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We are Matt and Sonja McCuen, recovering “sweepers” of all offenses.  After sweeping about 7 years, we tripped over the dirt under our proverbial rug.  Thankfully, we committed to stay in the marriage and have experienced blessings we cannot count. Some of our greatest blessings are Anna Kate, Lily, Jep and a Goldendoodle, Moses.  We were college sweethearts and have been married 23 years.  Originally from Alabama and Georgia, we have a few Southern traditions we can’t leave behind (our kids are expected to say “Yes, Ma’am and Yes, Sir!”), but consider ourselves true Texans after living here 18 years.

 
NO SWEEPING!

CENTRAL TRUTH:
Forgiveness is a decision that requires keeping short accounts and acknowledging that we forgive because we've been forgiven.

KEY VERSE: MATTHEW 5:23-25a

So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. When you are on the way to court with your adversary, settle your differences quickly.

MATT:
Picture this: Friday night at home, spending time with Sonja, grilling like a caveman and a late night swim with the family. The perfect evening, right?  Except, the grill wouldn’t cooperate, Sonja wanted me to grill diced mangos (say what??), dinner was delayed 1 ½ hours, and there was no time to connect with my bride.  I sensed something was wrong and asked Sonja if she was ok.  She shared that she was frustrated with me and her comments cut deep.  Why can't she focus on the positive qualities of our relationship instead of the negative?  Frustrated, I quickly escalated, Sonja withdrew and off to the races we went.

SONJA:
From my perspective, the evening triggered deeper emotions.   We hadn’t been communicating well all week. Matt had a particularly busy week at work, making him less available emotionally.  It was the end of summer and I was ready for the kids to head back to school. All these factors led to a mini volcano in my heart.   2 Samuel 24 was the story God used to show me my part in the conflict.  "David was conscience-stricken after he had counted the fighting men, and he said to the Lord, 'I have sinned greatly in what I have done. Now, Lord, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing' " (2 Samuel 24:10 NIV).

I was comforted that David was so quick to repent.  He was offered a free gift, but he would not offer burnt offerings to the Lord that cost him nothing  (v. 24).   Again, my spirit was seared as I realized that laying down my rights to be treated in a certain way would cost me something.  Dying to myself is painful!

BOTH:
When Matt got home, I (Sonja) initiated a conversation with him, asking him where he was in processing our conversation.  He confessed his part and sought forgiveness.  Then I followed.  It was beautiful.  We shared what God had done in the past 24 hours and we were encouraged that the Spirit of God had worked so powerfully and quickly in both our hearts.  Our affections were renewed.  There were so many lessons learned, it’s hard to summarize them, but we’ll try: 
  • His grace and provision were wrapped in our failure and sin.  
  • Someone had to go first.
  • Satan was intentional about seeking to destroy oneness in marriage.  There was a spiritual battle going on that evening.
  • Keeping short accounts was and is critical in our relationship.  When we let things build up, we are asking for a volcano-like response at some undetermined time.  By taking things on as they come (daily), communicating and seeking forgiveness, we can keep our hearts clean vessels for God to use.
CHALLENGE
Read Psalm 139:3-4.  Ask God to reveal any offenses you have against your spouse, confess your part and seek forgiveness and restoration today.

CREATIVE CONNECTION
Grab coffee at your favorite shop and take a minute to pray before you start.   Talk through any past offenses that haven’t been addressed.  Commit to listen with the intent to understand your spouse, not to make a point or prove you are right.  Be humble, open and teachable.  Before you leave, pray again and commit to the Lord and to each other that you will not be sweepers anymore.

Additionally, listen to Matt & Sonja share their story at re|engage here
Know someone interested in signing up to receive the re|engage re|minder? Sign up here.