Q: My wife of many years has left me. I thought everything was going fine and we were happy together. I can't understand what went wrong. My heart is breaking and I am feeling emotionally confused. Am I wrong to want to try and save my marriage at all costs? My family and friends think I'm crazy. (Email from George)
A: I want you to know how special you are, in the eyes of God, to want to try and save your marriage. By making a commitment to the sacredness of marriage and choosing to love even when there is no response from your spouse, you are exhibiting maturity. Choosing this pathway, regardless of how troubled your relationship is, will ultimately lead you to God's Agape Love and much spiritual growth.
This last year at King's High Way, an overwhelming majority of all our correspondence, phone calls and direct contacts have been from men whose wives have left them or are considering divorce. Most of these men are dazed and bewildered by their wives' actions.
I want to encourage you because the type of relationship you would like to have happen, in your marriage, can happen. Even though you are trying to save your marriage all by yourself, without any cooperation from your partner, it can happen.
Over the years we have received hundreds of encouraging letters from individuals who have seen the Lord do miracles in their marriages because they one-sidedly walked in obedience, loved in faith and unconditionally trusted God. The process was humbling, but in the end, it was well worth all of it. Saving your marriage demands special measures. Someone in the marriage has to take the initiative and begin the loving process. If God is giving you the faith to want to save your marriage, He then will give you His Strength, His Wisdom and His Knowledge to get you through this difficult time. Read and study the book of Hosea. The book of Hosea in the Old Testament will give you the ultimate pattern for love without limits, which eventually reunites husband and wife in spite of great obstacles. (Particularly appropriate for your situation, George.)
The advice that God usually gives us will be opposite to how we feel and totally opposite to everything the world teaches:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly... -Psalm 1:1
If you want to save your marriage, pride is going to have to be put under the Blood of Jesus. You are going to need His Counsel from the Word and abide in His presence in order to do what needs to be done.
The more you know about the Word of God concerning marriage and love and His abhorrence of divorce, the more you will be equipped to let God work and have His way in your life. The Word will become a lifeline every time you feel like you are going to go under. The Lord will personally reveal sins that need to be confessed and repented of. He will show you how to change to become that husband that He designed you to be. He will take away your bitterness and anger and replace it with His Love.
During this time it will be important to fill your mind with positive Biblical input: teaching, worship tapes, preaching, Biblical counseling, Bible study tapes and friends who will affirm you in your commitment to your marriage. Don't listen to anyone else!
You may need a couple of Godly Biblical confidants or encouragers that you can call on day or night for a while. Choose them wisely. Never discuss your problems with friends of the opposite sex.
Remember, you become lovable by loving, not by straining to attract love. A husband must be prepared to actively pursue his wife and win her back. Only real love, honesty and repentance will get her back. A husband who is trying to restore his marriage needs to understand that the only thing that will reach his wife is by convincing her that he really wants her and can't live without her. He needs to persuade her that he wants her for himself, not because it is the right thing to do or because it is best for the children.
When a husband takes positive steps to make his wife feel loved, built up, and wanted, she will open up and begin to trust him again emotionally. A husband's love can be compared to a warm blanket that he continually wraps around his wife. As long as she feels encircled and sheltered in his love, she will give herself completely to him.
In summary, you need God's Agape Love for your wife. Agape is not a natural human love, but a "supernatural" Love. It's God Himself loving through you. In other words, you cannot produce this kind of Love on your own strength and ability. Only when you are a cleansed vessel, with all your hurts, bitterness and anger given over to God, can His Love come forth from your heart.
If you want to learn more about Agape Love, I highly recommend getting Nancy's book, The Way of Agape.
Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life. -James 1:12
Precious Lord, today I take hold of Jesus, the Shield of victorious faith, and hear and do what He tells me to In the name of Jesus, Immanuel, God with us.
King's High Way Manager