Over the past two decades, we’ve had the privilege of helping thousands of individuals revive their marriages and enjoy love, peace, and harmony. Here are several stories and videos from couples we’ve counseled.
Star & Hans
Hans and I had been married for about two years and we were not experiencing a good marriage. I felt none of that “in love” feeling that we as women desire to feel. Hans and I fought all of the time and I felt that none of my needs were being met. In the beginning I pleaded with Hans to go to counseling with me, but he refused. We tried time and time again to repair the marriage on our own but it always ended up much worse. In the end there was verbal abuse, physical abuse, and an affair. I felt there would never be love in our home again and I ended up leaving the marriage.
Hans began counseling with Karl and he asked if I would come. I first refused, and then after some time I went only to be able to tell others that I had tried. I began to see drastic changes in Hans and his entire character and I was a little curious. Karl began to teach Hans and I what God’s Word had to say about marriage and the roles of a husband and wife. He also showed me that marriage was God’s design from the very beginning and that God wanted our marriage to be full of love and desire for one another.
I am honored to say Hans and I have been happily married now for nine and a half years and I love my husband more than my words could ever express. God has blessed us with three beautiful children and a forth on the way. Our life is a beautiful picture of God’s power and what he can do if we will only let Him. Hans and I tried to do it on our own and failed. God’s Word says: Plans fail for lack of counsel (Proverbs 15:22). God used Karl in a mighty way in a way where it seemed all hope was gone. Remember God raised a dead man to life, that same God has the power to resurrect any dead marriage and make it a beautiful one.
Star & Hans Overview Video5 minutes | View 16-minute full story video
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Marriage takes continual work!
When Star and I first met we were “In Love”—at least we thought we were. Very quickly after we got married and after the “Honeymoon Stage” of marriage Star and I started to have some problems. Star and I both had church backgrounds but were struggling with actually living out what we knew was right. We went to Church on Sunday, but usually with a hangover! Needless to say, we were straddling the fence. God didn’t let us stay in that condition. He allowed our marriage to get worse and worse. I had a control and an anger problem. Not a good combination!! When things got out of control, I became angry and abused Star verbally and sometimes even physically.
I knew my anger was a problem, and I always admitted it to Star. After abusing her, I would sincerely beg for her forgiveness and tell her I would never do it again. That cycle repeated several times. I would do good for a couple weeks, or maybe even months, but my anger would always eventually boil out of control. I tried hard to change. Real hard. I even prayed that God would help me change. Our entire family and church family was praying for us. But the problem wasn’t going away, and eventually Star asked me to leave. Before I knew it, she was filing for a divorce.
I moved in with my parents and life was not good. To date, I have yet to experience a struggle like I did during our separation. My parents told me that I could stay at their house only if I went to see a counselor. I didn’t like that too much. But now I did not have much of a choice. I didn’t have any other place to stay. Star had begged me to go to counseling before, but I thought I could fix our marriage by myself. Since I didn’t want to be homeless, I made an appointment with Karl Elkins.
From the very first session, God used Karl to show me my fault in my marriage. I knew I had an anger and control problem, but I didn’t realize how learning God’s principles for living could help me overcome those problems. Karl quickly showed me biblical principles that led me to a closer relationship with God, and to winning my wife back! In a matter of weeks, Star started to come to counseling with me and we began to work together to repair our marriage.
It has been six years since we got back together, and we are more in love now than ever. We have three beautiful children and Star is pregnant with our fourth. We have to continually work at our marriage, and we both know that with God’s help we can get through anything. Like every sports team needs a coach to motivate, to encourage, and to steer in the right direction, my team (my family) needed a counselor. I thank God for placing Karl in our lives to be that person.
Short Video Testimonials
Susan & Joe Preview
Having been to many marriage conferences, Joe and Susan were each convinced that 90 percent of their marriage problems were the other’s fault.
Joe thought that by attending the Christway marriage clinic, Susan would finally realize the steps that she needed to take in order to improve their marriage. But he was shocked when Karl, through the log-and-speck principle found in the Bible, helped him realize that in reality 90 percent of their marriage problems were his responsibility.
