Our past, our upbringing, and our experiences in life don’t stay in the past. They are carried into our marriages and affect how we operate in our relationships. This is a topic that Mark and I cover a lot in our book No More Perfect Marriages and in our coaching with other couples. The good news is that you are not powerless to stay stuck in the past! You can move beyond it and experience true intimacy in your marriage and relationships.

In this episode, I’m joined by my husband, Mark, and our friends, Joe & Tara Buchanan. They are the hosts of the Behind Our Smiles podcast, in which they talk openly about their marriage journey and how their past has affected their marriage.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Joe & Tara’s marriage journey
  • The importance of loving your spouse where they are at right now
  • How to surrender the work of restoring your marriage to God
  • Why we have to watch for pride in our own hearts

Mark and I really appreciated Joe and Tara’s openness in this episode. Listen in!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) The healing process is ongoing. If you have sought healing and walked through a healing journey of your own, you know that it is a long one! Even when you experience a victory in your journey, it isn’t over. We are constantly growing and learning and healing throughout our lives. We need to be ready to walk through the process of life together, hand-in-hand and on the same team.

2) Where is pride showing up in your marriage? Where are you believing that you are “better” than your spouse? Where are you believing that you aren’t the one with issues to deal with? Pride can so easily creep into our hearts, and it’s important that we address this issue in our heart as early as we can.

3) It’s not our job to change our spouse; it is our job to love our spouse. You can’t change your spouse or bring healing in their life. That isn’t your job! Your job is to accept them as an imperfect person and recognize that you are also an imperfect person. God has to do the work of transforming each of us, so we need to be ready to love our spouses (this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set boundaries), even when they are on a journey towards healing.

4) Normalize struggle and maximize hope. Our culture has a tendency to idealize marriage as easy, but the truth is that it is often a struggle. We should normalize the struggle and seek to understand that true growth comes when we are vulnerable with our spouse and can share our stories honestly. Sharing our stories also maximizes the hope for those that are on the other side of this process. God is and HAS done great things in stories of broken people. Don’t give up; your story isn’t over yet.

About Joe and Tara:

Joe & Tara Buchanan were married in 1997. The more they got to know each other, the more they learned about how their pasts affected their marriage. There were scars, hurts, and tendencies that got in the way of finding true intimacy. But God is able to bring beauty out of brokenness and that is exactly what He did in their marriage! Joe & Tara celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary this year. They host a podcast together about the real-life behind their smiles: the things they struggle with, the things they have victory over, and the truth from God’s Word. Joe is the Station Manager at WCIC in Peoria, Illinois, while Tara homeschools their children. Learn more at http://behindoursmiles.com/ —




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