Our journey to walk WORTHY (Eph 4:1)

Tag: Marriage

Lifelong Learning Assessment on Marriage

Recently I finally submitted a long overdue Lifelong Learning Assessment (LLA), a paper that I wrote in college for credit I earned outside the classroom. Considering the motivation of our blog is to genuinely share our experiences in hopes they can encourage and inspire others, I thought this debrief of our of courtship and marriage could be a great read for our followers.

With that said, below I have posted my LLA submission on the topic of Marriage. Since this was a 10 page assignment I went ahead and broke the subtopics into separate post hopefully making it easier to read through. Also, in order to demonstrate learning from my experience the paper had to outline the learning cycle through each of Kolb’s four stages of learning (Concrete experience, Observations and reflections, Generalizations, Applications), through three separate subtopics.

Enjoy and please comment with any thoughts or feedback you have at the end!


Love has been called many things: a metaphor, a battlefield, a headache, a losing game, and yet often referred to as “the greatest thing.” Although, beyond all the speculation on the concept, many young, and often still maturing individuals, “fall in love,” which results as the premise for starting a family of their own. Considering that the foundation for how an individual understands the entire world can often be traced to their family institution or lack thereof, it is strange that the basis for instituting such a large responsibility is often decided by “falling” into a feeling that cannot be fully conceptualized. For this reason, I find it valuable to share my experience regarding this important decision. Unlike most Hollywood scripts written on this subject, this is not a plot about how “the boy gets the girl,” (it is overplayed and clearly not as valuable), rather this is a story about how the boy keeps the girl. Covering the process of courtship, the early marriage stages of family development and the function of the family.

  1. The Process of Courtship
  2. The Early Marriage Stage of Family Development
  3. The Function of the Family


In summary, I want to encourage you to challenge what you understand about the institution of marriage, especially its relationship to the family organization. Consider the very real concept of love and the influence it has on such a large area of your life. Love is not just the basis for starting a family, but it is foundational to the entire structure; without it, marriage and families cannot weather the storms that will inevitably come into their lives. It is important to approach such a commitment with an experienced and mature understanding of unconditional love, as well as, a young passion that can revitalize and rekindle that commitment. Thankfully, the greatest picture of love has been forever inscribed on our hearts and in God’s Word. Therefore let us be wise and model the example of Christ for our loved ones so that they too can experience the blessings of true love in their life.


  • Eggerichs, Emerson. “The Crazy Cycle.” Focus on the Family. N.p., 2005. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Graham, Billy . “Responsibility of Family.” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. N.p., 27 Jan. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Harris, Joshua. I kissed dating goodbye. Sisters, Or.: Multnomah , 1997. Print.
  • Henry, Matthew, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. 1, Fleming Revell Company, Old Tappan, New Jersey, p. 20, n.d.
  • Hinnant, Greg. “Why God Created Marriage for a Man and Woman.” Charisma Magazine. N.p.,
  • 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Johnson, Jim. “Pitfalls of the Modern Family.” Preston Trail Community Church. N.p., 27 Aug. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Lisitsa, Ellie. “The Sound Relationship House: The Positive Perspective.” The Gottman Institute.
  • 3 min read, 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Macy, Tom. “Sex and the Single Person.” Tom Macy. N.p., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Norman, Rachel,. “The Dangers of a Present But Absent Parent.” A Mother Far from Home. N.p.,
  • 18 Jan. 2014. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Piper, John. “Sex and the Single Person.” Desiring God. N.p., 1981. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.
  • Watters, Candice. “Should a husband place ministry or family first?” Boundless. N.p., 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 02 Jan. 2017.

This article is part 2 of 3 subtopics from the “Lifelong Learning Assessment on Marriage

The Early Marriage Stage of Family Development

Concrete Experience

Now that I had a clear understanding of how to approach marriage, I was able to intentionally pursue a wife. On March 6th, 2002, I asked my now father-in-law to court his daughter with the intention of considering marriage. With his approval Andrea Balderrama and I began our courtship dance, which led to a promise, then eventually an engagement, and lastly our wedding day on May 22, 2004. A few years later God blessed us with our first born son, David-Nicholas. Shortly after that we had Logan-Matthew. And finally this past year, our daughter Aria Linda.

With a full-house comes a full gamut of responsibility. For years I tried to balance the different demands of being a husband, father, brother, and son, but being a leader, provider, counselor, and friend among other things is not an easy task. Often I experienced seasons of focus on a single role because of the overwhelming nature of each. As I intentionally made daily decisions to become better at each position I would make strides in one area only to find myself lacking in another. It was becoming clear that, like most people, I wanted these relationships but I didn’t always want the responsibility that came with each.


