.
Lisa Bevere: Yeah.
Sid Roth: Now what did you bring in?
John Bevere: Well I brought in, I mean, my family, my mom and dad are amazing. They married 66 years. My dad just went home to be with the Lord this year. But what I brought in was a lot of insecurity. I was the only boy of six children. So I was the chosen one, my son, my son, according to my mother. So a lot of...
Sid Roth: I thought that was just Jewish men.
Lisa Bevere: No, it's Italians, too.
John Bevere: So a lot of selfishness and a lot of temper, a lot of arguing, a lot of this is my way or the highway. And we clashed like the Titans. I mean, it was like WWF wrestling the first couple of years of our marriage. It was horrific. And we really realized all of a sudden, hey wait a minute, this happily ever after just doesn't happen. And so, you know, we started, Lisa and I started realizing in order to have a good marriage you have to work to have a good marriage.
Sid Roth: But I have to ask you this question, Lisa. Why the dirty laundry? Why are you doing this?
Lisa Bevere: Well you know, I think too many people feel isolated. They feel hopeless. So John and I said, you know what, we're going to open up our lives. Because we sit in conferences and we would hear the pastors say, "my wife and I have never had a fight" and I'd be like, for the love of Jesus, we've never not fought. I mean, we decided, what in the world. So we just did not know how to do it correctly. And so we were like, all right, people are going to have different differences and we need to be constructive with this. Plus John and I have a unique dynamic that other people didn't have. We both are strong personalities. We both have voices. It isn't I'm just supportive of him and he's not there or he's just supportive of me. But couples coming up, they want to do it together, Sid. I think that we are created to do it together. And it would have been easier if we did it separately. So we said, let's just put it all out there. Let's talk about our struggles in the past with abuse, let's talk about our struggles with control, let's talk about our struggles with fear, let's talk about what we've regretted and what we've learned. We've been married for 33 years. That's a long time. And so we've learned a lot of lessons that we don't think other people need to learn the hard way.
Sid Roth: John, you were addicted to pornography before you got married.
John Bevere: Yep.
Sid Roth: And before it was almost commonplace. Right now, the statistics are overwhelming. Tell me a few of them.
John Bevere: Well it started at age 11. And then when I married Lisa, I thought, gosh, when I get married to this beautiful woman it will all go away. Well it certainly didn't. And so it was a big battle.
Sid Roth: I'll tell you what, hold that thought. I want to find out how you got supernaturally, I mean, he thought if he just would get married to a beautiful woman, he wouldn't be interested in pornography. He didn't know that that's one of the strongest addictions on the planet. When we come back I want to find out how they supernaturally went from physical abuse with each other, verbal abuse, her taking off her engagement ring. I mean, and to have the marriage they have today, and I say there is tikvah, that's a Hebrew word, there is hope.
Sid Roth: Sid Roth here with John and Lisa Bevere. And pornography, it's insidious. When you started, it wasn't that pervasive. Right now, how pervasive is it?
John Bevere: Right now you have 40 million Americans that are visiting porn sites a year. One in every ten website is a porn site, one in every ten was the biggest of any except until social media just took over. You have 50 percent of Christian males are addicted to pornography. Seventy percent of Christian males visit, this is CNN.
Sid Roth: Fifty percent.
John Bevere: Addicted.
Sid Roth: Wow.
John Bevere: And then you have 70 percent that visit pornography, according to, this is a CNN report.
Sid Roth: Is this just men?
John Bevere: It's also women. One in five women are addicted to pornography. So you've got an epidemic here that's kept in the closet amongst Christians. I was in that situation. My first four years of marriage with Lisa was like terrible because of the guilt that I was carrying because of pornography. And I remember opening up to a man of God, he sharply rebuked me. But I remember it wasn't until a year later, about nine months later I went on a four-day fast and I realized that what I was doing was breaking the heart of the one I loved, Jesus, and then breaking the heart of the other one I loved, Lisa. And when I realized that I was hurting God's heart that was godly sorrow that led me to the deliverance that Second Corinthians, Chapter 7 tells us about. Before, I was scared what was going to happen to me. Am I going to be judged? Am I going to lose my ministry? Am I going to, you know, what are the ramifications of losing my marriage. That's worldly sorrow. That's when the focus is on us. But when I realized I was hurting God's heart, that was what led me to get the freedom. And I can say now today, I was free on May the 6th, 1985, completely free. But what had to happen was God had to renew my mind.
Sid Roth: Lisa, you got so angry with John one day, you took your engagement ring off.
Lisa Bevere: I did. I did. I said, we are married, but we are not engaged. I don't know what I was thinking. I thought that would just make a statement.
John Bevere: It did.
Lisa Bevere: Well I was really upset with him and I brought it to God because I really felt like God was on my side. I thought he was upset with John, too. So I was like, God, you see what he does. You see how he talks to me. God, you see this. And all he would say to me was, "Lisa, tell me that I'm enough for you". And I said, "If I tell you that you're enough for me does that mean John's not going to change? If that's what it means I'm not going to put my ring back on. I'm not going to do this". And he said, "No, I really need to hear from you that I am enough for you". So I remember, I said, "All right God, you're enough for me". And then it went from, "you're enough for me" to "you are more than enough for me". And when God became more than enough for me then I had more than enough for John. And so then it was, you know, God began to open up John's heart and he began to move in both of our lives. But we're both stubborn. And so it takes pressing into the presence of God for a lot of times for us to hear things.
Sid Roth: But John, you reached a point that you hit Lisa.
John Bevere: First three years of our marriage, I'm so ashamed to say this, but I realize I've got to open up because I really want to see this completely eradicated from any marriage. I remember the shame that I carried and Lisa did a wonderful thing. She locked me out of the house. And she said, "You're not coming in". I said, "Open up". She said, "You're not coming in". She said, "Go figure this out". So I went to some friends' house and I spent the, you know, the weekend fasting. And I remember I came back a real changed man and you know, the thing is, is God has given men a stronger vessel. I mean, when Peter says, "Honor your wife as the weaker vessel", the only thing that means is that she can't bench press much as you. That's all it means. So here, God makes us the guardian of a woman with a frailer frame and not a strong frame, and also is sensitive and tender, and sensitive and tenderness is a strength. Our job is to guard and protect them. What I was doing and what justified me striking back is she would provoke me so much by attacking me so much I felt justified. Well when I realized that, I said, I will never, ever do this again. But that is not a place at all in a marriage. A man, no matter how much he feels like he's being talked, attacked, dishonored by his wife, he should not dishonor her back by touching her or speaking to her in a dishonoring way.
Sid Roth: When things were at their worst, God spoke to you and this might have shocked you, but when things were at their worst, God told you to back him?
John Bevere: This was amazing. I was just, I had had it. I thought there is no hope left for our marriage. I went to God and just said, "God, I've had it. I've just had it. I just can't go another day". And the Lord, I remember I was out and it was quiet for quite a while. Then all of a sudden, I heard the Holy Spirit say, "I want you to thank me for one thing about Lisa, just one thing". I said, "Well she's a good mom". And then all of a sudden I said, "She's a good cook". And then I said, "And she really dresses well". And I said, "She's made a beautiful house". And all of a sudden things started pouring out of me how much I was thankful for, for this woman, you know. And I thought, you jerk, you idiot, oh my gosh. And I remember going back to the house and I thought, she's not going to listen to what I'm going to say. But I just said, "Lisa, I've been so stupid. You're a phenomenal mother, a phenomenal cook, you have kept such a beautiful home. You care so tenderly for people and for me. I'm so sorry". And what I was amazed at is she softened, too. And that was the real, I would say, turning point for our marriage is when that happened. And so I realized that in situations you're always going, you know, the enemy wants to destroy your marriage. He just wants to destroy it. So you're going to get into situations where you think, I mean, come on, Jesus sweat drops of blood in the garden. So did he quit? No. Okay, you're going to get, and I'm just going to tell you, you're going to get to places in your marriage possibly that you're going to go, I can't handle it anymore. And that's, you're like right at the brink of a breakthrough many times, if you'll just listen to the counsel of God's Word.
Sid Roth: I'm telling you, there is hope. There is nothing hopeless in God. Nothing. All things are possible.
John Bevere: That's right, Sid.
Sid Roth: We're going to be right back.
Sid Roth: Hello. Sid Roth here with John and Lisa Bevere. Lisa, where would you say an important turning point in your marriage was?
