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How We Overcame our Struggles

I began Sunday’s message, “Fighting IN or Fighting FOR” by sharing my story of a rough period Keyna and I had in our marriage about 8 years ago. I love my wife and our marriage and am so thankful that Jesus gave her to me. This year we will celebrate our 23rd year of marriage!! You can hear the details of our issues in the message (should be here later today).

As painful as that period was to go through as a couple I truly believe that we are so much better BECAUSE we went through it. How did we come through? Keyna finally chilled out and accepted me for who i am am and automatically things got better? Yeah right!! NO, THAT DEFINITELY isn’t what happened. One day I woke up and realized that SHE wasn’t the problem, I was. My wife wasn’t picking on me or nagging, she was sharing her heart. What did i do? I applied the teaching that I shared in this past weekend’s message. I can truly say that this message was formed from the scripture and my own personal experiences as a husband.

Here are some of the steps that I took to become the husband Keyna deserved to be married to:

  • Step One: I started listening. Up to this point I heard what she said every time that we had this argument – my issue is that I was not doing anything with what I was hearing (James 1:19-23). I began to listen and realize that my actions were making my wife unhappy. As I said Sunday, if you are having the same fight over and over somebody isn’t listening. In order for me to take this step I had to lay down my pride – I had to say that my marriage relationship was worth more to me than being “right” was. I had to lay my desire to be right at the feet of my Savior – when I did I discovered that I wasn’t “so” right.
  • Step Two: I began to communicate with my wife in the way that she desired. I have always been the kind of person who doesn’t open up easily and kept my feelings to myself. Keyna wanted to know what was going on with me, she desired to be my helper (Gen 2:18), the person that God designed her to be yet I would not let her in. This was and continues to be hard for me as my natural tendency is to take things in and bury them very deep in me. In order to win in this area of our marriage I had to make a conscious effort to tell her things that I just didn’t want to talk about.
  • Step Three: I asked God to help me love her the way Jesus loves the Church (Eph 5:25). The desire of my heart was/is to love her the way that Jesus does – to see her through His eyes… and see how precious she is. Keyna Pittman is my most valued earthly possession. Get ya some of that! That may make some of you uncomfortable as you would not count your spouse as being your greatest earthly possession. If asked to do so, many would list their kidz as their most valuable possession – and I get that except that God expects us to love our spouse before them. Let me remind you that loving your spouse more doesn’t make you love your kids less. If your love is an outpouring of the love of Jesus in your life it will help you to love your kids more. YOUR KIDZ NEED YOU TO LOVE YOUR SPOUSE FIRST! Kidz want to know their parents are in love!! They might think it’s kind of “gross” but it brings security among all the families they see splitting up in their friends lives.
  • Step Four: I got the spiritual priority order right. I gave it to you earlier. God comes first (Matthew 22:37 ESV), then your spouse (Ephesians 5:25 ESV), then family (Psalm 127:3 ESV), then everyone else (by the way, this does include work. There are times where you have to do what you have to do to make things happen workwise, but some people use supporting the family AN EXCUSE and don’t give their family priority over work. None of you will lie and your deathbed and say, “I wish i would have worked more) and finally yourself (Ph. 2:3) Check this: someday your kidz will leave… and if we make life all about them and let our marriage suffer there will be nothing to live for when they leave. I want to make sure there is still a Mike and Keyna in 6 years when Matt leaves for college.

After 22 years our marriage is strong and enjoyable. Of course we have our difficulties and challenges as everyone does. But I believe we hold our relationship as the highlight of our life. Best of all (and most importantly) Jesus is at the center of our relationship – you can never go wrong if you start with your Savior. While I am still not the husband Keyna deserves I am striving day by day to become more like Jesus and to serve her in a way that brings honor to Him.

I truly hope our experiences helps some draw closer to the Lord and our spouse as we strive to have a marriage that is pleasing to the Lord.

6 Comments on "How We Overcame our Struggles"

  1. Nathaniel Williams Jr. says:

    Mike,
    Thank you for everythin the Lord has givin you, by reading this I understand am the same way by holding things in and keepin it to myself. My wife is my best friend she has been there for me thru a lot of pain and struggles, but reamin strong. Now our love is stronger then ever but we still have our moments like any husband and wife does. Our kids love to see us playing and having a good time am so glad to have her in my life, my lover, bestfriend, my soulmate. Thank you for your words and wisdom.

    • mike p says:

      Nathaniel, thanks for the commnent! That is awesome! Thanks for that testimony and I am praying for you as you continue to strive to love your wife in a Christlike way.

  2. Kathy Hedgepeth says:

    Mike,
    I truly believe that children need to know that their parents love each other. The way that children know that their daddy loves their mama is by seeing what is going on at home. What kind of actions and words are being expressed.

    • mike p says:

      Kathy, I totally agree! As I said, “YOUR KIDZ NEED YOU TO LOVE YOUR SPOUSE FIRST! Kidz want to know their parents are in love!! They might think it’s kind of “gross” but it brings security among all the families they see splitting up in their friends lives.” I want Madison and Matthew to see not only how they should act but also how a spouse should love and treat them as well. Thanks for the comment.

      • Meridith Allen says:

        Mike:
        I totally agree with this as well(loving your wife first), that was a huge factor missing when I was growing up. It left me searching for security in other places instead of where it should have been. Although I am not yet married I look forward to the rest of this series, it has shed light on a few things I would have surly missed otherwise… Love you guys
        Meridith Allen

        • mike p says:

          So thankful to hear your view on this Meredith, being that you are coming as the voice of a single woman. Last thing in the world we want to do is alienate a big part of our congregation. So Glad to see this series is making a difference!

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