Why Does It Hurt When I’m Healing?

Whenever we hear that someone we know is getting a divorce, we immediately want to talk with them. Yet 100% of the time someone close to them insists that we leave them alone. Their reasoning always is, “They are hurting enough already. Don’t make it any worse for them by talking about how Jesus can change things. You’ll just give them false hope.

Recently a friend of ours tried to meet with the daughter of a friend of hers who was going through a divorce and the girl’s parents told her the same thing. It seems that family members are quick to protect their loved ones from any challenge to healing or even the thought that reconciliation could be possible.

We understand that they are hurting and yet we know that left alone, they may not heal on their own. When someone breaks a bone or tears a ligament, there is great pain. The first step in healing is often surgery or, at the very least, the setting of the bone. Sometimes pins must be used to insure proper healing. All of these things are painful and may even seem to add to the initial pain of the injury. To leave the person without these remedies, though, would insure improper healing and perhaps even permanent crippling.

It seems to us that many times this is what well-meaning family members, friends, and sometimes even pastors, do when they recommend that hurting people not be approached with the truth of covenant faithfulness. We realize that when someone is going through the pain of separation and divorce, they are really hurting. To those who love them and want to help them, just getting them through it may seem like the best option.

Many pastors have told us that divorce is the best solution for this particular couple. It is best they end years of pain and get on with their lives. The problem is, what seems like an effective resolution in the short term always produces continual problems in the future.

Case in point – the daughter of a friend of ours divorced two years ago. We wanted to talk with her at that time, but her family insisted we leave her alone. We almost lost relationship with them when we expressed how important we felt it was to see her. The other night we saw her at a party. She shared with us how her life was going. She was unhappy with the shared custody arrangements. The kids were hurting. She was angry. Her “ex” was uncooperative.

Then she shared about her dating life. She initially tried meeting men at church and in social situations, but that hadn’t worked well. Now she is online dating, but the outcome hasn’t been much different. As I listened to her I thought here is a woman desperately seeking peace and fulfillment. She thought divorce would set her free to obtain it all. Instead, she is still dealing with the same issues she faced in her marriage and cannot find the man she believes will change her circumstances.

She is healing crookedly because her wounding was never set properly with the Word of God.

Sometimes we have to be willing endure a bit more pain to ensure we are truly healing. Sometimes we have to look deep within ourselves and see things we do not like in order to have the Lord help us change. Sometimes we have to stop pointing fingers and blaming and start looking in the mirror. Those are painful moments, but if we are willing, they lead to true healing.

I remember when I first began to stand for our marriage and I was so eager for God to begin working on Michael. He really needed help! How shocked I was when the Lord made it clear we were going to work on me instead. I was the one serving the Lord! I was the one who wanted to see the marriage healed! I wasn’t in adultery! Why would God want to start with me?

He started with me because if I didn’t endure the pain of healing my broken heart, if I didn’t endure the pain of looking at my attitudes and behavior, or if I didn’t allow the Lord to remove the dross from my life, I would never have healed properly and I could never have truly loved my husband again the way I needed to in order to stand and intercede for him.

Sometimes facing the truth is painful, but if we trust the Great Physician to walk us through the pain to healing, we can be assured that we will heal properly. He has promised that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Physical therapy hurts. We never want to push ourselves past our place of comfort, but the therapist makes sure we we push through the pain and gain more mobility. Being protected from truth, never produces freedom. Love, Marilyn

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32

What About Abuse?

When we talk about standing for your marriage or keeping your covenant, often people in abusive relationships believe we are saying they should continue taking abuse in the name of faithfulness. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Abuse, whether verbal, physical, psychological, or sexual, is one of the many ways the enemy attacks relationship. When you make the choice to stand against the enemy and agree with God, it is important that you separate natural things from spiritual things.

People who abuse others are operating out of their own wounding and many times have been abused themselves. I am not excusing the behavior, but I do acknowledge that Jesus Christ died for that person and wants to see him or her healed and restored just as much as He desires the same for the one being abused.

Many times abuse begins long before marriage. The one being abused grows to accept the behavior and might even expect it to change after the wedding. As you well know if you have been abused, it only gets worse as time goes on.

Whether abuse begins early in a relationship or develops over time, it demoralizes the one being abused. Fear, guilt, blame, and shame accompany abuse. In the cycle of abuse, the one being abused may assume responsibility for the reaction of the abuser. “If only I hadn’t done this or said that. It’s my fault.”

Additionally, the abuser often follows abuse with a showering of attention and/or gifts to reaffirm his or her “love” for the one abused. This can give hope to the abused one that things are changing. Promises that it will never happen again, though, soon disappear as the cycle repeats itself over and over again.