Lisa Bevere: You know, when I chose to forgive. You know, when John came home when I locked him out, I got alone with God and I was like, "God, I hope that you're speaking to John. I hope that you are rebuking him. I hope you're giving him some bad dreams. I hope that you're just going to jerk the slack out of him". And God said, "You need to forgive". And I was like, no, no, no. I'll forgive him when he changes. And the Holy Spirit said, "No, you need to forgive him so he can change". We don't understand the power of forgiveness. When I forgive somebody, I actually release them to be everything that God wants them to be. And John came home from that weekend locked out and came to me, and he was like, hey, I'm sorry. And usually I would say, well I forgive you, but you need to understand, you did this, this, this, this and this. I had a whole bank account. But the Holy Spirit said, "I want you to look at your husband and when he says, I'm sorry, I want you to say, I believe you want to change and I forgive you". And that is what Jesus says to me every single time I come to him. He doesn't say, Lisa I've got this whole list of things and you're going to do it again in the future. He just says, I believe you want to change and I forgive you. You know, looking back over 33 years of marriage, there's a couple of things I regret as a wife, things that I wish I would have done differently. And number one, I wish I would have loved him more fearlessly. You know, I came into the marriage...
Sid Roth: What do you mean by fearlessly?
Lisa Bevere: Well I came in with a lot of fear. So I would measure my love. I wasn't willing to give all of my heart to John because I was afraid if I gave him all of my heart that he would break my heart. So I would always reserve a little bit back. And I remember John would say to me, "I'm not your dad. I'm not your dad. I'm not going to leave you, I'm going to abandon you". I was so afraid that if he made a mistake it was going to destroy me. And so I would control him and then he would try to control me, and it was just this ridiculous dynamic. We did a lot of things imperfectly, but we learned from all of our mistakes. And so that's, again, what you asked me earlier in the show, why would we have shared that. Because we actually really do want something more for the other couples.
Sid Roth: John, what affect did it have on you when your wife just forgave you with no list, no laundry list?
John Bevere: When you're forgiven like that, you all of a sudden, your heart gets even more tender to doing wrong again. And that's what people don't realize, is the forgiveness that God gives, it motivates us to want to please him more. We're so overwhelmed by his mercy that he's given to us. I don't want to hurt his heart because he's been so good to me. When your spouse is like that with you, it's the same way. It's no different. And so I would just say with couples that you're looking at your side too much. You've got to start believing. You know, I kept thinking about when you were saying that, that the love of God, its hopes are fadeless. The hopes never give up. When Jesus, you know, says to us, he says, hey, you've done this, you know, 500 times before, I'm not going to listen to you anymore. Well you know, he's not going to be saying it 500 times, because you know what? His forgiveness really does release us. And that's what I've noticed about God's forgiveness in my life, is that it really frees me and empowers me. Her forgiveness to me freed me and empowered me to be a better husband. I know that marriage is an institution given by God because it makes us better as individuals. God said in Malachi that "He's looking for godly offspring out of marriage". Well it says offspring in the New King James. But in another version it says, "Looking for godly children". And I think what God is saying is not only natural children, but it makes us better men and women of God because you never, ever, ever read one book by John Bevere, never, not one had it not been for Lisa Bevere. Never. Because I am today because of what she and Jesus have done in my life.
Sid Roth: There was a quote you told me before we went on the air, it's from the Message Bible about divorce. Would you tell that again.
John Bevere: Well you know, Jesus, if you look at the Message Bible, when Jesus was talking to the Pharisees and to his own disciples, he called marriage God's art. And he said, "I'll hold you accountable for desecrating God's art". Can you imagine if somebody went and on the Mona Lisa, the original, would have just vandalized it. I mean, Leonardo Da Vinci would have rolled over in his grave, right. Can you imagine how God feels the way marriage is being treated right now in our nation, even amongst Christians. It's like our society is taking God's term and they're desecrating it right now with the way they're defining it. They're ruining this organic union.
Sid Roth: John, there's a lot of hurting people there. Would you pray for them.
John Bevere: I want to look at you right now. If your marriage is under attack, let me tell you, this attack can be thrusted, it can be stopped. And so I want to pray for you right now. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth whom I belong to, whom I serve who has changed my marriage, I speak to the demonic forces that have attacked this marriage and I break the power of those forces, and I call for strife and division to leave this marriage. I release forgiveness into this marriage and I release the hope that is in Christ Jesus into this marriage. In Jesus' name, I command all opposition, every word that's been spoken against your union. I break the power of those words and I release the Word of God that says, there will be a miracle, there will be a fusing together of the hearts and souls in this marriage, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.
Sid Roth: I have a word from God for you. Don't give up. Never give up.