Profoundly Proud (A Letter to My Covenant Keeping Parents)

Gary and Deb Routon were the NW Regional Directors of Covenant Keepers until Gary's sudden and unexpected passing in 2016. Deb has been holding that position herself since that time. The Routon's have three grown sons...Ben, Aaron and Micah. Micah, their youngest, wrote this letter to his parents in April of 2012. He was 14 when his parent's marriage crisis occurred. They were restored in 1994 and were very involved in the ministry of Covenant Keepers, serving on the board, giving their restoration testimony, being an advisor couple for a local CK group, holding Yellow Ribbon Days at their home, and encouraging standers each year at conference. We hope that Micah's letter is a powerful reminder of the importance of your covenant stand.
Dear Mom and Dad,
It's been almost twenty years since we came home from camp and you both informed us that Dad had lost his job at the church. And truly, only God knows how difficult were the weeks, months, and years that followed. It was a time of trauma. When the immediate trauma had subsided, I moved on with my life, determined to learn as much as I could from those dark days, so that I wouldn't be destined to relive them myself.

Since those days, I have carried with me a sobriety about marriage. Thought like, "Marriage is not easy," or "The purpose of marriage is not to make us happy, but to make us holy," have formed much of the foundation of my expectations for my own marriage.

However, as the years have unfolded, a very unexpected thing has happened. As I have been mentally prepared for difficulties, challenges and hardships in my relationship with Marla, these things have not yet come. It's as if for years, I have expected these things to enter our relationship and they have not. Oh, we have faced challenges and we have hurt each other (and learned from it) along the way, but it has been nothing like the takes that we hear of others.

There was never the "difficult first year of adjusting" or the "three or seven year itch." Though we are nearing the decade mark, it feels as if we are still in the honeymoon stage. So much so, that I feel that Marla and I would be the worst people in the world to offer any kind of marriage counseling.

And, it is not that difficult days may not be ahead, but I feel blessed beyond words to have begun establishing and reinforcing habits that are good foundations to a healthy relationship with both Marla and the the girls. I feel blessed beyond words.....as if I'm one of the richest men in all the world. I'd be a fool to believe that I got here on my own.

You both have been tremendous examples for me. I have learned from you in ways that you may never know. I have learned from the good and the bad.

I didn't understand why all that took place twenty years ago. Nor did I understand the subtle steps that had brought our family the the brink of disaster, but now, almost two decades later, I am understanding things in a different light.

Being in the ministry and surrounded by others who are "doing God's work," and hearing stories of countless others, I have seen with new eyes how easy, enticing and almost natural is the path that leads to destruction......even (if not especially) among the people of God. From hearing the experiences of others, it has been easy to understand what brought our family to the point of crisis so many years ago....on all sides of the equation. How small decisions and small attitudes, left unchecked, accumulate until one stands at the edge of doing what was once unthinkable.

However, if a man or woman can best be measured by: the decisions the make, the attitudes they have , and the course of action they pursue in their darkest hour, I am profoundly proud of both my father and my mother. Profoundly proud that the easiest course was not the course that was taken by the two of you. Profoundly proud that you both chose being put back on the Potter's wheel instead of simply escaping. Profoundly proud that I don't have to look far or refer to stories in books for an example of God's redemptive power.

Redemption isn't simply fixing what was broken....it is making it new. It's a great concept to those who are hurting, but without concrete, modern examples, the empowering potential of hope is hindered. I am deeply proud and blessed that I know and have seen this power of Christ through you. I'm proud that I can talk, with authority and conviction, to others who are hurting and say, "This is what God can do!"

In short, I'm profoundly proud of both of you......as my father and mother and as a couple. I just thought you should know....

Your son,
Micah


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