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Together Through the Storms - Jeff and Sarah Walton

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
October 24, 2020 1:00 am

Together Through the Storms - Jeff and Sarah Walton

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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October 24, 2020 1:00 am

When Sarah and Jeff said, “I do,” they had no idea the storms their marriage would face. Chronic illness, baggage from the past, a child with a neurological challenge, financial struggles and more. On the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, Sarah and Jeff talk about how they were able to navigate those storms. If the waves are crashing on your marriage, join us for the next Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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They said I do and meant it, but they had no idea of what was ahead all of a sudden slight this eruption.

The Lord finally was like okay now it's time to deal with. Really what's going on the surface.

I am not being in the model that I want to be kids and to my wife something drastic welcome building relationship with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" today.

Sarah and Jeff will share their story of going forms of life experienced in the last six marriage with the encouragement right ahead. Five love Lussier resource their book titled together through the storms biblical encouragement for your marriage again.

Go to five love there is not a married couple listening right now can't identify with this idea of store but is really here. Jeff and Sarah through an awful lot 16 year your career.

So like most couples go through storms but I think Jeff and Sarah been through some tornadoes and hurricanes are pretty big storms so really excited to talk with them to read the book and the and it's a powerful story of how God walked with them through a lot of difficulties in their marriage and their family.

So I think up in a couple is listening today who's struggling now or you have struggled today should bring a lot of encouragement to you. I sure hope so. And let's meet them. The Walton Sarah is the author of how she and Jeff now live in Colorado Springs with their four young children. She Sarah blogs set Jeff is now a real estate broker will find out more about that in what they been doing. They have written this devotional together through the storms biblical encouragement for your marriage. You can find out more at Sarah Jeff welcome to Building Relationships. Thank you so much ravens are so excited to talk to you both well before we get to the storms of your life.

Let's talk about how the two of you met and what attracted you to each other. Well it's actually funny story, I am. I was a senior in high school and Jeff was a junior in college and I was going to Taylor University. The following year, so I had, I went to Taylor for just a weekend visit my brother who was already there and there standing outside of the building and he saw Jeff and Jeff and he were friends. They had played the cross together and call Jeff Lori's HF.

My sister said I'm going overseas next semester and I want you to look out for her and be kind of her big brother next semester self course. Jeff did just that. He made sure to take care of me by dating me and marrying me the short end of people not think anything of it. It was just on the two ships passing a quick meeting and then we were off on her own way, but we did meet each other than Sarah's freshman year and I was a senior. She was there for orientation. Then I was also there for football pre-camp and so that's when we actually first met right before school and I think just the things that you know attracted me to Sarah where there's just a lot of similarities in things that we like.

We both like sports we both like doing things out outside together both raised from Christian families and just seeing that getting to know her, you know, there was just a quick natural spark from their what I want to know is good that he give you time to finish college before he married Don out graduated. I stayed for for football. But I think it was by the December of my freshman year, we were already talking about marriage and so we didn't end up. I think we got married after my sophomore year. So yeah, it was, well, you know, God brings us together in strange ways. But I'm glad you took care of the guys sister did you expect to encounter troubles. Were you were there any warnings before you got married that you all might have an awful lot of struggles in a marriage. Now I think from this. The moment that we started dating and then certainly went when we got married. There weren't any red flags that we were at that that were on notice and certainly you go into a marriage thinking that everything is going to be smooth and as you plan it out.

You know you have X amount of kids and you will be able to work up in your career, and then move into a certain home or neighborhood and and you expect life to kinda go as you plan like most newlyweds that are on cloud nine. So I don't think we really there's no way we could have ever thought in her wildest imagination that we'd be walking through the years that we have up to this point of trials and struggles, and there wasn't anything. Looking back on it that could've probably been in an indicator of that.

