Reader Question of the Week: How Has God Made a Difference in Your Marriage?

'Questions?' photo (c) 2008, Valerie Everett - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Every weekend I like to throw up a question someone sends in and let you readers have a go at it. Last week we had a great discussion trying to help a woman who wasn’t attracted to her husband anymore.

This weekend, given Easter weekend, I thought that rather than post on a big problem that people have, I’d try to put the focus back on Christ.

Gary Thomas once wrote that God’s purpose for marriage was far more about our holiness than it was about our happiness. So let me ask the question this week: how has God made a difference in your marriage? What has He been teaching you?

And if some of you who are married to people who aren’t as committed to Christ as you are could chime in, I’m sure that you could encourage some of our readers as well!

Comments

  1. God makes a huge difference in our marriage. I know without him it would not have survived the 20 years it has and I’m expecting many more years because of him. Marriage is a tool he uses to help portray his relationship with his church. We can learn so much of what we need spiritually to connect with God by the things we learn in marriage. The biggest lesson he has been working on me with lately is the lesson of selfishness. It is such a hard one to learn, yet daily in marriage he gives us opportunities to practice this lesson. And the good news is, if we fail one day, we get another one to try again. And as time goes on, we get better :)

    • God’s been working on me with the same thing: selfishness. My husband has really changed over the last five years; he’s become so giving, and so focused on me. But I fear that I take advantage of it and don’t reciprocate. And God is gently reminding me that I need to put others first, rather than just coast on their goodwill.

  2. God has continually been showing me how blessed my marriage can be when I let Him take control. I am a very motivated, type A person who likes to control situations (and people, sad to say!) and I’ve learned in hard ways that those methods don’t bring about lasting change in a marriage. When I finally gave up trying so hard to change my husband and myself and surrendered my marriage to God in prayer, I started seeing so much more of His grace and the blessings in our relationship. Control is still and issue for me, but I thank God that He has shown me early on in my marriage that grace and prayer is much more powerful!

    • Oh, Nicole, from what control freak to another, I hear you! I remember writing a post about how to lose the control freak, and how to let God take control. It is not easy. But God is good!

  3. It doesn’t really work when only one person is trying to glorify God in a marriage. I’m so lonely and brokenhearted all the time. It seems like he only talks [for ten seconds] to me or spends [tiny amounts of] time with me when he wants me to do something for him. Then my hopes get up and I feel all sunshiny until I [quickly] realize that it was false hope, that nothing has changed. It doesn’t matter how much right I do. Trying to get through to him is like trying to communicate with a brick wall. I’m so sick of it.
    Jen recently posted…It’s such a perfect day – I’m glad I spent it with you.My Profile

    • Jen, I know you’re really hurting. But if I could offer some encouragement for Easter, I love my friend Carla’s comment on another post, right here. She just sums up how sometimes it takes wrestling in prayer and fasting, and wrestling some more, but as we keep our focus on Christ and keep fighting through, God is enough, and God does do amazing things.

      Here’s praying amazing things for your marriage!

  4. I would say God has made a HUGE difference in my marriage! The fact that we are still married after almost 13 years says a lot for how God will work in a marriage if we allow Him to! I have drawn nearer to Christ over the last few years. My husband is a Christian, but we just have two totally different relationships with God. For me, God has shown me that if I am seeking His approval instead of my husband’s, He will bless me immensely. That’s been a tough lesson to learn for me… that seeking God’s approval rather than that of anyone here on earth is the most important part of our walk. In addition to that, realizing that my home is the most important ministry I have in my life has made a big difference. If I am not mimicking Christ’s Love to my husband and children, then I am not an advocate for Him at all. None of this is easy, especially when it’s combined with a past full of mistakes, resentments that start to build up, disappointments along the way. But knowing how much I am forgiven and wiped clean by Christ encourages me to be the same with those I love the most, especially my husband. I am new to your blog, and I am loving the posts! Makes me think!!!!
    tamara recently posted…Carry the Death…My Profile

    • Tamara, I’m so glad you found me (isn’t Pinterest great?) and I’m so glad that I make you think. That’s a great insight: that we need to keep our focus on God, and that our home is truly a ministry. Thanks for sharing!

