Messy Marriages

Messy Marriages

August 22, 2013

“But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God.” Jeremiah 17:7 (MSG)

I threw the cup of orange juice across the kitchen. It felt good to do something, anything, to release all the surging anger and frustration. And I didn’t even mind cleaning the pulpy, sticky mess.

It felt soothing to know how to clean something. I knew how to wipe away this mess. And I liked seeing the mess disappear.

If only my marriage mess could be fixed with soap, water and a handful of paper towels.

I whispered, God, why does this have to be so hard?

Have you ever been there?

I think many of us have. Whether we’re in a really tough marriage or just in a rough patch, marriage can be messy. Hurtful. Lonely.

No one ever told me about this side of marriage before I donned the white dress and danced to MC Hammer at the reception.

But after 20 years of learning, growing and pressing through the messes to see something beautiful form in the midst of it all, here’s what I know …

Jesus loves those in messy marriages.

He loves me and my husband in the midst of it all. Jesus doesn’t love the mess of hurt, isolation and bitterness. Those are things He wants us to work on. But He never stops loving us.

Jesus loves me. His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of me. The good parts. The broken parts. The ugly parts. The bitter parts. The loving parts. Even the parts that throw orange juice.

And Jesus loves my husband. His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of him. The good parts. The broken parts. The ugly parts. The bitter parts. The loving parts. And even the parts that look at me like I’m crazy when I throw orange juice.

Since Jesus loves both of us, He’s the best source of help for our marriage. I don’t say that without a deep awareness of how stinkin’ hard it is to go to Jesus when I’m mad as fire at my husband.

And I certainly don’t say it in naive simplicity. Gracious, I know some of you are facing marriage situations that rip your heart into a thousand pieces every day.

But still, I know Jesus is the best source of help.

Honest cries for help lifted up to Jesus will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 in The Message version reminds us:

But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers-Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.

So, how do I stick with Jesus? I proclaim I’m sticking with Jesus:

Jesus, I’m sticking with You. I’m giving You what I don’t understand and what I can’t fix. I’m giving You what I don’t like about me. I’m giving You what I don’t like about him. And I’m giving You what I don’t like about my marriage. I’m listening for Your instruction. I’m positioning myself to go where I’ll hear Your truth. To talk to others who love You and serve You. And to read wise instruction from the Bible. Amen.

Jesus loves those who are in messy marriages. I know. Though Art and I have a wonderful marriage now, we can still hit some rough patches now and then.

But you’ll be happy to know I haven’t thrown orange juice across the kitchen lately.

Dear Lord, so much of me wants to stick with my anger and frustration. But I’m choosing to stick with You. Today I’m going to hold my temper, hold my tongue and hold on to Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
If you or a friend have ever felt like your marriage situation is impossible, click here to read Lysa TerKeurst’s article Tearing Down the Impossible.

Capture His Heart (for wives) by Lysa TerKeurst

Capture Her Heart (for husbands) by Lysa TerKeurst

Reflect and Respond:
Have you honestly waited on the Lord for His guidance? Today, make a choice to seek His wisdom through His Word and ask for wise counsel from a trusted, Christ-following friend.

Power Verse:
Ephesians 4:26, 29-32, “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry … Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” (NIV 1984)

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Comments

  1. It is uber hard for me to go to Jesus when I am angry with the hubby! And when I do I sound like “ugh, I know I shouldn’t be saying those things Lord but he makes me so stinkin mad!!” and that’s the gist of my talk with Jesus. I fail way too much at taking a step back, calming down and seeking a Godly response to our spats.
    Thanks for the ever applicable reminder though, you always have great advice Miss Lysa.

  2. I cannot sleep tonight because right before bed I had an argument with my husband. We do not argue much, but when we do it hurts. In a fit, he took his pillow to go sleep in the guest room. So I went to my computer to read some blogs from the current OBS study, and this devotion popped up. Thank you. I know God heard my prayers.

  3. I'm really tired of it all. says:

    Honest cries for help lifted up to Jesus will not go unheard.
    23+ years of prayer and hope and work in a 28 year marriage.
    I’m done. I’m tired of being lonely. I’m tired of hearing God has a plan. What a strange plan.
    Being the Good Wife certainly came with a price! Some folks don’t get answers. I guess I did learn something.

    • Over 30 But Not Over The Hill says:

      WoW! Oh can I SO relate to your comment. But you know, the thing we both have to remember is that God has us here for a reason. No, I don’t know what that reason is and I may never know but I do know one thing: God has all the pieces to this puzzle of life whereas I only have a few and can’t see the whole picture. It is SUPER hard to hang in there and there have been many times I, myself, have wanted to pack up our 3 sons and my dog and hit the road…but…even after 15 L-O-N-G years of marriage (nearly 19 years total), I still feel like God has me hear for some special reason…perhaps it’s learning time for me, maybe learning time for my husband, or maybe it’s simply to show us that Christ is always there for us, even when others aren’t…that Christ will never let us down even when the one we love so much seems to have other priorities. Hang in there! I know all about “honest cries for help…go unheard” and not just in my marriage, in other areas as well – even with many other people praying for the exact same person/situation. but in the end, what matters most of all is that we put our faith in Christ, the One who sees the whole picture and wants better for us than we could ever imagine! I will pray for you as well – for peace, for understanding, for comfort – for God’s will to be revealed to you at just the right time. Don’t give up!

      • Following the Good Shepherd says:

        Over 30 But Not Over the Hill: THANK YOU for your comments. It is just a reminder to me & my 40 year marriage of ups and downs that God still has a plan for me. I am here for a reason. I still stand for Jesus!! The Bible tells me what to do in life and I will follow wherever Jesus leads. I will keep all those on this page in prayer. Never, never give up!

        • Exhaused! says:

          Thank you all for sharing these comments, I struggle daily with staying and going. I have learned so much about myself being in this 18 year relationship and more often than not, am ready to walk away. I struggle so much with just making a decision, whether right or wrong. I feel like I have prayed about our situaion so many times. I feel so defeated, daily. It’s exhausting, mentally, physically, and emotionally. I can definitely relate to the being a Good Wife came with a price, and we aren’t even married. Anyway thanks for sharing your stories and your hopes.

      • Thanks needed this today.indeed will continue reading and embracing the post.

        • Over 30 But Not Over The Hill says:

          Isn’t it just amazing how many of us are going through some of the same problems and yet we feel so alone?! When I cam across this page last night, my heart ached for all of you here because I know what it’s like to wonder and doubt yourself, your situation and God. I struggle from time to time in wondering if it’s me keeping me here or if it’s really God but I continue to tell myself that until I know for certain that God wants me to walk away from the man He placed in my life when I was 14 years old and who has fathered 3 beautiful boys for me, I’m gonna stay right here….as hard as it is (most of the time). The past 19 years have been roller coaster years (ups and downs but more often it’s just a down hill ride with slight slopes here and there) put God really has opened my eyes to many things, especially within the past year or so. Ladies, take a moment to look back and where you came from and see where/how God has been there. He’s brought you through A LOT…after all, you’re still around, right?! He’s not gonna give up on you now so let’s try our very best not to give up on Him – especially during the times we need Him the most!! Let’s be there for each other, lift one another up in prayer, because we know how hard it can be, and when we reconnect with Christ in that oh-so-close bond, we will be able to sing “It Is Well, It Is Well With My Soul” even when the world around us crashes to the ground!

          • Over 30 But Not Over The Hill says:

            (sorry for the typos!! it’s late and past my bedtime! haha)

          • Kim Jeffrey says:

            Over 30 but not over the hill….

            I am going to suggest a couple of resources for you….. I understand your frustration and I too have been dealing with the same kind of “issues” I believe that in Gods word He calls for the husband to “love his wife as Christ loved the church” He died to himself for the church (His Bride) and He bore the load of EVERYTHING… which I believe our husbands are to do …. Plain and simple bottom line…. there is a book that was reviewed on my Christian station here… the author is NOT a professing Christian… however he has hit the nail on the head and writes this book from a mans perspective… it is called “Great Husband Great Marriage” by Robert Mark Alter… the Christian man that reviewed this book said that he would strongly suggest this book to ALL men (and women) you will have to look past some of the language. Also another resource is ” Man of her dreams woman of his” by Joel and Kathy Davisson….
            Hope this is at least interesting to you and that you at least look into these resources… God is a loving God and that is the Love he calls the husband to have for his wife… which then in return we (the wives) will pour ourwelves into these husbands far more than they can ever imagine…
            Kim :)

    • I recently got divorced last year after being married for 18 years. I have Autistic adults and I now asked him when did he stop loving me cause I never stopped loving him. He said when he heard the diagnosis of the kids at their age of 4 and then later on after 10 years being married. I was miserable. I was a good wife who held up the finances, bills, kids, doctors appointments, therapies, and much more. I wasn’t appreciated and wished that he would of seen that. He has moved on now and it really hurts cause I was hoping he would see how much I would give into our marriage. I am having a hard time moving on since he was the only man I knew since high school. everyone tells me that there will be someone better for me but I still feel lonely with out someone being by my side to lift me up and put the pieces back together. Everyone has also told me to keep looking forward and let go of the past. I read my bible but still don’t understand how no one could appreciate what I did. The next man god puts before me will be all that I need and want.

  4. Lysa, thank you for being so transparent and honest. I can so easily relate to this devotional after 18 years of marriage and can truly say that “He makes something beautiful out of our marriage.” It has not always been “beautiful” and there have been hurts and scars along with way, but with each passing day I love my husband more and more. It’s an ongoing process and an act of daily surrender which has brought our marriage to where we stand today. I encourage all my sisters reading this to keep pressing on with your marriage. Don’t give up because Jesus never gave up on us. God bless you all.

  5. Oh how I need this tonight, what perfect timing. My husband and I have been separated for exactly six months today, after 28 years of marriage. The last 24 hours have been some of my lowest. I am struggling with the future of our marriage and whether to keep fighting for our marriage. How I need to let go and let God take care of this.

  6. I didn’t think marriage would be as hard as it was and still is at times. After all, we were both “mature” believers yada yada yada… and i did throw a potted plant down the stairs and didn’t exactly aim it at Mr. Mature (and I did have to clean up the mess…) It helps me most to go to God in my mess, as you said, although I sometimes take my sweet time doing so. I am learning to give him to Jesus and our marriage and trust Him with the results. I think one reason it’s hard is so I can not be glib in sharing God with others who may have relationship struggles/challenges or ongoing pain.Thanks for your great post.

