Day 16: When God Intervenes In Your Marriage…
Missed some posts in this series? You can read them here.
Some couples seem to leave their honeymoon, and continue into wedded blessedness. Oh sure, they have an argument here and there, but overall, their marital journey seems pretty straightforward and joyful.
For my dear hubby and I, this was not the case. We had a great honeymoon, in Italy no less, and I’m pretty sure the first couple of weeks thereafter were fine and dandy as we settled into a life together. However, all I can remember of the rest of that first year is loud fights, hubby sleeping on the couch, and my dashed hopes and dreams for marital bliss. It was rough. Out the window went our Christian convictions and conduct. And introduced were two selfish, angry, and broken people.
Photo credit: Kliefi via photopin cc
When God Intervenes In A Marriage
With the help of caring friends, prayer, and God’s mercy, we began to stumble through the next years making one small step of improvement at a time. It often felt as though each and every hurdle we faced in life seemed to knock us over as a couple. However, we had three things going for us; we were committed to one another, loved each other, and despite our heated spats, held firmly to a faith in God and His Word. Slowly, but surely, we made progress in our marital relationship.
And now, here we are, in our fifteenth year of marriage. We are the best of friends. We have been through so many trials, and so many joys together. We share four beautiful children, we’ve moved to the opposite side of the earth as a family, and when I think about it, I can hardly believe how far we’ve come.
A Godly Perspective for Your Marriage
How wonderful it is when you and I look back and see God’s hand upon our marriages. Clearly this is an area where God should be highly exulted and our testimony of the distance that He has brought us, loudly declared.
Yet, my dear friend, for so many years I tried to hide the state of my marriage. I would put on a joyful smile when I went to church. I would answer, “Great!” when asked how we were doing. But deep inside I was hurting so desperately.
In Mark 5:19, Jesus said to a man whom He had freed from demon possession,
“Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you,
and how he has had mercy on you.”
The Pretence Behind A Struggling Marriage
When our Lord says to tell others about how much He has done for us, that means that you and I need to make ourselves vulnerable. It requires us to humble ourselves and admit that we were in a difficult place. That our values and beliefs did not shine through to our behaviour. That the fruit that was emanating from us towards our spouse, was anything but the fruit of the Spirit. Before we can boast in Him and in how far He has brought us in our marriages, we need to admit to the hard parts first.
As believers, we are Academy Award actors. We could get an Oscar for being radiant, shiny, happy people. Giving glory to God for what He has done in our lives often requires us taking off our masks, our facades, laying down our fear of man, and honestly sharing that we were void of peace in our relationship, but that God worked so mightily in our lives.
Sure it took years. You bet it cost tears. But it was all worth it if the King of all Creation can get the glory for where we are now!
Tests To Know Whether Your Marriage Has Improved
Have we arrived at a perfect marriage? Of course not. But there are few experiences as bonding as when we look back long enough to praise God for the large and small victories that He has brought us through. And doing so, gives us the strength, motivation and hope to continue on the path that He has laid out for us on this Earth together, as a team.
If you are struggling in your marriage, think about the areas in which, as a couple, you have progressed.
- Three years ago, you would have been so angry when your man was late, and now you are far more understanding and tolerant.
- Five years ago, it would have irritated him when you reacted in a certain way, and now he responds lovingly instead.
- Ten years ago, you would argue in the car all the way to church, blaming one another for this and that. Yet now you arrive peacefully, having overlooked the other’s faults.
You see, you have come a long way! Further than you realize. God is working in your life, and He has chosen that very man you married for you, because God knew that your specific husband would be the absolute best instrument to transform you into the image of His Son!
What are some points of progress that you recognise in your marital relationship that have come about by God’s gracious hand?
Oh Tehila, I loved this … “As believers, we are Academy Award actors. We could get an Oscar for being radiant, shiny, happy people”. How many times I have done that. We used to try our best to look “We are a happy family”…but in truth it was hurting inside! But as you said one day God intervened. What I have now is His work..He restored my marriage!
Praise the Lord, Sunu! That is so encouraging to hear. Whenever we would go into a public place, I’d always say to my husband, “Be lovey dovey to me!” I wanted that exterior impression that people got of our relationship to be something they would envy. How sinful that was of me! Amazingly, in the past few years since I’ve stopped saying it, my husband is far more affectionate to me in public than he ever has been before. It’s coming from his heart, and is a reflection of what the Lord is doing in us as individuals and as a married couple. When we drop the facades, the truth does come out, but isn’t that what we want? If we’re hurting, do we really want to go through it alone? We need the help, love, support, prayer, and encouragement of others, don’t we? Lovely to hear from you xx
Tehlia, this was beautiful. I love your transparency. So many struggle with marriage and yet put the face of “everything’s great!” on in front of others. When things aren’t going great it helps to have the body of Christ surrounding us in prayer and encouragement to keep persevering.
I really loved this quote from you…”because God knew that your specific husband would be the absolute best instrument to transform you into the image of His Son!”
