I threw the cup of orange juice across the kitchen. It felt good to do something, anything, to release all the surging anger and frustration. And I didn’t even mind cleaning the pulpy, sticky mess.
It felt soothing to know how to clean something. I knew how to wipe away this mess. And I liked seeing the mess disappear.
If only my marriage mess could be fixed with soap, water, and a handful of paper towels. If only.
I whispered, God, why does this have to be so hard?
Have you ever been there?
I think many of us have. Whether we’re in a really tough marriage or just in a rough patch, marriage can be messy. Hurtful. Lonely.
No one ever told me about this side of marriage before I donned the white dress and danced to MC Hammer at the reception.
But after 20 years of learning, growing, and pressing through the messes to see something beautiful form in the midst of it all, here’s what I know….
Jesus loves those in messy marriages.
He loves my husband and me in the midst of it all. Jesus doesn’t love the mess of hurt, isolation, and bitterness. Those are things He wants us to work on. But He never stops loving us.
Jesus loves me. And His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of me. The good parts of me. The broken parts of me. The ugly parts of me. The bitter parts of me. The loving parts of me. And even the part of me that throws orange juice.
Yes, He loves me.
And Jesus loves my husband, Art. His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of my husband. The good parts of him. The broken parts of him. The ugly parts of him. The bitter parts of him. The loving parts of him. And even the part of him that looks at me like I’m crazy when I throw orange juice.
Since Jesus loves both of us, He’s the best source of help for our marriage.
I don’t say that without a deep awareness of how stinkin’ hard it is to go to Jesus when I’m mad as fire at my husband.
And I certainly don’t say it in naive simplicity. Gracious, I know some of you are facing marriage situations that rip your heart into a thousand pieces every day.
But still, I know Jesus is the best source of help.
Honest cries for help lifted up to Jesus will not go unheard. He sees. He knows. He loves. And Jesus will direct you as long as you stick with Him.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 in the Message reminds us:
“Blessed is the [woman] who trusts me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
They’re like trees replanted in Eden,
putting down roots near the rivers –
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through the droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season.”
So, how do I stick with Jesus? I proclaim I’m sticking with Jesus:
Jesus, I’m sticking with You.
I’m giving You what I don’t understand and what I can’t fix.
I’m giving You what I don’t like about me. I’m giving You what I don’t like about him. And I’m giving You what I don’t like about my marriage.
I’m listening for Your instruction. I’m positioning myself to go where I’ll hear Your Truth. To talk to others who love You and serve You. And to read wise instruction from good books and most importantly Your Book — the Bible.
And even if it kills me, I’m not throwing any orange juice today.
Jesus loves those in messy marriages. I should know. Though Art and I have a wonderful marriage now, we can still hit a rough patch every once in a while.
But you’ll be happy to know I haven’t thrown any orange juice across the kitchen lately.
Need encouragement for those spittin’ mad, orange-juice-throwing moments? Check out Lysa’s book, Unglued. Click here to get your copy!
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Jesus DOES love those in messy marriages…He is the only glue that can keep a marriage together. He was my source of strength that kept me in my marriage for over 25 years. After multiple Christian marriage counselors, both joint and solo, I finally came to the realization that I had done everything possible, in Christ’s strength, to hold my marriage together. I had forgiven infidelities, persevered under extreme verbal and emotional abuse, walked on eggshells continuously, and prayed constantly, until I realized that God did not want His daughter living life this way. I never thought I would find myself divorced – never in a million years – but God loved me through a more than messy marriage and He loves me after a messy divorce. God loves us in our messes…period.
Bev. My mess. Thats why I need a Mess-iah!
Bev, we’ll never meet, I’m almost positive, but our situation is one in the same. I prayed all I could for my husband. For his ugliness, his hatred, his joylessness, but mostly I prayed for his soul. Then, like you, I realized that God did not want me to live my life like that.
God is being so faithful now as I start over with a new life (still clinging to the memories of my old one and yearning to return… maybe this time he really has changed). New house, new job, new environment… same God; and He loves me more than I will ever know. So as I sit here, alone for the moment, I know that God is really all I need and that He’s got a plan for me. And when I’ve been tested, I shall come forth as gold…
May He walk us through our messes and right on into His glory.
Til He Shouts,
Thanks for writing this. I find that there is nothing harder than not throwing orange juice- except my orange juice is usually my mean words I constantly throw around. As we have struggled through “tough” seasons in our marriage, I have found that the ONLY thing that can heal and mend is Jesus himself. A simple enough concept, yet I will ignore right in the midst of Holy Spirit whispering in my ear. I’m just so thankful that He always does and will love us right in the middle of our messes. Thanks, again, for writing this- it’s easy to forget.
Kerith Stull says
Are there any marriages that AREN’T messy? Relationships, by their very nature, ARE messy. But, it is reassuring to know that He is with us every step of the way — during the highs, lows, and all of the messiness in between.
Thank you for sharing this. It is timely for me. This is exactly where I am right now. A very rough patch. This is so encouraging to me. God bless you!!