So just think we may have luck and we know when couples say, do, and I take one another. For better or for worse. I don't know when or how storms are going to come in their life and is your segment it most the time we don't anticipate the storms. We just like it's really going to be better. What was the first real storm that your marriage encountered. That's really easy because it was it was a sudden extreme storm we had been married for three years and I was about to have. I had just had our first born and he was about seven weeks with me about seven weeks old, and your new parent here. You don't know what to expect but it's all new.

It's all exciting.

We really hadn't left the home much yet, and all the sudden he spiked a really high fever and anybody who knows infants who spiked a fever that's that's a pretty scary sign.

So we rushed to the hospital.

They did a spinal tap on and they did every kinda test that would need to be done and it was terrifying. It was one bad diagnosis after another. They couldn't figure out exactly what was going on, but they knew that he had a severe infection of some kind, but they couldn't figure out what so we were in the hospital for about five days was actually our third anniversary we spent in their and I think we were in shock. You kind of your enjoying the new parenthood, excitement, and then suddenly we were faced with. We could lose this child that we just brought into the world seven weeks ago during all of that respond to God. Did you feel like God why why why why why yeah and that's the I think looking back on that you know it wasn't necessarily something that we directed or at least I directed directly at God and and got angry over just you know this was a start of kind of our our lifelong challenge we've had with our oldest son, so he has neurological challenges and a lot of other trials that we been through with him and so when we look back on that date.

There's not anything that I would say that we feel like God had let us down or there was something that just let us to be angry with him.

I think it was we were in shock as Sarah had said and just trying to survive day to day of seeing what is is going to look like he knows five days felt certainly much longer than five days in the hospital. But the interesting thing is you know we had dedicated our oldest son about two months before the verses in first Samuel word says for this child I prayed and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I lent him to the Lord as long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord and so this is the first test I would say is of being a parent that do we truly hold loosely our children for the Lord and allow whatever God brings into this little boy's life and so that was a wrestling that we had to go through and we still go through today because as parents, we naturally want to hold on and we want to protect them and we want to give them a comfortable life just like we wanted in our own marriage and so when trials come in when we are up against that we really have to come back to Scripture and remind ourselves is this something that we are truly gripping and trying to figure out your own knowledge and in wisdom, are we leaning on God and coming back to him and saying this is a gift that God has given us for X amount years and we will do whatever we can to honor him with the years are the days that we have with this child and her other children.

So I think those are some of things we are starting to go through of we are needing to back up what we just said we were going to kill is really going yeah that was a real test of did not easy to say those things until you're up against a wall. So what what was the next storm that came your way. Well, it really was kind of storms that came one after another. It was as Jeff had said, our oldest after the hospital he we kinda thought things were okay. We went home with an undiagnosed severe illness. He he gradually seemed to get better. But then he kept getting sick and little things started happening but nothing that you would've been like something's wrong until he was a toddler and we started having dealing with really extreme tantrums beyond the normal tablet tantrum things that just weren't reasonable at all. A lot of aggression and outbursts that would go for hours or two hours that we would have to just either restrain him for his protection or our protection and that increased over the years and that's kind of a host Jorge in itself, but that was going on and Jeff was actually a trauma consultant at the time so he was gone.

24 seven.

He was in and out of the house constantly so I couldn't rely on him.

So here I was a mama young mom dealing with something I had no idea how to deal with.

And nobody really knew what was going on so consumed my days. I was either restraining or recovering from a situation and Jeff would be in and out of the house. Sometimes it really scary moments and I would be having to try to pull back my feelings of resentment or hurt that he was leaving during these hard times and then my health increasingly got worse over those years and so was about nine years. We had four children through those years we had the layers of challenges with our son. Doctor after doctor my health got worse and worse and then our younger children actually are all started showing symptoms of of sickness very different between each of him, but none of them really connected dots are made sense, but her family was struggling in on a lot of levels and went have at least through and nine surgeries between the two of us and so I had a degenerative ankle and so I had been at one surgery that I didn't walk for almost 6 months so you add those stressors on and it was about ready to break us and that can lead to some hard decisions. I'm assuming this, but all of the stress on actual marriage relationship. Oh yeah, there was a season where I think we were in such pure survival, though, that I don't think we even had the energy to think about it.

