I Wanted God’s Best for Marriage

I was sixteen years old when my father sat me down and informed me that he was divorcing my mother and within weeks would be marrying my mother’s best friend. My whole world fell apart in a matter of minutes. I had thought my whole childhood that my parents were happy. They were devout Christians. Why, my father was a minister for a denominational church.

During the months that followed, my three brothers and I were torn between what we thought was real and what we discovered was false. I concluded that if this is what a Christian marriage was—a facade for infidelity—then I would have nothing of it. My fear of getting married and failing at it was so great that I decided then I did not want to marry.

Only two years later, my college roommate introduced me to The Way Ministry. As I took our ministry’s classes, the Word of God I learned showed me His plan for a Christian marriage. I learned in Ephesians, chapter 5, the roles God meant for a Christian man and woman to fill in marriage. I saw powerful examples in the household of The Way of married couples who lived the Word of God in their marriages. These husbands and wives taught me the fundamentals of a strong marriage, in which both man and woman are like-minded and committed to put God first in their lives.

The Word of God I learned showed me what went wrong in my parents’ marriage. There was no companionship. They each lived separate lives. The only thing that kept them under the same roof was raising their four children. I decided that my life would be different from my parents’ lives. I wanted God’s best for marriage in my life. And as I built the truths of His Word about this vital category of life into the fabric of my thinking, God delivered me from all the fear of failure that enslaved me!

I began to date my sisters in Christ in the household and endeavored to live God’s love in these relationships. I built my believing to find the woman whom I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, moving God’s Word together. I got clear and concerned about what my heavenly Father wanted for me. At age twenty-six, I married my best friend. We have enjoyed over thirty-five years of marriage now. Because of the Word of God that I learned in The Way Ministry, I overcame my fear of failure, married a beautiful and virtuous woman, and today enjoy a wonderful life of serving God and His people together!

Teaching My Children God’s Word—I Can Do!

I truly have loved growing up in this ministry. The truths that I have learned over many years have helped me be victorious through many situations I have faced. God’s Word really is so practical for every stage of our lives!

One of the ways that I have most recently been applying truths I have learned in this ministry is in motherhood. My parents are great examples to me of diligently teaching the Word to us kids as we lived life. Now this was something that would be my responsibility. Before I had our first child, I wondered if I would be able to apply what God’s Word says in Deuteronomy 6:7:

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

It seemed that this would be a daunting task—to teach my children the Word diligently when talking, when walking, when lying down, when living life. It seemed like a huge task! I doubted whether I could do this all the time. However, as God always does, He works in us to help us accomplish whatever we set out to do. This is what I established in my heart after our first child was born and then again after our second child was born.

As our first child was growing, I realized that I really do know plenty of scriptures that apply to the situations we were facing. I also realized that I was already applying so much of the Word in my life, but usually quietly to myself. A big difference when you put children into the mix is that it is more of a verbal, out loud recognition of a verse that applies to the situation. Teaching my child how God’s Word applies to life’s situations was something that I could do. It can be an easy part of life because “It is written” is my standard!

One of the scriptures that we have utilized many times is II Timothy 1:7:

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

This verse has helped me keep my sound mind in the face of a whiny child who is pushing his boundaries. This verse has helped my children keep their sound minds when they are learning different emotions and how to deal with them or when they’re simply learning that obeying their parents is the best option.

There have been a few times when I have been helping one of our children calm down, and sometimes I have been tempted to think, “How can I get him to stop crying? I don’t know what I can do!” Then quickly after that, I remember that I can always give him the Word. It always works.

So I will usually quote II Timothy 1:7 (or have him quote the verse to me if he is old enough) and remind him that God has given us sound minds. It doesn’t take long for the tears to stop and for his body and mind to get peaceful. I know that as our children grow older, this verse and many, many more will continue to apply to all of life’s situations.

How thankful we are for the truths of God’s Word which help keep the peace in our homes and in our hearts and in the hearts of our children.

