Taking Care of Business at Home First
By Randy Rudder
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“We were so broken. We were so messed up. We truly were living on opposite ends of the house. I used to say that I loved to hate him,” Laine Craft recalls of the early days of her marriage to husband Steve.
Steve adds, “It’s a slow process. You don’t even notice that it’s happening--until one day, you’re standing at the dryer in the laundry room, and you’re mad about a pair of socks. And you hate your wife for that. That’s resentment.”
Steve and Laine married after college, and Laine started her own ad agency. Steve went into the oil drilling business, but 40 of his first 42 wells turned up dry.
“We were challenged on every level. The price of oil was low. Financially, we were strapped,” Laine says. “We had three kids under three, one very sick. Relationship-wise we were bankrupt.”
Although Laine’s business brought in income, Steve’s went years without showing a profit. The crafts worked 16 hours days. When they were together, they argued constantly.
“Literally, we kept tallies on everything, and it was destroying the marriage,” Laine says. “Keeping tallies on who’s doing what will destroy your marriage.”
“My office was in the garage, which was where I slept. I changed the locks on the door so she couldn’t come in. And as she says, she loved to hate me. Anybody that loves to hate, I mean, that’s the devil. And to me, she had become the devil.“
Eventually, Steve’s business was on the verge of bankruptcy. “The banks didn’t want to give us a line of credit anymore, and everything was just done, “Steve remembers. “We had done nothing but work really hard for 17 years with all of our might, and it was over. I had accountants tell me three years in a row, ‘File bankruptcy. You can’t make enough money to fix this.’”
Just when it seemed as though things could not get any worse—they did.
“My office burned down, my father died, and I was just brought to my knees,” Steve says. “My constant prayer was, ‘God give my guidance. Tell me what to work on. I can’t fix it. Tell me what to do to fix it.’ Then my prayer became, ‘Slap me, God because I can’t hear you.’”
To avoid bankruptcy, Steve was planning to sell his business at a huge loss to pay off debts, but something told him to wait.
“My plan was to sell the project for a cash and carry price for $50,000 and one percent of the oil. God’s plan was ‘Slow down. Teach your kids to pray. Love your wife. Don’t worry about how much you owe, or how much you’ve got to make.”
Meanwhile, Laine began attending a new church, and had an encounter with Christ. “I’d never even heard the word grace until I was 37 years old. So I’d never even walked in any kind of forgiveness. And you know, the key to life, is to learn how to receive the love of Christ, and then give it. And you can’t receive his love unless you receive the grace that comes with it.”
Although the crafts were headed for divorce, Laine began meeting with a Christian counselor, and her heart began to soften. “I came to Steve and I said, ‘Listen, if we are going to start over with someone else, can we not just start over with one another? Can we just start again from scratch?”
Steve began going to counseling with her. It took 18 months, but the Crafts finally had a breakthrough.
“We were finally able to look at each other and say, ‘Please forgive me,’” Laine says. Let’s forget the 17 years of battling each other and keeping the score, not loving each other like we should. And there was this unbelievable experience of grace for both of us.”
Steve remembers that moment: “The miracle happens in an instant, when you finally look into your wife’s eyes, and she looks back at you, and you know it’s time to do… grace. You have to understand what grace is.”
When Steve put God first in his life, miracles also began to occur in his business. “Eighteen months later, the same project, I sold for $1.2 million, not $50,000, and about seven per cent of the oil, not one per cent. So you see the difference between God’s plan and my plan?”
The Crafts later moved into their dream home near Jackson Mississippi. “When we first moved into this house, I remember, it was a beautiful morning. The steam was coming up off the lake. I said, ‘This is beautiful, God. What did I ever do to deserve this, and what do you want me to do for you in return?’ He said, ‘Tell everybody who really did all this.’”
Laine adds, “I Peter 3:15 says, ‘Always be prepared to share the hope that lies within you.’ So that is our story. We believe that the enemy is out there to seek, kill, and destroy marriages today. He knows if he can kill a marriage, then he’s killed a lot of folks in one swoop.”
Steve and Laine wrote a book together, Starting from Scratch, and Laine started a magazine called W.H.O.A Woman, and a ministry for women to help them overcome challenges in their lives and marriages.
The Crafts give all the glory to God. “He did it for us,” Laine says. “Our marriage was bankrupt. Our finances were bankrupt. But when we decided that we did not want to live a lie, and we knew that there had to be more to life than what we were living, then we fell to our knees. So the vital key to this recipe of reviving your marriage is, you’d better run to God today, and you’d better get to your knees because that’s where it all starts.”
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