Last Friday, I sent this out on my Twitter and Facebook accounts…
“Prodigal spouse: Do you want to reconcile but don’t know how? We’d love to help in whatever ways God allows. Talk to us.”
Those who know me personally will know right away that I meant every word of that statement.
Are you a spouse who has walked out of your marriage, but now you’re second-guessing that decision? It’s not uncommon at all to feel this way. But something makes you hesitate. Fear of rejection, the unknown, or not being able to get past the issues. All the “what-ifs” your brain can possibly imagine. You have found yourself on the outside of the marriage, looking back in, and wondering if it’s salvageable. Yes, it’s quite common for people in your position to feel these chaotic emotions.
I’ve heard it said many times (and in various ways) that when you’ve finally walked out the other side of a major life trial, it often becomes your ministry. I have found that to be true.
In the early years I simply wanted to get married and have a family that I could call my own. But pride on both sides, when mixed with personal choices, can produce some really crappy marriages. And we were no exception to that rule.
I never planned to live in a rocky marriage. I didn’t look for ways to spend more time playing my guitar than being a husband. I wasn’t determined to spend nearly a year apart from my wife while we figured out how to move forward. And I SURELY DID NOT have in mind to have a marriage that was infiltrated by the ugliness of adultery. And yet it all happened. Each and every one of these things took place.
Here we are in the “now”, years later, but in a very different place than we used to be. Today, Tiffani and I are best friends. We talk openly, not dancing around with guarded code words. We go places together, holding hands. The “love language” that speaks best to her is acts of service – and I try to serve her most in that way. She sacrifices her time and energy daily to homeschool our four youngest children, and to manage our farm. We show genuine appreciation to each other for the contributions to our marriage. These are the things that we feel compelled to share with hurting people when they bring us the broken pieces of their marriage, looking desperately for help.
When we came out the far side of the adultery, both of us knew it was time for some massive changes in the marriage. Putting Jesus Christ right in the center of it all was Priority One. That has not, and WILL NOT ever change. Left to ourselves, we would fail over and over again. But as we submit our personal wills to Christ, it is HIS grace and mercy towards us that allows us to show grace and mercy towards each other. We believe in covenant marriage as God intended from the beginning.
I never intended to be a light of hope to hurting people. I didn’t have aspirations of being a mentor to broken marriages. But God Himself gave me this burden, and all I want to do is share with you what He shared with me.
I’ve spent countless hours on the phone with people all over the United States, weeping with them in their pain, encouraging them in their distress, and praying with them in their hope for new beginnings. I’ve been blessed to witness broken marriages restored, and people’s hearts for their spouse made new all over again. Jesus cares about your marriage, and it is always an undeserved privilege when He allows me to see how He works in these situations.
So again, I ask the spouses who are on the outside looking in… Do you want to reconcile your marriage but don’t have any idea how to begin? Does fear have you trapped? We’ve been there. But I can assure you that it’s not a place you need to stay. We don’t ask for any payment – let us walk with you as friends. There are some good folks out there mentoring and coaching marriages, so if you don’t feel we’re the right fit for you, please find one of them – don’t give up – your marriage is worth the effort.
If you’d like to talk, please message us privately through our contact page.
And if we’ve walked with you already, please feel free to leave encouragement for others in the comments below. As I mentioned above, your reassuring thoughts could quite possibly be the beginning of YOUR ministry to marriages.
As a postscript to this message, you might be interested to read an earlier article I wrote called “Why I Mentor Marriages“.