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Matt & Sarah Hammit: Rock Solid Marriage

By Amy Reid
The 700 Club - Marriage started out as an adventure for Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt and his wife, Sarah.

Matt recalls, “The first 4 years that we were full-time on the road as a band, Sarah was with me.”  

“We had a lot of great times,” Sarah says. “I would say our relationship grew immensely. But resolving conflict on the road was really difficult.”

“We really didn’t have much privacy,” adds Matt, “And it really, I think, caused us to not have healthy communication and because of that, I think we would kind of bottle up a lot of our feelings, a lot of our frustrations that we would have. It can kind of cause a passive-aggressive type of communication.”
Life changed dramatically for the Hammitts when Sarah got pregnant with their first child.

Sarah recalls, “I remember being in the back of a Chevy van in the way back where there’s no seats, sleeping on a sleeping bag 6 months pregnant and bouncing around and just thinking to myself, ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ That’s when I threw in the towel and I stayed home from that point forward.”

“It was hard to change our life like that, says Matt, “It was hard for me not to have her on the road anymore. And it was hard for her not to be out seeing new things and meeting new people.”

It was also difficult for both of them to adjust when Matt came home after the baby was born.

“The hard part about traveling all the time, too,” says Matt, “is that when you come home you literally just want it to be perfect.  Because you dream of getting back in your house, seeing your family and so you always want to be make the most of the little time that you have. The expectations, for me, were that I would come home and it would just be a place of rest and refuge.”

Sarah’s expectations were a little different.  “I had the mentality like, ‘My time’s over and you’re up’ like, ‘You got to do all the grunt work and it’s your turn!’ says Sarah.

“I walked through the door with both of us having great expectations on each other, “ says Matt. “And when we felt that disappointment, and we started to vent our feelings and our frustrations. It would be really easy for those arguments to get out of control, for our emotions to get out of control really quickly.”

Sarah agrees. “We had expectations that seemed logical and acceptable to have towards each other. And then we would fail each other and then we would grow bitterness and contempt. And it was so deceiving. It really hid itself well because it’s really hard to call out your own contempt for someone because you feel you have a right to it.”

“It got to a place where this cycle that we were in of arguing just felt like we just could not get along,” says Matt.

Matt and Sarah were committed to making their marriage work, so divorce was not an option.

They laid aside their bitterness, went to counseling and tried to take ownership of their faults, but Sarah still felt something was missing.

“We were starting to make changes,” Sarah notes, “And I said, ‘That’s fantastic. But I really need you to, like, be the leader in our home.’”

“That was the day God just used her specific words to really break my heart and to really seal inside of me what He’d already begun in terms of just teaching me to be more teachable, in terms of the kind of man that I am, the kind of leader that I am for our family,” Matt remembers, “That day that we had that conversation is the day I sat down and I looked around me. I looked at all the pictures in our house. I looked at the pictures of her smiling and our kids smiling. I looked at a photo of our wedding day, and my heart really ached because I felt as though I hadn’t seen that glow in a long time. And I just wanted it back so desperately. And just cried out to God in that song that afternoon.”

“Lead Me”
“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can't
Don't leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, but what about us?”

“I started expressing her heart, and what my kids might say to me one day, if I’m not a good leader to them,” says Matt. “And really expressing my heart to just be the kind of man who fights for my family. And not by fighting—not by being stubborn--but fighting by just laying it all down at the feet of Christ and saying, ‘Lord, you know what, I’m weak. You’re strong, every breath is just going to have to be grace from You to be this man.’”

 “Lead Me”
“Oh, Father, show me the way
to lead them.
Won't you lead me?”

“The whole song ‘Lead Me’ about being a leader,” says Matt, “is ultimately in the end saying ‘Hey, I can’t do this by myself.’ You know? I’m leading my family by saying, ‘Father, Lead me because I’m not capable of this.’”

“Even that understanding,” Sarah adds, “once somebody says, ‘I know I’m this way, and I really do want to change.’ That really helped us move forward. When we finally accepted our weaknesses, even though we thought we were all along.”

Today, Matt and Sarah’s marriage is stronger than ever. Their relationship was tested again earlier this year when their third child, Bowen, was born with a serious heart defect.

“I think feeling like we’re in a really good place in our marriage and learning how to deal with that conflict better, it really prepared us because there’s so much stress in having a sick child,” Sarah notes.

“There was a purpose for what we went through,” Matt adds, “A God-ordained purpose. I believe it, and He’s pulling us through it and He’s showing us His grace. And now I think when there’s conflict we understand that, you know, ‘There’s hope here. There’s a purpose. It’s not the end of the world. We can work this out.’ And it gives us that much more hope and that much more fuel to just keep working through it in ways that glorify the Lord more and more.  It’s just God’s grace-- in our weakness He’s strong.”

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