Storm-Proof Your Marriage
Who anticipates a season of drought followed by brushfires that strip the vegetation from the surrounding hills? This is the reality facing many in southern California. After the smoke cleared people took a breath. Thankfully, the worst was over . . . until it started to rain.
No longer able to absorb water, the barren hills turned to mudslides, wiping out luxury homes. Years of investment . . . gone in an instant. What a waste. Every one of those homes was built on a solid foundation but it wasn’t enough.
A good foundation is important but it’s never enough, especially in marriage. Eventually a careless match will ignite that drought-stricken place in your relationship followed by unrelenting rain. The forces of destruction are moving your way. You’d sooner hold back the tide than those muddy hills and if that is what your solid foundation is built on – mud – withstanding the relational storms of life is highly unlikely.
What is your foundation built on? That is the crux of the matter. If it’s resting on anything other than the Rock, it will shift in the storm inevitably coming your way.
In Matthew 7:24 – 27 Jesus tells the crowd about two men who built houses with foundations – one foolish, one wise. One built on sand, the other on a rock. When the weather was sunny, what was under their foundation didn’t matter. When the rains came, where that foundation was placed made all the difference.
Jesus Christ is The Rock.
Is your marriage built on Jesus Christ? Not what you feel about Him but on Who He is and what He has said? Jesus said the foolish build on a foundation other than Him. When challenges come to your marriage – and they will – what will prevail? The sand and mudslides of your flesh or the Solid Rock of Jesus and what He has said?
Mostly, Jesus wants us to keep our eyes on Him in the midst of the storm. He is there, with us. We forget that sometimes. We’re a lot like Peter who initially trusted Jesus but, as soon as he stepped out of the boat, he focused on the stormy sea and began to sink. Even then, Jesus was still there, ready to rescue Peter . . . and He’s ready to rescue you and me after we’ve taken our eyes off of Him and yet call on His Name.
And, that’s the beautiful thing about The Rock – even if you haven’t built your marriage on Jesus and you find yourself in the storm, you can repent and cling to Him at any time because He stands waiting, in the storm, right beside you, with an open hand.
Storms, fires, mudslides will come in our marriages but The Rock never moves. Build your marriage on the only solid place (Person) to be found this side of heaven. He will see you through any storm.
Check out Matthew and Lisa’s new e-books 100 Ways To Love Your Wife and 100 Ways to Love Your Husband
My children have a song they love to sing, when Jesus in the ‘boat’ we can smile at the storm, smile at the storm…” This is something we all need to remember in our marriages. With Jesus in our daily lives we will be able to smile at and in the storms of life.
Yes, Mr. Matthew, you are so right, if we build our marriage on the Rock-God, winds nor rain will ever move us.
Peace to you.
Matthew L. Jacobson
Jesus in the boat . . . everyone has a boat . . . everyone needs Jesus! Thank you Elissa.
I love all these posts, but I always think, “OK, But HOW do I explain what that means.” If a couple came to your for counsel and you said “Make Jesus your Rock” and they had blank stares, what would you say next?
Matthew L. Jacobson
Start with the words of Jesus – when we do, divorce is off the table. God hates divorce, we are instructed in the Old Testament, and reminded in the New . . . except in cases of adultery but, even then, when there is genuine repentance God surely favors restoration over the open door given to the offended party . . . which invites another discussion. But, over all, the point is, “am I going to walk biblically, or am I going to make it up based on how I may be feeling in the moment?
“divorce is off the table” – absolutely! If you treat it as an option, it will always be at the back of your mind (and your spouse’s). It does not leave room for security and trust.
I am in the midst of a storm and am in desperate need of prayer! I am trying to remain strong in the Lord and leave it in his hands. My husband has committed adultery and recently left the other woman ready to work on our marriage. They still communicate by phone and he claims he is torn and his head is messed up. This has been going on for over a year and I’m at my breaking point! He was raised in a good Christian home and knows what he is doing is wrong as well as not having any support from family or our friends over this. I try to encourage him and lift him up when he is down and feeling guilty, but he finds fault in everything I do or say. Even our Christian counselor has said I need to file for divorce. The other woman knows about us working on our marriage but refuses to leave him alone. When he doesn’t talk to her he focuses on me but as soon as she calls or texts he backs off from me. I don’t know how much more I can take honestly! I’m afraid if I file for divorce that I am not doing what God wants. Him leaving this person and the way it unfolded God had his hands all in that. Any prayers and advice is greatly appreciated.
I’m glad to hear that you have a Christian counselor. Someetimes wise advice is hard to follow. I just said a prayer for you asking that God would give you wisdom and strength to follow through with that wisdom.
Tina. Sweetie, I have been in your shoes and know awful you feel. You can’t sleep, you can’t taste food and you wonder if you want to continue living. My husband eventually divorced me to be with the other woman, after being “confused” for a long time. It nearly killed me. Listen to your counselor, leave, and you will escape the constant searing pain of knowing your life was not what you imagined it to be. It will get better! You will be stronger and even more loving to those around you after you escape this. Working up the courage to leave, when you’re feeling valueless, is the hardest part. Once you accomplish this the pain will end. Once you cannot see him talking to her you will be able to forget about them. Please know that this the worst part of your life. Wonderful joy awaits you in the future! God values you even if the boy you married does not. Work with your counselor to determine why you were attracted to this fellow in the beginning. It’s worth the work. Prayers and hugs!!!
