12 years ago was a devastating time in our marriage. (See The Ugly Beautiful (Women’s Retreat Speech) Part 1) We had taken on too much and the busyness of our lives prevented us from investing in our relationship as we should have. I made one poor ‘small’ decision after another and fell into an emotional and somewhat physical affair. I was drowning in darkness and hopelessness, and knew I couldn’t continue down that path. So I grabbed hold of God’s hand and He walked me through reconciliation with my husband. We were now on the path to our marriage being restored; we woke up to the fact that something had to change or we would continue living as an easy target for the enemy. We simplified our life dramatically and began to regularly pray together, though in the beginning, ‘regular’ was a couple times a week. Then it became so addicting – seeing prayers answered that we had sought the Lord together on – that we developed the habit of praying together every night. Initially, we shared our hearts with the Lord and wrapped it up with a quick Amen. But soon we decided to also spend time just being still together in the Lord’s presence, wrapped up together under the sheets, listening for the Lord to speak.
This has honestly become my favorite part of our days as we wait expectantly for Him to reveal His heart. We’ve learned to seek God together on everything from how to discipline a child, to what activities we should commit to, to what houses we should flip, to how we should spend our money, to how we can help others. Through this time the Lord has given us clear answers, and at other times we’ve stepped out shaking, a little unsure, but once we’ve stumbled out on the water He is there.
Through this time together God also led us to minimize screen time dramatically (for us and our children). Up until this time, once we put the kids to bed we would usually sit in front of the TV or work separately online. We found that when we simplified our lives and cut screen time to a small fraction of what it had been, we had ample time and energy to pray together, as well as time to communicate our hearts with each other and read books that grow us. I tell younger couples often that regularly praying and seeking the Lord together knits your hearts together in ways not possible otherwise. Through it God multiplies your love for each other.
We began to flirt with each other as our relationship evolved from one that was dry (as we just focused on the tasks around us) to a playful, intimate relationship in which we truly see each other. It’s not all champagne and roses, but we live in the mindset that we’re on the same team and are more aware of the concerns, joys, hopes the other possesses. Together, we’ve been floored at the ways God has revealed Himself, provided for us miraculously, and given us guidance in the details of our lives. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27-28