  7. I know that The Lord is awesome and I know he does answer prayers. Not Always as I would expect or wish. Two years after my spouse walked out of our 20 year marriage into an adulterous one I still love him. I hate everything he has done, I hate that he brought the other woman into our house as a friend to “both of us”, and the. They decided that they were going to do this evil thing.. That the lies of the enemy have made hit on, that others who profess to be Christians state that there is nothing wrong with what they have done. Really? It breaks my heart that I had to file for a divorce I do not want, however in their great new relationship he seems to think its even less of a big deal to take responsibility financially for what he has done, and so I can’t abide anymore car repo’d or nearly losing the roof over my head. I have prayed and pleaded with my great God to remove the blinders so that he may see and so that a miracle would take place in my marriage. However, what I rely on is my God, because He is good, and despite the tears He loves me and He gives me promises like Isaiah 61:3 “and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of joy…” Yes, I will always love my husband who is almost not my husband anymore, and I pray for others facing hard times. Marriage is not a fairy-tale but it is sacred! God bless, He is Good and He is love.

    • Praying for you Kimberly. So sorry you’ve had to endure this but I love your spirit. God is faithful and He will get you through this. As you honor Him, He will have a good plan for your life. Hang in there sister. Many blessings.

  8. Sad But Moving Forward says:

    I wish I could write this as a married woman of double digit years or of even 1 year, but my husband left me and filed for divorce only 11 months after he vowed to love, honor and cherish me. He brought other women into our marriage via emotional affairs and told me he didn’t love me anymore. I ask God daily why He would put this trial in my life when we did everything right- pre marital classes, waited till my wedding night, volunteered at church, had a long 15 month engagement… At first I was praying for reconcilliation and for him to come back, but as the days went on, he showed himself to be such a different man than I dated, let alone married and then he filed for divorce less than 1 month after moving out. I’m not sure why I am having to go through this to get to where God wants me to be, but I’m sure this is strengthening me for something better. We don’t have kids so I’m able to just focus on my emotional healing. This post was perfect and exactly what I needed to read right now! Thank you!

    • Praying for you! God has something good planned for you, and I’m sorry that this happened. My heart goes out to you.

    • Having such a man leave you (especially early on before too much damage is done) is probably a good thing, which you may see as a good thing when your pain and heartbreak pass. It will leave you open to a new, healthier, more honest and authentic and loving relationship elsewhere which, I am sure, you wanted in the first place. Cleave to Jesus as you go through this life’s experience, stay close to God and know He will bring you through this for the better. So sorry for your pain and feelings of betrayal. I wish you all good things going forward. God bless.

      • Sad But Moving Forward says:

        Janet – I agree. I’m sad, but happy that we didn’t have children or a house to keep us tied together for longer. While I don’t believe that God wants this divorce (because I believe he hates divorce), I believe He will still give me the blessings that He has for me and I believe in my heart that is a marriage of partnership rooted in mutual trust and respect. I feel my relationship with Jesus growing stronger and deeper everyday. He sends angels daily to check on me – not a day goes by that I don’t hear from a sister in Christ or family member. I can feel His hand in my life, healing me and showing me everything is going to be ok.

        Thank you for your words and your blessings. This blog has been an incredible source of inspiration and strength today. Thank you.

  9. i love these words. I have been married for less than a year and we have been going through hell for lack of a better word. My husband is a controlling man unwilling to adjust to anyone else and so critical of me that it breaks my heart. This isn’t what I signed up for. I have been praying for my husband before I even knew who he was. I did the whole thing…the purity pledge, the surrender to the will of God, the pre marital counselling and still I’m stuck here in this thing called marriage and I am so sad and disheartened. What is them point of honoring God and praying if it makes no difference in such an essential part of my life?. Is this what marriage is meant to be like? How does someone hold on? In my culture divorce is still a taboo subject and most of the times we are told that women must persevere in marriage regardless of the difficulties. there is an expectation that men are difficult to live with and it is the burden of the woman to live with those difficulties and endure. And sometimes i feel so alone in my marriage that i wonder if i was ever meant to be married? even so i am grateful for the encouragement in this blog. I have decided to take it one day at a time because I still believe that marriage is God’s invention and that seeing as He made it He must have a way to keep it. I am choosing to believe that He will give mw peace and joy and a beautiful marriage even if it seems like a naive dream. Thanks Lysa.

    • SuperFLNative says:

      Hey Clare! I def know how you are feeling. Our first year was VERY rough. (In fact, the first 4 years were the hardest.) I came into marriage excited and ready for the adventure. As a teenager, I also had heard many a sermon on marriage, purity, courtship, respect, did the “True Love Waits” pledge, etc. i felt like i knew what it took to make a great marriage biblically. My husband, although he had grown up in a Christian home, also grew up in a broken home (his Christian parents divorced when he was 12) , and to top it off he had married his college sweetheart and she had divorced him after only 2 years of marriage, but when I met him (he was 23, I was 24, a year after his divorce) We were so in love that I underestimated how much baggage he was bringing into the marriage. Our first year of marriage I could do NOTHING right, he was so critical of me and he had MAJOR trust issues, then by the time our 2nd son arrive I could almost taste his seething resentment of me. It broke my heart. We did counseling and it helped some, but at times it just seemed to open up can after can of worms (or old fights and resentments). I cried out to God, “Lord, I did everything I was supposed to before I married him, stayed pure, prayed for him, pursued righteousness,etc. Why did you give me such a critical and resentful husband?” It was one of the first times my faith had actually begun to waiver. The Lord showed that though we do everything “right” we will still go through hardship. Look at Joseph, Job, righteous people in your church suffering, etc. Why? Does Gid not love us? He does. For some reason, he feels that we have the ability to bring Him glory with any svery that come our way. Our suffering is not in vain. God sees the heart and the willingness, and brokenness. After 3 kids, 4 moves, and 8 years of marriage things are always not easy, but they have often been joyful. My advice: Cry out to God! Tell Him EXACTLY how you feel and place the outcome in His hands, even if you make mistakes, “keep on keep pin’ on”. I leave you these scripture references, Eph. 4:31, Rom. 8:28, Job 23:14. Lastly, keep your own heart clean and PRAY FOR YOUR HUBBY. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much.” James 5:16

  10. Good morning all, I woke up this morning like I do most mornings with the mindset to tell my husband how dissatisfied I am with our 8 year lonely marriage. But every time I am prepared to give him an ear full thinking if he don’t do what I think he should as a husband than this is it God has a way of reminding me through devotionals like this one and testimonial from persons like yourselves that he is still God and is still able to all that we can ask of Him. Like some of you I too feel like God is playing a cruel joke and is taking to long to deal with my issues but as I am encouraged by tis morning devotional and testimonials I would like to remind us all to continue to walk by faith, and not by sight remembering that God heals the Brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. As I journey on in my lonely marriage I will continue to pray for me and my husband believing this one thing that nothing is impossible with God. Once again Thanks to all who shared.

  11. I have been divorced for about 1 1/2yrs now (it wasn’t right from the beginning, but I worked at it for almost 20 yrs). I have a boyfriend whom I truly love the way God intended it to be and I am learning so much about relationships! I am very encouraged by your posts/blogs, thank you! This one is both an eye-opener and an encouragement, because, being married once before, I already know how it can be rough and also, trying to get a grip on the fact that you WILL get mad at each other but it doesn’t mean that you don’t still love them (or they you). I am finally realizing that!!

    • Realistic and genuine says:

      Good for you Jennifer. God is with you thru it all. God is with all of us no matter how it turns out at different points in the journey. I believe the saying “everything works out in the end, and if it doesn’t, it’s not the end.” It may work out differently than we thought, but God will be right there to go with us. May God Bless.

  12. Breaks my heart to read the comments left here by women who are struggling with marriage. I have a wonderful husband who never intentionally hurts with words or deed and is my biggest supporter and cheerleader in life. But just to be reminded of how much God loves us, even at our worst, brought tears to my eyes. We all struggle in different areas of out lives and are not yet the people God desires us to be. He loves us deeply anyway.

  13. Jeremiah 17:7(NKJV)
    7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    And whose hope is the Lord.
    I’m sorry, but I couldn’t get by the fact that this scripture translation is so not right! The MSG version adds things that are not meant to be there. I didn’t even get to the message because of that!

    • Thank you for the correction :) Anything but the KJV drives me bonkers lol. You always have to check it against it to see if you are actually reading the intended word of God. I know most people don’t think it’s a big deal, but it is!
      And thank you for the article in general Lysa. It was quite needed for many of us tonight :)

  14. Our God is a God of love. He loves us and shows us the way of happiness and peace. My heart goes out to our suffering sisters, I will be praying for you. If I can share a little bit of what I have learned, not with the desire to boast but to encourage. I have been married for 17 years. Our marriage has not been perfect because we are both imperfect. But the most important things we did since we were dating was read the Bible together and pray for each other. After marrying, with the business of life sometimes we couldn’t do it. But still we prayed on our own. Our marriage is composed by three persons, God, my husband and I. As proverbs 14 said, “the wise woman builds up her home and the foolish tears it down with her own hands”. We as woman have to be the ones setting a loving and accepting environment in the home. We are the ones who have to encourage them with our words and actions, thank him for working hard for the family, thank him for little things he does in the house. Tell him how much you admire him and love him. Do something he enjoys with him, be his best friend. And pray, pray and pray, God is alive and listening. Pray that He will show you how to be loving to your husband. Pray that He will increase the love between you two and make your marriage strong. Lastly, sit at the feet of Jesus and be quiet. Let Him work in you and fill you with His love.

  15. After some rough spots in our 16 year marriage God is showing me that this battle for oneness is not mine to fight. That he wants it more than I do. That my job is to stand and face the hurt and pain and not run or put up walls. Good marriages require vulnerability, openess and work and though that means facing the tough emotions likel anger it’s comfoting to know that this battle is the Lords and I have to seek him.

    • I totally agree with you Julie…that is the hardest part, is being vulnerable, I’ve spent years being afraid to speak my mind or share information about our finances because I knew that my husband would explode and it scared me. But once I opened up and wasn’t afraid any longer…I feel at peace. NO idea what the future holds for me, but I do know that I feel strong and that the Lord is guiding me and working through me. I remember an old man that I had met one day…he and his wife were sitting along side a fountain and holding hands. It was days before I was to be married and I said…”the two of you look darling…what is your secret…he said…”sometimes donkey’s fly!” Well that shocked me…he said…”you and I know that Donkey’s don’t fly do they…of course I nodded “yes” then he said that some day’s your husband will come home and tell you that Donkey’s fly and you will say…of course dear because there is no sense in picking that fight…on that very night he might feel like Donkey’s are flying around him!” So, the moral to the story is that life is messy…Donkey’s will fly…God has a path for us, we cannot control the path he is sending us down, sometimes we are there to listen and to comfort others…when the Donkey’s are flying!

