He would read books about marriage in hopes of finding answers but said they were completely unhelpful. Chandler described the advice as “contractual.” If he did certain things his marriage would improve. It didn’t.
“There was so much over-promise in those books as I tried to do the things I was supposed to do. I was trying to change my wife when I needed to let God change me.”
The turning point came when he heard a sermon series on the Song of Solomon preached by Tommy Nelson. It helped him understand God’s plan for relationship between a man and a woman.
Now, Chandler said he constantly quotes the Song of Solomon to teens and young singles.
God softened Chandler’s heart and along with counseling he developed a deep friendship and passionate love for his wife, Lauren.
That passionate love and friendship helped Chandler and his wife through their own version of “this could go bad.”
Chandler was diagnosed with brain cancer.
“There was a two-year run there where everything sexy about me was gone. My energy levels, my playfulness, my hard work, those things that I think Lauren really valued and loved about me, they were just gone. And I’m using all my strength to pull myself up to the toilet to vomit again through sores in my mouth and Lauren stayed…she could have bailed and she didn’t do it…and that’s far more beautiful than any emotion, and kind of ‘this person makes me happy’ kind of love that you could paint.”
Chandler says both he and his wife now lean into the covenant and are reaping the benefits of God’s design for marriage.