So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin (James 4:17).
Because of the grace of God, we still enjoy giddy, silly, carefree, and fun times in our relationship; we are still buddies, always working not to let anything come between us, including our children, our work, or our church. But it was not always this way. We did lose focus on our marriage. The moorings of a stable marriage broke loose, and we drifted from the God-centered practicalities of our covenant. We needed a severe marital realignment. Thankfully, God imposed Himself into our marriage.
He did what we could not do for ourselves: He changed us (2 Timothy 2:24-25). It did not happen overnight; it was two challenging years, but we fell in love with each other all over again. Though our lives’ pace is at an all-time high due to our ministry and our children’s ages, those things do not disrupt our marriage priorities. With God’s assistance, we fight to maintain today what we began while dating. Our goal is to behave like newlyweds until the Lord calls on death to separate us. That means we must continue to grab, touch, hold, hug, feel, and kiss each other as we did in the early days. But with a twist.
In the beginning, we were young, somewhat silly, naive, and enjoyed intimacy because that is what young people do. Today, our love is breathtakingly more mature. It’s maturity between two individuals who have seen the devastating effects of selfishness and who have asked for and received marital redemption. If your marriage is tanking, do not think another person will solve your problems. All another person will do is give you another ten or fifteen years to get back to the same place you are today. Do not believe that hobbies or addictions are the answer either. Those things will lead you down a path of dissatisfaction to where nobody or nothing will be able to make you happy.
Fortunately, the problem is closer to you and more within your control: it is in your heart. If you will humbly confess whatever sins that separate you from God and each other, He will jump to your side to help restore your marriage (James 4:6). If sin is the thing that keeps you from a romantically healthy marriage, God has a solution and a desire to give you an incredible marriage restoration. I realize some spouses can be too hurt, too unforgiving, too stubborn, or too mean to make these changes. Spousal unwillingness does happen, and it makes things immeasurably hard for the willing spouse. My appeal is for you not to shortchange the grace of God by not trying to follow Him through the dark waters of an imperfect marriage.
If not trusting Him by doing your thing helped to lead to a bad marriage, the best answer you have is to make up your mind to follow Him now regardless of the cost or time involved (Luke 14:28-33).
Ask God what that one thing is. Write down what you believe the Lord is leading you to change. Make a realistic plan to change that thing about you.
Rick launched the Life Over Coffee global training network in 2008 to bring hope and help for you and others by creating resources that spark conversations for transformation. His primary responsibilities are resource creation and leadership development, which he does through speaking, writing, podcasting, and educating.
In 1990 he earned a BA in Theology and, in 1991, a BS in Education. In 1993, he received his ordination into Christian ministry, and in 2000 he graduated with an MA in Counseling from The Master’s University. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors (ACBC).