I couldn’t believe what I was reading, but there it was, a five-word text from my wife that shook the foundation of my world!
“Are you cheating on me?”
Did my wife actually write that? I was at a cancer fundraiser launch event in Orange County, California. This was going to be the first of about twenty straight Saturdays that I was going to be dedicating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society mentoring and training for the Rock ‘N Roll Marathon in Seattle. But this text, did she really think that I was cheating? I mean, I knew that things could be better in our marriage, but cheating on my wife? Really?
Well, I immediately called her. She asked where I was. She was frustrated and frazzled by my schedule among other things. As we discussed this over the subsequent days, I learned that she didn’t really think that I was cheating on her sexually or emotionally with another woman, but that she was trying to get my attention because she didn’t know where I was. But, that is not the type of “attention-grabbing” statement that you take, or even make, lightly. In one of our later conversations, she said, “you say yes to so many things and so many people, but I need to say yes to me and the boys”.
Talk about facing the mirror of my marriage! I realized that something seriously needed to change in order for my marriage to be healed and healthy again. I realized that deep in her heart my wife didn’t think that I was cheating on her with another woman, but that I was cheating on her and my two boys with other priorities.
You see, I am a visionary and a goal-oriented person. When I set a goal, I pursue it passionately whether its my career, my ministry, or training for a marathon or triathlon. I had become so “hot and heavy” about these other passions that I had left my beautiful bride to be an unwilling spectator to a race that had nothing to do with her anymore. The athlete she once adored cheered for didn’t even know that she was there. She had enough of it and she was crying out to me. I finally got the message.
Honestly, this question made me mad. First, it made me mad that my wife would actually question me about this. But, then I become so mad that I had allowed my marriage to get this point. There were elements of dis-connection, dis-trust, and dis-satisfaction; all symptoms of Dis-ease. Thirdly, I became so mad that I decided that I wasn’t going to allow this to continue and that things were going to change. It had to.
Step #2- Make a Choice to Change
In an earlier post, I discussed Step #1 of the LifeWorkout Principles which is “Face the Mirror”. Many of us realize that the mirrors of our lives are reflecting very painful realities. It is then that we are faced with a choice. We can either choose to change our lives, or we can choose to settle for it. Either way, we make a choice.
If we want to experience the life that we dream about, we must #1- Face the Mirror, then #2- Make a Choice to Change. Some of you may say, “I have faced the mirror but I am powerless to change what I see”. Well, then you are in the perfect position to ask Jesus to help you.
My wife and I both made a choice to re-invite God into our marriage. We have a renewed understanding that God is in control and that He is a Healer; a healer of lost faith, unhealthy marriages and families, financial stress, and broken bodies. I am happy to say that Michele and I are now experiencing new-found strength and intimacy in our marriage. We are learning every day and working through our doubts about life and our faith in an amazing way. A love tested is a love preferred. There is hope for your marriage, for your finances, for your fitness, but most of all, for your faith.
How would you respond if you were texted this same question of “Are you cheating on me?” Are there things in your life that have you chosen to focus on that have left your LifeSystems lying on the side of the road, collateral damage to your misplaced pursuits? Whatever had caused you to cheat on your faith, your family, your finances, or even your fitness, remember the words of Jesus when He said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” (John 10:10, NLT)
Trying to be real in order to heal,