About the Guest
Becky Thompson, author of popular blog Scissortail SILK, recalls how she met and then married her husband, Jared. After initially being disappointed that he wasn't a pastor-which had been her dream, she eventually released her desires to God and embraced the pipeline welder he had for her. Thompson calls wives back to what they promised at the altar-to love, honor, and cherish their husbands through thick or thin.
Becky Thompson recalls how she met and then married her husband, Jared. Thompson calls wives back to what they promised at the altar-to love, honor, and cherish their husbands through thick or thin.
Bob: Becky Thompson remembers a time in her life where she was questioning a lot of things about God, about life, even about her marriage.
Becky: My life is not turning out like I imagined. What do I do about it now? The real lie there is that God has forgotten about me; or I have missed God’s plan—God’s perfect plan—and I’m living some weird parallel strategy or some weird parallel life to what I could have been or should have been—or whatever. How do I rectify my expectations with my realities?
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Thursday, June 22nd. Our host is the President of FamilyLife®, Dennis Rainey, and I’m Bob Lepine. This moment, today, the reality you are living—this is the day the Lord has made. So, how do you rejoice and be glad in it? We’ll spend time talking about that today. Stay with us.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us.
You know we will occasionally hear from men who have been listening to FamilyLife Today; and they’ve been listening to programs we’ve done where we’ve been challenging husbands and dads to step up and to embrace their responsibilities and to act like men and to get in the game. And I get the emails—you see them as well—from guys who say, “Why are you guys always beating up on us? Why are you going after us all the time?”
Dennis: No, we’re not beating up on them. We put our arms around the guy and say, “Let’s go, and just keep stepping up.”
Bob: And maybe, we do it with a little more locker room, you know, fervor; but today, we’re turning the tables, and we’re going to be giving an exhortative challenge—a gentle challenge, I hope—to the wives that—they have responsibilities in marriage to be all that God has called them to be as well.
Dennis: They do, Bob. You remember a number of years ago we used to do a—
—radio program called Mom Check?
Dennis: We would call moms in the middle of their day and say, “Tell us what your kitchen looks like.”
Bob: Tell us what real life looks like at your house.
Dennis: What does your living room look like? What are you doing right now? And we found some great moms. We found some great moms who were in the middle of a mess with their kids—
Dennis: —having fun. Their tanks weren’t empty, but you could hear them getting drained because of the kids. But we’ve got a mom here who just cheered. She kind of gave two thumbs up. Becky Thompson joins us again on FamilyLife Today. Becky, welcome back.
Becky: Thanks so much, again, for having me. It’s an honor to be with you both.
Dennis: Becky has a little blog called Scissortail SILK.
Bob: Now, it’s at BeckyThompson.com; right?
Becky: That’s right.
Becky: That’s right.
Dennis: Well, you can also find it that way, though; can’t you?
Becky: You can. You can type Scissortail SILK into your search bar.
Dennis: There you go, but she’s written a book called Love Unending. In this, she confronted a time when she realized she was not doing a good job of loving her husband.
Guess who taught her? Guess who exhorted her? Not her husband.
Dennis: But your daddy.
Becky: That’s exactly right.
Dennis: I just have to tell you—you’re a smart young lady to listen to your dad. I’m not saying that because I’m an older daddy. [Laughter] I’m really not.
Bob: But he is hoping that some of his daughters are listening—[Laughter]—to today’s program. I want to know how you and Jared met because this was not your plan to marry Jared when you were 19 years old; was it?
Becky: It was not my plan—no, sir. No, I intended to be in full-time ministry, married to a pastor of a church somewhere.
Becky: I didn’t know which church—didn’t know which pastor. It was just who—that part the Lord could choose freely, but the part that I was kind of focusing in on is that I would be a pastor’s wife. That was my intention.
Bob: You had grown up—your dad was a pastor. So, it’s really—it’s kind of sweet that what you had seen was what you wanted and what you aspired to.
Becky: I wanted a life full of ministry.
That’s sometimes rare for a pastor’s kid—to want to step back into that role—but it had worked, and I had seen the good fruit from it. That’s what I wanted.
