How long do I have to wait for God to restore my marriage?
This is a question I’ve heard quite a bit, recently. I’ve read it in blog comments, emails, and from people in my personal life.
The truth is, waiting on your marriage to be restored is hard work. It involves trust in God and His timing, laying aside our own wants and desires, and holding onto hope despite the world screaming loudly to just let go.
Getting up each day to face a situation that we don’t like is so difficult, but the unknown of how it will turn out – and when we might see restoration – adds to that difficulty.
So how do you press on, day by day, as you wait for God to restore and redeem your marriage?
I’m sharing some tips from my own life today, in no particular order.
3 Ways to Wait While God Restores My Marriage
1. Shake It Up
I love routines. I am a creature of habit, and I don’t like change, especially when that change is out of my control.
Waiting on a spouse to decide they do want to stay in the marriage is certainly out of our control.
During the hardest times in my marriage, it was easy for me to fall back on those routines. After a while, though, I noticed something else starting to happen.
While going through my daily routines, the doubts, the negative thoughts and the heartache crept in easily, often without me noticing it. I’d go through several days wondering why I was feeling so down. That’s when I noticed the negative feelings creeping in to my heart with my daily routines.
So – I had to shake it up!
I started to change my routines so that my thoughts wouldn’t be so automatic as they were with my regular routines. As doubts crept in, I worked hard to notice them and then I prayed. I simply prayed the name of Jesus over and over. His name was the only prayer strong enough to combat my worries and fears.
2. Jesus – Early and Often
My morning routine was to wake up, wash my face and drink my coffee. Usually, I eased into my day, did schoolwork with the kids, went to work, completed housework and went to sleep. Early on, I realized that this would not work; I would not survive the impact of our marital issues without Jesus, so I had to start at the beginning of the day.
To be honest, in-depth Bible study was difficult, simply because it was hard to focus on large chunks of reading. I decided to work on smaller chunks of the Bible and wrote out some verses to memorize.
My day needed to start with Jesus, so I placed these verses in strategic locations where I would be reminded of God’s grace even before my day started. I made it a point to sit on the side of my bed each morning, look out at the back yard and thank God for a new day. I turned the chore of washing dishes into an opportunity to pray. Folding laundry became an opportunity to thank God for each family member. Even social media turned into a way to gather favorite verses all in one place.
As I intentionally took Jesus through every part of my day, it became easier to focus on Him instead of being completely devoured by my problems.
3. Move Ahead
“Moving ahead” does not seem like a way to wait while God restores my marriage, but the reality is that it’s another step of faith and trust in Him.
When our situation got to the point where it was completely out of my control, I realized that I had a few options:
*Divorce my husband and need to hit the ground running to provide for my family
*Stay in bed and watch my life fade away
*Begin to put one foot in front of the other and trust that God would do what He said
I came to the point where I realized that either I had to trust God, believe He would care for me, have faith that He would lead me – OR – I had to throw in the towel on my faith and close the door on God.
While divorce was an option, I wasn’t ready to take my kids from their father if there was any other way. The option to stay in bed and watch my life pass by was viable and for a while I did that.
Moving forward, though, stepping back into life, was scary. I had no guarantee that anything would get better. God asked me to wait, but I was not sure how things would ultimately turn out. I realized the only way out of my situation was to get through it, so I determined to move ahead. I told God that if my marriage was to be saved, He was going to have to do it.
Over the years He has done that, but I really believe it’s because I decided to move forward in faith with Him.
Psalm 16:8 became a verse I clung to –
I have set the LORD always before me:
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Friends, we have a calling on our lives, each one of us.
The marital issues we struggle with are a small part of the entirety of our lives. I know they seem all-consuming right now, but consider them in the scope of your entire life. I’ll explain it as I heard it from Christine Caine at a women’s conference that I went to:
I will turn 42 this coming Saturday. While the story of my marital issues is the main story of my life right now, it’s not my whole life. It started 3 years ago, and Lord willing, it will come to an end soon. I have 39 years before these issues were a part of my story, and I hope to have many years after this where my marital issues will no longer be a part of my story. They will take up a small portion of my entire life, so why would I camp out in that tragedy rather than living in the years of blessing that God has given?
Isn’t that an interesting perspective? It reminds me of Romans 8:18 –
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Waiting while God restores your marriage can be difficult. We can wait in stress, in frustration, full of anxiety, or we can wait in proactive ways that keep us stepping out in faith with the Lord.
How are you waiting while God restores your marriage?
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