Here Is Practical Help to Restore a Broken Marriage

Here Is Practical Help to Restore a Broken Marriage

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Husbands and wives have a hard time putting a broken marriage back together. Typically, expectations and disappointments create a backlog of unresolved conflict. When a couple gets to this point, pride becomes the unscaleable wall between them. They have lost the vision for Christ and His church in their union. I’ve developed this reflective study to help you tear down that wall.

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A Couple’s Warning

The worst way to read this article is with the word “but” at the tip of your tongue. I’m speaking of excuse-making here. If your initial reaction to anything I say points first to your spouse, you could be beyond help. Jesus talked about “log assessment” before any “speck considerations” (Matthew 7:3-5). If you don’t do it His way, you won’t find the help you desire.

Secondly, you have to read this article without mapping your experience over the situation. I realize nobody is purely objective. On your most objective day, your experience will still influence you. Nevertheless, you must fight to be biblical and not elevate your experience above God’s Word. It may serve you well to share this article with a courageous friend who is not afraid to speak truth to you.

Finally, before you go further, ask the Spirit of God to help you with these two things. Tell Him that it’s your desire not to make excuses or be experience-centered. Your goal is to be open, honest, vulnerable, and willing to change, no matter how hard it may seem at first. Broken marriages require triage; there is no other way. What I’m asking you to do is impossibly hard, which is why you need the Lord’s empowering favor and guidance.

The Role of the Wife

The wife is analogous to the church in the marriage. She has the opportunity to model the church to her husband. While it is true that the church is a reflection of the Savior’s leading, loving, and sacrificing, it is also true that the church should be humbly responding to His leadership.

“But my husband does not lead!” This retort is a sad reality in too many marriages. In such cases, the wife still has an obligation and opportunity to demonstrate humility and love toward her husband (1 Peter 3:1-6; Ephesians 5:22, 23).

She can love her husband in a similar gospel-centered manner in which the Lord loves her: when she was not responsive to or meritorious of His love (Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:8-9). To love only the lovable is where the culture places the bar in a relationship. Christian spouses must do better than that.

If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same (Luke 6:32-33).

A Wife’s Self-Assessment

  • Are you waiting on your husband to change before you biblically love him, or are you loving him even though he is not leading well?
  • If you do not biblically love him, would you consider how that attitude is counter to the gospel?
  • Are you aware that “loving him well” includes bringing discipleship care to him, which could mean you correcting him or going “over his head” to access the help you need in the marriage? What are your thoughts about this question?
  • Do you realize the vital role you play in your marriage as you humbly allow God to work through you to help your husband mature?

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The Role of the Husband

Picture this: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church.” What a beautiful picture. It’s a template for you to imitate. The prototype for what all relationships should look like in a marriage covenant. It’s the clearest and the most profound picture for husbands and wives to emulate.

The husband is the representative or a picture of Christ in the marriage. Analogously, he is Christ. Isn’t that helpful? Dear husband, have you ever wondered how you are to behave in your marriage? Doesn’t that clear it up for you? You are a picture of Christ to your wife.

All you have to do is imitate Him. What would Jesus do? Doesn’t that give a new meaning to the overused WWJD marketing cliche from the nineties? Paul gets right to the point. In nine words, he gives you the most comprehensive and precise job description you need to be a rock star husband. Here are a few questions for self-assessment. Enjoy!

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25).

A Husband’s Self-Assessment

  • In what areas are you appropriating the grace of God in your marriage? What is working well for you? How are you imitating Christ to your wife?
  • Ask your wife for her assessment regarding your imitation of Christ. Does she see similar things? If your children are older, ask them for their perspective on your replica of Christ. This time of collaborative reflection and assessment could be a wonderful time of encouragement as well as opportunities to grow as a husband.
  • What are a couple of ways you need to change to bring a clearer picture of Jesus Christ to your marriage? Will you let your spouse know where you need to change and solicit her help?
  • Will you both work together on maintaining your Christ-emulating strategy?

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A Damaged Picture

It is a challenge for many couples to model Christ (husband) or the church (wife) in their marriages because of their ongoing struggle with sin. They like the idea of what the imitation of Christ and His church could be in their marriage, but they struggle with the process that leads to that picture.

For some couples, they do not carefully consider the respective fallen natures that they brought into the relationship. Perhaps these questions in this article will help both of you as you talk about your marriage. Discussing them could open the door for you to experience the Lord working in your relationship.

God gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). Husband, humbly lead your wife through this piece. Wife, humbly put on a respectful and loving picture of the church. May you both expect and experience new depths of the grace of God.

A Couple’s Call to Action

  1. Encourage your spouse by identifying how you have seen the grace of God actively working in his or her life. What am I asking you to do this?
  2. Discuss some ways you could change to serve your spouse more effectively. What are the benefits of being other-centered instead of thinking about what your spouse can do for you?
  3. Pray together, thanking the Lord for the privilege of cooperating with Him in sanctifying each other. Talk about how praying together creates a healthy vulnerability between the both of you.

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