"I'm done with all this!" Greg exclaimed as he peeled out of our driveway. "I love you, Julie, but I can't live like this any longer!"
Like tumultuous waves against a rocky shore, questions pummeled my thoughts over and over, again and again. Why did everything always end in a fight? Why couldn't Greg understand I only wanted him to love me? I simply wanted him to want to spend time with me? I tip-toed quietly past our daughter's bedroom, making my way to ours.
In complete desperation, I whispered, "God, I don't know who's right or who's wrong anymore, and it doesn't matter. Please heal my marriage!"
I've heard it said people seldom change until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of change; that's exactly where I was. Desperate! Powerless! Hurting and in great need of God's help!
What happened next saved my marriage! That night, that fight, that singular prayer provided the invitation that ultimately transformed our marriage. Not sure why, but that night, after that fight, God showed up. Have you ever experienced a moment where your physical body encountered the spiritual presence of God and a warm, blanket-like feeling covered you head to toe? Ever experienced a peace that surpassed your human understanding? Has a thought, apart from your own, ever filled your mind so succinctly that you knew God spoke? As I lay on the floor a completely hot mess, the Holy Spirit filled my thoughts with His, asking me three distinct questions:
Julie, will you entrust Greg to Me? Will you allow Me to change the things in you that need changed and allow Me to change in Greg the things that need changed in him? Will you love Greg as I have loved you?
Each time I answered, "Yes, Lord."
That night, that fight, that moment alone crying and talking with God would change everything! That night, that fight, that singular encounter began the transformation of our marriage as God revealed...
The Number 1 Secret to a Thriving Marriage!
"The key to having an incredible marriage hinges on one key element...our complete surrender to God; a surrender that's not reliant on ability or reasoning or even in putting faith in ourselves or our spouse, but a surrender putting our hope and faith in God alone."
When we truly surrender, God superimposes His character on ours. He changes us. What we were powerless to do, He performs. Where we felt incapable, He shows He is able.
Most everyone wants a thriving marriage. Who wouldn't want intimacy and connection as God intended? But, most of us also struggle to know how to cultivate the environment needed for intimacy and connection to soar. The solution is found in surrender! But, how do we truly surrender to God? Here are a few practical thoughts of how that might look:
- Invite God to be the center of your relationship. Offer simple prayers from the depths of your soul such as: "I give up. I need your help. Heal my marriage. Fill it with life."
- Invite God's wisdom and to change your thinking. When confrontations arise, avoid giving your first knee jerk response; instead, ask God how you should respond.
- Invite God to be God. For me, I needed to stop acting as my spouse's Holy Spirit. Ask God to change what you need to change and then allow Him to change your spouse where God sees they need to change. The truth is we can't change another person, but we can control our responses. We can submit our needs to God, and honor Him with our obedience.
- Invite God to empower you to love, as Christ loved you. UNCONDITIONALLY! Our spouse won't always deserve our love, but God does. Thus, we do our acts as unto Him. And, when we serve and love, doing our acts of service as unto the Lord, God moves mountains and gives us favor with our spouse.
- And, here's the BIGGIE. Invite God to fill you with His presence and empower you to prefer your spouse's needs over your own. Every moment of every day humbly ask for God's help to throw away the score card of how many times you've served vs. your spouse.
Galatians 6: 9-10 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (NIV).
For more insights on the secrets to a thriving marriage, join the movement at: #Marriedforapurpose.
JULIE GORMAN, together with her husband, Greg, coaches and inspires individuals, organizations, and couples to maximize their potential and embrace life to the fullest. Their relationship is an example of strength and a model for making marriage and business thrive.