Question (from a pastor’s wife): (Regarding falling-apart marriages needing to be addressed during a church series…) “Yes, give us the words. How would you answer the questions you raised?” (In other words, “What would you say to the hurting woman in a falling-apart marriage?”)
I’ve said these things before, but they bear repeating.
There is a difference between a struggling marriage and a bad marriage. All marriages take work, and some marriages are struggling. All bad marriages are not characterized solely by abandonment or adultery. A bad marriage is one that could also be characterized by lies and deception, betrayal, abuse in myriad forms, or addiction. It’s not okay to be lied to. It’s not okay to not be able to trust your spouse. It’s not okay to be hit. It’s not okay to be called names. It’s not okay to be manipulated. It’s not okay to be humiliated. It’s not okay to be controlled. It’s not okay to have to decide if you can get in the car with your spouse because he’s so inebriated. These are not the things that God wants for you.
But if you are in that kind of marriage, there is hope for you. I know you don’t feel like there is, but there is. God is a God of hope and healing, and the way your marriage is functioning right now is not God’s plan for youor for your spouse. God doesn’t want you living in such pain and he doesn’t want your spouse living in such enslavement to sin. God’s heart is breaking right along with yours.
So if you’re in this kind of marriage — and deep down, you know if you are –- there is only one piece of advice I would have for you: get help. You are past the point of fixing your marriage on your own. Abuse and addictions don’t just stop by themselves. God wants you to get help. You are allowed to tell someone and to get help. Get yourself in Celebrate Recovery or AlAnon. Get yourself in counseling. Get yourself in your pastor’s office and tell the scary truth until you are heard and understood and helped. Know that not everyone will know how to deal with your specific marriage issues, so keep asking for help until you’re understood. Our enemy wants the person in a failing marriage to do one of two things: to just resign herself to a life of devastation and depression and isolation or to walk away without trying. Don’t let him win.
Let me also say this: I fear what’s possibly even worse than the person who just walks away from her falling-apart marriage before getting thorough help (and I do think that’s so sad) is the woman who packs it up emotionally, who resigns herself to a life of hopelessness, loneliness, and sadness, who believes nothing can be done, so she does nothing at all. There is always, always something that can be done to attempt to bring about change. Fight hard. Pray hard. And get help until you’re helped.
“I am GOD your healer.” Exodus 15:27
Where you can find help:
Celebrate Recovery: http://www.celebraterecovery.com/
Christian counselors: http://www.aacc.net/resources/find-a-counselor/
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here.