I think we we were functioning together.

Kind of like we were in a battle together and we were doing okay on the surface, but there was so much going on underneath the surface that we really couldn't address because we were so exhausted all the time, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, on all levels, and with Jeff and the house I I had a lot building up in me, but again I don't think I had the time or energy or space to really even let myself feel it and so that went on for many years and site.

I think when we did reach a point where we had a moment of reprieve.

Slightly print reprieve or Jeff ended up changing jobs which apply get into later. I do remember all of a sudden it was like this irruption like a volcano was going off in me and I was floored. I am sick where is all this emotion coming from and I had anger and night resentment and it hurts and I had all sorts of feelings going on that it was like the Lord finally was like okay now it's time to deal with.

Really what's going on under the surface. Yeah I think that's the one thing there was certainly stress after stress in our inner life and so while we have a natural pensions and things that were going on between Sarah and I may be lack of communication and just things that were being kind of stripped-down and then trust was maybe being broken. Those things were just kind of at the wayside because all of those were being trumped by just the situation we had with our son and just being parents as well and and how difficult that was. And as Sarah had mentioned so being on call and working in the hospitals as the trauma consultant 24, seven nights, weekends, holidays, it doesn't matter.

There were surgeries going on and that's when I was going into the OR and and consulting so there were many situations where we had a very difficult and extreme situation that Sarah was in at home and so I got a pager call from the hospital or from a doctor and I had to leave and so try to picture what that put Sarah in you know and and what that was for me of being able to walk out on her. Seeing her in tears and not being able to be there and and help her through that because I was trying to do my job and so I think those things really took a toll on her marriage for the nine years and that continued as Sarah said, really, once we got out of that season. That's when kind of the, the flood gate opened and and we had a deal with his head on so you are in and out any time day or night that you got a call no matter what her situation wasn't home so I could see a liquor bill resentment inside of you, Sarah. And then I can also say the pain that you would feel Jeff as you know you're you're going out your supporting the family.

You gotta go to work and yet you realize this this this done.

Feel good. You have is a no-win situation. Yeah, yeah, and that that's the one thing that we were up against is you know I was trying to do what I felt was providing for my family and so I thought that was kind of the honorable thing of being loyal to the doctors going whenever they needed me.

Fear probably certainly came in fear of man that if I did not show up when they had called when Sarah needed me the most. Then I would lose their business and so that's what I was wrestling up against and there over those nine years was probably in a one, two, maybe three times that I looking back should have stayed no matter what the cost was to help Sarah and by choosing to to walk away and and go do my job, which at that time. Certainly thought that was the right thing to do, but given our circumstances and things we can't get into the paint that picture.

Well, that created a lot of chaos and and turmoil within our relationship, you know it. In general it was. I knew my job was to support him and I wanted to. And every time he walked out the door. I'd say I know he wants to be home if he cut he's doing what he needs to do but there did become a point where I wondered what I ever come first and that's where I think push came to shove, that I started to think know I would never come first and I knew he really wanted to be home, but there were times where I said I'm waving the white flag today. This is an unusual situation that I need to have you here and so it was it was a no-win situation and but it it did have an impact, and those are the things we had to work through eventually. Sir alluded to this earlier, but eventually you decided to just quit the job.

What really brought you to that point yet so you as you can imagine just kind of the stress and the type of lifestyle that that was you know I enjoyed the job a lot. It was always something different and very rewarding. Being in those settings and trying to help and that neither the patient care and with the doctors but the toll that that took on our family and seeing that I was missing important things in our kids lives and being able to support Sarah, no matter where we had to go will drive two cars because I could get called at any point. So, going to church going out to dinner, going over to a party that that could a lot of stress and so there were increasing times where I was not able to leave my family to church because I worked on Sundays or I will step foot in the church and then I got a page I had to leave and so I ultimately know it.

