Struggling In Marriage: When God Says “No”

Jen CudmoreMarriageLeave a Comment

Any time we’re faced with a trial, our first prayer is often “God, save me – quick!”

And usually, when we beg for immediate deliverance, He tells us “No.”

I really don’t like it when He does that. He is God Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, the One who commands the oceans and lights the sky. Nothing is too big for Him to handle, if He chooses to intervene. So why doesn’t He rush to the rescue?

When I first admitted that I was really unhappy in marriage, I asked God for help changing my attitude. But many of my prayers revolved around Him changing my husband.

He said “No.”

Then I asked God to intervene in my home, to prevent my husband from doing things that would deeply hurt me.

He said “No.”

I prayed that He would give me a list of things to fix so we could get on with life and find happiness once again.

He said “No.”

I wasn’t brave enough to ask God to release me from my wedding vows, although I did reach a point of total despair where I actually considered it.

I knew He would say “No.”

So when God says “No”, why are we so disappointed and angry with Him? 

Why do we assume He’s holding out on us? That He’s callous and doesn’t really love us? That our way is better than His?

The truth is, when God says “No”, it’s because He has a bigger blessing for us later.

The truth is, God never meant for life to be free of trouble. Our comfort is not a priority.

The truth is, there are things we can only learn through suffering and complete surrender.

The truth is, when all seems lost, our faith is strengthened as we cling to Him in raw dependence.

The truth is, God is sovereign, His ways are not our ways, and He knows what is best for us.

During one particularly rough week, I woke one morning with a phrase hovering in my mind. A line from that sweet song Amazing Grace.

“The Lord has promised good to me.”

If that’s true, then I have to believe every time He tells me “No”, it’s because He loves me too much to let me settle for what I think I need. He knows me better than I know myself. 

Over the past year as I’ve struggled in my marriage, I’ve learned a new prayer:

God, I trust You to save my marriage Your way. If a long journey down a dark road will bring You more glory than You merely handing me a happy relationship, then bring it on. 

Blessings, Jen

About Jen Cudmore

I’m a wife, mom, blogger and novelist who also works a day job in the medical field. I grew up on the Columbia River Gorge, earned a BA in Psychology at Northwest University, and am currently very active in my church. My passion is inspiring women to seek Jesus in all aspects of life so they can recognize where they are living in bondage and be set free to live the abundant life God promises. You can connect with me at

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