by Jayna Richardson
Joel Tunwagun was ready to give up on his marriage. In fact, he was actively making plans to leave and divorce his wife, Juliana. But then an additional complication arose when Juliana told him she thought she might be pregnant.
Joel and Juliana went together to a local clinic so that she could be tested. While at the clinic, Joel overheard the technician talking on the phone about a HomeBuilders® group he was forming. The person on the other end of the call was a FamilyLife leader in West Africa. The technician had recently attended a HomeBuilders leadership training conducted by FamilyLife, and as a result, he and his wife were forming their own group.
Joel asked the technician about the group and learned that it was a biblically based small-group study for couples. Joel wondered if this could provide help for his own marriage. He asked if they could join the group.
It turned out that Joel’s wife was pregnant with their second child. Together they began attending the HomeBuilders group facilitated by the technician. Over the course of the study, their lives and marriage were radically transformed. Because of this, Joel made a commitment to stay in his marriage. They soon welcomed a healthy baby boy into their family together.
The change in their marriage was so drastic that even their neighbors noticed the change. One particular couple asked Joel how they could experience the same thing. This couple joined the HomeBuilders group at the beginning of a new HomeBuilders study.
Joel has remained committed to his marriage and has become more responsible at home in caring for his wife and children. He’s learned practical ways to love and serve his wife, such as protecting her from negativity from her in-laws and watching and caring for their baby boy at night so that she can sleep. He even bought her a new car in January.
Joel credits the HomeBuilders group and the biblical marriage principles with saving his marriage and family from what could have been.