Sharing Another’s Journey

The previous podcast began to explore what it means to share someone else's journey, even if its not the journey you'd prefer them to be on. Wayne asked his wife Sara to join him for a further look at the things God has taught them in their own marriage and to answer some of the questions that others asked about finding a way to share their spouse's, and even their children's journeys. Relationships thrive where we embrace the other person in their journey and trust God to work out what he needs to in them, rather than getting someone else to do what would make us happy, or at least mitigate our fears. Of course none of this can happen as long as we see our relationships as a contest of power and not a relationship of affection.

Podcast Links:
Previous Podcast on learning to share our spouse's journey
Great Joy in Kenya
Wayne's resources available in Australia at livingloved.com.au

19 Comments

  1. Dear Sara and Wayne,
    Beutiful pod cast, thank you both for sharing your hearts and His truths. I am going to have my 16 year old daughter and 15 year son listen such great teaching. My husband and I have been married 19 years and they have been the best nine years of our lives. After we both let go of trying to do for the other what the other should be doing for themselves, freedom was found. I never thought marriage could be this good, I love my husband because he loved me enough to le me go.

    Thanks again for your testimonies. Praying for you both.

    Cris
    From The Front Porch

  2. Thank you Wayne and Sara for sharing some of the journey that you are, and have been on together. Being conscious that there are three distinct journey’s and championing my wife on hers, although it is very different from mine, has been incredibly helpful. I am looking forward to discovering new ways to encourage her journey more and more. πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you, Sara, for sharing your thoughts on this podcast. For lack of a better positively sounding word… I “envy” you. You talk of a place where I hope to be one day. I long to get the confidence that I hear about in the thoughts you have shared. I am a people pleaser. I am like the woman that Wayne describes as the pre 94 Sara. Maybe I believe that my opinion isn’t as valuable as keeping the peace in my family.

    I like having the freedom to do different things than my husband. I had parents who did everything together. I figured that a good marriage meant doing everything together. I am learning now that it isn’t a bad thing to have different interests. We are on different individual journeys.. But still on one together. Thank you both for pointing that out.

    Ruby from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    (still a long way to go)

  4. I can relate to the rose thorn “injury” .. had a bump on the back of my thigh that would never heal for months, finally went to the Dr. (my wife “made” me) and had it biopsied and it was a rose thorn fungus … took meds for 6+ months to have it finally go away … no more rose gardening for me .. I admire these flowers at a distance πŸ™‚

    Love ur stories and glimpses into your journeys πŸ™‚ Been married 32 years later this years .. and can relate to divergent journeys under the same roof … while I arrived at being gratefully disillusioned about 8 years ago .. I think my wife is getting close these days … as she had expected at one time to be married to a church planter and is now experiencing a life w/o a weekly “thing” called church (not ruling out a future love for a local group … just from listening to online sermons we can screen out places that would make us cringe too much to offset the ability to love others in that environment πŸ™‚ )

  5. Ruby – I’m making that journey out of people pleasing too. It can be super painful because of all the internal conflict, plus the fear of alienating your loved ones. A good book I read is called “Boundaries”. It’s definitely a process, but I’m getting to the point where I’m not in complete turmoil when I make a decision for myself that I know other’s won’t be please with. At times I’d be physically trembling when I stood up for myself. Quite a goofy combination. There were also great moments of seeing God work in situations, so hang it there!

    General – I thought I’d throw in another aspect of the “good wife” thing that I experienced. Those traditional good wife admonitions I would get, mostly from books, talked about how your “support” (read that “subservience”) of your husband would inspire him to be a better man. So the implication is that if my husband is a jerk, or an underacheiver, then it’s my fault because if I was a good enough wife, he wouldn’t be that way. I do accept that we can have a positive impact on others when we support and encourage, but that burden I carried that it was my job to make my husband better, by being a sweet, subservient, conforming wife, that really stunk. He’s responsible for his own life, and honestly it was just another way for me to try to control him. I’m so glad I’m over it!!!

    Thanks Wayne & Sarah for sharing your thoughts. Always inspiring & encouraging.

