This past Sunday evening, my husband and I attended the Love Worth Fighting For tour with Kirk Cameron and Warren Barfield. Before I go any further, I will go ahead and say that I have permission from my man to tell this story :) Also, I hesitated posting this because it doesn't do justice to the feelings that I felt that night (plus it's a rather long post).
I had heard about this marriage event on the radio and checked it out a couple months back. We were not sure if Josh would be off that weekend, so we didn't pre-order tickets. If he was off and we could get a sitter, we would just pay at the door. And it worked out that he would be off and his parents & sister would keep the kids for us. Perfect.
On the drive to the conference we started arguing pretty heavily over something so small and insignificant. That is usually how our arguments begin...over something stupid. When we arrive at the church, I was determined to not go in; we were going home; I was not going in there with him, no way jose!
This lasted about 10-15 minutes, before he finally said "Let's just go in there, and see what these people have to say. And maybe we can take something away to help us and apply it in our marriage."
I tried to act like that didn't touch my heart...I did not want him to see how much it meant to me that he actually wanted to be there with me, even though we had been arguing and fighting like fools.
So, we went in, found our seats and sat quietly, waiting for it to begin.
The subject matter was amazing. PERFECT for our relationship, especially considering the events that had just taken place in the car!
Summary of the 1st message from Kirk Cameron:
First thing: Genuine Conversion. The heart of a marital problem is the problem of your heart! Only God can cure a sinful heart. Saying a prayer does not save you. The Bible shows us what our hearts should look like. Sin is not horizontal: between you and me. Sin is vertical: between Me & God!
Second thing: There is only one person on the planet that you can change! And it isn't your spouse!!!
In marriage you are either surrendering self or singing Sinatra ('I did it my way').
Selfishness is the big beast in marriage: Be on the watch for "Seperateness".
Resurrection Power brings things to life! It's not about getting a new spouse; it's about giving your spouse a new you!
Third thing: You & I must have a strategy to defeat sin. The "don't do it" strategy won't work on it's own because the "I want it" is stronger. Deal harshly with your sin! Remove your temptations completely! Kill the sin out of you and your marriage! 1 Cor 10:13
Warren Barfield then takes the stage to discuss the story of the theme song to the movie Fireproof and the theme of this tour. He described how he wrote the song months after a terrible fight with his wife that could have ended their marriage. A fight that began, with a pretzel. Something so small and insignificant began world war 3 in their home; This part here, oh it seriously ministered to my heart; as we sat there, listening to his story, I know I replayed the same type of fights in my head. Warren said the fight ended with him voicing that he wanted out. I've said those words before. So has my husband. Then Warren said he didn't leave. It was as if angels guarded the door. And how he and his wife began Christian counseling, and today are still together.
His song is "Love is Not a Fight" and I attached it at the bottom. It is now one of my favorites, one of the songs that when I hear it, I think of my husband's face and his love for me. And the fact that he is worth fighting through the temptations, fighting selfishness, fighting the flesh and all of the arrows that the devil shoots our way. Love is not a fight, but it's something worth fighting for.
Love does not keep a record of wrongs.
Fight for eachother harder than you fight against eachother.*
We have 2 choices: to fight or to leave.
The only way to victory is to fight: The bigger the battle, the greater the victory. Fight for it!
Warren followed all this up with singing the song and then began showing photos of his family, including a little boy that his family sponsors through Food for the Hungry. The stories that he told; the fact that it only costs $32 a month and that's cheaper than one date night meal! It touched my heart; but I never would have thought that it touched my husband's heart too. Warren asked if anyone wanted a packet to sponsor a child to raise their hand. My husband was one of the first with his hand raised high in the air. Now you have to understand my husband: very shy and laid back, quiet, until you get to know him. Never does anything like that! Wow! You know what? I fell even more in love with him then!
So now we await for our child's information. I am so excited about this. I just know that this child will be such a blessing to our home, and I pray that our small $32 a month and our letters will bless him/her!
If you feel convicted to help, please follow the link for more information. Be a blessing!
Summary of the 2nd half from Kirk Cameron:
Everything rises and falls on leadership. God gave men the faith leader role.
1 Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.
Dwell with eachother: Spend time together. You don't catch it from being around friends with a great marriage. It isn't contagious. There isn't enough time in the day to do all of your hobbies and still have a great marriage. Some things you will just have to skip.
Study Eachother: Get to know her-What she loves, hates, what makes her tick
Women love to be understood; Romance springs from sacrifice & planning, not from convenience; Intimacy with your wife is the icing on the cake at the end of a good day, NOT the fire escape at the end of a bad day; A little help goes a long way.
Study eachother: Take notes!
Honor your wife: Make a big deal about her in front of others; Reward her; Give her what she deserves
Protect her: She is physically the weaker vessel; Make her feel safe; Manage aggression in a conflict; Do not fear her into silence or make her cower in your presence.
Open up to her:To have togetherness you must open up to one another
Prayer life: Men are responsible for the condition of their marriage; The key is consistently liveing 1 Peter 3:7
After the message, he opened the altar up for all couples to pray: There were so many that they were kneeling in the isles. Josh had half stood and we were waiting for an opening at first, and finally we just sat, bowed our heads together, holding hands and silently prayed to God for our marriage. Tears rolled down my face; my husband (although not audibly/verbally) was praying with me and for us; this Josh, this man- I had not seen this side of him before. It was beautiful.
I'm so thankful for him; so thankful that he talked me into getting out of the car and walking into that building so that God could begin tightening us back together. We were falling apart in some ways and didn't even know it. And we still have a lot of work to do, but I do believe that Sunday June 5th was an important night in our marriage. I love Josh and I couldn't imagine life without him. And I know that God is working in his life in ways that are unknown to me and that's ok. I'm not supposed to be in control. I'm not supposed to be the leader.
Thanks for reading this long post. I pray that there was something of worth buried in these words for you to take with you. Praise God for marriage and unity!