Hey Friends –
We’re talking marriage here on the blog again today. Everyone’s invited!
If you are currently married and we asked you to describe your marriage in three words, what words would you pick?
- Roommate like?
I’d love to hear your three words, friend.
For me, today I would pick:
But you should know this hasn’t always been the case. Not even close.
I like to keep things real around here and I don’t ever want my cheerful smile to mislead you, so yesterday I introduced you to my “Fiery Spring Season of 2014,” and confessed how devastating details led to my marriage becoming a flat-out miserable mess.
Friends, I didn’t think my marriage was going to make it.
It looked and felt hopeless.
So when the pressures of marriage life intensify, what do we do?
How do we withstand the heat?
Y’all know I don’t have all the answers — thankfully God does — but here are two important life lessons I learned—
- Lesson # 1 — Cling to God’s Promises (recap here) — including the song that God used to save my marriage
- Lesson # 2 — Call a faith-filled friend
Aren’t you so glad we are not meant to journey alone?
Do you have 2-3 friends you can call/text anytime day or night — and they will get on their face in prayer for you?
And I did.
In the midst of my miserable mess, I called a sweet Texas friend who has walked the hard path I was now required to journey.
Through my shock and sadness, tears and terror, I rambled.
I was raw.
And then I awkwardly asked, “What do I do? I can’t even function. Please tell me what to do next.”
My friend’s six powerful words changed everything for me.
You know what she said?
“Cindy, you need to forgive him…”
You have to know this was the absolute last thing I wanted to hear.
I wasn’t ready to forgive, nor did I want to. I was spittin’ mad, devastated, shocked, and ready to punch something or somebody.
(Don’t worry — I didn’t punch anything — I just wanted to. 🙂 )
Forgive? Nope — not gonna happen. I’d rather keep fuming! I had a right to be stinkin’ mad!
Forgiveness would require way more faith than this broken-hearted, devastated woman could muster.
Y’all, I’m so glad my friend shared not what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear.
I’m not joking, her words, “Cindy, you need to forgive him…” helped save our marriage.
You should also know — not only did I not want to forgive, I didn’t even know how to.
Thankfully I remembered the lesson on forgiveness I had just heard at Bible study.
Don’t you love how God goes before us? I remember thinking at class that night, “Wow, I’m glad I did all my forgiveness work in the past.”
Boy was I clueless!
Although I originally wasn’t in a place where I wanted to forgive, I decided I’d at least pull out my forgiveness handouts from Bible study.
I read Bible verse after Bible verse after Bible verse. God began to help me see the hurtful situation from a completely different perspective — HIS.
After God had forgiven me for so much — drug addiction, promiscuity, alcohol abuse, my daily shortcomings & more — how could I now stay bitter and angry and hold on to such ugliness in my heart?
- Was forgiving John a process? Yes.
- Did I need HS power to help forgive? Yes.
- Were there still days when I was angry & mad & let John know how much I was angry & hurting? Yes. Yes. Yes.
- Did I take my binder with forgiveness handouts with me everywhere, and literally read them every single day? Yep.
- But has God done a powerful, transformational work in my heart and mind, and brought new strength, intimacy, and healing to my marriage? Absolutely yes.
Friends, I know this is a heavy subject.
Truth be told, it’s never easy to go share our messy marriage junk. But my sense is someone needs this message. I wouldn’t be serving you well if I shared only what you wanted to hear, right?
Remember, the Divine IV I’ve mentioned in the past?
Forgiveness helps “un-kink” the flow of God’s strength, power, and grace into our lives.
Let’s not allow unforgiveness to rob us of the joy of living a free, full life in Christ.
As Lewis B. Smedes says so well —
Thankfully my sweet friend and her husband have put their wisdom, experience, and journey towards freedom in a book called Pure Eyes, Clean Heart. I’m giving away a copy on my Facebook ministry page this weekend. You can check it out here.
I’d love to hear from you today, friend? What are your three marriage words? Do you have a personal example of hope in the midst of a messy marriages? Share with us if you feel comfortable.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, sweet friend. May God remind you afresh today that you are not alone. Look for His hand. He is with you!
NOTE: Please know, my Texas friend knew although I was broken-hearted, I was safe. If you are faced with circumstances in your life and you are not safe — physically or emotionally — PLEASE call a friend, counselor, church friend, or hotline for HELP. Promise?