Accountability in marriage is one of the easiest ways to help keep your marriage union strong. Over the years of coaching and counseling married couples we’ve learned that very few people take advantage the safety accountability provides. The Bible talks about the importance of accountability in Proverbs 11:14 (KJV):
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellers there is safety.
This couldn’t be more true. If your marriage doesn’t have wise counsel, also known as accountability, it will fail. And while that seems like a harsh thing to say, it doesn’t make it any less true.
If you aren’t sure about the different types of accountability, this episode will help. We explain the 4 different types of accountability partners that your marriage needs in order to thrive the way God intends it to. May it be a blessing to you!
Episode 004: The Importance of Accountability in Marriage
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Episode 004: The Importance of Accountability in Marriage
Carlie K.: 00:02 Hey everybody, how are you guys doing?
Mike K.: 00:05 I hope everyone's having a good day.
Carlie K.: 00:08 We've had a good day and it's been a little interesting, but it's been good. And we're excited tonight to talk to you about why accountability is crucial in marriage. So for those of you who don't know us, my name is Carlie Kercheval, And I'm Mike Kercheval. And we are the founders of Christian Marriage Adventures, formerly known as fulfillingyourvows.com. So we're just excited to have you here with us tonight because we've been doing a series of free teachings just talking about some of the things that are really foundational and really key aspects to having a successful lifelong Christian marriage. So while our adventure is definitely one with a lot of ups and downs, there are still some very solid things that need to remain the foundation that needs to remain in order to ensure that, number one, we're hearing from God along the way. And number two, we're fulfilling our purpose as a couple. And that's something that we've covered a lot as well in these free trainings. So without any further ado, Mike, you want to go ahead and start?
Mike K.: 01:08 Yes, so let's go to Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 which says, "Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up, but pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up." So you can see right there from the scripture that if two people are working towards something, there's going to be more energy. There's going to be more focus. Instead of you trying to say, Hey, I can do this. I got this God saying two is better than one. Your spouse, God has brought your spouse along the way. You have two have a mission together. I remember a while, you know, not too long ago we talked about marriage mission statement. All right? That's the thing. You pull it back up and you say, this is it. We're working together on this. It's no, it's no longer saying, Hey, well I can do this or you can do this on your own. It's only effective when you both work together and the focus is on God.
Carlie K.: 02:22 Well, and it's awesome because accountability, if God didn't see it as important, He wouldn't have called us to be to becoming one. Right? That's the ultimate accountability because I know that my flesh is enough to deal with on its own by itself, but now it's Mike and I. And that accountability, that built in accountability, helps us. Like this verse says that we're going to get a better return for our labor. We're going to yield better results because we know that there's going to be double effort, you know, double the understanding, double the work, work ethic or whatever. You know, the, the thing is that you're focused on. And so I love how it also talks about how if one falls down, the other can help him up. You know? And I know that that has happened so many times where I've been struggling in many areas of life and Michael was there to pick me up and vice versa.
Carlie K.: 03:11 And I know that I can't even count the number of times that that system, because we've had Jesus as the foundation and because we've helped, you know, helped keep each other accountable. We've been able to overcome things that would have just taken us out, especially if we were on our own. So we just want to quickly briefly mention four types of accountability. So these are all accountability that you can have, you know, in a lot of situations. But this is in particular to marriage. So the first type of accountability is accountability to God. So this comes through like reading and studying His word. It comes through prayer. It comes through a worship, attending church, you know, that sort of a thing. We also have accountability to one another. So I'm accountable to Michael. He's accountable to me. We hold each other accountable and we both agree to that accountability through the, marriage covenant.
Carlie K.: 04:04 Then we also have the accountability partner of a friend, which is the going to be the same sex. You know, I know a lot of people struggle with this. We believe firmly that you cannot have a friend by yourself of the opposite sex. We're not telling y'all what to do, but we know for sure that that does not fly in our marriage. We both agreed to that, that we have some friends that like maybe like Michael has a friend named Curtis from college that, we've both known, you know, he actually introduced us yet God used him, you know, to introduce us. But even still, I'm not on the phone talking to Curtis, you know, even though all those years ago we've known him like the same amount of time. That's Mike's friend. And when we get to hang out as, as a couple because he has a lovely wife, you know, then that's amazing and that's great.