  5. By the abundant grace and mercies of God, I am privileged to be married to the same man for 27+ years and neither of us have ever cheated on the other. I am discovering this is rare and am very thankful. It if weren’t for God, I am absolutely certain we would not have even made it through the first year. He has carried us through MANY a difficult trial. God has brought us from utter hopelessness and despondency to excitement, thrill, life, and the joy of Him and each other. Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned:
    1) Your husband is not responsible for your happiness. You are. True happiness only comes from being grounded in the Word, living for God, and being faithful to COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS. Happiness is a choice just like love is a choice.
    2) Pride, self, the need to control, unforgiveness and bitterness are some of the biggest killers of a good marriage. Get over yourself and purpose to a) PLEASE GOD b) Please your husband.
    3) If you truly desire to glorify God in your marriage, He will give you the strength to overcome. More often than not, you will be overcoming SELF.
    4) Forgiveness is a choice. It is also a commandment. You have the luxury to either obey God, or to disobey God.
    5) If you’re willing to do the opposite of what your flesh typically desires, you will grow a servant’s heart and begin to see a tenderness in your husband towards you that you thought was long dead.
    IT’S ALWAYS WORTH IT. ALWAYS. GIVE ALL TO GOD AND BE WILLING TO DO THE HARD THING. GOD IS A RESTORER OF BROKEN HEARTS AND DREAMS. THERE CAN BE HAPPINESS AND JOY AGAIN, BUT MUCH OF THAT IS UP TO YOU.

    • Elaine, thanks for your insights. They remind me so much of Philippians 2, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” Perfect for Easter weekend.

      And yes, I believe doing the hard thing is worth it. God is a restorer, and this weekend gives us the power. The resurrection opened the door for the Holy Spirit, and it is He who equips us to do these things. Thank you for sharing!

  6. I am divorced, but I still thank G-d for the time I had with my husband, for the lessons I learned, and for the forgiveness I eventually found and embraced. During my marriage, I prayed, fasted, studied my Bible, sought encouragement from my church family, and stayed faithful to my husband. Unfortunately, my husband chose to choke me 4 times and after the last time, my church “mom” came to rescue me. I struggled with the decision to leave but she assured me that G-d was not asking me to lay down my life, and I couldn’t do my husband any good if he killed me. I have since found forgiveness for my ex-husband, but now I choose to serve G-d through volunteer work where I am much safer.

    • Sarah, so glad you found a godly mentor to help you! I would just encourage EVERYONE to have a godly mentor. And I’m glad that you have found joy in serving Him! Have a wonderful Easter.

  7. I actually just wrote a blog post on this! (Linked below). We are doing Chip Ingram’s “God’s Dream for Your Marriage” with an older couple in our church, and it has been such a blessing. We have learned so much and while we didn’t have a “bad” marriage before, it has definitely been getting better and better as God shows us what He desires for us.
    Jen recently posted…On ConflictMy Profile

  8. God has worked wonders in our marriage over the past 4 1/2 months. He has shown us so much grace and mercy that it’s impossible not to show that towards one another. Our marriage is alive and thriving, and we are humbled to be able to help other couples now by leading a marriage Sunday School class and sharing our experiences. God CAN and WILL do amazing things in your marriage… you just have to let Him in!!!!
    Nicole G recently posted…The Gospel and MarriageMy Profile

  9. Allison Wilson says:

    God has shown me, though my own feelings of loneliness during past times in our marriage, that my emotional needs were NEVER meant to be met by my earthly husband. My hubby is not capable of loving me as my Groom, Christ, is. To expect hubby to be all of that is wrong on my part, and setting him up for constant failure. He is to be my helpmeet. Helping me grow closer to my true Groom. Once I accepted him for who he is, and who Christ is making him to be, I wasn’t lonely anymore. I had my Groom to supply ALL my needs, and my husband was free to be the person God intended him to be. I was free to enjoy the man who God chose for me to walk this life with rather than keep trying to make him into what I THOUGHT he should be. Life’s a lot more fun, and there are next to no fights! Praise Him!

