What’s up with all the mess in my marriage? That was my mainstay pondering and wondering and quite frankly bewilderment. I mean, who is this man? And where is the person I married? What in the world?
When the researcher in me couldn’t figure it out, I decided to pass the baton on to the runner in me and head for the door.
Now hear me, I love God with all my heart and I desperately wanted to honour Him with my marriage and not even think of the “d” word. But let me tell you, I was looking at the situation I was in and I was convinced that that cannot be what God had in mind for marriage!
I decided I was just going to cut my losses and perhaps I will get it right next time. If there was a next time, because honestly if this was marriage, your girl did not want it!
Now because of the seriousness of the situation, I decided to run it by others first. And everyone, even people “of God” agreed that I should just leave.
With His gentle reminder that I needed to seek Him first and get His view on the matter, answered the cries of my heart.
Almost as clear as day, I felt Him say, “If you stay, I will show you how to win your husband’s heart.”
Which I’ll admit sounded good … except for the “stay” part.
“All right God. If I’m going to stay, You’re going to have to help me!”
That was my prayer, because honestly, at that point, I didn’t feel like I had anything in me that wanted to or could do what God was asking me to.
And true to His Word and His very nature, my loving and beyond kind God …
Not only is God helping me to do my part but He has been faithful to do His. He has been leading me through the process step by step and has even been releasing extra blessings, beyond what He promised, like grace, joy, peace, and revelation.
Revelation which highlights what’s really going on behind the scenes of your marriage.
I know, this gives a whole new meaning to growing pains. But the truth of the matter is, as much as we would like it to, the “in-love”, honeymoon phase of marriage was not designed to last. Just as we as unique individuals grow and mature (at least we were created to) so too our unique marriages were designed to grow and mature from feelings-based love into the agape, God-kind of unconditional love, which is much better!
It doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have feelings for your husband again, but the love that you grow into, that is available to you on the other side will also include affection, appreciation, admiration, and a deeper connection.
The problem is, that we don’t like the tearing back, pulling, and stretching that is necessary for growth. And so often we resist. And unfortunately, we tend to lash out at those closest to us. And if you’re married, that’s your spouse.
The key is to learn how to properly navigate this growth phase. The best way to do this is to look for the good hidden in the mess and highlight it.
For example, if you see your spouse as a difficult, distant or angry person, instead of allowing that to annoy and frustrate you, you can pray and ask the Lord to show you how to love him. How can you respond differently? What can you focus on instead of the mess that will encourage him to also respond differently?
Maybe he just needs to see that you trust the decisions he makes for example. Or that you admire and respect him.
It might be hard but trust me, there is at least one admirable quality about him or at least one thing that he has done “right”. Look for it. And when you find it, thank him for it.
As you do, you’ll open the door to experiencing that new level of love. It looks something like this:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.“– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
2) Spiritual Warfare
Okay, confession time. This is easier on paper than it is in practice. At least at first.
I like to call this growth phase, the “messy or meddling middle” because it is here that all the mess and baggage from your past comes out which has the potential to meddle with your growth.
You see, we may try to hide and sweep certain experiences from our life under the rug so to speak, but the reality is, those things unless we properly deal with them with practical and thorough forgiveness will show up in our lives in other ways.
Mostly these areas in your soul that have not been healed are open doors for the enemy of your soul to wreak havoc in your life.
And by the enemy, I don’t mean your husband!
But what tends to happen is that you’ll begin to project these hurts onto your spouse without recognizing and properly dealing with the real enemy in your marriage. To make matters worse, your husband is experiencing the same thing on his end.
So, we have two hurt people constantly projecting hurt, reacting in fear and arguing, and battling with the wrong enemy!
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.“– Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)
Meanwhile, the unseen enemy in your marriage keeps on pressing your spouse’s “hurt” buttons and blaming you! And he does the same thing with you too.
The way to navigate this phase in the growth process is to get rid of all the hurt and pains of your past and have a strategy in place for quickly and effectively handling new ones.
Only then will you be able to respond differently and begin to experience that new level of love.
3) Purpose and Calling
If you’re like me then you’re probably still asking, “Why?”, at this point.
Why can’t we just go from the honeymoon phase to agape love just like that?
And the answer to that my friend is that we do not live in a perfect world. The truth is, we live in a fallen world, which right now is being redeemed.
Jesus paid the price for this redemption but it’s up to us to walk it out. It doesn’t happen automatically because that old enemy we just talked about is a sore loser and misery loves company.
You see the more you take action to free yourself from the hurts and pains of your past and get rid of all the things holding you back from experiencing the quality of love that God wants you to have, the more the enemy is mad.
Because he’s losing his grip on you.
Because your action is drawing God closer to you.
And the closer God moves to you, the more you learn about yourself.
Because you were made in His image.
And the more you learn about yourself, the more you realize that God has a specific and unique calling and purpose for you.
And although the enemy meant to use all the mess in your marriage to distract you, when you navigate it correctly, God will use it to prepare you and position you into that calling and purpose He has for you.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.“– Genesis 50:20 (NLT)
And the best news of all is that when you press through, you will see a positive impact on:
And the specific people who are waiting to hear all about your breakthrough.
So, what is God calling you to do? Let me know in the comments.
Whatever it is, don’t allow the mess in your marriage to distract you. Stay focused on your purpose and calling.
Always praying and rooting for you,
P.S. If you’re called to Coach and need some marriage support along with business mentorship and done-for-you tech, my ALIGN program may be for you.