I have been praying for couples at CBC.
Marriage is hard work. Like a wet stone, God has used marriage to grind away burrs of sin and fear and hone my passion for truth and intimacy. There may be nothing else in my life that has unearthed my own selfishness like being married (Don’t ask Jenny, just take my word for it!).
My passion for healthy marriages was born out of two realizations:
First, that I wasn’t alone. When I got honest with myself about my own personal and marriage struggles and brave enough to be honest with others, I learned I wasn’t the first man on that moon. Many other men had similar experiences, defeats, ongoing struggles, and victories. The same was true for couples. I learned that, when brought into the light, the shadows of shame I was so desperate to hide would vanish in the dawn of liberty. I expected condemnation. I got love and forgiveness. Secondly, that beautiful marriages are akin to our relationship with God in this way: God knows us, inside and out, infinitely better than we know ourselves, and yet deeply loves and cherishes us anyway.
In his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey said, “The deepest need of the human heart is to be understood.” I don’t know if he’s right or not. Perhaps it’s not the very deepest need. At the very least, however, my own experience tells me it’s really important.
I kept things hidden because I thought I couldn’t be understood. I was wrong. I was already known and understood. And what’s more, I was never really hidden. If you’re wondering now whether I’m talking about marriage or a relationship with God, the answer is “yes.”
This is one of the reasons I’m so optimistic about the Couple Checkup opportunity. It’s just a tool, but it’s a tool that points us toward the one who knows and loves us.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:15-16)
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)
Grace to you,