What Are You Willing to Give Up for Your Marriage?

Millard and Linda Fuller KissMy husband Kevin and I recently returned from a speaking engagement at the ACME International Marriage Enrichment Conference (IMEC) in Orlando, Florida. It was a wonderful experience to have Kevin presenting with me this time in our workshop, “Sexy is a State of Mind–Cultivating Sexual Desire for Your Spouse.” (Check out our photos from the conference.)


One of the most compelling experiences of the conference occurred when we had the opportunity to watch a video segment and hear the founders of Habitat for Humanity, Millard and Linda Fuller, speak about their incredible heartrending marital journey.


Millard was an extremely successful businessman and became a millionaire by the age of 30. But his success had a price. Linda had been raising their two children alone rarely ever seeing her husband who simply worked all the time. She had been having an affair and decided to leave her husband. Millard followed her to New York City where they both experienced an epiphany.


In a taxicab back to the hotel they both decided to take all that they had and give it away. They knew they had to make some drastic changes to save their marriage. Not only did this lead to the founding of Habitat for Humanity, but it was also the beginning of their life together as a team rather than the two separate lives they had been leading.


Their experience reminded me of the biblical story of the rich young man who was asked to give up all that he had to follow Christ and become perfected. He could not do it.


Millard and Linda were able to give up all that they had because they felt God had a mission for them, and they could see that what they had decided was necessary for them to save their marriage. What good is wealth and success anyway if you lose your spouse and family in the process?


What do you yet lack in your marriage relationship? What do you need to change in order to become more what your spouse (and God) want you to be? If your spouse could choose one thing for you to change or give up, so that you could love them more fully, what would it be? Are you willing to do it? What are you willing to do to avoid the slow drain that is occurring in many marriages? Will you do it before it’s too late?


I encourage each of us to think long and hard about what our marriage and our children mean to us, and what we are willing to do to protect it from the devouring ravages that lie in wait to destroy.


This delightful picture that we took of Millard and Linda Fuller reminds us that even a marriage on the brink of ruin can be saved and turned around into a blossoming and wonderfully fulfilling marriage relationship. It was obvious to all that after all they’d been through having “fallen out of love” they are now and forever very much in love.


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  • Jimbalaya July 26, 2007 at 12:35 pm

    What a wonderful example of commitment to marriage and family and willingness to sacrifice. Thank you for sharing this.

    This also illustrates very well the law of the harvest that we seem to forget too often- first you sew, then you reap (with plenty of sunshine, time/patience, nutrients, etc.). Sometimes we want the reward first without the effort. We expect a wonderful, exciting, trouble free relationship to magically happen without spending the effort, time/patience, love, etc. that is required to enjoy those blessings.

    This is a very good reminder and suggestion to be willing to give a little more and perhaps much more than we currently are to our spouse- thank you.

  • winterman93 July 31, 2007 at 12:37 am

    I am a HUGE music aficionado..in every sense of the word. I will go to a concert frequently..not for the “coolness” factor or the popularity..that means nothing to me…I am amazed by HOW they use the different instruments as well as the variety of instruments that these people know how to use. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones isonly one example. Blue Man group was another..Morrissey yet another. I have seen them 5 times and it never gets old…THAT said….

    I know that at one time, I will either have to give it up and do 1 of two things. Sell the collection (250CDs) or hide it in the garage. Not because I don’t use it, but I am starting to think it rather presumptuous that my kids would want ANYTHING to do with it…it is hard to know..I loved my parents music (Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Beatles, The Byrds, Bowie, Boston) but how can I know if my kids will feel the same? I know I need to eventually take the reigns and show my kids how to prioritize their wants and needs. it is hard to do that while dad is in his own world…

    everything has its place and there IS a place for music, but that isn’t 24/7. i will get there 😉

  • LT72884 July 31, 2007 at 10:10 am

    I have read and know of similar stories. This one lady had to sacrifice sex because her husband became ill and could not have sex. The husband told his wife that if she wanted to see other men to become sexually full filed that she could but not to tell him about it. She said that she would remain true and faithful to him for all time and eternity. She sacrificed sex for over 30 years. now that takes some serious sacrifice. i personally dont think i could ever handle that.

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