When We Step Out of the Ship as a Couple

Brent Top

Brent Top, the author of When You Can’t Do It Alone, told the Minneapolis audience at Time Out for Women, “The scriptures will become more relevant and significant as we have personal experiences.”

He said that at times in our life the Lord invites us, like Peter in the New Testament story (Matthew 14:25-32), to “step out of the ship and do something that is painful or seemingly impossible or even something that doesn’t feel humanly possible.”

Peter walked on water, but then he looked at the boisterous wind around him, was afraid, and began to sink. Like Peter, he said, we often look away from Christ and that is when our faith falters and fear takes over.

One of the hardest things for me to do in marriage is to step out of that ship with someone else, with struggles raging around both of us. I feel like I am drowning beside this person whom I love, but I also fear for our lives. How do I overcome the fear so that I do not pull my spouse down with me? How do I not push him down in an attempt to hold up myself?

We are usually not lacking in faith in the Savior, he said, but instead, doubting in ourselves. That internal doubt causes us to feel like we are drowning. To overcome this, he advised,

When we walk arm in arm with the Savior, we do not sink. Trusting in God requires three things:

Trusting in his power. We have to believe that he has the power to strengthen us, lift us, and heal us.

Trusting in his promises. We have been given individual promises from the Lord through his words and his servants. Do you believe in these promises?

Trusting in his love. We can trust in Christ’s love; it changes everything.

When he spoke about his own difficult experience to stay afloat in the face of overwhelming problems, he said that his wife reassured him and told him to “Focus on Christ.”

The light turned on for me.

Rather than focusing on all the problems themselves and doubting that any solution is going to come, I need to proceed in the practical things I can do and trust in God that he also knows my needs and will help me fulfill them.

With that assurance, I can lift my husband to see my trust. And likewise he can buoy me up when my faith falters. That’s the inspiration I not only found in his message but used this very week to walk in faith in my own marriage when real concerns became too much.

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