It became too much where I looked and said I am not being in the model that I want to be to my kids and to my wife, leading them spiritually. Just looking at that alone, and knew that something drastic had to happen and I walked away from a good paying job and that that allowed me to get into something that created big sacrifice where we had to take a pay cut. That was very significant.

We had to move out of our home, which we thought was our dream home and we date be inferred many decades and then we had to move into a rental home in and that created a lot of sacrifice where it people would look at us and say why.

From the outside.

What are you doing you know that makes no sense that they even brought when he was applying or interviewing for this job. They brought in like 1/3 party because they were suspicious of him because he was taking such a huge pay cut. Like you what's up something different.

This isn't normal. What's going on with this guy. So it was a huge cost we we lost a lot of our comforts and we knew that was possible down think you really realize how much the cost is going to hurt until it happens and it it really was until we laughed, we moved we were in a smaller home and we started feeling that pressure that that's really the point where our marital struggles started to come up Wednesday yeah but we we knew we were being faithful to where God was leading both of us and so we know that was the right decision, but yet it does make it an easy decision, and so we had to walk by faith through the those next couple years with that change meant in our lifestyle and intermarriage so you took the other job which was less playbook, the less our solution were never predictable and also are things going well for a while there are was not as you said maybe sir, that was a time he began to really talk about your relationship. Yeah, I probably remember that as being the turning point, I'd say in our relationship. I think because he was home more and I had a little space to breathe. I started like I said before, to deal with a lot of emotion that I just didn't know what to deal with and so I first started doing it as probably most people do, which is in the best way I started having long conversation trying to explain to him what I smelled and trying to change how I said it, so we'd understand it because he wasn't getting it and so what that was doing was actually building more angry at me because I had felt so hurt and I wanted him to see how I felt hurt and I wanted him to see the ways that I felt like I'd lost trust in him, but we were on the same playing field. At that point we still he was not grasping that and I wanted him to so badly and I felt like, how can we move forward. If how can we heal if if you can't grasp it all the pain that I have walked through section & the couch one day and I we had pretty much not had a conversation without tears involved.

It was a really, really tense time for us and I remember sitting there and I had tried so many ways to help Jeff understand and is like the Lord impressed on me, Sarah.

Stop trying to change Jeff's heart and bring me yours and that is what I did.

I started it was like I I reached a breaking point, and I started to pour out the hurt I was feeling to the Lord. I started to just I journaled I prayed I Bringing my pain and my struggle and my resentment everything I've been feeling to Christ first and I had to realize really and ultimately the Lord is the only one that knows everything. I've walked through. Jeff was sometimes not in a room with me when I went through a really really scary situation, but the Lord was so I can try to get Jeff to understand as much as I want and he might be able to un-enter and somewhat Christ is the only one that knows truly the pain and the fear that I walked through and so I realize I have to bring all that to him first and Jeff is never to be able to give me what the Lord can and so I started praying that God would give me the comfort that only he could give but I also prayed that he would open Jeff's eyes to see what he saw fit and it was really miraculous.

Little did I know Jeff was somewhat doing the same thing, and God just began to do an absolute miraculous work in us. We stopped turning towards each other and return to the Lord.

But all of a sudden our conversations became more fruitful and we started will hear each other little more forgiveness started happening. It was it was a really I'd say it probably the most incredible time in our marriage to see God work in such a profound way that really was all his doing so things are turning in a better way because you're taking a different approach, but then something else happened with your job, what window that happened in this process. Yes, I was with that company that I had transitioned to for about a year and 1/2 and then they had started struggling and financially needed to make a decision so they they laid off all their sales force and kinda flip their model on outside sales to an inside sales model so that that left me unemployed and so that was the first season of unemployment.

That's happened twice as it is happened about five, four, five years after that that one as well and so we look back on that we thought we were obeying God to what he was calling us to to leave a job to improve kind of are the quality of our life and whatever sacrifice I took we were willing to do and so now when we are in the midst of this that were unemployed, no, no income at all conserve was not working and stuck with God you let us here and I just pulled the rug out from underneath us was hard.

