Restoring Your Marriage II Prov. 5:18 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
When your marriage is in trouble you must work on restoring your marriage. This is the second in a series on restoring your marriage. In the prior broadcast, we talked about the need to be honest about your contribution to what has gone wrong, to sincerely apologize for what you’ve done wrong, to establish some ground rules of communication, to establish appropriate boundaries and to establish achievable expectations for yourselves. Today, we continue the topic on restoring your marriage with the following:
Calmly, succinctly and honestly describe the kinds of situations that contribute to problems in your marriage. Prov 27:5. This way, your spouse can work on those areas. You cannot make him or her change, you are not responsible for your spouse’s decision to change, and you are not responsible for the decisions your spouse makes when he or she is wrong. Your spouse is the only one who can change him/herself. But you can point out some areas where there are difficulties between you and the steps you are going to take to appropriately protect yourself in those instances and the steps you are going to take to improve your part of the problem. If your spouse wants to please you then he/she can make the necessary changes and take the necessary steps to protect him/herself. And you better be very complimentary and encouraging if your spouse does make some changes because it takes a lot of work and sacrifice to make changes like that. Being appreciated for the effort is very rewarding and encourages more of the same.
Examine yourself in the sight of God. 2 Cor 13:5. Get a true picture of yourself and quit believing your own prideful evaluation of yourself. You are not that great. You are not that deserving of the kind of attention you think your spouse is supposed to give you. Pride goeth before destruction and an haughty spirit before a fall. Humility is a great way to see yourself before God. It tends to keep you humble in your marriage, as well. When Job heard from God out of the whirlwind, he realized how self-righteous he had become and repented. It would help you to see yourself as God sees you rather than the way that you think you are.
Get out all the sin in your life that is contributing to the problems in your married life. Prov 28:13. Quit going to the bars. Quit tobacco [what a nasty habit (kissing a smoker or a dipper is like licking an ashtray)]. Quit stimulating your imagination with wicked thinking, wicked viewing [just count the number of times you have looked or thought]. Quit cussing and intimidating your spouse with your anger. Quit bossing your spouse around and demanding things all the time. Quit spending money irresponsibly. Quit gossiping to your friends about your problems. Gossiping prolongs the problems in your marriage. Those folks can’t solve your problems. By talking, you’re just relieving tension and taking away the fuel necessary to change what’s broken in your marriage. At the same time, you are just making yourself sound right and your spouse wrong, particularly when you get the people to whom you’ve been whining to agree with you.
Go to work on making your marriage a happy marriage. Prov 5:18. A happy marriage takes a lot of work. Don’t just survive; thrive. There is no instant gratification in repairing a marriage. And when it has been messed up it takes even that much more work to fix it and make it happy. So, look for steady slow progress and rejoice in moves that are in the right direction. Don’t wait for huge changes before you can smile and rejoice. Spend time together. You might have to quit fishing and hunting for a few years to ensure that you have years of happy recreation in the future and not just an escape from the misery you are in. Turn off the stupid idiot box [television]. You cannot carry on a conversation when you are distracted all the time by what’s on the tube. Get away from the email and text messages, too; reserve those for a time when you are not together with your spouse. Nothing is more important right now that fixing the most important part of your life. You can survive without knowing all the “bad” news for a couple of years.
Go to work on your marriage together. Eph 5:31. “We” have the problem so “we” must work on it together. It is our problem, not just mine and not just yours. So, “we” aren’t going to play the blame game. If you must blame someone, take responsibility for your part of the problem. That’s all you can do. And remember, never apologize for something that you did not do just to buy peace; you will end up crippling your marriage, because your spouse will not have to own what he or she did wrong. Like Bob Jones, Sr. said, “It is never right to do wrong to get a chance to do right.”
Pray together, go to church together, and read the Bible together. 2 Tim 2:3-4. Find a good Bible believing, Bible preaching and Bible teaching church. Go to Sunday school, Sunday morning and evening services and Wednesday evening prayer meeting. This faithfulness to your church will help establish faithfulness in your relationship. You will hear things in the preaching and teaching of the words of God that will really help you grow closer to the Lord and closer together. And when you are at home, pray together. As they say, “Folks that pray together, stay together.” This is key to restoring your marriage.
Conclusion: Now, these may seem like a lot of things to do. However, if you will take the steps to add each of these things to your marriage and do them faithfully, you will find that you can get through the trouble you have had and move on to restoring your marriage and some much desired happiness.