| from Laurie Krieg |

Friends – I’m excited to post Laurie Krieg’s first blog here at Celebrate Kids. She’ll now blog regularly like our other associates. Last fall, as our Board and staff thought deeply about our new Ignite the Family conference division, we realized we’d be wise to add a marriage initiative. After all, God designed the family to begin and continue on with a healthy marriage. After meeting Laurie, and then her husband, Matt, I knew they’d be perfect because of their life experiences and understanding of our culture and biblical truths. Please welcome Laurie! She’s going to make you think – and that’s good!

-Dr. Kathy

“Through your journey, I better understand The Impossible Marriage between Christ and the church,” she said.

A parable. We’ll take it. I mean, a parable is a good description of all of our marriages, but we get that it’s easy to get caught on the novelty of our journey: 

Wait, you’re a female whose default sexual attractions are toward other women? And you had childhood trauma to deal with in marriage? And: Hold on, you’re a dude who was in ministry while secretly addicted to porn for over five years? And you saw sex as ultimate?

Impossible. Your marriage is impossible.

I thought that, too. Which is why I considered leaving.

When our oldest daughter turned the age I was when a suppressed memory of sexual assault happened to me, something jarred awake in my brain. Pandora’s box opened, and certain rooms, events, and times of day sent me into fight, flight, or freeze.

Although my husband, Matt, was not my perpetrator, his maleness reminded me of my male perpetrator, and my instincts told me to fight, flight, or freeze him.

That’s not great for a marriage.

And, oh yeah… I still had those default sexual attractions toward women. They never disappeared, but we never expected them to. We saw them and Matt’s issues with heterosexual lust as equally broken issues. Like everyone is called to do, we were both to daily surrender our brokenness to the Lordship of Christ.

But the attraction bit. How could I be married to a guy if I am not naturally attracted to him?

Let’s get real for a second: Who do you know who is married more than five minutes who is always, naturally attracted to their spouse? I’m sure that some exist, but if most of us married folks are honest, we would say that attraction starts with the heart. Hearts lead toward a physical connection.

That was us—until it wasn’t. The heart connection left. The friendship felt dead. And physical connection was completely off the table. This cliff edge would have ended us if we weren’t so determined to ask it some questions. The primary one being, “What is the purpose of marriage?”

Do you know the answer? I didn’t. Or at least I did in my head, but not in my heart. Companionship? Sanctification? To have “your person” with whom you link arms and run toward Jesus? It’s probably something to do with Christ and the Church… I was lost until Ephesian 5 hit me over the head and heart like a sack of bricks.

As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one (Eph. 5:31-32).

What is the “great mystery”? That men and women fall in love? Nah. The great mystery is that when two very different people—male and female—die to self daily to be one with their spouse, they model for the world how very different-from-us Jesus died to be one with us and how we are to die daily to be one with Him.

Marriage—all marriages—are parables. Metaphors. They are living, breathing, 24/7 gospel pictures.

This reality saved our marriage. (Well, to be honest, this reality was the bedrock of our marriage restoration on top of which we piled counseling, a marriage intensive, caring friendships, intense prayer work, and a bunch of other things…but you can read about that elsewhere.) Truly, this theology of marriage was the foundation that made the other work stick.

Now? I can’t believe we get to live this thing out. I cannot believe we have the privilege of living this parable. I cannot believe we get to show the world a 24/7 gospel picture of how much God loves them.

And I can’t believe my husband and I get to share about the tools we forged (are still forging…) in the furnace of marriage suffering alongside you. To join us for our first-ever, in-person Impossible Marriage event (!!!), join us in St. Louis on Thursday night, March 4th (sign up here!). Matt and I are also looking forward to keynoting the Ignite Women Conference with many others on the Celebrate Kids team. You can check this out at www.IgniteWomen.org. To read all about our journey, you can snag a copy of our book here.

Blessings, guys. Go live the parable. Live the metaphor. Show the world a living, breathing picture of the gospel.

Laurie Krieg and her husband, Matt, are Marriage Initiative Fellows with Celebrate Kids/Ignite the Family. Laurie is also a speaker, author, and Hole in My Heart Podcast host who speaks and trains extensively on the gospel, sexuality, and marriage most often alongside her licensed-therapist husband, Matt. Laurie also serves on the Board of The Center for Faith, Sexuality & Gender, and is earning a master’s degree from Wheaton Graduate School in Evangelism and Leadership. Matt and Laurie recently published their first book, An Impossible Marriage, and the pair live in Grand Rapids, Michigan with their three kids and puppy, Bingo. To find out more about Laurie and Matt, visit impossiblemarriage.com