If you are in that type of relationship, you need to seek help. Standing for your marriage does not mean accepting abuse. If you or your children or another member of your family is in physical danger, you need to take measures to get out of danger. There is a huge difference between that, though, and divorce.

The world, and unfortunately many Christian counselors, believe the only way to deal with abuse is to get rid of the abuser. Finding a counselor who will help you reach a safe place and help you heal, but not tell you to walk out of the marriage is extremely difficult. If we were simply dealing with human behavior and the world’s way of handling it, I could understand their point. But we are not!

Scripture tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. His blood paid the price to overcome sin. The power of His love and forgiveness are not reserved just for those that we deem “redeemable”, but extends to all through His faith for them. Scripture after scripture speaks of the power we have in the Spirit to overcome and to walk in victory. We are not victims when we are in Christ. We are victors!

I know that what I am saying is not easy to hear, but far too often we have seen people walk out of a marriage without ever dealing with their own issues. Often they walk right back into a similar situation. You are not responsible for the behavior of the abuser, but you can be obedient for yourself and allow the Lord to bring healing and restoration to your life

As you begin healing and growing stronger, you can start to identify the enemy operating through your spouse and learn to take authority over that activity. Again, it does not mean you have to subject yourself to the behavior, but you learn that greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. My husband was never physically abusive, but his verbal abuse viciously attacked both our children and me. Over time I learned how to silence those spirits when they were in my presence because they had to submit to Jesus Christ within me. Eventually they had to release their hold on my husband as the transforming power of Jesus changed his heart and life.

So, if you are married to someone who is abusing you, get help. Recognize the difference between finding a safe place and divorcing. Find a counselor who will help you face the issues of your own heart and help you heal. Learn who you truly are in Christ and how precious you are to Him! Grow strong in the Spirit. And then ask the Lord how to stand and pray for your spouse to be set free from the enemy’s hold. Love, Marilyn

Romans 8; 1 John 4:4; 2 Corinthians 10:3-6; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Nehemiah 4:14

The Blender Family

Many years ago we had a ministry magazine and one month someone wrote an article on the blended family. It was a very positive, sunny article and so we were totally surprised by the outpouring of negative reaction from those who were standing for their marriage. Many couples come to us for ministry who were divorced and neither spouse stood for the marriage. They come to us with their eggs “already scrambled” so to speak and those are the couples we were thinking of when the article was written.

I have to admit I was surprised by the responses and really didn’t understand the outcry. They say you never totally understand someone until you walk a mile in their shoes and we have walked many of those miles this past year following our daughter’s divorce. It didn’t matter that she didn’t want it. It didn’t matter that their two sons didn’t want it. You know all too well how the law works. When one spouse wants out, he or she doesn’t have to justify anything. And so a whole new life experience began for all of us.

I want to start by asking your forgiveness. I know now how truly hurtful that magazine article was to so many. Please forgive us for our insensitivity to your pain. Please forgive us for not understanding the depth of ongoing chaos and helplessness that a so-called blended family creates.

For the past year we have watched as our two precious grandchildren have been required to live in two separate households on an alternating basis. We have watched the emotional scarring and the continual turmoil this arrangement is creating. We have watched the Word of God be compromised in their lives and sin celebrated. We have watched them torn between the two parents God gave them because they love them both but can’t love them together.

I have always hated divorce. It is a cancer that slowly eats away at people’s hearts and relationships. There was a song many years ago entitled Children are the Broken Pieces when a Marriage Falls Apart. What a sad but true statement! I didn’t think it was possible, but this past year I have grown to hate divorce more than ever. And I have become more determined to see hearts healed and made whole again!

I was preparing dinner the other night and as I got the blender out of the cupboard its name really struck me. Blender. As I watched the ingredients chop and swirl together, I realized what blended really means. And I realized it is a terrible thing to do to a family.

So today my heart is with each and every one of you who has had to share your children or your grandchildren with an ungodly family situation. I now understand the challenges it brings. Yet it has made me more determined that ever to stand on God’s Word for our daughter and her family. What the enemy meant for harm in her life and the lives of those little one’s we are trusting the Lord to turn to good.

Our prayers are with you today. What a blessing it is for your family that you have chosen to stand against the enemy’s attack and hold fast to the Word of God and the vows you have taken! Our children and our grandchildren belong to Him and we must trust that as we pray and stand, He will care for their souls even in the most difficult situations.

Let us agree today for God’s plan for each one of them! Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s house and yet fulfilled the call of God on his life. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, but became the mighty man that God had called him to be. Scripture gives us so many examples of God’s plan coming through in so many lives that faced challenges. Let us hold fast to His Word and His promises for the children we love who are being blended. Love, Marilyn

“But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Luke 18:16