Me too! Very timely – needed to read this TODAY! Thank you Lord – and Thank You, Lysa, for being obedient 🙂
And so this post was for me as I pulled up incourage.me this morning with coffee in hand looking for something, anything to help soothe the ache from a very traumatic marital fight last night. I was cried out, spent out and just waiting to be told to do “something”. Then your title popped up….Messy Marriages…..and I smirked. It was as if God whispered “I saw you last night, I heard what he said and how you were bullied…..and this one is for you…..and I am going to help you to forgive and love.” Thank you.
I felt the exact same thing for the same reason this morning, Kerry!
Same thing right there with all of you ladies.. Just this morning after 10 years of being married, I asked myself why am I still here.. the only answer I could find was for my son’s sake. But I know its so much more than that!! We all get more stubborn as we age, we just need to learn how to support each other during our stubbornest moments!
Missy Johnson says
This couldn’t have come at a better time. Just had a huge fight yesterday with my husband and so many things are left unanswered. I am so hurt, lonely, and sad. These words have given me hope this morning even though they have brought me to tears. Thank you.
Feeling the same, I think the part about going to God with your hurts is the thing to do
Donna Jackson says
My marriage is so messy right now that only God knows what He has in store for us. A third party is involved and has started to text me and send me messages. I have to just let go and let God!, He loves us both , it is hard and hurtful, but Im choosing to trust God. Pray for me
Dana D says
Sweet, Donna J., Please block this 3rd party. Do not even open anymore messages from this person. You absolutely Can Not allow another person to invade your marriage. You MUST just trust God and even when it hurts more than you can bear, let Jesus love you and just keep breathing.
Donna Jackson says
Thanks Dana, I have to because all I do is hurt all over again. My husband says he is leaving this weekend, so just pray that I will be strong knowing that God has my back and I have no need to fear. That my daughter especially will be ok because she adores her dad.
Appreciate the prayers
Praying for God to comfort, strengthen and protect you and your husband. Thank you Jesus, You have overcome the world and all its ugly assaults on our marriages.
Praying for you too, Donna. That God will give you and your husband both the strength to make the hard choices, the strength to forgive one more time and move forward in grace. My heart aches that marriage can be so hard… but God can bring so much beauty out of the pain. Know you are loved.
Seriously! we have been arguing for 5 days! Just when I think we make some progress on healing theres one of those “but” words thrown in…. im sorry BUT…. oh boy! I know I need to soften but throwing orange juice is such a practical description of the outward appearance of anger, and today I want to throw orange juice! SIGH…. Today I love him BUT I dont like him a whole lot. Gracious me…
Donna… I hear your heart and girl I know those rough patches are like sand paper to fragile skin sometimes. When we literally fought for our marriage for a full year over affairs a d addictions… I never thought I could come up for air and say we have been healed. God can! I will pray for you… I am reminded how hard we have fought over these years FOR one another … makes me wonder why we fight against one another at all… hmmm all because this princess didnt get her way. YUCK!
I am with you donna…the hurt is unbearable
Donna Jackson says
Lisa I feel like there is a knife lodged in my heart, so I will be praying for you also that God will give us His peace and that our joy might be restored.
You are not alone.
My orange juice is frustration and a lack of communication which leads to tears. I have been married to a very selfish and immature man for perhaps too long. Last nights confrontation only creates more doubt over the lack of security in my marriage. I’m praying that the One who loves me, no matter what, will provide insight and peace. I’m not perfect but I know that there is a season for everything. I am ready for a new season or a rebirth of gratefulness, whichever is God’s will.
I’m praying with you, Lori… Father, give us strength to let down our walls and simply come to our husbands with love. Help our husbands to see our hearts and treat them carefully. Help us to have unity and grace in our marriages. Father, bring revival to the places that feel dead… bring our marriages to life.
This was exactly what I needed to read this morning. My marriage has been in a rough patch for the last year, and it was discovered a third party was involved. Although my husband is trying to make it right and working very hard at regaining my trust, I still have moments that the anger overtakes me and I feel as if I can’t breath. I want to yell, scream, throw things etc. But I remind myself that God has a plan for us and this may of been his way of telling us to pay closer attention to each other and not take our marriage for granted. I’m trying and I now have more good days then bad, but I try to call out to God on those bad days to show me the way.
God does have a plan for your marriage, Kathie! Savor those good days to get you through the bad ones. God will honor and bless your committment to your marriage. I so feel what you are going through. Trust is invisible until it’s been damaged and then it’s so glaringly gone. But, there will be sonshine and sunshine at the end. Things can be mended and healed, esp. with Christ. Hang in there, sweet sister. Good stuff is coming!
Please pray for healing in my messy marriage right now.
Father, cover Susan’s marriage with your peace and love. Bring healing and forgiveness and new life to Susan and her husband. Help walls to come down and hearts to find joy in you and in each other.
WOW I needed to hear that this morning. Same as alot of the post above…my marriage is messy. It is so messy that I am leaving this week. Living with someone with an addicition is so difficult. Can not continue to walk down this path with the verbal and emotional abuse. Praying for the ones above and asking for prayers.
