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If you have been around saddleback for any length of time
you know the story, how Kay and I in our early years of marriage,
it was a disaster. We did not get along, we started fighting on
the wedding night. And our honeymoon was terrible. The first
two years of our marriage was hell on earth. Now we loved each
other and we thought God had put us together. But we are as
opposite as night and day. When we got engage, right after we
got engaged, I moved to Japan and Kay moved to Birmingham
Alabama and we were apart our entire engagement. And so
when we got married it was like, "and who are you"?
What we discovered was we had nothing in common. We were
opposite in every single cell of our DNA. Black and white, you say
high, I say low, I say why, you say I don't know, o bla de o bla da.
If we had ever taken the e harmony score, baaaaaa! Disaster,
danger Will Robinson, I mean it would have... Every marriage
book in the world would have said that this marriage is heading
for disaster, they are totally opposite thinkers. But the interesting
thing was this...
We made a commitment, and we took a vow before God that said
tell death do us part. We closed the escape hatch on our marriage,
and we locked it, and we threw the key away. We said divorce is off
the table, it is not an option. It is not an option for us, when you take
it off the table it forces you to grow up. It forces you to work out your
problems. Now, I am going to give you 20 years of marriage
counseling in two words, grow up. Because the root of every single
marriage problem is pure and simple, ego, pride, and self centeredness.
I want it my way, and you want it your way and neither one of us are
willing to budge. Or one of us is willing to budge and the other isn't,
it all comes down to selfishness. The purpose of marriage is not
just to make you happy, but to make you holy, to teach you to grow
up, and to be unselfish. To think about we and us instead of me,
myself and I.
Most people would rather walk out of a relationship than grow up.
They want to be selfish, they want their way. Or even if I am willing
to give some here, you're not willing to give. That's where it all comes
down to. But we had made this commitment, we are going to make
this marriage work if it kills us. It nearly did. By the end of the first
year of marriage I ended up in the hospital and Kay thought she
was having a nervous breakdown. Now we were miserable, but
we said, divorce is not an option. (Jokingly), Murder yes, but
I was twenty one years old, I was making eight hundred dollars
a month, and we went and we found a Christian counselor. And
I paid the counselor a hundred dollars a week for fifteen weeks.
I don't understand when people say I can't afford counseling, you
can't afford not to get it. How much is your happiness worth?
Really? So, I put it on my mastercard, racked up a fifteen hundred
dollar bill. Someday I'll do a commercial, mastercard saved my
marriage. You know, a saved marriage, priceless!