Carlie K.: 04:48 But I'm not going to be calling Curtis up on the phone when I have problems. You know what I mean? Like if Mike and I are going through something that's not going to be my confidant. My confidant, is going to be one of my female friends that God has blessed me with. I have some amazing women of integrity that I get to fellowship with and can have, you know, to hold me accountable. We also have the accountability to a third party. So this may be a counselor, it could be a pastor, it could be a mentor couple, anything of that variety. So those are the things that we just wanted to quickly go over so that you kind of have an understanding of what we mean when we talk about accountability and marriage. So you want to talk about what accountability helps us do?
Mike K.: 05:30 Yeah. So the first thing that accountability helps us do, it helps you remain faithful to God. Amen. You know, definitely. God, you know, God needs to be in the center of everything. We need to draw our strength. We need to say, you know what, God, I'm taking this to you. You know what I mean? I know it's so easy. I know so many times based upon experiences that I've had in life that I would say, you know what? I got this based upon the last experience. I know how to to change this up, but guess what? God has to be in the center. All those times I try to make it or force things to happen. It never came out the way that I expected because I was not accountable to God first.
Carlie K.: 06:15 And it's funny because the truth is just putting it plain and simple. If you're not faithful to God, you're not going to be able to be faithful to your spouse. That's right. And I know that there's a lot of people out there that may disagree with that statement, but you believe what you believe. I believe what I believe. And I know for sure without me and my relationship with God, there is no way I can be the wife that God's designed me to be number one, but two, I cannot be a good wife at all. I'm going to be selfish. I'm going to be mean. I'm going to be spiteful because that's human nature. But through the Holy spirit, convicting me through God, holding me accountable. Because look, when accountability, you know, it helps us remain faithful to God. So having those people that we talked about above, you know, keeping those different forms of accountability, it helps us to stay on track.
Carlie K.: 07:05 It helps us to make sure that we're not, you know, going through a temptation and hard times by ourselves because we are not strong enough to overcome temptation by ourselves. It's through the power of Christ. Right? And so it's in those things that we have to remember that if I'm not being faithful to God, then I'm not being faithful to my husband. And that's not a situation I ever want to find myself in. We're just simply not strong enough alone to do these things. But also we need accountability to ensure, to make sure that we continue to make the right choices. You know, cause maybe there's days where I'll be upset and you know, maybe I'm talking to one of my friends, Oh girl, I'm just a little upset right now because you know, Mike and I have a disagreement about something. And what I love is that because of the confidants that I have, it's one of two things. Let's pray right now. Or they'll, they'll be very sensible about it. They always come with a rounded, a well rounded perspective to help me make the right choice, to choose not to be angry forever at Michael. To choose not to talk bad about him. You know, all the right choices. So having accountability in your life, it's like that built in system that helps you stay faithful to your core values. Stay true to your convictions and essentially make the right choices for your life and your marriage.
Mike K.: 08:28 That is so true. And you know, there might be somebody out there that, you know, it might be thinking, well, how do I do this? And Carlie talked about it, reading the word, praying, making God's word the priority. You know what I mean? When you get up, I know it could be an easy routine to our habit to, you know, get dressed, get ready for work and roll out the door. Well God is saying, make time for me. Let me help you get your mind right. So when go through traffic, when you go through your day, you have something to pull from and God that something is God talking to you specifically. Through His word and through prayer.
