Growing Together Toward Christ

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After two years of struggling in marriage, Katrina and Simon Saugier hit a breaking point. Sin and selfishness kept them from experiencing love and marriage as Christ intends (Ephesians 5:25). When they both surrendered their marriage and lives fully to Christ, they were able to experience true oneness, unity, and changed hearts.

Simon: “When it came to dating, I really just bought the lies that Hollywood feeds like, ‘You just know when it’s true love.’ I always thought I’d just meet ‘the one’ and fall in love. That lead me to overcommit too quickly in dating relationships and not seek friendships first. While my parents taught us the Bible from an early age, instead of finding my identity in Christ, I sought validation through someone liking me which always led to massive unmet expectations and disappointment.”

Katrina: “Thankfully, our merciful Lord found me amidst the internal and external chaos that ruled my life. As a senior in high school, I realized I was a sinner, and I accepted Christ into my life. However, I didn’t have any guidance or discipleship on how to grow in my faith in Christ. Between ages 14 and 18, I had one boyfriend after another. I derived all my self-worth from my relationships.”

S: “Drama and rockiness started early in our relationship when I realized I didn’t want to date anybody, I just wanted to spend my time doing whatever I wanted to do. Because of my self-centered, self-serving attitude, I thought Katrina was responsible for my unhappiness. I was unable to see that I was the problem, so I was always looking for flaws in her. My careless and critical words caused deep wounds in Katrina’s heart. And many times, we would almost break up. Out of pride, neither of us wanted to see the relationship fail, so we’d patch it up and keep going. That sort of damage just builds and builds over time.”

K: “Even as a believer, I struggled with finding my significance in who I was dating. As a result, I never broke up with Simon. I vowed to change his opinion of me instead of ending an unhealthy relationship.”

S: “I could tell I was hurting her and to mend it, I would try to conversely tell her I felt much more strongly than I did for her approval and positive reaction. My mouth was writing checks that my heart couldn’t cash. This escalated and eventually led to us being engaged after eight months.”

K: “Simon instantly got cold feet, and I felt like he wanted nothing to do with me. I planned the entire wedding by myself. I felt like breaking off the engagement would be embarrassing, so I ended up sticking it out even though I knew he didn’t want to get married.

“When we got back from the honeymoon, I realized my old life was gone. We had no one to talk to about our struggles, so we suffered in isolation. Even though we loved the Lord, there was no spiritual oneness in our marriage. We were not seeking God together as a couple. Mostly we continued to disappoint each other through unmet expectations.”

S: “I distinctly remember one day, sitting alone in our apartment and it felt like God was telling me, ‘Take a step back and look at yourself through her eyes. Imagine if someone was seeking to manipulate you to extract from you what they want to meet their own needs.’ God showed me that everything I was trying to do to make our marriage work my way just wasn’t working at all. Everything I was doing was destroying it. I said, ‘God, I am done doing things my way. I’ll do whatever you want me to do. I’ve got nothing to lose.’”

K: “When we graduated, I told Simon that I didn’t think we were meant to be together. He wasn’t the Prince Charming I’d always imagined in my mind. But Simon reminded me that we were meant to be together because we were married. God’s plan for us is for us to stay together because God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). At that moment, I realized I had been focusing the entire time on my unmet expectations instead of focusing on being the wife that God wanted me to be.”

S: “I started to see where I was wrongly finding my sense of self-worth and began to learn what it meant to trust in the Lord instead of Katrina for my validation. I no longer used my words to manipulate Katrina but to build her up (Philippians 2: 3-4). God changed my mind to seek unity.”

K: “God gave me the desire to have a strong marriage. It wasn’t about being right, it was about having peace. When we moved to Dallas, we got involved at Watermark and with couples who were all seeking to have relationships with the Lord. Community was so important because we could no longer hide our behavior in isolation. We were consistently, and still many years later, learning from other couples as they love each other and work through similar issues.”

S: “God isn’t asking us to have it all figured out, He is asking us to take the first step. We don’t have to figure out our entire marriage today. When it seems overwhelming and hopeless, we just have to choose to trust God step-by-step.”

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