CW:  It's sort of like, "I give me to you…  "   

AK:  That's right…   

CW:  The two persons completely as total packages. Something else that really sort of stuck out to me about your book - Our culture talks a lot about following your heart.  I really liked that you used the phrase "leading your heart."  Could you expand that difference between the two for our audience?   

AK:  Well, we all know the Mickey Mouse Company, which I enjoy.  In every third movie, the message is "follow your heart, follow your heart, follow your heart."  I understand what they mean, but that in it of itself is a very humanistic approach, a very humanistic worldview.  Scripture says that the heart is deceitful above all else.  If I follow my heart, because I have a simple nature, when I'm not operating in the grace of Jesus Christ, then I will end up doing foolish things and simple things.  So, I cannot follow my heart.  If I am following my heart, then someone or something else is leading it.   

AK:  So, I have to lead my heart.  Scripture says to guard your heart above all else.  So, I have to lead my heart.  So much in Scripture is given to us by the Lord, and the Lord says, "Choose you this day who you will serve."  Well, that is a choice I have to make.  So, that is aiming at the target that I want my heart to follow.  Then, Scripture also says, "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also."  So, wherever I invest my time and my money and my energy into, my heart will follow. So, as I invest in my marriage and my wife and to my children, my heart follows those things.  [As Christians] we do not believe in following our heart.  We believe in leading our heart. 

Now, granted, some people may say, "Well, Alex, if the Lord puts desires in your heart, are you not supposed to follow them?"  The answer is yes, but the reason that works is as I'm following the Lord, I will end up following those things.  "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  Well, you start off in delighting.  You don't start off with your desires.  So, if I'm delighting in God, I will want what He wants.  So, I lead my heart to love the Lord.  I will lead my heart to love my spouse, and my heart follows.  So, therefore, when I ask God [to] brand my wife Christina's name on my heart such that I would guard it and never allow any other circumstance to take away from our marriage, I'm leading my heart to that covenant relationship, to that covenant mindset.  Yeah, that's very important to us.  That's actually one of the pillars of the book.   

CW:  At a wedding I recently attended, the deacon referred to marriage as "God's school of love." It sounds consistent with what you guys are saying.

AK:  Ah, that's interesting.  That's very interesting… God's school of love… there is some truth to that.  Off the top of my head, I can see how as we study Scripture, and as we study our spouse, we learn that there are easy reasons to love, and there are hard reasons to love.  Those take study and application.  So, I think that there is some truth to that, to say that this is God's school of love -- marriage.  And, of course, marriage is also a picture of Christ and the Church.  So, I think that's actually very insightful.   

CW:  So, what single most important piece of advice would you give to a struggling couple reading right now?

AK: Just one? 

 (Laughter) 

AK:  Wow.  There's a lot. I will say this - the wisest thing you can do is to establish your relationship with God first.  The source of our love for our spouse is intended to come from God.  So, as I seek a relationship with God, as I grow closer to him, I grow closer to my wife, because I understand how to love, what love is meant to look like.  So, if you are looking to your spouse to fulfill your happiness, that's never going happen.  It's hit and miss.  Sometimes you will think [you're] doing great.  Sometimes you're not.  Obviously, the Lord is meant to be the main point of satisfaction in your life.  If you're not satisfied with God, you are not going to be satisfied with your spouse.  So, I would say you have to resolve to seek your relationship with God first and then your spouse.  That sounds very basic.