Joe perceived himself as the “good guy,” and as a professor of Biblical counseling, he had a Bible verse for everything Susan did wrong. However, the counseling he received through Karl helped him realize that he was neglecting a critical aspect of any good marriage—meeting Susan’s needs. Since work was more rewarding than home life, Joe started spending more time at the office and work quickly became a higher priority than Susan. In fact, Joe realized Susan had fallen to the number five priority in his life.
Susan’s anger and mean words weren’t out of spite—they were a cry for help to her husband. Because Joe wasn’t meeting his wife’s needs, Susan became very frustrated and felt like she was in a hopeless situation that she was powerless to change.
With the help of Christway, Susan realized that God offered her true hope. While it would always be a struggle to not act according to the flesh, she could take hold of this hope by looking into God’s word and allow it dwell in and cleanse her life through Christ’s righteousness.
Susan and Joe both realized the importance of humility in any good marriage and are learning to focus on their own responsibilities rather than those of their spouse.
Laura & Keith Preview
According to human standards, there’s no way that Laura and Keith should still be together. But with God everything is possible. Keith’s prolonged affair—practically playing husband and father to another woman and her kids—was devastating to Laura and was beginning to affect their children as well. By the time Keith and Laura came to Karl, things had gotten so bad that Laura (who had never really considered divorce to be an option) had filed for divorce if for no other reason than to protect the kids.
Laura and Keith had two very different perspectives going into counseling with Karl. Laura held out no hope for their marriage and was looking for exit strategy advice and a little personal help in dealing with the aftermath of their inevitable divorce.
Keith wasn’t at all interested in solutions. He was a prideful and selfish person who fed his ego with his job, power, income, hobbies, and the like. It was all about him. It was time for him to live his life. His goal for counseling was to pull the wool over Karl’s eyes just long enough to get through the sessions and move on with his self-serving lifestyle of infidelity.
But God had better plans for Keith and Laura. During their counseling weekend, they learned to put God first and focus on their own God-given responsibilities—not anger towards their marriage partner. Laura and Keith learned to never give up, regardless of how tough the road may get. Most of all, they discovered that God can do anything.
Of course the road of recovery is bumpy, and not every day is perfect. But Laura and Keith have a stronger marriage now than ever before. Every day is better. Their story reveals that there is hope for any situation—no matter how dark things are. God’s grace is truly amazing.
Two Additional Video Testimonials
Cheryl & Glenn Preview6 minutes | View entire 46-minute video
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After years of marriage, reality started to hit Cheryl and Glenn, leading to arguments, divorce threats, devastating affairs, and eventually separation.
They recognized their need for counseling, but only experienced negative results from the “in-and-out” counseling approach: 50 minutes spent bringing up hurts during the weekly session followed by seven days of arguments and fights.
Then one evening Cheryl came across the Christway web site while searching for solutions to save their marriage. After much prayer, Cheryl and Glenn made the long trip from their home in Canada to meet with Karl and Terry in Houston, Texas.
During the three solid days of counseling, Cheryl realized that it was her responsibility to be obedient to Christ and to pray for her husband—rather than trying to continually throw Scripture verses and commands at Glenn.
As Cheryl and Glenn worked through steps of forgiveness learned during their counseling sessions, the wall between them began to crumble, opening up new paths of communication and relieving the tension that plagued their relationship for so many years.
Cheryl and Glenn are now thoroughly enjoying their renewed life together and encourage others to never lose hope or faith in God’s plan.
Sherri & Todd Preview5 minutes | View entire 25-minute video
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Sherri and Todd share how their marriage was essentially dead after 13 years of communication struggles, fights over even the smallest issues, and increased frustration with one another.
Despite the fact that Sherri and Todd had received counseling from various sources and had attended multiple marriage seminars, they were ready to throw in the towel on their marriage. As a result, they separated and began initial divorce proceedings.
But God hadn’t given up on them. God touched Todd and Sherri’s hearts and they decided to try Christway Counseling as a last-ditch effort.
Sherri and Todd quickly gained new eye-opening tools to help them communicate with each other—and realized how much they actually loved each other. Ultimately they both acknowledged how important it is to put your hope in Christ and that He is indeed faithful to bring about restoration and renewal.
