Do You Have
Marriage, Missions, Moving...and Mentors
by Chad Kivette
After the moving truck was loaded, and we piled into our car to leave sunny Florida to be home missionaries in Tennessee, my family asked me, “Have you lost your mind?”
Before long, I began to wonder if they were right. After a few months of itinerary, I realized that mission work and difficult life events were definitely affecting my family, including my marriage. My wife’s mother had moved in with us after being diagnosed with cancer and learning she had only a few short months to live. My wife was unable to travel with me to raise funds. So, each weekend, our two daughters and I piled in the car for another trip while my wife stayed home to care for her mother.
My girls and I grew closer during this time, but my wife and I slowly drifted apart. At first, neither of us noticed, but the devil surely did, and used her commitment to her mother and my commitment to itinerary as a tool to divide our home. I began to feel alone, as if no one cared but my girls. I could not lean on a church family because we left our friends behind in Florida and had not developed close friends in Tennessee. I began to wonder if I really was losing my mind.
Several friends had recently divorced, and I began to wonder if it would happen to us? Would our family be torn apart? My wife and I desperately needed to talk to someone who loved both of us and would not take sides. We needed mentors, but who?
I began to talk to my parents—not knowing that she had begun talking to them as well. My dad encouraged me while my mom encouraged her. They prayed for us daily and spoke of God’s will and the commitments we had made to Him and to each other.
Still, I continued to struggle, and finally reached a point where I just didn’t care. I found myself clinging to the old adage, “Never make a decision while you are in the valley.” Honestly, it felt as though I was going to live the rest of my life in the valley. I kept praying and listening to my mentors.
One day, it dawned on me that our family needed to return to daily prayer and devotions together. I had received a devotional book by Dann Patrick, and I began to use it with my family each night. It was difficult, because I didn’t want to do this. But, I knew in my heart it was what we needed to do for God to restore the love in our home. Each night we read and applied the verses and devotions to our daily lives. God began to change each of our hearts, and now, I can say with conviction—and personal experience—that a family that prays together stays together.
I thank God for missions, moving, mentors, and my marriage. After our experience, I cannot help but wonder if other couples need a marriage mentor? I challenge experienced couples that have been married for a while and have experienced the ups and downs of marriage, to adopt another couple and mentor them as my parents mentored us. I encourage you to share your marriage knowledge through a growing, healing relationship. Imagine the importance of preventing even one divorce.
If your own marriage is the one in trouble, don’t wait a minute longer! Set out to find a couple you love and trust and begin the healing process today. You don’t have a moment to lose.
About the Writer: Chad Kivette and his wife Paula are Joint Project home missionaries with the state of Tennessee and Free Will Baptist Home Missions. Learn more about Free Will Baptist Home Missions at www.HomeMissions.net.