There have been times in my marriage when I either desperately wanted to escape my marriage problems or I yearned for a breakthrough. I naively used to think that the best way to breakthrough my marriage problems (any problems) was by improving communication or by understanding my and my husband’s baggage. But I’ve come to realize, that’s not entirely true!
I’m not saying that those efforts aren’t worth investing in and investigating!
But, in and of themselves, they just don’t provide the in depth “heart work” that’s done most effectively through Christ, His word and prayer before we ever say a word to our spouses.
That’s why I almost exclusively share about how God’s word and/or prayer can bring healing to your marriage here at MM. Of course, I want the solutions I suggest to you to be practical—easy to understand and apply! But I don’t want to give you “things to do” for your marriage when so much needs to be done for your heart in order for your marriage to heal.
It’s sort of like wrapping up a throbbing limb, thinking it’s sprained or even broken, when it’s actually being consumed by gangrene or cancer. You must take a totally different, more internal and systemic approach to that kind of problem or it might end up killing you . . . and in this case, killing your marriage!
I became convinced of this more in depth approach to marriage problems back when I began to see God’s word and prayer improving my own marriage much better than any other tactic.
Each time my husband and I faced a problem, I would turn to God’s word and prayer for comfort, perspective and guidance. And every single time, God opened my eyes in ways that I would never have recognized on my own through some tool, no matter how great or practical the tool was and is.
Please, hear me! I’m not saying you shouldn’t use practical tools to help you in your marriage!
But I am saying that you must also go deeper—dealing with your heart—in order to make changes that will endure and truly meet the need. You see, the Holy Spirit provides the power and insight you need for this giant-sized mission, especially when you come to Him with an attitude of openness and humility.
That’s because, if you look to God’s word to justify your bad attitude and actions, it will only make you more self-righteous and blind to what lies beneath the surface.
You must wield the sword of the Lord (word of God) with caution, cooperating with the Lord, and not slicing and dicing yourself or your spouse willy-nilly.
[bctt tweet=”Ultimately, God must be the one to hold that sword for you—fighting the battle in your place. Allow Him to take over today! #marriage #spiritualgrowth #Bible” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Have you come to that place of surrender and brokenness?
And not just because of the marriage problems, but because of your contribution to the marriage problems?
Then and only then will you begin to experience a breakthrough in your marriage, as you escape into the comfort and peace of Lord’s embrace.
I’m going to get really practical here for a second—not that I’m contradicting myself 😉 —but so that I can give you handles for your best next steps.
2 of the Best Ways to Breakthrough Marriage (& Life) Problems …
1. Commit to praying daily.
This doesn’t have to be praying daily for your marriage, though that’s certainly encouraged! Perhaps you’re so angry with your mate right now that praying for your marriage feels insincere, even loathsome.
If so, then begin by telling God where and how you’re hurting. In that broken place and through your vulnerable admission, connect with Christ. Seek His comfort and perspective. Lean into His loving and compassionate embrace every time you want nothing to do with your spouse’s embrace.
[bctt tweet=”Find out what to do when you want nothing to do with your spouse’s embrace! #marriage #trouble #anger” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
2. Read and apply God’s word to your life and marriage each day.
This might seem like a no-brainer for some of you. But allow me to illustrate how this has worked in my heart and marriage.
I’ve been studying the book of Luke and had come to the place where Jesus met the beggar by the side of the road (Luke 18:35-42). The beggar began to basically “shriek” (scholars believe) when he felt like Jesus was not going to stop and “have mercy on him.”
This small detail really spoke to me—grabbing my heart and attention! I realize now that I need to be this persistent, frenzied and desperate for God to meet me in the hurts of my life and marriage. Yes, that might mean a little “shrieking” is going on at the Steffaniak house when I’m hurting, in an effort to grab God’s attention! 😉
After pouring out my heart to God, I was able to experience sweet communion with Him. God then gave me His peace, enabling me to respond with peace, grace and love to my husband (and others) during a hard moment in my life.
This has increased my motivation to give, do and be all that Christ wants me to do and be much more than if I had tried some listening technique with my husband. In fact, it also primes me to not just listen but to listen better, more compassionately with him when we discuss our hurts in life and marriage! It’s a total win-win!
And notice that I wasn’t even doing a Bible study on marriage to find and experience this healing balm.
As some of you may know, I’ve written a Bible study based on the book of Ephesians.
So as a way to . . .
- Celebrate Messy Marriage’s 9-year blogaversary (This past Oct. 10th) Cue the streamers!
- Support the Covenant Marriage Webinar that Kevin and I are hosting (this Thursday at 7 p.m. CT)
- Encourage you in your own marriage and life with a Bible study resource . . .
I’m going to giveaway a copy of my book—Ephesians: Breaking Down Barriers & Living Secure to one randomly chosen person who comments by the deadline of 12 p.m. (CST) on Saturday, Oct. 19th (Must live in the continental U.S. to be eligible to win the book).
AND for those who might not win the book, I’ve got it on sale—down from $9.99 to $8.50 for a short time. So be sure to grab your copy while it’s at this affordable price.
FYI: My Bible study is set up with 5 days worth of readings per week—giving you the weekends to catch up! And reading my notes for the day will only take you about 5 or 6 minutes to do. Certainly, that’s doable! But you can also take the study method I provide to study the passages for yourself. When you do it this way, you’ll gain even more insight and encouragement for your life and marriage! I guarantee it!
[bctt tweet=”Enter the giveaway at MM by noon (CT) on October 19th to win your copy of Ephesians: Breaking Down Barriers & Living Secure! OR buy it while it’s still on sale on Amazon for $8.50! #WINWIN #BibleStudy” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Don’t forget to reserve your spot in the Covenant Marriage Webinar! Click the link and you’ll find the landing page and registration form for this all-important event that’s coming up on the 17th!
What marriage and/or life problems can I pray for you about? I promise to get right on it!
What typically gets in the way of making prayer and/or Bible study an ongoing habit in your life?
Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Kingdom Bloggers, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements Linkup, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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