Marriage is as old as time and started by our Creator. Ironically, we still need His guidance to keep our hope alive and cling to each other, and at times His discipline to correct our sinful thinking and behavior. The question we have to ask ourselves is: "Will we wholly surrender and turn from those things that are deceiving us or let our pride-filled selfishness destroy what God has designed? In the moments when surrender begins and our hearts become capable of correction, will we have the tools to strengthen and rebuild the foundation of our marriage God's way?"
Meet Mark and Jenn.* They have been married 16 years and have two boys. They asked themselves these very questions as they worked through the process of rebuilding their marriage after an affair.
Mark: We had a rough start to our marriage. I grew up in a household where there weren't feelings talked about a lot. I was not able to articulate my negative feelings when I felt something. Several months of difficult times and my wife's depression led her to an emotional and then physical affair with a friend. We decided to work through it and knew it would be difficult, but it needed to be done. We had to decide that we could do this.
In the midst of our journey, we had the blessing of hearing Chris and Alisa's teaching, first at our church and then a weekend marriage retreat at Hume Lake Christian Conference Center. They offered us hope, courage, and authenticity, reminding us that there are no perfect lives, people, or marriages. We all bring brokenness into our relationships, but that's what God uses to sharpen us and help us grow more like him.
Jenn: About three years after all this had happened and things had settled down a bit, our pastors came to us and asked us to be marriage mentors. They thought enough about our marriage that they would ask us to pour into other lives. It was very humbling for me.
I think the Biola marriage conference and the materials that they put out, those emails, and all of those leaders there, they are part of building that community that has really impacted our family and our ministry and what we do today.
*Not their real names.
Mark and Jenn have learned that God is faithful and can bring healing to brokenness – even in the case of infidelity. Now, through the help of godly counselors, relying on God to be their source of strength, and using the CMR’s resources like the Marriage Mentoring workbook and training, they can use their own marriage as an example to encourage and mentor other couples.
Would you prayerfully consider partnering financially with the CMR to help us continue providing resources to couples like Mark and Jenn so their marriages can impact others, helping build healthy, Christ-centered relationships for life?