Emptied… The Way to Live Within Marriage

Emptied - Canva - TyndaleI love the description on the back cover of the book, “Emptied… Experiencing the Fullness of a Poured Out Marriage.” It reads:

“Emptied is a way of life. It’s not about trying harder—it’s about thinking differently. Only when you are emptied of your own self-focused motivations can God pour new life into you for the abundant marriage.”

What a great concept! But it goes beyond being a concept. This has been a way of life for the authors, Wynter and Jonathan Pitts. And I dare say that it is a worthy lifestyle goal for every married person —especially those who claim to be followers of Christ. After all, how can we truly follow Jesus if we are full of ourselves?

Yes, we need to have a healthy view of ourselves. But we also need to make sure that we don’t lock Jesus out. He desires to work within us so we reflect His love—not our own version of love. Our version can be distorted by influences around us, our own mind bents, and our sinful nature. As Jonathan says,

“We need to empty ourselves of all the things that we have in us, which keeps us from blending together in marriage. And then we can filled with all those things that God wants us to be filled with, which are the fruits of the spirit. These fruits consist of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.”

Living the Emptied Life in Marriage

As Jonathan and Wynter write:

“In marriage, emptying ourselves is the key to unlocking what God had in mind to ultimately bring about what He has for you and for us in this most vital relationship.

“We are to be emptied. More than that, we are to empty ourselves. But empty ourselves of what? Obviously, we can empty ourselves of only what fills us up, which begs the question, What are we full of?”

That’s a good question to prayerfully consider. Even Jesus “emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant” and “humbled himself” of all but love. And we are told to have the “same mind among yourselves.” These scriptures in Philippians 2:3-8 are actually used as the foundation of their book. Jonathan and Wynter go on to write:

“So often we come into our marriages with our own agendas, with our desires. It’s about what I want and what I can get. We make it about our own needs and expectations. But marriage at its best and in the right form rarely has its focus on self. It is other focused. It seems counterintuitive. But real joy, real peace, and real happiness are found when we empty ourselves of me.”

They go on to say:

“Your emptiness is primarily where God can fill your marriage with the purpose, passion, and fullness He had in mind from the beginning. And He has this in mind as He paints His masterpiece, one stroke at a time.”

The Emptied Marital Life

Emptied - Canva - TyndaleAs you read their book, Jonathan and Wynter take you on a learning journey throughout this book. You will learn of their journey to live the “emptied” or I should say, “emptying” lifestyle within their marriage. They don’t hold back in confessing the difficulties, as well as victories they have encountered. Their backgrounds were very different and their expectations were high. But throughout their 15 years of marriage they leaned into God to help them to learn and unlearn some very important things. We benefit greatly because they wrote so much of this down for us to read. And I recommend you do.

As you read this book, Emptied I have no doubt that you will fall in love with Wynter and Jonathan. I sure did. God’s love and wisdom just pours out from their writings. Do they claim they have lived the emptied lifestyle perfectly? Absolutely not! They are the first ones to admit it. But we sure do benefit from reading about the difficult lessons they have learned. They demonstrate the “Live, Learn, and Pass It Along” precept in an interesting way.

I love how they individually write about their experiences in emptying themselves. But what’s great is that they also write about their experiences in filling themselves up with God’s approach to love. It’s a two-fold process. We get the privilege of reading about it in this book.

Poured Out and Then Filled

The first part of Emptied deals with the “Poured Out” or the emptying process of living out married life as God would have us. The second part deals with being filled with God’s fruitful love. Again, this is God’s plan for each of us. Each chapter highlights the importance of living in such a way that the fruits of the Spirit show forth within our married lives. As a result, others who witness the way in which we live together will want to know our God better. And isn’t that the true point of how we are to live our lives? We are to be genuine reflections of the love of God to a world that desperately needs Him.

I want to conclude this book review blog with a prayer that Wynter wrote that we can pray, as well. It magnifies God’s plan. Plus, it invites God to work His purpose within us for our marriages:

“God, more often than not, I have put my preferences and purpose in front of Yours in my marriage. I have cared far too much about accomplishing what I’ve wanted and too little about what You’ve asked of me. May You begin to shape and mold my mind and heart to be more like Yours. And may I begin to measure my success in marriage against Your standard, not my feelings. Lord, bring Your supernatural vivacity and flourishing into my marriage as I give myself to You and allow You to point out needed change. In Jesus’s name, amen.”

Emptied: Experiencing the Fullness of a Poured-Out Marriage is written by Wynter and Jonathan Pitts, and is published by Harvest House Publisher.

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

Important Postscript:

Jonathan and Wynter Pitts celebrated 15 years of marriage together, and have four beautiful daughters. They have lived a full, loving, wonderful but shortened life together. Sadly, their book, Emptied is to “be their final collaboration” in writing a book together. Below is a statement from Jonathan that best explains this:

“I turned the final edited manuscript of this book into our publisher on an afternoon in July. A few hours later, Wynter entered into eternity. The timing seemed too intentional to ignore and God has used that story as a reminder that He is in control and that nothing happens outside of His purview. He will accomplish His plans and even in the insanely difficult, He is still good.”

Please pray for Jonathan and his family and friends. I also encourage you to read their book. (We provide a link within the blue titles to help you to read the reviews, and obtain it.) All I want to say here is… what a wonderful legacy Wynter left behind! May God be glorified!

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