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May 18, 2020 11:26 am
This week on Family Policy Matters, host Traci DeVette Griggs sits down with Leila Miller to discuss her newest book, “Impossible” Marriages Redeemed: They Didn’t End the Story in the Middle. Miller shares how so many married couples have weathering storms that may seem insurmountable to most, and what advice she can give for couples who may be struggling in their own marriages.
Policy matters and engaging and informative weekly radio show and podcast produced by the North Carolina family policy Council hi this is John Ralston, presidency, family, and were grateful to have you with us for this week's program is our prayer that you will be informed, encouraged and inspired by what you hear on family policy matters and that you will fall better equipped to be a voice of persuasion for family values in your community, state and nation, and now here's our house to family policy matters. Tracy Devitt brings thanks for joining us this week for family policy matters. Not so long ago it was common for parents to quote stay together for the kids but now not so much like today is passionate about the institution of marriage and she's written books designed to shed light on the often silenced experiences of children of divorce, and now on couples who have weathered the storms to stay true to their marriage vows Layla Miller's newest book is impossible. Marriage is redeemed, they didn't end the story in the metal. Well, it highlights inspiring stories of marriages that beat the odds through a combination of grace, hard work, perseverance, and sometimes just plain stubbornness Layla Miller. Welcome to family policy matters.
Thank you so much and so glad to be here with you. Your earlier book primal loss was all about getting a voice to the now adult children of divorce which voices are you trying to magnify in your new book is more hope of actual couple to stay together. You don't hear really that much about them either.
So my first book with more of these adult children of divorce who don't have a voice out there, but I put the end. Some few stories of hope from some of the couples who weathered really difficult situations and then I had a bunch of people pastors in an otherwise same book of that got a whole bunch of stories of hope from the actual spouses and had them tell their stories of how they weathered really bad stuff all the way to redemption. The whole book of those stories that you never hear about, because usually here that people want to move on and find your soulmate or something like that. I love that course we know that we study public policy that there are a variety of different studies found that couples rarely stay unhappy. One of the folks featured in your book called divorce quote a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Why do you think this permanent solution is so often and quickly sought by couples.
The narrative of the culture today where it used to be honor and fidelity through hardship and unity really you keep your sacred promises. And now we can switch the paradigm to feel about things feeling emotionally fulfilled feeling happier if your partner is making you feel the way you felt on your wedding day. You know what you deserve to move on and feel good in a different relationship with the whole paradigm has switched and flipped on its head and when you have not only the culture telling you that the secular culture, but then you also have the church in many ways, telling people that you have very little impetus to stay and work through something that's very difficult because nobody wants to feel so unfortunately the message the people are getting is to just try again move along. You need to suffer and the getting and when you when you're already in a difficult vulnerable place is very hard to not go along with the voices that that are trying to make you feel happy again will still Lawler's course wrote forward to your book, and he was first to the couples featured in the book is heroes. So what do you think these stories of lifelong marriage are heroic yet to forward was really someday I didn't expect him to use that word. But what's interesting is I had some people have been in really rough marriages and read it forward and they said they just made them cry so heroes do the uncommon thing right uncommon valor, like they'll do the things that normal people in the moment wouldn't do the firefighting runs up the twin towers. While everyone else's is running out so there's going against the grain of what is deemed healthy or popular or so these contributors are really doing the opposite of what most people do today, and it's painful they don't get a whole lot of support for the center that they're standing for that sacred vow that they made and that there not compromise on that makes them heroic and in rare, very rare these days is part of the importance for couples entering into marriage.
This idea that divorce is not an option. Exactly.
So there's a mindset there's a mindset that if you can escape suffering through divorce because out no-fault divorce makes absolutely guaranteed. Anybody want out can get out, no questions asked. Really, really, it's now a situation where you have to go in yourself. With this mindset that divorce is off the table said once.
If divorce is mentioned.
If divorce is an option then divorce will happen, but if you go into your marriage, knowing there is no divorce in a divorce Restasis. This is a permanent union as is" my person until the end. Then everything changes because they to be creative you have to think of other options and when you start to look for healing that we start to look at yourself and look at one of the possibilities here. What can I do if I know that this is my spouse for life and you do you start to not have that escape clause or that exit ramp that you can just slide on out. The same arguments in the same mindset of abortion where you know what you're suffering. You just need this way out. And if you don't entertain the idea of abortion.
For example, ITS radio adoption and working out parenting there so many different ways you can go. Same thing with divorce you just got cut off that one avenue that is not going to be open to you and you can find other options. And that's when things start to open up in God's grace, start to really flow. So what were some of the common struggles experienced by couples in your book that cause them to think about divorce, so in the book. Boy, a lot of infidelity pornography addiction is huge alcoholism.
That's a big theme in the book. It just really difficult situations where people financial ruin. In some cases some cases that the adultery might have been more than one wave of adultery.