Carlie K.: 09:05 Yeah, it's so true. And so we just want to talk about a few ways how accountability actually does help you stay faithful to God. So one of the ways that accountability helps you stay faithful to God is that it, it keeps you focused on your purpose. A lot of times if things aren't going our way, you know, things get difficult, it's easy to just change lanes. Let's go over here cause this is a little easier and the grass looks a lot greener over here. Well, accountability is gonna help you really look yourself in the mirror and say, you know what? No, that's not what God has for me. That's what he has for so-and-so. And that's great, but this is what he has for me. So let me stay focused on the purpose that you've given me God. And I love that because essentially when we go and we step outside of our lane, we're stepping outside of his will and we're stepping outside of that hand, that mighty hand of coverage and protection upon our life because we're no longer aligned with God. We're just saying, you know what? I don't need you Lord. I'm just going to go over here and do what I do. So accountability helps us remain faithful to God in that way. And do you want to share the second? Yeah.
Mike K.: 10:10 Yes. It helps you to stay on track with your goals and not get distracted. I mean, it is so easy nowadays to get distracted and we have so many things fighting for our attention. You know, many forms of technology, you know what I mean? And knowing our purpose, staying accountable to God, it keeps us focused and it grounds us with His peace. You see all those other distractions, those could be things that are like, yeah, that's cool, but it's not keeping you centered on Him. And it's not giving you clarity. It's not giving you purpose. Our whole thing is living out our purpose.
Carlie K.: 10:51 Yep. That's exactly true. And, and I think that with the distractions we even distract ourselves. Again with just kind of, if we're not being held accountable, so our thoughts just go crazy, right? Like we just start thinking all this crazy stuff and it's like, okay, I'm going to go over here, but wait, that's not my goal. And so I love having people to say, well, Carlie, they'll hold me accountable to my dreams. Well, that's not what you and Mike said you wanted to do, or that's not the direction you said that you wanted to go. So tell me about that. Like why are you doing that? And we're like, Oh, well, I don't know. We just got distracted. Thank you for grounding us again. So that's a crucial component. Also, it helps us ensure that we don't fall into idolatry. It's like all the time we could be constantly like taking our eyes off of Jesus and putting them on ourselves.
Carlie K.: 11:39 Trusting in our own abilities, trusting in our spouses ability. How many people have I known that actually made their spouse their God? You know, they fell into idolatry. They didn't mean to, but they didn't have the accountability set in place to check it. To that check and balance, to check them and say, look, that's amazing that you loved your husband and your wife the way that you do. But hey're not to be worshiped because they're not a God. They're a gift from God. Right. They're a blessing, an absolute blessing from God. But they are not God and you should not, I can't put all my hope and trust in Mike. He can't save me from heaven or not heaven from hell. He doesn't have a heaven or a hell to put me in as the way that one of our pastors in New York used to say it.
Carlie K.: 12:19 And so I love Michael, but truthfully, and God knows, I told Mike the reason I, I loved him is because God told me to. Just being straight up real. I wasn't smitten or head over heels for any person, but God told me you can trust me Carlie, cause this is who I have for you. And when you, the more you trust me, the more deeply in love you'll fall with him. And it's the truth. That's how our marriage has worked for me. And I know for Michael as well. And so also people will always fail you. Although I don't wake up in the morning thinking, Hmm, how can I fail my husband and kids today? I still do it. Every day there's something that I do that upset somebody or hurt somebody's feelings and I'm not trying to do those things. And there's times where I am trying to, cause maybe I'm just being not nice, but for the most part I can say that that's not my agenda to wake up and hurt anybody for that matter. And so this accountability helps us to ensure that we don't fall into idolatry.
Mike K.: 13:20 That is so true. And the other thing, when we're accountable to God, God will show us how to minister to those people that are around us. Again, we don't know it's, we, easily have our sinful nature. That's something that we have to fight through every single day. But we can't fight through it without God putting God's first. Saying, "God, show me how to do this." You know what I mean? And not, you know, working through offenses and unloving people where they're at and not being judgmental. The biggest thing right now, you guys is just being accountable to God saying God. Some of you might be like, Whoa, you know, this sounds good, but it's a quick shift in your thinking to say, well where does God fit in this situation? Take a quick second to ask yourself that.