  16. Lysa, Thank you for your devotional thought today. It has so many thoughts and words of encouragement that I needed to hear. Which may seem odd because I am a widow who lost a loving husband over 5 years ago. When I read it, I wasn’t looking at it from the perspective of messy marriages, but messy lives. Just mentally changing a few words here and there made it a message I so desperately needed. Messy lives. Period. How we all need to be “the woman who sticks with God.”

  17. My marriage is quite rough as many of you women have shared. It’s been hard for 6 or 7 years with no solution in sight. I have learned to let God deal with my husband and his sins toward me and our children & to pray for my heart to be changed and for me to be godly no matter the circumstances. Yes, easier said than done BUT tho I have much to learn I find that despite the trouble I am stronger in Christ than I ever thought possible. I am more compassionate. If those of you in a hard marriage will also pray for your heart and stop trying to change your husband you will find that God will change you-maybe not the situation but you will be more at peace. Don’t ever stop praying for your hubby just change your prayers from God change him to ,God change me. Remember to find something to thank your husband for to his face and in prayer-this helps you even if not the situation and God will be glorified. Yes, things may remain tough but when You are at peace inside and you glorify God you will find your focus shift upward rather than always being “down” and focusing on the trouble. I struggle everyday! BUT God is still on the throne & He can & will lift my spirits and yours even if our marriages aren’t healed until heaven! There is an anonymous poem I was told I could share and though it changes nothing situationally it just helped me get my focus back on God:
    The Weaving
    My life is but a weaving, between my God and me;
    I do not choose the colors, He worketh steadily.
    Oft times He weaveth sorrow, and I in foolish pride
    Forget He sees the upper, and I the under side.
    Not til the loom is silent, and shuttles cease to fly
    Will God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why
    The dark threads are as needful in the skillful Weaver’s hand
    As threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

    –Anonymous

    • Thank you, RMFL, for sharing this poem. What a beautiful reminder of us not knowing God’s plan or His Grand Design!

    • how a lot of these posts really hit home. My husband and I have been struggling for the last year in our marriage. Since moving from Florida to be near his family we have faced many hardships. The first being a huge financial setback and next the pressures and burdens of his extremely negative and critical family. The many many years of physical and emotional abuse that he suffered at the hands of his parents I think he had stored away. But now that they areforcing their presence in our lives on a weekly basis he seems to be struggling with significant anger issues. He’s lashing out at both myself and our children and I struggle on a daily basis about whether to go or stay. I keep praying that God will not let my heart becomes better and that I can be a good example of Christ. But it is so extremely hard when I am so angry.

  18. Wow, I read this and just started to cry, and cry, because I see that so many are in the same boat, (feeling lonely) is exactly how I feel, and really never understood it, married 22 years and its been hard, we have been separated 6 of those, and have the same questions that I see above, why, why all the hurt, I know for sure, I went into marriage expecting what it is not…. I thought I would be loved, and learned the hard way, that no one can ever love me like the Lord, but still, he is my husband, is he not suppose to love me? (well he says he does not) but still is with me, I have leaned on my Lord for a very long time, and sometimes I feel so alone, and ask him to please fill me with his love his because I want to scream out I can’t take this anymore, but after reading what others are facing here, I should be praying more for others, and not worry, (which is kind of hard) I say I trust him, but complain, so maybe I should come back, and finish reading, and thank him, because their is always someone who is hurting more…. Thanks for this message today, I cried last night, and this morning, so I truly believe this was for me to read!

  19. thankyou

  20. Lysa, thank you for the devotional today! I needed to hear it. Sometimes it’s hard b/c he got 2 jobs and I get lonely….I don’t have many friends here (moved here a couple yrs ago). Even though I love him, I always wondered if he is the man that God wanted me to marry…..(at the time when I met my husband, I was backsliding from God and didn’t talk to Him, or read the Bible). But my husband is the reason I got back in touch with God…..We’ve been married for 2 years now and things are better than it was in the beginning but we aren’t intimate like we used to be….I still want him but he tells me that he is tired from work or from working out…..what should I do?

    • Hi Yoshi, you ask what you should do? Pray. Pray that God will organize your husband’s priorities, putting God first, you second, then family. Let.God know exactly what you want from your husband, in fact make a list and present it to the Lord AMD wait on Him. Do not nag, be understandable and know that God will meet your needs. If you nag to your husband you will push him to find a third job, buy if you are welcoming and sweet to him, he will do his best to get time off. I recommend peacefulwife.com, it’s a blog that shows how to respect your husband and how to change our attitudes so then they can change towards us. Your husband loves you for sure, or else he would be gone, so take the time to start serving the Lord at home by praying.for your husband. God bless you.

      • Thank you YassyBen for the advice! And thank you for recommending the website, I will look into it :-) yes, I know that he loves me so much….and everything is pretty good between us but b/c he works alot, when he does have time off, he just wants his space, and we haven’t had intimacy often, and I wish he would pay more attention to me and not the TV. I started praying for him like you said. God Bless you!

  21. I am really struggling right now why God would let me get in or put me in the situation I am in now. I was a “good” girl….waited to have sex with the man I was going to marry and I was told that our marriage would be that much more special if I waited. It’s what God wanted. Then after a year and a half of marriage….he stopped loving on me or wanting sex at all. That lasted for almost 5 years. After we lost our little boy he got more attentive for a little while….but now 3 years later he has stopped. He doesn’t call or text me to say hello…doesn’t bring me flowers….give me cards….letters….doesn’t even go to bed with me at night. We have two little girls now and as much as I LOVE being a mommy….I feel that is all I am. I don’t feel like a woman…. I try to do everything I can to make him want me…want me like I want him. But up until just recently it didn’t seem to matter. about 3 weeks ago I asked him for a divorce…told him I was tired of just being “room mates” and I didn’t feel loved or wanted at all. He got on his knees and cried and begged me not to leave. I told him I didn’t want to stay and be back in this same spot in six months. I’ve just recently had an old boyfriend come back into my life and tell me that he loves me and he thinks I’m the one he’s suspposed to be with. He knows our marriage is in trouble because of talking to my sister ( I wish she hadn’t said anything) and he wants me to be with him. He says he even wants my girls….he will be the best daddy he can to them. THIS HAS THROWN ME FOR A LOOP! This guy is a wonderful man….he is the “one” that got away….the one that treated me better than anyone before. But we dated after my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) broke up with me…and I was still in love with him. We dated for a little while but I didn’t feel it was fair to him to date me while I was still in love with another guy, so I broke it off. I just really don’t know what to do….I still love my husband and he is actually trying this time. I can tell a change big time…..but I have reservations because he’s “tried” before. I just wonder why God would put me here….I stil love my husband and don’t want to break up our family…but I know I have to be happy too. I don’t know who to choose or what to do. Has anyone been where I am now? Can you give words of advice?

    • @Jamie, I am the least to give advice, because I am or have gone through the same, and this is probably one of the reason I have felt lonely for a very long time, however, leaving your marriage to be with someone else is not a good idea, I really want to say this with alot of love, but the grass always looks greener on the other side, because you can’t see the poop (lol). Please pray and ask God to remove what does not belong in your heart, and do not make a step without his guidance, because you can’t undo things after its done, if your hubby is trying give him the opportunity, we all have our flaws and make mistakes, but you have an advantage over me — he is trying, I will be praying for you… Lots of love…

      • Thank you izzy….I feel like my heart is so confused I don’t know who to listen to. I am trying to be more open and let my husband efforts in. It’s just been so hard. My mother is in a loveless relationship right now and was too scared to leave, of being on her own…and stayed for us kids. I just see how unhappy she is and don’t want to follow in her footsteps……

    • Hi Jamie. I am sorry but God did not put you in this situation! God loves family and hates divorce. It’s the enemy that knows you are tired and has set a trap to destroy your family, because that’s he is here for, to steal, kill and destroy. You need to cut all communication with this man and give God an opportunity to fix your marriage since you can’t trust your husband’s word, trust God and dont miss out on what He is able to do. God is not.a God of confusion, it’s the enemy planting seeds of destruction in your life that for now look like happiness, but it’s all a fantasy that once you take the step the enemy.is pushing you to take. It will ne more harder to fix than your.current situation. God bless you.

  22. Peferct for me today. Thank you for hearing and obeying God and sharing your heart! His timing is perfect! God Bless.

  23. Denni Swepston says:

    Well PRAISE THE LORD! I am here to tell you ladies! God can redeem and restore the most broken marriage! Let me encourage you to take your focus off your husbands shortcomings and pray “Lord, please make him the man YOU want him to be” because really, come on girls, when he becomes the man God created him to be – are you really going to say that’s not good enough? I don’t think so! Pray that God will soften his heart toward you and towards God. If God can harden a Pharoah’s heart ( He did) then He can soften (and will) soften your husbands heart. Once you pray that – begin to focus on YOU, Your relationship with God, and becoming the woman He created you to be. I know what I am talking about – my marriage was in the pits for 7 years! It was awful! But I committed my way to the Lord, gave my husband to him, and GOD WAS FAITHFUL! He is no respecter of persons so what He has done in my marriage He will do in yours! It is not your husbands job to make you happy. Get over that! Get serious and committed to God – find your joy there. I speak in LOVE ladies. Satan wants to destroy our families because doing so destroys love and nourishes fear, distrust, and unhappiness. Don’t give Satan victory.

    • I hope you didn’t read my comment and think I think it’s my husbands job to make me happy. Because I don’t believe it’s his job….but I do believe when you love someone, you WANT to make them happy. I want and try to make him happy. I am happy with everything in our life but the love/attention/affection/feeling needed…..that plays a big part in marriage. I try to make him feel all those things. I asked him why while we were dating and when we were first married did he do all those nice/sweet/loving things and then stop. He said “Cause it’s like, when you’re dating, you’re trying your best to snag the girl…snatch the good girl up before someone else does. Then when you get married…it’s like you don’t need to try and keep her cause you already have her.” That broke my heart. Made me feel worthless. I am trying to work on myself too. Not get as impatient as I’ve been getting the past few years. We talked about it last week and I asked him what I could change to be a better wife to him. He said “Nothing….you do everything I want, give me sex whenever I want, love on me, take care of our girls, our house….everything. It’s me that has to change” I know I’m not perfect (I AM NOT) but I try to be everything I can for him and I’m tired of being the only one trying.

      • Jamie, a great book to help your situation…. The 5 love languages” it will help uncover for you & your husband HOW to love each other. It has truly helped many couples redesign their marriage.