  6. Just wanted to say a thank you to Sara for “stepping outside her comfort zone” in a way and joining in on this week’s podcast. I enjoy it EVERY week of course, but it was good to hear some of her journey as well, being a woman myself struggling with figuring out who I am and where my role fits into things. It’s always nice to hear about others’ journeys of a similar nature. Thank you!

  7. This evening I spoke to my husband of 37 years (and friend of 45 years) about my journey with God
    and lightbulbs were flashing all over the room. Like you Sara when my mother passed away after years of caring for my father…the similarities are uncanny…I was lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore…just that I felt alone. My husband gave me the space that I needed but my daughter who teaches music at a Christian school could not understand why I stopped teaching Sunday School after 27 years. Five years ago when I looked at my two grand daughters as the only participants in my Sunday School class I thought I can do this at home while making our favourite sugar cookies shaped in the celebration of the month whether red hearts for Valentines Day or pumpkins for Thanksgiving Day. Sorry they are not chocolate chip coookies. I told my daughter she needs to be with her husband and stop worrying about me as I am travelling another path. Her husband is nopw on my daughter’s journey and she has let me step aside.
    I moved up the ladder to volunteering in the kitchen at the Senior center for Soup and Sandwich Day. Like your podcasts with John gray I meet with people 20 years older than me and they have enlightened my life. 90 year old Winnie uses her scooter around town to visit her friends at various care facilities because in 1970 she volunteered for the visiting Committee. She is a gem!! I am truly blessed and my heart is filled with happiness. I thank God for the day my husband brought home your book from one of his co-workers “So you don’t want to go to Church anymore.” I used to be a homophobic to the extreme because I felt that my marriage was being threatened. Now my heart is filled with LOVE and there is not one bit of hatred in my heart. Like you Sara I love puttering in my garden because that is my happy place to be with God. No more hard pews to sit on and no more
    fundraisers to save a church buiilding. I can feel God in my heart. PS Change your intro music to the Brad and Wayne podcasts because it embodies you and Brad. I love you Sara. Keep on your journey with God because He loves you a whole bunch.

    Love Ann:)

  8. Thank you Wayne and Sara. Good looking picture of you two. Any possibility of posting the chocolate chip recipe on Wayne’s Lifestream blog? πŸ™‚ My wife has a Honda and I have a 4×4 Truck. We enjoy our own solo journey times and we enjoy our rides together. When together in the Honda, she drives and when in the 4×4 truck, I drive. This translates out in other areas of our shared journeys also…

  9. We’ve given it out many times, but I’ll warn you it is not the recipe, it is the unmeasured things of texture and temperature in the mixing, and flour to a certain consistency an then baking them to just the exact moment that makes them perfect. That stuff can’t be put in a recipe unfortunately. But here is the recipe it is all based on:
    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    2 Cups Crisco
    2 Cups Brown Sugar
    1 Cup White Sugar
    4 Eggs
    2 Tsp Vanilla

    Cream Crisco, white sugar, brown sugar , eggs and vanilla. Beat till fluffy. If Crisco is too warm, the cookies turn out greasy.

    Add 4 + cups flour, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp baking soda. Add chocolate chips and bake at 350 for 7 minutes or until lightly brown.

  10. Thank you Wayne and Sara for this podcast. Unfortunately I did not see a relationship modeled like yours growing up. What I saw was as breadwinner, an entitled father and as a result, a resentful mother. The relationship did not survive.

    As a child of a broken home, I still see marriage and family as akin to slavery, not the joyful adventure it ought to be. Thus I remain single. I see selfishness and self-centeredness in my own life which has led to relationship difficulties. I feel much more comfortable alone than with a group of people. I maintain a certain amount of peace and happiness but I fear compromise and intimacy. I definitely send out the mixed message of ‘come close, stay away.

    Thankfully I do feel I am still on the God journey. God’s grace allows me to embrace this journey as unique to my life circumstances regardless of how those in traditional systems of church and family may perceive me. I don’t have to apologize to them or for myself.

