Mario Ramos has been serving as a coach for Faithwalking for 10 years. He also serves as a member of the Faithwalking board. After pastoring for 15 years and teaching for 17 years at the Baptist University of the Americas, Mario retired on December 31, 2019. He enjoys walking, fishing, reading, teaching the Bible, babysitting his grandchildren, and living life with his wife of 45 years, Linda. Mario has three grown sons and four grandchildren.
Question: Describe something in your life that you were not aware of before Faithwalking (FW). What was the impact of that lack of awareness in your life?
Answer: One day I came to realize that I was self-righteous. I came to realize that this need to feel spiritually superior to others is rooted in the way my father respected and admired the clergy. I desperately wanted my father’s love, but he didn’t know how to express it well. Thus, I sought his love by trying to be holier than others. That eventually turned into self-righteousness. This led to shaming my sons and my wife because I communicated indirectly that they did not measure up to my standard of holiness. This made it difficult for me to have the kind of loving and safe relationship with them.
Q: Tell us about you. Who are you? How did you connect with FW?
A: I am first and foremost a child of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ the Lord. I am grateful to God for the life he has given me. I had the gift of pursuing a career in ministry, first as a pastor and then as a teacher. I served as a pastor for 15 years and then as a faculty member at BUA teaching Spiritual Formation, Biblical Ethics, Biblical Interpretation, Preaching, Leadership and Faithwalking. This experience has formed me to love God, his Word and people.
I am a father to three grown sons. In spite of my wounding them, I have a very good relationship with them. I am a grandfather to four grandchildren, ages 6 to 8. I can’t wait to take them fishing. And the greatest gift of all is my wife, Linda; we’ve been married 44 years. She has endured me, we have worked hard to make our marriage work and now in our golden years, we are enjoying our retirement together.
My life is one of God’s grace. I am humbled and grateful for his mercy and kindness. How can I not want to know him, love him and serve him with all that I am.
I got connected to Faithwalking through my oldest brother, Andy. He invited me to come to a FW 101 retreat. I didn’t know what to expect, but I admired and fully trusted my brother. The retreat was life-changing for me. I’ve been involved ever since.
Q: What has changed through FW? How are you different?
A: My transformation in FW has been humbling and liberating! I came to understand that so many of my habitual disobediences (sins) came from seeking love, acceptance, and approval apart from God. What resulted was that I became a people-pleasing, self-righteous, and fearful-of-authority person. God has used FW to free me from those unhelpful and destructive patterns of behavior and thought. I can honestly say that I am so much more comfortable in my own skin and less fearful of what people think about me. I am much less self-righteous and more sensitive to it. The transformation has made such a difference in my life that my wife said, “I want to take Faithwalking.” And I asked her, “Why?” She responded, “I’ve seen what a difference it has made in your life!” If it wasn’t for FW, I believed that my marriage and my relationships with my children would be so very different. I was able to ask my family for forgiveness, and they all did. It is almost like starting all over. I am forever grateful for FW and the coaches that led me through the courses I took.
Q: Describe the vision you have of your best self.
A: I look forward to being fully liberated from all the effects woundedness has had in my life. This is an ongoing transformation. I want to life of love (Eph. 5:2).
Q: Describe the vision you have for FW in 5 years.
A: I would like for FW to be part of the curriculum in churches throughout the world. I’ve seen how FW makes better, less anxious, more thoughtful leaders, therefore I would like to see pastors and church leaders take FW.
Q: What was the most helpful tool you learned in FW?
A: Understanding that habitual disobedience is a logical outworking of looking for love in wrong and ineffectual ways.