Living the Word Is a Win-Win

One evening, my husband and I were having a heated discussion. We had been sharing our different opinions on a topic all evening, but we weren’t getting anywhere! We decided to go to the Living God’s Word as a Family class syllabus to get a little help. We read this quote: “To resolve conflicts or avoid them in the first place, both lovingly ask questions to find out what each wants and to find a solution which blends your interests. You want it to be a win-win situation where both are blessed.”

After we went to the Word in the syllabus, it was much easier to communicate our perspectives on the topic. We decided together to go to the Word first before sharing our opinions so that we could start off the discussion with what God had to say. Since then, we have revisited the truths we learned from the class in many of life’s situations, and we have always grown together. Now that we have a new baby, we are again going to the material to learn how to live God’s Word as a family. We are incredibly thankful to make the Word taught in this class our standard.

God Is Good to His Children

I knew all my grandparents throughout my childhood and as a young adult. They were each generous with their grandchildren to share life lessons as well as to teach by example. Their teaching stood out in part because of their casual manner. After all, they had the benefit of giving me back to Mom and Dad at the end of the visit. But more than this, their sharing of their life was purely out of love. They weren’t teaching me so their home life would be improved. They simply wanted to expose me to good learning for my growth.

As a result of having known both good parents and grandparents, I have many rich memories and a broader base of examples and reasons to live according to sound principles.

Proverbs 22:6:
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Later in life one of my grandmothers became sick and was in the hospital. She was in her mideighties. My wife and I were both long-standing believers by this time. My grandmother knew our stand regarding God’s Word, and she had never expressed a negative about us. We were blessed that we had planned a trip home at the time she was in the hospital, which allowed us to visit her. The timing of our visit was ideal. Mom and Dad were there, and we enjoyed family time together. Everyone was cheerful.

During the visit, my wife and I had a short time alone with my grandmother. She confided that earlier in the day, the doctors had given her a rather bad diagnosis without much direction as to what they could do about it. We asked her if she was afraid. She said, “No, I’m not afraid of anything.” It wasn’t a defiant confession or boast. She actually seemed not to have considered the question before we asked, and having now thought about it, simply didn’t find any fear in her thoughts. We asked if she would like for us to pray for her. She said that she would be very happy if we would. Our prayer was simple, but focused. She appeared to believe along with us wholeheartedly. One of the verses that we both had in our hearts to share was III John 2:

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

The simple truth that God cares about us and wants us to be whole communicated easily to a woman who had lived love and demonstrated care for her family, including ten grandchildren, for decades.

Two days later, my mom called to let us know that my grandmother had been released from the hospital and was back at home. Once at home, she recovered full strength and soon enjoyed resuming her regular activities. I am so thankful to have been taught in The Way Ministry not just great verses on wholeness, but also how to work God’s Word to see for myself that God is good to His children, and how to believe for His promises to come to pass.

Believing Is the Title Deed

In 2011, the Word of God that I had learned for years in The Way Ministry made it possible for my husband and me to start a family. We had tried for some time to become pregnant, and after more than a year it was recommended that we try in vitro fertilization, a process which can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. As we made our decision to pursue this route, God was right there, providing for our every need. God’s timing was such that I happened to be working for a company that covered 80% of the in vitro medications and procedures, making the process affordable when otherwise we could not have paid for it. Following the in vitro procedure, we received a call from our doctor warning us that our outcome looked bleak and that we should prepare ourselves for the very likely event that we would not become pregnant. It was a moment in which we needed to believe God and His Word. I remembered what this ministry had taught me about believing.

Hebrews 11:1:
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Way Ministry taught me that faith, or believing, is the title deed to receiving what we want in life. What we believe for according to God’s Word is ours, even before we see it with our human eyes. This verse is what I clung to for ten days as we allowed the in vitro process to take effect and waited to find out if we were going to have a baby. The day I received the call from the doctor’s office to tell us we were pregnant is among the sweetest and most joyous times of my life. It was the Word I had been taught that gave me the strength, endurance, and peace I needed to believe for one of the greatest blessings I have ever received, the blessing of children.