In my own personal experience, this couldn’t be more true. I only knew of God, but didn’t really know God or have a personal relationship with him until after I met my husband and saw his amazing faith in action during some of our difficult trials and seasons. I’m a completely different woman now as a result, totally passionate about following Christ. 🙂
Boy I wish I knew how to edit comments. I’m so sorry for spelling your name wrong. Got those last few letters turned around. :/
What a wonderful testimony you have, Rosann. God is clearly pleased with your humble heart… Thank you for sharing here xx
Such wisdom in this post! Thank you so much for your transparent and provoking advice. In order for God to receive all the glory He deserves, we must be willing to share how bad it was or His goodness wont shine as brightly. It reminds me of a Puritan Prayer from the book titled, Valley of Vision:
“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly, Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision, where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory. Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up, that to be low is to be high, that the broken heart is the healed heart, that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit, that the repenting soul is the victorious soul, that to have nothing is to possess all, that to bear the cross is to wear the crown, that to give is to receive, that the valley is the place of vision. Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine; let me find Thy light in my darkness, Thy life in my death, Thy joy in my sorrow, Thy grace in my sin, Thy riches in my poverty, Thy glory in my valley.”
Thank you for giving me fresh Truth to meditate on this morning!
Did you know that off by heart, Debi?! Wow, how beautiful a prayer that is… you are a blessing! xx
This really hit home with my heart!!! Thank you for this awesome wisdom and showing me that it’s ok to be real and transparent! God bless you!
How sweet of you, Jenny! Appreciate you identifying with me, and for standing with us wives on our journey in marriage xx
Tehila…My favorite line: “He has chosen that very man you married for you, because God knew that your specific husband would be the absolute best instrument to transform you into the image of His Son!” God is awesome and so amazing, isn’t He? Who said being conformed into the likeness of His Son would be easy? And marriage is definitely one area we are always growing in to be transformed. Thank you for the encouragement today.
Totally agree with you, Naomi! Wise words… It’s not always comfortable when God works in us through our spouse, but it’s necessary in our own process of sanctification. God bless you, sister!
Thanks for opening your heart to us in this post! I was blessed by reading it. Charles and I have been learning and focusing on the AMAZING truth we are finally realizing about marriage: That God uses marriage to make us more like him, and our first goal should be to try and be holy, not happy! AND whatever we do to our spouse we are doing to Jesus…so it better be all things loving. 🙂 I wish more people were more open about their every day struggles in the marriage journey. What freedom it would bring! I love you friend! Thanks for allowing God to use you to share with others.
Oh you sweet thing! Thank you for your beautiful comment and encouragement. I totally agree with you. I have found that when I am open about my marriage, or anything really, then others follow suit and feel more comfortable to share things that would otherwise be hidden and withheld. God bless you beautiful friend! xxx
Our closest relationships are no doubt the ones God uses to do the most work in us. It’s easy to put on that “everything’s fine” facade because in some ways I think we convince ourselves it is. Until one day you realize it’s really not okay. That happened to my husband and I. It was eye-opening and the beginning of a difficult journey to live out our marriage as God intended. But with all thanks to God, we are certainly in a much better place in our marriage. Thanks for the encouragement to be transparent so others can see God’s work in our lives and for sharing how He’s worked in yours.
Oh my sweet friend, what a wonderful testimony. I never saw it like that where we need to share openly about our marriages so God can be glorified. It is so precious to weather the years with the same man. I do mean weather. As time goes on our marriage mellows into a beautiful relationship.
Such a great post, and the hard work really is worth it. I think the longer you’re married too, the easier it comes to trust the other person is going to be there for you no matter what. 🙂
I am a firm believer in divine intervention too, when you ask for it. 🙂 Have a great weekend and thank you for linking up to Super Sunday Sync.
This was a really tough one for my husband… in his home there was absolutely no arguing. His parents simply grew apart and the first hint he had of any trouble was when they divorced. In his mind, any argument equalled a dissolution of the marriage. It took several years for him not to respond to each and every disagreement with “Okay, so you’re throwing me out now”…. it was so frustrating! He’s slowly getting a little better (and I have a much better understanding of where he is coming from!)
Marriage can be hard! Two people, raised somewhat differently, born to be self-involved. I’ve been married 2 years now, it is my second marriage, and I call on God daily to help us 🙂 It makes such a difference. Thank you for sharing your story.
The truth, through confession, to those we trust and who have our best at heart can be so healing, Tehila! I’m so glad you made the hard choice to be authentic and face the areas that needed strengthening and yielding to Christ. And I love how you’ve challenged us to focus on the ways we’ve improved and grown as spouses in our marriages. There’s so much that we often take for granted that can keep us motivated, moving forward and persevering. Thanks again for inspiring us through your vulnerability here, my friend!
Well done for writing this book and God Bless you!! I say this with all of my heart. Years ago I read a book called “Lord Change Me.” and it helped me so much. Yes, we can’t change the other person, but we can change ourselves. Selfishness is usually a problem in marriage, together with competitiveness. But partners should not compete, they should work together as a team, best friends and lovers. I will get your book…I don’t believe we know it all or can ever stop learning. Blessings from Oz.
Two selfish immature persons can certainly cause a marriage to have problems. Early on I learned to be quiet when my husband was angry. I still am so quiet, but there are times when a wife must speak up. Recently I missed a golden opportunity and things went sour. Not for us but for other family members. God is able to heal the hurts as we walk in forgiveness each to the other. Thank you for sharing your beautiful post with us here at “Tell me a Story.”
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