Now, over a decade into marriage, I begin to understand and fully grasp things that are foundational to the very institution. For example, if only I realized the significance of our wedding day in the context of family I might have emphasized and practiced my role as a husband sooner than later; foregoing the overwhelming reaction I had when children became part of the equation. As I pursued marriage I had set my sights on a long lasting relationship, divorce proof and unbreakable, but as the years passed I began to see that what I should have pursued from the beginning was family. Those vows were not just the beginning of our lasting relationship, but they were the beginning of a family of two.

As life went on, stopping for no one, my wife and I had to adapt to our newly found roles together, and in essence, that was the beauty of marriage that I began to see. No matter what life threw our way we got to do it together; failures, successes and all. Married or not, life demands these attributes of us all, every relationship carries with it a responsibility. Family values, traditions, and worldviews are all defined within the context of family, so to take that responsibility lightly is to miss out on the biggest opportunity each of us has.

Abstract Generalizations

Fortunately, our approach towards marriage through our courtship season helped my wife and I grow in our thinking about the opposition we would face in our life together. I cannot imagine how couples handle the responsibility that comes with marriage without a strong foundation in God’s design for the institution. God purposed a different, but equal role between a husband and wife, “God first prepared the man for his wife, creating a deficiency only she could fill” (Hinnant, 2015). Out of man’s need for companionship God made for Adam a wife and helpmate, “made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved” (Henry).

It is said, “the family is the most important unit of society” (Graham, 2016), and what begins with a husband and wife eventually becomes a father and mother. Understanding our roles enables us to accept our responsibilities. “Children need to learn that being part of a family, a team or a class involves accepting responsibilities” (Focus on the Family, 2004). Parents shape their children’s understanding of these roles whether they intend to or not. Although, there may not be a clear right way to parent, there are definitely pitfalls to avoid, one of the most dangerous is being an absent parent. An “emotionally unavailable” (Norman, 2014) parent can produce a dangerous void in a child’s life, and a “child with no heart connection and a relational emptiness they will fill with someone, somehow” (Johnson, 2011). Therefore, very early when building a family it is vital to commit to this responsibility, not even to fully understand it, but to commit to the goal of raising a family.


My experience of starting a family at such a young age has taught me to embrace responsibility as a vital part of relationship. These years of first hand experiences, coupled with my fortified commitment to my wife and my marriage, have made the vision for leading a family clearer. It was never about finding “the one” but rather being the one. As a leader you begin to realize the power of your sphere of influence, and as a father and husband I began to see that my family was and is my sphere of influence.

With these motivations internalized, my wife and I began to foster family values in a way that strengthened our marriage and directed our family. We memorialized our last name (Worth) into a hashtag, categorizing what we do as a family in the form of “#worthit.” Like a modern day family crest we would pass on the standards and value of our family, collectively deciding to “walk worthy”, to encourage a strong “worth-ethic” and integrity in deed that would live up to our name.

Continue reading the next subtopic:
The Function of the Family

This article is part 1 of 3 subtopics from the “Lifelong Learning Assessment on Marriage

The Process of Courtship

Concrete Experience

To begin, like the majority of my generation, I was not raised with a concept of courtship, so the process and even the terminology was foreign to me. Although, I “dated” a lot growing up, some may have stereotyped me as a typical guy, but even still I did hope that someday I would discover “the one” I could spend my life with; I just didn’t know how to find that. My model of marriage was not a very healthy one as my parents divorced when I was twelve. As I matured towards adulthood the question of marriage became much more a reality, and for me not just the opportunity itself, but the commitment. I had vowed that I would not let divorce be an option for my future family, I would not allow that pain of separation to be part of my marriage.

Eventually I read a very thought provoking book titled, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye: A New Attitude Toward Relationships and Romance” by Joshua Harris. To say this book got me thinking would be an understatement; it was the catalyst for my adulthood. Never before this time did I realize the side effects of my care free dating, nor the missed opportunity passed up to prepare for God’s future blessings in my life. In the opening chapter Joshua retells a dream he had of his wedding, in which multiple brides came to the altar. The vivid image he explained was used by God to convict him that every woman he had ever kissed was someone else’s future wife because they were not his. Chapter by chapter his journey through courtship was one I could definitely relate to as a man, and a God-fearing man who desired a lasting, satisfied marriage.


