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Identifying “The Seven Rings of Marriage”

Jackie and Stephana Bledsoe draw inspiration from their own marriage to outline 7 stages, or “rings,” that will equip couples for a healthy marriage.?? Read Transcript


Well joining us now is the happily married Bledsoe's.

And it's great to have you here.

And it's the day after Valentine's Day.

And so all the romance is gone, and now what do you do?

Exactly, I agree.

Now we look at it and sometimes you say,

oh man, Valentine Day's over.

Our job is over as a husband.

Well actually, no it's not.

We continue to have to love our wives,

continue to have to serve our wives.

So I'm encouraging some guys out there

to now really go to work on loving her.

It's interesting you say my job is over.

As if there were some task to it and the task

is now accomplished.

And I hear that a lot and I think guys think that.

Well I went and pursued, we dated, we got engaged,

we got married, I told you I loved you.

I bought you flowers, I brought you candy.

What more do you want?

Right.

And not realizing that the jobs never over.

And it's not really a job.

If you look at it that way, it's not a relationship anymore.

Yup, exactly.

There's a bunch of transactions there, that you listed.

But our marriage is not a transaction.

Our marriage is two people growing closer to one another

and growing closer to God at the same time.

So we have to really be careful of kind of score

keeping on those things.

I did this, I did that, I did this.

But instead, am I serving her?

Am I loving her?

Am I receiving the things that she's blessing me with,

in a way that shows love to her?

Am I speaking her love language?

And you're not just talking hypothetically.

You're talking because you went through it.

And you went through some very difficult times.

And I've got to ask you, why did you stay with him?

I think at the end of the day, it was because of the covenant

that we made.

It was not just between Jackie and I,

but there was this sense of I made this promise to the Lord

that I would love this man and be with him

for the rest of my life.

So if we go separate ways, then I'm letting the Lord down.

So when nothing else held me to him, that covenant did.

For you, what was the worst time?

Where you really had to say, oh no.

One?

No.

Which worse time?

I would say the worst time was being homeless as a family.

It was heartbreaking to not know what our next steps would be.

Not just as adults, but we had a little person

that was depending on us.

And so to not know where our next meal was

going to come from or exactly where we

would be sleeping was hugely--

How did you get there?

Well thankfully the Lord placed people in our lives

that loved us and opened their homes to us.

And we stayed in bedrooms, all three of us, in a bedroom.

Or we stayed on the basement floor of people that loved us.

So he never left us.

We didn't go without, although we didn't have

a home that was our own home.

Yeah.

Jackie what was it like for you then?

I know men really have this, I'm the provider.

And what did you go through?

Yeah a lot of times, we identify

with how well we're providing for our family or our career.

Right, we get status from that.

Yup.

It was devastating for me.

I felt just as a failure.

You know, honestly, I felt that I failed my family,

I failed my wife, my kids.

And that I didn't uphold the promises

that I had made to her.

I don't uphold my word.

And that's through-- it started because of a job loss.

And I felt like, wow I couldn't keep the job.

I didn't do well enough to manage our money,

so that way when the job was lost,

that we'd at least have something set aside

to live off of.

So it was really, really difficult.

And very, very shameful.

I didn't really, even after we came through it,

I didn't want to talk about it.

Until probably within the last year or so, and then

God just wouldn't let me not because of what

he did during that time period.

How have you gotten to the point

where you can talk about it?

And can say OK, this is what happened to me.

For me, just trying to imagine that I would

wonder how I could show up.

And I wouldn't want to show up.

So how did you continue to show up?

What got you through that?

Yeah I was the same way.

And then there was a point where I would go through

and I'm like, there was some woe is me moments.

Like why is this happening Lord, why?

Why?

And then I finally got to the point

where I realized that what he was allowing us to go through,

because he allowed it, was actually not just for us.

So yes, we were going to come out-- he assured us,

we were going to come out of it.

But I'm doing something in you that I want

to share with someone else.

To give them hope, to give them encouragement.

And to show me, ultimately.

And when I say me, I'm talking about Christ.

So it was your faith that got you through?

Definitely.

Definitely.

You couldn't just duck out.

You couldn't say well, I failed and it's time for a reboot.

You couldn't because of your faith.

You couldn't leave because of your faith.

Absolutely.

And so that seems to be the center thing

that you get from the book, that without Jesus

in the center of a marriage.

All marriages go through struggles,

all marriages go through trials.

And it is-- you get to that love is a decision.

And in this case it's a decision I made a few years ago.

Yeah.

Yeah.

And here I am.

And now how do I get through it?

Yes.

What would you tell wives out there

that are facing just that emotional, what

have I done moment.

For me, the Lord gave me a scripture early on in marriage.

And I didn't really realize how much of a corner stone

So you were prepared?

She didn't know it though.

I didn't know what he was preparing me for.

But it is Galatians 6 and 9, and it says, do not

grow weary and well doing.

For at the proper time you will reap a harvest

if you do not give up.

So I would encourage wives to not give up.

To continue to do the right thing, even when it

doesn't look like you're bearing fruit at the moment.

To honor your covenant to the Lord.

If you can't look at your husband

and say he's doing the right thing, trust that the Lord is.

That's a good word.

That's a good word.

And you've come through it and now you do have it.

What's it like now?

What's the relationship, what's the love now,

having been through what for most couples is

the worst of the worst?

Yeah.

Yeah, yeah.

I think it's still challenging.

So I don't want to paint the picture that now we've

made it through.

Or to any couple, once you make it through,

challenges won't come.

But we handle them in a different way.

Our faith is stronger.

Financially you're better.

Financially we are up and down.

Oh really?

I'll be honest, we're still climbing out of the hole,

so let's say that.

We're still climbing out of the hole.

It was a big hole that we dug.

But one thing that when we were initially in it,

we didn't know.

We weren't really sure, God told us.

And we're like yes, we came through it.

But now it's like, OK Lord, we know that you're

doing something again.

We know that you're doing something.

As we continue to grow through it, the things

that we're sharing now about our relationship,

maybe you'll turn that into sharing with something else as

well.

So we're really just, for lack of better words,

we're at his mercy.

But it's a comfortable place to be at his mercy,

because there is nobody else that you can be with.

And can love you and comfort you through it, even

in the challenges.

Has the conversation changed between you two?

Definitely.

It has.

Yes.

It has.

I think that we are more intentional about prayer

together.

There was a time where we would pray over the kids,

we would pray at meals, we would pray separately before bed.

But we realize now how much more powerful

it is for us to come together and pray.

Yeah, definitely.

Just the level of respect too.

I think the way we talk to one another.

The way we revert to him first.

It used to be, when we go through a problem,

I would try to fix it.

I knew how to fix it.

I could do something.

I got this.

I got this.

And then that quickly showed that was not going to work.

I didn't know how to fix it.

And I finally had to come to grips with that.

But now I'm like OK Lord, and when I say at his mercy,

it's a comforting place to be in.

When you're like, OK Lord we're here.

And I know only you can do it.

I know only you can do it.

Because I know if I try to do it,

failure is probably going to come about.

But if I trust in him and let him do it, then it changes it.

Love that's been tested in the fire.

And this is just a portion of the story.

And Jackie's book is called The 7 Rings

of Marriage your model for a lasting and fulfilling

marriage.

And it's available wherever books are sold.

I encourage you to get a copy.

Particularly if you're going through difficulty

in your marriage, this will help see you through.

Well thanks guys, for being here.

Thank you so much.

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