Participating in the healing of a marriage is a beautiful gift to Ann and me. Death and new life are at the very heart of our world and over the course of a five-day marriage intensive, we have front row seats to this miracle. Read the words below to hear the perspective from a couple who joined us in the Rocky Mountains to explore their desolate marriage.
It would never happen to us. At least that’s what we thought. Strong Christians, not just in belief, but in a love relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We are blessed with a wonderful family (complete with many of life’s challenges, yet blessed nonetheless). We know what Scripture says about marriage. We’ve taught about it, including to our own children. We meant (and mean) our vows and thought that our commitment was “bulletproof”, especially with the third strand of Jesus Christ in our marriage “cord”. I even “built hedges” around our relationship, not allowing myself to be in circumstances that could even be misconstrued by others as inappropriate. It would not happen to our marriage, to us.
But it did. And we are not alone. You are not alone.
What really happened? How did it happen ….. to us?! Why did we drift or grow apart? Why did I, and thus our marriage, become susceptible? I wasn’t looking for someone else, for another woman. It “just happened”. I assure you --- I thought my motives and intentions were good and justified. I wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. I was just trying to fulfill unmet needs. At least that is what I convinced myself that I was doing. One must admit that it feels good to have one’s needs (real or perceived) met. Our kids would be “fine”. They would understand, at least ultimately, why I “needed” to do what I did.
Make no excuses. To betray one’s spouse (and family) requires deception. I know; I did it. Trying to justify that deception threatens to change who one is at one’s very core. One must choose to harden one’s heart and sear one’s conscience, or finally realize the devastation that will be the outcome of one’s actions (even if non-intentional and “collateral damage). Living in deception will catch up with you (as it did with me), and when it does, it makes one wonder if life is worth living at all. I hit that point. And at that point, God extended his hand ….. his mercy, grace, and love ….. to me.
And I am so incredibly thankful for my wife, Mrs. C ….. who, despite her pain, chose to extend her (and through her, God’s) endless mercy, grace, and love to and for me. Undeserved. Incredible! Amazing!
If we had any possibility of restoring our marriage, we needed to know the answers to the above questions. In order to get to the root of what happened and why, we needed help. That was hard to swallow, too. We didn’t need someone who would judge us, who would tell us what Scripture says about marriage, and that I needed to repent and “get right”. I/We already knew that. We needed someone who would, who could understand what we were going through in a very real way. We needed someone who could facilitate honest, effective, and productive communication (even uncover those things each of us buried deep over the years so that we could, at last, deal with them in a healthy manner). We needed God to extend his mercy, grace, and love upon us.
Mrs. C suggested that we contact Ben and Ann Wilson, who we had known through church. Mrs. C contacted Ann first and encouraged me to contact Ben. When I did, Ben listened and truly cared. He seemed to understand. When Mrs. C and I agreed that we needed some “intensive” counselling (away from all distractions), Ben and Ann offered a long weekend at a rustic cabin in the Colorado mountains. Perfect setting for such“surgery”. There was bound to be some pain involved, and there was. But that was essential for the healing that would take place. And through that, our marriage is restored, renewed, and resilient! Mr. C
“God has given Ben and Ann remarkable grace and wisdom to be able to share in the confusion, pain, unexpected, and ugliness of darkness; gifted understanding and tools of hope helped untangle the roots that grew in our lives before, during, and after our broken marriage. We can only try to paint the masterpiece of beauty that grew from all the wreckage for it is deeper than where the eyes can gaze…true worship and healing has and continues to blossom. Under the roof and safety of Jack’s Cabin, hope, joy, redemption, and God’s creative hand repurposed us and restored us. Like the beauty and miracle of a new born baby…our marriage was rebirthed through the labor of pain and honest nakedness; Our Lord and Master Creator used as tools of restoration: the guidance, prayers, and careful handling of Ben and Ann.” Mrs. C
“The steadfast Love of the Lord never ceases; His Mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your Faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-24 quoted by Mrs. C
Can an intensive help you like it did Mr. and Mrs. C? Contact us for more information.
Read our book to help heal your marriage. Betrayed and Betrayer: Rescuing Your Marriage After the Affair by Ben and Ann Wilson