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On Monday we had Kassie Prather from Dwelling Place giving us some great advice! She just had so much of it I decided to split it into two days so we could soak it all in! You can check out the first set of questions here. Just in case you didn’t get to read Monday’s post meet Kassie:
She and her husband have been married for more than 5 years now. They do ministry work full time and even met through ministry. They are just a wonderful couple! I have known Kassie since middle school. Now onto the good stuff:
What is the most important skill any couple should know and use?
Applying the gospel to your marriage. Remember that you are a sinner married to another sinner, both in need of grace—how profoundly that can influence your entire relationship. This skill requires you to know the gospel inside out, to allow it to envelop everything that makes you you. Once you grasp hold of the truth that grace overcomes, it permeates the atmosphere of your marriage. When you unleash the gospel to yourself and to your spouse, you are creating both a mask that will filter out the deadly poison of bitterness and a salve that will heal all wounds. Different people have different tendencies: for some, preaching the gospel to yourself will make a world of change in your marriage because it will obliterate any legalistic, shame-inducing bondage, while others need to focus on living out the gospel more for their spouse’s sake, sensing a need for approval or fear of abandonment. Any other skill feeds the cycle of performance-based relationship, but allowing the gospel to define your marriage is inviting God to display His power through you.
What should you never say to your spouse?
Be super careful to avoid comments that are neither helpful nor encouraging nor loving. There are tons of verses on speech that we should use and language to veer from. Riley and I had a talk this morning about the fact that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). When we allow the meanest thing that comes to our mind to fly through our mouth, it’s only fruit from a tree that we have allowed to grow inside of us. The main thing is to catch those hurtful words and phrases while they are still thoughts and ask God to uproot those trees from our hearts. If we hear words fly from our mouths that are seasoned with grace and love, that’s simply fruit from the trees we are cultivating. So my advice is to tend your inner garden—the rest will follow naturally.
What is the best resource you would recommend?
I have lots (of course). If you need a book on marriage, my favorite is When Sinners Say “I Do” by Dave Harvey. If you want a public example of a godly marriage, check out Mark and Grace Driscoll from Seattle. (Pastor Mark’s sermon series called The Peasant Princess is an AMAZING resource for sex, as well. Don’t worry, Christian girls—it’s tasteful. But it’s awesome too.) If you are looking for a creative place to get ideas on date nights, I love www.thedatingdivas.com. To understand more of the gospel and the purpose of marriage, get into the Word and start intentionally digging in. If you find yourself where Riley and I were and you just need someone to talk to in the Tulsa area, Bret Ellard in Shawnee is amazing. And if you feel like taking your marriage to a new level as far as friends go, plug into a Bible-believing small group for consistent encouragement, accountability, and spiritual food. (This shouldn’t replace church, but the more intimate setting can definitely be helpful.) If you’re a musically-inclined person, you might like the Steven Curtis Chapman album “All About Love” or the newer “When I’m With You” collection by JJ Heller.
How have you made your marriage work?
Can I be snarky? I haven’t. Lol. If the health of this marriage rested solely on the two of us (or me), we would have just upped the statistic of divorce. That’s what’s so great about the gospel. We are utterly incapable of perfection, and the God who is able comes and begins a work in us, helping us, convicting us, counseling us, encouraging us. It’s not what we do; it’s what He has already done. When we lose sight of that, we risk having a Kentucky-fried relationship, extra crispy. We moved up to Connecticut a year and a half ago as church planting missionaries. The enemy has placed lots of little grenades along the way, so I can speak from experience. It’s sooo easy to get caught up again on the performance train. But putting up reminders in places we need them and planting seeds of grace at every available opportunity—that’s where it’s at. That’s the sweet spot of resting in Christ and allowing Him to form (or reform) your marriage into what He has in mind. The beauty of it all is that the best relationship we can concoct in our wildest dreams can’t even begin to compare with what He wants for us. He is good, and we get to follow Him. (That’s the happily ever after part.)
I wanted to thank Kassie for letting me pick her brain a bit! I knew that she would give us some great things to think about so I just had to have her guest post! I want to know:
What did Kassie write today that touched you?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,