So, I went to Bible college. I went to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma; and I was there for my MRS Degree—I was. I was looking for a husband—for a spouse. So, when I walked in and they said, “What do you want to major in?” I actually said, “Well, where do the pastors—where are the pastors? If you wanted to be a pastor, what classes would you take?” And I ended up majoring in—
Dennis: And it wasn’t just—let’s make sure the audience gets this. It wasn’t because you wanted to be a pastor.
Becky: No, sir.
Dennis: You wanted to be a pastor’s wife.
Becky: I was just hoping to sit at their table at lunch and meet one. So, walked in—ended up majoring in Communications and minoring in Pastoral Care—
Bob: Of course.
Becky: —which incidentally does not mean caring for the pastor. [Laughter]
Becky: So, after my first year of school at Oral Roberts, I went home for the summer having not met a pastor-husband.
Bob: Now, I would think there are lots of guys there. You couldn’t find one?!
Becky: I found a few. I found a few.
Dennis: Did you propose to some of them?
Becky: Not on the first day. [Laughter] So, I didn’t find anybody that year. I was also—in sincerity, I was following the Lord and listening to His plan for my life and taking good classes and doing all of that; but my parents had moved to Norman, Oklahoma, which is not where I had grown up and not where the university was. So, I didn’t have any friends when I moved home to stay with them until the next year began.
So, I went and got a job at the mall, and I thought, “This will just be something simple that can occupy my time.” I wish I could say I had just done missions or something really respectful.
Bob: What store—what store were you working in?
Becky: So, here’s the interesting thing—I ended up working at a kiosk. So, you know, the things where they do the nail things.
Bob: That was you?
Becky: That was not quite me. So, they shipped clothes in from L.A., and this was sort of before pop-up boutiques and things like that. So, it was a cart that was in the middle of the mall with a stool and some clothes hanging on there outside of it. I thought, “I will sit there on that stool, and I will sell”—
—“glitter fashion belts and read my Bible. I can handle that. That’s an easy summer for me.” What I was not anticipating was the cute boy who worked at the shoe store behind my cart, and that’s how I met my husband.
So, the funny thing is I really thought that at the end of the story—you know, as I fall in love with this guy—
Bob: Now, we can’t go there. Did you go up and say, “Hello, cute boy?”
Becky: No, so, I actually asked him to watch my cart while I took a restroom break; and I bought him a cookie on the way back.
Becky: Six months later, he bought me an engagement ring.
Dennis: Oh! So, you flirted a little bit?
Becky: I did a little. No, here’s the thing—I had every intention of just saving him. I was not going to date him. I was just going to help him meet Jesus—
Becky: —get his life on a good track—because from conversations, I knew he wasn’t walking with the Lord—
Becky: —like he needed to. So, that was my plan, but I accidentally fell in love with him in the process. It was pure accident.
Dennis: Let’s stop you right there. Was he a believer at the time?
Becky: He was a believer, but he was not walking with the Lord.
So, he knew who Jesus was. He knew that he was his Savior, but he was not making Him Lord or his life.
Dennis: Well, you were skating on some thin ice at that point.
Becky: I do not recommend to anyone listening to do what—
Dennis: It’s called missionary dating.
Becky: It is. I didn’t mean to do it, but I did.
Dennis: But you fell in love.
Becky: This is why we don’t missionary date. [Laughter]
Dennis: So, what got his attention spiritually speaking besides a beautiful young lady?
Becky: Well, spiritually speaking, he encountered the presence of God. He encountered the truth of who God was for him. There was such a transformation in just those few three months. Over the summer, he rededicated his heart to the Lord; he was re-baptized; and just experienced God for himself—got to know the Lord on a personal level.
But at the end of the summer, he wrote me this letter, he said, “I will be first in line when your something special happens. I will be first in line when God reveals to you whatever this big thing is that you’re after, and I will be there to champion you on; but I know”—
—“it won’t be as your partner. I’m releasing you”—basically—“back to live the life that God has called you to live.”
