Question: “Can God do a supernatural work despite the lack of steps being followed?”
Yes. And, well, that makes it harder, but still, yes.
Let’s get one thing clear. God can do whatever he wants, whenever he wants, however he wants. He doesn’t need our approval, our input, our cooperation, our anything. He is God. We are not. He is sovereign, in control, everywhere, all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful.
If he wants to do a supernatural work, he will do a supernatural work.
And yet. This is where it becomes a bit of a sticky wicket. Because the obvious question – in our circumstances or hurting and broken marriages – would be: then why doesn’t he heal every marriage?
I don’t know. But I do believe this. Author Lysa Terkeurst says, “We know that all things are possible with God. But all things are not possible with people who refuse to be led by the Holy Spirit.”
So, with firmly showing that I don’t understand how God works, I can tell you this.
You don’t control God or the outcome of your life.
You don’t control anyone else but yourself.
And that is where we start. We do every single thing we can to restore our marriages.
We ask for help.
We ask for godly advice.
We follow that advice.
We hold our tongue.
We speak as kindly and as respectfully as possible.
We rehearse truth, like God loves us no matter what anyone else says, that we are precious in his sight, that God is for us, that he will never abandon us, that he is our refuge and our strong tower, that he is our healer.
If abuse is in the picture, we leave for a time if physically in danger, and we set boundaries and do what we need to do minimize the harsh influence of our husbands on our hearts and minds.
If addiction is in the picture, we join a recovery group for those who love people with addictions.
We read books on marriage.
We get counseling.
We work on what we are doing wrong: how we handle our anger, how we speak, how we fill ourselves up when lonely or sad.
We strengthen our walk with God through prayer, Scripture reading, getting into a Bible study, staying connected with friends who love Jesus.
We can beg God to change our hearts and to soften our husbands’, and to intervene and to heal us.
We can wait with hope.
We are not powerless. We are not without options.
We are not in control of whether our marriages will turn around, but we can do our part. We must do our part. We must move out of the way for our husbands to take responsibility to do their parts. And we must trust that God will carry us through, and do a supernatural work, even if it looks nothing like what we wanted. He’s still God.
If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage, found here. my three-month e-course, Marriage Methods (now pay what you can), found here; and check out my podcast, All That to Say.
*if you’re not safe or if you or your children are being physically or sexually hurt, please set up a safety plan (http://www.ncdsv.org/images/DV_Safety_Plan.pdf) and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233)