Welcome to One Flesh Marriage! We are glad that you stopped by. We wanted to share with you a little about ourselves, where we have been and where we are headed!
The Story Begins
Brad and I started dating during Brad’s senior year and my sophomore year. I was 16 and Brad was 17. Was it love at first sight? I’m not sure that is possible in High School. Regardless, we were drawn to one another and started dating. We were Christians when we met and on fire for Jesus, but still babies in our faith.
We continued dating through college, both going to different colleges. Brad attended Messiah College majoring in Psychology, minoring in Family Studies. Kate attended Eastern University majoring in Youth Ministry and minoring in Missions. We definitely felt that God was calling us to be together and had a purpose in our union. After what felt like ages we were married in June of 1999.
The first 5 years of our marriage were a blur, full of changes and adjustments. We loved each other abundantly and treasured living together finally. But honestly were a bit confused about marriage. We assumed it would be easy after knowing each other for such a long time, and wrestling through the hardship of a long distance relationship.
In the beginning, we were challenged about many aspects of marriage: the roles defined by God for husband and wife, sexual intimacy, even basic communication and learning to understanding each other were big struggles.
In 2003 we were blessed with our first-born son. As any of you who have children know, babies throw an even bigger wrench into marriage! Now, not only were we challenged about each other, we were extremely tired, irritable and consumed by this little bundle of joy. In our state of confusion we took our eye off the ball and tried to fix things ourselves! We failed miserably! We were drifting apart. We both knew our marriage was suffering but nothing was changing.
During this time Brad was going to Drexel University for his Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. He eventually achieved his dream of becoming a Pennsylvania licensed counselor, and yet, this didn’t help us improve our marriage.
Breaking Point #1
In 2005, God revealed in each of us ways that we were being completely selfish in our marriage. We were forced to look at our own “stuff” as God worked in both of our hearts to remove things from our lives that were consuming us and pulling us apart. God also spoke to our hearts the need for Him to truly be our center, not just on our lips, but in our hearts too. Each one of us needed to re-center our life, and re-center our marriage.
Over time our marriage greatly improved, we saw enormous changes in our communication, our intimacy, and our overall happiness. Little did we know that God wasn’t done with our marriage yet.
If you had asked either of us about our marriage at this point, we would have told you that we had a good marriage. We were happy, we weren’t looking for great. God wasn’t done with us.
Good But Not Great
In the summer of 2009, My (Kate’s) uncle came to live with our family so we could care for him through his last days of terminal cancer. Over the months of constant care I was emotionally exhausted. We felt very strongly that God wanted us to be the hands and feet of Christ to him in this difficult time. I kept praying that God would lead me, that he would give me strength for all that lay ahead. Every day I prayed a prayer that I had read in a book: “Break me Lord, until I am wholly yours!” I had no idea the first place He would “break me” was my marriage!
As things with my uncle went from hard to grueling I was not sleeping well and my emotions were all over the place. I kept praying my prayer, “Break me Lord, until I am wholly yours!” I felt God speaking to me over and over, “Cling to your husband, he is who I have given you to share this burden! Cling to him! Cling to him!”
At first I couldn’t articulate why I felt this need to cling to Brad. So I didn’t talk to him about it, but physically clung to him with all that I had. As Brad started to see that I needed this time, we started to carve it out every night. After we put the kids to bed, we would go to our room and wrap ourselves up in each other, talk, snuggle, whatever we needed. No TV, computer, or other distractions. I am sure many of you are wondering if this means we had sex. Yes, frequently. But even more important it was the fact that we took the time to be with one another, without outside interruptions.
As I started clinging things started changing. We were both truly amazed and humbled at what God was doing in our marriage. In the midst of chaos, God could make beauty out of us, as we laid our marriage and ourselves at his feet. Part of me could not believe where God had led us and the other part of me, was thanking God over and over for pouring out His blessing on our marriage. At one point Brad asked, “If we were to tell another couple how things in our marriage changed what would we tell them?”
We started to search for a way to describe what was different, what helped us move from good to awesome! God lead us to Ephesians 5: 31.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
God also placed a burden on our hearts for couples seeking to have a Christ-centered, one flesh marriage! It is out of that burden and much prayer that, One Flesh Marriage Ministries was born. This is God’s ministry and we are just attempting to share how He has led us, and how he transformed our marriage. We still have more to learn in the journey toward a one flesh marriage! We are excited to share with you a piece of that journey. We hope you join us!
To find out a little bit more about this blog, our format, and how to contact us visit our Welcome Page.
Brad and Kate now have three children. Kate is currently a stay at home mom and is homeschooling their children. She also has a photography business, Kate Aldrich Photography, which she enjoys in her spare time. Brad works as the Pastor of Small Groups and re|engage Marriage Ministry at The Worship Center in Lancaster, PA. Brad and Kate are passionate about Jesus, worship, their marriage, Africa (specifically Ethiopia, where there second son was born) and their kiddos! They live in Lancaster County, PA