Many couples can recount trivial challenges such as the other spouse not replacing the cap on the toothpaste or constantly forgetting to put the toilet seat down. Our list of petty annoyances could certainly be longer than our usual receipt at Costco.
But what about when a marriage encounters a serious challenge? Dark gray storm clouds loom over many homes as anger festers, bitterness grows, and un-forgiveness encroaches on the commitment made at the altar.
So how can we have a healthy, grace-centered marriage?
Stephanie and I have most definitely faced our fair share of intense difficulties. Just for starters, our unexpected (but delightful) honeymoon baby, Hudson, contracted the whooping cough (Pertussis), resulting in eleven days at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. His long journey left us in shock for months… wondering if our baby would make it through (read the story here).
Stephanie also caught Pertussis, and this of course, all happened while I was in the middle of completing my seminary degree and working two jobs. We’ve moved nine times, gone through financial stress, suffered five miscarriages, endured difficult pregnancies, and plodded through potty training (we could write a whole blog just about that). Couple this together with the highs and lows of full-time ministry, discovering our oldest son’s diagnosis of ASD/ADHD, and balancing a busy family schedule, and you have a well-equipped laboratory for failure — or an opportunity for growth toward success.
No Old Pro
We, by no means, lay claim to being old pros. But via our winding (sometimes rocky) trail, we’ve learned a few things. God’s Word has been a good and trustworthy guide. Christ’s gospel has given us gentle, Spring-like showers of grace at just the right season. Patient mentors and friends have nurtured the roots of our marital covenant with wise advice and love.
So are you going through a tough stretch in your marriage? Is the struggle increasing? Has the pressure of parenting left you bewildered or short-fused? Does “dating your spouse” almost seem distasteful right now? Have you gone through a deep season of loss as a couple? Are you simply looking to strengthen your relatively healthy relationship?
To these situations and many more, we offer you 11 keys to a healthy, grace-centered marriage, packaged in 3 interactive (hopefully fun) videos and a goofy (maybe helpful) Q & A session.
Here’s Part One of Retro Marriage: Timeless Truths for Today’s Couples. Our simple aim is to respond to your marriage challenges with the truth and grace of God’s Word:
Retro Marriage | Part 2:
Retro Marriage | Part 3:
Retro Marriage | Part 4: Q & A!
Here are the questions we received:
Q: “Is it a sin to plan how many kids you want to have or decide if you even want children? Is the use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy a sin or indicating a lack of trust in God?”
Q: “What is biblical “love and respect” and submission in marriage?”
Q: “What can be done when both the husband and wife are conflict-shy and clam up when things get rough? How can they learn to communicate and work through the hard stuff instead of just stuffing and hoping it goes away?”
Q: “Any input for helping a husband who is emotionally distant and doesn’t even realize it? He thinks the marriage is fine, while she is starving for intimacy and support. Communicating this to him has changed nothing.”
Q: “What are some things you do for each other when one of you is clearly “down” for some reason? (whether it’s discouraged, depressive, just physical exhaustion, frustration, whatever)”
For additional resources, audio messages, and teaching content, check out our series Love in Design:
Amid the convoluted messages about sexuality and marriage across the news networks and social media feeds, it’s easy to wonder if there is any solution or resolution for the conversation. Has God provided a clear, navigable pattern to follow?
Do you wonder how Jesus Christ would respond to questions like:
- “Can I sleep with my girlfriend, just so long as she doesn’t get pregnant?”
- “Is marriage really only between one man and one woman for life?”
- “Isn’t lust and porn okay as long as nobody gets hurt?”
- “If someone has same-sex attraction, does that mean they’ve been made that way by God? Does God think it’s okay?”
Walk in hope.
In Christ Alone,