Ripple effects always multiply.
Sometimes in life, it can feel like we’re just a simple pawn in a large game of chess that God is playing against Satan. The stakes are high, and God is busy making all the moves that we don’t quite understand. Moves that can either put us in the line of fire or leave us with a small taste of victory. That’s the game of chess and the game of life.
But I also believe that’s God’s plan for your marriage is one filled with moves of sacrifice and moves of gain.
With all these moving pieces around you, it can be hard to trust that there’s a plan behind all of it. It can feel like you’re caught up in a series of circumstances and situations with no clear way out. In marriage, that’s such a hard place to be.
Believe me—I’ve been there. But rest assured, God has a plan for you and your marriage.
God knows how your life is going to unfold long before you ever do.
I grew up with the most hard-headed, passionate parents. They would always say to one another, “We are not getting divorced.” One of the main reasons they said this was because they didn’t want to do that to each other—or me and my sister.
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They could see the ripple effect their marriage had all the way from the beginning. The decisions they made weren’t just ones made in a vacuum—those decisions affected many of the people around them.
Not only did they decide their marriage was going to last, but they were going to make sure they were happy along the way. They could see it wasn’t just about staying married, but being happily married. And being happily married means at some point, you’re going to have to fight when things get tough.
This attitude my parents carried made my mom a sort of wise counselor to her friends over the years. As they would come by and seek her help, I’d often listen in on their conversations. I listened to countless stories about the different marital situations her friends were going through. From alcoholic and workaholic husbands to unfaithfulness and infidelity, I got to hear all about the ugly side of marriage. The situations that seem just hopeless enough to quit.
And that’s the answer I thought fit so many of those situations. I kept wondering why they were coming to my mom and wasting her time with the same problems that just weren’t going away. I saw no hope.
Then my mom wisely reminded me—in marriage, you might have rough days, sometimes rough months, and sometimes rough years. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.
Your marriage is worth it.
That day, my mom planted a seed for my own marriage that I would draw on constantly as a military wife.
Back when we were in the military, the Navy Seals had a 97% divorce rate. Chris and I knew we didn’t want to be a part of that statistic. We were passionate, in love, willing to fight, and felt like we had it all dialed in. But as time went on, we began to understand the reason behind that statistic more and more. First responder and military marriages are hard. There are things coming against those marriages that other couples don’t ever have to face.
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But when things got hard, I would always think back to my parents’ relationship, the way they helped their friends through their issues, and how those friends would often come out on the other side happily married. From experience, I could finally understand that even through the roughest of times, your marriage is always worth the fight.
When you decide your marriage is worth the fight, it becomes that much easier to believe in God’s plan for your life—even through the losses and through the gains that come in this chess game of life.
Fight for your marriage.
It was when I was in the thick of my wilderness that I was reminded to fight the hardest for my marriage. The simplest way I could do this was to go on a date with my husband. But at the time, I didn’t even want to look at him, let alone ask him on a date. My friend who was in a first responder marriage reminded me that the times when you want a date the least are the times you need it the most.
What she said stuck with me and saved my marriage. On a date, I could see why I liked Chris and why we got married in the first place. We could get away from all the things we had going on and actually enjoy each other. It made it that much easier to see that my marriage was worth fighting for, no matter what we were facing. Those dates made all the difference for us and inspired how I built The Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation.
Many of the programs we’ve created get spouses away from their lives and alone together to hash things out and invest in their marriages. It can be a beautiful experience if we take the time to do things like this and allow it to bring us closer together.
Be the ripple effect in your marriage.
You’re not just any old pawn in God’s chess game of life against Satan. Sometimes when we’ve taken on more loss than gain, it can feel like that, but it’s not true. In fact, you’re the ripple effect God has wanted to use this entire time to orchestrate His mastermind plan against Satan. You showing up in your relationship, deciding your marriage is worth it, and having the faith to fight for your marriage is God dismantling the attacks of the enemy. It’s all a part of His plan.
Being a ripple effect also means your choices affect more than just your immediate surroundings. You may not see it now, but your decision to show up and invest in your marriage is one that will speak to the people in your life and shift the world around you.
Ripple effects always multiply.
I know this from personal experience. If it wasn’t for the people in my life who decided to fight for their marriage, I wouldn’t have had those lessons to draw from in my own life. When things got hard, I could remember the words my mom said, the relationships she counseled, and the advice and encouragement of my friends.
These people all had a ripple effect in my life and showed me that my marriage was worth the fight. You never know who you’re influencing just by surviving.
You never know who you’re influencing just by surviving.
This message is from a session at XO Conference 2018. To view more XO Conference sessions, visit xonow.com.