Relationships

How Giving Up Saved My Marriage

By Paula Richey 

I started crying. I was sitting in the dark auditorium, hearing that God cared about my marriage and didn’t want it to die. “God,” I prayed, “I’m sorry.” The strange thing was that my husband and I had no “big” sins to repent of. We needed to repent of ordinary life.

We looked to everyone but Jesus to help us, and we failed.

Erosion of trust

We did what we thought was right. We used civil language. I never nagged. He had a good job, and we lived within our means. When I became overwhelmed with our baby and the house, I read relationship books and arranged counseling.

When my husband became frustrated with certain things, he told me what bothered him and what he thought my priorities ought to be. According to the experts, this ought to have “cleared the air” and helped us “resolve our issues,” but I felt like a disappointment, and I resented the endless list of things I failed at.

We became frustrated and angry, and our trust in each other eroded until we were so suspicious of what the other was really thinking that we never talked. I didn’t want the blame for our failed marriage, so I waited for him to walk out. But he was equally determined not to be the one to crack, so we stayed together, even when our counselor gave up on us and advised a trial separation.

Not looking to Jesus

Even though we sincerely accepted Jesus before we married, we were both slack about actually following Him. We reasoned away our need for Jesus to be truly in our lives, since we thought we were such sensible people.

We looked to everyone but Jesus to help us, and we failed.

Giving Up Control

At the time, giving control of my marriage to God was unthinkable. I never imagined that He would work a miracle to save my marriage – until that day at NewSpring.

At last I realized the real difference between God’s vision of marriage and mine. It wasn’t simply bigger or smarter or more forgiving. It was meant to be a working model of His great love for us.

Jesus had died to salvage and repair my relationship with God, and He had the will and power to do the same for my marriage. I committed right then to listening to and obeying God, so that I could see God’s vision happen in my life.

Christ At The Center

That week, I called NewSpring and was referred to counselors who understood God’s vision for marriage and worked with us to set our relationship right.

Slowly we put away what we felt we were entitled to and began working for the good of each other. We began to consciously put God first in every area of our lives, including giving God 10 percent of our gross income through the church. We prayed more. We read the Bible.

God’s promises were proven true again and again. And our marriage was pulled up and set right – not by any wisdom the world had to offer, but by God Himself.

More Than A Feeling

God has been in charge of our marriage for five years now. We love each other again, and this time our love is more than a feeling – it’s active and alive, and so is our marriage. Jesus enabled our hearts to change, and I know that without His direction, our marriage would have been lost. In God, all things – even our marriage – really do hold together.

**This article originally appeared at www.newspring.cc.

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