Why I Didn’t Leave My Husband

My husband and I are leading a marriage group through our church, using the book, Intimate Encounters. In the first chapter you’re asked to complete a marriage inventory that reveals how strong you are in specific areas of your marriage. It wasn’t a surprise to me that our strongest area is and has always been the spiritual area.

I’m certain that if we didn’t have that spiritual strength in our marriage, we wouldn’t be together today.

May 30, 1987

As you might have read from my “Beth’s Story” page, my husband and I have had a messy marriage and it hasn’t always been easy to stay or feel committed to our marriage. I’ll admit, I’ve certainly been “tempted” to think that divorce would provide that much needed “escape” from my pain.

Don’t get me wrong—I realize that in some situations, divorce is not a “choice” or at the very least, not a choice you necessarily would want.

I’m not talking about that today.

What I’m talking about is having a messy marriage that has worn you down, mess after exhausting and hurtful mess, and you’re tempted to give up but God doesn’t want you to

That’s where my husband and I found ourselves years ago.

Thankfully, God met us there in that pit—in our time of despair and hopelessness—on more than one occasion. I give Him full credit for lifting us out and giving us a “firm place to stand.”

So what am I saying kept us together?

And what keeps us growing closer and more deeply in love even today?

I believe it is Christ giving us the ability to persevere. As we trust and surrender our marriage to Him on a daily/minute-by-minute basis, He teaches us to love each other better even in the worst of circumstances.

After all, it’s one thing for me to love my spouse when all is going well and he’s treating me like I’m the center of the universe. But that’s not reality … at least not sustained reality. Anyone who’s been married for longer than a year will tell you that!

In other words, Christ taught us to truly love one another because of, not in spite of, the messy and painful situations we went through, and even now, on occasion, go through.  

I really don’t think I would’ve known how to be a conduit of God’s love in my spouse’s life, without the training ground that difficulty and pain provide.

What about you?

What keeps you and your spouse together?

What practices do you have that strengthen your bond?

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)

One more thing … Messy Marriage is beginning a new Link-Up for all of you “Blog Hoppers” out there! Yay! Please come on by and link up with your stories of marriage and parenthood at Wedded Wednesday starting on the 30th!

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Today we’re happy to join e-Mom for Marriage Monday on the topic of “commitment.” Check out who else we’re linking up with – NOBH, Monday’s Musings, Marriage Moment, Matrimonial Monday, and Playdates with God

86 responses to “Why I Didn’t Leave My Husband”

  1. Yeah, I’m so glad I can see that now, because at the time it was really hard to find that surrendered place. Thanks so much for coming by and being an encouragement in my life, Tami!

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  2. Yeah, it reminds me of the marriage triangle – the man and woman are at the bottom corners and their focus leads up to the pinnacle of the triangle as they focus on God. It’s a great analogy, Nancy and I thank you for adding it to the conversation. Thanks also for coming by and encouraging me!

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  3. I love your words – “true love happens in the pits, not the plains.” If you haven’t already, you should write about that, Ngina! Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me so faithfully! I hope you can join us for the Wednesday blog hop!

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  4. We’ve been there too, Beth. What kept me holding on was my faith. I knew I wanted a different kind of family for my kids than the broken home I grew up in. I knew Jesus could give us the strength to make it through if we clung to Him.

    I agree with the others about that gorgeous bride and groom :). Thanks for blessing us with that picture.

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    1. It’s so wonderful to hear others’ stories of clinging to Jesus through the storms of marriage and life, Laura. Thanks for being vulnerable enough to share your past with me. It makes sense though. You’ve got a unique insight from the redeemed pain that resonates in your writing. Thanks so much for coming by and blessing me week after week!

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  5. We’ve been there too, Beth. What kept me holding on was my faith. I knew I wanted a different kind of family for my kids than the broken home I grew up in. I knew Jesus could give us the strength to make it through if we clung to Him. I agree with the others about that gorgeous bride and groom :). Thanks for blessing us with that picture.

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  6. I hadn’t thought about it..but now that you speak of it…I’ve saved up the thought on evernote! Thanks! You are hosting a blog hope tomorrow? Will sure join in!

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  7. loved reading this…so much honesty and wisdom here!! what keeps dave and I going thru the difficult times..and there have been a few over the last 22 yrs! is our faith in Christ, our personal convictions that divorce is NOT an option since neither of us is unfaithful with another person nor are we abusive to one another. We also do something practical. we date. We have kept “couple time” fairly regularly because we believe that the couple who plays together stays together. Sounds corny but it’s worked for us!!!

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    1. Yes, keeping Christ at the center and continuing to “court” our spouses are crucial factors that keep our marriages from breaking down under the weight of what this life throws at us, Faith. Thanks also for you kind words, my friend! They mean a lot to me!

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  8. loved reading this…so much honesty and wisdom here!! what keeps dave and I going thru the difficult times..and there have been a few over the last 22 yrs! is our faith in Christ, our personal convictions that divorce is NOT an option since neither of us is unfaithful with another person nor are we abusive to one another. We also do something practical. we date. We have kept “couple time” fairly regularly because we believe that the couple who plays together stays together. Sounds corny but it’s worked for us!!!

    Like

  9. It’s so wonderful to hear others’ stories of clinging to Jesus through the storms of marriage and life, Laura. Thanks for being vulnerable enough to share your past with me. It makes sense though. You’ve got a unique insight from the redeemed pain that resonates in your writing. Thanks so much for coming by and blessing me week after week!

    Like

  10. Yes, keeping Christ at the center and continuing to “court” our spouses are crucial factors that keep our marriages from breaking down under the weight of what this life throws at us, Faith. Thanks also for you kind words, my friend! They mean a lot to me!

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  11. I love this post. Spiritual Strength may actually be one of hubby and I’s greatest weeknesses in our marriage. It is something we are working on though.Just wanted to tell you that we will be featuring this tomorrow at Matrimonial Monday!

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  12. I’m late getting to the Marriage Monday posts, but so glad I am. I love how you wrote that Christ taught you both because of, not in spite of. If only all of us grasped that.

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    1. Thanks for saying, Julie, and for visiting! It truly is hard to see this truth in the middle of the pain, but afterwards it often becomes crystal clear! 🙂

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  13. I’m late getting to the Marriage Monday posts, but so glad I am. I love how you wrote that Christ taught you both because of, not in spite of. If only all of us grasped that.

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  14. Thanks for saying, Julie, and for visiting! It truly is hard to see this truth in the middle of the pain, but afterwards it often becomes crystal clear! 🙂

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