... And I WANT OUT! (Part 1)
“All we do is fight.”
“We haven’t made love since… I don’t even know when.”
“Even when we try to hold up the façade, people see right through it.”
“This isn’t healthy for our kids; if we aren’t happy, how could they be??”
“She would be happier without me… heck, I’d be happier without her!”
“He doesn’t want to make it work, so how can I? I can’t be the only one who cares.”
“Yeah sure, divorce is not what God wants in an ideal marriage, but I’m not sure that our marriage was what God wanted in the first place. I’m sure He has a plan B.”
Have you or your spouse ever said, thought, or felt one of these (or all of them)?
Take a moment to figure out what every single statement has in common. They are ALL based on EMOTION; how someone FEELS about their situation.
When hopeless emotions run high, thinking runs low, and rash decisions are made.
The desperate state of our feelings surrounding our marriage can cause us to believe truthful lies.
It doesn’t matter whether we’re happy in our marriage or not; the sun will still rise tomorrowT
This marriage is my burden to bear; life will go on
Luckily this crappy marriage has no ill effects on my place in Heaven; I’m saved by Christ’s blood!
Recognize this: even if we have correct beliefs about God, when we allow our feelings and emotions to rule us, we fall prey to lies that FEEL like truth. We tell ourselves these things to pacify strong feelings of hopelessness.
Why should I believe there’s hope for my marriage??
Because God says we can have an abundant life NOW. Store up treasures and rewards in Heaven NOW.
How? By showing love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy NOW- when it is least deserved and least expected. God created marriage as a picture of His undying love for us. He never desires divorce. Our overwhelming response of undying love for our spouse will make a greater statement to the world (and our spouse) about Who God is, His love for them, and what faith in Him can do.
So, what do we do when all hope seems gone?
What do we do when our marriage is “over”?
First thing’s first:
Re-examine the “truths” in which you’ve placed your beliefs.
What truths are you ignoring?
What lies are you believing?
Have you concluded that you and your spouse are incompatible?
Perhaps you think the only thing you have in common is your children?
Do you believe that, since your spouse doesn’t want to fix your marriage, you are free from responsibility of trying to reconcile?
Are you a believer? If so, do you believe God wants to redeem your marriage?
If you don’t believe, or aren’t sure if there is a God, you may not feel a call to Biblical standards, and probably have zero hope that God wants to redeem your marriage, let alone even cares about it.
Let’s get one thing straight: JESUS GAVE IT ALL, so we don’t have to!
Let’s take a look at what God says to us in the book of Romans. In fact, if you don’t have a Bible reading plan, you can click one HERE.
Romans 12:1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him.
To be a sacrifice in the same way Jesus was a sacrifice, means we would give it all- our very lives included- to pay the price for our sins. But that is not what He asks, because He has already been the perfect sacrifice- HE PAID IT ALL- so we don’t have to.
Jesus gave His life for people who didn’t appreciate Him, for people who weren’t “compatible” with Him and His beliefs, for people who were downright cruel. They were every bit as bad, if not worse, than your spouse (and yourself). They beat Him; crucified Him.
He died for them anyway. Wow.
This is God’s plea to us in Romans 12:1- Let Christ’s sacrifice for you create in you a desire to worship HIM that in turn will drive your decision to die to self and live sacrificially, so others would look at you and see HIS
Hope for your marriage hinges on your belief in all that Christ has done for you.
Do you believe it?
When we’re in the throes of all-out war with our spouse, we do NOT feel like sacrificing anything for them. (Just the opposite, in fact). But feelings must take a back seat to God’s Word.
When you feel like it’s all over, DO NOT RUN ON YOUR EMOTIONS, RUN TO THE THRONE OF GOD!
I’m going to hit pause here because the homework I’m going to ask you to do is the most powerful next step you can take…
Vow to change: an encouraging call to action
This call to action involves a lot of reading from God’s Word. Please, READ IT…
Even if you don’t fully know what your beliefs are with regard to this “Jesus stuff”.
Even if you’re not convinced there is anything (or anyone) on earth who can save your marriage.
Even if you think it’s a waste of time.
Even if you don’t believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.
Even if your spouse thinks you’re crazy, stupid, wasting your time.
Pray these 5 things before you read God’s Word each day (I borrowed these from Tara-Leigh Cobble's Bible Recap reading plan. It is a wonderful resource for chronological Bible reading with historical context. Check it out HERE):
God, give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding- please show me what to do in marriage
God, let any knowledge I gain serve to help me love You and my spouse more, and not puff me up
God, help me see something new about You I’ve never seen before
God, correct any lies I believe about You or anything I misunderstand, especially that pertain to my spouse and marriage
God, direct my steps according to Your Word, no matter how difficult each step may seem
Read the following verses and passages. It is a lot of reading, but it will be well worth every moment and it’s broken up into 5 days. Invite your spouse to do the same- alone or together.
Open His Word (or listen on the Bible app), and let His truth wash over you.
Day 1: Read Hebrews 4:12-13
Read Romans 1:16 - 3:26
What does His Word say about us, and about HIM?
Write down your answers
Memory verse: Romans 3:23-24
Day 2: Read Isaiah 55:10-11
Read Romans 4 and 5
What must we have to receive God’s promise of righteousness? (Romans 4)
How can we have peace with God? (Romans 5)
Write down your answers
Memory verse: Romans 5:8
Day 3: Read 2 Timothy 3:16
Make a list with two columns, one labeled: “What God has done”, the other labeled: “What I’ve received.”
As you read Romans 6-8, write down any verses/words/phrases that fit into those categories
Memory verse: Romans 8:1
Go deeper: Write down Romans 8:37-39, hang it up someplace you can see it throughout the day and be reminded of God’s love for you AND your spouse.
Day 4: Read Psalm 69:13
Read the words of Jesus in John 16:4-John 17
Who did He say would be our Helper one He was gone?
Memory verse: John 17:17
Day 5: Read Psalm 69:16
Read the account of Jesus’ betrayal, death, and resurrection in John 18-20
I pray His Word stirs your heart as it has stirred mine. He is an awesome God, whose love and plans surpass our wildest dreams.
Check it out
Don’t miss the practical application of God’s Word to healing your broken marriage in part 2 of My Marriage is Over, and I WANT OUT.
Listen to the corresponding podcast: