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Fighting for Your Marriage No Matter What (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2021 6:00 am

Fighting for Your Marriage No Matter What (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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June 22, 2021 6:00 am

Singer-songwriter Matt Hammitt and his wife, Sarah, candidly discuss the severe marriage problems that resulted from his busy touring schedule, personality clashes, an adverse diagnosis, and a close-call emotional affair. Our guests offer troubled couples hope as they describe how grace, forgiveness, and faith helped save their marriage. (Part 2 of 2)

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I was convinced that nothing can change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time. We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing.

The counselors created the safest environment we could imagine so that let us really talk one a much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation and hope This is, I knew it I could play no more denial than myself and so I just like you know what Sarah you actually read this is not a situation since not a safe relationship you're actually right. Let's figure this out. Will Matt Hammett is back with us today on Focus on the Family along with his wife Sarah, thank you for joining us on John Fuller your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly John, I love hearing stories about couples who, despite going through really deep challenges.

They just never give up on each other. It's very encouraging such a picture of how Christ never gives up on us is always there with his arms wide open ready to forgive us and redeem us. And that's the story that we started last time. And if you missed it yesterday downloaded get in touch with those who get the smart phone app whatever you need. It's right there available to you and you can hear the story last time for Matt and Sarah, who endured many years of arguments and personality clashes. Anybody raising their hand. You know those clashes which led to fighting pretty constantly and then they faced a terminal diagnosis of their baby boy. That's where we ended yesterday and today were to pick up their story and explore how they stayed together, even though what they could see and feel was suggesting they should rip themselves apart. It's a really powerful conversation and Matt was the lead singer of very successful Christian band Sanctus real for 20 years and he's written a book chronicling their story and offering some insights.

It's called lead me finding courage to fight for your marriage, children, and faith. And we've got that hear the details are in the episode notes Matt and Sarah welcome back to focus. We love having you last time and let's pick up where we left off.

You just receive some really difficult news with your third child. You mentioned the dreams. Your little girl your oldest him. He was having for years and before your pregnant about her little brother may be dying someday.

That was powerful and how God used your daughter to speak to your heart and that Wayne gave you what I caught was just the courage to stick with it and let the Lord determine the days of Bowen's life, not some physician and had to be so hard though. Yeah I we always you know have been advocates for life always believe you have the Psalm one, someone 39 you know that God knows for born treats us nobody with the Lord himself fashions in the world only know we believe he numbers our days. Just as he said jammin cell I think for us. It was deftly first our faith but also there was a lot of hope that we fell in just you even lick the story of of Amiens dreams that she had been as a guide sometimes does work through even children right to strengthen our faith and so we resolved to spy with the physicians were saying to see it through and in my mind I wanted to be strong and so I was going to just trust and hope and not doubt will allow myself to emotionally dive into the worst case scenario, but when that became really difficult was the night after surgery.

He had a cardiac arrest at 2:13 AM they called us and told us about his heart stopped beating and when anyone of his bedside that is that you got because we were allowed to stand as yesterday when I yeah like you gotta go get some sleep. And so when they called us rush to his room is most surreal moment because that worship music was playing at full blast and is a team of doctors and nurses around his bedside working to save his life. They had his chest literally open with their hands in between the walls of his chest pumping a little hard to keep them alive and where the bottoms bedside was grabbing his toes and trying to hold on what we can.

After 45 minutes it pulls away in another room and I just remember I Sarah was still almost stone cold because she had spent so much time processing this could happen. This Is you preparing herself, she just is like on that moment like here it is where I allowed myself to go there for the very first time ever, I just like lost and he could hardly stand.

I can have the following yeah that is member saying like, okay Jesus you are my treasure Jesus you are my treasure like remind myself. After look at that no matter what I lose.

And then we December. We prayed for him and the nurse who called us to tell us that his heart stopped beating actually came in the room and told us that Bowen's heart was beating again. They had got him on life support. They were able to save his life and that was news. We were not expecting grateful for it but many can imagine the pendulums man. I mean, my eyes are filled with tears. Just listening that I think the right question is the one that everybody would be thinking about is were you shaking your fist at God. Were you is you want from this trust at all costs to what just happened in Lord, why did you let me down and yeah what's going on. Did you have time to process that I definitely asked a lot of hard questions leading up to, even though I would let myself make emotionally process the depth of what it feel like to lose a son and and in those moments I think I think what I was prepared for actually was that part because I when I found out really struggled through that entire time and even Gerald. It on the blog and share these thoughts with other people who really resonated with it because the estimate were gone the sense of the things there is because community that I developed on my with people who are asking the same questions and I read a lot of different books you know on on the issue of like suffering and why God allows things to happen and so I cannot say that by the grace of God because I thought prepared in that moment I was able to just look at Jesus and trust that the treasurer of him being enough for me with that that is not yeah let me ask on behalf of those parents that did lose a child they didn't have the come back they couldn't resuscitate you. What you say to them, well, I think it may not even be able to say no it's okay with empirical that other people's just so are grateful for the goal we received help so many. Why right now. I mean it's the right answer. We don't understand these things were not God. You know, we don't understand what he's doing in all of our lives and how it works is the one thing I do know is those children I believe are in heaven and you know open arms.