  10. First of all I have to say that God alone has made my marriage last this long. I tried on my own and just about killed us. But these are just a few of the things God has taught me:

    – God doesn’t promise happy marriages but gives power so we can have holy marriages.
    – it’s not about me.
    – The fruits of the Spirit are for marriage too… including self-control (think my tongue, my words, my attitude, my….. yep… everything.)
    – My husband carries the image of God and that alone is reason to respect him. Christ died for him. Praise God for Easter!

  11. God has made a huge difference in our marriage, especially because we are equally yoked. Equally yoked does not mean that we agree on everything or we never argue fuss or fight. What is does mean is that our foundation is secure. Because we take our spiritual walk seriously, we look to God as our source not each other. Now I can only speak for me (not him), God is molding in to his character daily through marriage. For example, you have to be willing to forgive and FORGET. Not forgetting is time consuming and leads to grudges. God is also teaching me how to be selfless. We all go through things and in our case one goes through something while the other one does not. Regardless, God has to give me the grace to get through and he does.
    I don’t mean to sound sanctimonious and pious, but looking around at others – without God being truly in the center of our marriage, we’d be using worldly solutions to solve spiritual problems.
    Hope this makes sense.
    nylse recently posted…Spring BreakMy Profile

  12. I think the biggest difference God has made in our marriage is that we started out our life together both knowing we couldn’t fulfill each other’s needs – only God can do that. Now, do we sometimes forget that and get frustrated with each other? Sure. We’re not perfect. But God is the foundation we can both always come back to as individuals, which makes us stronger as a couple.
    Melissa recently posted…Thoughts on “Twilight”…My Profile

  13. He’s made ALL the difference! I’m learning {rather slowly after 42 years of life} that He is faithful WHEN we obey. Funny thing, how we learn the words to the old hymn Trust and Obey yet we take years to grasp the lesson. His principles work. We just have to do our part. Trust and obey.
    Rena Gunther recently posted…R-e-s-p-e-c-tMy Profile

  14. God has taught me lessons.that I could.never have learned outside.offmarriage
    Marriage has empowered me. It has taught me to love someone.greater than myself. Through loving my husband.i.have learned to love.and.honor.Christ. I have been given a family and learned to appreciate a.calling.r that has never been appreciated.in my home growing up but.is an entirely important calling.on a Christian womens life. I am now a homemaker. And.I.find.my.joy.in serving my family. It wasnt.until.marriage that I was.able.to.find.joy in service

  15. Last week I had a mini meltdown, but it was wonderful and refreshing and I needed it. I finally turned everything over to God – including my husband. Over the weekend, I saw a positive change in my relationship with God and my relationship with my husband. It’s so hard to surrender sometimes – to just let go and let God, but He’s been working in my heart and life for some time now. I find it’s easy to tell others to surrender everything to God and not put their husbands before God but it’s sooooooo hard to practice what you preach sometimes. God has become top priority in my life again and I’m so grateful! His love and grace and forgiveness has not only strengthened my character, but it’s strengthening the bonds of intimacy between my husband and I, and strengthening my zeal for Christ!
    Hannah Williams recently posted…Swing Into Childhood- Dare #12My Profile

  16. Amythest says:

    I’d say yes, God has made a difference in me b/c of my marriage. Notice I said *me* not my marriage! When I finally grasped that God never intended this man I married to meet all my needs, that I didn’t have to have anyone but HIM, GOD, I was set free. That doesn’t mean that from time to time I really feel upset that my husband refuses to show affection and refuses to have sex with me, but at the same time I know God will meet my needs, that I’m worth something to God, that he loves me and I’m His. That has left me open to offer affection if I choose, offer myself for sex if he wants (he doesn’t) but at least I’m not devastated with the rejection. Am I happy with the way things are? No. But God know what will happen and frankly, I don’t have the strength or will to try to fix it anymore. I am content to rest on God, to know that He will meet my needs, to know He loves me no matter what, and to believe that if I hadn’t married I wouldn’t have understood this like I do. No it hasn’t been pleasant but since this is where I am, I must believe that this is where God wants me. No I’m not always happy, but I do go back to where I was and remember what God has for me and remember that nothing, not even my husband, can come between me and God.

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