Burning Down the House

It’s June, the mother of all wedding months. And, as was mentioned before, it’s also the month we celebrate our anniversary. So I’ve been thinking some thoughts about marriage.

I’ve been hearing a lot of conversations about marriages – marriages on the rocks, marriages failing, marriages unlikely to last. It’s sad. And scary. Will we be one of the couples who makes it? I certainly hope so. We definitely plan to. But what if one of us goes off the deep end and burns the whole thing to the ground? What if we face a challenge so great that we don’t overcome it? I know for a fact that the enemy attacks our marriages and anyone in ministry can count on being on his hit list. We’ve felt the heat before and I’m sure we will feel it again. What if we fall for his lies and tricks? What if we don’t even need his intervention because we are so self-destructive on our own?

What do you do when your friend’s marriage is burning to the ground? Really, what steps do you take? How far do you go to try to help them? This is not currently happening in my circle of relationships, but what if?

If it were Curtis and me, what would our friends do? Would they stand by quietly or would they take us out to the woodshed and beat some sense into us? Seriously, I hope they’d take us to the woodshed. I hope someone would stage an intervention.

Even so – as I’m learning in my adulthood – people do what they want. There’s only so much you can do to help.

I have no idea where I’m going with this. None. But these are the thoughts I’ve been thinking.

About six weeks ago Curtis and I watched Fireproof for the first time. I don’t know why we’d waited so long to see it. Actually, I do. We were feeling rebellious about it. So many people were saying we should see it that it made us not want to. Nice, right? It’s funny because the night before we actually watched it, we had a humongous fight. The fight was about which “movie on demand” we were going to watch on our TV. For real, y’all. How that seemed worthy of such a huge fight, I have no idea. The next night, when we finally watched this movie about a marriage being saved from the flames, it ate our lunch. We both cried. When was the last time we saw a movie that showed romance in a marriage? I don’t even know. If your marriage needs a shot in the arm (and whose doesn’t), do yourself a favor and watch this movie. And get the book, “The Love Dare,” that’s shown in it. You might be feeling a little rebellious like we were. If so, you just need to get over it because your pride is stealing a blessing from you.

Here’s a question for you. If you ladies who are married knew that someone reading this blog was struggling in her marriage, what one thing would you want to say to her?

I’d say something that my mom once told me. Difficulties come in waves. If you can make it through the wave you’re on, you’ll find that it will end. Just because it’s hard right now and just because you don’t feel any affection for your mate at this moment doesn’t mean it will never go back to normal. Or even to better-than-normal. Persevere, pray, and read your Bible. We need God’s living and active Truth to pulverize the stubbornness, the numbness, the indifference, and the lies we’ve bought into. Get counseling. And please don’t say it’s too expensive. Getting a divorce is much more expensive in every way. Plus, a lot of Christian counselors will offer their services on a sliding scale based on your income. Okay, I will stop writing now because I want to hear your two cents.

Also, if you have been in a failed marriage, I pray that this post does not heap discouragement on you. That would be the last thing we’d ever want to do on this blog. Please know that Jesus loves you so much and there is no situation that He cannot redeem for His glory and your good. If He were not capable of redeeming, I would be the most hopeless of all. But here I am telling you that there is hope. He is hope.

Ephesians 5

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.


200 Responses to “Burning Down the House”

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  1. 101
    Beautifully Blessed says:

    When I have a friend that is having trouble in their marriage (unfortunately, there have been a few) I always tell them that divorce isn't all it's cracked up to be. It doesn't solve all of a unhappy person's marital issues. I am divorced and while I know that God can use my experience for good, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel the consequences of a failed marriage . . . this is mostly due to having a son from my first marriage and a former spouse who is emotionally, verbally and mentally abusive to both me and my son. . . even after being divorced for 10 years. Anyway, I always tell friends to seek wise, Godly counsel to help them sort through the often knotted up mess of their marriage. Even if the other spouse isn't interested in counseling, then go individually. Sometimes these sessions can give valuable insight into how a person can make changes in their own behaviors and attitudes. Just like the Love Dare, one person was done with the marriage, but the other stuck to the daily challenges and in the end, was able to show his spouse that he had truly changed. Wise counsel can also help a person better understand what the Bible says about both marriage and divorce. In my case, I did not want to give up without knowing in my heart that I had tried everything Christianly possible to make it work – for all of our sakes. I knew first hand how hard it would be since I was the victim of parents who not only divorced once, but twice in a 6 year period (married, separated, divorced, remarried & divorced). If my marriage was going to end, I wanted to be sure that I had sought God's will in every action I took. Wise, Godly counsel helped me through this process and now, 10 years and a very happy, Godly marriage later, I am so grateful for the counsel I received from my church pastor.

    I always try not to offer too much of my own advice. Even though I have "experience", I don't believe that I am qualified to offer much advice other than PRAY, READ and SEEK wise, GODLY counseling.

    Thanks for the post. Marriage is such an important topic these days. Too many people see marriage as a temporary fix to that warm fuzzy feeling. They run right into it without ever stopping to think about the consequences of failure. These same people see divorce as an easy way out when the going gets tough and the warm fuzzy feeling fades.

    Thank you so much for your ministry, leadership and willingness to share. I am so thankful for you all.

  2. 102
    Marsha says:

    This blog was shared with me today at a time when my house has been steady smoldering for over a year and I was searching for the cause of the smoke. The flame has finally been found and I think it has been put out. The burn caused by the fire is deep and pain full and I am struggling as I type this to work through it. I know all the right scripture and all the right steps but they are so far out of reach that I just can't grasp them. I plan on signing off and going to see if I can find "Fireproof" on Demand. If so, we'll watch it tonight.

  3. 103
    Lisa says:

    How timely, as usual!

    I just found out about what is probably the fifteenth divorce among a circle of acquaintances I've known for almost a decade. Of those fifteen, all except one are in a relationship, engaged, or remarried. This latest one is engaged on the tail end of her divorce proceedings. I fear for her. What if the grass truly isn't greener? Because I'm fairly sure, measuring it against the plumb line of Scripture, that it won't be. I loved what your mom said at LPL Pittsburgh about us owing it to the body of Christ to fight for our marriages.

    For the sake of authenticity (and because I'm feeling especially convicted for coming dangerously close to judging these women) I will say that my husband and I came a hair's breadth away from calling it quits. Only by the grace of God, VERY truly, did we make it. By the skin of our teeth at times, but we made it. We'll celebrate twelve years in a few short weeks, and I am thankful for every single one of them.

    Bless you for bringing this to the forefront, Amanda. There's never been a time, I believe, when this message has been more crucial.

  4. 104
    Anonymous says:

    I agree with some of these posts and some of them make me bristle.

    Beth wrote something in "Praying God's Word" about a friend of hers whose marriage was truly difficult. That by earthly standards, could and possibly should be a divorce. But her friend has chosen a different road. The higher road? Maybe.

    I think all the books and tricks and movies in the world can't change a heart that is hardened against God. I've been married to a lot of years to a man that is unchanging. The waves come and go – and I ride them. Never in a million years did I imagine my life would be like this. That my marriage could be such a shell.

    I trust God. I cling to Him daily. I've had Christian friends judge me for staying and criticizing my thoughts of leaving.

    Truthfully, I don't know why I stay. Except I believe the Lord said to. And I do love my husband. It's just so much less than I thought it could be. But I'm not sure I would know God quite the same way I do know, if I had a husband who loved and cherished me like my heart desires.

    I would still love it if God blessed me that way, though.

    My advice to someone struggling: fine one or two friends who are Holy Spirit warriors. Avoid opinions based on anything but the Word. Go to God first.

    Somtimes, it's a lonely road.

  5. 105
    Vicki Sandifer says:

    The one thing would be to always be sure that your man is number two with you – Jesus being number
    "1". No matter how many children (or grandchildren!) you have or their ages your man has to be more important to you and you have got to show him that he is. My man and I just had our 30th year anniversary. He is my best friend.

  6. 106
    Gina says:

    One thing I have learned is God can change your heart. Do not give up on your marriage. Keep praying for your spouse and your marriage. I at one time truly could not stand my husband. After 23 years of marriage and praying a lot for my husband. We are in love once again. He prays and shares scripture with me now. I knew God could do all things, I just did not think he would do it for me. Like, it would be to good to be true. It truly is a miracle. I know we will still have our ups and down. But I will not give up on my marriage. I will fight for it and not listen to satan's lies. God can do all things! And, if you are looking for someone who will never fail you, you need to Jesus for that!


  7. 107
    Charlotte says:

    Well, my husband and I will have been married 18 yrs. in November! Some days are a real struggle! I spend nearly everyday on my knees pouring my heart out to my heavenly Father! It seems latlely I've been getting the "hang in there" message! We watched Fireproof but he got up before it was over and complained that the men were getting picked on in that movie but I don't know why he felt that way. Anyway God is good and I'm learning to be content where I'm at and trust God! So that would be my advice to other women who are struggling! Don't give up; stay on your knees daily and trust God! God Bless!

  8. 108
    Tammy says:

    this was a great post. I am about to celebrate 18 years. I can say it has not been easy. We have had our share of waves to ride out. But the thing is I pray everyday for my husband. There are some days he drives me crazy and not in a good way but then so do I. So when I feel that coming on I pray….pray pray and I look deep at myself to see what I am contributing to the problem. We have come to a deeper love through it all. Our latest wave involved a job loss for him. It has not been easy for him not to be able to provide like he wants. But God has been so good to us and forced us to do some serious looking at our finances and now he has finally been blessed with a job. Today I was in tears when he said he couldn't love me more than now when I have been his strongest support. So hang in there girl. I know prayer has been my rock God listened when I had no where to turn…and I clung to Him for dear life.

    Learning to be still in our thoughts before we speak or act is important. Let God whisper to you first. I am sorry for writing a book.

    love to you all

  9. 109
    Anonymous says:

    The timing of this post is amazing. Thank you hisfivefooter for sharing your story.

    I have a close family member who is going through a break up of their marriage. The spiral downward is mind boggling and mind numbing and scarier than anything I've ever seen in my life. These are Christian people, but…??? There are small children in the middle and the pain is so evident. The toll on other family members has been immense, but we are there to help and support in whatever we can and trying desperately to stay out of the middle and love them through this. This situation is so far beyond the woodshed and any advice. We are praying our way through the dark. (my stomach is in knots just writing this)

    I know in my head that God can do ANYTHING. Our faith is being STRETCHED – and it is very painful. I cannot wait to see God's glory rise up from these ashes and these wounds begin to heal – but that appears to be a long way off.

    Bless you all. My prayers and praises to God for all these other transparent siestas. I thank God for my husband and my marriage and have learned not to take it for granted. I chuckle remembering Beth teaching that "your spouse needs to be darling to you." Ain't that the truth!

    Beth Moore, Amanda and Melissa – bless you and thank you for being here and ALWAYS being so full of encouragement and keeping Christ before us – High and Lifted Up!


  10. 110
    Anonymous says:

    I thank the Lord and give Him ALL the praise each time I hear of how He is using Fireproof! My husband and I couldn't wait to see the movie for very personal reasons…our son played the rookie firefighter Eric Young, however, God had MUCH bigger plans! God used it to break our hearts over the complacency in our own marriage and to bring about a renewal after 26 years of marriage!! What a mighty God we serve!

    Thank you for what you do everyday! Encouraging us and spurring us on in this walk of faith….we will be forever grateful for your obedience to the Lord and the true servants you all are at LP ministries!!

    In Christ,
    Wendy McLeod
    Albany, GA.

  11. 111
    Megan says:

    What a great post, Amanda–I'm so encouraged by the discussion. We are being the body of Christ on this blog! Two very wise girlfriends of mine have said these nuggets: "It's not about who's right, it's about who can love more." And: "Anything you do for the sake of love is always worth it, and never in vain." I've been married 4 years and it's been a struggle since about 6 months in. But my man loves the Lord, we'll probably put our counselor's children through college :), and we still we see God at work and feel His hand. IT'S WORTH IT.
    Megan–Kansas City, KS

  12. 112
    Annika says:

