I just returned from the AMFM (Association of Marriage and Family Ministries) conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I had a chance to sit in workshops by several of the members of the Reconciling Troubled Marriages Focus group. This will be a brief review of some of those ministries.
J0e and Michelle Williams have the ministry of Reconciling God’s Way and also Marriage 911 (www.nationalmarriage.com). Their story is that they each had divorces in their past before their own marriage and then went through three separations as Christians themselves. They learned that a key to reconciling is for each party to focus on God. They have a workbook (Marriage 911) that can be purchased to help a person on the journey to grow closer to God as well as a workbook for the support partner. They have also written a book called “Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved”. In some communities, there are support groups available using their principles and resources.
Clint and Penny Bragg have Inverse Ministries. They were married as the darlings in their church but within two years divorced for irreconcilable differences. Eleven years later, after each was seeking God, they reconnected even though living 3000 miles apart. God performed a miracle in reconciling their marriage. Even though they were thankful to be reconciled they found that really learning how to be married again took about five years. Their new book “Marriage on the Mend” is partly their journey of healing and strengthening their remarriage, testimonies of other healed marriages, and suggestions on how to walk out reconciliation after divorce or separation.
Linda Rooks and her husband from Broken Heart On Hold were separated for three years. He left her. She wrote the book to encourage women to hang in there while they are separated and waiting for reconciliation. One thing that surprised her was how many men have found help from her book. I realized that after walking through a separation that I didn’t want and then reconciling, there was very little that she said that I hadn’t experienced myself.
Gary and Mona Shriver survived Gary’s infidelity. Their ministry is www.hopeandhealing.us. They shared some insights into what constitutes an emotional affair and how to recover from it. They mentioned that the pain from an emotional affair can be as bad or worse than from a physical affair.
Every one of these people were very authentic and compassionate. They have walked through the fire in marriage and by God’s grace have come out on the other side. Depending on your situation, I would recommend checking out their websites and even contacting them if you have further questions.