This is an article, which features couples whose marriages were saved and transformed. We asked some of the couples whose marriages were once in crisis and who now serve with us in ministry what they would say to you. Here is what each couple shared.
From: Mark and Debbie
To: The person trying to save a marriage alone
I (Debbie) want to say that if you are working on your marriage with an unwilling spouse, you must not underestimate the power that you have with God by your side. If your spouse is in sin, you don’t need to be his or her judge and jury. When I didn’t want to save our marriage, Mark had to learn to get out of the way so that God could convict me of my hard heart.
Learn to entrust your spouse to God and take care of your own side of the street. Your relationship with your spouse will never be as important as your relationship with God. The truth is, you are not going to heaven with your spouse by your side. You will stand before God on your own.
I (Mark) want to encourage you to pray without ceasing. It is the most powerful weapon you have! So many people forget that, and they get busy trying to play God in their spouses’ lives. I had to learn to entrust Debbie to God, even when I knew she was walking outside of God’s will. If you will reconcile with God first and do what He tells you to do, then when your spouse repents, you will be ready to reconcile. If your spouse never comes on board, then at least you will be able to move on knowing that you did your part.
From: Marion and Jeanne
To: The couple whose marriage is in crisis
We have been married 45 years, but there was a time when we thought our marriage would end in divorce. Even though we were Christians, you would have never known it by the way we behaved toward each other. I (Jeanne) used to secretly wish I could be a “godly widow” so I wouldn’t have to deal with our marital problems anymore. But God had other plans for us. Instead He wanted us to learn to take our focus off each other. We needed to put it where it belonged —on Him.
Jeanne and I (Marion) were married 10 years. We served in our church when our marriage fell into crisis. Neither one of us wanted to work very hard to save the marriage. But because we were Christians we felt that we at least needed to give it a shot. We want to encourage you as a couple to learn to pray together —from your hearts. A counselor taught us how to pray as a couple. Even though in the beginning we used the prayers to give little digs to each other, God used our prayers to reveal years of unresolved issues in our hearts. We never miss a day without praying with and for each other. We are praying for you too.
From: Clint and Penny
To: The couple or individual whose marriage looks hopeless
Nothing is impossible with God. We are grateful that God gave us a second chance when we remarried after being divorced for 11 years. But that wasn’t just something special He reserved for our marriage. As long as your spouse has not remarried, your marriage can still be saved. No matter how hopeless things might seem, stay focused on God and let Him lead you.
Think of your marriage as you would an invitation to a sacred dance with God. What is required on your part is to accept His invitation, take His hand, and let Him lead you out onto the dance floor. There you will apply the steps you’ve been practicing along the way. Sure, some steps will be much harder to take than others. That’s to be expected. There are stumbling blocks in every relationship and there will be times it seems that for every mountaintop you dance on, a valley awaits on the other side.
But remember that no matter how hampered your steps become, do not hesitate for a moment to listen to the music and follow God’s lead in whatever process He uses to mend your marriage. Keep dancing …and know that we’ll be dancing right beside you.
These testimonies (along with a lot of other helpful information) can be found in the book, Yes, Your Marriage Can Be Saved: 12 Truths for Rescuing Your Relationship. It is written by Joe and Michelle Williams, published by Tyndale House Publishers. This is a Focus on the Family book which gives “12 Truths for Rescuing Your Relationship.”