    From someone who's marriage almost fell apart after the first year due to my husband's addiction…I found my ability to function, my "okay-ness" was dependent on whether or not he would relapse. No relapse, I was good. Relapse…and my whole entire world fell apart and I was a wreck. God finally got ahold of my heart and helped me to understand that I had to look to HIM for my stability–not my husband. We never separated, but I did sit him and down and explain to him that he was on his own–that I was not the Holy Spirit, nor could I perform spiritual healing in his life by being extra "spiritual" myself. I dove into intense Bible study and deep prayer for him…and lo and behold, he came around and began pursuing the Lord as well…and it was ONLY by the power of Jesus that he/we found healing and restoration. God took what Satan meant for evil and through His mighty restoration of something broken, made something even stronger than before. We have an amazing testimony to tell and God has used us many times as we share our story with others who are in our same situation, to offer hope for healing. I'm blown away by His goodness, His power, His ability to do more than we could ask or imagine! Blessings, sisters! (I mean, Siestas!)

  13. 113
    jennyhope says:

    Well, I have for sure been through it with marrying a hunter who is gone a lot by choice. Then, losing a child, and a plethora of health problems, losing half our income…

    In the first year of marriage I totally thought oh I will read all of these books on marriage and this will all work out. Then, I became frustrated. Why because he wasn't doing any of the things I was and I was not having any grace for that.
    My biggest prayer became LORD, change me.
    As the years have gone on I prayed that the Lord would help me to recognize when we are fighting or I feel lonely to see it as an opportunity to run to Him instead of having the whole thing suck the life out of me.
    I can truly say with a heart full and sincere that I really realize that only the Lord can meet my needs and as Isaiah says He is my husband. Once I really started keeping my expectations low in marriage I really became less offended and more free.

    I remember often if I am ever lonely or feel lacking that He is El Roi…the God who see's me. If you expect a man to meet your every need you are making Him an idol because there is no room for relationship with the Father. These are just my own views and what has helped me. Also, prayer journaling like crazy when I am mad at him to the LORD. Not getting around others who would fan into the flame of my madness. Staying in the word and praying for the fear of the Lord that would keep us together.

  14. 114
    charlene says:

    Amanda- thanks for the blog..but what is the tough part is that I had to admit that my marriage is over. When I took those vows I meant every word of it but come to find out he did not those vows seriously like I did. As hard as I have fought and prayed that I would not have to divorce and put my kids through the same thing that I did, here I am having to do the very same thing I did not want to do. I know that it was his decision to have the extra marital affair, but it does not make it any easier. After 6 years I can not do it any more. Enough of me,I have cried through this whole post, but I did want to tell you thank you so much for reminding us that marriages are for life and in our society today there is too much divorce and not enough going to God with it. But I have realized that both people have to be willing to get help.

    Thank you Amanda, Melissa and Beth for the daily blog..it helps me get through the day

  15. 115
    JW and Susy says:

    Two things:
    1) Read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, it saved our marriage.

    2) Watch, Not Easily Broken. Loved it! I thought it was more powerful than Fireproof, though they both do a great service to God's purposes.

  16. 116
    A Woman of Righteous Confidence says:

    I actually have some friends that are in the fire right now. We've spent the last four years riding their roller coaster marriage with them. I'm honestly at a loss. We've cried and prayed and scolded and encouraged and mentored and taught and done it all over and over again. Then today I got an email that said, "I'm moving out. I have to 'find myself'". (sigh)

    Two very broken people married each other. They need a deep healing work, but God will not violate a person's will. I'm sad, and a little mad. I'm just trying to make sure they both know that they are loved – and I'm praying like crazy.

    I may send my friend your post. At this point it couldn't hurt – might help. Thanks for posting.

  17. 117
    Lori says:

    My husband was a student pastor and had to resign back in Oct. because he was having an affair with his intern. The first night I found out I was devasted and was pretty sure I was going to leave him. As I was laying in bed crying out to God asking why in the world this happened and could it even be possible that He (God) would ask me stay in my marriage. He very cleary told me….if I wanted to be like Him then yes I would stay in my marriage. You see, God is a COVENANT KEEPING GOD. He reminded me that He kept his covenant with me reguardless of my actions and therefore I was to keep my covenant with my husband even though he broke His end. I am so thankful that God's covenant with me is not dependent on my actions! Is my marriage 100% healed….NO! Are there days that I still want to leave…..YES but God's voice was so clear to me that first night that I know that I will be in direct disobedence if I leave.

