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(Excerpt from “LOVE IS DEMONSTRATED – Making Marriage Sacred Again”)

My wife cussed at me.

My wife rarely ever said a bad word. It was simply not in her nature. It had taken me hours to wear her down emotionally for this to happen. Yet despite her obvious anger and hurt, I considered it a small victory in a verbal war that had been escalating for several hours. I could not say the same about my cussing, and I littered the verbal grenades I had been tossing at her with plenty of them. It added a little extra bang when they exploded. I could not at this moment remember exactly what had started the fight or what point I was even trying to make, but her cussing clearly meant a marked change in the momentum of the battle. I had somehow managed to get through her defenses. This was no small achievement. I had weathered icy walls of silence and a minefield of contempt to get here. At this point I was confident that in another forty-five minutes or so she was sure to concede, finally seeing the wisdom of whatever point I was trying to make. Peace would finally return between us, my beautiful wife would open her heart back up to me, and all would be well again…only that is not what happened after we fought. That was hardly ever what happened.

Still, I pursued my Pyrrhic victory with take-no-prisoners abandon as if I was being deprived of oxygen without it. In the process I ignored the ever-deepening hole I was going the extra mile to dig; the hole I felt like we would never get out of, and the only direction I ever seemed to be able to manage was deeper down into it.

My marriage produced three beautiful children in a wonderful home surrounded by family, friends, and loved ones, but issues between my wife and me always seemed to get in the way of any real stability. It was a relationship that for all practical purposes had been built on sand.

We had met at the Nature Awareness School in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of central Virginia. We were both students there. It was (and remains) our favorite place on Earth. As students of Del Hall, the God-ordained Prophet of our times, we had each grown individually in our relationship with God and His chosen Prophet in the years we had been coming to the school.

When Molly and I began dating I knew immediately she was “the one.” I never doubted she was a gift from God. If I was a gift to her however, she did not seem to have gotten that memo. I was not even on her radar, initially. It bruised my ego that my gift from God did not respond like one right away. I felt I was ready to love her for the rest of this life.

I did not realize however, that there was a test. I naively thought I could just walk in, proclaim my love, and sail away together into the sunset. I would love to reminisce about how calm I stayed during these trying times. How my resolve to love her never waivered. How stoic I remained in the face of adversity, but this was not the case. What began as “set in stone” confidence soon looked like a fleeting chance at best. I felt if I did not keep pressing on I was going to lose the love of my life.

At some point I gave away my peace. This is never a good trade-off, and it was disastrous here. Fear, anger, and neediness soon filled the void my missing peace left. My vision and my decisions became more and more shortsighted. Molly no longer had to push me away. I was doing the pushing for her, all the while shouting how much I loved her.

Written by Chris Comfort