No marriage is perfect. There will be emotional meltdowns, communication faux paus and flat out mistakes made in your marriage. In our world today, many marriages don’t make it and are in desperate need of hope and healing. Many people are giving up hope on marriage, but deep down there is still a desire to experience finding ‘The One.’ How we define faith, love and marriage directly determine the success of our marriages. There is hope for marriage because it is not a human institution, but it is God’s design and plan to build His eternal family. There is healing for marriage because Jesus’ death and resurrection have provided the way to heal the broken-hearted and transform the hard-hearted. It is only through an intimate relationship with Him that we can restore our marriage. If your relationship with your spouse is in need of hope and healing, know that God has the power to restore your relationship. It all begins with earnest prayer.
First, it’s important that you pray for your mate, your marriage and yourself. Prayer is important in marriage and it’s imperative that you begin to pray every day for your spouse. Ask God for a miracle in your marriage. Psalm 77:14 says, “You are the God who performs miracles.” The Bible makes it clear that God wants people to stay married. We need to expect God to miraculously intervene in our circumstances. Unbelief and fear paralyzes us and causes us to believe our problems are too big for God. We need to believe that God can still move mountains, including our marriage. Sometimes, the times that are hardest in your marriage are also the times you will receive God’s rewards in the most amazing ways.
In addition to praying earnestly, one of the biggest steps to healing and restoring your marriage is to admit that you cannot manage your marriage problems on your own. It’s important for you to recognize the ineffectiveness of your attempts to change your spouse’s faults and character flaws. When you understand that you can’t control everything that’s happening in your life and you are powerless to control or change your spouse, the true healing can begin. This means recognizing that you are not in control but God is. He must be the focus of your life; not you, not your spouse, not your career, not money, nor children, but God.
When you’re ready to begin praying earnestly for the restoration of your relationship, it’s important to let go of bitterness. A hardened heart can cause a lot of pain. Bitterness should be removed from your heart for a number of reasons. First, bitterness harbors unforgiveness. You may feel justified in your anger. You may think that your spouse doesn’t deserve your forgiveness until he or she straightens out. But when you do this, you are forgetting the mercy that Jesus had for you. Romans 5:8 tells us that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. By God’s grace, He didn’t wait for us to get our acts together before He provided a way for forgiveness. He gave it to us freely even when we didn’t deserve it. Next, bitterness doesn’t give your spouse a chance to repent. If you’ve been holding in your hurt, your spouse may not even know they’ve offended you. Finally, bitterness spreads. One thread of bitterness can start to spread throughout your heart and contaminate your whole body. None of these things are good for your marriage.
The enemy finds many ways to try and destroy marriages. He would love nothing more than to destroy the institution of marriage because marriages are the foundation of any nation and when the foundations crumble, so too will the nation. He seeks to perpetuate selfish and independent attitudes in us and corrupt our thinking, to get us to exalt ourselves in selfish and independent actions and attitudes. The undisciplined mind is vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks designed to defeat us by causing wrongful thinking. To have the life and marriage God wants for us, we must be alert, deal with our enemy, refute his lies and think straight.
No one can say exactly how long is long enough to grieve a marriage disaster but it will probably take longer than you’d hope. Giving your spouse some time and space to figure out his or her feelings and rebound is essential to recovery. Wise counsel is also essential. Mutual counseling can help uncover the real issues which may be blocking the healing. An objective third party can help everyone see things more clearly and move in the right direction. Understand that this recovery process takes time. For example, in marriages where cheating is involved, people grieve and recover differently and on different time tables. Most experts would agree that a few months is scarcely enough time to recover from the pain of infidelity. Be patient.
You can begin to find hope in your marriage by opening up the New Testament and reading God’s Word.Reading Scripture is important to finding the hope God wants to give because His Word guides us to change our behavior, which will then change our marriage. Paul explained the power of God’s Word to give hope when he said, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). The Bible will give us comfort and instruction we need related to the specific behaviors and attitudes that must change. As you follow God’s commands, He will naturally give you hope. You will see the beneficial changes in your own life and then in your relationship.
Some couples give up entirely and seek separation, even divorce when despair sets in. It’s critical that you find hope and encourage your spouse to become more hopeful. If your marriage is in a difficult place, you are battling over a never-ending list of conflicts or sensing distance between you and your spouse, the hope to resolve this brokenness and pain comes directly from God. If you pray earnestly not only alone, but also with your spouse for the restoration of your relationship, you will be well on your way to marital breakthrough.