Written by: Will and Cindy Goff.
A ROCKY START
We were high school sweethearts who fell in love and married young. After ten years together and two children later we thought we made a mistake. My spouse had changed. We spent less and less time together, and the “roaring flame” in our marriage was a “sputtering flicker.”
I began to realize how opposite we really were; one might even say incompatible. I felt lost, lonely and defeated. It seemed the more I focused on our problems in our marriage, the worse the interactions became.
Do these comments sound familiar? Has there been or is there currently a sense of hopelessness in your marriage? Or do you know someone feeling this way? How do you save your failing marriage and keep moving forward?
During this time, I went and spent some time with Christian friend of mine and they challenged me to consider that my focus was misdirected. Could it be my spouse was not the “enemy” or the “problem” in my marriage? I began to realize I was not called to control or “fix” my spouse. My friend suggested what I needed was to surrender to God; not give up, but give in!
I accepted Christ that night. My heart began to soften and I prayed Christ would come into my life and change me from the inside out! In Ezekiel 36:26 God states, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you a heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” I began to understand I had tried to control my marriage by focusing on what I could do so my spouse would meet my needs. I was in a performance-based marriage and I didn’t even realize it.
A REAL TRUTH
In the book, Two Becoming One, the entire second chapter is dedicated to identifying 6 reasons marriages fail. Reason #6 on the list is a “Lack of a vital relationship with Jesus.” When I began to understand God’s plan and power for marriage it became so clear that you MUST know Jesus and walk with Him. Everything lines up and is able to function properly when this is right. Knowing Jesus is the key to a good marriage.
The changes in my life and marriage did not come overnight. Through Christian counseling and Bible studies we allowed God to heal the brokenness from our past. This allowed us to receive the love and hope which Christ had to offer through salvation. As a new Christ follower, I understood that it is possible to be emotionally healed as my focus was redirected to God. Isaiah 61:1b2 "...He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives.”
A NEW PATH
Yielding to God’s ways created a desire to be in prayer, not only about my healing and ability to receive His love, but to share that love with my spouse. I began to understand that God’s power, through the Holy Spirit, would help us move from a marriage of performance to one of faith.
We rejoice now, and better understand Faith Principle #2 addressed in Two Becoming One, “By faith we receive our spouse from God as his personal provision for our individual needs.” Miraculous changes occur in a marriage when God becomes the foundation of the marriage and the two truly become one through Jesus. A foundation of faith in Jesus can save a relationship on the brink of divorce and turn it into a healthy marriage.
SOME NEXT STEPS
1. If you are experiencing difficulties in your marriage, seek out Godly counsel. There are many Christian counselors who can assist you with God’s help to heal and wisdom on how to strengthen your marriage.
2. Seek out Christ-centered studies like Two Becoming One.
3. Always be ready to share God’s plan for marriage and salvation, like my friend did so many years ago. Her boldness led me to Jesus, which changed my life and my marriage!
4. If this discussion has reminded you of how God has grown your marriage, consider how you can become an ambassador for God’s precepts for marriage. Contact Christian Family Life about becoming a Marriage Discipler and starting a Two Becoming One study in your church or community.
Christian Family Life is a marriage discipleship ministry. We are here to offer resources and support no matter what condition your marriage is in. Our passion is to Build, Enrich, and Reconcile Marriages. Find out more at https://www.christianfamilylife.com/
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