Jennifer & John
John and I had been happily married for over four years, spending most of our free time together, sharing many similar interests, and just enjoying one another's company. Oh sure, we had experienced the typical arguments and disagreements that most married couples do during that time; however, it wasn't until the birth of our first child, my quitting work to become a stay-at-home mom, and John's new job which was very demanding, requiring odd and long hours with sporadic sleep that the mettle of our marriage began being tested. The little disagreements, insensitivities, and conflicts that before had been insignificant and infrequent began to mount and there was never complete resolution of the problem at hand. This led to resentment and frustration and the inability to address the conflict du jour because all of our old unresolved issues continued to resurface even though they had absolutely nothing to do with the current issue!
We were heavily entrenched in playing the “Blame Game”—you know, where each side feels justified in saying or behaving in the way they feel their spouse deserves based on the others behavior. Conflicts were typically “resolved” by each of us stubbornly agreeing not to do or say something in the future that caused the conflict in the first place. Well, as you can imagine, we found it difficult to remember what key phrases or behaviors were considered taboo by our spouse, so the infractions were repeated again and again! This led to further resentment and, ultimately, indifference about offending one another. When the conflicts stretched into days and weeks of hurtful and insensitive behavior because of our uncaring attitudes toward one another, we finally realized that the health of our marriage had begun to deteriorate.
We knew our marriage needed help and, as longtime Christians with strong Christian values and beliefs, we knew that God must be involved. But, I had prayed about our problems so many times…or had I? In truth, I had selfishly prayed that God would convict and change John and had never focused on what God might expect of me! We agreed that we needed someone with a Christian perspective to teach us and provide some practical tools for healing past hurts and resolving future conflicts. We had heard Karl Elkins speak at a marriage workshop the previous year and had remembered his application of Biblical principles to marriage. It was then that we started Accelerated Marriage Counseling with Karl.
Through Karl's teaching we realized that we had never gone through the process of sincere confession and forgiveness for the hurts we had caused one another over the years, thus leading to the resentment and unforgiving attitudes to which we had so desperately been clinging. We talked about the importance of applying to marriage the "Log and Splinter Principle" from Matthew 7:3-5 where Jesus said "first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye". Further study of Christ's selflessness and sacrificial living modeled in the Bible convicted us of our selfish and insensitive behaviors. Enlightened and eager to right our marriage with one another, and more importantly with God, Karl was able to lead us through an exhaustive process of sincere confession and true forgiveness for EVERY offense we had committed against one another. Through this emotional process we were both deeply moved by the Holy Spirit - His presence was utterly palpable to us. We were privileged and awed to glimpse the Holy Spirit at work in us and in our marriage through the most profound and REAL communion with our Creator that we had ever experienced!
It is such a liberating feeling to know that I have “come clean” with my husband, and with God, for all of the sins I have committed in my marriage! Certainly we still experience conflict in our marriage, but the excellent Biblical insights and many useful tools with which Karl equipped us have really helped us to resolve conflicts in a more loving, respectful, and timely manner. God has not just revived our marriage; He has truly revolutionized it! John and I are more intimate in every aspect of our lives - spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Our marriage feels lighter now; we are not weighted down with past hurts and failures, but can move forward with excitement and renewed focus on our future. Our lives have been so deeply impacted by this experience that we have committed ourselves to helping start and facilitate a marriage ministry through our church. We are so blessed that Karl Elkins was the instrument God used for the mighty work that He has done in our marriage.
My story actually begins almost 15 years before Jennifer and I were married. I had been married before which ended in a very sad unwanted divorce. I mention this first as a preamble because prior to the end of my first marriage, we sought out traditional “Christian counseling” in an effort to save that marriage. We met for the traditional one hour-a-week, would spend 30-45 minutes of that hour trying to identify an issue and end up with a big open wound and only 10 minutes to attempt to address it The last 5-10 minutes were spent writing a check for that hour. Nothing, as you can imagine, got adequately addressed and dealt with. My shocker from this experience was that our counselor told my “ex” that he could go either way . . . if she wanted to divorce, he would help her or if she wanted to try to make the marriage work he would help her with that. Long story short, she chose to divorce and there began my skepticism with the whole concept of “Christian marriage counseling.”
