by Michael Castrodale
As a police officer, I can work some really long days that can be very hard, and very stressful. Sometimes I work different shifts and things happen that are dangerous. I think that has an effect on my wife, Barbara. She doesn’t want me to see her worry, but I know she does. Issues can so easily get confused. Jumbled. Blown out of proportion.
Attending The Art of Marriage® video event had a profound effect on our relationship. It just took so much of the garbage away and explained it in simple, understandable ways. After going through The Art of Marriage, I felt relieved!
Barbara and I have both been married before, and step-family problems are probably the biggest ones for us. I have a tendency to take issues out of context and blow them up. The Art of Marriage made me realize that it's not the issue that's important, it's the marriage. Sometimes I’ve gotten so caught up looking at circumstances that I’ve missed the fact that God brought us together.
I thought some of our problems were so bad that I had to solve the impossible. Now I’ve been able to take a step back to see that the circumstances are just the circumstances—that the overriding thing is that we are married and love each other. That's what’s important. Everything else is kind of underneath that.
The video event also helped me stop looking at things in a worldly way. It helped me realize that God has the wisdom to solve our problems and that there’s benefit and beauty in working through them.
God has a plan for my marriage
I now understand that God truly wants my marriage to succeed. I had a tendency to forget that He has a plan for Barbara and me as husband and wife. I was relieved to begin looking at our issues in a spiritual way—to realize that we need to work on them together, and pray about them. This has made them seem smaller, not such a big deal.
The Art of Marriage also introduced me to a new thought: that I have to "receive" my spouse. I had not really considered that we have to receive a gift, and I learned that receiving Barbara as my gift from God is a daily task.
I also found it helpful to hear that marriage is not all about me or my happiness. I knew that already but needed to be reminded of it. And the issue of drifting toward isolation was also very revealing. I thought that I was the only one with that problem, but now I’ve learned that it’s common to so many marriages.
The explanation of the male/female biblical roles was the best I’ve ever listened to. We need to hear that men and women have equal value to God and to each other in a marriage, but very different roles and responsibilities.
Attending The Art of Marriage was an opportunity for Barbara and me to come together. We were able to say that we were both working on our marriage and that there’s spiritual wisdom to cover our marriage.
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