Praying for you Marie!
Donna – as I read your post, I was reminded if what Lysa said in Unglued about realizing it is not PEOPLE we are fighting – but Satan himself. Recognize that third person as nothing more than a tool of Satan and shut him out. God bless you, girl!
Donna Jackson says
Satan is definitely on the attack to destroy marriages, so we have to bond together, putting on the whole armor of God!. Standing with you all in prayer!
Amen. Donna. Stand strong in the Lord and HIS MIGHTY POWER. GREATER IS HE WHO IS IN US – than he who is in the world. I John 4:4
I really needed this today, thank you. I reasoned that because my marriage is messy that I wasnt a very good Christian. I am jealous at times of others marriages but the Lord said, “you dont know that others arent going through the same things. You cany see behind the closed doors. Stop comparing.” I forget my husband and I are two different beings created on purpose that way. Its all in His hands…Lord help us.
Wow! As Im reading these stories i see myself in each and every one of them .. praying God will help me as i walk through the valley….
Candice P says
This is a very timely word for me, and the comments by all you precious jewels are helping me, as well. Last night began as a wonderful time at church and ended with my husband acting like an immature (50 year old) child. We had the makings of a great family evening, and his insistence at being right brought it all crashing down. He ended up yelling, stomping off and slamming the bedroom door. I am exhausted from years of walking on eggshells, dealing with his insecurities, anxiety, anger. I just want a husband who is sold out to Jesus, and that is my continued prayer.
As a part of a marriage that has survived the dark valleys many of you speak of, I want to encourage you to hang on. I will be praying that God reveals resources for your help and insight as you read His Word. He will send the right class, counselor or book and fill your hearts with peace and harmony from scripture. I pray God will also work in the hearts of your spouses. But, if our marriages weren’t messy, would we seek Christ? My heartache of a messy marriage solidified the knowledge that Christ is the only source of perfect love.
Donna Jackson says
Bonny how do you hold on if the other person has let go 🙁
kim hansen says
Wow…so us (my husband and I) are marriage was a mess or can I say it is. I messed up BIG TIME and listened and allowed Satan in for a few months. I am happy and blessed to say that I woke up, heard God (finally) and listened to Him and am out of the dark and muck I was in and shut the door on Satan telling it to never never come back because I have the shield of armor on and I will fight and Satan will lose. Just this morning as I was running I yelled at Satan (because my husband was having doubt and fear fill his morning) so I yelled while I was running at Satan and told him to leave my husband alone that he will not win my husband over like he won me over and that Satan has to be go back to hell where he belongs. then I prayed to God, out loud that He needs to help me through this, that I can not do this on my own to help my husband with his doubts and fears, that I need God to come down to my husband and calm him and talk with him. I want to carry my husbands pain (which I do carry and I told him I will be here for him and help him through all his doubt) but I know more than ever now that I need God to not only help me through this but that I need Him to help my husband more. God does love us all, the good the bad the ugly the bitter the ones that doubt and he will see us all through it all if Only we open our arms and hearts and let Him in. I do that everyday, no matter what my day may look like I let God take control of it all.
My marriage has been messy for 5 years. I became very sick, fell into a deep depression. My husband avoided the situation by drowning himself in his work. When I needed him most he disregarded me. Poker, gambling and drinking became more important to him than me. Now, 5 1/2 years after the onset of my illness, he has moved out. I have prayed consistently to The Lord and he is blessing me with peace and comfort.
My orange juice is a cell phone. Yes, sad to admit I threw a cell phone at my husband in anger and frustration as we never seem to be on the same page. That was a while ago, but over the last few years I’ve watch my husband loose his faith in God and go in a more worldy direction, while I’ve become closer to God, and desperately desire my husband to lead me. I’ve watched my marraige turn into my patents’ and find myself lonely and longing for a deeper relationship with my husband that he just isn’t interested in. We’ve been married almost 6 years and just had our second child. He works a lot and I stay home with the kids. The stress is enormous, and we always end up fighting. I have tried so hard to get him to invest more in our marriage, but its not a priority for him. He’s going to bars with his friends and drinking, which is something he didn’t do before. I see myself in my moms shoes trying so hard for many years to save a marriage my dad wasn’t I interested in. They divorced 2 years ago after 30 years of a very difficult marriage. I told my husband that I don’t want to end up like my parents but it means we both have to work on our problems together, he says he’s too busy right now to work on it, and he will do it later. I’m learning to just give it to God and keep praying. As much as I want to throw cell phones and orange juice, its not going to solve our problems.
Elsie Daly says
This is perfect! Just what I needed to hear today! Thank you Lysa! Something touched me, the part where you said, ” Jesus loves me. And His grace is strong enough to extend His love into every part of me. The good parts of me. The broken parts of me. The ugly parts of me. The bitter parts of me. The loving parts of me. And even the part of me that throws orange juice.” along with the next part about loving ALL of him, too.
