She said her marriage was transformed in 30 days.
All she did was commit to no complaining. She only voiced positive comments about her husband. Words of encouragement. Gratitude. Affirmation.
And I wondered: How in the world did that work for her, and not for me?
I’ve always been interested in marriage tips. So when I admitted I was struggling to find fulfillment at home, I knew some tools I could use.
- Write down all his mistakes, speak forgiveness over them, and burn the paper.
- Pray for him every day, not just a few words here or there, but detailed petitions for a good 10-20 minutes.
- List out all his good qualities, all the things you loved about him, one at a time for 30 days.
None of these things fixed my marriage. And I was bummed. While these tools definitely raise marital satisfaction and encourage a positive attitude, they are not long-term solutions by themselves.
One day God shared with me that marriages are like vehicles. Every so often, they need a tune-up, such as a little grace here or gratitude there.
And sometimes, they need a major overhaul.
God told me to stop looking for a quick fix for my marriage troubles.
Honestly, I wasn’t thrilled with those words. I was tired. I was uncomfortable. I was hurting. And I wanted relief – fast!
Then He said something else I didn’t want to hear. It went something like this: “Jen, until you deal with your junk, you cannot have a healthy marriage. Everyone has baggage. Some more severe than others. And until you are willing to face it, to talk with Me about your wounds and let Me heal your broken places, you cannot be happy.”
I think I scrunched my nose. I was never abused. I never had a traumatic injury. I never had to deal with divorced parents, dying loved ones, or moving away from everything I knew. So what was the big deal?
Like most people, I didn’t want to dig deep. Yet God showed me that I would miss out on blessings, one of them being a healthy marriage, if I continued to deny my junk and bury it. As I let God remind me of past hurts, I realized there were many things I had never properly dealt with.
So many women are deceived into believing their past doesn’t affect their family here and now. What would happen in those homes if we stopped hiding? If we exposed our junk to the Almighty and sought His healing? He wants to restore us, if we would only let Him.
- Wounds from childhood – bullying, abuse, poverty, moving too much, etc.
- Wounds from parents – unloving, distant, smothering, controlling, etc.
- Wounds from past relationships – broken heart from betrayal, rejection, etc.
- Wounds from your current spouse – unmet needs, broken promises, sinful behaviors, etc.
Sorting through the junk of our past takes time, but as we begin to release the hurts to God, we start to feel lighter. I’ve learned what King David meant when he talked of being rescued from the pit – a pit I had no idea I had been living in for years.
What about you? Are you looking for a quick fix for your marriage?
Or is it time to admit you need to go to God for a personal overhaul?