You’ve heard it said before… There are no perfect marriages. It’s true, all marriages go through hard times! The difference that exists in marriages is how the husband and wife decide to get through the hard. It’s not about how many differences there are between two spouses, it’s about how you handle those differences. The hard can come and go, it can be for a season or multiple seasons and it can exist for a multitude of reasons. The hard can strengthen your marriage or it can break down your marriage. So what happens when the hard turns to broken, what do you do? Where is the hope for a marriage that seems so broken that you don’t even know how to start to pick up the pieces?
I think you have to start with some serious questions. What does God say about your role in marriage? (Ephesians 5) What do you believe to be the purpose of marriage? Our belief directly affects our behavior. So if you believe that marriage exists to bring you happiness and then you find your marriage in a broken place, well then you might just be tempted to leave those pieces of brokenness and walk away. But, if you believe that the purpose for marriage is more than for your happiness, if you believe that God created marriage and it is first about Him and His glory (Colossians 1:16-17); then we have a whole different framework to view our brokenness.
Brokenness is a place we try to stay away from. We definitely don’t like to feel broken or view out marriage as broken. But Brokenness is a requirement for growth, at least growth that is lasting and rooted in true biblical change. The good news is that Jesus came and lived a sinless life and died on the cross for our sins and our brokenness. He is the One that provides wholeness (2 Corinthians 12:9), purpose and new life! And if he provides that to us individually, He will provide that in our marriages as well.
When we have been saved by God and are given new life in Him, he calls us to die to our old self and put on the new self given to us through Jesus. (Colossians 3) Daily we have to take our eyes off how we feel, how things affect us, what we want and replace them with focusing our eyes on Him. Then our questions and thoughts become what is His will for our life, how does He want us to think and feel about things, How does it grow His kingdom and how does our behavior honor Him and love others. It is hard to think that we have to start with ourself when we are broken and hurt, but if we want true and lasting change it starts in our own hearts first. Again, more good news, God freely gives himself through the Holy Spirit to live inside of us and make it possible. (Acts 11: 16-17) He has already done all the work and will continue to work in our hearts if we decide to trust Him and be obedient.
When you decide to fix your eyes on the One that gives new life, then you will find the limitless love, hope, grace, mercy and forgiveness that is needed to restore our souls and our brokenness individually and in our marriages.