It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I write a post, and then you all chime in by linking up your own marriage posts to the Linky below!
Today, please welcome guest poster, Kristine McGuire, who shares a riveting story of how God miraculously restored her marriage.
My husband was twenty years old when we married. I was twenty-three. Both of us came from broken homes and armed with the unrealistic expectations of what it meant to be a wife or husband. We thought we understood how to be in a marriage relationship. We believed the three “counseling” sessions we sat through with the pastor who married us was enough to ensure a strong foundation.
How wrong we were.
Our marriage was a struggle from the beginning. We were unsure how to share our needs with one another. Our goals were different. He wanted to gain financial stability, but I wanted to have children right away.
I had no idea how to be a helpmate to my husband. He was unsure (and unwilling) to be the leader of our home. Truth be told, neither of us knew how to love beyond society’s superficial understanding. Years of television and romantic films filled my head with visions of the perfect family never witnessed in my own parent’s relationship. Love which is selfless. Love which provides deep and abiding friendship even in the midst of chaos. Love standing firm upon the covenant shared before God, even when your partner is acting unlovable for a time.
Twelve years into our marriage the bottom dropped out. Angry at God, the church, and each other, we decided we’d had enough. Several years before I’d been introduced to Wicca and wanted to pursue it. Thom, feeling disrespected and unloved, had started an emotional affair with a woman he met in a chat room online. We decided we weren’t making it as a couple and it was time to call it quits.
Making the final decision, I packed up our young daughters and left, running to the the safety of my family. A month was spent packing and shipping boxes to my mother’s home. Because I didn’t have a car, I purchased three tickets on a train to transport us from Virginia to Michigan over a three day trip. Numb to all but my resolve to escape, I didn’t consider the gravity of our decision until it was too late.
Watching my weeping daughters cling to their father, saying goodbye to the most important man in their lives, the pain hit my chest like an anvil. I was a failure. My hopes and dreams of sharing life with this one man shattered into a million pieces. My children’s lives were being forever altered and I was helpless to stop it.
God, however, was not.
My husband and I were separated for a total of five years. We went our separate ways, me into witchcraft and spiritualism, Thom into the night club scene. He did experience an epiphany from God three years in, and we attempted a reunion which failed miserably.
Part of the problem was me. I spent years lying to myself, waffling between occultism and Christianity, believing I could have both. When we did attempt other reconciliations they would never last beyond a year or a few months because we were attempting to change the course of our relationship on our own. And we were never on the same page. Yet, even though we attempted to divorce (twice) it never seemed to work out. There was always a hesitation to move on.
The turning point came in 2006.
My husband had been through counseling for depression, and even though I was still pursuing a spiritual path outside of Biblical faith, we came to realize our marriage could only be restored by God. We came to understand the true meaning of making a covenant. It’s deeper than a promise and more lasting than a vow. When we found unity in this idea, we came to a place where healing could begin. And a year later, my faith was restored in Jesus Christ which meant for the first time in our marriage we truly submitted ourselves as individuals and a couple to God. Finally, we were together as the Lord always intended.
Today, Thom and I enjoy a relationship built upon a strong foundation. We are united in Jesus Christ with a fresh understanding of love and covenant marriage. I am my beloved’s, and he is mine. In fact, my husband and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary on December 17th.
Over the years, I’ve learned there is hope if we will put our faith and trust in God. When I hear of a woman going through the loss of her husband because of separation or divorce, my heart grieves with her. Even so, though a situation may seem hopeless all I can say is hang on. God’s not finished and He’s not forgotten your cry for help or healing. Lean into and trust Him. Pray for your spouse. Allow the Holy Spirit to work whatever change is necessary in you. He is more than able to comfort–and restore–what’s been broken if you will give God the chance to do so.
Kristine’s second book, An Insider’s Guide to Spiritual Warfare: 20 Battle-Tested Strategies from Behind Enemy Lines, will be published Fall 2014.
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