Personal + Story
Before we came to Hope for Life, our marriage, along with our personal and spiritual lives, was set on auto-pilot.
We were just going through the motions of attending church, going to work, and living as though everything was fine. Our lives revolved around work and hanging out with friends. We spent hardly any time together, and almost always needed some sort of buffer between the two of us to mask what was really going in our hearts, and to draw the attention away from the sin that we were both living in.
We were trying to manage our sin on our own, in our own ways, instead of in God’s ways: confessing it to Him and to each other. We thought, as many people do, that we had our sin under control -not realizing that the sin was controlling us. We lived in guilt and shame because we were sinning and hiding it from each other; and then continued to run back to our sin, looking for relief from the guilt and the shame. Proverbs 26:11 is a perfect illustration of the cycle that we were in.
Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly. – Proverbs 26:11
On August 11, 2015, God broke that cycle. After many years of trying to manage our sin, it finally happened. We confessed to God and to each other, in detail, how we both had not been faithful to each other in our marriage. Those dark secrets were finally out.
But as freeing as it might have been to be able to confess the emotional and physical affairs, and the addiction to pornography, it still shattered our marriage. The pain that came with the truth even had us questioning if confession was the right thing to do. Maybe our lives would have been just fine had we continued to live in secret? But now we know that that isn’t the case.
For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. -Psalm 32:3-4
Psalm 32:3-4 says, “For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.”
Now that the truth was out, we knew that the only way that we were going to make it through was with God, His Word, His grace and truth, and with help from other believers.
We reached out to our pastor who put us in touch with Hope for Life, and we began working with Mark as soon as an opening became available. Through the Word of God and Mark’s wise counsel, true life change began to happen.
Being sensitive to us, but firm with the truth, Mark walked us through the process of forgiveness and equipped us with how to be truly reconciled—not just with forgiveness alone, but with rebuilding trust through confession, forgiveness, and repentance. He continued to challenge us to not merely love each other, but to be loving towards each other. We learned—and are still learning—what it looks like to live in unity and to have a Christ-centered marriage.
We learned—and are still learning—what it looks like to live in unity and to have a Christ-centered marriage.
Our marriage isn’t completely fixed, it isn’t perfect, and we still have our struggles. Yet, we now have a deeper understanding of how to love each other daily and how to work through conflict while being for each other. We are learning to figure out what the problem is together, to communicate lovingly and successfully, and how to battle the problem, rather than battling each other. We have been helped in learning how to develop covenants that honor God, each other, and our marriage.
We are learning to figure out what the problem is together, to communicate lovingly and successfully, and how to battle the problem, rather than battling each other.
If we could encourage you at all, it would be with this: don’t try and do life alone and isolated. Instead, through the body of Christ, seek biblical counseling through God’s Word. This has truly blessed our lives as individuals, and our marriage is deeper, stronger, and more genuine for it.
God has been faithful in restoring our marriage so far. And He is not done with us yet. More blessings lie ahead as we learn and apply His truth and grace.