    I am currently just trusting in my God who I know can/and will make all things new in my marriage.

  18. 118
    Meli n Pat says:

    I just have to say thank you for this. My parents have divorced after 32 years of marriage (this five or so years ago). After a few failed attempts at reconciliation that honestly looked pretty half-hearted, they have called it quits and my dad has begun another serious relationship. It is the most heartbreaking thing that could ever happen in our family. Just because us kids are adults in our 30's does not make the situation any easier. One reason that it is the MOST heartbreaking, is that it was done intentionally. My parents decided that they were not going to love each other any longer. An illness or death is almost easier since there is little decision in those matters. Having someone make a decision like divorce is a literal ripping of the family. It is devastating. I should state that there were no physical threats involved and no adulterous situations. It was simply two people who decided they didn't want to do it anymore. Yes there's always more to the story, but it is still devastating. Marriage is so much more than our relationships – it is a reflection of God's relationship with us. Why else would there be so many marriage metaphors? It's not coincidental.
    Sadly, my dad's comment was, "well, at least you know what not to do."
    That's not what children want to see from their parents.
    Pray for marriage. Pray for your marriage, for your parent's marriage, your siblings' marriages, your friend's marriages, your pastors marriage. It is truly a battlefield. Worth fighting for, by the way!

  19. 119
    Kitty says:

    Our marriage has definitely been through the fire a couple of major times in the fifteen years and four children we've been together. Each time, God has given us the strength to KEEP FIGHTING and CRY OUT TO HIM! Once through the fire, we can always say that our marriage is better and stronger and that God's fingerprint has been placed once again on our life together. I remember going through Kay Arthur's study "Marriage Without Regrets," and she says the goal is to get to the end of your life and have no regrets about the way that you personally handled your marriage. I want to hear "Good job, Kitty" from my Heavenly Father when my life on Earth is over!

  20. 120
    Anonymous says:

    I've been married 42 years to the same man. 37 of those years he has been a Senior Pastor/Marriage Counselor. Have there been times when we have had struggles even though it seemed like he didn't follow his own rules that he wrote? Yes….indeed…but I would say ladies..let the man have his way and stand by him. Become a "Yes" loving wife. It doesn't mean you have to be a dormat. Work through the struggles and forget them! I confess I would always bring up the mistakes and that would truly anger him. I changed drastically and began letting him have his way about everything. I'm talking about if he wanted to take a trip to visit our daughter who lives far way I would always cheer him on for that or if he wanted to not always wanted have prayer or devotionals during our daily schedule; instead of pushing him, I would just let him have his way. In the scheme of things him having his way was what works for us because I'm confident of one thing, he loves me one kazillion percent and once you have the "I love you" and those hugs and kisses that go with it; it repairs any struggles. The man is the head of the home and if you will just let him have his way, I promise your life will be Queen forever!!!! Let him go and thanks Amanda for letting us vent. Oh, I LOVE that man so much and he LOVES me. That's the key!! And we love our kids and our grandkids…and our dogs…and our church members! Love never ends!

  21. 121
    bigdogmom says:

    I have tried to write this like four times.
    I think what I hear is "How far does the committment go?" It's when you stop caring that you should be looking for the flames. Before that, there will be smoke. Whatever you do, when you see smoke, get help. Call someone you trust that will pray for your marriage and also will not judge you or your spouse. I have a friend that I have been prayer partners with for over 12 years. She and I have shared the "burden" of praying for one another and our spouses. I have vented to her and she has vented to me. I don't hold anything against her husband and she doesn't hold anything against mine. That is really important even if you're not struggling in your marriage.
    Mom is right, get out your surfboard, buckle your seatbelt, strap on your helmet, put on your knee and elbow pads cause you're going for a ride.

  22. 122
    Anonymous says:

    Ok, I've never heard of the "woodshed". Just what is this intervention??

    My two cents after 14 1/2 years would be it's not by your might or your power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray Pray Pray. Run and fall deep deep deep into the Word, your Father and rest or "obey". He will work all things for His glory.

