A story of a disengaged husband redeeming his marriage.
When we first moved to Texas, we had just gotten back from China. We were living over there for a short time as international missionaries. And when we came back to move to the states, we came to Texas and we were dirt poor. Before we moved to China, we sold everything. That’s kind of where the issue came. Through those struggles, it pushed me to go back to school and find a better career. My focus really shifted from Godly things, on following Christ, to slowly getting sucked into the things the world has to offer. I thought I could make my wife happy by giving her a better lifestyle that I thought was good, instead of really loving her the way that she really needed. I really lost perspective on even loving my wife to the point to where I’m going to work full time, I’m going to school full time, I’m bettering my career, and I’m making more money. This kind of escalated to where I had a wife who was really lonely. Instead of coming home and spending time with my wife and talking to her and loving on her, I’m playing videos games 3-4 hours every night.
She came to me one night and simply said, "I don’t love the man you’ve become. If I wasn’t a Christian, I would divorce you but I won’t because it’s not biblical." I just got outraged. Here I am doing the best I can for my family, but that really wasn’t how or why she needed to be loved.
When we finally found Church Project, we started getting plugged into a house church immediately. That’s where I got invited to 33 Authentic Manhood. The first session we went through was called A Man and His Traps. We really started going over the fundamentals and the heart attitude behind men and their decisions and what makes a man. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve never really known how to be a man, let alone a husband.’ So it really drove this focus with 33 and other men in our house church that just poured tons of time and love into me.
I still remember coming home from one of the sessions one night, turning off the TV, telling my wife to sit down, and actually getting real with my wife, and just pretty much sobbing and apologizing for the man that I had become and the house that we had built, how it was just falling apart. I was not taking the proper responsibilities. I really became vulnerable to my wife, probably for the first time, then I told her I didn’t have all the answers but I’m learning. I started becoming more proactive and intentional with my time – actually pursuing my wife and getting to know her, growing in Christ, and having good community with house church and the guys in 33. Our marriage started blossoming. It was probably a year of just really hard work.
My wife came up to me, and I had just gotten home from work and she said, "I can see that you’re trying." She gave me a kiss, told me she loved me, and told me I was a good man. Those words of encouragement from my wife I had just been dying to get from her for so long.
I encourage other men to really learn what it takes to be a man following Christ, what it means to die to yourself and serve your wife, to be part of community, and to walk in the faith in a proper way, not to your own understanding but biblical, and simple, and just real and raw.