  11. Thanks Wayne, I’ll be passing this recipe on to my daughter. She is the baker in our family. πŸ™‚

  12. You mentioned a few times in your podcast that people in Wayne’s travels often ask about Sara and remark that they wish she would have come also. I got the impression that maybe you take this as an insinuation from others that she OUGHT to travel with Wayne and that, when people ask this, they are suggesting that her absence shows a lack of support for Wayne’s ministry. I can’t speak for anyone else, but if I were to say something like that to you, it would just mean that Sara sounds like an interesting person from what I’ve heard about her, and that I would like to meet her sometime. It would have nothing to do with any kind of negative judgement about her for not coming.

    That said, I find it very refreshing to hear you talk about the subject of husbands/ wives, men/ women in the way that you have. Usually, in most of the Christian circles I’ve been exposed to, men are encouraged to “take their rightful place” as the “head of the household” and women are relegated to the traditional roles of subjugation to their husbands, care of children, and household duties. Women aren’t necessarily discouraged from working outside the home, but they still have the traditional household duties on top of the outside work, AND since the man is the head of the household, he ultimately has all the power over every major decision. A man can be controlling, domineering, and even abusive to his wife and people in the church seem to think this is normal. A woman can be completely under her husband’s thumb, with practically no identity of her own, and she is praised for it by men and women alike. If she ever deviates from that pattern of absolute submission, not only will she have to deal with any consequences from her husband, but she will persistently hear from her fellow Christians, ESPECIALLY the women, about how she is in rebellion and needs to re-submit herself. This may not be everyone’s experience, but it certainly was my experience, and I have seen it repeatedly in other’s lives as well. I am now very happily divorced, for 10 years now, and would be perfectly happy to stay that way. I’ve endured all the bondage I ever care to endure. I have a hard time thinking of marriage as anything other than slavery, but I know this is not the way it alway is. It’s very helpful to me to be exposed to people with long, happy, healthy marriages (real ones, not ones that seem happy and healthy from the outside but really are anything but), even if I don’t really KNOW them. Just to know they exist out there somewhere is very therapeutic for me, thanks for being a living proof that it really is possible

  13. Institutionalism can take over families as well as churches…it is poison! How can we have the “Glorious Liberty” in Christ if we are in bondage? How can the Holy Spirit move us if we are ‘tied up” and regulated to death? I feel a cool wind blowing it and it feels ‘Heavenly’! Literally! Judy

  14. Ultimately, this is a trust in God issue. Do we trust God to work in someone else the way He is working or has worked in us or even in a totally different way? I love my husband, but we function in so many different ways and come in contact with people in so many different ways–God has revealed things to us in different ways. God has given me a vision recently about where I am going. In the beginning I was a little unnerved that my husband was not in that vision. I am releasing this to Him to work out the details. My husband has always been my greatest supporter of learning and being all God wants me to be!

  15. Hi there,

    I’d love to know what Crisco is – we don’t get it here.

    Seriously though, I just want to say ‘thank you’ to Sara for sharing her side of the story along with Wayne. I have listened to the podcasts totally out of order over the last few months, but always in the right order for where I am at in the present. I too became ‘lost’ and have struggled with depression as a result from having a husband with an acquired brain injury from a car accident 11 years ago. We have been married for 12. I have spent the last few months beginning to rediscover ‘me’ and who I am and yes at times it has felt selfish – but it has been what I have needed to do. I have discovered that it is OK for us not to be on the same page, and for the most part we never will. I have lost a lot in terms of dreams and hopes, but with time I am learning that God’s dreams for me are bigger than any dreams I will ever have for myself and that it is OK at times for my dreams and my journey to be separate from my husband’s.

    I would love to know how old your children were at the time of your transition Sara. I have three children – 6, 5 and 3years. It certainly adds to the mix!

    Thanks for the openness and honesty. I certainly appreciate it very much.

  16. Sarah, Crisco is a shortening used for baking here in the States. It isn’t available in other countries as far as I know, which is why Sara cannot replicate the cookies when we travel overseas. So sorry!

  17. Hi Wayne

    Just wanted to say thanks for the above podcast, one of the first things I became painfully aware of when I began on this journey was how quietly long suffering my beautiful wife has been over the past 14 years of marriage. As I began to relax in the Father’s love which lead to choices being made that would have been seen as “Out of character” for the me of all the years previous to this journey, my wife began to open up on her own perspective on previous decisions made by me and my perspective of the wife’s role in marriage and how messed up it really was.