Were they made up and things got better and then 10 years later he had another affair works. She bankrupted the family. The second that you know so there's a lot of ongoing issues and you watch as they get through them, you watch what they decide to do, how they decide to respond and it's just so compelling because usually.
Not only does the spouse respond in some way to the grace that the person is try to preserve the marriage brings, but the person his or herself, who is maybe the guilty one also starts to change and then the marriage starts to change.
Did you find some guiding principles for couples to try to avoid some of the pitfalls before their marriages get to a place where they are at a breaking point. You know I think people reading will see that one thing you have to do is give your spouse that room to be a sinner to be imperfect any none of us is perfect and we tend to think were really wonderful and that our spouse is the problem, and in some cases that's really glaringly true perhaps but in other cases, that a lot of the people who when they started to really examine the dynamic of the marriage, they realized, wait a minute I had a hand and in the disintegration of this marriage is something here that I did too but I'm not looking at myself. I'm just focusing on the bad spouse and so what I notice it halfway through editing this book, I realized bunch of conversion stories. Basically and all of these folks started to look at themselves. They started take the focus off the spouse and then he also started forgiveness.
Forgiveness is cute so coming in reading, this would say you need to soften just a bit before their problem a lot of women to there's a feminist threat of people just being fed this idea that were such a competition with her husband. You know were supposed to be getting what we wanted, coming up against them and butting heads. Rather than being there. You know someone who is there to be a tough place to land and so there's some of which makes you realize maybe I need to be from the beginning, more forgiving, and then God will forgive me. You know and and more loving and more like the person I vowed to love forever rather than let me see what I can get and let me see how if he or she fails me how I can get really angry about that. It's just what what what God is always hoped for his people in crisis that is is is to forgive and to love the extended family and friends of these couples do they play a role in the success of these marriages huge and family. I would say, in many cases, they played a role in wanting to deconstruct the family so we really have to be very careful all around. The voices are going to be sympathetic but usually in a way that is we love you so much. We don't want to see suffering and then the pylon the person who is offending you know you shouldn't have to put up that this is terrible, and in some cases, you have these wonderfully wise family members who would come in and say don't let his or her then make or one woman was told by her sister to remember what a fantastic father, her husband was as you can see anything good about him. At that point and not just with one person who gave her a little light to not see her husband has just you know the enemy and to bring her back her heart softened and finally CW could be the one voice in the family are in the circle of friends who isn't just there to encourage a divorce or encourage someone to move on and find someone that can treat you better that type of thing just one voice is all a person might need to save the family and then redeem the family into something much more beautiful than it it even was at the beginning you discuss in your book the importance of morning. What is lost when a marriage encounter some devastating challenges as he's already mentioned what you mean by that. We tend to go into a marriage thinking that this is the fulfillment of my life. Like now that I'm married now that I found this percentage are especially women. Now that I found this person. I can rest in joy. I can just be happy because this is what all the wrong comp utilities romantic movies tell us is that it can be good because now you found the cellmates out and ends at the wedding and it just I guess rest on your laurels if you ever been that way. Never will be that way again, or for mothers and forefathers knew that it wasn't that way. This is the beginning of caring across through and becoming a holier percent but you have to be able to understand that whatever image you had of this marriage is never in it never was going to be what your marriage was you have to let that go and realize okay I'm married to within. I'm a sinner that things are going to happen on this earth because were not having yet and then letting go of that because otherwise you have such a resentment like this is what I signed up for resentment is like a drug.
You know you start to feel self-righteous Easter to feel like I know best. I should've had this and now it's this person felt that I don't have this and then you keep feeding yourself with the resentment of the make you feel like your you're right and so you let go of whatever that image was you thought you had of your marriage and what you thought it was going to be to be in the present and say this is my marriage and now what can I do want to let go of that great burden that is lifted from you. Great burden that is lifted from your your spouse and then you can live in the moment and in God's grace and figure out what he's doing with your marriage rather than what you insist with your control, you know should be. So it actually is a very freeing.
How wonderful will work just about out of time for this week. But before we go to Layla with listeners go to get a copy of your lovely new book, impossible marriages redeemed so it's available on Amazon and that's generally where you're getting it either the Kindle or the paperback and the reason I felt publishers because I always want to make sure that people can get a copy for free if they need it because I'm able to give out a PDF copy. If someone can afford it. So I keep the rights to the book, so if anyone also wants email firstname.lastname@example.org is that I my site that email@example.com and its LE ILA so again you get a Amazon or two if you can't afford a book. I will make sure that you get one for free so graceful again. Layla know her author of impossible marriages redeemed. They didn't end the story in the middle. Thank you so much for being with us this week on family policy matters, so grateful to be here. Thank you for listening to family policy matters. We hope you enjoyed the program employed to to begin next week to listen to the show will want to learn more about NC families work to encourage and inspire families across been through a lot of good or website and see family.award that's in see family.org. Thanks again for listening and my God was you and your family