My dilemma is this, we’ve been married 39 years now and we have had our ups and downs, nobody is perfect, but for the most part it has been pretty good. It still is pretty good today, other than I could throw orange juice trying to get him to do anything. Reading todays message helped me to know what I already know. I need to show grace, once more, to him. I just came up with a plan to get him something fun. He needs some FUN in his life! Go fishing with the guys or something, just go and leave your cares behind for a while.
Thank you for opening my eyes!
Lord, I lift up these women and families that are going through rough patches and/or worse. Help them to see why they fell in love in the first place. Help them to rekindle. Be with them when they need to talk to each other, especially in front of children, Lord they are the innocent ones and they hear more than they should sometimes. Grant love, peace joy, and harmony to these people Lord, even in the rough patches. Help them come together in Christ. Come to you with their burdens, and let go and let God. In Jesus name, Amen
I am at my wits and. I have only been marri As a resul I have been asked to leave severa I have been asked to leave several times because I cannot see hi position nor can he se position nor can he see mine. Today, literally I am supposed to sign a new lease to live somewhere else. Who acts as if it is my decision alone When he has told me to leave several times. My son (12 years old), no longer lives here. I have raised my son on my ow up until this marriage. I really need the wisdom .
I have only been married three years. He has asked me to leave several times. He says that if I can’t allow him to raise the son the way he thinks best then I can leave. He believes is to be godly however I question that only because he has asked me to leave so many times. I am still rea I am still really his young bride yet my stuff has been taken out of closet in the hallway angrily. I have looked for new housing several times but never actually signed a lease.
Aching and praying with you, Ivy… May God give you wisdom and peace in this hard situation. Your husband’s behavior is not okay. Is there a pastor or counselor that the two of you could talk to? Sometimes it helps so much just to have an outside perspective, I think especially for men.
Melanie @ carmelmoments.com says
Well written. Marriage is hard. It’s awesome but it’s hard. Thanks for your honesty.
I think sometimes even when it is a bit messy I just want to pretend that it’s not. Because that’s what feels good. Messy doesn’t feel good.
However, I made a vow and we honor that because we love each other and we love God. Right now marriage is doing well but there have been quite a few ‘rough patches’.
In jan my husband told me he didn’t love me anymore after almost 15 years of marriage. Found out he is having an affair. He moved out in march. I have been praying and feel God keepin me in prayer for my husband and for my marriage. Since day 1 my husband said he wanted a divorce. I don’t and believe God can restore and if it happens it will be a huge miracle. It’s so hard on me and our kids.
Elisabeth K. Corcoran says
B, I moderate a private Facebook group for Christian women who are separated or divorced; email me if interested. Elisabeth
Sandi Aldridge says
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for being human. I sometimes look at other christians as their life being perfect, calm and well organized. It’s good to see that others deal with the same situations as me. Ok, so now I know that even though I may “throw my orange juice, (or the TV remote)”, I’m not alone. Jesus still loves me and my hubby and he’ll get us through what ever “major catastrophy” we are going through at the moment. I put “major castrophy” in quotes because at the moment, it will see like such a big deal, but in hindsight, it was really minor and we just blew it out of proportion. Thank you again for sharing. 🙂
My marriage is in a MESS!! Anger turned into domestic violence, not he is not in out home. He cannot contact us for two months. He has put separated as his fb status although we are not on paper. I am so scared of our 16 year marriage ending. I am running to God, where as he is running away. Satan put people in the plot to cause division. I could see it but he was in denial. I don’t want to lose our marriage! I love him and I believe he loves me. He is allowing the enemy to ruin us. He had a heart attack last year and has changed ever since. Not the same person. He takes too many medications, and although he quit smoking he started drinking. Even our girls say he’s changed. I need prayer for us please and for my husband to surrender to God. I cannot imagine my life without him! I miss his hugs and his touch. Very hard mess to be in.
Oh, Betsy, my heart aches over your situation. Praying that God will give you wisdom and peace, and bring healing in your husband’s heart and in your marriage.
My marriage is in a MESS!! Anger turned into domestic violence, now he is not in our home. He cannot contact us for two months. He has put separated as his fb status although we are not on paper. I am so scared of our 16 year marriage ending. I am running to God, where as he is running away. Satan put people in the plot to cause division. I could see it but he was in denial. I don’t want to lose our marriage! I love him and I believe he loves me. He is allowing the enemy to ruin us. He had a heart attack last year and has changed ever since. Not the same person. He takes too many medications, and although he quit smoking he started drinking. Even our girls say he’s changed. I need prayer for us please and for my husband to surrender to God. I cannot imagine my life without him! I miss his hugs and his touch. Very hard mess to be in!