I just trust and that God's heart is grace is big enough for that situation. We need to count on that.

You need to press through because it seemed like know is I love your apologize is so wonderful and I'm so grateful that you feel the pain of other people. That's a good thing but in that way meant it seem like in the book you get back on tour you're committing to more days of touring and service back with two children is newborn. That's no yelling, struggling what what was that about this was a strange moment in time for me because I don't work in this dream right is music dream. I do feel the tension between the music dreams and family dreams. This is the tension we write about in the book. I mean this is that this the thing we all feel right, right, and in that moment, the day that Bowen had his first open heart surgery was the day that lead me the song when number one same day same. That's crazy. So we, the number one song, which is everything I wanted write all the sales are gone berserk, and all you. The charts are well great, that's what I had tried to strive for and did I care that moment now. I didn't care that moment because my son was dying and it was such a stark contrast of those family dreams versus the career dreams and in the end what was really important now where it gets really interesting is that the song that I'd written about being a more present husband and father that goes number one while in the hospital with with Bowen through his heart surgeries.

The success of that song ended up taking me away from my family more so you now come February. At this time is spent in the hospital. These few months of dealing with this Sarah takes her. We take a very sick child home. They unplug all the monitors that it meant everything right for months and is your your babies like 10 minutes ago way to watch that monitor religiously. And now there's unplug it and send you home and you like she's scared I remind his mother. Obviously must make sure she does everything right and so do I but guess what the abandon careers calling and I in his high making comments right now is part of it. He was like okay we take his months off. Now it's time to have a got up number one song, it's time to go. Are you sure and then the record companies. Rose got a get out there yeah and always competing problems yeah you find yourself on the road emotionally worry what's happening. You with some of the people you're working with yeses where the story turns to the common yes story of what happens to a lot of men who are isolated absolutely. I so Sarah and I in her grieving differently make this very quick suck move and what you're talking about the basically and grieving differently. I she was it her way of dealing with her grief is being Bowen's bedside or his side.

In general, 24 hours a day care your caregiver. I tried to do as much as that as it could. But what I really needed her the way I grieved and so she felt animosity towards me that I was in at the bedside 24 seven right next to her that I was in her mind I was trying to pull her away. Yes sir, I was another thing that you described that because a lot of women are going to connect with that feeling.

A lot of men are going to really understand what Matt's talk, I just felt so strongly that I had to be his appellant's voice because he had no voice and so the way I felt. I just I was hyper vigilant and hyper aware and hyper available to Bell when only Bowen Island bound by when it was all-consuming. It was all-consuming and I do think looking back, I could is for sure, it was maybe imbalanced for sure I could've found ways to balance that a little better but I didn't know how to at times and had a direct emotionally than the Matt's maybe not-so-subtle demand for your selfish really and now I see that that's not selfish is the way he was holding the cup she needed me to hold him and hug him and sit with him and be away from the bedside for you even just ask for 15 to 20 minutes and it was like I can't. What if the doctor comes and you know it was it was just we didn't know what we've never done it before her stress. It sounds like I become very aware in you you flight I fight any flight kind is what we figured out so in ways and ways and I'm not sure where you're at it as a listener reviewer, but I'm identifying with it, you're talking about.

Matt is written about their journey and there's a good ending. You're obviously but it's the book lead me finding courage to fight for your marriage, children, and faith. And certainly we'd recommend you get a copy from us here at Focus on the Family or if you need to connect with one of her counselors, we have turned Christian counselors here and her number is 800 the letter a in the word family or word Matt, I want to be really careful here because she doesn't work hard to get where you're at today in this you know it's in many ways. Unfortunately, kind of do an interview and relive your worst possible moments, and I recognize that but same time, there can be people listen right now that are right where you were then apps and they need to hear that wisdom to say how did you get out of that. So you go back on the road. There's a new band manager. She seems very empathetic to you and your her superstar and she's treating you that way. Describe the emotions of that absolutely had to happen. Yeah, I mean I was really in a place where I was… A moment ago grieving.