    Someone please email me at [email protected] for the "woodshed" intervention. I have a couple in my small group who need this intervention if it is what I think it might be ;0)


  23. 123
    Disco Queen says:

    Thanks Amanda! I don’t always respond, but today you have hit an area of great passion for me! I have been a single parent of three now for 5 years. I did everything I could think of to save my marriage. Even when I received divorce papers on my birthday, I sought out a Spirit-filled attorney that would only take on those who were willing to be reconciled. In my mind I did not want to be reconciled, but in my heart I needed to allow God space to do a miracle. I love your line, "People do what they want. There is only so much you can do to help." Yes…free will unfortunately allows a person to go their own destructive way.

    Over and over I have women come to me asking me questions about my divorce. Apparently those that 'watched it go down' admired the way I handled myself. I desperately clung to Jesus and did everything I could to step into counseling and healing.

    THE NUMBER ONE ADVICE… BIBLICAL INNER HEALING!!!!! Some of the best trained counselors are now dealing with 'inner healing'. They 'go after' generational sin, breaking strongholds and vows and replace the lies of the enemy with truth!

    ANOTHER AMAZING MINISTRY that I have been personally trained in because it pulled me out of my denial and allowed me a safe place to look at my wounds and how I was relating to others… Open Hearts Ministry. http://www.ohmin.org/ Get into a GRACE GROUP in your area!!! It is true life transformation in community (12 week biblical journey recommended by Dan Allender).

    Today I pray that someday God would give me another chance at marriage with a man who is committed to a journey of wholeness and healing. We all need it!

  24. 124
    Anonymous says:

    Some of the best words of wisdom on marriage came from my unsaved brother, believe it or not! I was bemoaning the fact that I am single to him one day and feeling lonely, and my brother looked straight at me and said, "Gretch, the thing about married or single is this – 50% of the time you are glad to have someone to snuggle with, and 50% of the time you want to get the heck out!" So, it's always something, right? Ladies, I've never been married, and I can't say how difficult being married is, but I'll tell you this – being single is no picnic either. I hope you'll not take this as proof that you only get to be glad you're married 50% of the time, but that the grass is not always greener no matter what side of the fence you're on. And the older I get, I realize that so much about any situation we are in is all about our attitude about it – and what 50% we're focusing on. I do know this, God is faithful and so many of our struggles are just seasons that will end at some point if we can just hang in there with Him.

    Lord, please help us all!

    Thousand Oaks, CA

  25. 125
    valerie says:

    Thank you Amanda.
    This is a wonderful post written straight from your heart. You are so precious!
    Next month my husband and I will celebrate 30 years of marriage. I give God all honor and glory.
    I think it's very important to have someone (like you said about your mom) who you can talk to. Someone with a lot of wisdom. A godly person to help you along and pray with. My mom has always been that for me. I'm so thankful for her prayers and wise advice through the years.
    I've seen two marriages, both couples in the ministry, fail in the past two years. Satan is on the prowl and would love nothing more than to kill and destroy families of those in ministry.
    I'm praying for marriages everywhere.
    I'm praying for those who aren't married that they will not give up and settle, but will wait for that very special person God has for them.
    My husband and I just saw "Fireproof" recently too.
    I wasn't that we were rebellious, we just didn't take the time. It was great! I love the song "While I'm Waiting" from the movie.
    Thanks again Amanda.

  26. 126
    Anonymous says:

    Phil 2:3-4 "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others."

    The hardest days my husband and I have are the days we are not willing to die to our selfish desires and live to "esteem [each other] better than ourselves." This is a verse we share with all of our friends who get engaged. It is so simple, but not at all easy.

    As with most marriages, probably, we have had ample opportunity to totally blow it, but have found grace, mercy, forgiveness and redemption. God is so good and I'm so thankful for the amazing ways He has changed me and my husband.

  27. 127
    Anonymous says:

    If you find that you are the only one in your marriage who wants to salvage the relationship, please RUN to the nearest bookstore or library and read Dr. James Dobson's LOVE MUST BE TOUGH. It is specifically written for the partner who is working alone to save the marriage (because sometimes the other spouse honestly doesn't care if it works out). His advice definitely worked for me!

  28. 128
    Anonymous says:

    For those who have not already read them, I have two outstanding books that changed the way I look at my marriage. First, the classic THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman. A divorced friend of mine told me that if she had read this book years ago she'd still be married today. It also helps me relate to my children so that they feel loved in a way meaningful to each of them.

