When Don and I got married, we were aware of each other’s belief in and reliance on the Gospel, but I was not aware of how sin and pride would impact our marriage. Most of our dating relationship was spent 4,000 miles apart; I was in China while he was back in Birmingham. It was a rather atypical dating relationship, but one based on commitment. When we were going through premarital counseling, a minister told us we already had the commitment level of “a couple who’d already been married for years.” We were deeply committed and in love with one another, but we had much to learn about how to be married.
At the beginning of our marriage, we had arguments that went like this: my (or his) expectations weren’t met, one (or both of us) got our feelings hurt, we tried to talk through the issue, I was usually quite emotional, he got frustrated because I was being emotional, and we both went to bed upset. Feelings were hurt. Grudges started to sprout. We were both Gospel-loving believers, but we had so much to learn about how the Gospel shapes relationships.
We got to hear Fran Sciacca speak on marriage some years ago. It was fantastic. Fran said something that I’d not realized before in all my years of being a believer. He said that in marriage one person’s sin - whether a deep, besetting sin or a sin he/she is not aware of - affects the other person. I remember feeling shocked by this at the time, but I see this as so true now. Sin impacts all relationships - especially marriage. Don and I are very familiar with one another’s sin, and this is difficult in marriage. However, Fran also went on to share how incredibly the Gospel gives hope and healing to relationships impacted by sin.
Our marriage isn’t perfect by any means, but hearing truth about God’s design for marriage from speakers like Fran has given us deeper understanding of why we struggle and what to do about those struggles. I want us all to grow in our understanding of God’s design for marriage, and I’m hopeful that the Oct 28 Knot or Noose conference will be an easy, encouraging way to take in truth about what God designed marriage to be and how we can do marriage according to His plan. Don and I will be there, so I hope you’ll join us. You can register online here.