See, as a pastor, many people come to me with marriage problems. I get to have a front row seat to seeing God restore, heal and help families. There are times I have felt God’s grace as much in the counseling office as I have in the pulpit. God cares deeply about your marriage and He stands ready to help you. So for those who are asking the same question, I want to share with you 3 reasons why I believe there is hope for your troubled marriage.
There is Hope, Because Your Problems Are Not Unique To You
When couples sit down with me and begin to describe their problems, it typically does not take long to find a diagnosis. Some are even surprised that I can offer help so quickly. But do you know why this is? It is because most marriage problems are not unique. Think about it for a moment, if something breaks on my vehicle, I need to take it to a mechanic. I do not have the skill to fix it on my own. When I go to a mechanic, I trust that he knows what he is doing. I want him to be able to look under the hood and say, “Oh yes, I see this problem all the time. I know exactly how to fix it.” I would be much more worried if he said, “I’ve never seen anything like this. I’m not sure what to do.”
In a similar way, just like a good mechanic knows how to replace a water pump, a good counselor will be able to detect communication problems. Just as a good mechanic is not afraid to disassemble an engine to replace a blown head gasket, a good counselor is not afraid of the complexity of rebuilding trust in the aftermath of an affair. How can someone like me, who has never worked on an engine, take one apart, repair the damage and put it back together? I can’t because I do not possess that certain skill set. While your marriage problems may not be all that uncommon, you still need someone with the right skill set who can help you get back on track.
To share a personal example, I recently began having serious vision problems. I went to my eye doctor and he immediately sent me to the retina center (immediately as in within the hour). The retina center doctor looked at me and said, “I’m sorry Chad, but you’re going to have to have surgery on your left eye.” I felt sick to my stomach. I just couldn’t image having surgery on something as sensitive as my eye. My imagination went wild and I felt like I was going to panic.
Trying to process the news I just heard, I began asking him questions about what to expect and how many surgeries he had performed like this. To me, in that moment, I felt as though I was the only person who had ever faced this type of surgery. But do you know what he said? He smiled at me and said, “I see this all the time. I have not done hundreds of these surgeries. I have done thousands of them.”
Wow! It immediately gave relief to my panicked heart. While I still dread the surgery and I am not looking forward to the process, I have confidence that this doctor knows what he is doing.
This is why if your marriage is in trouble do not think you will be able to fix it on your own. You need a marriage counselor! You need someone who can smile at you and say, “I see this all the time. I know exactly what to do.”
I am not saying the process is easy (or even pleasant) but I am saying it is worth saving your marriage, just like this surgery is worth saving my vision.
There is Hope, Because Prayer Changes People
Prayer does not just change situations, but prayer changes people. So let me ask you a hard question. Are you praying for God to change you? I did not ask if you are praying for God to change your marriage. I did not even ask if you are praying for God to change your spouse. I am asking if you are praying for God to change you.
Perhaps if there are areas of your own heart God could soften, it would in turn, soften the heart of your spouse? The Lord knows what each of us needs, whether it is spiritual, emotional, relational or physical. He is able to work in our hearts to help bring about change in the circumstances of our life. Examine your heart. Pond Psalm 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Then trust that God will do what He promised, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” Philippians 1:6.
Be careful that you are not someone who is constantly asking the Lord to change your life but you have not yet given God permission to change you. Simply tell the Lord that whatever change He brings to your marriage, let the change begin in you.
There is Hope, Because with God Nothing Is Impossible
Do you really believe God is sovereign? Do you believe that if He has the power to save a soul, He has the power to save your marriage? The Bible is very clear that God honors faith. As matter of fact, it says, “without faith it is impossible to please God” Hebrews 11:6. So think how unpleasing it is to the Lord if you go around telling of your friends how your marriage is about to fall apart and you do not think anything will save it.
Is that faith? Not at all. Not only is it the opposite of faith, but it is very displeasing to the Lord. So how should you view your troubled marriage? Well, you should believe what Jesus said in Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
You have to ask yourself if you believe that, and if your answer is “Yes,” then you have to begin living like you believe that. So when things look bad, you need to stop and pray, “No Lord, You said, ‘but with God all things are possible.’” That is not easy-believism, it is FAITH, and let me remind you, faith is a powerful thing.
If you’re wondering what to do next, talk to your spouse about going to see a counselor. Encourage them to read this article. Pray together and give God permission to work in your own heart, in your spouse’s heart and in your marriage. It is not easy to decide to go to counseling, but it is worth it.
To inquire about free marriage counseling at Preaching Christ Church email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.