Marisa Ford says
I read this as well as the other comments and I realize Satan has been very busy with the destruction of marriages in the world. Thank you Lysa for reminded us that we need to stop him and remember that Jesus loves us even when it is messy. My marriage of 3 years has been messy for 2 of those 3 years and while my husband may not be with me and there is a 3rd party involved I am still his wife. We made a covenant with God that only he can break. Thank you Bonny for reminding me that I must go through this valley but I am not alone for God is with me and is protecting me. My husband will return home like the prodigal son for God has plans for us and our marriage. All I can do is continue to pray and continue my faith in Christ. It is hard so I may throw some orange juice but I will clean it up 🙂
WOW! I have been throwing OJ in the form or words, doubt, frustration for so many years knowing I have a good husband who has not cheated, how has been clean and sober for 16 years, who loves our girls, son-in-love, granddaughter & dogs with all his heart. I get frustrated when he doesn’t think or do things my way. I give it God everyday, but I get in His way. My hope comes in knowing that He is there, He hears my pleas and that His ways and mine are different & His timing is perfect.
Lysa, Thank you for this great post and to all the women before me, be encouraged, and thank for the encouraging. God is good, He loves us, He wants what is best for us. I will be diligent in my surrender. I
Oh friend! How precious are these words. I immediately thought about the really embarrassing argument my hubby and I had (WHILE IN SEMINARY!!!) that ended up with a FOREVER FELLOW MINISTRY FRIEND witnessing firsthand.
I threw a bologna sandwich! It spun right past our friends innocent face.
Thank God he didn’t judge (could’ve been his killer desire to watch the basketball on our cable that night) or hold it against us.
We have laughed for many years about that night. And after 25 years of messy marriage….know just WHO is our source of strength. God.
how do we know when it is not right? my husband left 5 months ago and says he knows he is done. His heart is not where I think it should be and has not been for a while. In my heart I know God has a plan for me but living on hope seems to bring me down. I feel like I should move on because he has. He is dating already and wants me to do the same. He does not believe we have any hope and he says he was ‘through’ a few years back. Do I need to believe there is hope? My marriage was messy but I wanted it to work and I wanted to guide him closer to God. He did not listen, ever.
To those whose marriage are falling apart: I urge you to read two books (aside from the bible 😉 Love and Respect, and love and War. I am going to assume you married a well intentioned man, not an evil one. Fight for him, please. He needs you to show him RESPECT even though he may be acting terribly unloving. Don’t make him earn respect as the world may tell you he needs to. God tells us in eph 5:13 that we are to RESPECT our husbands…not just when they deserve it but always because they NEED it. Just as they are to love us because we NEED it. God has DESIGNED us this way and we cannot function without it. I married my husband when I was 17, he 21. It will be 18 years next month, we renewed our vows a couple weeks ago. Months prior we stood before a divorce judge (my husband filed, told me he didn’t think he ever loved me, other women were in the picture on some levels over the years, etc). We have faced demons in our marriage. I tell you the truth, God is faithful in His promises! CLING to Him, cry out to him, He will fill you with the love you crave and the strength you need to RESPECT, love and forgive your husband. Your husband NEEDS you to fight for him. He NEEDS to know that he is still your hero, that he matters, that you admire and respect him for who he is and all he does. Ladies, where have all the good men gone society says? WE’VE beaten them down into thinking they aren’t good anymore! Men need to feel respected and wanted, they want to go to battle for us but we often feel they are trying to control us. It is ok to serve your man, to love on him and make him feel like he is King of the castle. Because in return he will love you and protect you fiercely because he knows you BELIEVE in him! Our husbands know we love them right? But do they know we RESPECT them?? I have been there done this in marriage, ladies. I know the loneliness, emptiness and complete pain from panic attacks. I also know the peace that comes from offering my husband UNCONDITIONAL respect, love and forgiveness. I was able to offer this because of Jesus offering this very thing to me! Who am I to withhold or make stipulations on when I’m willing to offer this to my husband?? God loves your husband more than you ever could, and He is PURSUING him (and you). Because of this knowledge, go forth showing that respect and forgiveness to your husband. Pray you won’t be a stumbling block to your husbands faith, pray for your heart to stay soft and loving and for you to be strong in carrying out the Lord’s plan. You are your husbands biggest supporter and cheerleader. Pray for his SOUL! That is what is ultimately on the line here. Our broken heart is worth it if that is what God needs to use to bring our ‘prodigal sons’ home to Him, and maybe even to us. I’m not nuts ladies, and I’m not a ‘bible thumper’. Maybe a Jesus Freak 😉 and I’m thankful for that! Truly, trust in the Lord, honor Him, honor your husbands, and watch how the world responds. You will be amazed!! A woman of noble character who can find? Look in the mirror my friend, God may very well be calling you, wanting to refine and change you to more of His likeness. You may view the ‘trouble’ as your husband but God may view it as using him to reach YOU. Ask God to reveal your sinful ways and ask Him to use you, at any cost (this was THE scariest prayer I ever prayed) to bring your husband to true faith (not just saying I’m a believer but actually living life for Christ), and the same for you. From one who had been in the pit and came back still married (BOTH of us thankful and filled with awe over God’s love and truth), take it from me, don’t listen to the World. Take your hurts to Jesus FIRST, don’t cry out to anyone before you get down on your knees. You will be amazed at how your perspective will be changed and how you will be a witness of Christ’s love and forgiveness to others. Do not discount this, I beg you. You bring glory to God when you listen to Him and not well intentioned friends who only want to help by telling you oh you poor thing you deserve better. Fight for your man ladies, because God wants us to, and because if not us, another will. That is what love is right? It bears all things. Bear this attack from satan for your husband. Even if sexual temptations have hit your husband. Don’t shame him, he (again, if not an evil man) will bear much shame as it is…you may not see it now, but God will reveal it in time. Fight for your husbands SOUL my friends. Don’t forget we are always in spiritual battle, we are at war, and we don’t have to sit idly by. There is power in prayer and living out God’s commands. Search the scripture, live for God. My heart is cheering for you as you go forth in battle. You can do this, and no matter the outcome you will have won so long as you did things unto the Lord!
