Redemption in marriage – is it possible?
Are there even people who stay in their marriages when the hard times come?
These are questions that I’ve asked myself at one point or another in the past few years.
It’s so easy to find marriage advice anywhere online – for when things are going well. It’s even possible to find some information about when things are going poorly.
But it’s been hard to find a lot of information about what to do if your marriage goes through some extreme difficulties.
I once told God that I would never write about marriage – after all, there are so many people who write so well about the various aspects of marriage.
I know there are a few people who share about going through tough times, but it’s been hard to find the posts of people “in the trenches” in their marriage.
So I’ve bravely decided to share parts of our journey as we go through them, in hopes that people needing the encouragement will find it.
We’ve all had that moment of coming across the right words at just the right time – maybe a Bible verse, a favorite song/hymn, encouragement from a trusted friend.
When a relationship – particularly a marriage – becomes difficult enough that you start wondering if anyone has made it through those kinds of struggles, it’s important to find words from someone who has been eyeballs-deep in the muck and mire, yet wasn’t overtaken by it.
But it’s also important to find words of hope – true Hope.
I can cheer you on in your marriage, and you can encourage me in mine. But really – what is the point of sticking it out when times get tough if we don’t have an eternal Hope?
My husband has asked me on numerous occasions why I choose to stay with him. There’s no “perfect” answer. There’s no answer that will take away what he struggles with, or what I struggle with as a result of his choices.
Because it isn’t about us. It’s about God.
On a hot July day in 1999, I made a vow before God to love and honor my husband. I committed myself to our marriage. So did he.
And the answer that I’ve given him so many times when he’s asked me why I’m staying is this:
“Just because you didn’t keep your vows does not mean that I have to break my vows.”
You see, as a society, I think we’ve gotten used to a convenience mentality, a drive-thru service. We can get food, a drink, do our banking, pick up medicines – all without ever getting out of our vehicle. We’ve become accustomed to making life as convenient for ourselves as possible.
And we’ve done the same in our marriages. We utilize them when it’s convenient. We stay in them when it benefits us. But when that breaking point comes? When we get humiliated, or the tough times hit, when the pain we endure outweighs the benefit of being married, we (culturally) are quick to throw in the towel.
God has made it abundantly clear, at least for now, that I’m to stay in my marriage. It hasn’t been an easy decision. In fact, there is no option that would take away the pain. Not a single one. No matter what decision I made in regards to my marriage, there would be pain.
The best I can do is to go back to my original relationship – God first, everyone else after that.
I’ve always had a good relationship with God, I’ve always had faith that He will provide. But this struggle – the years we have to spend undoing what has been done – has forced me to a dependence on God like I’ve never had before.
So if you’ve found your way here, this is why I share about marriage. This is why I share about the struggles of my marriage.
You won’t find detailed descriptions of what has happened in my marriage, but I believe you’ll find brokenness that you can relate to. I believe you’ll find hope to keep on going. Based on the emails and blog comments that I get, there are a lot of us going through similar struggles – fighting to keep our marriages alive and strong.
That’s why I get up each day – because I’m choosing to believe in Hope that will heal. Because I know that God is working in an area that must be dealt with, and at the same time He is extending grace and mercy far beyond what is deserved.
That’s why I pause each morning at the back window thanking God for a new day. That’s why I pray for each of you going through similar situations – because I know God CAN.
Right now my marriage is getting back to being decent. It’s not where it should be, due to all that’s happened. But by the grace and mercy of God, it’s not where it used to be!
Wherever you are today, please know that I have prayed for you, for us. I’m not out of the muck and mire of all of this yet, so you’ll find very real words and very raw emotions here at any given time.
But I’m getting up each day. I’m drawing my line in the sand. I’m trusting God (truthfully, I’m almost daring Him at times when my faith seems small) to be who He says He is.
Do I expect to change the world by being one person who fights for their marriage? No.
But I’m hoping to strengthen two hearts – mine and my husband’s.
If what is shared here blesses others beyond us, that’s God’s grace – beauty from our ashes.
Have I wanted to give up? Too many times to count…. But I keep finding my way back to telling God that I will do what He asks me to do because I believe that what is happening in these years is holy – despite how hard it has been and however difficult it might continue to be.
Every morning God asks me to get up, to pray, and to have faith. I’ve learned that there is room for either faith or fear – not both.
Redemption in marriage – is it possible?
I am counting on it! I am counting on a God who can redeem ALL things, who can mend the broken places of our lives, who will bring rain (Hosea 6), who will grow oaks of righteousness for the display of His splendor (Isaiah 61).
Marriage posts can be found by clicking here: Marriage Posts