This makes no sense. And so very confused, very frustrated and a lot of emotion going through us and I jump in just to make a point to at the same time, I had just been diagnosed with Lyme disease and all four of our kids had as well and so anybody who knows the realm of Lyme disease. Most is not covered by insurance.

So we were bleeding money and all of a sudden Jeff lost his job, so it felt really confusing like the Lord liked us that had pulled the rug out in their regularly check. We thought we were following you and in your mind units you naturally think blessing will follow. Obedience to me is not the natural way we think is Christian brought out it was a really difficult time. That was six months of unemployment and again just really struggling with where God was was leading me in my career and wanting to again just pressing the him in and see what was next. But that was again that searching and just that dependency coming back.

That is, as Job says the Lord gave in the Lord is taken away. Blessed be the Lord. And so, again, just that test of everything, whether it's a child that we need to hold loosely disease went from the Lord, or even a job or even our health or finances. The list goes on and on. Are we willing to hold loosely the comforts of this world and the blessings that God gives us even if they're just for a season and press into trusting Christ at the court no matter what that is and is Christ enough or do we need Christ plus something else.

And so I think that's what we were up against was not the lowest point of all of this article to get even worse with how to be honest there's been a lot of it's been more of a roller coaster. I think there's been a lot of low points. I see really a pattern in our life where the Lord allowed one thing after another and then suddenly just feel like something breaks and you like. I just can't do this anymore. This is too much but he somehow sustains us and he holds unique carries you through that and then time and time again we see his spirit just renew strengthen us in a perseverance and then we are were walking through that perseverance and then layer upon layer comes in and you feel broken again in other Christian life is not this uphill in all your your growing everything. It's easier. In fact, it seems to be the opposite where life gets hard and the challenges grow deeper because we start to wrestle with deeper truths. Do I really believe God is good. If he allows things that are so painful in my life or I'm praying so specifically for this specific thing and not only does he not give that he gives the opposite. You know those questions start to come up and I think that's what led us to Job honestly was.

That is the book of the Bible that makes you think okay Job went. He was the ears as a righteous man, and yet God allowed Satan to attack him on almost every single level so you start to question with the why you watch him walk through layer upon layer of suffering and not understand. How can a good God allow this site believe he sovereign Sophie Saturn how the world can be good so those are the questions you're really wrestling with and I had many low points where I just felt like I can't. I can't go on but I look back at those low points and I marvel at God's faithfulness because those are the times I see that he is truly the one that's carrying me through this is not my strength.

It is not my wisdom. I am not some super spiritual human.

It is purely the Lord's grace that he is carried us through times that there's no other reason we would have survived your experience is certainly parallel the book of Job butterfly: I was reading your book I thought. I think this is the first marriage book is a strong focus on Joe marriages would probably boat similar photos, but the soap were there people during this time, when you're going through all of this world are people like Job's friends who told them essentially you know Job, it's your fault.

Refuse if you hadn't soon this will be happening to you to do have friends who met well but so those good things.

Yeah, we certainly have an II think you know I'll admit I've done that myself. You know where you try to comfort someone and you give them maybe a spiritual answer, pat answer that you think is going to help, but yet it can do more harm than good.

And so we see that through the story of Joe where his friends come around him and their grieving and they're trying to trying to comfort him, but yet in trying to understand and put a reason to Job suffering they bring so much more pain upon Job by trying to accuse Job that there must be some kind of sin that he is done and trying to bring in something that is in his control, but yet they were not privy to any of the conversations between God and Satan as Job had no idea of those things as well and so I think the friends that have come in and just people in general.

