Meet Joey and Theresa.
Friends introduced Theresa to Joey even though Theresa was not interested in marriage. Once they met, however, they soon fell in love and got married. Neither of them had strong examples to draw from when it came to building a marriage. They both grew up in families full of fighting, anger, discontent, and frustration. This, coupled with his impatience and her trouble with communication, began to cause conflict. There were times they did not think their marriage would make it.
But Joey and Theresa wanted this marriage to be different, so they decided to write a different story. This time they invited God into it and allowed Him to transform them and their relationship into something new.
Theresa works at Biola University, and she heard about the CMR’s Couples Conference for seriously dating, engaged and married students. Although she is on staff, they decided to attend anyway. Then they attended the Going Deeper Together (GDT) marriage conference as well. In fact, they have attended the GDT marriage conference every year since it began five years ago! Joey said, “Yeah, now it would be weird to miss it.”
Theresa says it has definitely changed their outlook and how they talk about things. Joey agreed, “We went to this first conference, and there was a questionnaire about how good of a listener you are. I thought I was great, but I scored my answers, and I was terrible! Purposefully now, I make a conscious effort to just sit and listen to what Theresa is saying.”
Theresa added, “I also think the idea that marriage is not designed for your individual happiness but to bring God glory is a big one. There are plenty of times when you are individually not happy, but you learn to work through those times. It makes it easier when you realize what marriage means. Just because I’m not happy at this moment, that’s okay. I’m not supposed to be happy at every single second. That was a helpful piece that we learned.
"...marriage is not designed for your individual happiness but to bring God glory... There are plenty of times when you are individually not happy, but you learn to work through those times. It makes it easier when you realize what marriage means."
Today, after 22 years of marriage, they have learned lessons that they not only pass on to couples they mentor but to their own children as well. “It is so cool to be able to say, ‘This is what it means to be a husband or to really love someone,’” said Joey. “Those have been invaluable conversations. It’s one thing to pass on what we’ve learned to younger couples, but now it’s our own son and future daughter-in-law. That’s huge!”
At the CMR, we firmly believe that God’s word has the answers needed to mend broken and fractured families. That is why we’re committed to helping people build and sustain healthy, Christ-centered relationships and marriages. But to continue, we need your help. The CMR is completely donor-funded by generous people like you. To ensure our future impact, a couple has given a generous gift of $25,000 and they want to challenge you to match that gift by the year’s end. That means that every dollar you give is multiplied for the CMR! But for that to happen, we need it by December 31st.
Would you prayerfully consider making a year-end gift to the Center for Marriage and Relationships by December 31? Together, we can continue helping couples like Joey and Theresa write a new story by giving them the biblical foundation and proven relationship tools they need to love each other well and create a healthy, Christ-centered family.