I’ve been asked this question regarding a broken marriage so many times over the last couple of years, that my answers lately have seemed canned and monotonous. This week it’s as if God sucker-punched me when I received an email from a reader. I get many emails a week, and this one was different, yet just like the rest. Her desperation jumped right out of the screen. She was hopeless and in despair over her marriage. I could relate. I remembered. The writer was me, but it wasn’t me at all. The was her question:
WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO REPAIR YOUR BROKEN MARRIAGE?
It’s a loaded question and one that has a plethora of answers. The honest answer is this: there is no magic formula to repairing a broken marriage. I wish there was. I wish we could just snap our fingers and poof, things would be better.
Repairing and restoring a broken marriage is hard, that’s why we need God. Without Him, it’s almost impossible. Actually, I want to take the “almost” out. It’s impossible to restore a broken marriage without Him.
You can repair your marriage without Him. But a restored marriage? It’s impossible to have a restored marriage without God.
You need Him, my friend. Oh, how we need Him.
As I was talking to my husband this weekend, I thought I’d see what response he’d give. So I asked him:
How would you encourage others to fight for their broken marriage? When you were at your most desperate moment, how did you do it? How did you fight for us?
He focused his thoughts for a minute, looked over at me with a passion and eagerness and said this:
Focus on the person you’re fighting FOR, not the person your fighting WITH.
Well, there ya go. That.will.preach. WOW. As I say quite often, HOLLA! That’s powerful, friends.
You get what he’s saying, right? Let me explain from my perspective.
After my husband found out about my affair it was important that he focus on the person he married, not the person who I had become because of the affair. Sin had crept its way into my heart and turned me into someone I wasn’t. I’m so thankful for his wisdom and that he could see that. It was such an emotional time for us, but it was important that he take emotion out of it and see the truth of who the person was that he married.
As we continued our conversation, we listed 9 other ways to fight for your broken marriage.
1. CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY.
You can’t take your words back. You can apologize, but they’ll always be there. I know this is hard. When others hurt us, we want to hurl emotion-filled words their way. It feels good, right? It’s only a temporary fix that leads to more pain. s
Proverbs 10:19 – Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
So, shut yo mouth, my friend. Shut it. Save those words for when you’re alone in your car, and then cuss and curse the devil…because that’s who your fighting against. We fight not against flesh and blood but the dark forces around us. This scripture isn’t only for that annoying co-worker that is trying to get your job, or that one friend who tries to one-up you at every turn. It’s as much or more for your spouse.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” Ephesians 6:12.
Girl- get those gloves out and punch that devil in the FACE.
2. LIMIT THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU TO THOSE THAT SUPPORT YOUR DECISION TO WORK ON YOUR BROKEN MARRIAGE.
This may sound surprising, but you don’t need people in your life that will take your side; you need unbiased support and those who can look at the bigger picture. Lordy, my husband had the reason of all reasons to shun and divorce me. His friends wouldn’t have blamed him. In fact, I’m sure some of them wanted to tell him to do that exact thing. Be careful with those types of friends and family who don’t use wisdom in their words to you.
3. SEEK PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING.
By all means, seek professional, Christian counseling. This was HUGE for our restoration. If you don’t know any counselors in your area, call a church in your area and ask for referrals. You can do this anonymously.
…a wise man listens to counsel –Proverbs 12:15
4. HONOR THE VOW YOU TOOK, “FOR BETTER OR WORSE.”
Are you going through “the worse?” Often times, when we say those vows we might envision the worse part being fights over toilet seat covers and toothpaste caps, and it’s so much more than that. What’s your worse? What has caused your marriage to be broken? Whatever it is, that’s your worse. I know what you’re thinking. An eye for an eye. Oh, friend, this is hard, I know. But the reward you will be given…
5. AS EMOTIONAL AS IT SEEMS, TRY AND RELY ON BIBLICAL LOGIC, NOT “KNEE-JERK REACTIONS.”
Proverbs 3:5-7 -Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, He will show you the right path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
6. REMEMBER THE GOOD TIMES.
Remember the good times you had before this happened, and fight for them. Fight for the good times! As we brainstormed this list, John said: “I didn’t want to throw away our good times, I didn’t want to give them up.” Thank God my husband was standing in the gap. He was betrayed yet still stood in the gap. So, stand in that gap!
Fight for the good times!
I know this seems so typical. But it’s not what you pray, it’s how. It’s not the quantity of your prayers, it’s the quality. Praying often is necessary, yes. But there are times when our marriage is so broken, we don’t know how to pray. And let’s be honest; sometimes we don’t even know how to pray. You don’t have to pray big, eloquent prayers. God hears our prayers, period. He hears the words coming out of your mouth.
When you wake up every morning, say this prayer to God, and mean it. “God, please help me through this day. Give me wisdom.” And at the end of the day, say this, “Thank you God for this day.”
These prayers seem simple and short, yes. But the simple prayers above can be life-changing.Remember quality.
8. DON’T COMPARE.
If your marriage is broken, this is so important: don’t compare your marriage to others’ marriage. Know that every marriage has had or will have struggles. It’s just life. If you see another seemingly happy couple, don’t compare. (Who knows what they’ve gone through, or will go through.) When you compare, it puts too great of expectations on your own marriage and it just isn’t healthy. Mind your business, and focus on your own marriage.
9. BE PATIENT.
Know that your broken marriage will more than likely not be repaired overnight. Marriage is hard work. It’s not for the weak. But it’s the most rewarding. If you put the hard work into restoring your broken marriage, you will, in turn, be rewarded with a happy, authentic, lovely marriage. Take one day at a time.
One of my favorite resources for restoring broken marriages is Marriage Today by Jimmy Evans. We love Jimmy Evans because he’s practical, holds nothing back, and he speaks truth.
I also love Fierce Marriage with Ryan and Selena Frederick. Their website has is a wealth of information plus they’ve published two books.
This piece originally appeared at shannongeurin.com, published with permission.