There was a rift between Sarah and I had someone to was just ready and able to speak loving words and laugh when I sound like me words of life-giving words and affirmation straight into those those absences right into those hungry places and so what ended up happening is that I began to like idolize that feeling of getting that from this person because I felt the time wasn't getting it from Sarah and you know it was delicate with us even after addressing this matter.

I tried my best to rewrite this chapter, probably seven or eight times because it's so hard because we always ask what defines an affair right and in that's it.

We I started first. Even call it that. But as we know if there is anything that takes that steals from that that well cherishing love that you are best met for your spouse and you are channeling that into another place was giving pieces of my heart and life and that friendship and relationship that was meant to be shared only with Sarah those vulnerable places. I was allowing that door to be opened in another relationship and to the point where I was uncomfortable enough with it. I could tell I myself was not a physical attraction is older than I am. She is safe place, but I knew full well that it was not safe place willing to spouse this listening. I mean, I love that warning you because that certainly is in the early steps of what most likely would lead to something more absolutely and so I mean I hope people are heeding the warning there. Yes sir, I want to make sure on behalf of women listening that you know you're not owning the guilt of that. I mean, again, that can sound like you know you weren't meeting certain emotional needs met had at the moment, and therefore it was your fault in some way and in people will email us and I just sure we hit it and I want to make sure I had that in no way shape or correct is that I take full response right. I appreciate that because I think so.

Often women know men will express those things they can misinterpret that sometimes you know they're interpreting it accurately.

I know for fact is not true in this case just want make sure you're not a bad person here your help and your so yeah yeah now I I just felt my response to what he said even as he was saying it was your insatiable like as many companies as I could give you at that time were enough but it felt like to me because I felt very loving and time. I felt very needy. We both just couldn't see straight, and he I think you know it, we were just so broken in and processing things in such an upside down way so is even look at that and go, I felt like I was enough and that moment I mean I'm sure it was a perfect bad you think of spiritually you think of the enemy looking to steal, kill and destroy. Think of it in that spiritual context, how quickly that evilness works into that fact. Tricky tricky vulnerable place right. What if thy and I think her thought with Matthew because it's not something we ever dealt with in a bad feeling right you had some absolutely right may absolutely.

I remember meeting this person and I had been hearing about her, because I'm home you're taking care kids and all you've got to meet this person. She so great she's so warm. She still all everything we been looking for and she is my new best friend and I'm like okay okay I'm trying to give it a try and I go to give her a hug and I just felt repelled. There was a stick while two a and she had no questions for me and I could just I'm a girls girl. I love girls so I'm like me, there's something there because she's not interested in me is immediately my spirit was like the Holy Spirit was like something's off and I I'm very I said before I'm very open and very direct.

Since I started telling him about this. So we gotta pull this thing.

I don't know this is good. I think people have connected but we've got a kind of fast-forward through how God got hold of this and how you got a hold of yourselves and one another. Literally. So what was that breakthrough moment. What happens for you meant to say what is going on begin to cleave again.

Yes, sir is your wife that there are some things that that happened that made me aware that I saw that I was like okay this is this is certainly on. This is unsafe this is. I knew it for a fight yet could not play no more denial games with myself and so I just like you know what Sarah you actually write. This is not a situation. This is not a safe relationship you're actually right. Let's figure this out.

So we parted ways and that was kind beginning of us than processing the whole thing together had I had earned trust back with her right and learn how to be patient with the fact that just because everything had gotten resolve. Nothing crazy happened and I could brush it off and say hello was a close call. Was this and that wasn't the look on the thing that wasn't instead of what was right. I had to do with the fact of what was in the hurt that was there and how did how did that trust get rebuilt sir, for you.

I just think I had to remember that that isn't who he is wise, just let in time and yeah I think we did some things right we do something's wrong. As we processed it and healed from it. So I think one thing is for women. I needed to know everything right up front all of that and I need to ask questions as I processed it can be one conversation it's going to maybe be a year of me going. What about this like that and I don't like being patient and kind shirt scratching at pain for him to, but I need to know these answers.

