IMG_2369This series has really been good for Joel and I.  We are loving hearing Craig Groeschel talk on Sundays and enjoy laughing as we learn.  There are so many key points he has made already in just two sessions.  I am praying that you all are able to take away some big changes in your marriage after this!
Our Belong Pastor, Nicole Walton, shared her thoughts about fighting fair.  She has graciously allowed me to share them with all of you!  Thank you Nicole!
I save my most intense emotion for my spouse. There is no other person I will lose my mind with quicker than my husband, Patrick. At the lowest points in our marriage, I can never be more mad, more confused, more hurt, and completely apathetic to another person’s feelings than I am when we fight. And we fight hard. The things I say…the way I act…never in a million years would I consider it appropriate behavior with any other human being, yet with my husband, in that moment it’s acceptable and I expect him to sit and listen to every part of it. Now granted, Pat can fire back. And when he does it’s usually just the right amount of fuel and justification I need to excuse all of my behavior. And there we are –  evenly matched, throwing punches, and going a full 12 rounds!
There is not a single person in the world who loves me on a level even close to the man who gave his heart to me and me only 18 years ago. There is also not a single person in the world who can hurt me as deeply as that man does. The two of us at our best – we are a powerhouse. The two of us at our worst – well, we are a mess. 
What if God designed and created marriage to be a training ground for working out what it truly means to be a follower of Christ. Think about it, in no other relationship does disagreement hurt so bad and wanting to be right regardless of the cost have such power over you. Loving my husband in a way that honors God is where I learn to put my emotions in check and then aside and I choose to live unselfishly. Giving when it’s not easy. Loving when it’s not easy. Dying to self and realizing the relationship is not all about me is a perfect picture of how God wants me to follow him. Following God is tough. Marriage is tough. Some days, I want to get out of the ring. I am so thankful my husband is faithful. That he hasn’t stepped out of the ring. That he chooses to stay in and fight for us, for our family. My husband at his best, is a beautiful reflection of how Christ loves me. And the two of us together – when we choose to be a powerhouse and not a mess – is an incredible earthly picture of the amazing relationship that I can have with my Savior. Today, I am thankful for the training ground. And today I am extremely grateful for my sparring partner.
  Nicole left me with a lot to think about after reading her thoughts.  I am praying for you this week!  You do not want to miss a Sunday in this series.  This Sunday is HAVE FUN!  If you do happen to miss any of the videos, I encourage you to take time to watch them at home!  Also, if you have not picked up the devotion packet from the Believe table, do that as well.  They are a great addition to the videos!