    Secondly, LOVE AND RESPECT by Emerson Eggerichs helped me understand my husband's need to feel respected as much as I needed to feel loved.

  29. 129
    Rose says:

    Dang it Amanda!! I just had an argument with my hubs of 17 years and this this really spoke to me THANK YOU as always!! sad thing is I have seen movie and have the journal. . . now I have to go, cause I KNOW what I have to do!!!
    much love to you Moore women!!

  30. 130
    Megdalen says:

    I would give the woman a copy of the book "Created to Be His Help Meet" and a grain of salt.

  31. 131
    Anonymous says:

    Amanda- thank you so much for this blog! Much needed. I do have 1 question. How is that the devil can use my husband to knock me down so easily. Here's what I mean:
    I do my devotion and have my quiet time with the Lord every morning before anyone is awake and I feel so close to the Lord and so at peace. And them he wakes we get into an arguement or whatever and I feel like I've fell right on my face… I know that it is satan, he knows just what to do to trip me up!!!! What in the world to do???

  32. 132
    Anonymous says:

    I so appreciate your honesty. If we aren't honest with ourselves, how can we be honest with our spouse and most of all with Jesus so that he can do the work he needs to do in us?.
    The rebellion thing, I still have to grapple with that from time to time, and I am old enough and experienced in the results of rebellion that I should not have that problem anymore. But it still creeps in. Again, thanks for being honest, I am divorced 25 years and I loved the movie!

  33. 133
    Kim Safina says:

    would love to see some birthday photos from your mom's day.
    add some sweet shots of your precious ones too!

    thanks for letting me post my opinions on this blog. re" marriage I added it yesterday. 🙂

  34. 134
    Anonymous says:

    Hey Siesta

    The Lord spoke to me through this one…it disarmed a HUGE explosion!
    Pam in Porland

  35. 135
    Anonymous says:

    What a great post! My question is how far do you go for a friends marriage before you let go? My hubbs and I tried for years to help friends and in the end it seeped into our marriage. It was awful. They are now divorced and we are no longer friends with either of them! Where do you draw boundaries? What is enough? It's such a hard situation to be in especially when it starts to affect your own marriage.

  36. 136
    Anonymous says:

    Wow…what a timely post in my life.

    Just this week I have been fighting the temptation of an unhealthy friendship online. I have made some mistakes along the way, but God has given me strength when I have needed it. A couple of accountability friends have been praying for me (accountability is SO important) as I have not even been able to pray very much.

    Just within the past hour, I have sent the man a message that terminates the "friendship". I would like to share with you some excerpts that I wrote to him…

    "…Remaining in my marriage is the hardest thing I have ever done. But I am remaining in it. And to go outside of that, even to talk about nothingness, much less more than that, is not something that I am willing to do."

    "See, my problem with talking to you over the computer when nobody is around is that I am never truly alone. The Holy Spirit living inside of me is always there. He convicts me, He strengthes me, and He comforts me. Like no one can. Not my husband, not anybody. No other human can fill all the empty space inside of me like He can and does."

    Siestas, this man is an upstanding Christian man. I am like many of you….involved in Bible study, facilitating Bible studies, and am in leadership in my local church. But I am not exempt to temptation. I also have weapons to fight that temptation if I will just choose to do so.

    So…..what would I say to someone else?

    Fight for your marriages. Stay in there for the long haul. If you have a good marriage, then praise God and please spend plenty of time in prayer for those of us who struggle.

    I am not throwing away my confidence because I know that I will be richly rewarded. I am perservering so that when I have done the will of God, I will receive what He has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-36)

    Renewing the mind…one moment at a time.

  37. 137
    RS says:

    Eeeewww Deep my dear.
    I have to agree with your Mom about troubles comng in waves, sometimes you just have to ride the wave.
    It seems as if our society today, calls it over too quickly.
    Honey, I just got off of a Tsunami!
    my man and I have been married 26 years. no example to show us how to be a happily married couple, only how to be unhappily married. My parents divorced, My husbands parents seemed to not noticed one another and were unkind to eachonter, and both our fathers were alcholics.
    I guess you could say so far, We've beat the odds. Life comes at you, ready or not, right in the face.