  24. Lysa, I have been following this site for a long time. You keep my interest and most of all my respect with your to-the-soul honesty of real life and real relationships. In my first marriage, I was a “thrower.” Second marriage was much calmer, much happier but left me as a widow. I once threw the remains of supper across the room to the refrigerator. Not good. No excuses, just horrible frustration and an unhappy marriage which ended in divorce years later.

    As a widow now, my standard plea to all married couples is to grab each moment, both good and bad, for they are not guaranteed. Life is so very short. One day death will separate you from each other. Live now so that you can rest assured you’ll be together in heaven in the end. The last words my husband spoke to me were “…the love of my life, I’ll be waiting for you.”

    Thank you for your caring heart and the blessings others get from your honesty. Love you much, girl!

  25. I’m only 30 years old, but I’ve been with my husband for 10 years (married 7 years). After our son was born in 2010, our lives together changed, which was expected. However, it should not have changed as much as it did. We grew apart…emotionally, physically, sexually… But I knew he would ALWAYS be there, I knew he cherished me, I knew he adored me, I trusted him!
    In 2011, I went to the beach w 4 of my girlfriends, met a guy (never did anything w him, and only talked to him face-to-face that one night) But we had conversations via telephone for 2 weeks…I was unhappy w my husband, w my marriage, and I just didn’t care. But then I woke up, and ended my conversations w this guy and never talked to him again. My husband did find out, he was mad, upset & angry, but he forgave me (atleast I thought he did).
    We are both Christians, but went to church and prayed when we felt like it, it wasn’t part of our daily lives. 2012 was a strange year for us, we were not close anymore, we were just…there. You know what I mean? In January of 2013, he told me he wasn’t sure he was inlove with me anymore, he told me he had taken me off his pedestal. I was so angry…I tried to handle it myself, and it only took 3 days to realize I had to give it ALL to God! KLOVE helped me A LOT! Long, long, long story short, I found out February 28, 2013 he had been cheating on me; I found out later he had been talking to this girl since August of 2012. February 3rd, the Lord clearly told me I had to fight for my marriage (I always knew it was another girl, even without him telling me later). So, I stood up, poked my chest out and raised my head, and I became the wife I knew my husband needed and wanted, I became the wife I knew God intended me to be. I wasn’t slothful anymore…”Be ye not slothful…” Hebrews 6:12; I kept the laundry done and the house clean and dinner cooked. I left small notes here and there for him. I became his sexual fantasy. And soon enough, all these things were done because I wanted to do them, not b/c I felt like I had to. My love for him became deeper than I could ever imagine.
    He chose to stay with me, b/c I put everything in God’s hands, b/c I let God lead the way, b/c I trusted God. I’m steal healing, but I’m also still growing. Our marriage grows every day… Our love for each other is new.
    I can’t trust my husband right now, but I do trust God. So, ladies, do not give up. Please. You do the right thing, not matter what your husband is doing. God will give you strength. You have to put your anger and your malicious ways behind you. Have faith, after all, FAITH pleases God the most.
    I love you all…and am praying for all marriages to be restored, it’s not too late! Don’t let the enemy make you think otherwise!!!

    • Wow. I’m going through this now. My husband has repeatedly cheated. It’s not that he loves someone else, it’s the thrill of something different for him. He has never really been a full on Godly man/husband/father..It’s always been a straddle the fence kind of thing. We’ve been doing good for about two years…about two weeks ago, I found out he sent another woman flowers, and went to see a lawyer. He hadn’t done anything with this woman physically, only talked about it..he was trying to woo her. I have felt the strong urge to fight for marriage..God was telling me not to give up. I went to a different church last night, and went up during invitation to receive prayer. The sermon was about Mark 1:40 where God healed the leper. He told the Leper, I will. The preacher placed his hands on me and said “the only thing I am hearing God saying about your situation is “I WILL.” I’ve been praying for God to heal my marriage and soften my husbands heart. and the response was ” I WILL.” I received prayer and felt better about my situation. I’m making the effort. My husband says he loves me but isn’t “in love” with me. But as a Christian I believe to be in love with someone is to make a choice to be in love with them. I made a choice 10 years ago when I married my husband to be in love with him for the rest of my life. Please pray that he will allow God in and allow God to heal our marriage. I know God is going to heal us. I have FAITH! I also realize there is a lot of changes I need to make. as your post said, I should do things because I want to do them, cleaning house, cooking, etc. not because I have to. Please pray for me so that I can be that person. Thank you for your post. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me…I felt like I was almost reading my exact situation. We have two beautiful daughters and I know God wants us to be a family.

      • MB, hang on to that girl! HE WILL! You have to know that it’s not going to be easy.
        Marriages get too comfortable, you have to keep them alive, you have to do things you don’t want to do and do things that he loves, even if you have zero interest. My husband also “wooed” this girl; he bought her little things (earbuds, shoes, etc). But most importantly, he gave this girl his feelings and his emotions, and she put him on top of the world. Something I was not doing. I stepped up my game, I’m telling you, I completely changed my role as his wife. I knew he was not being honest with me, but I never questioned him b/c I knew it would only lead to an argument. I loved him, I took care of him. I smiled around him, I laughed around him. I was careful with my tone, I was calm. Now, when he left the house to go to work, I would scream and cry for hours b/c of the pain, but that’s okay…he never knew.
        MB, you 2 are married for a reason. Fight for this girl! But in a peaceful way. Be his fantasy… The Bible says that God can change a King’s heart (Proverbs I believe). So, if He can change a King’s heart, he can surely change your husband’s heart right before your eyes. Never stop praying for that. The natural part of me thought that could never happen, but the supernatural part of me had to beleive…and I’m telling you, God did/IS changing his heart. We are more inlove now than we have ever been. Granted, we are still healing, but that’s okay…it keeps us closer to the Lord. My husband is not as close to the Lord as I want him to be, but I’m letting the Lord handle that…and little by little I can see changes. And I’m okay with that. Don’t push the envelope…
        In the end, you are STILL his wife…he is STILL with you. Don’t give up, don’t let the enemy win. Faith pushes the enemy away…You got this!

  26. Reading the comments has really helped me to feel less alone. I believe my husband and I are doing well at this time but there is always the unknown. You see, he (a pastor!) was addicted to porn and because of that had an emotional affair and lost his church, then he got involved in sexting and messaging and was fired from his secular job. I wanted to leave him, the only thing that kept me there was our 2 year old son and the words of a wise minister. This all blew up last October, until that point I didn’t understand what was really going on. We have been through Christian counseling. Our marriage seems to be in a better place than before, although we do not pray together (never have). I have trouble trusting him, anytime there are more text than usual on the bill, if he’s on his ipad too much…I can also see God working. My husband got another job right away, and he has since moved up to management, so we have been financially blessed. His new job also keeps him super busy, so he doesn’t have down time to get into trouble, and I believe that that’s what he needs at this point to help him overcome his addiction. However, at times I question God. I prayed about marrying this man, I felt God TOLD me to marry him. Why did I get this life?

  27. I’m amazed, everyday, how relevant these devotions are to my life!! Thank you, Lisa, for sharing!
    After almost 26 years of marriage, my husband and I still have arguments, not as frequently and not as volatile then before he came to Christ, and my spiritual awakening 7 years ago , but nonetheless we still have them. I know now this is not pleasing to God, but I can see he is working in me through each argument and I can forgive so much more quickly than before! I hope we can get to the point where we can keep it to a “calm discussion”! I wonder if we will ever get there. I think prayer with each other and together is key. I need to implement that. I’ve learned to “walk away” faster than before too. I needed time alone and picked up the book “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas – I highly recommend it. It helped set my heart straight as it refers to “what if God designed marriage to make us Holy more than to make us happy?” It makes you think. I told my husband I was sorry and that I love him BEFORE we went to bed that night. The next day he brought me a small bouquet of flowers! We are such a work in progress! I pray for all who are having difficulties in their marriages!! Don’t give up! and praise to those who are blessed with a happy marriage! Keep it up!

  28. My first marriage lasted 4 years before he ended it with infidelity. We have been divorced for 13 years now, and are both remarried. We actually live within 5 miles of each other, which comes in handy for our beautiful daughter. I’m going on 5 years in my second marriage, and it is amazing. But I am haunted by the spiritual influence I could have had on my first husband if I would have stuck with God, instead of being relieved that I had an “easy” out of the marriage.

  29. I just had to laugh when I read this quote: ” It felt soothing to know how to clean something. I knew how to wipe away this mess. And I liked seeing the mess disappear.” My husband and I just had a screaming, yelling fight over the same thing we have been fighting about for 30 years. Then we spent the rest of the weekend not talking to each other and cleaning. He cleaned out the basement and I went deep cleaning into the bathrooms and my scrapbooking room. That seems to be our pattern after a fight. Clean the house. I”ve always wondered why. I guess it makes sense. I don’t know how to clean my messy marriage. I do know how to clean up a house and I can see the results.:)

