Welcome to the El Camino Baptist Church blog. We wanted a place where our ministry leaders could share things that God has laid on their hearts. Please feel free to comment and join in the discussion as we share how God is moving through His church.Other places to find us on the web are our website, Youtube, and Facebook. You can also check out Hoss' music blog at hosshughes.com.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hope in the Midst of Marriage Turbulence

A young wife at church is struggling with remaining married to what she defines as a selfish, unmotivated, weak husband. In my marriage, it took 20 years before my husband was ready to be the godly husband God created him to be. I was drowning. A Christian counselor told me to get a godly mentor. Here are the most important lessons I learned in the nine years with my mentor.

Meet regularly with your mentor.
She worked with me for 9 of the 20 years we greatly struggled in our marriage. It was hard but so good for me. One time my hubby was being extremely difficult. When we met that week I shared with her our latest dilemma. She kept nodding her head in agreement, wrote down a few notes, and was so attentive. When I finished recounting the painful episode, she breathed and said, "Wow. You are really hurting!" I was. The fact that he was being 'extremely difficult’ is putting it mildly. I will never forget what she said next. It made me so angry, but once I processed it, it changed me forever. She said,

"He has really, really hurt you again.
#1. You need to forgive him. I hear a lot of hurt, anger and bitterness. I don't hear any forgiveness. God has called you to forgive.
#2. You need to focus on how you are going to show him love. I am sure with the anger and bitterness I'm hearing, that you haven't been very loving toward him. God has called you to love your husband.
#3. You need to pray more regularly and more faithfully for him. He needs a lot of prayer. It sounds like you are spending your energy reciting the ways he has wronged you instead of praying for him. Redirect that energy to prayer."

I was in utter shock. Here HE was being extremely difficult, and I was the one who AGAIN needed to be godly and loving!?! I was angry and even more hurt. She was supposed to be on my side. And she was. She was right. I needed to do what God called me to do, regardless of my circumstances.

Grow your personal relationship with Christ.
By doing so, it made it so that Christ met all my needs. When my hubby did surprise me by being unselfish, kind or loving, it was icing on the cake, not the cake. I did this through uncompromised time in His Word, prayer, meditation of scripture, verse memorization, reading Christian magazine articles, listening to Christian radio programs, etc. It was a process, but I kept at it.

NEVER entertain the idea of divorce. It isn't an option, so don't let your mind go there. My Pastor says that once you are married, he or she IS the right person. I promised God for better or worse, till death do us part. Hopefully this would be the worst, and our marriage would only get better. Once you let yourself think of divorce as an option, you are doomed. Of course if there is physical abuse or sexual infidelity you need to get to a safe place, but divorce should still not be the first thought.

Unconditional love is giving 100%, no matter what we feel we get in return. God will meet our needs, and will continue to work on our spouse. We need to be faithful to God and what He has called us to do. It is that simple. Our hope lies in knowing that God is in control, and will work all things out for our good, in His time.

If I hadn't gone through the rough years in my marriage, I might not have the intimate relationship with God I enjoy so much today. I am so thankful God is Sovereign. I would not have chosen that pain and disappointment. But I would never trade the relationship I have with Christ now for anything!

And my marriage? We just celebrated our 30th anniversary. God has turned it into the beautiful, sacred union He originally designed it to be. We still have our ups and downs. We are two imperfect, sinful humans. But now we are both surrendered to what God wants, and we both work at being forgiving, loving and praying spouses. I am thankful God brought me a mentor who kept me from jumping ship. God designed marriage for life. Trust His design and hang in there. It is worth it!

Psalm 16

1 comment:

  1. Very Powerful message and reminders