Recently I conducted a survey here at Messy Marriage and I can tell from the responses that many of you are in desperate situations and don’t know what to do about your marriage. It’s important to recognize four myths identified by Gary Chapman in his book, Desperate Marriages that often surface in our thinking when we face prolonged pain and hopelessness in marriage and life.
In the days and weeks to come I will address each of the four myths, but for today I will be focusing on the first of the four …
My environment determines my state of mind.
If you’re in a desperate situation you probably recognize the powerful pull to let your environment dictate your feelings and thoughts. The reason it’s so important to recognize this myth is because it can make the difference between surviving a desperate time in marriage and thriving despite it.
You might wonder how you can “thrive” in a painful, desperate time?
With God’s help we can!
I’m in no way trying to say that finding the joy in the pain is easy. For me, when I was facing desperate days in my marriage, there were many days that I chose to focus on my circumstances or on my inability to control my spouse. Given time and repetition these helpless and negative thoughts caused a downward spiral, eventually “defining” my feelings and my perception of reality.
But God began to teach me to take my eyes off my abilities and off the chaotic and hopeless circumstances and focus instead on Him the Holder of all Hope.
When I was able to shift and maintain my focus on Him even in the middle of the storm, I felt His power and comfort lifting me up above the “waves.” Yes, it was like the example of Peter in the Bible walking on water, found in Matthew 14:22-33.
You may feel helpless to change your spouse. You may have endured pain and rejection for many years. And if that’s you, my heart goes out to you! But the truth is, so does God’s heart! He is able and wants to provide you the comfort, wisdom and strength you need to face this dark time.
Rest in His strong arms, discouraged one. Look deeply into His loving eyes. He is faithful to you even when your spouse is not. He loves you unconditionally and completely even when your spouse rejects you over and over again.
Surround yourself with godly friends who can remind you daily of God’s love for you. And pour over God’s word to find healing, comfort and hope. Remember His word can transform your life and perspective in amazing ways. Last of all, realize that this surrendering of the situation can be gut-wrenchingly hard, especially if you’re new to taking faith risks. But it is your key to rising above the desperate situation you face.
One of my favorite verses gives a picture of God’s transforming power of the surrendered heart …
“I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” –Psalm 40:1-2 (NIV)
What has helped you to take a huge faith risk and surrender your situation to God?
In what ways has God given you hope when you faced a desperate situation/marriage?
On Monday I will be discussing the second myth, “people cannot change.” Be sure to check back!
Photo by Gary Lilly
Now, it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage, parenthood or anything that reflects Christ’s redemption in your life.
- Enter in a permalink directly to your blog post and not the main URL to your blog.
- Be sure to include a link to Wedded Wednesday or add the WW button (code is in MM’s footer) to your current blog post and/or sidebar.
- Visit and comment on at least one other person’s blog that’s linked up here.
- Please no offensive or inappropriate content or sexually explicit images!
Optional but encouraged:
- Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
- If you have the time, visit those who visit your blog and comment at their place as well … sort of a “Say it forward.”