BROWNSVILLE, TX—Despite deep, irreconcilable differences that might have led to divorce for other married couples, Clint and Carol Colson have managed to keep their family together through the power of faith. Their belief in God is living proof of the old adage that the family that prays together suffers through a long, hellish marriage together.
"Every night at dinnertime," Clint, 33, said, "I gather the whole brood around the table, mute the TV, and thank the Lord for the many gifts He has given us, and apologize to Him for the fact that the kids' fat sow of a mother burned the damn meatloaf again, and ask Him to give us the strength to put up with this pig sty of a house for many more years. Then we say Amen. It helps a lot."
Though their mutual loathing has resulted in near-constant screaming matches and frequent domestic-disturbance calls to Brownsville police officials, as well as numerous attempts by son Toby, 10, to run away from home, Clint and Carol thank Jesus daily for keeping them together.
"When I first met Clint, I used to get down on my knees every night and thank the Good Lord for sending him to me," Carol, 31, said. "Now, 11 years and 200,000 fights later, I ask Him to give me the strength to somehow stay with him."
"I honestly don't know how wives without religion can make it," Carol added.
"I thank God all the time for helping Mommy and Daddy stay together," said daughter Susie, 8. "Pastor Drucker says Jesus will one day help them stop yelling and hitting, too. I believe He will."
"I'm glad my parents pray, because that means they're not going to split up like the Reeds, and Dad will be around to teach me how to be a man," Toby said. "Just yesterday, he was telling me about how women are all crazy liars and how you have to be sure not to fall for what they say."
The Colsons were advised to conduct family prayer by Pastor Warren Drucker, who counseled Carol when a drunken fall down a flight of stairs caused her to have a miscarriage. Though raised not to believe in divorce, she was strongly considering it after the incident.
"Carol had somehow gotten it into her head that her fall and the subsequent miscarriage were somehow her husband's fault, and that it would be best if she filed for divorce," said Drucker, an old family friend of Carol's who presided over her confirmation and wedding. "I helped her see that God wants families to stay together, and that through daily Bible readings and prayer, she would come to better know God's plan for her."
Drucker added that he considers the perseverance of the Colsons' marriage one of the greatest triumphs of his ministry.
"This is a family that very nearly split up," Drucker said. "But thanks to the Divine love of our Lord Jesus Christ, they will continue to endure each other for years to come."