We were married in May of 2004 and we had many conflicts from the very start of our marriage. We just couldn’t seem to understand one another.
Natasha has a sharp mind and a dynamic character. She always wanted to solve our conflicts as soon as they arose but I needed time to cool down a bit.
I worked long hours and often just wanted to catch up on my sleep on the weekends. This didn’t give Natasha much of a chance to do the interesting things she dreamed of us doing together.
We began to drift apart. In the fall of 2008 I went through a very difficult time. I was struggling in my family. I quit my church responsibilities and then left the church.
I decided to get away from Kiev for a while, go to the village to get my head on straight.
Thankfully my wife said, “I am coming with you.”
Getting away from the city for a while helped a bit but there was still no progress in my marriage.
In February of 2009 we came to our first Homebuilders group meeting. It was an amazing feeling as we were walking home from that first meeting.
I felt like God, in His great mercy had given us this group as a gift from Him. The atmosphere and the questions that we discussed enabled us to open up to one another like we never could before.
We continued to be involved in the group and go on our dates to do our “homework.” We began to understand the things that we needed to work on in our relationship.
We noticed that we began to have less conflicts and I was more attentive to Natasha’s needs. We developed new habits and began to get rid of the bad habits we had formed during the first 5 years of our marriage.
The couple that led our group moved in May 2009. Natasha and I realized that if we did not agree to lead the group it would stop meeting. We saw so much progress in our relationship and we did not want to see this come to an end.
The Homebuilders materials are put together in such a way that even a person with no experience in leading a group can do it so we decided to give it a try.
We greatly enjoyed leading this group but we also became aware of many other couples in our church were having marriage problems. During one of the church services there was an announcement about Homebuilders groups in our church.
After this some of the couples we knew began to ask us about these groups. We realized that we were participating in a program that God could use to change many families to be what He wants them to be.
In May of 2009, we decided to start another group. The number of interested couples continued to grow so we started a 3rd group in September of that same year.
Because our groups meet every other week we are able to lead these 3 groups for now, but we are praying that some of the couples will soon have the desire and vision to step into the leadership role.
The more I talk with families the more I become convinced that the “Homebuilders” materials touch on very important and pertinent questions of family life. When couples become involved in these groups they become closer to one another and to God.
As much as possible we will continue to encourage couples in our church and other churches to get involved in Homebuilders. I am sure that as this ministry continues to develop in Ukraine we will see less divorce and will see more and more families living out God’s plan for the family.
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When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is.
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