    She must have felt a sense of freedom to share her perspective now as she unloaded on things I didn’t expect, 14 years of stuff, I suddenly realized that I was living with a stranger all these years, how sad that I was instrumental in silencing another’s journey , how warped my thinking must have been.

    I used to think that if my wife would just change in an area that we had an issue in, all would be great, then my own journey had me changing in my thinking which translated to action, and guess what, those areas I thought she needed to change on to make things better did, not because she changed but because I did!!!!

    I so enjoyed Sarah’s perspective as it was if I was listening to my now wife, we still have a lot to do in championing each other’s journey, but our marriage has never been better. We both thank the Father that we are on these journeys now as we are raising four boys and we can now learn to champion their own journeys and not have them enslaved to my old way of thinking.

    What I would like to encourage other husbands to realize is that when we allow our wives to live their own journey with the Father you will experience a sense of freedom to better live ours.

    It is becoming increasingly clearer that the journey is not about our vocation choice or which house we live in or what clothes we wear or even our marriage and family, it is about relationship with each other and how we interact with people, in a nut shell it is about Jesus as he illustrated that his primary action whilst on this earth was loving the people into a relationship with the Father which is our journey here as well.

    If we do this all else will fall into place as part of the journey.

    Praise the Farther.

  18. Wayne and Sarah;
    Thank you for your honest and open discussion about your shared and separate “journeys.” As I listened and then reflected I realized that sadly, for many years I placed expectations on myself and my husband regarding me sharing his journey. I thought I needed to wait until he had clarity and then “follow and support” him. He never put this on me – I took it for myself! In looking back, he has always been my biggest encourager to do whatever God has truly put in my heart to do. He would only advise caution when he saw me overloading my plate.

    Often the overloading was done in a vain attempt to find my value in what I was doing. Buying into that lie flows into every area of life- homemaking, wife-ing, mother-ing, professional world, ‘church’ work. Even hobbies can become cruel taskmasters and are not very satisfying when pursued with great passion while trying to “get my needs” met in those pursuits. I think I bought two lies. One: that I had to find my ultimate purpose for life (along with emotional happiness and spiritual guidance) from my husband, the “leader” of the family. Second: that I could do it all as a woman. I have struggled under the dual deceptions of both conservative and traditional ‘church’ teaching AND the feminist liberation message.

    I bet I’m not the only one. Just for the record, I am a well paid professional and make more money than most men. My husband, children parents, teachers, professors and professional colleagues have never restricted my involvement or growth in any way. My ‘church’ affiliations have been a different matter entirely. It’s sad to be 55 and wake up to the reality that for about 45 or 50 years I had my wagon hooked to the light on the mast of the boat, and not to the true north star. I’m not angry about this any more. I’ve come to a place where I’m secure in Father’s love; he defined my worth and acceptance. And I am not very worried about what “men” think (or women either) concerning how well I’m following their dogma. “It is better that we obey God rather than men.”

    Oh, And on the Crisco- it’s worth a try with whatever vegetable shortening is available. I know we all want to stay away from lard, but the shortenings that are part lard often work up very nicely in Crisco recipes. You may need to reduce the amount but only slightly. THey melt at different temperatures and so will give a slightly different consistency. I laugh at my hubby becuase “no one can make choco chipcookies like Aunt Betty” but I tell him that I’m sure even his aunt Betty can’t make them that good – his memory has made them bigger and better than reality!

  19. Wayne & Sara, my wife & I just listened to the podcast! We have a great marriage, filled with laughter and love! She truly is my best friend! But if there’s one thing I had trouble with for years, it was being able to celebrate her, at her pace & her unique journey outside the context of “us” doing stuff together and moving in “lock step”. I was so excited about what I was experiencing on my love journey with Jesus, and sometimes I allowed my passion & excitement to cause me to try & “coax” her to get on “my page” and go at “my pace”! Boy, was I an idiot!!!!!! What a wonderful revelation, and a peaceful existence to learn how to relax, to celebrate where she was, and walk with her as she journeyed down the path that God was drawing her to! You guys rock! Peace!

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