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Struggling Marriage Needs Injection of Faith…and Faithfulness

“We were living a team environment as a bunch of commandos,” said Ricky.  “You work hard, you play hard.”

Having survived 5 combat tours in Afghanistan, Ricky believes his team weren’t the only ones who had his back.

“Times when things were blowing up around me and bullets passing by so close their grazing the fabric of your uniform, but I always felt protected, I always felt like the hand of God was on me.”

It also helped to know he had the faithful prayers of his wife, Kay.

“I always prayed for Ricky,” said Kay. “Always for protection, always for guidance.”

Despite his reliance on God’s divine protection, Ricky’s own faith ran between hot and cold. Because like those around him, he lived life on the edge, both on and off the battlefield.

“It was always one hand on the throttle and if you had an empty hand, one on the bottle.”

Ricky continued, “I was one of those guys who would live a week without thinking about Christ and my salvation.  And then something happens in your life, you lose a buddy, and it makes you think you’re not doing the right things but you are what you are, you accept the fact that you’re a back slider, that’s just who you are.”

And being away from his wife 10 months out of the year, it became too easy to do what he knew in his heart wasn’t right.

I’ll be perfectly honest I was unfaithful to my wife on three separate occasions.  And far be it from being justified, but I never went out intending to do those kinds of things.  But alcohol was always involved, I was in a place I shouldn’t have been, I was always with people that weren’t looking out for my best interest.”

He added, “I suppressed the guilt, I suppressed sometimes the fact that it even happened. Because this could be something that ends my marriage and destroys it and I definitely didn’t want that.  I loved my wife. I love my life.”

Kay had her suspicions but didn’t know for certain until they were confirmed one day through a mutual acquaintance.  At the time, Ricky was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan.

“At first I felt abandoned by God because I had prayed so long and I felt like he never heard me,” said Kay.

Even though Kay still loved her husband and didn’t consider divorce an option, she was deeply wounded.

“That was something I was struggling with, the hurt the resentment towards him. Things he had done in the past, I had started to become bitter.”     

Meanwhile, Ricky couldn’t suppress the guilt that kept rising to the surface.

“I don’t want to die with any questions or doubts between me and my wife,” he said.  “I wanted to be able to look at my wife and say there’s nothing between us, there’s nothing that you don’t know about.”

But when Ricky got home, confessing to his wife didn’t come so easily.  Then at church one Sunday, he finally realized that the only thing standing between his relationship with Kay and God was himself.

“One of our associate pastors gave a message at church and the theme was skeletons in your closet,” said Ricky. “I was convicted and I realized that at that point in life this is what I want more than anything.  More than being the best sniper, or the best green beret, or being at the top of my game and my community, right now what’s most important to me is being a child of God. And I’m not going to grow unless I get rid of this garbage that’s inside.”

That afternoon, Ricky told Kay everything and expected the worst.

He said, “If the offense is so bad that you can’t forgive, I understand.  If you want to go your own way and you want the marriage to dissolve, I don’t want that to happen.  I love you and I’m in love with you. I want our marriage to be a godly marriage and I want to be able to walk out the rest of my days. Yeah, it was tough.”  

Kay said, “I will say I was pretty hurt. I was feeling pretty lonely.  It took a while to recover from that and definitely prayer was definitely involved.”

Ricky said, “Christ restored my marriage, restored my faith.”

“Well, it won't just for Ricky that He heard him, He heard me. He healed my hurt.  And I suffered a lot from hurt.”

By the time Ricky deployed again in 2010, he was grounded in his faith,  and depended on God not only for his protection but for his peace and guidance.
Today he’s retired and grateful for the work God did in his marriage and his life.

“I'll say my heart's filled now. It was just kinda like that rededication, when it happened, was like, it was kinda like being born again,” said Ricky.

“I just believe He made us strong, you know?” said Kay. “And I think God sailed us right through it.”

Ricky said, “What Christ went through to buy that sin and give me the ability to not have to deal with that stuff in my life is just incredible.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what Jesus did on the cross.”

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