At the end of the summer, I went back to Oral Roberts University, continued on my track of Communications degree, and all of that. It was just about a month into school that the school hosted this campus-wide worship service; and I got a text message from Jared saying, “I’d like to come to that. I heard that that was happening. I’d like to be there.”
And in this service, he had this encounter with the Lord, and he was—well, I’ve got some things I joke about—but he was crying on his knees and just sobbing, with the tears, and just this beautiful moment of complete surrender before God.
I wish that I could say that standing next to him in this worship service I put my hand on his shoulder and just prayed that God would release him into whatever it was that he had for him; but the reality is I stepped away to make sure that all the pastors in the room didn’t think we were dating. And that’s the truth of what happened. [Laughter]
Can you imagine? Can you imagine?
I was so certain that my life would look a certain way. I was so certain that I would be in the type of ministry that I had planned. I was so focused on that goal that I almost missed this moment.
Bob: So, what brought you from that focus—“I know where the future is, and I know the plans I have for me,” says Becky—what brought you from that moment to the place where you said, “I think God has me on a different path?”
Becky: Well, I heard the voice of the Lord—a voice that I have felt in my spirit many times. He says, “This is your husband.” It was just a few months later, and Jared began to sort of pursue me and really pursue me—asked my dad’s permission to just sort of date and court and spend more time with me, focused on relationship.
In the back of my heart, this is what I believed—“This guy has no idea that, at the end of this story, he is a pastor.”
I was so certain that, because I was going to be a pastor’s wife and because God said, “Marry him,” that at the end of this whole thing, this guy is going to be a pastor. Really, that’s not the story of our lives. That’s not what happened.
So, just a few years into our marriage, I had this honest moment where I looked around and I realized, “Did I miss it? Did I marry the wrong guy, or do I need to just submit to the Lord and listen for who He is really calling me to be—what our lives are really supposed to look like?” So, I had a lot of very unrealistic expectations at the beginning of our marriage that I had to sort through before anything else could really go forward between my husband and me.
Bob: Some people who are listening right now are right where you were—
Bob: —kind of stuck in—“I thought life would work out this way. It’s worked out a different way, and it’s not what I’ve longed for all my life.” There’s just kind of a lingering depression.
Bob: So, what’s your counsel to somebody—
—who is facing that reality of—“My life is not turning out the way I thought it was going to turn out, and this is kind of lonely and disappointing?”
Becky: That’s a very heavy place to be; and it’s actually something I addressed in my first book, Hope Unfolding, where I looked at some of the lies that I think are very common throughout all of womanhood—which is—“My life is not turning out like I imagined. What do I do about it now?”
The real lie there is that God has forgotten about me; or I have missed God’s plan—God’s perfect plan—and I’m living some weird parallel strategy or some weird parallel life to what I could have been or should have been—or whatever. How do I rectify my expectations with my realities?
What I found, in my own heart and my own walk, was when I surrendered these thoughts before the Lord and was honest about them, the truth of who God is, is always the answer. And the truth for them is that God has not forgotten about them. There is no Plan B life. There is no Plan B circumstance.
There is no alternative that could have been that would have been better. We have the lives that we’re currently in, and the best answer is inviting the Lord to be in that moment with us.
Dennis: He can handle the reality of you spilling your guts out.
Becky: He can.
Dennis: That’s not going to crush God.
Becky: It’s not. You know, He’s not surprised. I think, for me, it was realizing that God was not surprised that I was living in Northwest Oklahoma married to a pipeline welder. God was not like—“Well, what are we going to do about this?! This really didn’t turn out the way we thought we were going here?” He is fully invested in each intimate detail of our lives.
There is this thread of His presence that weaves through every moment of our lives. I believe that there is this thread of His presence where we can look and we can see exactly where He was. And I could see where He was in the leading up to marrying my husband. I could see where He was in the years before, as He prepared—
—my heart to lead others to love His ministry, to love being in His presence.
But when I got to that moment, I had to look for the string of His presence that was still there. The thing that would lead me out of those moments of desperation and uncertainty—what was going to take me out? That was that God was not surprised by it. Therefore, God must have strategy and goodness in it. If God is not surprised by our current circumstances, then, He has everything that we need for that circumstance.
