(Marriage Ministry Mondays)
We had a blast hanging out with Bob Lepine and Dennis Rainey as they grilled us, I mean interviewed us for some future programs. They are the super fun (and yes, pretty awesome) radio hosts for the Family Life Today program. They invited us in to share how God has worked in our marriage. (I think the program will air in January, and I’ll provide the link when it does.)
Men Who Love Fierce Women releases in just 25 days! As we shared with Bob and Dennis, the reason we teamed up to write this resource for husbands is we’re hoping to reach couples who may be needing encouragement—but especially we want to reach those who are in that hopeless pit where we once were. This is how LeRoy describes where he was during the darkest season of our marriage:
Dead End—that’s where my life was now headed.
I’d walked away from a successful ministry position in a large church, serving as senior pastor while only thirty-one. It was a dream opportunity, and I was only one year into it when I knew I had to resign. I could no longer preach the gospel I’d held so dearly, but now was struggling to believe. I’d prayed for years for God to intervene, for Him to work some kind of miracle in our marriage, but the heavens were silent. I’d seen no change; in fact, things were getting worse.
I could no longer be a man of integrity and preach every Sunday, when inside I was dying. So I left my calling, walked away from pastoring, and settled into the rigorous lifestyle of the eighteen-wheel-over-the-road truck driver, working for my father-in-law’s company and living in a small mobile home on the property connected to the truck yard. I would travel sometimes for weeks at a time—the cab of my truck my only refuge. I had retreated to the hurt locker with no hope of escape.
The “hurt locker” is a metaphorical place one goes to after, or while, experiencing defeat, harm, or distress. The phrase is used by the military as slang to describe serious or incapacitating injury. It’s a place of suffering.
In the darkest years of our marriage, while trapped in the “hurt locker,” I remember crying out to God on a regular basis. Asking Him for answers, asking for help, for relief, for some kind of miracle . . . and getting no response. I wondered where God was in all of the pain. It brought me to a crisis of faith. I began to wonder if God was even listening or if He could possibly care, and eventually questioning if He was there at all. No matter how much I prayed, things only got worse.
That’s an excerpt from the book. But what we want couples to know, is—no matter how deep the pit you are in, no matter how dark the day, there is reason for hope. God does hear your cry, He is able, and He is at work when you are unaware of His work. God rescued us . . . and He desires to rescue you as well! In the book, and in this radio program, we describe where we were in those years of suffering, but also share what we learned, and explain the plan that God put in place to help us build a unified relationship that has brought joy, laughter, and a transformed marriage.
If you’re in that hurt locker today, we encourage you to cling to this promise:
[box]“The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.” (Nahum 1:7)[/box]
If your marriage is suffering, or even if you have a good marriage and desire to see it improve and thrive, we hope you’ll check out resources that can help you grow. Family Life Today is a ministry that provides those types of resources.
We are so thankful for the folks at Family Life Today and the huge impact their ministry has made in families for forty years! They just celebrated their anniversary last week. If you’ve never heard their radio program, or checked out their website, I hope you’ll take time to do that today. They have tons of great resources on their site, but also they host marriage conferences across the country and around the world. If you go to their website, you can pull up articles on marriage, parenting, life issues, adoption, and spiritual growth. You can also listen to an online audio version of past radio programs . . . and they have a treasure chest full of great programs!
Click on the link below to check out their website. Please join us in praying for men and women who hear the programs we taped last week. We’re asking God to reach couples who are struggling in their marriage, fill them with hope for what He can do, and then give them the grace and power to begin rebuilding their relationship.
Consider sending today’s post and the link below to a friend who may need some marriage encouragement: