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Through Richer and Poorer…

I feel called back to this blog. It’s been over a year since I’ve last posted, and I fully assume I’ve probably lost all of my followers. I’ve got to say that a lot has transpired during that time – some of which I’ll portray in the following.

I own a consulting business, and primarily focus on large companies as my customers. While it’s never been an overwhelming success (from a pure business standpoint) it’s had good years and tough years. We recently went through a tough one.

In my mind, part of having a thriving (shocking) marriage is the process of de-compartmentalizing life. Whereas some might say “My marriage is good, but I’m going through a tough time professionally”, I would argue that we’re going through a tough time. Because if I am, she is and vice versa. Acknowledging that you are going through trials together can really increase the bond of your marriage. Living in distinct boxes can actually drive you apart.

While we’ve been through tough years before, this particular time was grueling. Even though I own my own business, I was forced to put myself on unemployment for a period of about six months. For whatever reason, I couldn’t land a client if my life depended on it. And as time passed, it seemed my life was beginning to. My company had credit card debt that it couldn’t pay, a fully extended line of credit that was at risk and no employees. Of course, this doesn’t stay within the company for long before it bursts forth within the family. It’s amazing how quickly you can go from comfortable and complacent to realizing the very home you live in is at risk of being taken by the bank.

So what happens to a marriage during this time? A lot of things could happen, but I only want to speak of what happened to mine. My faith in God sustained me during this period, that is paramount. But the faith of my wife (in not only God, but in me) was equally invaluable. The pressure that I felt to provide for my family was incredible. Every time I would see her fretting over the bills, I would feel like a failure. Voices in my head were telling me that she deserved better, why was she sticking with me?

But one day she changed all of that. She forced me to sit down and really talk about what was going on. “What is the worst thing that can happen?”, she asked. At this point I broke down and said “Are you crazy?  We could lose our house, have to sell all of our stuff… we could be living under a bridge”. After all, she asked for the worst case scenario, and I totally vented. But her response to me changed everything.

“We don’t need this house” she said. “And if we end up living under a bridge, we’ll live there together. I’m there for you and with you no matter what happens or where we live. We’ll continue to trust in God’s provision and ask him to even further strengthen our marriage”. I don’t think I ever felt more love for her than I did in that moment.

Fast forward a year and we came through that storm. We still have our house and our family is intact. God showed up in a big way for us, and for that we are eternally grateful. It would have been easy for her to “pile on” during that time and add additional stress to my life. But she didn’t. At a time when I was at my weakest, she shared her strength with me.

What we didn’t realize or appreciate at the time was the number of people that were watching us go through this. Friends and family that knew our situation wondered how we would weather this storm. Seeing us lean on each other (as well as God) served as a positive testimony to them that in turn inspired their own relationships.

Shocking marriage isn’t just about living the ideal life, it’s about living life in a God-honoring manner regardless of circumstance. All marriages go though seasons. It’s natural. Use the good times to strengthen and embolden your relationship, so that when the tough times come, it’s natural to help each other through.

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