Years later Jennifer and I met, fell in love and got married. We spent the first four years happily married and pretty much enjoyed smooth sailing during that time. But over time we started to argue more and experience conflicts that we truly would not resolve but would “sweep under the carpet.” Jennifer got fed up with not being able to resolve these conflicts on our own and stated that she wanted us to go to counseling, not only counseling, but Christian counseling!!! I not only said “NO” but also, was very emphatic about my unwillingness to go to “Christian counseling.” I told her I didn't care if they were a “Christian” counselor or not. All they would do is drag out the same old “one hour-a-week” as long as possible to ensure an income source. We finally ended up compromising and begrudgingly signed up for an eight-week “Intimate Encounters” seminar at a local church This was safe for me as we would be joining 30 other couples in the class—I could rationalize that our problems weren’t as bad as others, could pick and choose which concepts I wanted to apply to our marriage, and not really be held accountable to anyone else. One of the week’s sessions was lead by a guest teacher, a local counselor named Karl Elkins. His presentation was excellent and his approach very Biblical. We gleaned some practical tools from his presentation and from the 8-week class to apply to our marriage and enjoyed some pretty smooth months to follow; however, without the “personal accountability” factor and because we still had not addressed some root issues and harbored resentments, we again fell back into our arguing and angry ways.
Jennifer again broached the subject of Christian counseling, but I remained unwavering in my objections. So Jennifer decided to pursue counseling without me! I became furious and did everything I could to discourage her from going. My anger and frustration stemmed from past experience and that “here I go again” feeling . . . down that road of endless hour-a-week “Christian counseling,” spending just enough time to open up the wounds, never fully addressing them, on and on until SHE got fed up and called it quits. The only one making out (in my mind) was the counselor who was banking his endless hourly fees each week. I was one cynical husband! My anger and frustration at Jennifer was having no effect on stopping her from going to a counselor and I was driving myself crazy in the process.
It was at this time that Jennifer and I recalled Karl Elkins’ presentation at our Intimate Encounters seminar. I remembered liking his style and direct counseling from God’s word. He had struck me then as not being the stereotypical namby-pamby counselor who’s only statement during a session is “How does that make you feel?” and then not having much more to offer. All I can say is that God was working to soften my heart and impress upon me the importance of being an active participant in improving my marriage. So we contacted Karl. We were able to block off and commit to several hours at a time per session, for what Karl calls “Accelerated Marriage Counseling.” From the beginning Karl set out the basic Biblical foundation of my responsibility to Jennifer in our marriage. We went through a process of getting ourselves individually right with God before dealing with our problems with each other. One concept that really struck home with me was what Karl calls the 1% rule.
The 1% rule: Even if I am only 1% at fault in a conflict or disagreement and Jennifer is 99% at fault, God still holds ME 100 % responsible for the 1% that I am guilty of. So, I must hold myself personally accountable and make restitution for my wrongdoing in order to live “right” before the Lord (Matt. 12:36-37).
Along with the excellent Biblical teachings and practical tools learned during our counseling, the major breakthrough in this process for me was having the TIME to truly deal with our issues. It was painful—opening up all the old wounds really hurt. But we spent a great deal of time during this “concentrated counseling” to really heal those wounds through confession to God and to one other and through asking for forgiveness and in truly forgiving one another.
God has truly touched our hearts through His grace and power and through Karl’s concentrated counseling. I am so blessed that the love of my life, Jennifer, stuck it out with me through difficult times. As a result, our marriage has been renewed and we now share a closeness that we had never before imagined. As a counseling skeptic, I now say with firm conviction that Karl’s counseling is Biblical, sincere, honest, practical, and, above all, Christian.
