The Newlyweds Who Weren't Ready For A Crisis
Chip and Elizabeth Bordeaux had been married for little more than a year when a full-time position opened up for Chip at an auto manufacturer in the Upstate. It was the opportunity that Chip had been working toward since they tied the knot.
Everything, it seemed, was falling into place: A job with great pay and benefits that opened up great prospects for career advancement. Both of them were so excited, it didn't matter that the job was third shift. They were young. They didn't have children.
"This isn’t forever," Elizabeth remembers thinking. "We can bite the bullet and do this for two years."
We didn’t realize that we needed Jesus on a day-to-day basis. We just wanted to get married, and that was all that we focused on.
The stresses on their relationship began immediately. Chip preferred to sleep when she was awake, Elizabeth says. On his days off, Chip was too tired to spend quality time with her. They weren't connecting physically, emotionally, or spiritually. She felt alone and missed having a partner. She ended up spending more time with her parents than she did with her husband.
There was constant friction and fighting between them. The romantic moment three years before when he dropped down on one knee during a hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains seemed so far away.
Chip says he felt it was just too much hassle to rebuild the intimacy.
"It was easier for me to care less because there was so much distance," he says.
Ready To Walk Away
One night, about six months into their struggles, they summoned the courage to have "the talk." It seemed as though both were ready to walk away.
"I don’t know what we have going for us," Chip remembers telling Elizabeth.
Chip and Elizabeth had asked Jesus into their lives in their teenage years. But from the beginning of their relationship, Chip had little interest in leading spiritually, and both lacked a close walk with Jesus.
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Newly married, "we knew we believed in Jesus," Elizabeth says, "but as far as Him being the one who held us together, we didn’t quite grasp that. We didn’t realize that we needed Jesus on a day-to-day basis. We just wanted to get married, and that was all that we focused on."
The growing crisis eventually drove Elizabeth toward Jesus, and her faith grew with the help of a close girlfriend who prayed and encouraged her. She began to see that her role was to serve Chip and pray for what seemed like a miracle that he would want to work for their marriage, too.
Turning To Jesus
At the height of their troubles, NewSpring began the Adam and Eve message series on marriage. Confronted by the truth of God's word, Chip realized he would regret walking away from the relationship. He had to turn to Jesus, and love and forgive like Jesus did.
On a daily basis, he began to focus on the little things he could do to pursue his wife. He would buy Elizabeth daisies, her favorite flowers, at random times. Or he would plaster the house with sticky notes, written with his trademark "goober humor."
He committed to finding a new job on first shift and to making time for a date night every week.
"We got serious about pursuing each other and out-pursuing each other," Chip says. "Pursuing your wife not only makes her feel loved and wanted, but it reminds you who she is to you and who you are to her. It was a daily- to several-times-a-day thing to remind myself: 'She is your bride. She is your church. You need to pastor your home.’"
Over the course of a few months, the relationship grew to be stronger than ever. And they are confident the best is yet to come.