No Magic Formula

Sorry about the long hiatus. We had a little problem that shut us down for a while. Please make sure the person you are forwarding the blog to wants to receive it. Sending it to your spouse is probably not a good idea. Angry spouses tend to report that as spam.

Many times people think that if they just say or do something, it will be the key to a spouse changing his or her mind and restoring the marriage. I have received many emails saying that I don’t make it clear what I did to get my husband to come home. If you are looking for an answer like that, this is probably not going to help you much.

There is no magic formula or specific thing to do that will make the difference for your marriage. I would hope that those who follow this blog regularly would understand that the key is your relationship with God. You cannot change another person. You cannot be obedient for someone else. You can grow closer to the Lord and learn to hear His voice ever more clearly.

No human being is your answer. In fact, it is idolatry to make a human being more important or having more power than God in your life. Your fulfillment, your peace, your contentment are not based on whether or not your spouse is with you. You have all those things because the Lord is with you.

When David returned to Ziklag and found that his whole family had been taken from him, scripture tells us but David “found strength in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). That is the only place you will find strength at any time in your life, let alone when you are standing and fighting a battle for your home.

We must each learn to run to Him and find our answers in Him and Him alone.

When Jesus went to the cross, He bore all our sins and suffered the judgement of them all for us. He took other things to that cross for us as well. He suffered betrayal through a phony kiss from someone He loved. He was brutalized and shamed publicly. He was abandoned by all but a close few. Not only did His body suffer indescribable torture, but His soul also bore the pain and suffering that others inflicted upon Him. He bore all of that so that we might not have to.

So, when we are faced with betrayal, with shame, with abandonment, and loneliness we can turn to Him. He has borne them all for us and in Him we can find total peace. Some feel that the restoration of a marriage is the final goal but we can personally tell you that only leads to deeper issues that God wants to resolve in each of our lives. Marriage is a constant working out of God’s plan for both of us and requires healing and adjustment, growth and adjustment, and challenges and adjustment.

Marriage is never static or settled. One of us is always growing and changing and that requires the other one to grow and change as well. We are constantly adjusting to what God is doing within each of our lives and our relationship. What I learned while I was standing is what ministers to us today. Our peace is not in each other. Our total joy and fulfillment are not found in each other. Our relationship grows and flourishes in proportion to how much we draw on Jesus and allow Him to work on our hearts.

Once, one of us stood for our marriage. Now we stand together. And together we face the same attacks and the same schemes of the enemy that he has used since the Garden of Eden. Reconciling your marriage will be of little benefit if you have not learned to rest totally in Jesus while you stand. Many times we see couples reconcile only to break up again. Why? Many times it is because the one standing thought that the answer to prayer was having his or her spouse come home.

No, your answer to prayer is your own transformation in Christ. The more you draw into Him, the more you will find peace and joy in all circumstances and the less you will look to people to be your answer. God wants your marriage and family to be restored but God’s plan is so much bigger than just that. God sees generationally. He sees the beginning from the end.

When God gives an answer, the blessings go out as ripples in the water. The center may be where the miracle occurs, but the ripples continue to bless lives through the generations. Your answer to prayer will also be the answer for many, many others as what God does in your life goes out into the lives of others.

Far too often the Church short circuits the work of God in the hearts of His people by finding answers for them in people. “Forget that first spouse. God has someone better for you.” And the real tragedy is that a person is once again made the answer and the cycle begins again.

How much better it would be if all God’s people could be helped to understand that the reason we get into trouble in life in the first place is because we thought a person would fulfill us in some way – perhaps a spouse, or a child, or a parent, or a friend. And yet, in the end, everyone of them fails us in some way or another. God gave us the desire for relationship and gave us people to relate to but His plan was that we would find our fulfillment and our identity in Him and Him alone.  Love, Marilyn

“For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28

“And the peace of God, that transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Author: Marilyn Phillipps

Married 49 years, we have three children and six grandchildren. My initial career of nursing prepared me to work with marriages that are wounded and in need of healing. For 35 my husband and I have led 2=1 International, a ministry to marriages and families around the world. We have seen miracle after miracle when many had given up hope.

7 thoughts on “No Magic Formula”

  1. The truth is the answer lies within each of us that is standing. It is a daily walk and a daily commitment to be the first one to do the right thing.

  2. I think in the beginning you think that well, I’ ll do all this, my spouse will come back home and then everything will be alright. But then as you stand, God shows you so much stuff about yourself that you realize that this stand is more about you and your relationship with God. Then you begin to really see things the way He does and you allow Him to peel away all those things that need to go so that you can be that better spouse, friend, co-worker, sister, or brother. And you really begin to look at your spouse in a new way too.


  4. Thank you again. Your blogs reveal so much truth. I would have to say the only answer to our problems and circumstances is leaving in the hands of the Lord and looking to Him for wisdom/guidance/discernment. This has been a hard and long battle for our family, but I know some it the difficulty was because I didn’t know how to Let God run the show. There are many times I have wanted to give up, but know what I have been told.

  5. Funny, my family all the women in it have been divorced we have been told we are cursed due to an affair my grandmother had..after reading this I have just learned that we are our own curse we walked away without a fight we said “NoBody’s going to tell me what I can and can not do” we let people make our decesions no matter how we felt. WOW how powerful to know if we all would have just turned to Jesus and allowed him to help there would not even be a talk of “Curse”. Jesus works in amazing ways and now that I have opened my heart and letting him guide me I see a whole new light on things learning everyday JUST AMAZING how our questions are answered. And yes I do understand now how we need to grow with jesus, my husband just got saved something he may not have ever done if it wasn’t for our seperation..How could I ever give up on the marriage now. 🙂

  6. I just found your blog and have read many of your postings in a days time. Thank you for speaking the truth about Gods plan for marriages, and for all things really. It is not an easy road to travel, though. Surely, only with God by my side could I keep standing. Thank you for your words of encouragement and sharing your testimony of having walked the same road. It is a bright light in a very dark world that doesn't support marriage, but what is best for "me."

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