Carlie K.: 14:06 Yeah, that's a good way to look at it. So another way that accountability helps you is it helps you to remain faithful to your spouse and your marriage covenant. Yeah. It helps you not fall into the enemy's traps of temptation. That are everywhere, right? We know that the enemy is literally roaring around like a lion seeking whom he may devour. He wants to come and steal, kill and destroy from you, your family, your legacy, all these things. And that ultimately, if we are not being like accountable for our sin and temptation, ultimately that's going to lead to the death of your marriage. So if you want your marriage to live and survive and thrive, you have to have accountability. James 13 or James 1:13-15 says, "When tempted, no one should say God is tempting me. For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.
Carlie K.: 15:03 But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and when sin is full grown gives birth to death." So that's something to really think about. You guys like number one, God can't be tempted by evil. So we know that we can't put it on Him. All of the Lord's tempting me to eat this 600th cookie. No, He's not, you know, that's your flesh. And you know the Lord is ultimately wants us to love each other and love each other well and he's given us a guide book to do that. His example. But I know that whenever our own evil desires, it starts with a thought, right? And then that thought gives birth to an action. And it's in those thoughts like Michael and I've always come real with each other like, Hey, I have this thought. You know, or you know, have people that we've had for accountability partners, Hey, we've been tempted to believe this. And they can come in with the word and just be like, look, that's not true even though you know it in your heart.
Carlie K.: 16:11 Here's why. Yeah. So it's been a blessing to have accountability partners along the way. And now we are accountability partners to countless people, which is a blessing in and of itself too. And so I think that one of the main things you guys should really be thinking about when it comes to accountability partners is making sure that you guys have neutral parties. So it's not good to have, you know, your mom who doesn't really like your spouse, be your accountability partner. It's just not wise. It's, it would be more wise and to have a stranger, frankly that doesn't take sides to either party, to be your accountability partner than it would to be somebody that's going to always side with one person or the other.
Mike K.: 16:57 That is so true. Carlie, you said something like so powerful that the whole point of having accountability to your spouse. I remember so many times I would call Carlie and say, Hey, I need you to pray for me. This is what's going on. I could be reading something in the word then God is like, Michael, you need to deal with this. Okay. And you know, we all know when God shows us something, it is exciting and God does touch us, but we also know satan is like, hold on. We don't want him to keep thinking about that. Okay. So we're, he's going to try to distract you. He's trying to draw you away. When he tries to do is draw you away from that connection, that accountability with God first and also that accountability with your spouse. You need to let your spouse know what you're going through. So many times effective communication can come forth, if both spouses are saying, this is what I'm going through right now. Honesty helped me work through this. I know this isn't right, but this is where I'm at and I need your help to walk this out.
Carlie K.: 18:02 And that's the thing is like when we say I do, we're saying I do to the whole person, not just the good stuff. Not just the happy times, but those times when you know, Mike, I'm struggling with this. I need your help. And I'm not to go judge him and be like, Oh, you crazy man. You know, I can't believe you're doing this or doing that. Can we get angry and upset? Yes. It's frustrating at times being one flesh, right? I mean seriously, but that commitment that we have to each other, no matter how we feel at the end of the day, we're still committed to this covenant. And accountability, it really helps us there. Accountability also in the way of staying faithful to your spouse and to your marriage, it helps you avoid being caught in that trap of condemnation. Right? And in turn, that's going to help you not condemn each other.
Carlie K.: 18:49 So, you know, if we make a mistake, I definitely call Mike out all day, every day, you know, and he'll call me out too. And it's like when we call each other out though, I can't be constantly saying, you know, you should feel like trash and you, you should do this or you're, you know, that's not my job. Like the Lord convicts us of sin, right? And, but condemnation is not a part of that. And so Genesis 2:24-25 says, "That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame." I love that because I know there's a lot of, you know, scriptures on condemnation in the new Testament, but I love this because being naked before each other, being bare, being stripped down, honest, you know, vulnerable, whatever you want to say.