It is Sunday morning at 2:00am after our Three-Day Marriage Clinic. I am awake and I wanted to take time to write you both.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your teaching, sacrifice and encouragement. We were in serious trouble and without an intervention our 15-year marriage was headed in a downward spiral even though we were both born again Christians. Our disagreements have been so circular. He demanded to hear words that I did not feel and my apologies could rarely hit the target and neither of us knew a thing about what the other needed. My gift of mercy had worn thin and I was bound by bitter feelings of anger and resentment. My husband, the organizer, had been a workaholic like Nehemiah. I joined him after growing weary in my profession (following a divorce) and became a property manager. I can identify that he, like Nehemiah, was a wall builder. I joined in the building. After years of his project I grew weary without comfort, attention, and appreciation and I began to build the wall between us. The more he delegated, showed favoritism, and overlooked serious character flaws in our workers, the more I felt the need to work and empathize with our loyal hard working employees. After several serious health issues, I became too weary to continue my husbands projects and could not longer respond to insensitive pressure to perform.
Tonight, after our last day of the Marriage Clinic, we have renewed hope that God can resurrect our marriage. In Proverbs 20:5 it states “a person’s thoughts are like water in a deep well, but someone with insight can draw them out.” In 20:18 it states “get good advice and you will succeed; don’t go charging into battle without a plan.” Your teaching has given us the tools to use our spiritual gifts and process our needs and hurts and get to the bottom of the real problem. The enemy was surely trying to keep us so bound up with unmet needs that we gave up in pain.
Again, I want to thank you for your preparation . . . . You have modeled a safe way to explore how we must battle our problems and not each other.
Thank you, Karl and Terry, for helping us continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. You have both helped point us back to Him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to bring us faultless and joyful before His throne.
I’m so glad we attended your Marriage Clinic. The teaching is solidly grounded in biblical truth, and your ability to express such a complex process in only three days is remarkable. The results for us have already been amazing, and I look forward to growing in Christ through application of the “empty kettle” teaching.
The Marriage Clinic has refreshed our relationship and given us a plan and tools to battle the enemy instead of each other.
We enjoyed hearing Karl’s insight and hope to use his advice to make our marriage stronger. We would love to hear him again once we’ve had time to build our skills.
The Marriage Seminar was great! Life changing! Bringing hope! Bringing solutions for “tricky” situations!
Karl had tips that are simple and easy to follow, yet accomplish so much. The principle of unmet needs and identifying those needs was the most beneficial lesson learned—why aren’t we taught these needs at a young age so we can apply them in life?
Now I have confidence in the success of my marriage. I knew God wanted us to “make it” but now we have the biblical tools to do it. Thanks.
I learned basic knowledge that will help me address issues in my marriage. Karl is so well-spoken and bottom line—to the point and biblical.
So eye-opening and practical to use. Thank you for the instruction.
Thank you. Opened our eyes to the truth that God wants to and will meet our emotional needs, not just our physical needs (food, clothing, shelter). I will gain my life as I lose it in serving my wife.
I’m in a second marriage and I realize the delicateness of relationships and life. But with God’s plan we can have peace in the process. You guys are incredible. Life changing.
Thank you. I am so encouraged to have a starting point in building an environment of comfort. I think (know) I can apply these principles immediately and start mending hurts and knowing those I’ve hurt on a much deeper level.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I feel this will give me the process to communicate with my husband. I wish we had this information 20 years ago.
We’re married 50 years this year and this event was a blessing that we wish would have taken place 49 years ago. It was training that will equip us for life.
The conference was really incredible. Karl’s teaching was so practical and scripturally-based. I am single and was thus a bit leery of attending a marriage seminar, but I found the principles being taught applicable to the relationships in my life and a good foundation should I ever be married in the future.
The information will be greatly helpful not only with my spouse but my children will benefit from these tools too. Please pray for me to continue to use these helpful tools.
This has been life changing. I truly appreciate the opportunity to go through this training.
This has been very informative and helpful, yet offering a challenge that will demand a lot of prayer. Thank you very, very much! I truly appreciate that you are willing to share what God has blessed you with.
Best thing I’ve experienced for my marriage in the last 30 years. Started at 55 percent, ended up 98 percent.
Such an excellent framework for dealing with the lumps in our relationship. I look forward to see how God will use this experience for His glory.