  30. I’ve never written in a blog before and I never thought I would… But I am so strongly feeling that I need to so here it all is… I guess I’ll begin at the beginning… My husband and I have been together for over 12 years and married for over 5 of that. He is an absolutely wonderful man who has always been able to make me laugh and see the wonderful things in life – even when my mother was going through cancer treatments and passed away not long after we met. I have loved him longer than I’ve known him it seems sometimes – he and our kids (his, mine, and ours) are my life and their happiness is my greatest joy in life. Over the years we struggled at times and separated twice and (PLEASE don’t judge this because there is so much more to our story then this) both times he had found someone else only to later realize that the grass wasn’t greener. All of this was in the early years and prior to our own marriage. After the last time apart, he came to many realizations and wound up having a breakdown. He realized that his prior marriage and other past relationships had destroyed so much within him… I took a leap of faith and gave him another chance. And after years of counseling, forgiving, promissing, and fighting for each other, I believed we had learned about each other, grown through our experiences, and forgiven each other (we all need to accept that we play a part in the relationship in all of it’s ups and downs) and we were stronger for it. And for a few years we stayed strong in our marriage and supported each other in everything and worked together to do good things for the kids in our area (youth group leaders, rec council coach/leaders, etc). Then he had some severe health issues that were (fortunately) quickly controlled. At first it brought us even closer in ways. Then money became really tight because he was out of work to recuperate. We took money out of our retirement plans for a temporary fix which made us owe more taxes – and that made things even tighter. Then last year his sister-in-law died tragically – the family was heartbroken over her loss. And my husband started a little bit of a downward spiral – slow but steady. He can be laughing and joking one minute then in seconds he’ll be yelling and fuming at something that upset him out of the blue. Road rage episodes occur frequently. He complains about work and family and friends constantly. He has been so unhappy and I kept thinking he would work through it… I’d see these glimpses of his happiness and think he was coming out the other side only to have one more thing make him snap again. Then a couple of months ago his sister passed away tragically in such a sudden and devastating way that there are just no words to explain the loss that everyone feels right now. It seems he has been hit hard time and time again and he keeps pushing me further and further away. I know he is in some way protecting himself by doing so, but I see so much hurt that I want to help ease in him and he won’t allow me into his heart right now. He has suddenly talked about separation and not being sure he loves me or can love me again. I am praying for him constantly throughout each day. And the Lord has given me so many reasons and signs to have faith in Him and to have faith in our marriage and that these are just trials we must get through in ourselves and in our marriage together. The truth is, I know that no matter what he is saying at this time, my husband does love me and that he is just closing himself off to that love right now because he is so lost in his pain and anger. I just don’t know how to help him through this to realize that and find hope in himself and us again. Everything he is doing right now (actions and reactions) are just like the other times he was ready to leave but this time there isn’t someone else (I know… in all honesty there is never a 100% belief in that and after our history… but when I logically look at the time he is home and at work and wherever else, I am as completely certain that there is no one else this time as I could possibly be – and after all the things we went through before, I truly believe I know his ‘tells’ in that area). I suddenly remembered this morning that they had taken him off the medicine he had been taking over 2 years ago for depression and anxiety and he has said in recent weeks that for almost 2 years he has been feeling like he is losing his happiness in our life together and possibly his love for me. But now that I am thinking about the meds and how they could be helpful to him now for his recent loss and what is going on in our marriage, I am starting to tie it all together. His family has a history of depression and anxiety as well as addiction. He is being very careful with how much he drinks right now because he knows he doesn’t want to go down that road. But the depression/anxiety has been horrible for him in the past! I honestly can’t believe I didn’t think about suggesting that to him after his sister-in-law passed away and I started seeing his detachment in all areas of emotion. And now, I don’t even know how to broach that subject with him because he believes at this moment that all of his unhappiness is due to our marriage somehow. The past few weeks, the things I have suggested to him that could help him (counseling together or separately, talking to trusted and godly friends of his about how he is feeling, and going up to the country to talk to family/friends and get his hunting stuff together) he has shut me down before I could even explain my thoughts about them. He is so lost and hurt right now and I want so badly to help him through this… I just don’t know how. No matter what, I know I will keep praying to God to help him through these trials and to help me know what I can say and do to help him heal right now. I won’t give up on him and I will do my best to continue to love him and try to have as much patience with him right now as I possibly can. However, I do ask of everyone reading this – if any of you feel it in their heart right now, please pray for my husband as well. Pray that he will welcome God into his heart again, that his heart will heal from all of his pain and suffering right now, and that he will take the necessary steps to find happiness in his life and in our marriage again. Thank you for all prayers! And I will be praying for all of you, too!

    • Hi There,

      I just said a prayer for your husband! I too know what it is like to go through debilitating depression and anxiety. It sounds like he is going through intense feelings of grief that look like depression or even bipolar disorder. He may not be able to open up and let you bring him comfort because he does not even know where to begin to let people help him or even what kind of help he needs. My suggestion is to set an appointment with a grief therapist and just tell him that you made this appointment if you need to for yourself and tell him he is welcome to come along. Please make sure you go with him. He needs to talk to others whose lives have been devastated by grief. A grief support group just might be the ticket. If nothing else, I know that God is holding him on His lap right now and wrapping him up in his refuge. He just feels so engulfed with his feelings he feels like he cannot give anything to anyone yet alone his wife which probably makes him feel like a failure which is why he is seeking a way out of the marriage (Not because of you) and needs to be given to so desperately but he does not know what he needs. I hope this gives a little better insight. If nothing else please know my prayers will continue for you and your marriage.

      • I have mentioned counseling – for us and/or for just him – a couple of weeks ago, but he was dead-set against it. In the past, it took a complete break-down for him to agree he needed counseling and that we needed it together as well. I knew when we stopped that 5 years ago and when he stopped the meds a couple of years ago that this would likely come up again – I only hoped and prayed that he would be strong enough to recognize it next time. Unfortunately, when he comes to these points in his life he tries so hard to believe that he can handle everything on his own this time… And it isn’t long before he starts falling into certain thoughts/behaviors – like rationalizing his thoughts and actions and playing the blame-games about where his negative feelings are coming from. I will bring it up again and try to gently bring up the depression/anxiety possibility again, too. I won’t give up on helping him – even if he doesn’t think he needs it. I just have to do it when he is somewhat receptive to what I have to say so he at least hears it even if he doesn’t believe it at first. He is so closed off right now though… I just fear that bringing it up when he is not receptive to what I have to say will just push him farther away from me and further into blaming me and our marriage for his all of his unhappiness. I keep praying for God to help him through this and to help lead him through this pain that he is going through and to see the light at the end of the tunnel – even just a little bit of hope can go so far if the timing is right. It is just so painful to see him so hurt and angry and closed off to me, our kids, his family, and his friends – even his best friend that he has shared all of his struggles with in recent years. It just hurts so much to see him close himself off from everyone who truly knows him and deeply cares about him. The only people he seems to have happiness around are the people he works with and that’s because he tries to present a different person there so that his work isn’t affected – they don’t realize the pain he is trying to stuff away behind his smile and laughter. No matter what, I am not giving up on him and I will be there to support him every step of the way. And I definitely appreciate your prayers for him!!!! It means so much to feel I’m not alone in my prayers for him right now :)

  31. Doubting God's plan says:

    oh how wonderful it was to read the devotional for today, more than ever i feel God has forsaken me and my marriage, after dating a ‘BELIVER’ for 7 years and doing everything right, pre-marital counseling, fasting and praying together, i forgave after 3 indiscretions and now a MONTH after my wedding i found my husband organising to have prostitutes come and meet him. i DEF am now lost and don’t feel the love of the God i have served and worshiped and worked for. I moved out 3 days ago and the betrayal and loneliness is terrible. In as much as this devotional reminded me of Christ’s love, it also feels this Lord and Saviour is withholding this love from me. more broken than ever with no one to call or lean on and even now it HURTS to pray. Maybe not today, or even tomorrow, i know IT WILL BE WELL WITH MY SOUL, the journey is just tough

    • Doubting, I can’t even say that I know how you feel, because it would not be true, but one thing I know is true, is the Lord’s love for us, Even though I might feel one way, I do know beyond a shadow of any doubt that My Lord Loves me and he also Loves you, there are things that happen that we don’t know why, but I know its not coming from God, the enemy came to destroy, and take away, God came to give, and give more than we can ever imagine, I will pray that no matter where you are his love, which is so real, will cover your pain, and soothe your soul with his arms, please don’t remove yourself from his arms, but draw near to him, because only in him will you find what your soul really longs for, and though the journey is tough, We have an almighty God who still reigns, even though we might now feel him, He is there, He is Faithful, He wants to hear your voice, even if you have to scream…. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me (psalm 23:4) The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord i close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I will keep you in my prayer

  32. Jeanette Mericle says:

    Thank you Lisa for always being real and transparent in what you write. I just had to forward today’s devotional to my husband today and this is what I wrote to him…”Some real and honest words….even people whom God has chosen to be “Top National Book Seller’s” and “National / World speakers” (Like Lisa TerKeurst) are really people like us. Peace for the soul.” I see God in you. In your honesty and truthfulness about your life and your struggles. You are one of a kind, and God knew the world needed you! God Bless you, and I deeply thank you for your ministry in being who you are and not afraid to be honest about not being perfect!!

  33. Chad Peterson says:

    I’m in the middle of a failing marriage. We have been drifting apart for years, and I finally decided that in order for this to work, I had to go work on my issues, and stop pointing fingers at her. I started doing that, and then immediately afterwards discovered she was having an affair.

    Now there are trust issues on both sides. There have been lots of lies about the affair, and when she told me it was over on more than one occasion, it really wasn’t. I think it is now, but as much as I want to believe her, I haven’t seen the effort I need to see on her part to heal things, other than saying she would go to counseling again. That’s a huge step, but I need to see signs from her that she really wants us to work, and she’s remained distant and bitter towards me.

    I’ve heard that you shouldn’t pray for patience, as God will only give you more of what you’re already going through so you can use that patience, but right now, it seems that the only option I have is to sit and wait until she’s ready to deal with things in earnest. It seems that at this time, patience is the one virtue I need most, because rushing her to the negotiating table will only backfire. My heart hurts because my family (including our kids) is dissolving before my eyes, and there’s nothing I can do about it until she’s ready. Anything I bring up in regards to working things out just seems to put more pressure on her and drive her farther away.

    Should I pray for patience? Guidance? A specific resolution? I want to put my trust in God, but all of the verses I read ring hollow during this very difficult time.

    • Chad, bless you…. One, you don’t have to pray for patience….you have it as one of the fruit of the spirit, claim all the fruits daily. I was in the sam situation, my husband had an affair with my sister in law for 3 years. It continued for a year after he admitted to it. My anger was always centered on the devil who was trying to destroy my family. Your spouse is never the enemy. The affair hardens his heart to me and God. Pray for bronness of heart. Fast & pray to break the soul ties, speak everything in love. Unfortunately, it sounds like the affair is still going on. There is no remorse or brokenness before god or you. Ask god to show you anything that you need to ask her to forgive you for. Humble yourself before god and seek his wisdom & understanding. Get the 5 Love languages book to determine how she receives love to give you a helping hand. She is believing lies of the devil so use scripture as often as possible. As her spouse your waring on her behalf carries the most power. It is God’s will to reconcile with her & give praise to god with testimony.
      After 1 year separated, god was able to break my husbands hard heart & he quickly ended the affair & started to restore our marriage. Be strong in the lord & do not despair.

  34. Thank you so much for these words! I have been married for 21 years and have we ever had our share of differences! We even went through a time when divorce was in the picture. But then God got ahold of my husband’s heart and forgiveness came into our lives, and we are still together. Is it easy? No. Do I have days when I want to throw the orange juice? Yes. Yet, here we are and I know we wouldn’t be without God.

  35. Oh this was needed! It’s hard to remember that we aren’t supposed to rely on a single person to make us happy and to fullfill is, but we are supposed to turn to God.

    My husband and I have been married for going on 8 years, together for 10. We have 3 kids. We have always had problems (no infidelity that I know of), I have stormed out, thrown my ring at him, left it on the counter for him to see…Marriage is tough!

    It has taken me 8 years to realize this crazy phenomenon I have heard about…I have been waiting for him to leave. For 8 years, I have been ready for him to leave. I pick fights, try to find something that he is hiding (mostly made up by me)…I have been desparate to find something to give me reason to kick him out…only because growing up, litterally did not know many people in a happy marriage. Or happy first marriage, at least. I have 15 aunts and uncles on my dad’s side, all married at one point, and only one stayed and still is married today. My dad left when I was 6, after cheating on my mom, then cheated on the next person, and the next person….I grew up expecting my husband to leave some day. And I wanted to be ready for it.

