not always been easy in our marriage. Actually, things have never been easy in our marriage. We have dealt with depression, financial struggle, conflict, communication problems, health problems, bankruptcy, poverty, and foreclosure, which led to homelessness, to name a few of our challenges.
What affected me more than anything was that he didn’t really have a heart for family when we first got married. He didn’t understand that his role as a husband and father required more than working and making money to support the family. My heart was all about family and Christian marriage. I knew early on that I wanted to homeschool our children. I wanted to have a close-knit, loving family that did fun things together and learned and made memories together. My husband did not come on board the family train. He still lived his life as if he were single. He worked long hours, lifted weights, and played video games. Whenever I asked him to take the kids and me on “field trips” or family outings, he was reluctant, and he was usually so irritable that none of us could really enjoy ourselves. Something bad or inconvenient happened every single time to ruin the day.
I listened to Focus on the Family every day and read lots of books about Christian marriage and parenting. He didn’t.
In spite of his seeming disinterest in family things, he and I still had many values and interests in common. The biggest one being our love for God and His word. We went to church regularly. We discussed things we read in the Bible. We prayed together, mostly because I asked him to pray with me all the time.
He put almost all of his identity in his job. He was brought up to believe that was the most important thing a man should do for his family. He never felt like he was performing well enough financially. He worked as much overtime as he could. He was not home very much. I felt like I was raising the kids by myself. I had 6 babies in 10 years. They were all little and needed me for everything.
I was trying to hold everything together. I was losing that loving feeling, though.
God sent some wake-up calls that nudged him toward understanding how to be an involved husband and father. The biggest one was losing his job.
He found himself at home every day with me and 6 kids. He didn’t know where he fit into the family at first. The Lord worked with him to help him figure out how to pitch in and help with the running of the house and the care of the children. Things were great at first. He had been watching ministers who preached a lot about faith, so he kept a strong belief that everything was going to be okay, even though he felt that God told him not to get another job. We felt that God told us to trust Him and live by faith.
God did provide for us supernaturally for over three years. But some really crazy things started happening that made us wonder if God had forgotten us. We started getting in legal trouble for lapse of car registration, accusation of food stamp fraud (no truth in that), and money started running out, so we had difficulty paying bills. Our electricity was shut off temporarily. We got to the place where we couldn’t pay our mortgage. We seemed to be caught in a downward spiral.
It all culminated in us losing our house. And we had nowhere to go. We had added two more babies to our family by that time. I had twins in the middle of the downward spiral. So now we had 8 children and nowhere to live.