My marriage was a rocky one. Many people advised against it, however, I believed God put us together as it says in Matthew 19:6 "So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." This verse was written and shared on all of our wedding invitations and decor.
I had many legitimate and worldly reasons to divorce my husband. Out of frustration and terrible soul-wrenching heartbreak, I even filed divorce papers twice. Once at the five-year mark, and once again at the seven-year mark. I stopped them from proceeding each time by God's direction. At this time in our marriage, my husband and I were still considered young Christians. Thankfully there were a few friends from church who came by to prayerfully intervene. I am grateful now, after the fact, for their involvement in revealing God's truth to the situation. At the time of their visit, however, I really did not want them there. I was offended and hurt by the deception of my husband that I felt I was in the right on the steps I wanted to take next. I felt they had no right to intercede because they did not know the truth of what my husband had done, the pain he had caused, and how he broke the covenant trust of our marriage. However, their prayers and God's truth worked on my heart.
Proverbs 19:11, "Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense." I was being called to offer my husband grace and to be slow to anger. I was also being called to forgive, even though many times I did not want to, but it stated it plainly in God's truth in Luke 17:3-4, "Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.” I believe this is also how God forgives us daily for we are all sinners and no one is perfect except Jesus Christ. How could I not forgive as I too want forgiveness for my sin as it says in Ephesians 4:32, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
Because of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 it helped me to know what real love is all about and how it would be applied into the actions of everyday life, "Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
I did not want the enemy to destroy what God had put together. I chose from that day forward to love and fight for my marriage by honoring the vows we made before God, family, and friends. Divorce was no longer an option. Like Paul said, "Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." And that was what I was going to do in my marriage all for God's glory.
I have learned a lot through this marriage. How to forgive and trust again being the biggest ones.
As time passed in our marriage we finally found the cause of the problem we experienced most often, which was the lack of trust. My husband struggled with telling the truth to me out of fear. Fear from my uncurbed reactions. The way I reacted did not create a calm and safe place to reveal ones self wholeheartedly. He was afraid to tell me the truth in situations because of a lack of trust in the way I reacted towards him. Because of the way I reacted, I constantly made him feel he would be attacked. Many times he just told me what he thought I wanted to hear, which in turn created more problems. As a consequence, because of my own reactions, I suffered heartache when God allowed the truth to finally be revealed in many situations, as His word says in Luke 8:17 "For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secrete that will not be known and come to light." I always prayed for truth to be revealed. Some people have told me I am very bold for praying such a prayer. I am at a loss for how to respond to them because I have always been a seeker of the truth.
Because of my broken heart and spirit, I turned to God for all things. My one true source of constant truth that I so craved and desired more than anything. Truth, something I desperately wanted from my husband but was not ever able to receive. God's word is my only source of truth in a world full of lies.
2 Timothy 3:16-17, "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work."
By studying God's Word, and turning to Him first, learning His truth, I have allowed Him to change me by learning to forgive as I want to be forgiven, and to love as He loves me and wants me to love others. He is my greatest example. He has instilled the fruits of the spirit to me through His teachings in Galatians 5:22-23. I am now loving, gentle, and kind in how I respond to all people only by God's work He has done in my life over the years. I was "being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another." as stated in 2 Corinthians 3:18.
Nearing our eighteenth anniversary I found another truth being revealed about my husband. This time instead of just reacting and confronting my husband, as I used to do, the Lord stopped me in my tracks and told me in my spirit, "Hush. My peace be with you. Wait. Be patient and wait for him to confess to you this truth. Let Me work. Otherwise, the cycle will not be broken."
God directed me to 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The waiting for my husband to confess and repent was oh so very hard for me. In my humanistic ways, I wanted immediate results now, not later. I don't like to waste time because time on this earth is short. To curb the overwhelming emotions I experienced, I turned to God in prayer. A Bible passage that He brought to mind any and every time I was experiencing hardship in my life. Sometimes I did not want to hear it, but being a loving Father, He corrects those He loves. He brought me to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." In Christ Jesus...I had to pause and remain in Him during this time. To keep my focus on Him. To rejoice in Him, to pray in continual conversation with Him, and to give thanks for this circumstance that will bring freedom in Him for He brings about all good things for those who love Him.
Three days had passed before my husband finally took me aside after church service. The message that Sunday morning seemed directed towards my husband, and my husband listened. My husband was determined to allow God to change him and stepped up to the calling of God to become more like Christ as the leader in our household. He took me into the "cry room" and confessed the truth and asked for forgiveness. We cried, prayed, and forgave each other. We forgave each other because we both had a part that we played in the whole situation. As it says in Matthew 7:1-3, "Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?" We have our own perspectives, faults, and failures that get in the way of how we see things. God reveals all truth to us. We need to be patient and forgiving with each other, even with ourselves. Marriage is a partnership. There is no 50-50. Where one is weak in an area the other is strong and vice versa. Each person has to give their all, and that all needs to include Christ. As it says in Ecclesiastes 4:10-12, " For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Together with Christ, we are made strong.
That day the cycle was broken. We were set free indeed. We praise God our relationship is now stronger and freer than we have ever experienced before all because I finally stopped trying to do things my way. I listened and obeyed God's direction. I trusted and waited on Him to make things right in His way and timing, His perfect timing. In doing so, it has brought healing and restoration to our marriage.