Or maybe it's been a doctor that is said something when we been an appointment and they just say I don't. Nothing really seems wrong with with your little boy here, but maybe just need to give them more stuff to do or you know it's something that comes back to our parenting or our marriage that you know we we've read so many books on parenting before he got into it in classes and same thing with marriage as well and you just can't prepare fully for some of these things but yet when things go wrong. It's in our flesh to think okay what did I do wrong. What can I do to fix that and you eat yourself up of just tearing yourself a part of thinking that. Did I do this wrong, or should I have done that and I think that's where we can fall into the trap that if we are not going to the word of God and seeing what truth really is. Then we can start tearing down those lies that the enemy is trying to feed our minds and so you can just see that even in the story of Job that apart from going to what we know is true God's character his faithfulness, his goodness, his love and seeing Jesus Christ and the strength that we have through his Holy Spirit that if we are not being fed daily on his word, then we are going to spiral down and we are going to be suffering greater then if we are trying to do things you know. Certainly, apart from from him so I think that's something that we can relate to as well. We've learned tremendously thrown suffering of how to walk alongside those that are are struggling with something to show compassion and praying fervently for wisdom to know when to speak and when to close your mouth, because that that is such a hard thing to do in such a balance of when you think you can be a help and also when you just need to be there in your presence is enough and also just from the standpoint of think we had to learn to lower expectations or get them in a proper place of other people.

We, it's easy to also want to expect too much from people that they can fully enter and when in reality most of us can't and people are scared of suffering that is the reality of most of us, we kind of are afraid were to catch it so we can have a tendency to be afraid of entering into someone suffering and so learning to just have grace for people to that most people intend date they want to be offering help they would intend good, but if they say something that's not helpful, growing in the confidence and knowing what Jeff said what is true allows us to extend that grace a little bit more to have some compassion to that to you on that one verse that we see in Job is that it references the words of the wind and so if you think of that relationship between Job and his friends and their rebuke on him if we can have that mindset of knowing that they are trying to be helpful, but yet it's also from Joe's perspective. So, as Job is lamenting and sharing his heart with his friends that on the other side that you're not gonna take that is at face value because you know that their hearts have just been through a lot of hurt and pain and so the words of the wind you if you know that friend has good theology that might not be the time where you need to speak you know that specific verse into their life, but let them share with you the wrestling back and forth with God, and know that it's just the words of the when it's going to come and it's going to go and then let's use that time.

Later on it will go you think we were told that about 40% of Americans are suffering from chronic illness, which is what you been through several events on the children and what you're saying no is no. We have listeners out there, some of whom are going through things like were discussing here and others who have friends who are going through this experience or so think what you just say it in terms of how do we as friends respond to those people is a good word because we would all have all the answers either. We act like we do and we make them feel worse.

You are a member of a missionary friend a couple mission field. He will dilute to some counseling.

Our office and get some experience in after every counseling session he would come over my office with tears in his place and I don't how you do this, although you said this is just to remove the spirit of Rob is hard. It is hard especially if you're trying to truly empathize with someone, you are kind of put yourself in the pit with them and that's hard to carry that weight. It's really a rare gift to find a friend that will do that with you though course with Joe. There was also distance between him and his wife in terms of how she approach this with how he ultimately was approaching this. Did you have any of that going through this, or one of you was more in tune to okay God and the other will fail and will know about this. Yeah, we are always pretty much did you know we definitely had lots of things that is why I think my favorite verse that we have up at the top of one of our chapters is Job 1917. My breath is strange to my wife and I am a stench to the children of my own mother. Isn't that really sometimes what we deal with. I mean I think at times that I was dealing with a lot of chronic pain and want Jeff to touch me. I didn't actually really want him near me. I just I wanted to be by myself or times that we were both feeling the tension and the stress of our son. It just it and it changes it makes it makes you wrestle with emotions that can sometimes make you turn against each other rather than realize were on the same team here so there have definitely been times where we have struggled with distance between the between the two of us and yet I also see God's grace and how much he has upheld us through those seasons. I've we've definitely seen how easy it is for couples to start thinking I can't do this anymore. I'm not relating with my spouse. They don't understand me. This is too much stress. I can't do this and really was God's kindness towards us that he held us both together but then the fruit of that has been as he's grown us both spiritually, individually. It's also drawn us together more and allowed us to communicate a think a little better about those times, like like I'm feeling good right now. This is not a personal thing, but I just need some space right now and that helps him to understand where I'm at to help prevent the distance from growing. It enables us to have a little more compassion and grace for one another and I think through all that, you know that there's distance between us and the ebbs and flows of that we were still individually going to the word of God, and I think that is assuming that kept us moving forward. Because if we had just kinda clammed up in and shut down our relationship with God and said you know I will pick back up reading God's word. When we were through the season.