Can you share more? I’m intrigued. I’m in a difficult situation, but have felt convicted almost from day one that my job was to fight for my marriage, pray for my husband and love him unconditionally. We’ve been separated for over a year and a half now, he says he’s done, and we almost never talk. I’m willing to re-engage him, but to be honest, I’m scared to death. My proclamations of ” I made vows to you and I believe we can get through this,” have fallen on deaf ears. And I know he is (or was) seeing someone else. I’m scared of the rejection. I don’t how HOW to show him respect if I don’t ever see him. Or how to show love while at the same time providing boundaries. Does this make any sense?
Kandace Rather says
Such words of wisdom filled with grace and truth. Our mess brought us to the near death of our marriage. But God and our surrender to let Him take over, we would have not survived. Out of our mess, the Lord is leading us to comfort and encourage others who are in adultery situations. We will soon be making available resources to step beside those who are willing to receive help. If you would like to receive an email when those resources are available, you can email us at email@example.com
I am in a messy marriage I wish I could get out. My heart is so full of anger and hurt that I feel like it has pushed Jesus right out and I don’t know how to get past it so Jesus can live there again. I know I need Him and I will never get through this alone. How do I start when what’s been done is so awful. My husband is not the same man I married.
Kristi, my heart aches for you. Please know that while you may indeed have things you need to improve on in your relationship, your husband has his own issues and needs you simply to pray for him and offer up respect and forgiveness. Please see my prior post, and please try to read those books mentioned. You asked when do you give up hope? You don’t. Keep living life as normal as you can, keeping things going, remaining strong in The Lord. I am not saying be a doormat, I’m simply saying bitterness will only drive him farther away. He is broken and is searching for something only The Lord can give him. Please don’t be his Holy Spirit. Just pray for him and live as a God fearing woman…respectful, loving and forgiving. God will pursue Him on His time. Pray for a hedge around your husband and for God to ward off the attacks satan is making against your husband and your marriage. Trust that God is in control and that there is nothing you can change about your husband. I am so sorry you are going through this. If it helps, I have heard these very things your husband is saying from my husband. After roughly three years of really being in the heat of the battle, we have now over come and he will tell you it was not me. Sure we had little marital things to work on, but ultimately it wasn’t about us, it was about God pursuing Him, and changing me for the better as well. If you believe in your husband, tell him so. Tell him you believe in him. Keep telling him this and then wait. See what happens when you offer up unconditional respect instead of bitterness and constant tears (been there done that). He needs to see you desire him. When he sees only bitter and hurt he feels awful and instincts tell him he’s no good and that you don’t deserve this so he pulls away even farther. I truly believe this about men in relationships. Hang in there! And no that no matter what the outcome, anything offered up as fine for The Lord is not wasted and He will carve a path for you in life! Be strong in The Lord!
Thank you for yet another insightful blog. I’ve copied the paragraph on Jesus loving me onto my mirror so I can read it aloud for several days while my husband is away on vacation… and I will work to memorize Jer. 17:7-8 again in another translation 🙂 while cross referencing it with Romans 2 I think for good measure. Thanks again. Lysa!!
Amy, I am so sorry you are hurting. How do you start? By praying Lord change me. Soften my heart. Let me remember your unconditional love and mercy so that I can pass it along to my husband. Lord I am a sinner just like he is. Let my hurt not cloud my memory of this. Help me to respect my husband and to forgive him because Lord I know you love him. Pleas give me strength to cling to you Lord, and to look to my husband as one of your dear children. Pray this my friend, every minute on your knees if that is what it takes. God will not leave you where you are! There is peace in doing this His way. Blessings to you!
Thank you for being so honest about this subject. Last thing I threw was a mosquito repellent. In front of my small daughter…We have been through a rough patch for a few years now but I believe Jesus is revealing the garbage so we can become stronger and more loving towards each other. I have hope. God bless you and your marriage.
