5 Truths That Can Save Your Marriage


Blog quote marriageIn 20 years of ministering to women, I’ve received hundreds of letters and emails telling me about a woman’s unique marital struggles.

And guess what? Her struggles are not unique.

They’re the same struggles every wife deals with, at one time or another. And they’re the same struggles I’ve seen God come through for in one way or another.

For a perspective change (if you’re wishing you were married), or a refresher course (if you’ve been married awhile), here are five truths that I’ve seen save marriages through the years. Maybe they can help you or someone you know:

1. Your spouse can’t possibly meet all your emotional needs.

Only God can (Psalm 145:16). And to expect your husband to be your all-in-all is a recipe for disaster. Do your spouse a favor and look to God to be your “spiritual husband” (Isaiah 54:5). It will take a tremendous load of expectation off of him and it will help you be a confident, capable woman who can get through whatever life and marriage brings your way.

2. Marriage is not intended to make you happy.

Admit it, you married because you believed your spouse would make you happier than if you remained single. I believe we all go into marriage with this basic assumption. But God’s intention for marriage is more about making us holy, than happy. God knows that marriage is a situation in which we can daily practice dying to self. It is an arena in which we can learn and live Christ-likeness. It is a field in which we can practice love, even when we don’t feel like it. Happiness is not a result of how someone else treats you. Your level of contentment is a choice that must be made by you or a heart condition that must be altered by God. See your marriage as the training ground for becoming more like Christ (Galatians 2:20). No one can teach you better how to love another unconditionally than the person you are living with in very close quarters.

3. Disappointment is inevitable because we’re all broken.

When I apply this truth to my marriage I have a more realistic perspective. Because we are all broken, God is the Only One who can fix us. Just as your spouse has disappointed you, you, too, have disappointed your spouse. It goes both ways. That’s why grace is the glue that holds the two of you together. Once you realize you are just as much of a sinner as your spouse, you will extend grace toward him or her more easily.

4. The grass is not greener on the other side.

We tend to look at other situations that are less familiar to us and imagine the best….just like you looked at your fiancé years ago and imagined the best possible scenario with him. Then reality happened. You realized your husband has flaws. So does the nice-looking man across the street or the recently divorced man in your office or the very capable single dad you met in the school parking lot. Doesn’t it make sense to continue to invest in the person you’ve invested years in than to start all over with someone else’s  baggage, past, and problems?

5. Integrity always pays off. 

Are you a person of your word? Did you say “forever”? Did you promise commitment even in sickness and in health? (Alzheimer’s is a sickness, so is addiction). So, even if your spouse doesn’t remember you or isn’t behaving the “same” as when you married, you still made a promise. Even if the two of you have grown apart, or if your heart doesn’t feel the same you still made a vow before God and witnesses to be in this “’til death do us part.” (And that doesn’t mean “death” of your feelings.)

I’m so glad God doesn’t drop us when we begin acting differently than when we first committed to Him. Grace is undeserved favor. And God expects us to show it to others in the same degree He has shown it toward us. Yes, there are  behaviors that are absolutely unacceptable in marriage. And yes, under the Old Testament Law, God allowed divorce in the case of adultery, and due to the “hardness” of the Israelites’ hearts. But under the New Covenant, Jesus taught grace and forgiveness at any cost.  Some of the most powerful marital testimonies I’ve seen and heard have been those who started to walk away (or actually did) because of “irreconcilable differences” but then saw the God of reconciliation bring them back together.

Inasmuch as it depends on you, are you willing to forgive, extend grace, and do what is necessary for your marriage to work? If so, you are a person of your word. And God always honors the man or woman “who keeps his word whatever the cost” (Psalm 15:4) or — as another translation says — “who keeps an oath even when it hurts.”  And I know, my friend. Sometimes it hurts.

Marriage disappoints at times, just like any relationship. But God never disappoints. Put your hope in Him — and His promises — and see what He can pull you through.

Will you share this with a friend who might be feeling alone in her marriage today?

Cindi
About me

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning author and national speaker who helps women find strength for the soul. She has nearly 30 years experience ministering to women and inspiring them to let God meet their emotional needs, grow stronger through their alone times, and pursue their dreams with boldness.

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6 Comments

Kathleen
Reply November 4, 2014

You are exactly right. What therefore God has joined together let no man separate. Only death can separate what God has joined together. The one flesh covenant can not be broken. I will stand for my marriage until death.

    StrengthSoul
    Reply November 4, 2014

    Thank you, Kathleen, for your encouragement. It's a tough message to hear today because there are so many variables, so many circumstances. Yet, even though sin is "nothing new under the sun" divorce is SO much easier to attain today and so much more prevalent than it's ever been. My heart hurts for those who truly wanted their marriage to work and saw it dissolve anyway. And...for those who wished they had given God more time to work. Thank you for standing firm on an issue that God still stands firm on, too.

      StrengthSoul
      Reply November 9, 2014

      Chery, Thank you for your comments and your commitment to marriage. I appreciate you sharing a bit of your story. It's encouraging.

Brittany Reed
Reply November 4, 2014

Cindi, this article just made me feel like I read a whole book! Great knowledge & insight. I am still learning all of these. God restored our marriage after filing for divorce twice and forgiving us both for adultery. God is great, a great redeemer, and the greatest dad! I've learned also not to blame my husband. Even if everything seems to point to him, Ive learned to take responsibility for myself and work on me. God will work on him. And to be careful what I say. I used to say things like "you get on my nerves" or "I'm sick of you." We have to be very careful with our words as Proverbs tells us too. Thanks Cindi. I thank God for allowing your heart to pour into mine. I definitely need it. Have a great day!

    StrengthSoul
    Reply November 4, 2014

    Thank you, Brittany, for sharing your testimony here on my blog. It's tough sometimes to be people of our word and yet God will continue to honor your commitment to Him and to your husband. I appreciate you keeping in touch.

Chery
Reply November 9, 2014

Okay, this is my favorite post so far, thank you Cindi! Except that I say that with practically each one you write...Marriage is one of my favorite subjects as it is the best thing I ever did, we are 31 years and counting. That's NOT to say it has been easy-breezy. It HASN'T!!! I could have thrown "the baby out with the bath water" more times than I can count. Needless to say I am grateful we have rolled up our sleeves and turned to God. We were not Christians until our 10th year of marriage, although my husband grew up Catholic and I did not grow up with "religion" but had a vague idea of who God and Jesus were. The first 7 years of our marriage was TOUGH, we even talked about separating. I am SO grateful we hung in there. God was working really hard on us and we had no idea. After all these years we have a marriage better than anything I would have imagined it would be! Anyway, back to the point...I love your 5 truths! They are a reminder and an "ah-ha" all wrapped in one. This post is a good one to return to when things get tough. Yes, as good as our marriage is now, there are still tough moments. I am going to get your book "When a Woman Inspires Her Husband". I believe it will be a great investment in my marriage:-)

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