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Refining and Reclaiming Marriage | by Krista Gilbert

In honor of the beginning of the Open Door Sisterhood’s first-ever book club, we are publishing an excerpt from Krista Gilbert’s Reclaiming Home: A Family’s Guide for Life, Love, and Legacy, which is the first book that all of our book club members will be reading. While the book club officially began September 1, it is not too late to join! If you would like to join and be a part of insightful and practical discussions regarding Reclaiming Home, please join The Open Door Sisterhood Community Facebook group. Or, if you want more information before joining, give episode 196 of the Open Door Sisterhood podcast a listen for an inside look into just a fragment of the many topics that will be discussed during the book club.

And now, here is just a sampling from Reclaiming Home: A Family’s Guide for Life, Love, and Legacy:

A wedding ring is a beautiful symbol of the purifying process hammered out on the anvil of marriage. Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon forged in the inner layers of the earth under extreme pressure and heat. That harsh combination causes each carbon atom to adhere to four other carbon atoms, making the diamond remarkably strong. Out of that hostile environment comes the gem that is valuable, durable, and stunning enough to represent marriage itself.

Marriage is a lot like the forging of a diamond. Heat and pressure will come. In fact, it is a necessary and important part of the relationship formation process. Without it, there is no treasure. The temptation to flee the discomfort will be great, and might sometimes be the easier choice. But if we stay and bind ourselves to the one to whom we whispered a promise, we come out like that carbon atom – stronger, wiser, and more beautiful than before.

Just to be clear: To those of you in abusive or unethical situations, this does not apply. Many are in marital crisis that are beyond the scope of what I am discussing there. But to the rest of us – to the ones who have just grown weary, contemptuous, distant, tired, and bored – we can choose to invite the refining process, to hang on, knowing that it leads to something greater.

Reclaiming marriage is an active choice. Reclaiming means that we refuse to give up when we encounter bitterness, contempt, disregard, or neglect. It means we fight for our marriages rather than against them. One of my favorite sayings of Jesus reflects this stance, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” (Matthew 12:25, New International Version) We cannot be divided and expect that our families will not suffer. They will. Deeply. It is worth our best effort to be unified – both for our own sake and for the sake of our children.

[This is an excerpt taken from the “Reclaiming Marriage” chapter (p. 56-57) of Krista Gilbert’s book, Reclaiming Home: A Family’s Guide for Life, Love, and Legacy, published by Morgan James Publishing in 2016.]

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Krista Gilbert lives in a small lakeside town in the Pacific Northwest with her family. She likes to cook for a crowd. In fact, the bigger the crowd, the bigger the party. Her book, Reclaiming Home: A Family’s Guide for Life, Love, and Legacy, shares many of the practical ways she makes her family functional, meaningful, intentional, and fun. At the center of all this is Krista’s deep faith and her love for the people God has placed at her table. You will find her online at kristagilbert.com and meaninginaminute.com, or podcasting at The Open Door Sisterhood.

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