What if I told you there was a time when my marriage was so cold and hardened that we felt nothing but bitterness and disdain for each other? At times it’s hard for me to recall those dark moments because they are so painful.
I’ve had dozens of people tell me they want to end their marriages because they don’t feel in love anymore. They want to be happy and free from the fighting. The problem is, that when they find themselves in the next relationship, they will soon realize there will still be many of the same issues and difficulties. Instead of traveling from person to person, trying to find their soul mate, maybe they should realize their souls are desperately seeking something more than any human can provide. The search is sometimes never ending, and created a lot of hurt in the process.
Here are three truths that helped us stay married:
1. Where your treasure is, your heart will follow
I didn’t make this up. This is God’s idea. I walked through the steps of this biblical truth and it works. Nobody can tell me they just can’t love their spouse again. They can’t recover the butterflies that flew the coop years back. They can. We were in that place, but instead of giving up, we put Matthew 6:21 into practice. Not so much “practice,” as into “high gear.” It says, “Wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We began to invest in each other without strong feelings of love. We went the motions, and let me tell you, our hearts followed. My husband is no longer the source of my misery like I had believed. He is my treasure, and a priceless one at that. I first made him a treasure, and my heart did follow.
2. You are 50% of the situation
For good or bad, you affect some of the dynamics of your marriage. When our marriage counselor pointed this truth out, it was like a giant light bulb had just clicked on. I felt inspired and motivated to make my half of the marriage as pleasant and life-giving as I could.
Maybe you have a great friendship with someone of the opposite sex at work, and you believe you just “click” with them so much better than you do your spouse. There is a great chance it is because you are being such a great You to that person. Maybe even the You your spouse first fell in love with. Remove yourself from that situation because it is dangerous, and bring yourself back to your spouse. Don’t be fooled into thinking another person is making you happy, because you are half of that equation. Be 100% present in your marriage, and focus your attention there. Bring happy to your spouse, and watch good things blossom.
3. God is good
At my lowest points I remember wondering why God would let me down. Why did He allow me to go through so much pain. Clearly, we had made a mistake and should never have married. It shouldn’t be so difficult or heartbreaking. I knew He loved me, but I still questioned things. The more I read scripture, the more I realized God’s people were such miserable failures. You never see well managed, perfect people in scripture. They were fearful, chaotic messes, but God always worked things out. The times I find myself freaking out the most, are the times when I stop believing that God is good. Over and over I have to remind myself that He won’t abandon me. He will see me through. He is in control of every detail.
We suffer greatly, but He is right there, making beautiful things. I look back in awe of all He has accomplished in my life and marriage. He has good things for you.
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