As I examined Joshua’s conclusions on courtship I began to really consider and pray about my own marriage to come, and what it would require of me to have the lasting commitment I desired. Much like a young entrepreneur who dreams of owning a business, it is naive to think the success of that business would come by happenstance. Instead, I realized it would require preparation, work, organization and many things operating together to eventually achieve success. Like many men, I wanted a successful marriage but had no idea what one looked like. Men that want the wife of their dreams, but they have no perception of reality to grasp what the husband of her dreams resembles. If the wife I prayed for was to be a God-fearing, husband respecting, beautiful in character, virtuous women, then what would she want with a lukewarm Christian like myself? Moreover, how would I ever lead a woman like that?

Abstract Generalizations

Consequently, it became very clear that the process of courtship would begin with a season of singleness; a time of preparation, an opportunity of discipleship. “Singleness is a gift” (Harris, 2003). That statement is so controversial to a culture that compares singleness to a death sentence. But John Piper elevated singleness by stating, “there are glories that can’t be shown in marriage but only in singleness” (Piper, 1981). Finally, more recently Elevation Church pastor, Steven Furtick teaching on “Times and Seasons” preached, “there’s a strength in this season if you can seize it” (Furtick, 2013). Therefore, it is evident that there is a season for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1), but what is not clear is how we are to enjoy and benefit from each season, especially if we are like snowbirds constantly avoiding the season we’re in. The wisdom from this observation is to see the beauty and the opportunity of each season, if it is one of preparation then prepare, if it is one of restoration then restore, but seize the opportunity of that season.


For myself this was applied in a transformational way, as I repelled opportunities for dating I drew closer in my contact with Christ. I found complete fulfillment in my relationship with Him alone and began to see the women in my life with the purity of Christ’s eyes, as sister’s in the Lord. A sense of chivalry was nurtured as I wanted a successful marriage not just for myself but for others as well. This meant protecting the hearts of the women in my life, and praying for the same courtesy from the men in my future wife’s life.

As I lived out this new conviction in my life not only did I begin to see God’s will for my life more clearly, but I realized the value of the foundation I was building. As I said before, it is actually pretty easy to find and pursue a bride, but extremely difficult to continue that pursuit with the same intensity through the many seasons of marriage when you foster short term thinking in your relationships.

Continue reading the next subtopic:
The Early Marriage Stage of Family Development

The One My Heart Trusts

I’m sure most husbands can relate to the following statements:

“My wife doesn’t know how beautiful she is…”
“..she still doesn’t understand how I love her so much”

(when asked if she looks fat),

“you have to be fat to look fat babe”

My wife and I are approaching 12 years this May #goals –will you still be my valentine? –Always! . When I think about the ways that I love her I realize she probably doesn’t even know. She probably still doesn’t get it. To her credit though, if I was being honest, it is a moving target. Because when I take the moment to describe my adoration for her I realize its different than the last time. I’m writing this to say, that is a very good thing.

A love that is constantly being redefined is #refreshing! Whether you were fighting and you determined your love for one another through your resolve, or through just another day that you got to appreciate each other, you took the moment to recognize what you have; either way it is revitalizing.

A love that is refreshing is a love that is #growing! Change will reflect one of two things: growth or death. Our natural instinct is to keep love alive, but there are also many natural causes that will attempt to destroy our understanding of love. Thankfully it is never about the circumstance, rather it is what we do under the circumstances that determine whether or not our love will grow from this.

You’re not just exposing your experiences and insecurities to them, you are becoming who you are right before them

A love that continually grows is #active! Love that is willing to reveal its many angles is trusting, vulnerable, and totally worth it! Growing up or growing old has many things to look forward to, but it also has its awkward moments. It’s one thing to share your life with someone, it’s another to share your spirit with them. You’re not just exposing your experiences and insecurities to them, you are becoming who you are right before them. Think about that. Things that are hidden from you about yourself will eventually be revealed to you for the first time and your spouse will be there for the unveiling.


This is a reminder to me of why vows are so selflessly worded. “I will love you…” no matter what is behind the curtain tomorrow. An active love is not just words, but it is the present verb to say I will BE there, to care for, to protect, to guide, and to ensure you make it, just as I would for myself. My wife is not just beautiful, smart and an endless list wonderful things, she is the one my heart trust… #feels

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1 John 4:8

Remembering that “God is Love” is monumental to this entire thought. Consider the hope we have on this side of heaven with an endless understanding of love. God is Love which is the source of this infinite supply. To say I fully understand love would be to claim to fully understand God, since I cannot do that I will be patient in the things that I do not understand. We all have a need to be loved because we all have a need for God, He made that clear in 1 John 4:8. So pursue a love that is refreshing (John 4:14), growing (John 15:5), and active (John 13:34).

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