Carlie K.: 19:44 And yes, it can be physically as well. But I'm talking about spiritually, emotionally. You know, being stripped down like that and not feeling shame. That can only come in the form of accountability you guys, because if you're not accountable to God and each other and having those other additional forms of accountability we spoke about in the beginning, you're not going to feel that way. You are going to feel shame. You're going to like get pent up. You're going to like back away and just be like, Oh, well I think I'm just not going to be close to him because I'm ashamed of what I'm doing or how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking. So it's just another way to help your covenant thrive because you're not going to be caught in condemnation yourself. And then you in turn, are not going to be condemning your spouse for their, you know, shortcomings really.
Mike K.: 20:29 And again, I know when Carlie and I, when we first got married, you know, I had a mentality like, Hey, this is my little battle, you know. Or these are the demons I need to fight and I'm going to try to fight through it and basically regurgitate everything I did even before I got married. And it got me nowhere. But now God's saying, Hey, you have your wife that is anointed by me to help you with your struggles. Once I caught on to that, the deliverance from me came through being accountable to Carlie and saying, help me through this. What do I need to work on? And one thing, even to this day, I'm so grateful for that Carlie never made me feel ashamed or feel bad. She would constantly tell me about Romans 8:1 you know what I mean? She would say she would help me to correct it, but then she wouldn't keep replaying that how you did this, you remember when you did this? No, she showed me the love of Christ through that and I am still grateful for that to this day.
Carlie K.: 21:31 Yeah, that's something I feel like it's, it has to be like that. I mean, I, same with Mike. I mean he has shown me the love of Christ in so many situations where I would have left myself. You know what I mean? So it's one of those things that we have to decide like, are we going to actually live out God's love? And let me clarify something. And we do this a lot in these videos because we want to be very clear. We're not talking about abuse here. We're not talking about anything crazy. We're not talking about, you know, whether that's emotional, physical, spiritual abuse, none of that has occurred in our marriage. I have to say we have a lot of problems that come up and a lot of, you know, of course, you know, just disagreements and, and naturally there's just going to be conflict.
Carlie K.: 22:15 But never, we both agreed that if any of that ever attempted to even enter our marriage, that we would get help immediately. But I do praise God that we have not. That's one thing. I mean, we've had a lot of different, you know, areas of struggle. But for us it's never okay to be in an abusive marriage. So when we say these things and when we talk about these things to you guys, we just want you to know that that's not what we're saying. We're not saying, Oh just love them regardless if they're beating you or cussing you out and making you feel like garbage or making you look stupid or feel stupid or belittling you in front of other people. That is not okay. And that's in those situations we advise you to seek help, whether it's, you know, from a local authority, whether it's from an organization, your pastor, a family member. And you know, if, if all else fails us, we will help you.
Carlie K.: 23:06 Period. We will help you get the resources that you need because that's never ever, okay. So also, you know, being accountable to each other helps your marriage covenant by, or just being accountable and having accountability in general helps it because it gives you authority through agreement, right? Which ultimately strengthens your marriage covenant. And it enables us to walk out that unique purpose that God called for Michael and I. So every marriage has a divinely appointed unique purpose and this accountability is a really real, it's crucial. Just like the title of this, it is crucial that we have that. Matthew 18:19 says, "Again, truly I tell you that of two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my father in heaven." So we love that. We love that when it comes, we can come to God in prayer and agreement.
Carlie K.: 24:00 We can just be an agreement too. Like if Mike and I are like, Hey, you know what? We're going to, we just talked about this earlier today. There's just always things that we want to tweak and fix in our family to be better parents, to be better ministers of the gospel, to be a better spouse, to be a better friend, all of those things. And so we come together if I'm like, okay, I need your help with this, Mike, I want to do this better, but I need your help. And so that accountability already in that, that power of agreement, what does it say? One can put a thousand to flight but two...10,000. So it's like that already, that that pact that we have, that covenant relationship, it makes our marriage so much stronger and enables us to love each other better.
