Hope for those in ‘marital hell’

There are many who probably look at Rick and Kay Warren and assume they have it all together. The assumption goes something like, with the mega success of Rick’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” comes a lot of happiness, comfort, and frankly easy living. Don’t tell that to Kay.

In a piece for Christianity Today that’s been adapted from her new book, Kay offers a real and raw glimpse into the couple’s life, and offers a lot of hope for those who are struggling in their marriage. Here are five encouraging quotes from her article:

One

“Our brand-new marriage took an instant nosedive. We didn’t even make it to the end of our two-week honeymoon to British Columbia before we knew our relationship was in serious trouble. We had been warned about five areas of potential conflict all couples have to deal with, and we immediately jumped into all five of them: sex, communication, money, children, and in-laws. We were so young—barely 21—and inexperienced, and when sex didn’t work and we argued about sex, and then argued about our arguments and began to layer resentment on top of resentment, it was a perfect setup for misery and disenchantment.”

Two

“On our second wedding anniversary, we moved for Rick to pursue a master’s degree in theology so that he could become a senior pastor. We still had massive problems with sex, communication, and money, and we were in marital hell. The common understanding of the day was if you love Jesus enough, your marriage will be happy. What was so confusing was that we loved Jesus with all our hearts and were committed to the local church. How could things be so bad?”

Three

“Over time, as we both grew as individuals and as we sought counseling together, we began to experience healing in our marriage. Yes, we faced many rough patches over the decades of our marriage, but I’m so glad we stuck it out through our painful first few years. God has worked in our life together—and he’s used our marriage struggles and failures to draw us closer to him and to each other.”

Four

“I know what it’s like to choose to build our relationship; to seek marriage counseling again and again; to allow our small group and our family into the struggle; to determine one more time to say, ‘Let’s start over’ and ‘Please forgive me, I was wrong’ and ‘I forgive you.’ I know what it’s like to admit that my way isn’t the only way to see the world and to try to imagine what it’s like to be on the other side of me; to choose to focus on what is good and right and honorable in my husband instead of what drives me crazy; to turn attraction to another man into attraction to my husband.”

Five

“We’ve beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union. We’ve weathered my breast cancer and melanoma. We’ve survived the mental illness and suicide of our son Matthew. And now we know. We know we are the best thing that has ever happened to each other. I am in love with the man God brought into my life so many years ago. Each of us is not who the other was looking for, but each of us is who the other desperately needed to become the person we each are today.”

You can read more by getting Kay’s new book, “Sacred Privilege: Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor’s Wife.”

Now read: How to restore the brokenness in your marriage

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