In 2012, after speaking at a large men’s conference, God led us to reach out to those facing the unique stressors in their relationships due to a chronic illness. I was given the opportunity to lead a seminar on how to make a marriage work when your spouse has a chronic illness – physical, mental, or emotional. A small room with 35 chairs was assigned. I wondered if anyone would come. Ten minutes before the seminar, the room was overflowing with guys in every chair, sitting on the floor, and standing against the walls. There were more than 60 men there! A room filled with men who were living with life-changing and life-threatening illnesses – their own or their wives. They longed to know how to navigate this journey with courage, understanding, and compassion. Afterwards, they stood in line to tell their stories and ask the raw, candid questions that could only be asked in that room. Cindy was deeply moved by the comments and tears of men who communicated their gratitude to her for suggesting this seminar topic.
These are couples that are in need of help and not everyone can do this type of ministry. There are limited resources and expertise to guide them on those occasions when they hit major relational road blocks. Not everyone can speak into their hearts and marriages the way we can. God has given us a distinctive gift and opportunity.