Marriage isn’t easy. Not only does it bring two imperfect people together with their flaws and wounds, but there are also constant negative forces that will sabotage your relationship if you aren’t bonded together. In Relationship Grit, we talk about being a triple braided chord which means you invite God into your relationship in order to give you greater strength that you won’t find on your own. As two chords, you are strong, but with God as the third chord you find a greater power together.

Making God a central part of your relationship is essential and yet we know God alone won’t make a marriage as strong as it can be. There are the 4 C’s we implement in order to work on our relationship and make our relationship work. We communicate because where there is a void in communication negativity will fill it. We connect to build a bond of trust which leads to a greater commitment. We commit to the relationship and resolve to stick together as we focus on WE not me. And we must show each other that we care by making time for each other.

In addition to being a triple braided chord and implementing the 4 C’s, it’s also essential that you understand the 5 D’s and how they will destroy your marriage if you let them. The D’s are what evil uses to try to defeat you and your spouse with the goal of dividing and creating divorce. When you understand the 5 D’s, implement the 4 C’s and become a triple braided chord marriage you have the game plan and power to overcome these negative forces and create the loving, intimate, joyful, soul nourishing relationship God wants for you.

The 5 Ds

Looking back, I see the power and importance of becoming a triple-braided-cord marriage. I see how we bonded together and were able to stay united and connected through our internal and external challenges. The truth is there are constant negative forces that will sabotage your relationship if you aren’t bonded together. You need to know this and understand how these negative forces work. You have to find ways to stay strong together so you can overcome them. I’ve discovered there are 5 Ds that will destroy your relationship if you let them.

The First D Is Distort

Negative thoughts are lies that fill your mind and they aren’t coming from you. How do I know? You would never actively choose to have a negative thought. They just pop in and distort the truth. They tell you that you aren’t good enough for your mate. They tell you that this won’t last. They tell you that if your partner really knew you, they wouldn’t love you anymore. They tell you that your future is hopeless, or that the grass is greener somewhere else in another relationship with that person who gives you attention while your spouse is busy working or with the kids. They tell you that this is as good as it gets.

The Second D Is Discourage

These lies then discourage you. They make you feel less than and unworthy. They make you feel like things won’t improve and your future is hopeless. They make you want to give up. I’ve found that we don’t give up because it’s hard. We give up because we get discouraged. The distortions (lies) discourage us and we feel defeated and stop fighting for the relationship and ultimately we give up.

The Third D Is Doubt

The lies and discouragement lead to doubt where we no longer trust our mate, ourselves, or God. We doubt if we are supposed to be together. We doubt that we will be happy with this person. We doubt that our future will be great together. We doubt if we made the right decision to be together.

The Fourth D Is Distract

When you are discouraged and doubtful, you become more easily distracted. You look at what seems appealing and move toward it and make bad choices. Or maybe you don’t do anything bad. Maybe you just become distracted by something that keeps you from what matters most, like your relationship. It’s true that “If the devil won’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” He’ll get you focused on all the things that don’t matter instead of what does matter. This can lead to a bad outcome as well.

The Fifth D Is Divide

When truth is distorted and you believe the lies and become discouraged, doubtful, and distracted, this leads to division. You become separated from each other mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. You feel disconnected and divided from your mate and God. This division then often leads to the sixth D, which is divorce. In my work with teams it leads to defeat. A divided team cannot stand. The negative forces in this world divide us from one another and eventually destroy our relation- ships. The good news is that once you understand how the game is played, you can win. When you see the 5 Ds come your way, you can counter them.

Instead of listening to the distortions (lies), you can see them for what they are and speak truth to them. You can encourage yourself and your mate when you feel discouraged. You can talk about your vision and hopes and dreams together and keep them alive in your hearts and minds. You can trust when you feel doubt. You can trust God with your relationship and trust each other.

This is where the covenant was so powerful for Kathryn and me. When you find yourself being distracted, you can focus on what matters most—your relationship. And instead of letting the Ds divide, utilize the 4 Cs to unite. Communicate honestly and transparently so that truth is always present and lies can’t breed and grow. Connect with each other and love each other. Commit to each other. Show you care about each other.


Relationship Grit encourages couples to go the distance to Stay Together, Grow Together & Thrive Together

Jon and Kathryn Gordon were recently asked to rate their marriage on a scale of 1 to 10, Kathryn quickly chimed in, before COVID or after? While the couple can laugh about it, in their new book Relationship Grit they provide a raw, authentic, and vulnerable account of what has kept their marriage intact, despite nearly divorcing. Now, as we navigate through a global pandemic, they have put their own principles to the test to survive quarantine, a challenge many couples are facing and turning to divorce or separation as the answer.

G – God

R – Resolve

I – Invest

T – Together

Unlike other relationship books, Jon & Kathryn boldly discuss the negative aspects of their relationships and how those things nearly destroyed this partnership, bringing a raw and realness with each turn of the page.

Relationship Grit is a compelling back-and-forth narrative, providing both Kathryn and Jon’s perspective on their own relationship, the good, bad, and ugly, and what eventually turned it all around for them. The book will leave readers wanting to invest in their relationships, taking a different approach and putting in the time to get the result they want.


Written by Jon Gordon and Kathryn Gordon. Excerpted with the permission of the publisher, Wiley from Relationship Grit by Jon Gordon and Kathryn Gordon. Copyright © 2021 by Jon Gordon and Kathryn Gordon. All rights reserved. This book is available wherever books and eBooks are sold.

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