My husband Chad and I had the privilege of attending a Weekend to Remember Marriage Getaway presented by Family Life earlier this summer. One of the presenters that weekend was Matt Hammitt. He was the lead singer and songwriter for the band Sanctus Real from 1996-2016. I knew them best for a song that was released in 2010 called Lead Me (click to listen). As Matt shared the story behind the song Lead Me, I found out that it was his wife who came to him and said I need for you to lead our family and me because I can’t do this alone. The chorus of the songs sings:
“Lead me with strong hands
Stand up when I can’t
Don’t leave me hungry for love
Chasing dreams, what about us?
I can’t speak for Mrs. Hammitt, but I bet she may have felt what I had been feeling. Maybe Matt was chasing his dreams in the music industry, just like Chad was chasing his dreams in professional fighting. Perhaps Matt was fighting for everything else but his family? I felt that’s what Chad was doing and if you were to ask him today, he would agree.
2010 was the year that Chad and I sold our beautiful home, packed up the family pictures and separated. Lead Me was hit song on Christian radio. Every time that song came on, I would sob. I felt the words of that song, expressed my exact feelings of what I longed for so badly from my husband. How was I to ask Chad to take the lead anymore when we were separated? That ship had sailed and now seemed to be sinking. Our marriage was heading for the big D, and I don’t mean Dallas (I guess I all about music today). It had been about three months into the separation when I asked Chad “How is it that you can put the time, effort and discipline into your fighting career, MMA and military deployments but when it comes to our family you QUIT?” In some way, shape or form, I had asked him that question umpteen times over the past 15 years. I wanted him to fight for me, for our family and us the way he did for everything else. I wanted him to put our children and me in his #1 spot. Was I wrong to want that? I don’t think so. I believe it is how I approached him regarding this need was where I went wrong. I learned that I needed some help in this area.
Over 24 years of marriage now, I have learned many do’s and don’ts. The way I approach Chad will usually determine the outcome of that situation. If I come at him with an attitude of anger, he will automatically see it as control or disrespect and will not be open to conflict resolution. When that happens, our tempers flare, and we accomplish nothing good. However, if I approach him with a heart of respectful and kindness, he usually sees that I value him and what he has to say on the matter. We get better results this way every time.
Words Kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit-you choose.
Proverbs 18:21 MSG
Today Chad leads our family and has made me his #2. He has put Christ in the #1 spot. I wouldn’t want that any other way. Without Christ, in his life, I would be way down on the list. Chad made a choice not to quit on the essential things in his life. He chose us and is no longer chasing dreams that don’t include me or that don’t line up with God’s calling over his life. Chad put his priorities in order. It was hard work, and it took lots of practice and determination on both his end and mine to make it where we are today.
Sometimes we need to take a step back and see the situation in a different way. It can be gut-wrenching because we don’t like to see where we have been in the wrong. Taking responsibility can be a powerful tool that can set you free.
I encourage you to:
1. Pray and ask the Lord to show you any areas that He wants you to take responsibility for regarding your actions.
2. If you are unsure or do not think there is any responsibility to take, please seek wise counsel. Maybe that person can help you see it differently. Even if you are 6 % at fault, take 100% responsibility for your 6%
3. Ask for forgiveness from that person. Tell them you were wrong and that you want to make it right. Turn from those ways and seek wisdom on not repeating the same mistake.