An XO Marriage Story: The Heart of Forgiveness

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We got good really at putting on masks, but we didn’t know we had cracks in our marriage where Satan would take advantage

We’ve been married 34 years, and we have one son and two grandbabies now. Our marriage had ups and downs like any normal marriage. We got good really at putting on masks, but we didn’t know we had cracks in our marriage where Satan would take advantage.

Julie

Those normal ups and downs became more serious and started to feel like real spiritual warfare. I caught Kent kissing a coworker, then I reconnected with an old boyfriend and faced my own temptation. Kent and I both felt the pressure against our marriage, so we went to counseling, did The Love Dare, and committed to all the things you’re supposed to do when your marriage is in trouble. We reconciled and went on our merry way, thinking, We beat the odds! and We know what we’re doing now! We even started a marriage ministry and hosting conferences, but we were still doing most of it on our own—without God.

The Real Fight for Our Marriage Began

Kent traveled a lot for work and went to a really dark place. He started drinking and became involved with a woman and ended up being intimate with her. He and I talked about it, and we tried to get through it, but the real fight for our marriage was only just beginning.

Kent came home late one Christmas Eve, drunk. He kept yelling and swearing at me, saying, “I’m around the corner!” But an hour would pass, then another. I knew something was wrong. When he finally got home, I thought we could pretend to be okay for our family. I was wrong.

Then, God opened my eyes, and I could see that the enemy had a hold on our marriage. I thought, I’m in real spiritual warfare. We’d been in situations like that before and prayed our way through, but this time was very different—I didn’t just see the influence in our relationship; I saw it in stress at my job and in my health. I got so physically sick I had to resign and even relearn how to sit, walk, and drive again.

God told me to go back to The Love Dare. I made my husband a nice breakfast, thinking, I’m just going to love him and let God do the rest.

That’s when Kent told me that he had slept with another woman, he loved her, and he was moving out to a hotel. It broke me. I felt so dirty, lost, and alone.  We’d gone through so much—I didn’t understand how we were in that position.

Kent

I spiraled out of control. I tried to get back to where I needed to be but just didn’t know how to get there, how to cut ties with the other woman and bring that to an end. Eventually, Julie and I started talking again. I moved into our garage apartment. The whole time I was gone, Julie started doing some really intense praying. She would come home on her lunch break and pray in every room of the house, forbidding Satan in our home and in my heart. Every time I got drunk and mean, she kept saying, “This isn’t you. Something’s wrong, and it’s not you.”

Every time I got drunk and mean, she kept saying, “This isn’t you. Something’s wrong, and it’s not you.”

That’s when Julie started watching videos from XO, clips from other pastors, and movies like War Room, and listening to worship music. She would send me clips as she came across them. Watching those videos brought me back together. They hit home through the fog Satan put around my mind and gave me weapons for the warfare we faced. Finally, I broke, got on my knees, and begged God to forgive me.

I cut off all communication with the other woman, changed phones, and asked Julie to forgive me. We began a process of healing, started watching XO videos, reading marriage books like Love and Respect, and went to a counselor to figure out where we had gotten weak.

Now, every morning, I get up and read my Bible, we do our devotion together, and pray that there are no cracks in our marriage. It all keeps me grounded.

Wise Words from Kent and Julie

Go to the Bible and forgive. The goal is to reconcile and reconnect. But even if you don’t, you’ve got to forgive. When you’re facing this kind of spiritual warfare against your marriage, the only way you’re going to win, heal, and forgive is to seek God, read your Bible, get on your knees, and get real.

When you’re facing this kind of spiritual warfare against your marriage, the only way you’re going to win, heal, and forgive is to seek God, read your Bible, get on your knees, and get real.

The Love Dare works. It’s hard to do nice things for, dote on, or spoil your spouse when you feel like they’ve wronged you, but God uses that selflessness to bless and heal each other and your marriage.

Do you have a story of how XO has impacted your marriage? We would love to hear it! Submit your story here.

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