The Overcoming Marriage

When we stood at a church altar 28 years ago and joyfully took the vows, "for
better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health," we had
little idea of how telling those words would be.

Robin had no idea that my struggles with impurity were leading me towards a
full-blown sexual addiction that would almost destroy our marriage. I had no
comprehension of Robin’s deeply seated insecurities and how devastated she would
be by my inability to provide the kind of security she longed for.

Beyond that, we certainly didn’t expect prematurely losing people we loved,
life-threatening health crises or even coming to the brink of bankruptcy. We
couldn’t have dreamed of struggles with our children or times of deep
loneliness.

And you could have never convinced me that we would make a challenging career
transition from the full-time ministry into secular careers – testing our love
for each other and our security in God.

Overcome or Be Overcome

"… In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome
the world."
– John 16:33, All references NIV unless specified.

We are both romantics at heart! As a result, we’ve created many wonderful
memories together. But it’s also made letting go of our fairy tale versions of
the "perfect" Christian marriage a slow and painful process.

As we see it now, we’ve had to make one critical decision: to either overcome
or be overcome. To overcome has meant fighting for our marriage – a relationship
we both believe God called us into. It has taken coming into the light with our
battles, while scorning the shame (Hebrews 12:2). And, it has required
recommitting ourselves to true intimacy, so that our marriage could become a
sanctuary instead of a battleground.

Most of all, we’ve both had to dig deep to follow Jesus’ example of learning
obedience through suffering, with loud cries and prayers to God (Hebrews
5:7).

Through all of this, we’ve had many vulnerable moments that have translated
into hard-learned lessons, including:

  • Can There Be Light After Darkness? Overcoming starts with
    getting real about the struggles that often lie hidden. Light is not only the
    healing place for marital struggles, but also the process for getting
    there.
  • Divorcing Shame from Marriage. Many of us unknowingly bring
    a language of shame into our relationship. By making marriage a shame-free zone,
    you can find the grace and strength to make difficult changes.
  • Recovery: A Journey Worth Taking Together. When one mate
    struggles, the other can be tempted to either get overly entangled or disengage.
    Committing to recover alongside your mate will allow God to work good on your
    behalf, as well as your mate’s.
  • Turning Sex from a Battleground to a Sanctuary. Satan seeks
    to steal the sanctuary of our marital intimacy. By moving past impurity,
    manipulation, hopelessness and shame, we can restore the spiritual sanctity of
    sexual intimacy.
  • The Christ-ian Marriage: Fertile Grounds for Restoring
    Hope
    . In an overcoming marriage, there’s a bigger vision that sustains
    us and restores us after we fall – the vision of Christ living in each of us and
    in the holy temple of our marriage.

Are you searching for renewed hope for the vulnerable spots in your
marriage?