Our love story began when we met while we were both in the sixth grade. Our friendship grew through our high school years until it eventually blossomed into something more. (To this day, our close friendship is an essential part of our relationship!) We dated from our Senior year of high school through college, including two and a half years at separate universities, and married just after we both graduated, Jenni with a degree in early childhood and elementary education and Scott in electrical engineering.
We began our married life in Atlanta so Scott could attend graduate school at Georgia Tech. Jenni started her career in education by teaching preschool and working two additional part-time jobs to help make ends meet. After Scott graduated from Tech, he took an electrical engineering job at an industrial machinery manufacturer in Atlanta, where he has worked in various positions for the past 36 years (soon to retire!).
We learned a lot in our early married years about how to live out our one-flesh connection, though our understanding of that principle and our desire to share it with others came much later in our marriage. Below, in brief, is how it came about.
Early in our marriage, Jenni began working in children’s ministry. Her passion for seeing children experience a genuine connection with the heart of the Father, even from a very young age, has been a constant in her life and continues today. In addition to raising our three daughters and holding various teaching positions over the years, the Lord has provided opportunities for her to lead the children’s ministry in our church, to work with orphans and those in orphan ministries, and to travel internationally to train and equip other children’s ministers.
At the same time, Scott spent almost 30 years in worship ministry, leading corporate worship, writing worship songs, and ministering devotional sets at Atlanta’s International House of Prayer, before stepping down to devote more time to marriage ministry. Scott’s journey in worship, leading others in encountering the immeasurable love of God and expressing their hearts back to Him, provided an increasing revelation of the intense passion the Jesus has for us as His bride.
Marriage Ministry Beginnings
Although we have always had a good marriage, about twenty years into our marriage, Scott embarked on a season of personal Bible study on the topic of marriage, primarily in an effort to get a better grasp on his role as a husband.
At about the same time, he began to experience an awakening to the depth of God’s emotions toward us. He began to realize that His love for us is full of intense emotion, fiery passion, and unstoppable zeal. He began to see how much He delights in us, just as we are, weaknesses and all. In this time of exploring the boundless, unknowable love of God, he first learned about “the bridal paradigm,” the biblical declaration that we are the beloved bride of Christ, not only collectively as the church, but also as individuals.
A significant truth unveiled itself:
Scott says of this early season of discovery, “I began to pursue my wife in the same relentless way Jesus pursues me. I began to try to love her with the same kind of intense and unstoppable love He lavishes on me. Jenni, for her part, began to see our marriage through the truth of The Bridal Paradigm as well, leaning into my love and leadership as she did with Jesus. She began to open herself up more fully to me than she ever had before.”
The more we looked at the relationship between Christ and the church, the more we understood God’s heart for marriage. It became clear that God already had the wedding between Jesus and the church in mind before he created the world, even before He instituted marriage way back in the Garden of Eden. The Bible opens and closes with marriage; from Genesis to Revelation, marriage is central to God’s plan for the world.
Spreading Our Marriage Ministry Wings
The more we discovered and experienced what God wanted for our marriage, the more we felt the desire to share what we were learning with others. So we stepped into this wild journey of doing marriage ministry. The Lord has been guiding our journey from the very beginning, and He has been faithful to lead us wherever He wants us to go.
After some years of researching and writing, in 2010, Scott started his first blog, Journey to Surrender, to unpack for himself and others the many truths he was discovering about God’s design for marriage. Everywhere he looked, he saw the many ways in which his spiritual relationship with Jesus provided lessons for our marriage and vice versa.
In 2011 we developed a 13-week marriage small group curriculum, which we have been leading regularly ever since, reaching close to 100 couples so far with the good news of God’s design for marriage. (We are looking forward to expanding our reach with an online version of the small group curriculum.)
Heaven Made Marriage is Born
In 2017 we moved the blog to our new web home here at Heaven Made Marriage. In 2018, Scott published the first two books of the Igniting Intimacy series, The Path of Intimacy and Pump Up the Passion. 2018 also saw the launch of our HMM Web Store, where we offer our books, games, workbooks, and downloads.
In 2019 we began offering weekend marriage retreats focused on building and maintaining a couple’s connection, hosted at our home in the North Georgia mountains. These retreats have received an enthusiastic reception, and we look forward to offering them again once we are past COVID-19 limitations. (In the meantime, we are working on an online virtual retreat format.)
Our Journey Forward
We are looking to our future with great anticipation of the good things to come.
We’ve got more books and other written resources planned. In addition, we’ll be developing new online course and membership offerings soon. And hopefully, we’ll soon resume hosting small groups and retreats.
We appreciate you being part of our journey. If you want to keep up with us and our new resources as they become available, we encourage you to subscribe to our mailing list. You can choose to receive all our posts or a monthly newsletter, which has a digest of posts and other marriage-building information.
Support Heaven Made Marriage
If our ministry has blessed your marriage, we hope you’ll consider supporting us in our goal to reach as many marriages as possible with the good news of God’s design for marriage. See our Support page for the various ways you can help keep this ministry going.