    Knowing this now isn’t going to stop our arguments, it won’t make our marriage perfect (we are still two sinners under the same roof), but it will help my mindset. I no longer look deeper into every word he says, waiting for the “I’m leaving you” signs…I don’t stay awake at night (Ok, a few nights recently I have, but getting better) trying to figure out how me and the kids will make it alone. I know he is in it for the long haul. And I know that when I feel he isn’t, I need to turn to God, because he DOES want our marriage to last.

  36. The truth is ladies that we have made a promise to God to love, honor and obey (and more) our husbands till death do us part and no matter how unhappy I am, I cannot release myself from this solemn promise to my Father. That said, my husband and I have not been doing well for probably 5 or more years out of the last 20. Too much work, too much silence and too little regard for the other has taken it’s toll. We have woken up and realize that we do not know each other at all. It seems every attempt we make to go back to where we were before, ultimately falls flat. We’ve both changed and I don’t think either of us really likes the other any more. To be honest, I would not choose him again if I had that choice. I have NO desire for him physically and although he very much desires me, the act of lovemaking makes me bitter and resentful. It literally feels wrong to be intimate with someone who feels so much like a stranger. I do this as a duty that I was commanded by God to do, but honestly I want no part of it or him. All of this said, I believe that God has a purpose for all of this and I’m trusting that he’ll work it out in the end. It is WRONG for me to not to feel love toward my husband. Wrong because we as Christians are called to love EVERYONE…how much more should we love our husbands? I tell God frequently that I have nothing left and ask that he’ll bring love back in me. I John 4 is so convicting to me and I pray that some of you will read it and apply it to yourself without blame toward your husband. No matter how we mistreat, ignore or deny Christ HE STILL LOVES US. We are called to do the same to others. We will be sinning if we don’t love and will be judged according. By ourselves this is impossible but with the Lord ALl things are possible. We have to remember that God operates on His time table- not ours- and some problems may take years to get through- don’t quit. Some of our marriages will NEVER be what we want them to be but the important thing for us to do as individual children of God is to persevere…continue to run the race. I believe that when we love, honor and respect our husbands sheerly out of reverence for God and his design in our lives, we will be greatly blessed in His kingdom. Sometimes all you can do is say “Lord I don’t want to this any more, but out of obedience and love for YOU, I will. Now help me one more day Father…”

    • We are there too. It is not a good place to be. We have both changed so much in the 10 years we have known eachother, and I just don’t get it. While I have been growing closer to God, my husband has been pushing away from God. We are strangers most of the time, and I have the hardest time having a conversation with him. Even about the kids. I can tell a stranger I meet at the grocery store so much more than I can tell my husband. And I too would not choose the same person today that I chose 10 years ago. I have been praying daily to God, asking him to give me love for my husband. I know I am not leaving him, and he is not leaving me, but I need to love him. Thanks for sharing your story, as sad as it sounds, because I know I am not alone.

  37. God put this post before my eyes today as my wife told me Monday that she retained a lawyer for a divorce. I had a feeling this was coming at some point as she told me almost 2 years ago she wanted out. We have been to counseling only for her to tell me one day on the way there that that was going to be the last session she attended because she was ready to end it. I had hoped beyond hope that we could go back to the way it was, but obviously not. She was not there emotionally for me after each of my parents died. That made the loss of them even worse. Somehow, I continued to persevere and drag myself up and get through each day. She says she has grown apart and wants to be independent as he really hasn’t had that in her life. High school to college. College to relationship to marriage to kids. Neither of us have been unfaithful. We seem to get along fairly decent when we’re home or together. She said it feels like we’re roommates (and she’s right). We put on a front in front of our friends and church family. It doesn’t make the hurt any less now that lawyers are involved. It is messy but not as messy as other couples going through a divorce proceeding. I begin to ache just typing the word divorce. I hate that for us and more importantly our kids. How will they react to when we tell them what’s about to happen? Our oldest is a freshman in college and our youngest is in middle school. I can really see our youngest having a tough time with all of this. He puts up a strong front, but I can see his school work go downhill and his attitude begin to get bad. I wish I could go back and fix everything. Be more caring. A better listener. Help out with cooking and dishes more. In general, be a better person that what I have been in the past. That’s all gone. Why do I feel like I have wasted part of the last 20 years? I feel like I’m sitting on a bus going down a road and beginning a journey that I don’t want to go on but I can’t stop the bus and get off. I guess I have to finish the destination. Too many unanswered questions for me at this point. I haven’t even told anyone about this whole thing except for those who read it and my lawyer. Part of it is denial on my part. Unwilling to accept the possible finality of this journey. Part embarrassment (what will my friends and rest of my family think?). I feel like I’m almost to the poing of being physically sick. I have no family where we’re at so I can’t move in with them. I don’t see myself financially being able to afford a place on my own and I don’t know of anyone that wants/needs a roommate. The uncertainty of it all…

  38. My husband and I have been married for 9 years. We’ve always had our “ups and downs” throughout our marriage but after our 5th anniversary we had a lot more downs then ups. He started calling me names, belittling me, accusing me of things I wasn’t doing, basically anything you could think of to negatively impact someone, he was doing. I put up with it and constantly defended myself, so that he would know that I wanted him and only him, that he could call me anything he wanted but it wouldn’t make me leave. I told him I would change (to be a better wife) because at this point I started believing everything he was telling me. My self-esteem and confidence has been demolished. I constantly felt like I couldn’t go visit my family without feeling like I had to check in with him every so often (he’s stopped going to family functions), I couldn’t hang out with friends or I would get the 3rd degree when I got home (so I basically stopped altogether), the only things we did were things he wanted to do. He’s never surprised me with a date night or anything remotely close to saying how he felt about me. Since we’ve been married we have never gone somewhere for our anniversary (even though I’ve asked him if we could and he says “we don’t have the money” even though he can go on his fishing tournaments). For the last year I could feel myself pulling away and I told him and he said he would change ….but unfortunately he continued to do what he wanted, treated me the way he wanted and didn’t believe anything I said to him on how I started to feel. Three weeks ago I moved out after a heated argument and him telling me to get the [insert cuss word here] out, in front of our 4 year old son. Since then I feel like I’m beginning to be my old self again, that I’m happier now in these last three weeks then I have been in the last 4 years. We did go to marriage counseling last week but I let the pastor know that “I feel like I’ve checked out. My husband has downgraded my emotions and treated me so back for the last couple of years that I don’t have any emotions left.” I wanted to be honest with the pastor and I wanted to be honest with my husband. I’ve been praying for God to give me patience and understanding and to also convict my husbands heart but every time we talk we argue and he blames this whole separation on me saying “You left.” I asked him if he understood or ever wondered why I left and he says “no.” Its hard for me to want to work on my marriage when I’m still getting treated this way and still don’t feel like I’m worth anything to him. I know God hates divorce but I also feel like God doesn’t want me to be in a loveless, hurtful marriage. I’m just going to take it one day at a time and give it to God.

  39. I’ve already commented twice, but realized I left out something very important. It isn’t mentioned in the original blog post either…we need to be praying for our spouses. I bought the book The Power of a Praying Wife a few years ago, but have had the attitude of “Why should I be praying for him, he doesn’t pray for me!”. After one of the hardest summers I have ever had, God put it on my heart to open the book up again. Today is day 4 of praying for my husband. It is and was the last thing I want to do, but I know this is what God wants us to do. So, if you aren’t praying for your husband (in the book, she mentions NOT praying to specifically change him, but pray for his relationships, his thoughts,etc.), I encourage you to do so! I think that’s all I have to say…for now.

  40. I came across this post searching the web for bible based relationship advice. Now I am not married, but I have been in a relationship 7 years and I am ready to get married. He is 28 and I am 26 and we have a 4 year old daughter, and yes we live together; so I don’t understand what’s holding us up. He says its my temper. Now I must admit that I have a bad temper, and I have prayed and asked God to strip me from it. I am not how I used to be, but I could be better. I got so anger at him that I through a picture frame and it broke on his arm, he wasn’t hurt but the glass did prick him and caused a little bleeding but my intent was not to harm him. I am trying to become a better woman in Christ and pray that he becomes a better man in Christ and I pray for our relationship and pray that it will become a marriage. But it is so hard, especially when I have friends who are also Christians telling me that I should just leave him and that God doesn’t want us together. 0_o I’m like really, your longest relationship lasted 6 months. But when I sought out counsel from a minister who has been married for 20+ years, she advised me to write down a pray and say it everyday and she told me that my strength and prayers and hold my tongue will make all the difference. Basically, she told me to hand the relationship over to God and just focus on my and my daughter without acting strange towards my boyfriend. I still have much work to do. But reading this post let me know that I am not the only woman struggling with anger and a temper and I know that I can grow.

    • Lamaria, My heart goes out to you. Search deep within and find whats causing this anger. Pray for clarity and guidance. I have lived a long time with my husband in an abusive marriage and it hurts to be yelled at and/or hit, as I’m sure you already know. Is there some unhealed hurt causing you to have outbursts? Is your boyfriend abusive to you? Our children see the way we act and mimic us. My oldest son has been damaged by the abuse I sustained and now he has anger issues. Our marriage is still not healed, but God has given me peace through prayer. Often, we need to just seek God’s answer and not mans. I thinks we forget that. For so long I have complained to counselors, ministers, friends, and whomever would listen, but I just needed to pray, believe, and WAIT on Our Father. Remember that God can heal all. First things first though, we have to get in line with what God’s Will is. Not our own. Please don’t be upset for my advice. I just relate to your pain. God Bless you sweet girl, Tanya

      • Tanya,
        First off thank you for your advice, I appreciate it, I am not offended. No my boyfriend is not abusive to me, I am just easily angered and I think it is a learned behavior from my father. However, I used to hold everything in and hurt until I burst now that I am older I do not hold my tongue or suppress my feelings I simply let it all out; especially after I try to talk to him calmly and he ignores me. I have my moments when I get an attitude or what have you but he doesn’t understand my frustration. I am trying to be a good mom, good girlfriend(playing wife), find a job, lose weight, school… I get overwhelmed like the next person and sometimes I just want to vent and I want him to offer a secure feeling and encourage me. But I will just take the advice from what I have been reading from devotions and ask God to speak to me and then listen. I cannot do this on my own!

