Marriage is a very serious thing. It takes a lot of consideration to decide who you should spend the rest of your life with. It’s a journey full of ups and downs, and unless you are rooted in the love of God, it can be very challenging to sustain the relationship.
Joni Eareckson and Ken Tada have gone through one of marriage’s biggest trials and are a living testimony of love endured by faith. Joni is a quadriplegic and lives with chronic disease and various illnesses.
Joni is a passionate advocate, inspirational speaker, author, singer, painter, and hosts a radio program. She accomplished all of this from a wheelchair. Her husband Ken is a retired high school teacher.
The couple admits that the most challenging moments they encountered in their marriage was when Joni was suffering from severe and chronic pain. Seeing Joni suffer was so painful for Ken. But despite everything she felt, Joni says her faith made it possible to overcome her obstacles.
“It is my pain that drives me to Jesus desperately.” Joni Boldly said.
She even shared that God’s priority is the health of our soul. He is more concerned with the thing that we can’t physically see. She also believed that there is a significant purpose of her afflictions. She counts her suffering as a gift to suffer on God’s behalf.
When Ken was asked about what it feels like to have a quadriplegic wife, he shared one thing that he learned during those years when he saw her in pain.
“My wife is a warrior,” Ken said.
Ken sited 1 Samuel 16:7 as a defining scripture for their marriage, “God doesn’t look at the things man looks at, man looks at the appearance by God Looks at the heart.”
“I fell in love with Joni’s heart,” Ken added.
In the middle years of their marriage, Ken admitted that he went through depression. They loved each other and went through a great deal together, but like any marriage, they also experienced years of exhaustion and burnout.
But during that moment in their lives, the couple never blamed God. Instead, they come together in prayer.
“We don’t know the answer, We don’t know the way out, but Jesus was our goal. To fix our focus on Him.” Joni said.
“We confess our sins to one another. We started getting into certain disciplines like reading a Bible together, praying together and I think it was those disciplines that helped lift depression,” she added.
“Jesus was really the key to keeping us together. Both Joni and I love the Lord, and I think in those troubles sometimes, the difficult times, the fact that we both love Jesus made a difference.” Ken gratefully said.
And even though Joni has disabilities, she still managed to say:
“I am the most blessed person. I am so blessed to be in this scenario. My eternal state in heaven has become so much more enlarged through my suffering that I can’t wait to get there. I believe I will be one of those who the apostle Peter says will receive a ‘rich welcome’ in heaven.”
This article was compiled by Kriza Jo L. Tanduyan.