A Travel Guide for Life, Faith, and Relationships!
We humans often tell ourselves, and others, that it’s never too late, that anything is possible.
Certainly, if God is in the mix, a miracle can happen. And because of His involvement in your life, there is always hope for your marriage. Always.
I have seen some remarkable things happen when we invite God into our mess. I’ve seen marriages that were dead be revived (like mine several decades ago). I’ve seen people overwhelmed with hardship find hope.
Whatever we take to God and surrender to Him, becomes an opportunity for the miraculous. As Jeremiah put it, “Nothing is too hard for the Lord.”
However—and this is important to understand—God will not override a hard heart. He will not force you or anyone else to do the right thing. Which means, quite frankly, although God is able to help us, we can distance ourselves from His power by pride and blinding stubbornness.
For example, when a married couple refuses to get help from a pastor or counselor until they hate each other, it may be too little, too late. Not because God is limited, but because they are.
I repeat, nothing is too hard for God. However, a hard heart leads us down a path that rarely ends well. And that’s not God’s fault; it’s ours.
So what can you do to avoid finding yourself in a bad situation where it’s too little, too late?
Here are some helpful insights from the book of James:
- Change your perspective regarding your trials (James 1:2-4). Life is hard. Relationships are difficult. Sure, sometimes things are relatively easy, for a while, but struggle is just around the corner. Recognizing this reality will encourage you not to be proud and stubborn when life hits the fan. It’s okay; trials happen. Stop being embarrassed by your brokenness and need.
- Humble yourself early in the struggle, and get support (James 4:6). We are all pushing a rock uphill at times, so it’s okay to get help, and it’s better to do so early. Too often I hear couples say, “We can’t afford a marriage counselor!” I remind them: a counselor is far cheaper than a divorce.
- Keep short accounts and develop good conflict resolution skills (James 1:19-21). James challenges us to be quick to listen and slow to speak. When you’re hurt, disappointed, or mad, don’t react. Respond. And don’t wait too long to have a healthy conversation with your offender. The longer we let something fester, the more likely it is to become toxic.
- Confess your sin and sorrow before God and others on a regular basis (James 5:16). It’s impossible to be contrite and hard-hearted at the same time. Confession is good for the soul, and it’s good for your relationships too. So when you blow it, own it. In fact, here are the six most powerful words in every relationship: I was wrong; please forgive me.
Hundreds of times I’ve seen relationships blow up and end, not because God was unable to rescue them, but because people were unwilling to get help early in their struggles.
If you’re seriously ill, you go to the doc. If you need a mortgage loan, you go to a loan officer. If you need to get in shape, you go to a trainer at the gym.
Why do we wait to get relational and marriage help from a professional when we need it? Help is available. You just need to humble yourself and go for it.
Blessed is the one who always reveres God,
but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.