        • You are absolutely right Lamaria. I’m enclosing my email address. Email me anytime if you need a prayer partner or accountability partner. You are not alone. < Isaiah 40:11 Praying, Tanya lillieiam@yahoo.com

  41. This was the BEST devotion yet. Marriage is hard. It’s downright tough at times and sometimes it very ugly. Christian women need to see that other Christian women go through these hard times. We need to see the realness. It helps with the loneliness and the isolation. God Bless…

  42. Our marriage has been trampled on the past year especially. We are dealin with things I thought we would never have to face. My heart has ached so badly at times it literally, physically hurts. On and off I’m an emotional wreck. And yet through it all, God is so good in His sovereignty. Thank you for this devotional. It makes my heart glad <3

  43. Reading these comments reminds me of a time in my marriage that seems like AGES ago because of how far the Lord has brought us…. when in fact, this time was only 2 months ago.

    In March (5 months ago) I began feeling sort of alone in and dissatisfied with my marriage. I didn’t fully recognize what those feelings were right away although they persisted for the next few weeks. Suddenly, when thinking of my marriage, accompanying those feelings, I also felt an urgency I’ve never experienced. I didn’t know what to make of all of this so I shared with a friend. She didn’t hesitate and came right out and asked if I thought my husband could be involved with another woman. My immediate thought was ‘No, not MY husband!’ but nearly simultaneously I began to cry. I still didn’t believe that was the case as I had no other proof of the possibility but she insisted I confront him anyway. Before talking to him, I decided that NO MATTER WHAT his answer was I was going to forgive him and commit to working on our marriage. Divorce is NOT an option for me. Later that night I asked him about it. He didn’t hesitate to say that yes, he was involved emotionally with another woman. It was the hardest conversation I’ve ever endured. He went on to say that while he cared for me as a person he has no feelings of love for me beyond the fact that I’m a good person who is very sweet and caring. He said he wanted nothing more than to just end things with me so that the relationship with the other woman would not be considered an affair. He said he knew he couldn’t just end things because of the kids and our families. He refused counseling when I suggested it. He was hesitant at my request that he end things with the other woman, but reluctantly agreed. I asked him to remove her number, and email from his contacts, and even ‘unfriend’ on facebook. He agreed to.

    The very next day, while listening to K-Love (all I ever listen to), Chris August released a new song: “Restore.” There was no introduction to the song by the DJs, the song just simply started playing. Never having heard it before I literally thought God was speaking those words directly to me and that I was the only one in the entire world those words were meant for. I cried, having to pull the car over to recover. From then on, every song on K-Love was like that – God’s words meant specifically for me. In the 6 weeks that followed: I had hope. I began The Love Dare. I asked God how I could change to be a better wife and person. I prayed, fasted and clung to God and His Word literally every second I could. I made notes of the promises in His Word that said God was going to make this right. I reached out to friends who agreed to stand with me in prayer. (I told them I was assembling an ‘army of women’ to fight this spiritual battle with me!) Their husbands agreed to pray specifically for my husband, even fasting on his behalf. I spoke with my pastor. And I continued to love my husband and tell him I was not ready to give up, and I never would. He resented every bit of all of that. He said he felt trapped by the fact that we don’t believe divorce is the answer. He said he knew his family would never accept the relationship he wanted with the other person and that made him feel trapped. He hated that the only way to do right by our kids was to stay together. He argued that it wouldn’t teach them what love was to see their parents arguing all the time and not being loving. I insisted that it would teach them MUCH MORE that we stay together and work things out. I continued to share with him the hope that I had that God was working even when things seemed impossible. I shared with him scriptures I’d read that directly related to our situation. He grew more and more resentful. One day we had a big argument during which he stated in more ways than one that he was just ‘done.’ I didn’t take that to mean done with the marriage until the next day I saw on his computer that he had researched area divorce lawyers and began searching for apartments to rent. Seeing this on the computer screen nearly killed me. The physical pain was unreal. I immediately called my brother whom I’d been talking to as he’s a pastor and marriage counselor. My brother told me he was feeling a sense of urgency to PRAY and pray CONSTANTLY for him until he had a spiritual breakthrough – that the blinders Satan had placed on him would be removed and the fog that blurred his vision would be lifted. My brother said he felt the Holy Spirit laying on his heart that we needed to pray for this breakthrough to happen that very same week. I called my ‘army’ and relayed to them the latest prayer request. My friends all called their small group friends and pastors to pray. (These are people we don’t even know!) They were overjoyed that the Holy Spirit was leading us in this way. We all became EXCITED over the fact that this was taking place! However, over the next few days things just got worse. There was a look of disgust on my husband’s face every time we were in the same room. He spoke to me only when absolutely necessary. Although I still KNEW God was going to make this right, I began questioning why He would go about it this way when I’d been doing everything right…. I was thinking I was headed towards the divorce process against my will. I began resolving that even if I was forced into a divorce, that would not be the end of it for me. I would still fight Satan and trust that God would restore my marriage. I knew things were getting worse because Satan heard the plan to pray for his defeat once and for all! He had to pull out all the stops now! Tuesday was the day of the week we devised this plan. Friday evening I had dinner with my sister-in-law. All along, after my first confrontation, I had thought my husband had not been speaking to the other woman. (she does not live in our city.) My sister-in-law said she ran into a friend who mentioned she had seen my husband with the other woman a week ago. Devastated, I again, called my brother for advice on my next steps. He said I needed to confront him about it and if he didn’t fall on his knees and beg for forgiveness I needed to leave right away to prove that I’m serious about needing his full commitment to working things out. Well, I did as my brother suggested. My husband did not do what my brother said he needed to. So I began packing things for me and the kids. After about an hour my husband became very distraught. He said if I left with the kids it would REALLY be over. I was scared for the possible ‘finality’ of it all if I followed through with my intentions to leave. I didn’t want to give him the impression that my choice was to leave so that he would go ahead and start the divorce process. However, I also needed to show him my determination to do whatever was necessary to make the marriage work. While we both cried, my father-in-law came over having just heard about the ENTIRE situation for the very first time. He came right to where we were and said “I’m probably gonna say this the wrong way and get y’all mad at me, but I’m just gonna say it anyway.” (he has a way of coming across rough) To me he said: “You aren’t going anywhere tonight with those kids.” (who were asleep in the car) He said, “I’ve been that kid being drug around in the middle of the night from one place to the next, and I don’t want that to be my grandkids. They are gonna remember this night for the rest of their lives if you leave right now and wonder why mommy drove us all around town that one night. You can wait until the morning if you really have to leave.” I cried and nodded, unable to respond. And to my husband (his son) he said, “I’ve told you boys this since y’all were little: you need to FLEE from all appearances of evil! You need to quit it with this other girl, and never, I mean NEVER speak to her again. And you need to agree to counseling. That’s it, and that’s how it’s gonna be.” And although my husband and I were in a complete state of emotional turmoil, we both laughed! That is so my father-in-law and whatever he says, you listen!” After a few more minutes of talking with my father-in-law, he left and my husband and I embraced and he apologized for the first time. He said, “I don’t even know what I was thinking; it’s like there was a fog and I just couldn’t see clearly.” ……

    That has been 2.5 months since that night. The Lord held true to His promise to RESTORE our marriage. He proved that He has only plans to PROSPER us and not to harm us. He showed me that the battle is HIS and all we have to do is show up and praise Him in the midst of it all. So many promises fulfilled and proven in the most horrible experience I’ve ever faced. I didn’t mean to share all those details of everything but I just wanted to show how seemingly impossible the situation was. How easy it would have been to look at the circumstances and think “There’s no way…” But that’s not what the Bible teaches us about the power of God!

    Since that night 2.5 months ago, my husband and I have been building a love like we’ve never dreamed possible. We thank God constantly for saving us from Satan’s attempt at destroying our family. We are ever more aware of the reality that Satan is trying his hardest to steal, kill, and destroy what God has created. We are still working through some of the emotional hurt that really goes back years, but we are doing so together, as partners, as God intended us to be. I couldn’t be happier for where we are together with God. All it really takes is hope in Christ Jesus and relying completely on Him to fight on your behalf. His Word says He will do it for you! Believe it!

    • Praise God, If he did this with you, he can do it with us…. I love your spirit, standing for what you believe, and this was In God and your marriage no matter what…. What a blessing… and thanks for sharing!!

      • Izzy, He absolutely can do it for you! Believe it! Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain right?? And I am happy to share. God did this for me and all along I knew that one day this whole situation would bring glory to Him. I want to brag about His work in my marriage all the time! Not only does it give glory to Him, but it helps me constantly remember from where Hes brought us, reminding me of my constant need of Him. Also in sharing, if it can help someone else in a similar struggle to continue to hold on and believe God will do the same then all the more reason to be shouting it out from the rooftop! Can you tell I’m still super excited about what He’s done?! I hope I never lose this excitement in sharing what The Lord has done for me!

        • Restored, I love to tell others about his love, and I know that even though I don’t feel loved with my spouse, I know God can do something, I don’t know how, when, or what, but I do know he CAN… Thanks for the words, I really appreciate it, and hopeful some day in heaven we can meet!!!!

    • Restored,
      Thank you so much for your post. The devil has tried repeatedly to torch my marriage, and honestly I’ve been a contributor to my marriages demise. My husband battles with anger issues and severe binge drug use. I have belittled him and torn him down with my words. I’ve been so hurt that I would only lash out instead of kindly lifting my husband up with kind words and love. I’m ashamed of my actions. But just when we think we can’t go on, someones words remind us that God IS thinking of us!! So, thank you again for your post. It gives me hope. Praise God for restoring your marriage. Praying, Tanya

      • Tanya,
        I understand completely what you’re going through. Though our husband’s struggles were different, when he did something I didn’t like, I’d retaliate out of hurt…. of course that only perpetuates the problem. I learned so much through “The Love Dare”…. It taught me to LOVE (action verb there!) my husband when I didn’t feel like it and especially when he was pretty ‘unlovable.’ Sure, he resented it at first (just like in the movie “Fireproof”) but over time my husband began to appreciate the care and effort I was making. Praying for God to restore your marriage as well! :)

        • Restored,
          Sometimes it feels that my breath is gone, you know? Like I just can’t breathe another day. Tears come at will, with no control on my part. I tried the Love Dare and will try it again. The first book got torn to shreds along the way. Something I am not proud of! Hug yourself from your new sister in Christ! :)
          Tanya

  44. There are a lot of comments on here about HORRIBLE marriages that have lasted a REALLY long time. When is it ok to say enough is enough? My Grandmother lived a horrible life with an abusive man, my mother lived with an abusive man (the son of my Grandmother) for 20 years before finally divorcing. As a child of that union, I can testify that yes, God brought me through it, but not without UNneccessary damage. I am currently separated from my husband of 8 1/2 years. Our relationship is toxic and I refuse to put my kids through what I went through and what my father went through by witnessing festering unions and living beneath that oppression for an entire childhood. I WILL BREAK THE CHAIN of exposing children to that sort of devastation!

