Category Archives: Marriage

Why living from love is the key to marriage

I‘ve seen so many young women desperate to get married because they believed it would fill that tiny hole in their heart and make them feel complete. If I am totally honest with you, that young woman was me. Subconsciously I assumed when I became a wife, any sense of self-doubt and insecurity would simply flee. Unfortunately, who you are before you get married is who you take with you into matrimony. If you feel insecure and unloved as a single girl, you’ll carry that into your relationship. If you feel indifferent and aimless before the big day you can’t expect vision and inspiration after the ceremony. If you don’t know where you want to go in life, it’ll be hard to navigate when you’ve got two people wrestling over the driver’s seat.

Does that mean you have to have it all together before you wed your dream boy? Heck no, sweet friend! Does that mean you have to be completely confident in every facet of your being? Certainly not. What’s important is not where you find yourself, but the direction you are facing.

We can all be women who choose to look to true north and begin to live from love, not aching for it.

As a newlywed, the mantra, “Happy wife, happy life” became the cornerstone of my thinking. I believed my husband’s primary job was to keep me content, live up to my expectations (which were sky-high) and make me feel loved at all times. You can probably guess that kind of attitude didn’t lead to a very happy life, for him or I. After being married a few short years I began to realise no matter how much he loved me, adored me or swept me off my feet, I was left unsatisfied. Because you see, no matter how much water you pour in, if there’s a hole in the bucket it will always run dry. No matter how perfect your Mr. Right is, he can’t keep you happy all the time, and the truth is, it’s not his job too. It’s yours, and mine. So fall in love with yourself, before “you” becomes “we”.

Become a woman marked with grace, confident and compassionate, aware of your shortcomings and mature enough to ACKNOWLEDGE them.

What’s The Big Problem With Marriage?

In the book, Sacred Thirst, the author writes, “The bride and groom are standing in front of everyone, looking better than they are ever going to look again, getting so much attention and affirmation. Everybody even stands when they walk in so it’s easy to think this marriage, at least, is about them. It’s not. Just look at the worn-out parents sitting in the first pew—they understand this. The only reason these parents are still married is because long ago they learned how to handle the hurt they caused each other. They know that the last thing you ever want to do with hurt is to let it define you.”

This last statement offers one of the most profound points that I’ve read on brokenness. Those who do not allow hurt to entrap them can turn brokenness into an unbreakable force, but those shackled by past pain are truly imprisoned by it – this is the big problem in marriage today – the walls we build to protect may eventually imprison.

How can we undo the emotional pain that we experience? First, we must understand that our mind is where battles are either won or lost. Those who do not forgive or release bitterness, anger, and hurt, never experience freedom, happiness, or ‘true’ restoration. It all starts here.

Ephesians 4:31-32 says to “let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Simply stated, if you fail to forgive, bitterness and anger, though skillfully masked, can and will tarnish relationships.

Regardless of what you have endured, God can deliver you from the emotional scars and feelings of abandonment, and break the walls that imprison. Married, divorced, separated, or single, God can turn brokenness into an unbreakable force, but it is imperative that your mind is renewed by applying biblical principles, beginning with forgiveness.

Those who have walked in true forgiveness know that God restores. It’s been well stated that life makes us bitter or it makes us better—the choice is ours. God can deliver those broken by a failed marriage, but in order for change to occur on the outside (i.e., remarriage or restoration) it first must occur on the inside. Strongholds include bitterness, pride, lust, selfishness, substance abuse, toxic relationships, anger, and physical abuse, to name a few. These destructive influences hinder the healing and rebuilding process. Healing begins with a commitment to work on those areas known to be detrimental to your spiritual health and the health of the relationship.

It’s little wonder that many go through life changing partners, careers, or residency searching for someone or something that can never be found apart from the wholeness that a personal relationship with Christ brings. If this is you, I encourage you to stop wandering from relationship to relationship and allow God to rebuild and restore: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Do you desire peace and joy again? Simply return to God: “You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Full surrender provides fertile ground for joy and peace.

If you’re like me, you may realize that many years of ‘wandering’ could have been avoided. Many, no doubt, had direction for their marriage, but because of selfishness, disobedience, disregard, or a deaf ear to God’s direction, it ended in divorce…but God can rebuild and redeem your life.

Don’t allow past brokenness to cause future pain. Regret and failure will linger as long as we let them. Scripture is very clear: We are to forget those things that are behind us and focus on those things ahead. You can’t change where you’ve been, but you can change where you’re going.

I learned that shepherds, from time to time, broke the leg of a lamb that continually wandered from the flock and, thus, the shepherd’s protection. The shepherd would then splint the broken leg and carry the lamb on his shoulders for weeks until the leg healed. As painful as this was for the lamb, it was necessary to protect it from being ravished by wolves or other predators. In time, through the broken and dependent relationship, the lamb learned to walk and to remain in the protective presence of his shepherd. This concept was well stated by David in Psalms 51:8, “That the bones You have broken may rejoice.” And Isaiah reminds us, “All we like sheep have gone astray” (53:6). Ironically, many thank the Lord for using their divorce to bring them back to the Good Shepherd

What will it take to bring you back? A deliberate decision to stay close to the Him can avoid unneeded pain and provide safety and protection; it’s the first step in the rebuilding process.

Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, just North of Los Angeles. He recently released his 7th book, Desperate for More of God. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at www.WCFAV.org. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/confusedchurch.