Mike K.: 24:44 And then, you know what I like about this scripture, and it might not come right away, but you talk things out until there's agreement. Yeah, don't stop if you know the first go around. It doesn't go out the way that you might've thought. Okay. There's some things that might need it to play out, but through the whole process, communicate to each other. Work things out, have a plan. Go back to your marriage mission statement and go after it.
Carlie K.: 25:14 Yeah, that's really good. I'm going to read Mark 6:7, "Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits." And that's something that spiritual battle that we, that we read and we experience every day. But we read about in the Bible. I love how that agreement, he sent them out two by two and he gave them authority to cast out impure spirits. So Mike and I have, we love that we've taken hold of that spiritual authority that we have in the spirit realm as husband and wife. There is an authority and there is a power when him and I pray together, that is not there when we're just praying by ourselves. So that is exciting to us because we understand that every day our sight and our, you know, our senses, essentially our five senses try to separate us from God. Because it tries to make us feel like, you know this, this over here, the spiritual side isn't real, but it's very real.
Carlie K.: 26:12 It's more real than anything you and I see, hear, taste, touch, feel, any of it. And so we just want to encourage you guys today to just remember that God wants you to have a good marriage. You know, good marriages aren't just for certain people. If that were the case, we certainly wouldn't have been on the, on the side of inheriting that. Cause we came from horrible examples of marriage. Horrible. Both came from broken homes, divorced families with spouses that well with parents that we lived with that remarried, that did not have a good marriage. So seeing not only one but two bad marriages, you know. And so now things have changed, you know, thank God that both, well some of our parents have remarried and have great marriages and they've come to a place where they're, you know, treating each other well. Yeah. But that wasn't the example that our inheritance wasn't that. Our inheritance was, but a lot of problems.
Carlie K.: 27:05 It was crazy. It was chaos. So we just want to encourage you to remember that. I know a lot of people are just like, well my husband, will never be like that. It must be nice to have a wife that agrees with you. Or it must be... Here's the thing, anybody can have what we have. Anybody can have a good marriage. Yes. It's just whether or not you are willing to put in the work. Are you willing to truly say, God, use me whenever that looks like Lord. Yes, because what? Our idea is of God's will for our life, it's not how it ever plays out. I thought I would've just had an easy breezy, Hey, I'm getting married and the Lord is is you know, with us, everything's going to be good, easy and perfect. I mean, I didn't really think that, but I honestly didn't realize how hard it would be. But it's worth every minute of the fight, every minute of it. It really, really is. And I think in looking back, all the little things that we've gone through, cause it seems big when you're in it, but now I can say that there are little. Everything that we've been through. I see how it is imperative for the legacy that God has called us to leave behind. Yes. He's not going to, he's going to shake everything that can be shaken to make sure the legacy that we leave is pure. It's blameless. It's faultless. It is made by Him.
Mike K.: 28:23 That's right. And you guys, Carlie and I cannot be where we're at sitting before you if we did not utilize all these ways of having accountability. Like yeah, every step of the way. We have countless stories that say this is how God helped us grow in our purpose carry out our marriage, mission statement, everything. It was grace along the way and it was strictly because we followed these accountability steps. We simply followed it and God helped us through every season of life. There are so many things that we didn't know what was coming up, but yes, we want to encourage you that you can do this.
Carlie K.: 29:02 Yes. So we will see you guys soon. We love you. Don't forget to visit our site, christianmarriageadventure.com. We have a lot of encouraging articles over there on like so many subjects. Anything that you can imagine is over there. From intimacy issues to communication. We have hundreds of phenomenal articles about communication, about intimacy. We have hundreds of articles about dates, you know, whether it's inexpensive dates, creative dates, that kind of lovely stuff. We have articles about military marriages cause Michael was in the military for 15 years before he had to get out early due to combat related injuries. So we have, and there's, there's a lot more. We just have a huge variety of things over there that we know would bless you guys. So we hope you have a great night and we will see you soon.
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