By Barbara Rainey
First posted on EverThineHome.com
Over our 50 years of ministry, Dennis and I have met many couples who’ve gone “all in” on God’s plan for marriage. Most of those couples have experienced the wonder of God’s transformative work in changing them and their marriages to what they always dreamed when they first married.
Tim and Kathy went to one of our Weekend to Remember marriage events and for the first time heard that God is the author of marriage and He delights to make it work. They did not know Jesus as their Savior, but they soon surrendered to Him and His plans for their lives. The change in their lives is dramatic to say the least and now they are ready to tell their story so that others can learn from their mistakes and their victories.
Tim and Kathy just released a book with a provocative title: Sex On the First Date. Their first date was marked by alcohol, marijuana, and, yes, sex. Their marriage was marked by frustration and unhappiness and addictions and repeated infidelities. In so many ways their story reflects the way couples try to form relationships today.
In their book they describe in detail how their relationship unraveled ... and then they tell how God entered their lives and put their marriage back together. The narrative switches back and forth between Tim and Kathy. For example, here’s a short summary from the end of the chapter describing their conversion:
Tim: After years of going to church, after years of infidelities and drinking and drugs, after years of searching for something to help us fix our marriage (and fix Kathy!), we finally reached the end of our search. Kathy and I both reached the point of finding the Lord. We just didn’t know the difference between going to church and surrendering our lives to Christ and accepting Him as our personal Savior. We met Him heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul—me through music, and Kathy through reading the Word of God. The peace and hope we felt was indescribable.
Kathy: Looking back, it seemed that no matter how bad or ugly our behavior, God continued to pursue us. We made baby steps throughout a years-long journey, yet as slow as we were, He didn’t give up on us. He used different people to steer us toward Him beginning with Pastor Gedde and continuing for years until Bob led us to read a chapter in Proverbs a day, and shortly after then to Bill, who led us to a different church ... God didn’t give up on us, and we knew things would be very different going forward. And they were . . .
After Tim and Kathy trusted Christ with their lives, God changed them in a radical way. Over the last 15 years they’ve hosted many events for couples using resources like FamilyLife’s “Art of Marriage” video series. In 2020 they began War Room Ministries, with a goal of serving “men, marriages, families, and churches across the country. We are about building God’s Kingdom.” Their primary focus is in the Tri-Cities area of eastern Washington state.
I think you will find their book, Sex On the First Date, an honest and eye-opening book about the struggles many married couples face in our culture today. And it might be a great book to give to young couples you know, even in your church, who are starting marriage on a foundation that is not the Bible.
Tim and Kathy are two amazing people whose lives are now a testament to how God changes those He loves and uses them to build and grow His Kingdom today.
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