Posts tagged courageous husband

His final sacrifice: Honoring Rob Tittle

final sacrifice for wife

Rob and Kerry

We lost a good man Sunday night. A godly man. Our co-worker Rob Tittle was doing what every real man does in a crisis — he was protecting his family first. His final sacrifice was simply a reflection of the way he lived his life.

Even before the tornado sirens sounded Sunday night in Central Arkansas, Rob and his wife Kerry were hustling their nine children to safety under an interior stairway of their home just west of Little Rock. Rob left to find his remaining two daughters when the massive funnel dropped from the sky onto their home. A wall collapsed, crushing Rob and killing him instantly. 20-year-old Tori and 14-year-old Rebekah were also killed, and four of the other children were taken to the hospital with injuries. Their home was wiped from its foundation.

final sacrifice for daughters

He dated his girls (here with Rebekah, Whitney, Emily).

But the foundation that Rob laid in his family will live on for generations.

final sacrifice for sons

He taught his boys how to work, and serve.

Rob’s passion for his wife and his family were a reflection of his passionate relationship with Jesus Christ. Before he served with Life Action Ministries and eventually served at FamilyLife, he served His Savior. When he met Kerry  the same passion for Christ showed in the way he loved and served her and, in the years to come, the way he nurtured and guided his children.

At work, Rob was the same. He was diligent and intentional, keeping lots of projects going at one time, but always working with a gracious attitude and cheerful disposition. Among co-workers, he didn’t shy away from admitting his own weaknesses and asking for prayer for himself, his wife and his children. He wanted to walk closely with his Lord, and wanted the same for his family.

final sacrifice Fathers Day

Made for Rob by his children last Father’s Day.

Rob has gone to be forever with the Lord he loved and served. But his influence will doubtlessly continue in the lives of his co-workers, his children and his wife, who saw the life that he modeled and how he laid it down in the end. Our prayer is that the way he lived and the way he died will give many men an example of how to live intentionally, courageously, and selflessly.

Still, the fact remains that the Tittle family needs prayers, as does another FamilyLife staff family. Another FamilyLife family, Dan and Kristen Gaffney, also lost their home in the tornado but thankfully were protected by their storm shelter. If you are interested in ways you can help these families in addition to prayer, contact us and we’ll let you know how you can meet their needs.

The most courageous thing a husband can do with his wife

Over the years I’ve challenged men to take the initiative and improve their marriages in another way. This action requires bedrock courage.

No, it’s not initiating sex.  By comparison, that’s risky indeed, but nowhere nearly as challenging as … praying daily with your wife.

Courageous husband

Now some men already are praying daily with their wives. But I’ve seen that look of hesitation and even fear in the eyes of many men when I’ve given them this challenge. It’s way outside of their comfort zone.

I am not certain that Barbara and I would still be married had it not been for this spiritual discipline of experiencing God together in our marriage. It has kept us from building walls in our marriage, it has forced us to forgive one another, and it has kept us focused in the same direction.

The power of praying together

A businessman who works for a well-known corporation took my challenge a number of years ago. He and his wife had been married for years and had two children.  At the time, he was experiencing some difficulties in his marriage — he was angry over the lack of time they spent together, both relationally and physically. He had begun drinking (again) and they had been sleeping in separate bedrooms for two years. They were not considering divorce and remained committed to the marriage, but, in his words, “we were both on different pages, spiritually and mentally. She wanted to have Bible studies together and pray, but I was not willing, due to my inner anger at her.”

A few years later, my path crossed his again, and he wrote me that when he took the initiative to pray daily with his wife, their relationship was transformed.

Over a period of time and consistently praying together, we have seen amazing changes in our lives. Quickly the level of anger subsided. Each night our prayers became easier and meant more. We quickly seemed to move onto the same page, our attitude toward each other changed, and we began liking each other again.

We also saw changes in our parenting. We started talking more and having in-depth conversations. Over the last few years our conversations have turned to deep meaningful reviews of our lives and the mistakes we’ve made. We share hurts, frustrations and worries. We both seem to want to help each other and support the other in times of need.

As we learned to love and respect each other, our sex life has grown into a beautiful expression of our love and is more satisfying than ever.  Our walk with God has grown deeper, individually and as a couple. Our lives seem to be connected on a spiritual level as never before. As with any marriage, problems still arise, but now we feel equipped to deal with the issues in a positive way.

The Lord has done a mighty work in our marriage and we contribute much of that success to the fact that every night we approach the Throne of Grace together. It truly is His grace that has sustained us. In fact, many times we have grinned that we know God exists. Only He could salvage our train wreck of a marriage and not only make it survive, but thrive.

Can you imagine what would happen in your marriage, in your family, if you showed that type of initiative and courage? My encouragement is to try it.  If you miss a day, then pick up again tomorrow and pray together.  I’ve found that the men who initiate prayer with their wives have a dramatically different relationship with them in less than two years.


Adapted by permission from Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood, © 2011 by Dennis Rainey, FamilyLife Publishing.


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