    • Shell, I’m with you on this. Everyone says “Continue to turn to God and he will restore you marriage” I understand this and I have done this but things still stayed the same. I refuse to let my 4-year old son witness how his dad treats me. My son already says bad words and when I tell him to not say stuff like that he says “well, Daddy says that to you!” He is already copying everything that his Dad does and its not something I want him to witness and grow up to be like. I understand your pain, frustration, etc Shell.

  45. Jessica Pegram says:

    I just wanted to thank Melissa and Nikki for leading this study and thank this amazing group of women for sharing all their stories and being an inspiration!! Right now my #YESTOGOD moments are all about the small things… I’m a control freak with a 1 year old daughter (and work full time, oh and have a husband that must get attention somewhere in there)- that just doesn’t mix. My once perfectly clean house and organized routine are out the door and I’m trying really hard to be at peace with that. Saying YES to God means letting those small things go and not letting it mess up my day, to really spend quality time with my daughter while she’s this age for such a short amount of time and really treasure it vs. being annoyed when my kitchen cupboards have been emptied and everything is in the middle of the floor, including the food she threw on the floor from dinner she didn’t want to eat, etc. etc. This has been the most challenging thing I’ve ever had to do, but all I can think is that God is using this to really get rid of that control freak inside of me and realize he’s in control, he will provide, he will give me the strength and patience every day to get through it. I just need to say YES God, you’re in control, I’m stepping aside, just tell me what to do. Love you ladies and prayers for all of you and saying YES to god!!

  46. Young Heart Break says:

    I felt so alone in my struggle before reading all these comments. Thank you for sharing your stories.
    I’m 24 and have been married only 3 years. My husband and I were high school sweetheart; he was my first and only boyfriend. My first love. My first kiss. We married in college at 21. We both were raises in christian families. Two months ago I discovered he has been unfaithful through it all. I am now aware that he struggles with homosexuality and has had countless anonymous meetings with more men than he can count. My husband is ashamed, repantant and wants more than anything to change. We have been seeing a Christian counselor who is guiding us. I am asking God to guide me to a godly woman to mentor me. My husband doesn’t have anyone in his life he feels he could talk to about this. Neither of our families have an idea anything is wrong. God is hold my heart so close. He has been my strength, shield, and refuge. I have never been closer to Him. The Bible says in Proverbs that we need to hear the advice of the wise Christians around us. However, I feel I don’t have anyone to confide in. Hoping that some of you woman have advice.

    • Dear Young,

      Please hold onto Jesus! While our husbands’ struggles are different, I see so much of what I went through in what you are going through. (You can read my story above under ‘Restored’) My husband also felt like he couldn’t talk to anyone. He was ashamed because he believed the lie from Satan that ‘our family would never do anything like this. Our family all lived in happy marriages.’ We too were both raised in loving Christian homes and our parents are still together and set amazing examples for us. We truly thought we were above troubles in our marriage. Like that would never happen to us. But the truth is that we ALL have sin struggles and no one sin is worse than another. God delivered my husband from an emotional affair that was on the brink of ruining our marriage. Things seemed pretty hopeless, quite impossible. But thankfully we serve a God that specializes in doing the impossible! Reading your post reminded me of how I felt during the absolute darkest days of my entire life. I urge you to pray without ceasing. Call upon women of faith to stand with you in prayer. Don’t even think about how it will look to them that you are going through this. Satan wants you to think you are alone in this. What I realized when I began reaching out to others is that SO MANY of them had endured something similar. As you can see here, we all have been through or are going through difficult times. The Bible clearly states time and time again that The Lord will deliver you. His plans are to give you a hope and a future. He created marriage and wants you to put your trust in Him to heal your marriage. For me, I had to come to the realization that I had NOTHING if I didn’t have Christ as my focus. I had to literally give Him everything before I was able to move forward. Cling to Him. Refocus on Him. And NEVER stop praying. I believe with my whole heart that your husband can and will be delivered and your marriage will be restored. If you haven’t already, go listen to the song ‘Restore’ by Chris August. I don’t know about you but God definitely speaks to me through song. And every word of this song was meant for every person that has commented on this blog post. Praying for you, dear.

  47. I know the good Christian thing to say is that marriage is worth it and that God stands by us through it all & when we look back we can see all the wonderful things He was doing through the pain & turmoil, but I can’t help but wonder, “When will it be worth this?” When will it be worth feeling unwanted and lonely? When will it be worth being emotionally single but having to live as a married woman? When will it be worth the scars? When will it be worth constant pain? Do I have to wait until life on earth is over before I have relief? I have to say I completely relate to Shell’s comments above. How long until enough is enough? I’ve been married for 13 1/2 years and I am haunted by the thought that my daughters will most likely marry a man like their dad. Don’t get me wrong, he could be worse, but this kind of “marriage” is the last thing I want for my daughters. I’m watching a very dear friend try to stay with her marriage and rely on God through the misery of her husband’s struggle with severe alcoholism, but she wonders the same thing. Is it ever going to be worth this? We are all fallen, flawed beings. Forgiveness is necessary for us all on a daily basis. But again, if two people are and have been completely miserable for years on end, is it not ever ok to give up and move on? The churchy answer inside of me says, “No, because God can restore it.” Yes, I agree. But, He also gives us free choice. So what do we do when our husbands choose everything but God? Therein lies my greatest struggle. God is good & faithful. He is a God of healing & restoration, but will He do it if a person refuses to submit? And if the answer to that question is “no,” then how long must we struggle before enough really is enough?

    • Dear Unclear,

      Where you are is EXACTLY what my husband was feeling. We had BOTH lost sight of what marriage was and how we needed to focus it on God and how we could bring Glory to Him through our union instead of what we could get out of the marriage for ourselves. I neglected his needs both physically and emotionally without ever even recognizing it until he said he wanted out. My marriage is PROOF that God can restore your EXACT situation. My husband knew the ‘churchy’ answer was to stay in the marriage, but that made him feel trapped. He wanted nothing more than to just leave. (Read my story above.) He also didn’t want our kids to have our *then current* marriage as their example of what it should be like. There was MUCH prayer that happened before (and during) his turning point. God finally got a hold of him. I believed God would change us and He did. Now the example we have for our kids (who are really too young to understand all of what we just went through) is that we will share with them that we went through a time in our marriage that really lasted years and almost ended it; but by believing that God can fix anything, He restored our marriage and made it more beautiful than it ever was. I believe God can change your marriage too. One thing that helped me was to pray for ME first. There were a million things I could list I wanted my husband to change about himself. But instead of spending my prayer time praying for him, I prayed for God to change me and my heart. Then I prayed that my husband would hear and follow God’s voice.

      I truly hope that you can find hope in my story. It felt like my whole situation was impossible. When I shared it with others it really seemed like the logical solution was to give up. In my thoughts, I would hear that lie from Satan over and over and over again. I just rebuked it and refused to believe it. I encourage you to do the same. I had to lean on this verse: Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” The world today will tell you (one of Satan’s lies) to follow your heart. But the Bible clearly states that we can’t do that. It’s what we know is true in our minds…. what we can learn from God in His Word – that’s what we need to follow. I hope you find encouragement to stay the course. Surround yourself with people who will speak God’s Truth about your situation. I was careful not to share my situation with my friends who were non believers. I needed to hear ONLY a biblical perspective. And sure, some of my friends who aren’t believers may have encouraged me the same to stay with it and not give up, but my goal was to hear from God at every possible moment. I now feel confident in sharing my story with my non believing friends if it ever arises knowing it will be a testimony to God’s faithfulness in my life and ultimately it will bring Glory to Him.

      Praying for you,
      Restored

  48. Oh, Lysa!! This reminds me of the evening about 3 years ago that I dumped an entire bowl of chili on the kitchen floor to get under my “obsessively clean” husband’s skin!! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has temporary moments of insanity that involve thowing food!!! It felt so satisfying at the time, and it angered him in the way that I had intended. Luckily, we laugh at it now. But it did NOT fix the situation at the time. Thanks for your words of encouragement. I pray, recently more than ever, that Jesus give me self control in my words and actions so that I can TRY to better each tough situation!

  49. Giovanna Arnold says:

    Wow, you got me were I live right now. We are trying to adjust to our empty nest, with kids in college, after 23 years of a messy marriage with total commitment of being in love. We have our good and bad times, yet the words are few most days while we try to pastor two different churches.

  50. We go to the lawyer on Tuesday to file for divorce. If I could refuse and push some sort of button to make it all go away I would. So many broken promises. So many hard days ahead. Our youngest son still doesn’t know his dad’s plan. I feel powerless, angry, scared, lonely, and so broken hearted. I love this man. I made a pledge until death do us part. My understanding is a physical death, not a turning away from the Lord. He needs counseling and maybe some medication. He refuses. I’m asking you all to pray that God’s will be done, and that he gives me the strength to accept whatever that may be. I want my husband to get some help, and for us to get help together before he does this awful deed. Going through with this will tear 6 lives apart. Ours and our 4 children’s. He’s still living here, and having to see him every day is making me physically ill. Please God, heal his heart and mine and bring him back to you and to us.

    • Maria, I am so very sorry you and your family are going through this. I pray for God to intervene so that your marriage doesn’t fail and in time you and your husband can get help, heal the wounds, and find happiness and love with each other again. I know this is awful and you are devastated and feeling completely defeated right now… Please don’t lose faith though! Have faith that God will work this for your good and for His good! I will continue to keep you, your husband, and your children in my prayers…

  51. I have read many of the posts and feel for those that do not have a wonderful marriage. Please pray for my mom who has been married to her second husband for 16 years and has thought about leaving him for another man. She now claims that the other man is her friend. I do not believe this is where God wants her to be. Living life like single woman. She is unhappy with her husband do to a lot of hurt. Pray that God would restore her marriage and have a change of heart. Thanks lysa for the devotion

  52. Pray for my marriage of 11 years. My wife has separated for the past two months. I struggled with alcoholism and have been recovered by submitted to Gods will not mine. By His grace, I have been able to become closer to Him and his word. I struggle with the fear of loosing my love. She says she is done and does not love me like she did before. I didnt really know what love was until i read the 5 Love languages and the Love Dare. Now its clear, love IS a choice. Not a feeling. You must create love acts, not for yourself, but for others! I pray daily for God to intervene and soften my wifes heart and that she returns to HIM. Our marriage can be so much more with God at the helm and us putting him first. Pray for a reconciled marriage for us and a change in my wifes heart please. I am alone, scared, and sad. Thank you.

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