There are many things we pass on to our children. My husband loves to remind me I passed on the “hangry” gene to our boys. You know hangry-the extreme irritability only corrected by food with the correction causing immediate, yet short-lived results. Jim first noticed I had this condition on a thirteen hour drive to meet his family. Amazingly he proposed to me the following weekend (after I had been well fed). Jim has passed on a hereditary condition known as Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, making me the one who walks funny in our house. There are a ton of other things we’ve passed on but one of the most important ones we can share is our marriage; a constant work in progress. We know that strong marriages make strong families who make strong churches and strong communities and so on and so on. We want our sons to grow up desiring marriage because we’ve modeled something worthwhile. We want them knowing that it’s not always easy. We want them to know that broken things can and should be fixed, not discarded. We want them to put Christ in the center of their lives and their marriages. Because of all of these desires we are intentional about our marriage.
That intentionality didn’t come naturally nor does it come easy. It has, however, allowed God to work in our lives and in others through establishing re|engage marriage ministry at SMC. About six years ago God placed marriage on our hearts. We had several friends separating, divorcing or living as roommates. We wanted more for them and for ourselves. We prayed for our friends, mourned their marriages, and hoped for the future. We prayed for those just beginning their marriages to those empty nesters to those married longer than we’ve been alive. Our hearts were literally swelling with dreams, hopes, desires and even fear for marriage.
Just over a year ago a group of five couples joined together to share the pursuit of marriages at SMC. We became a family, I call them “my people.” Because when you spend four months with couples sharing the intimacies of marriage and our humanness in the midst of it you become family.
This past fall and this spring I have shared my people with other couples in re|engage who want to resurrect, reconnect and reignite their marriages. My people have loved and cared and supported couples who realize God desires so much more of their marriage than they’ve been giving it. My people have held a couple while tears poured from emotional moments and from laughter. Most importantly, my people have prayed for these couples because we know it’s the greatest tool in our arsenal for marriage.
If you’re reading this and thinking your marriage is fine then I would ask you to reconsider. Our marriage was fine, but we wanted it better than fine. We wanted it to glorify Christ and to draw us closer to Him in the process. As we have aligned our individual lives with Christ our relationship has had a greater connection. James 2:4 says, “Draw nearer to God and He will draw nearer to you.” This verse has always been prominent in our family and re|engage has proven it for our marriage.
If you’re reading this and your marriage is struggling re|engage is where you can find your stronghold in the struggle. It’s where you realize you’re not alone in whatever you’re facing and it’s where you learn to fully trust God.
If you’re reading this and your think there’s no hope for your marriage I want you to know our ultimate hope comes from our Creator, not our spouse. Re|engage can help you discover hope in Him and for your marriage.
Of all the things I could leave for my children, my marriage legacy is one I value second to my faith. There’s not much more we can offer our children, our friends, even our neighbors than a healthy marriage. Re|engage is all about leaving a legacy of healthy marriages for SMC and beyond.