You can't. You can't go through his light on days you have with that type of mentality because were always going to be facing another challenging day or another season of life. And so it's it's just the importance of being grounded in truth and fighting those those feelings and emotions that I don't want to talk to God or I don't even want to open his word. Right now, but we can't let that go on too long before we continue to just openly come to him and have those conversations because he longs to hear from us as Job. I think spell that out so clearly throughout those 30 some chapters that it is just a marvelous gift to be able to lament that we don't have to come before God and have everything figured out. And God actually rewards Job for his honesty and there was no sin in all of Job's lamenting and if you read through that along with you the Psalms and limitations. It's pretty eye-opening when you hear some of the things that they claim back to God. And yet we don't talk like that in in church today. We don't lament the way that that we see in Scripture and I think that's a key point that we need to bring back into our discipline before God and also just relationally first spouses. I think that something we learn that has been so crucial for our relationship is to give each other the space to grieve and I have so appreciated Jeff allowing me at times to come to my boss about seasons of depression that are connected to my illness and he has grown to to learn how to listen in those times to let me have the space to lament out to him. Sometimes I need to process it out loud and he has been able to let just to listen to that not need to fix what I'm saying or tell me that I'm wrong that's not the way to think, but getting me that space and being an encouragement to me has been such a gift and I think we give that gift to our spouse when were able to have that space for each other to grieve in our different ways to process through her pain differently, but typically we connect always on the truth of God's word and to help each other slowly bring each other back to that central point, but also giving each other that space I think is been really helpful. Ramon about forgiveness, which is another topic that you're covering the book you say that forgiveness is the glue that keeps you together to talk about that just a moment in the importance of forgiveness. Yeah sure well. Forgiveness is such a central key of Scripture. You know it's essential key of the gospel that we need forgiveness for restoration in our relationship to the Lord.

And so with husbands and wives not being a picture of Christ and the church. There needs to be at forgiveness in that relationship, or inevitably can hurt each other week. That is just human relationship. We are sinners to sinners married we are to rub up against each other and hurt each other and so there's not a consistent practice of repentance and forgiveness that that just allows for those hurts to continue to boil over and we haven't always done that well sometimes you know I will hold onto our hurts and I won't really want to get forgiveness.

As I wrestled through what is that mean was that look like in a relationship, especially that season when Jeff really was not able to see how he had hurt me. I was trying very, how do I practice forgiveness how we restore here.

If he can't see the choices he's made in the way that hurt me.

That's really what the chapter addresses is the helpful differential of horizontal versus vertical forgiveness. Dr. Timothy Lane has this really helpful picture that the vertical is all between us and the Lord and and so that is what Scripture talks about. We are to offer and entrust the pain that we have experienced to the Lord. He is the ultimate judge, and that allows us than the space for the horizontal forgiveness may look different if our spouse is not repentance that may not happen immediately, it may be over a time where the Lord starts to work on their hearts and then not restoration can happen. The other thing is the horizontal. We often have to practice that forgiveness over and over. We don't forget things and I have to remember when something happens in our relationship, and it starts to bring up old hurts. I my mind. I have to say I have forgiven Jeff of that and I need to ask the Lord for the strength again to forgive him for the things that I felt hurt by and a practice that consistently has been really really important. I think that's that. Something for our own marriage and we even had some of those that you bring baggage into your marriage and so those are things that us.

