If there is one question that I am asked most often, it is “What should I do?” In a variety of situations and circumstances, those who are standing for their marriage want to do the correct thing in light of what they are facing. The only problem with the question is that it puts the cart before the horse.
Knowing what to do comes from hearing the voice of the Lord. Doing what is right is simply obeying what He tells you to do. So, the first step must be developing a strong relationship with Jesus. The pain, the shame, the anger, the despair–the myriad of emotions that flood your life when your spouse makes it clear that he or she no longer wants the marriage can send you into an emotional tailspin that makes clear decision making almost impossible.
Some people react by wanting to do anything to make the marriage work. Others are in such pain that they can hardly function. Others react in anger and retaliation. Others begin to put impossible demands on themselves, placing the total responsibility for the healing of their marriage on their own actions and words.
In the early days of my stand for our marriage, one of my favorite scriptures was a prophecy that was spoken about Jesus in Isaiah and then repeated in Matthew, “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.” That scripture spoke to me of the gentleness of Jesus when it comes to the broken heart. He knew my heart and He loved me and wanted the best for me. Initially I went to Him and just cried out my pain. He was there and He was loving and accepting.
The wonderful thing about Jesus is that He can make it clear He understands our pain completely and yet He still makes it clear that He loves the one who hurt us as well. That balance helped me get past the early days of pain. Jesus wasn’t taking sides. His love for me was strong and steady but His love for my husband was equally strong. He bound up my wounds and began healing my heart. It was a slow process, not because of Jesus but because I fell back so easily into pain and sorrow. It took a long time for me to reach the point where I was able to move forward with the Lord. He was patient and He never crushed the bruised reed. His Word brought healing to my heart and mind.
As I began to heal, the Lord began to speak to me through His Word regarding what to do next. His Word needs to be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path (Psalm 119:105). A lamp shines brightly in a small area. God’s Word will show you where to place your feet, where to go and what to do. His Word will give you clarity for the next steps to take. And His Word is a light to your path. That light shines farther and clarifies the long-term direction you need to take. Developing a close relationship with the Lord and spending time with Him in the Word will be key to your healing and the steps you need to take next.
Without that close relationship with Jesus, your decisions will be based on emotions and circumstances. You will feel pressured by time and will be tempted to set deadlines and give ultimatums. Your number one goal at this time must be to develop that relationship. Be honest with Him. Don’t go all holy and pretend that you are doing fine. Pour out your hurt, your anger, and your pain to Him. He’s not afraid of your emotions and being honest with Him will not “ruin” your chances for marriage healing. There were days when I would tell Him, “Lord, I really hate my husband right now but I know You love him with an everlasting love. Please love Him through me today because I have nothing to give.” He was faithful and He met me where I was.
These steps are critical. If you don’t get honest with the Lord, you won’t be honest with yourself. You won’t be open to the Lord speaking to those areas of your own heart where you need to change. If you don’t allow Him to heal the very depths of your heart, you will continue to react out of emotion and fear<
Standing for your marriage is not walking in perfection. It is not doing and saying all the right things. It is clearly hearing the voice of the Lord and being obedient to do what He speaks to you. Take this time to fall so deeply in love with Him that nothing else matters. Develop such a strong relationship with Him that He fills every area of your life. Don’t put your life on hold. Begin serving the Lord powerfully and minister into the lives of others with all that He pours into your life. Love, Marilyn
“But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him” 1 John 2:5
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-8