A Redeeming Love Story
Recently I learned of a blogger named Ange who posted a Love and Respect Testimonial on her blog for Valentine’s Day. Ange met the author of this testimony, Kristin, at her daughter’s preschool and invited her to a Love and Respect Video Conference. As I read this testimony, it brought tears to my eyes. I thought, if only someone like Ange had reached out to my Mom and Dad as she reached out to Kristin - maybe they wouldn’t have gone through such a tragic cycle of divorce, remarriage, and separation.
I never saw my Dad kiss my Mom, except one time, and it is vivid in my memory. But the precious and meaningful scene lost its gripping magnitude when I later learned my Dad had returned from an out of state trip with another woman, and his embracing kiss with Mom became hollow, not holy. Even so, Christ later called my Dad to Himself, and then later called him to heaven where Dad is free from all those things that contributed to him becoming the victim of the enemy. I never hated my Dad, nor did my Mom – nor did the Lord who found in my Dad a man that He wished to embrace, forever.
Here is Ange’s introduction to the testimony by Kristin. I share it with permission from all concerned. Thank you, Ange for sharing with someone you hardly knew. God used you to save their marriage! And thank you, Kristin and Tom, for opening your hearts to the truth of Love and Respect!
We salute you!
FEBRUARY 13, 2011
A Redeeming Love Story
In honor of Valentine's Day coming up, I thought I would share a little love story with you. First I'll give you some background. My husband and I are hosting a marriage conference in our city this year, it's called Love & Respect. We were first introduced to the message of Love & Respect about 6 years ago through some friends. It was a video series on marriage and it was phenomenal!
We hosted our first Love & Respect Marriage Conference last year and it was a hit!
While promoting the conference last year, I invited a lady from my daughter's preschool to attend the conference. We didn't really know each other but I'm not shy and so I just casually mentioned it to her. Here's the rest of the story, in her own words.............
A Love & Respect Testimonial
Wow, Love & Respect. Who would've thought that was the answer to a loving, lasting relationship! We are so blind.
My story, or our story I should say, starts with a 20 year marriage, four children and a life of the two of us being a complete blur.
I (Kristin) after having our fourth child and her turning four years of age, my life or my eyes just opened up like I just woke up to a bad dream. I mean I was living in a bad dream and couldn't get out of it. I was raising four kids, working as a school teacher of a classroom size from 12-15 kids, then home doing all the home stuff. Something was missing, hmmm, what was it? Wow, a husband! Where is my husband?!? It was like he was or had just turned into one of the kids in my mind. I was the mother, the caretaker, the maid, you name it, that was me! Yuck!
I became very, very depressed and some days I don't even know how I functioned. When I did realize I needed my husband it was too late, he was already set in his ways of doing his thing, coming and going to work, having his fun with his buddies, you know the guy story and what guys do. But when they do get home, they want clean clothes and they want to eat! Wow, I felt as if I wasn't loved! So, after 20 years of marriage, I filed for divorce.
Our youngest was starting preschool; at a school I never thought I'd have one of our children attend as all of them went to a Catholic school system. But, I think I was looking for a change, looking for something that would wake me up to something different, something to make me happy, to fill my void of not feeling loved!
One day after taking my daughter to this preschool class, a mother was talking to a group of ladies about her husband and some issues that they had. I opened my ears a little more thinking, this is interesting and I wish I had what that lady has, a smile on her face while talking about her husband and that her husband loves her!!!
Ok, let me interject here, this is Ange again. I remember asking Kristen if she wanted to attend the marriage conference and she couldn't but she was interested in learning more about it, so I gave her the website address. Later that day she called me at home and wanted to know if I had the videos and if she could watch them, right away. Back to her story!
This lady who gave them to me had no idea who I was or if I even had any problems. I immediately called my husband at work, well soon to be ex-husband, and asked him "Do you feel respected, I mean respected by me?" I was shocked to his answer (now, I haven't talked to my husband in some time as he wasn't living at our residence anymore because of me filing for divorce), his answer was...NO!
I couldn't believe it, I immediately felt guilty for everything, my husband doesn't feel respected! With tears in my eyes, I was trying to tell him I had these videos I'd like to share with him. But I had no idea what they were really even about.
Now, this man of mine is a man who doesn't sit on the couch and watch videos, especially videos with the word Love, he'd run! He is also the kind of man that never holds your hand in public, kisses you in front of anyone or says I love you in front of someone, no way, out of the question!! Well he came over to watch the videos. I was so scared, I was shaking in my shoes. So I just plugged in the first one and cranked the volume.
To our surprise, we sat there not saying a word, just listening to what this Dr. Emerson had to say, he was so right about what he was saying! Women, respect your man and men, love your woman! So powerful and so true! I couldn't believe that my man was actually getting into it, quiet at times and then laughing, actually laughing! Oh, I was falling for this man all over again. A man I hated an hour ago, a man I've been married to for 20 years and filed for divorce on. All this man wanted was respect and I would get what I was yearning and looking for all these years from him, Love!
We watched all 5 videos that night!!!
We started doing things together and family things - a lot of family things. Plus, the two of us doing things together as a couple was a no-no in his book but now he asks me to be involved in everything he has going on and shares everything with me. We talk, we never did that before!
He never wore his wedding ring. One day, out of the blue he just said, "Kristin, it’s the coming of Easter and doesn't that mean a new beginning? Easter - rebirth?" I said, “Yes it does, what are you getting at?" He said he wanted to wear a new wedding ring not his old one and I would have a matching one for our new beginning!
He kisses me in front of our children. Our children have never seen that ever from us. They say "Oh! Gross!" and we kiss more. He says "I love you" to his children, that is something that would just never happen. All these firsts are so fresh that it's kind of scary.
For a man to do all this for his woman and family - something he has never done before and something he would never try because men just don't do that, he truly is a changed man! He wants his wife and family sincerely from his heart!
With all this, I dismissed the divorce. We are reconciled and the rest is history!
One last thing, he never slept in our bed for the past 14 years. Don't ask me how we had children because I don't know! Now we sleep together in the same bed with him very tight next to me, holding my hand until we fall asleep. He also calls me every day from work to say "I love you."
I have tears as I write this- this all sounds too good to be true but it isn't, I'm living it! Thank you God!
So please, if you are struggling, watch Dr. Emerson, if he can wake us up, he can do the same for you. You are together for a reason - God brought you together for a reason. We still have issues and that comes in a marriage but now we work them out and understand where all the issues come from!
With Love & Respect,
Tom & Kristin