I'm a person who needs the answer now. Some women I know don't want all the details and that's how they process so maybe just yeah that is a big investigator so I had to learn how to be patient with the fact that like you know the pain of likewise trust me was that it was that if she was asking. Things seem ridiculous even to me and I wanted I had to be patient and learn how to let her assess questions sure and and let her just feel those things and six accepted and then speak life and love and in a calm, gentle understanding whaler scratches shame every time I would bring it up so there was that struggles I can only imagine you know if you were agreeing on something entirely different. It was probably very useful tool to back out of and said well I want to get down to it. Mild arguments bring me straight back to the way I write. He didn't love me even to this day.

If I feel like the same eyes in the same heart are responding to me, that could had done what happened there. I will say that brings you back to that because I feel it was the heart that was the eyes that was the action that hurt me so much again. The good news is you restore you work through a lot of issues. In fact, that you did something pretty extreme. I want to capture that and I want that update on Bowen.

What was that extreme thing that you did you felt sir would appreciate soon before all this stuff happen or talking about ahead attention. You know in that attention the work and family dream in me from mono. It only had our first daughter first of for now and and and over the course of time, I felt that restlessness, but in about 2014 the end of 2014 I started to feel that that restlessness inside of me of how do I be the father and the husband. The guys call me to be the message, believing that I was seeing every night on stage. How do I live this morning singing alas and I knew that the thing that I needed to do to live the message I've been singing was for me to step away from that life that had really taken me away from Sarah and the kids to then take the best of my life and stop giving it to something else and find a context in which I could use my gifts and my talents that was also healthy for my family life as well and so I made the decision to step away from the only thing I'd known for 20 years, which is think it's real. And so spent a year trying the best that I could honor my bandmates and honor the people who had sewed into our music out of people who have been listened support us along the way and that in 2016 on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean played LSU host Sanctus real and handed the mic to a new singer.

It was hard it was. It was it was hard not.

It was the right thing to do. As hard as it was, it was God was calling me to do while you just said the words that are so critical to a man's heart the right thing to do. Warrior spirit. Good job. Thank you.

Way to go.

I do want to come back to Bowen and in here because this is really good bones 10 years old. You mentioned that I think right starts your lifetime.

He also was picked up a Mac for summarizing describe going to the word well first I want to say you know the doctors we talked but before who are encouraging us to terminate her pregnancy said that our life would be hard because of him that his siblings would more soft because of but I'll tell you right now that because of him. Our family stronger.

Our children have empathy. Our children have compassion children have are stronger people in our family stronger because we have something in front of us. That constant reminds us that every day is precious and and he is such a precious kid. He's loved by his siblings.

He loves his siblings. Well, you know, we often talk about bones broken heart but the truth is that we all broken arts and he what he has physically represents us all spiritually and emotionally in this life is there not hold onto the hope that one day Gotto make everything new in men. That's what he came to do and that's what your son chokes me up to cut the lesson you knows that's right, that's awesome, that's right we do we can to bring a little bit of heaven on earth like Jesus told the student comments are this is been really great. Thanks for that vulnerability to share with us and make sure you get Bowen your other kids a big hug for repping the Lord as well and we appreciate it. I hope you get a copy of the book lead me finding courage to fight for your marriage, children in faith. I can think of a greater resource for the family and that you can afford it, just get a hold of us will trust that others will cover the cost of that. This is what being in the body. Christ is all about, and in addition, if you know who Jesus is. All of us will talk with you about that.

This is what life is about us to know him and live for him. It's not finger wagging, it's not a bunch of rules.

It's loving the creator of the universe and the being a part of his family set simple and I hope you get in touch with us and if you can please donate generously to the work of Focus on the Family and as Jim said will say thank you for your support by sending a copy of that book to you in this reminder that we have caring Christian counselors here and also along the way. Here we talked about hope restored our marriage and tenses that can be a very pivotal moment for your relationship God can do a miracle for any of these resources or any help let us know our numbers 800 K word family 800-232-6459 and you can also find the links in the episode notes that Sarah, thank you for your heart. Thank you. Appreciate on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Get involved in promoting the sanctity of human life. With Focus on the Family's see life 2021.

It's a six episode digital experience to help you embrace the pro-life cause with truth, compassion see life 2021 premieres on Focus on the Family's website and social media channels on Friday, July 16 at 7 PM each week will debut a new episode equip you on the pro-life issues of our day here from respected leaders and see amazing testimonies from women and men whose lives have been impacted.

So join us for this life-changing six week experience online. Premiering on Friday, July 16 also mark your calendar now for the culmination of sea life 2021. Celebrate life live experience in Dallas-Fort Worth on August 20.

For more details, visit Focus on the line

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