Marriage is tough. To say that is an understatement is an understatement itself. Often we create this fairy tale of what our marriages are supposed to look and feel like. But what happens when that fairy tale never became our reality. What happens when the I do's turn into I don't think I can do this anymore? Is it possible to get past the hurt and heartache that has been building up for far too long?
If God created marriage, we know He had a good purpose behind it. Why then is it so hard, and how do we develop marriages that go beyond just coexisting but thriving? Yes, it is possible to wholeheartedly and passionately love your spouse every single day, forever and ever. But this kind of marriage doesn't just happen. A thriving marriage takes attention and cultivation. Often, we can look at the examples of others to know it IS really possible.
Chad and his wife Kathy are just this, a promising example of how a marriage can be redeemed through the love and grace Jesus has to offer. Sometimes I feel so encouraged when I read the struggles of others. I find hope in Chad and Kathy's story because they did not give up on each other. In a world where walking away can be the easier choice, instead, they chose to stay and fight. And they continue to fight for their marriage with the greatest weapon available to all of us, God's truth and His love.
With an uncompromising mentor, Chad developed a plan for his life through rounds similar to a fight in his mixed martial arts background.
"Round I: God Loves You and Has a Purpose for You
Round II: Be Accountable for Your Actions
Round III: Accept That You Can't Change Evils You've Encountered
Round IV: Access God's Power
Round V: Put Yourself Second"
These five steps are what brought him out of the brink of divorce and off the ledge of suicide. If anyone knows the highest of highs and the depths of the lowest valleys, it is Chad. What I love about his story is he chose not to stay in the valley. He chose to fight for his family and his marriage and is now thriving because of the changes he intentionally made.
Honestly, my marriage has had its not-so-great moments. In those moments, I wish I had had a plan, and a resource like Chad has laid out. Like Chad and Kathy, we choose to fight for each other and put the work in. We still have our ups and downs, but our foundation is solid. And I can honestly say I feel like our marriage is as strong today because of the challenging moments we have been through. It is not by luck that we have a solid and thriving marriage, but by faith and putting each other ahead of ourselves.
If your marriage isn't exactly what you have always dreamed of or is downright on the edge of separation, know there is hope. Know there is the possibility of better than you dreamed of. Know there are resources available to bring you back together. Fight For Us is meant to be a resource to do together, but if your spouse isn't ready or willing, don't give up. I still encourage you to read and put into practice what Chad has. The change in you could be the beginning of the change in your spouse. Ask yourself, is your marriage worth fighting for?
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