Your marriage is struggling. You pray (and you should!). But when you pray it’s easy to fall into one of two ditches. Either you sit back and wait for God to “fix” things, or your prayers become just one more lever you pull in trying to make your marriage what you want it to be. And you may regularly flip between those two ways of thinking. You don’t really trust God with your marriage.
You may have waited in vain for your spouse to hear your silent cries for help, or deal with their addiction, or meet your needs. You’re slowly dying inside. If your spouse would only change, things would be so much better. Your prayers are your hidden attempt to get God to address with your spouse what you’re not addressing. And you’ve pretty much given up on things being any different.
Or perhaps you’ve tried everything you can think of to “force” your spouse to change. You’ve tried the silent treatment. You’ve tried talking to them, pleading with them, shaming or criticizing them, trying to control them, leaving subtle or not so subtle hints, and nothing’s working. Maybe you’ve tried “submitting”, and things only get worse. Perhaps praying; yes, that should change things! God can get your spouse to change when you can’t!
How’s that working for you?
Doesn’t God care about your marriage? What other choice do you have?
It’s time to open your clenched fists and trust God with your marriage.
Can God Be Trusted?
You might quickly say Yes. And that’s true! He can be trusted. But look at your behavior. Are you truly trusting God with your marriage?
Consider the internal messages you are telling yourself. It might sound like, “If I trust God with my marriage, we’ll never have sex again. I can’t handle that.” Or, “I keep asking God to help my marriage, and nothing’s happening. I’ve got to do something.” Or, “Doesn’t God want me to be happy? Then this marriage can’t be what He wants.”
Perhaps you imagine “trusting God” would mean putting up with abusive behavior or ongoing addiction. Or you suppose it means God would ask you to give up sex forever because your spouse has “issues.” Or maybe it would mean misery and disconnection indefinitely.
It’s easy to assume that “trusting God” means things are the way He wants them to be, and then sit back and do nothing.
And nothing could be farther from the truth.
How God Feels About Your Marriage
God hates what harms His children. And a broken marriage does that. Remember that when anger, entitlement, disconnection, violence, bitterness, betrayal, or addiction are stealing, killing, and destroying your marriage, it’s the enemy at work, not God.
God wants your marriage to be one of wholeness, healing, growth, and intimacy. He wants your marriage to be one more testimony to His miracle-working grace.
God is well able and eager to restore anyone and anything where He is given opportunity to do so. In marriage both you and your spouse get a vote. You can’t control your spouse’s vote, and not even God will override your vote or your spouse’s vote.
It takes hard work for change to happen in a marriage relationship, perhaps harder than anything you’ve ever done. People who “slide” into marriage, or settle for less hoping to change their spouse later, are usually the most disillusioned. You can certainly make the decision to do your own hard work, and you should. But the rest is out of your control.
And how we humans hate being out of control!
That’s why trusting God with your marriage is really the only viable alternative.
Fighting for your marriage does not mean trying to control your spouse. And it doesn’t mean you let ongoing bad behavior continue without consequences. It does mean cooperating with God is what He wants to do.
How to Trust God With Your Marriage
Trusting God with your marriage means you let Him determine the outcome. (Remember, being out of control?)
It means you open your hands and do what He says regardless of the circumstances. You bring your feelings, your heart, to Him, believing His hands are the only place your heart is 100% safe. You do the hard work He gives you to do, letting the Holy Spirit change you from the inside out.
Along the way you choose to believe He has a good future for you regardless of what happens in your marriage. You trust your spouse’s heart to Him, knowing you can’t change it but He can, if your spouse gives Him that chance.
When the Holy Spirit brings something up to you, you say Yes. You let go of bitterness and unforgiveness. You learn what it means to set healthy boundaries, or to find your own voice, or to pursue heart intimacy when it seems impossible, or to stay engaged when communication becomes difficult, or whatever other steps He brings before you to take. And you keep doing it even when it’s hard.
Your marriage is like a broken toy that a child brings to a parent. “Fix it, mommy, daddy!” As long as your child keeps that broken toy in their clenched fists you can’t help.
Listen to the messages in your head about what it would mean to trust God with your marriage. Do they ring true with who God is?
Then bring your broken marriage to Him, and open your hands so God can do His work. Believe what He says, and do what He tells you to do.
It’s the only way your marriage has a chance of being healed.
And regardless of what happens with your marriage, trusting God is only way your heart can be healed.
Your Turn: How well have you been trusting God with your marriage? Will you choose to trust Him with your marriage now, even without knowing the outcome? Leave a comment below.
Tweetables: why share this post?
- Do you really trust God with your marriage? Your head may say Yes. But does your behavior say the same thing? He’s the only One who truly can be trusted, you know. Tweet that.
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