As newlyweds, Ryan and Selena Frederick faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Ryan was diagnosed with a life-threatening cardiac infection that doctors traced back to a genetic heart defect. "I couldn't feel all the symptoms, but really the sickness was much, much deeper. It went all the way to the heart," he says.
The Fredericks point out that couples often make the mistake of treating deep heart issues in their marriage with pop culturalisms. They listen to people like Dr. Phil and Oprah—"the wrong people with all the wrong advice," Ryan says. "You're not getting down to the core issue ... your heart is sick."
"You need to stop taking painkillers, and you need the hands of a skilled heart surgeon to get in there and actually clear out that sickness and make you new from the inside out. Of course, that surgeon is Jesus."
The couple developed their ministry and book, Fierce Marriage¸ to help couples dig into those heart issues and fight "for each other, not against each other. You're fighting side by side, not face to face," Ryan says.
"'Fierce marriage' in our kind of vocabulary is that it takes tenacity that never gives up and never gives in," Selena says. "That tenacity is fueled by Jesus, who has given us the power to help us get through and help us thrive in our marriages."
Turn off Dr. Phil, and listen to the Fredericks' inspiring story on "Greenelines" on the Charisma Podcast Network.
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