Are you waiting for a miracle in your marriage? Trusting God to change your husband? Are you wondering what it will take to turn around your relationship?
Recently, I came across a social media post by Sarah McDugal, an author and abuse recovery coach. She wrote, “God will not answer your prayers to save your marriage, if doing so means violating your spouse’s freedom of choice to stay toxic.”
Inferring God’s inability to act, especially in the face of desperate hope, can leave us somewhat unsettled.
When we believe that God can do all things and that faith is an expression of our trust in Him, we suppose a near-favorable outcome of our faith.
Sarah’s words reminded me of my own journey of faith and the many conversations I’ve had with spouses who believe that sincere faith in God’s supernatural nature is all their relationship needs to turn around.
If you’re waiting on God for a miracle in your marriage or perhaps wondering what it will take to turn a difficult marriage around, I have a short video for you.
What Does God Say About Hard Times in Marriage?
I’ve linked the video below but here’s the gist of it. (But make sure to watch it because there’s more than I share below.)
God can do the impossible. He can heal the unimaginable and restore the utterly broken. He can do it all, despite human will or preference.
However, He doesn’t override human will to accomplish His divine purposes in marriage. At the core of a marriage relationship healing is two spouses allowing themselves to be transformed and molded. Two people choosing health over selfishness, pride, immaturity.
God’s ability is never in question. The issue isn’t whether God can heal your marriage or change your spouse. The question is, “Will my spouse allow God to change him?”
Waiting for a Miracle in Marriage
A healthy marriage takes two.
One spouse cannot carry all the hopes and dreams, and changes for a relationship forever. It’s not a healthy marriage when only one person wants the marriage. You can’t “hang in there” indefinitely when you’re the only person doing the work of holding on.
God can and does impossible things. But we need to understand that He works and moves through choice: What we allow and don’t allow. We can’t choose better for our spouses. We can only decide for ourselves.
To the Wife Married to a Good-willed Man*
To the wife marriage to a good-willed man who struggles with communication:
Not all difficult spouses are toxic or abusive. Sometimes, what a marriage needs is a high degree of “grown-up,” accountability, and boundaries. None of these measures guarantee a good outcome, of course.
But they do help the suffering spouse take charge of herself and the environment she exposes herself to. To that end, here’s our story (plus a resource that’s been helpful to marriages.)
My husband and I went through long-drawn seasons of locking each other when we had conflict.
I am talking days of not talking, except when necessary. Coming home late at night and leaving early in the morning to avoid each other. Plastering a “happy look” at church and dreading the rest of the weekend when we have to spend time in the house together.
Funny thing, though, we were still madly in love. We just didn’t know how to talk about the things that bothered us.
Most couples want healthy marriages: I am yet to meet a healthy husband or wife who relishes marriage problems.
But that giant gap between the dreams in our heads and married life’s realities presents a pounding headache. We crave a healthy marriage, but how does that look like in real life? EXACTLY how do we solve problems when one person hates conflict?
How do we create a secure future when one person is struggling to invest in it? How do we nurture connection while taking care of our mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs? How do we protect our hearts in a difficult season? How do we become better spouses when we just don’t know how?
So we spend hours scouring Dr. Google, looking for reliable, godly, and practical guidance that will move our marriage from where it is to where we want it to be.
We talk to friends, perhaps confide in a mentor, but there’s always something missing.
I know the fear that strikes the heart when it seems like a marriage is failing, and you don’t know how to stop it—the frustration of following all the advice and still failing at marriage.
So I decided to write a resource that I wish I had when my husband and I struggled.
It’s called How To Navigate Conflict in Marriage and you can Check It Out Now
If you’re tired of hearing “just pray more” or “submit more” or “just have more sex” as the answer to conflict, we explore why conflict is not one-sided and how to take personal responsibility without controlling or enabling your spouse.
If you’re wondering how to guard your peace in a difficult season of marriage, I show you a step-by-step process that works so you know exactly what to do.
If you’re frustrated and triggered by a troublesome spouse, I show you how to protect your heart without (permanently) walling up and shutting down.
If you want to nurture connection, I’ll show you exactly where to begin and how to navigate friction with clarity and confidence. We talk about the investments you need to make so you can nurture your bond and enjoy marriage.
In short, this course is comprehensive training on how to identify and successfully address communication barriers faster so your marriage can thrive.
Here’s what one wife said after enrolling:
My husband and I started doing Ngina’s marriage course a month ago and love it! We printed out two manuals and do one lesson a week. We’ve been married for almost 40 years but have found we really needed this course–if we had taken it back when we were first married, it would have saved a lot of grief. We’re only four lessons in, but it has already led to positive changes in the way we handle conflict—Barb Raveling, Coach, Author, and Podcaster.
*What is a Good-willed Husband?
Let’s talk about a good-willed spouse. What does it mean to have goodwill in marriage?
Having goodwill means a spouse shows concern for their partners welfare. The underlying dynamic is the difference between a destructive marriage (what I’m addressing in the video) and wounding behavior from an overall healthy individual (covered in How To Navigate Conflict in Marriage course).
Destructive marriages/spouses have a pattern of wounding. There’s a relentless drive to “erase” a partner or deny their needs.
Indeed, even a good-willed man can be selfish, fail to prioritize his wife, or be proud and immature. However, the difference is that he will desire to grow, so he stops causing her pain. Even in high conflict, he will have a healthy (not manipulative) aspiration to create a hurt-free, thriving marriage.