And for a lot of us, it’s just hope that someday it might not look the way it does—hope that our husbands who have gone off and they’re not living for the Lord are reconciled back into a relationship with the living God; you know?
Bob: I think you’ve hit on a key point because even when you’re in a moment where you don’t see that hope to know—“God’s here. He’s with me. This has not taking Him by surprise. He’s not going—‘I don’t have any answers here.’” He’s right there, and He has—
—a purpose for that moment. When we can say, “Okay, I’m ready for that purpose. I’m ready to walk the path that You’re on with me to get me where You want me to go,” that’s the beginning of the transformation that God will often do.
Becky: Exactly, that’s the beginning of the hope. That’s the hope unfolding.
Dennis: And that’s where He wants to take every person—
Dennis: —not just try to change your circumstances or find some mythical love. And that really, ultimately, led you to write this book—this second book—Love Unending, which is really a 21-day—not experiment, but more of a spiritual discipline and intentionality of expressing love to your husband just because of coming out of these doldrums that can hit marriages.
Bob: And I have to ask you about one—because there was a time—when you were dating Jared, wasn’t there a time when he was coming to pick you up and he tried to call and couldn’t get you for some reason?
Bob: What’s that story?
Becky: So, the story is that I was living in Tulsa at the time and he was still down in Norman; and he would—he drove. He came all the way up the night before,—
Bob: Two hours.
Becky: —and he stayed at a friend’s house. He was going to pick me up in my dorm room; and you know men are not allowed passed the front desk; and he didn’t know any of my friends. So, the only way he had to get ahold of me the morning he came to pick me up was my cellphone. That’s the only number he had.
So, he starts calling my cellphone, and I don’t answer because I can sleep through just about anything—I mean, at that point, before I became a mom. So, I mean I’d slept through until noon when I woke up; and I had all of these missed calls.
My husband had driven back to Yukon, where we’re going to church on the weekends, without me. He had left me. He gets there, and he has to tell my mom—“She didn’t wake up. I’m really worried, but I didn’t want you to think that we just weren’t coming. So, I came all the way by myself.” I’m not sure exactly what story he tried to come up with; but I know that my mom just said, “She can sleep through anything.”
Becky: “She can sleep through anything.”
But the principle in that is that before we become moms, we might have some ways that we handle certain situations, like sleeping heavily; but once we become moms, we just wake up. We can hear potato chips opening in a back closet over a television and a dishwasher going—when the kids are going to have a snack, and you’re thinking, “Close those bags. I’m making dinner.” You can hear the television click on—that little static noise it makes when someone is trying to have a little more screen time, and you’ve said, “No.” As moms, our hearing changes.
So, you know as a wife, because there is always so much noise going on, we learn how to be selective with our hearing. We learn how to listen for what’s important and tune out all the rest of the chaos that is just non-stop; but sometimes, we tune our husbands out as well. We tune our husbands out with all the other noise and never really find good moments to tune in until we realize there is all this space and we’re disengaged and—“How do we come back together where we’re openly sharing our hearts?”
Sometimes, my mind needs space like my body needs space. You know kids in my lap all the time. So, I push my husband out with everybody else; but we have to, as we look at these strategies, go back to the beginning. As we look at what it was like in the beginning, you know, we spent hours together just talking and sharing and openly discussing what was on our hearts.
And as wives, we have to make sure we are creating that space again for our husbands to share if they want to. I know not all husbands share openly. My husband is pretty reserved; but when he does open up, I have to make sure I’m not—“Just a second. Let me open this for the kids,” or “Just a second. Let me do this for the children.” I have to tell my kids—“Mommy and Daddy are talking”—and realize the priority that our marriage needs to take in those moments.
You know that’s the truth of Love Unending is that there aren’t these big, grand things that up. There are just these small ways that we have to say, “Husband, I see you. You matter, and I want to show you that I’m invested and being intentional with us.”
Dennis: I’m picturing your two worlds coming together—
—a mommy with three kids, six and under, and a pipe-fitter from an oil rig—
Dennis: —in Western Oklahoma. That’s a different environment out there—
Dennis: —what he’s dealing with every day. He’s coming home to these little chirping, open mouths that you’ve been herding all day.
