Author Brad Rhoads never anticipated having trouble in his marriage. He and his wife, Marilyn, were so confident in their relationship that they were married within ten months of their first date and left a two-day marriage conference after just 30 minutes because they didn’t believe they needed guidance.
Their marriage faced trouble right away.
Brad blamed Marilyn. And Marilyn blamed Brad. She considered him a workaholic who devoted so much of himself to his law practice that he had nothing left to offer their marriage. And he believed that she nagged him about his faults. His clients and colleagues all considered him attentive and engaged, so naturally Marilyn was the one with the problem.
Their future together was in jeopardy.
Everything changed when, at his uncle’s urging, Brad attended a men’s conference. While there, he was convicted about how unfairly he’d been treating Marilyn. He went home committed to transforming his marriage.
Brad and Marilyn now teach couples how to keep their eyes focused on the Lord and on each other. They advise husbands and wives to pursue three goals:
- Consistent check-ups – On a routine basis, couples should leave behind the “work” of marriage (such as children and schedules) to focus on their relationship.
- Structure – Find practical resources to improve your marriage (such as books, marriage conferences, counseling, etc.). Evaluate your improvements at each check-up.
- Keeping it in perspective – Always remember the big picture or “why” of your marriage.
If you’re feeling complacent about your marriage, join me on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Loving the Story of Your Marriage.” Brad and Marilyn Rhoads are with us to talk about how you can experience the transformational changes they’ve seen in their own marriage.
Brad and Marilyn are cofounders of Grace Marriage, a church-based ministry that equips local churches to strengthen marriages.
And while you’re online, why not take a few moments to try our free Marriage Assessment online tool? It will help you quickly determine what’s working well in your relationship and identify areas where you may need some improvement.
If your marriage is in serious trouble, I encourage you to speak with one of our caring Christian counselors on staff. It would be their privilege to offer you a free consultation. Call us, leave your name and number, and they’ll get back with you just as soon as possible. The number during business hours is 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).
I also want to remind you about Hope Restored. If you’re on the brink of divorce, these marriage intensives can go a long way toward facilitating healing between you and your spouse and bringing restoration to your relationship. The intensives take place in three locations: Branson, MO; Greenville, MI; and the WinShape Retreat Center in Rome, GA. The number for Hope Restored is 1-866-875-2915, or visit online.
You might also want to consider a book written by two of our colleagues, Drs. Greg Smalley and Robert Paul, called 9 Lies That Will Destroy Your Marriage: And the Truths That Will Save It and Set It Free. In it, they examine common struggles in marriage – everything from a work/family balance to dealing with serious issues like infidelity – and provide practical answers.
I know you’ll find this book to be a valuable resource for your marriage, and you can have a free copy for a financial gift of any amount to Focus on the Family. Visit our website for details or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).