Kristi, still thinking about you. 🙂 It is telling that he left five months ago but hasn’t divorced yet. He is so lost. Don’t give up hope. If he is a well intentioned man lost in sin, offer him your unconditional respect and love. He may still end up divorcing you 🙁 but you will be able to hold your head high and know you let The Lord use you as a help not a stumbling block. Your offering these things to your husband may very well be the key to bringing him home. It isn’t easy I know this first hand, when my heart was in such pain and so lonely it truly was only by the grace of God I could offer this up to my husband when he moved out for five months (for the second time, the first was a couple years prior for a month. For us, we both come from broken homes and much divorce in our families. My husband needed to face some of these demons and I seemed to take the brunt of his pain. But isn’t that what love does? It bears all things, unconditionally, right? 🙂 I pray you are rewarded by your marriage being restored, but if not I pray you find peace in knowing you were never alone, God was right there with you cheering for your husbands SOUL. HANG IN THERE!
Debi Schuhow says
Whoooeeee! This is a hot subject!! But after reading all of above I have to thank and praise God for the marriage I do have. Ya know, I think the number one barrier in marriages is not ” communication” but rather selfishness.
Thank you, Lysa, for sharing your heart and letting so many of us know that it’s okay to recognize the mess and not just sweep it under the rug. I stuff my emotions, my frustration, and it puts a wall up between my husband and I. We both know that we need to communicate better, but we’re so exhausted by our little ones and it’s hard to put the energy into our relationship. We’re just taking it one day at a time, one step at a time… trusting that God will slowly bring growth. Reading Unglued has helped me to start thinking over my emotions and reactions more, instead of just letting them control me. Thanks for your heart and your wisdom!
Just completed the 40 day Respect Dare by Nina Roesner. Did it as a last ditch effort to save my marriage. I was challenged by the question “10 years from now can I stand before God and say I did everything I could to save my marriage” The next day I found (or should I say God led me to) the Respect Dare. Transformational for me. Still a journey but there is hope and believing that God specializes in raising things from the dead!!! Prayers for the many marriages posting here.
If the “mess” in your marriage is related to porn – either on your husbands part or yours – you are not alone. Many in our churches struggle in silence, too embarrassed to get help. Lots of Christ-centered resources available. There is hope!
Shanna C says
I know exactly what that is like! I threw a glass the other week, and it shattered all over the floor. Yep! 45 minutes of cleaning up …if only I calmly walked away and put the cup in the sink. Live and learn and grow. Together.
I’m in the UK just gone 6.25pm and for the past 1&15mins it feels like I’ve been stabbed in my heart! My husband puts me down, speaks negatively of me, is always critical and finds fault with everything but this evening has gone one step too far and I’m hurting like mad! He returned from work and H
is nephew age 14, and brother in law (married to his sister) came round at the same time and I told him that I tried our 16 week old baby with food carrot and squash puree today and he said in a patronising and abrupt way ‘you better have put no salt in there!’ I replied of course I didn’t and he then said you’re useless, I know you!! I was taken aback not by the comment as I here it that many times but at the brazen way he said it in front of the visitors!!! I said, pardon and he shouted you heard what I said .don’t embarrass yourself!!! I was so hurt and didn’t want to cause a scene and his brother in law said to me just ignore him!!! I can’t believe what he did and been so upset and crying In my room and then I see this!! I’ve been going over in my head what I want to say to him although I know he won’t listen to me and per usual tell me to go away and shut up !! But you know what I read this and I’ll forgive like I always do and not even mention it and I’m praying that God will convict his heart of the offensive ways he is with me. We don’t share a bed or anything physical and literally live in our Home as two lodgers not sharing anything in our marriage! He shows love to his 2 daughters and I don’t get a look in!! But I continue to leave it in the hands of God but get thrown off track when I think he can’t do anything or say anything he doesn’t say regularly and daily but as I share this which I’ve never ever done before now, I feel a sense of peace and I smile as God is omniscient and omnipresent! Thanks Lisa and thanking you Jesus for giving this at the time I need it the most! This has taken me 20 mins to type but I feel better because I know He cares for me. Please pray for me and my husband Ron and that will work a miracle in our messy messy marriage. X
Thank you Lisa for this encouragement! I am in one of those marriages and I need all the encouragement I can get from my Father! I am so thankful many times HE uses you to encourage me.
Appreciate you my dear Sister in Christ!
Linda St Myers says
Been there….after 34 years my husband left me for my best friend of 25 years….but through renewing my faith with God I have become a better person who loves who she has become and has my own ministry ‘Patchwork Ministry’ helping others put the pieces of their lives back together again…We serve an awesome God. It has been 10 years now and loving life…don’t need to throw anything anymore.
This is so what I needed to hear today! My husband and I are in a rough patch (at least I am and he’s oblivious). We recently had our 5th and needed this to recharge! Thank you!
I haven’t thrown any orange juice, but a super long time ago I did throw a hair brush and a tube of toothpaste, and both times I knew I was letting my irritation get the best of me and knew I needed to reign in my heightened feelings but chose to go ahead and throw something, and I have always wished I had handled it better. But, I did learn to do better over the years as I matured. I am a much calmer person now and it feels good.
Yes lots time …indeed still on fire and still work . Only Jesus make us through all our messy and give us strength for stay in trust him with faith in him……….all I have to do is continue to pray listening songs of forgiveness from heaven that angels singing. Mostly hard one is forgiveness. But I trust Jesus do it for me too.
