Marriages end every day because men and women believe a lie. Circumstances vary from one couple to another, but the lie is always the same. What lie do they believe? The lie they believe is that their marriage is over. And everywhere they turn they seem to always find voices that support the lie.
This happens when husbands and wives with troubled hearts going through tough times in their marriage reach out for help. And the people in their lives who try to help say things like, “it’s too late, your marriage is over.” “Your marriage is too damaged, you should just move on.” And “you deserve better than this. God has a better plan for you.”
It’s easy to find good advice on how to make a marriage last. Anyone married long enough to weather a few storms should have valuable things to say. If you ask enough people or read enough material you will probably get a wide variety of answers. So much so, It may be difficult to choose what is the best advice to focus your attention on.
Over the years since we started this marriage ministry, I’ve thought about this idea a lot. I’ve wondered as we prepared for teaching a class, or meeting with a couple for private coaching. Is there a single piece of advice that’s more important than anything else we share? Read more
I understand why some think their marriage is over when the love they used to feel for their spouse now feels dead. After all, it seems ingrained in our thinking if something dies you must get rid of it and replace it.
A lot of people view love as something akin to planting a tree in the backyard. If it dies you dig it up and replace it with a new one. Or, when a pet dies and you replace it with a new one. We do the same with a lot of our relationships with other people as well. When friendships fade and die off, we look for new ones. When leaders or mentors lose their place in our lives, we find replacements.
It’s no wonder we approach marriage with the same mindset as we do all these other relationships. The feelings of love can and often do fade. And there are times when those feelings can be outright flat lined, dead, completely gone. But does this mean the marriage has to be over?
The condition of your marriage depends on the connections you have with your spouse. If you have poor connections your marriage will suffer and struggle to survive. If you have good connections your marriage will grow stronger and stronger as the years go by. So if you’re wanting to save your marriage. Or, if you’re wanting to strengthen your marriage, your connection is the key.
For the longest time, I’ve been trying to answer a few questions about my own marriage. Such as, why did Janet and I struggle for so many years to keep our marriage together? Now that our marriage is strong, what has made the difference? And how is it that we clearly should have divorced on four different occasions, but somehow we survived each crisis? Read more
I recently heard a minister on the radio say “no Spirit-filled couple has ever divorced.” When I heard that I had to stop for a minute to consider what he said. Then when I thought about what the scripture teaches I had to agree with him.
I’ll explain why this is true. But first I will clarify what this is not saying. This statement is not saying a Spirit-filled person will never go through a divorce. There are many people that have been through a divorce that gave their best to God and their marriage. The divorce was against their will. It happened because of what was wrong in their spouse’s heart. One person living a Spirit-filled life is not enough for a Spirit-filled marriage. It takes two to make this statement true.Read more
Your marriage covenant is not an entitlement. And you should not take it for granted. You don’t get to say vows before a minister and expect that to be your guarantee to lifelong marriage. It takes more than that.
I believe many marriages are a lot less than they should be because people treat their marriage covenant as an entitlement. Their chase is over. They have what they wanted. Now they don’t have to give their marriage the same work they did when they were dating. When their former boyfriend or girlfriend had the freedom to walk away.
Believing your marriage can be healed is tough sometimes. The separation between you and your spouse is so far apart it feels hopeless to close the gap. You can’t undo all the things that went wrong. You can’t undo your history. And so now you look at your situation and all you see is a mountain that feels impossible to climb.
I’ve been there and I know how it feels to want with all my heart to see my marriage healed. While at the same time I had to face a very tough situation that made what I was hoping for appear impossible. But the one thing that kept me from being overwhelmed and discouraged was I dared to believe God and what His word teaches me.
You see, I believe God has a completely different view of your situation than what you’re capable of seeing right now. Jesus made this same distinction between what we see and what God sees when He said these words.
There is something special about brand new. When something brand new comes in your life there are special feelings that come with it. A new car, a new house, new clothes, new tools, new appliances, all share in common that special feeling.
The same can be said about a new marriage. There is excitement and hopeful anticipation for what the future will hold. You don’t know everything this new journey will encounter. But you believe the two of you together can conquer the world.
A brand new marriage, whether it’s the first, second, third or whatever, feels like a new start. There is no bad history, bad memories, or bad feelings between husband and wife. They can take everything they know about life and relationships and apply it to this new marriage. And everything should work out just fine.
It’s easy to love your spouse when your marriage is healthy and going strong. There is a rhythm to how love flows and it seems effortless. It’s like the two of you are dancing in harmony with each step perfectly timed and choreographed. You give and then you receive and then you give some more. You both give love at the same time and in the same way. You both give love at opposite times and in opposite ways. You know without a doubt the two of you are becoming one.
But what if your marriage is not working this way? What if the music has stopped and there is no dance left in your marriage? You’re trying to continue to love your spouse even though you are seriously hurting inside. You believe in marriage. You want to honor the vows you have made. You want to do what is right before God. So you keep trying to love even when the pain of rejection and neglect keeps telling you to stop.