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{ LIFE} He explained: “It’s easy to disconnect when we live life. So we will give you some of these questions to start conversation and dialog.” Before delving into the material, both the Sandels and Senior Pastor Thomas Daniel told some horror stories about marriage workshops. “We had been married three or four years when some friends invited us to a marriage workshop,” Thomas said. “First thing they do is to tell the husbands to look at their wives and explain why hunting and fishing is a big deal for men. Then, they said the wives should tell their husbands why they are passionate about shopping. We immediately knew it was not our conference.” Thomas, therefore, was not eager to meet Todd when a friend suggested the introduction. “Great,” thought Thomas, “another guy who guilts and shames people about their marriage. I can’t wait to meet him. “But I met Todd, and got to know him as a person, as a person of faith and as a husband.” Thomas estimated that about 80 percent of the people in his former church, Kairos, interacted with Todd at LifeGate. “Todd and Beverly had an enormous impact on the people at our church. I’m glad that I broke through the barriers to meet him because it changed a lot of lives.” That Saturday afternoon in Austin, Todd and Beverly were again ready to help change lives.

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To an audience of a wide range of ages and duration of marriages (the longest married couple at the workshop was 44 years in; the shortest, eight months), they told the group to remember when they first met their spouse. “You get married and you’re so full of hope for this project to grow together with your spouse and grow closer to the Lord,” Beverly said, quoting John 10:10: I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.

“Live life abundantly, that’s how God designed marriage,” Beverly said. “God didn’t design marriage to be okay. We destroy that piece by piece. We lose the joy. Who is the person that lifted you up enough for you to say ‘yes, I’ll marry you? I’m totally ready.’” Todd and Beverly told participants to remember when they first met. “What was the captivating draw? What was the gravitational pull toward that person?” Todd asked. The couple then talked about the three biggest causes of drift. Topping the list was the hurriedness

Cornerstone | March - May | Lent/Eastertide

of life. Todd explained that this is “the frenetic pace of life that we are living. There is a busy-ness phenomenon in our world right now. The number one emotion Americans feel is exhaustion.” Beverly called on participants to think about what is actual hurry and what is perceived hurry. “Busy is an external condition,” Beverly said. “If we don’t have ways to settle our souls, busy can turn into an internal problem called hurry, resulting in distractedness and restlessness.” The second issue causing drift is personal differences. “Different doesn’t mean wrong,” Todd said. Beverly gave an example of a vast difference between the Sandels. It was years ago when their eldest had just turned three and Todd wanted to take him down a ridiculously fast and dangerous hill on a tube in Salt Lake City. (This is from Beverly’s perspective. Todd thought it would just be great fun.) Beverly was very worried and let Todd know. Todd didn’t back down and after the tubing adventure, the couple had a hard time communicating that day. Each party felt “right and entitled” to their opinion, Todd said, “and this brings up the third reason for drift: power struggles.” Power struggles create distance and hostility instead of closeness and trust. But in this instance, when the couple finally talked about it, Beverly had softened, telling Todd, “your kids are lucky to have a dad like you.”

Cornerstone March 2018  

Inside: The Kildays describe their work in Cambodia, a guide to Holy Week at Covenant, one member's effort to provide relief in Puerto Rico,...

Cornerstone March 2018  

Inside: The Kildays describe their work in Cambodia, a guide to Holy Week at Covenant, one member's effort to provide relief in Puerto Rico,...

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