Your Marriage is Worth It
My husband Terry and I have been married for 26 years. We are the proud parents of seven children, and our oldest son, Will, was just married this past weekend. As I sat on the front row of the ceremony, watching my son and his precious bride make their vows, the gravity of the situation impacted me. Most everything our son has learned about marriage, he has learned from our marriage, other family members' marriages, or marriages of friends. My mother often said, "values are caught not taught," which I think is accurate. All these years, he and his siblings have looked to their father and I for guidance on loving one another and what a marriage should look like.
We have had some ups and downs along the way, at times sacrificing our marriage on the altar of hurry, convenience, distraction, or "good parenting." What most people don't realize when they wed is that marriage is like a plant. You can nurture it and watch it grow or you can neglect it and find that it has died and wonder what has happened. Most people are arrogant when they get married and think, "That can never happen to us." Unfortunately for those couples, that is pure foolishness, because pride truly does go before a fall. Satan has you right where he wants you when you think that your marriage is immune from marital problems.
The year before we enrolled in re|engage was a very tough one. We already had a lot on our plate with six children at home and our oldest son deployed in Afghanistan serving with the Army Reserves as a Combat Engineer in Route Clearance (Bomb Detection). That constant stress was coupled with the fact that I had a very stressful full time job as an RN in the ICU and a part time job as a school RN. All of these factors were a real test of our relationship; we were really struggling as we drifted apart. Over the next year, through counseling, prayer, and reconnecting with each other, and most of all just asking God for His healing power in our relationship, God rekindled some of those deep abiding rivers of love for each other that had been dammed up or walled off.
In January, we entered re|engage because we now understand that if you aren't actively working on your relationship, you are LOSING hard fought ground. When we first visited GFC we saw the information about re|engage in the church bulletin. The class was very appealing to us as we had made a commitment toward constantly reconnecting and restoring our marriage.
The first night we attended the class, the room was filled with couples and nearly everyone was apprehensive. Some of the husbands had the "deer in the headlights" look in their eyes. I could tell that some were concerned their wives would open up about deep, dark secrets concerning their relationship in front of all these people. Much to their relief, Tim (the teacher) and his wife laid some good guidelines about sharing and respecting your spouse as well as the other group members. My husband and I felt comfortable sharing our experiences and expressing our struggles. There were some classes that were very emotionally difficult to get through (our problem areas) and other classes that were down right hilarious for everyone. Overall I believe our marriage is stronger after participating in re|engage.
It's really good to participate in groups like this with your spouse because you realize you are not the only couple experiencing issues, and as an older couple, we were able to share that there can be healing and that marriages can be restored and even rekindled! By the end of the class, we felt very close to the other couples in the group and we were sad to miss the end of class picnic (we were on our anniversary trip).
The most important take-home lesson was that we should never, ever think our relationships are affair proof because without God's help and protection, terrible hurts can befall our families, and our families can be destroyed. No one is immune. Re|engage is like a cool drink of water in the middle of a desert. It is refreshing, especially when the culture we live in seeks to destroy the institution of marriage and devalue its meaning.
What can re|engage mean for our families? I can tell you that one couple shared at the end of our class sessions that they were on the brink of divorce and re|engage was a last ditch effort to save their marriage. Tearfully, the wife spoke of God's healing in their marriage during re|engage and how thankful they were to keep their family together.
During my son and his wife's premarital counseling recently at GFC, they were told that because both the groom/bride's families were intact and had not been broken by divorce that they had a much greater chance of having a successful marriage. What better gift can we give our children than two parents that genuinely love each other, who want to be together, and who enjoy communion with each other in the body of Christ?
Are you ready to re|engage with your spouse? It's worth the time and effort! Water your garden and the grass will be a little greener on your side of the fence! You can view more information about the class and sign up online here.
Posted on Mon, August 18, 2014
by Kim Jones