A few years ago, I wrote a number of posts on the value of crucible experiences, particularly in relation to leadership development. Crucible experiences are difficult, often painful events or losses in our lives that have the potential to refine us. But as I repeatedly said in those previous posts, difficult life experiences in themselves do not refine us. Our response to the crucible experiences of life and ministry is what allows the crucible to become transformative.
Crucible experiences often come in every-day life experiences. I just finished reading (listening to) Gary Thomas’ great book, Sacred Marriage: What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy? Repeatedly Thomas helps the reader see that marriage is in itself a crucible that has the potential to burn away some of the most basic weaknesses of our human nature. Here are a couple of quotes from the book: