In my last blog, I wrote about the fact that transformation is possible in your relationship. Well, IF you ever doubted that fact, the following TRUE LIFE story should FOREVER erase your doubts.
Hi, we are Shawn and Heather Naughton. We are Christians now. But, it wasn’t always that way (to say the least!).
For some of my life, I (Shawn) was a drug-using, gun-toting, angry young man. And, to top it all off, my father was put in prison for attempted murder. In those days, I could have whipped you just for looking at me the wrong way.
Nearly 16 years ago now, Heather was filing for divorce from me and living with another man. But, then, something happened. First, I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want things to end with Heather. So, I sought out advice from a Christian at work. Second, my wife and I got saved and decided to try to make our marriage work.
It was about 6 months later that we found our way to Scott and Cindy’s 13-week marriage enrichment class. I remember looking at Scott and saying, “I’ve been in and out of drug rehab for 10 years and NOTHING has helped. If you think you can help me, I’ll do everything you tell me”. We needed so much help, we actually took the class TWO TIMES!
But, we learned things that really changed us – like how different our personalities were and how to make that work for us, how to talk about our conflict through the “pass the pen” method, how to share our needs through the 5 & 10 list, how to love as a husband and respect as a wife, and so much more.
But, the most important thing I (Shawn) learned was that God wanted me to lay down my life for my wife. Boy, was that hard. I had always been about myself. But, something was different now. I wanted it to work, so I actually listened and did what Scott said. And, our marriage really improved !
And, then, something just as amazing happened about 3 years later. Our fertility doctor told us that we would never get pregnant again without fertility help. So, we went through a year of fertility treatments. After lots of money and time, nothing happened. So, we gave up on the fertility treatments and put our total trust in God – we left it in his hands. Well, miracles of miracles. We got pregnant. We had one daughter… And, then we had another daughter….And, then, we had a third daughter!! This, after the doctors said it WOULD NEVER HAPPEN !
And, then, something else nearly as amazing happened. About 5 years ago, we were asked by our church leaders to help mentor and counsel couples in their marriages. Now, just wrap your brain around that one! We went from absolute certain divorce to being asked by our pastors to help disciple other couples. We serve one astonishing God who is in the business of transforming marriages! And, so we agreed to help. And God has used us to help minister to many couples in these past five years.
It’s been 15 years now since we were in the marriage class the first time. Suffice it to say it hasn’t always been easy – but, it’s always been good. We have followed Christ now for 15 years and we’ve been actively involved in a local church for all those years.
Now, maybe some of your situations are outside of our box (you’re in a rougher situation than where we came from — drug-using, gun-toting, father in prison, wife living with another man and filing for divorce). Well, I can’t speak to your situation, except to say that God says “all things are possible”.
BUT, for those of you inside of our box (in a situation LESS severe than what we began with), we are here to tell you that Christ’s power is sufficient to put your marriage at the mountaintop. IF it happened to us, it CAN happen to you.
If you are feeling the tug at your heart (like we did) to do something about your marriage, don’t hesitate. Make this the best Christmas ever & act on that desire and begin that process of transformation. We can tell you something – after deciding to follow Jesus, it was the BEST DECISION we have ever made.
PS ~ if you’d like to ask us questions, you can reach us at email@example.com
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