P.S. I am now married to a Godly faithful man and appreciate the love we share in a way I don’t think I would had I not been through such misery in the past.
Matthew L. Jacobson
What God would have you do, only you can decide. Read Matthew 19 and seek the Spirit’s leading – and have confidence that God will lead you as you hear the teaching of Jesus. His Word was given for this purpose.
Tina, Matthew was right on when he said a marriage can survive infidelity — if there is GENUINE REPENTANCE — which your husband clearly is not exhibiting since he continues to be in touch with the woman. Sometimes continuing to put up with this kind of on again/off again behavior only enables a spouse to continue flirting with sin instead of fleeing it. I suggest you read Boundaries in Marriage for help in developing a strategy that lets your husband know he is forgiven but that there are standards for continuing to stay married. I also found another book by the same author (Henry Cloud) called Necessary Endings that was very helpful in determining what genuine repentance would look like and when was the right time to say, “Enough!” Of course you know that the guidance of these wonderful books must be paired with prayer and soaking in God’s word and His presence to confirm His will for you. And as soon as I press the Send button I will stop and say a prayer for you, because we know God’s best would be for him to be fully repentant and reconciled to you, but God will not usurp his free will, so I will pray for great strength for you, regardless of what path you take. Blessings, Dear Sister! Jesus is our Husband, regardless of marital status, and He is Faithful and True!!! (Rev 19:11)
I am 63 my wife and I have been married 44 years, 45 this August. I fell in love with the entire person my wife was, although at the time I was not aware of all of who she was. I did not understand her relationship with God. Loving my wife was key to my salvation, her consistent living witness, prayers and belief that I could be more, eventually provided the direction I needed to give my life to Jesus. Each life lesson we experienced with God has given us the strength to trust us through the next trial.
We tend to forget the trials and lessons , it is in the remembering where you can look back and see God’s involvement. It is the remembering that lets you know that even now God is with you and as He was consistent, He is consistent now.
It is my turn to be the strength, my wife is now confined to bed. I am cook, housekeeper, caregiver, friend, husband, brother in Christ. We still Pray together and seek to see where God is in the midst of our current circumstances. For we both will need the strength of Knowing God is in our midst to face this trial and the next.
Matthew L. Jacobson
What a fantastic testimony, Larry. Thanks for your example and for sharing.
I really connect with the analogy of “storms.” Our daughter, Carys Rainn, lived about 7 hours after birth. We’d known from around 16 weeks that she wouldn’t survive (due to a fatal neural tube defect). The rest of the pregnancy was a big, long storm, that lasted long after. We chose her middle name because it means “abundant blessings from above,” and we really learned just how much God can bless, even through the most painful storms we could possibly face. He still shows His love. Joy and sorrow can co-exist; and so can peace and pain.
Because my husband and I kept the communication open and our eyes fixed on our Heavenly Father and His incredible love for us, we’re on the other side of the storm closer to one another and with such a deeper relationship with God. On her headstone, we included, “Though my heart is torn, I will praise You in this storm” and on the back, Psalm 16:10. Thankful for a strong foundation!
Matthew L. Jacobson
Lisa and I have been there Keri – so painful. As the Scriptures demonstrate, the arms of Jesus are always outstretched to young children – “Let the children come unto me.” Some of our children He desires to embrace right away. As you have shared, He sill sanctify to us our deepest distress if we are willing to receive His grace in the hour of sorrow. Thank you for your words of honesty and for your example of
awesome advice! Im at a loss of what to do in my marriage. I’ve been married 3 years and it seems the same issues keep reoccurring. we both work full time jobs. Everything will be running smooth for a couple of months and then he will come home with less money then he was suppose to make or sometimes no money at all. He claims he had to “take care of some things” but im the one who takes care of the bills(so I know that’s not where the money went). I know he is going to work and sometimes works overtime. He usually is an awesome provider. Occasionally I think he just wants to keep the money for himself. We have tried counseling but he doesn’t want to go back and our pastor doesn’t really feel that he can help us. My husband has had drug and alcohol problems in the (recent) past. I feel he may be using this money for that. I don’t want to divorce. We have separated several times due to this issue. I try to tell him how I feel and he is verbally abusive by saying I am “money hungry and selfish.” What steps should I take to let him know that I can not accept this behavior?
If it’s possible, I would seek counselling on your own. I’ve never dealt with a situation like this one in particular, so I don’t know how I would approach this situation.
You have taken the correct step in approaching your church. You have done your part. Maybe you can’t change the situation. Unfortunately if he is dealing with a problem it might be something he is struggling to change too. I would continue in prayer asking that God would work in this situation. And if he is hiding something, I pray that a deep conviction would be placed on his heart.