Dennis: And he’s wanting a real relationship with a real adult—
Dennis: —wife—his wife.
Becky: No matter what worlds we’re coming from—whether our world where he’s welding pipe together and doing back breaking work in the blistering heat and I’m just trying to keep three kids alive, which seems just as important most days and exhausting most days—you know we come together, and we just collapse; but we have to make sure we’re collapsing into each other. We have to make sure we’re collapsing together and not just away—not separating.
When those worlds come back together and collide, there has to be a space for us no matter what that looks like.
Dennis: You’re really calling wives—moms—back to what they promised when they got married. It was the pledge to love, honor, and cherish—
Dennis: —‘til death do us part. And that loving, honoring, cherishing, paying attention is hard work. In staff meeting here recently, Bob and I watched a video from a couple whose marriage—young marriage—probably younger than yours—maybe 5 / 6 years married—sounded like it was nearly over. They were struggling with each other, weren’t meeting one another’s need. They had to go back to the beginning—
Dennis: —to their promise and start building from that promise; but they went to a Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway and got some training at that point to be able to equip them to make good on that pledge and promise. I don’t think people get married to be isolated. They get married to be one; but they need practical tools to be able to do that.
Bob: In fact, one of the things we hear most often from people who have attended a Weekend to Remember getaway is that they leave the weekend having received some very practical counsel on things that they can do better in their marriage. There are “Aha” moments where they go—“Oh, I never thought of that. I guess if I did that…. I guess if this happened…. Oh, maybe, if I spoke that way…. Maybe, if we resolved conflict this way….”
And they leave with a sense of hope that—“Now, my marriage can be a different marriage.” And when you’ve got help and you’ve got hope, you’ve got the plans for a different marriage than the one you came in with.
Dennis: Yes. If you think about it, there’s no commitment in life entered into with less preparation than marriage.
Becky: So true.
Dennis: We have all kinds of classes in high school and college and graduate school and—if you want to go on to get your PhD, that will equip you to become an expert in an area—but there are not a lot of basic training—
—courses equipping husbands and wives, moms and dads, to know how to go through these seasons like you’re facing with three rugrats. I mean it’s a great time. We loved it.
Nonetheless, you have to know how, not just to survive it, but how to create a marriage that thrives. And it’s back to getting the tools, Bob. Folks need tools, and they need to use them after they get them.
Bob: Well, a couple tools to consider—if you’ve never been to a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway, like we were talking about, you can sign up to attend a getaway this fall. We’re going to be in cities all across the country. You can go, right now, to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, and learn about when the Weekend to Remember is happening in a city near where you live and make plans now to block out that weekend and be with us for a getaway.
Then, get a copy of the book, Love Unending, by Becky Thompson. It’s a roadmap to what you can do each day to help rekindle and recapture the love in your marriage.
Go to FamilyLifeToday.com and order your copy of Love Unending; or call to order at 1-800-358-6329. That’s 1-800- “F” as in family, “L” as in life, and then the word, “TODAY.” So, again, order online at FamilyLifeToday.com; or call 1-800-FL-TODAY to order.
You know when we have conversations like this, I’ll often hear from people who will say, “I shared this with a friend of mine who I knew is—she’s a young mom, she’s got young kids at home. I just assumed that these are things she can relate to. So, I sent her a link so she could listen online; or I told her about the app—the FamilyLife app—where she could listen to, not only today’s program, but more FamilyLife Today programs.”
Do you know somebody who would benefit from listening to the conversation we’ve had today? You might send them an email and just let them know about the FamilyLife app.
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And we just want to pause right here and say, “Thank you,” to the listeners who contribute to this ministry because what you are contributing to is exactly what I’m talking about. We take the funds we receive, and we pour them back into new channels so more people can benefit from the practical, biblical help and hope that we offer here on FamilyLife Today.
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Now, tomorrow, we’re going to learn more about what Becky Thompson has done and what she is still doing to make sure that her marriage remains the priority it ought to be. I hope you can tune back in tomorrow.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, along with our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I’m Bob Lepine. We’ll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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