My wife was not a Christian when we got married…after a year it ended in a bitter divorce. The Lord chose to be the ultimate redeemer for me, He brought a woman into my wife’s life that discipled my wife for a year — my wife ended up turning her life over to Christ. A year after our divorce we would remarry, this time with similar goals with Christ as the head of our marriage. We have been married over 15 years and have 5 wonderful children!
Wow, you made me cry today. that’s good though. I think of you as being “above” throwing orange juice…and it’s nice to hear how real you are Lysa! Thank you for the prayer!!!!
Christina Kirby says
Thank you so much for that I was just talking to another missionary about the same exact thing! I finished reading Unglued and mailed it to a friend in the states who is pregnant! I am sure if you ever come to Mexico my husband would like to shake your hand and say thank you for being so open and honest it has helped my responses!
Matt, I’m wondering what you did in the year your wife left/divorced you? I ask because I am assuming you waited on The Lord and her instead of turning to the arms of another woman? But I don’t want to just assume, hopefully you don’t mind my asking. It’s just that so often people rush into another relationship, closing the door on God’s possibly restoring the marriage, even when divorce has happened. I’m not saying remarriage is wrong, just that we should t be so quick to give up on our marriage even when it seems the other spouse has you know? God is amazing in what He can restore! How awesome your wife and you overcame divorce and are still together serving Him!!
Beth Williams says
I have been there also. The last thing I threw was a small candle at the wall. Like some of you above I have also thrown some words. I know we both love each other deeply, but honestly with lack of sleep, long drives to work and busy work days our ugly can show easily.
I have prayed for both of us. Especially myself and the words I choose. Praise God He forgives us and loves us ugly and all!
Thanks for sharing Lysa!
My marriage and I are a mess! I think it was God’s way of leading me back to Him. But, a little background…we married in Dec 2011. We got pregnant right away, but our baby was born early and didn’t survive. We got pregnant again 3 months later, and again, our baby was born early even though we had medical intervention. I was pregnant most of 2012, but no live babies. Then, my husband hurt his back in Jan 2013. That was hard since his job requires him to do a lot of lifting. My husband prayed for strength, but I was tired of being strong, and asked him to stop. He left in May. We are in the process of a divorce. I didn’t realize until he left how depressed I was, and how far I had pushed God or perhaps welcomed evil. My husband told me he felt as if God were just teasing him, and was not going to allow him to have a happy family. I have started seeking our Lord again, praying for the restoration of our marriage, asking the Holy Spirit to help transform my husband and I, and banishing any evil from our thoughts and marriage. The book The Power of a Praying Wife is very helpful. I continue to pray that the process will be canceled. I also surrender my marriage to the Lord, and pray as if my husband has already come home. The good thing is my husband and I do communicate from time to time. We both still love each other. I appreciate you sharing, and ask for prayers of restoration of my marriage. Thank you!
Praying for you, BSC! And I love Stormie Omartian–all her books are just wonderful! She also has written prayer books as well with great prayers in them–you can find them on Amazon; they might also be very helpful for you. I pray that you and your husband will be drawn back together and that the divorce process will not happen, like you said, and that you two will be able to build a very happy marriage in spite of the initial setbacks. It’s wonderful that you are surrendering your marriage to the Lord–the best thing to do is surrender everything to Him and trust that He can and will bring restoration! Sending you many prayers, blessings, hugs, and love!
Dear Lord, I lift up to You BSC and her husband and their marriage today, begging You to bring restoration to both of them! Please heal and restore their marriage completely, Lord, and please don’t let the divorce happen! Please draw BSC and her husband back together, and please heal any pain in her husband’s heart that contributed to the difficulties they’ve had; please heal all pain in both of their hearts so that they can truly find each other again and remain faithful to each other and to You. Please let BSC’s husband remember how much he truly loves BSC and how much she loves him, and please let that convince him to come back home and rebuild their marriage. Lord, please bless BSC and her husband with children in the future in Your timing, but no matter what, please let their marriage be restored and last forever, no matter what happens in terms of children. Please let BSC’s husband remember that he married BSC because he loves her, and not just because of the hope of children, and that he should focus on their marriage first and foremost. Let him truly understand the responsibility for unconditional love in their marriage so he will always remain focused on that and on restoration of their marriage. Please be with them both, Lord, and bring total healing and restoration! Bless BSC for her prayers for her husband and her loyalty to him! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
Marni Arnold says
Thank you, Lysa! This is refreshing! In nearly 14 years of marriage (next month for us), I must relate to everything spoken in this post! Again…there is no message without a mess he cleans up! Praise Jesus for his cleansing grace! Thank you!
Wow, I needed to read this today! I didn’t throw orange juice; I threw water. Not today, but one day. Thanks for the encouragement.
Please pray for my marriage- I have come to the point where we just agree to disagree about some topics- but I don’t want to live that way- I love my husband to bits- we have been together -it seems forever, but we just don’t click on some issues. Lysa Thank You for that prayer of giving it all to God- I will pray that prayer and submit everything to God- so he can lay his hand over us- Thank You..