There is been forgiven for.

I've been forgiven for and so choosing also to not bring those back up time and time again and there's can be many listeners that are going through, you know, seasons right now with their marriage.

The one spouse might be walking with the Lord and the other is not. And then there's a lot of grief and pain and hurt and distrust in things that need to be forgiven, but they're not. And so for that one person that spouse that is in that situation they need to be in a place with their heart of humility coming before that they are ready to forgive if there'd spouse ever comes to that point of asking for that forgiveness. I think that's that's the freedom that we have that we have to remember we have to be ready to forgive and that might not come as hard as it may be in this lifetime and I know that's there's many marriages that are in that situation. And that's that's the struggle that they're dealing with day in and day out yet. Going back to seeing the picture of Christ and his model of forgiveness and what were called to here on earth.

I really like that You have all that because we we can release our hurt in our anger to God even if the other person is not repented and turned around. Where free van to love them as God loves us know two other Scripture horses in a return good for evil, or what you can do them to first of all, you and God you get this thing worked out a new you put all that anger and hurt in his hands as we come to the end of our time together on the program here.

We know that a lot of couples and individuals throughout their listening who were going through storms and feel that they're struggling and I know this is speaking to them. Zero is there a final word you'd like to say to that person who's listening to you. I think from a standpoint of trying to encourage them. Acknowledging that there is real pain and not isolating from the body of Christ. That's one of the beautiful things that we have learned through all of our struggles and our hard, hard days is to present to the body of Christ and seeing them the, the community of believers that they can be just to help. Whether it's praying or whether it's just for practical needs and pressing into that not letting the enemy trying to divide you from his church, not being afraid to ask for help and support, and maybe even counsel. There's several times in order marriage that we've needed to go get counsel from a professional and without that we might be still stuck in our inner ruts to to lift our eyes kind of above our circumstances and certainly coming back to the word of God being consistent and faithful to doing that and letting that be what is driving and fueling our marriage and not not allowing the root of bitterness and all those other things that can take hold of us and allow the enemy to control us again. I just said I loved and with a Scripture.

These verses have been just such a gift to both of us but to me, especially these last several years. In second Corinthians 416 so we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away our inner self is being renewed day by day for this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. As we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal and that has been such a helpful reminder time and time again, we are wasting away. We are live in a broken world we deal with broken marriages we deal with broken bodies and so recognizing and looking at our situation and in acknowledging this is a wasting away of this world. This is hard, and I have freedom to grieve it. It hurts but at the same time tenant lift our eyes and to remember the hope that we have beyond this world hope we have right now through the strength of Christ but also that we are waiting for this weight of glory beyond all comparison that we are storing up treasures for ourselves for all eternity.

As we press on in endurance and perseverance, and God is working in us. Now he is redeeming us to himself through these difficult times, and so to not look at them as the enemy but to look at them as they are hard, but I'm in a trust the Lord is can it carry me through it and I'm to lean into him to see what he will do through these things and me because I have this hope that this will all and one day it will end in glory.

And we have to keep our eyes fixed on that wonderful verse second Corinthians chapter 4 verse 16 Jeff and Sir, this is been wonderful time of discussing hard things, but this is how God has walked with who is walking with you and thanks for being with her stability and thanks for spending time and energy to write this book because I do think it's going to help a lot of other people who are struggling with similar thing, so God bless you as you continue to walk with one encouraging conversation about the way God is at work in the middle of the storms. Maybe you're right there. It's the storm in your marriage. Or maybe your listing in your single I think of you.

Encouraged by the featured resource.

Jeff and Sarah will together. Storms biblical encouragement for your marriage life perfect. Five love to find out again.

Five lovely. We open the phone lines for your questions and comments about marriage, parenting single issues dealt with the October 31 edition dear Gary and one I thanks to our production with hot on the family, Sam Trafton and Laura Kennedy Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman's radio publisher the ministry of Moody Bible thanks

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