• When our church was still small, I didn’t have a Pastoral staff so my wife (Hope) and I would go to Family Court to be there for members struggling through big life issues. It’s truly one of the most horrible places I have ever been. For those of you who have never been, imagine having this guy and this woman, watching as their lawyers eat each other alive. I mean, taking everything this couple ever lived through, all the dirt, all the secrets, all the shame, and throwing it out on the table. 
     
    It begins to help you understand why divorce is so incredibly painful and destructive, because they gave each other most of that information inside a covenant in which they vowed to cover each other. Now, the information they gave each other while they covered each other is the same information they’re using as ammunition to win the prize: the kids and the stuff. That’s when they realize: “I gave that information to you thinking you’d protect me, I gave it to you because I trusted you and believed you were a safe place, and now you’re using it against me in a contest?!”
     
    I remember how Hope and I would sit there and watch these people having their guts ripped out, and we’d weep, remembering how that’s the same guy that she couldn’t go to sleep until she called, it’s the same woman from which the scent of her perfume sent him to the seventh heaven, but now they’ve grown familiar and where they once couldn’t keep their hands off each other, now lawyers are trying to keep them from putting their hands back on each other! What went wrong? How did something so beautiful go so terribly wrong? I’ll tell you what happened. At some point, they learned everything about each other, and weren’t equipped to handle it. 
     
    Listen carefully, this will change your marriage: Honor is only honor when I know every bad thing about you, and I still respect you, honor and cover you. That’s what God wanted His little girl to feel like, that’s what God wanted His boy to experience, when He destined you to be with each other. That was the safe place He designed for the two of you when you came together and vowed “for better or for worse.” Your marriage is supposed to be a safe place where previous hurts and pains can be shared knowing each of you will cover the other, no matter what. One of the greatest gifts you’ll ever give each other is the gift of being a sanctuary, a safe place of refuge, for your spouse to bring any thought, frustration, fear, temptation, or concern to you knowing you’ll still love, respect, honor and cover them no matter what.

    Marriage Builder Action Step:

    Take inventory of yourself. In what ways have you created an unsafe place to keep your spouse from feeling the liberty of sharing everything with you? Write them down; don’t filter the list. Then, when you’re ready, share it with each other.

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  • 12 Comments

    Take a look at some of the responses we've had to this article.

    1. Tina Edwards
      Posted on June 5th

      Amen Apostle, thank you.

    2. Esther Haston
      Posted on June 5th

      Thanks so much for that powerful point!!! Being on my 2nd marriage, I know this to be truth!!!

    3. Katherine C. Gothard, M.S., Psy.S., LLP
      Posted on June 5th

      Apostle Ron, this is spot on. I am a Christian psychologist and I see this all the time in my office. I am working on my dissertation that speaks to your assignment. What happens when we cannot find that safety in our relationship? Is that one of the reasons obesity is an epidemic? We are now eating the emotions that we cannot share with our spouse. Do we even realize that we are called to have this covenant of safety with each other as husband and wife?

      I thank God for you and your work and I look forward to the next assignment.

      Blessings always!

    4. Ferguson
      Posted on June 5th

      I look forward to your posts. You have so much insight on life in general, and your teachings have helped my life so much. When it comes to my marriage, I don’t know what to do. I never hear anyone say “end it”. I’m sick of the idle place that we have been in, and I don’t know what to do next. I don’t even know if we have a “next”. We’ve been to conferences and counseling, affairs have happened, trust and honor has been shattered, and I’m going one way and he’s going another. We just co-exist from day to day. I will eventually figure something out. Your messages are encouraging, so please continue them. Bless you, your family, and RWOC.

    5. DWAYNE BLACKSTON
      Posted on June 11th

      APOSTLE YOU ARE RIGHT ON. ME AND MY WIFE HAVE BEEN MARRIED FOR 25 YEARS BUT WE STILL LEARN A LOT FROM YOU SINCE WE STARTED GOING TO RWOC 2 YEARS AGO.GOD BLESS YOU AND KEEP GIVING US THAT GOOD WORD.

    6. Ne.
      Posted on June 18th

      Thank you Apostle for all your words, you and Hope had been an incredible blessing and going to RWOC also. thank you guys so much for what you do. My marriage has been a blessing for the 4 years that we’ve been married, the problem i have is that I’m jealous, I jealous with my kids no one could do anything better for them than I, I jealous with my husband his time, attention, ways that he is outside and the way he is in our home. I love my husband, and I know I get on his nerves with this, I want to be the wife he and God wants me to be, he even says that all our problem is about my jealousy for him, and and we hardly argue, but I can’t stand it and I’ve been trying to work on it by not saying the first thing that comes in my mind which half the time is the devil. he is a Godly men and he keeps growing with God, I m very proud of him by the way.!! he told me that he almost cheated on his ex. once, that is my problem mainly. I know it wasn’t me but I was cheated on many many time before even though I was a good girl, so I have that in my mind sometimes that he is going to cheat on me because I’m doing to much and he is overwhelmed!! I don’t know, What can I do?!! To us marriage is forever, and I don’t want to mess it up by pushing him away!! Help!!

    7. K. Davis
      Posted on June 20th

      Wow – the message is spot on. I have been married for 17 years to my best friend and college sweatheart. The first several years were really difficult because I failed to provide the ‘safe place’ she so desired. The past ten plus years have been a discovery of the uniqueness of my wonderful wife and everyday I discover something unique about her. She is a beautiful, lovely and intelligent woman and when I stopped being familar with her and saw her as a discovery my marriage skyrocketed. I truly enjoy being with and around her and relish the fact that I am growing old (and younger at the same time) with her.

    8. C.Nobles
      Posted on July 28th

      Apostle, I’m not married now, but have been before & divorced several times. Had I heard this when I got married the first time…maybe I would STILL be married to the first man and my children would not have been the devastated emotional wrecks they were!! This is so necessary for couples today to be able to survive in a “it’s all about me” world. thank you so much for your candor…God bless you for being who you are…a light in a dark world!!

    9. R. Carver
      Posted on August 16th

      Awesome words of WISDOM. Thank you!

    10. Posted on May 2nd

      Nice. You have a couple of good points. At the end of the day the police do a good job. The problem with law is that it doesn’t always work to the advantage of the victim. It is a failed system and needs to be fixed.

    11. Posted on May 3rd

      Nice. You have a couple of good points. When it’s all said and done the police do a good job. The problem with the law system is that it sometimes doesn’t work effectively. It is a failed system and needs to be revised.

    12. LessieLeonard
      Posted on June 12th

      Various people in every country take the loan from various creditors, just because that is easy.

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