When Unexpected Turbulence Hits in Marriage, Look to the Word to Weather the Storm
Dr. Paul and Terrie Chappell Write in New Book ‘Are We There Yet?’ That God Goes Before Us in Every Trial, Giving His Word to Rely Upon
LOS ANGELES—Millions in Florida, Texas and the Caribbean are facing the trials of their lives because of storms that, while forecasted, were relatively unexpected—especially on the level of devastation.
Life—and marriage—hold those same chances of unexpected turbulence and trials, and authors Paul and Terrie Chappell, married for 36 years, write in their new book that there’s only one place to look for guidance.
The Chappells have dedicated an entire chapter to trials in their soon-to-be-released book, “Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples.” In the travel-themed guide for marriage, out on Oct. 17, the Chappells candidly share biblical principles and personal, transparent illustrations that will equip couples to travel down the road of marriage further together.
In fact, in Chapter 9, titled “Unexpected Turbulence,” the Chappells compare the trials of life to storms that will undoubtedly come.
“When you hit turbulence in your life or in your marriage, you don’t need to trust the counsel of others who have never been there, or your own intuitions,” writes Dr. Paul Chappell in “Are We There Yet?” “You can trust the God who goes before you in every life storm to help you navigate as you rely on His Word. Nobody likes to anticipate turbulence. Yet, if there is one thing we can be sure of, it is that we will face these times. Because every Christian couple goes through times of trial, we shouldn’t be surprised by seasons of suffering. Addressed to Christians being persecuted for their faith, 1 Peter 4:12 says, ‘Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.’ And yet, it seems like suffering always takes us by surprise, doesn’t it?”
And, Chappell reminds readers, God’s grace will be sufficient for any difficulty that occurs in life, no matter how big or small.
“Although you may not be facing intense persecution as a couple, perhaps you are facing an incredible time of trial or pressure,” he says. “You feel as though you are running from Satan’s attacks, hiding in a cave of loneliness, watching destruction come in the lives of people you love, or facing any type of ongoing trial. Your trial may be financial—perhaps the loss of a job, trouble finding work, bills, debt, bankruptcy. Perhaps yours is health-related. Perhaps you’re dealing with doctors, tests, treatment, hospitals, pain or exhaustion. Maybe your trial is a child who is struggling, rebelling or has left the faith. Maybe you have lost a child or have not been able to have children. Maybe it is an unfaithful spouse, the death of your parents, a child with special needs, a deep life disappointment—there are more possibilities than we can name here. But none of these possibilities surpass the grace of God.
“These times of trial have the potential to make or break a marriage,” he continues. “On one hand, they can drive us to the Lord and to each other as we seek His help and recognize our need for His grace. On the other hand, we may respond wrongly to the trial and reject God’s grace and allow the stress to drive us away from one another.”
Many couples have given words of praise for “Are We There Yet?” including Dr. and Mrs. Mike Norris of Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
“In a culture that is constantly attacking faithful Christian marriages,” they write, “there is a great need for biblical marital counsel. Dr. and Mrs. Chappell do a tremendous job of presenting biblical principles and personal illustrations that will be a help to every marriage. We were encouraged and helped by this book, and we look forward to sharing it with others on their marriage journey.”
Whether newlyweds or married for decades, husbands and wives will find truth in “Are We There Yet?” to help them clarify their destination, communicate their needs, grow as a couple and even shed some baggage along the way.
With additional chapter titles such as “Paying with Foreign Currency,” “It’s a Two-Lane Highway,” “Roadblocks” and “Booking a Room,” “Are We There Yet?” explores topics from needs and communication to conflict and intimacy.
Pre-orders for “Are We There Yet?” are beginning now online at www.AreWeThereYetBook.com. Bonus items for those who pre-order before the Oct. 17 release date include: Chapter 1 in PDF format, a marriage Q&A video session with the Chappells, downloadable “Travel with Me” cards—52 questions to inspire your marriage journey; and a printed “Are We There Yet?” companion guide for the first 1,000 pre-orders.
For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit paulchappell.com or www.lancasterbaptist.org, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.