    RS Nashville

  38. 138
    Melissa S. says:

    Excellent post Amanda. Now in my 50's I was pretty assured, at your age, that nothing could go wrong. I let my guard down. And it was actually me, that 'went off the deep end and burnt the house down.' Thankfully the Lord picked me out of the pit and nailed my feet to solid ground again…but with much damage done. 6 years later, we are still together but it is not getting better. One of my biggest breakthroughs was asking for prayer at your mother's conference in Pittsburgh, last weekend. For the first time in ages, I feel some hope.

    I am trying to stand, believing…but it is very hard, as I live surrounded by circumstances daily, that I mostly created. My husband has built a very hard wall around himself and stopped going to church. I am praying that the Lord soften his heart and bring him back to Himself, first and foremost. All other things filter down from that. Take heed, in your young marriage to foster/cement a life together and NEVER think this cannot happen to you. The enemy is waiting for just the perfect opportunity.

  39. 139
    katiegfromtennessee says:

    Hey Little Momma:)

    When my man and I watched that movie in the movie theatre, we were both fighting back the tears, and my man does not cry much at all! I have a friend in Idaho whose marriage was saved by watching that movie with her husband. They were about to divorce, but the Lord intervened!
    What to say to someone struggling in their marriage…it is serious, and I'm coming at it from the viewpoint of someone whose parent's are divorced…I'm no marriage expert, but I'm thinking pray, pray, pray, get counseling and read scripture! Even if the counseling is hard to do. And, I say this with all care and concern for hurting people in hard marriages: The children will suffer. There's no maybe about it. It affects them. To what extent it is not able to be discerned. Be forgiving of your spouse! They are human too-only the Lord is perfect and He is never dissappointing. He is your Number One, and then your spouse is your number one earthly relationship. I love that part in Ephesians where it talks about cleansing by the washing of water through the word-that is beautiful word imagery, Lord!!! Sorry for the long post-this topic is important to me…

    Love in Him,


  40. 140
    Sandy says:

    This may already be in a previous comment, but I just wanted to share my favorite quote from the movie.
    "Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes, you'll be strong enough to withstand it."

    My husband and I have been married for almost 27 years ago. We have been through some rough periods, and some really awesome times together.

    Thank you for this post.

    Beth said "no more talk about birthdays",but I was gone to Falls Creek on her birthday and didnt' get to give her my "best wishes". I'm glad the birthday was happy. Beth, I know this has already been an amazing year in your ministry, with the scripture memory challenge. I pray that this coming year will be very specisl and rewarding for you and as always, glorifying to God.

    You are all very special!!
    I also enjoyed Curtis' post!! Always enjoy everything on your blog!

  41. 141
    Anonymous says:

    We live in such a me centered culture and there is absolutely no room for selfishness in marriage. The best advice I have heard on marriage is to get up everyday with goal to make your spouce happy, and be the kind of person you would want to come home to.

  42. 142
    Tim and Richelle says:

    Haven't read through all the comments, so sorry if this is a repeat. Dh and I will celebrate 15 years this December – most of those together on the mission field.

    During those times when it is hard to choose faithful love – I ask the Holy Spirit to remind me of all the reasons I have to be thankful for my spouse and then even if I'm not choosing "love," I can choose thankfulness, which then opens the door for me to choose love again… I hope that makes sense.

  43. 143
    Xena says:

    Thanks Friends! For us, 28 years + 2 years of courtship, the will is the key! We can make choices, even in the thick of soulish, fleshly ugly behavior, demanding our own rights, that reflect just Who lives in us. If we're Christians, we live with the FACT, that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in us. And those choices are not determined whether the other person makes them or not. We can't change the other person, though we can make choices that reflect Christ in us. Change will happen and usually not the way we think . . .

  44. 144
    Anonymous says:

    I am a person who gives good advice. That's probably a weird thing to say about yourself, but God gave me (and actually my oldest son too) the ability to listen objectively without judgment and then give truthful advice. My husband has often, jokingly, called me The Statue of Liberty….bring me your poor, your weak, your pathetic. Ha, ha. He says this because our waitress will end up telling me her story.

    So, I've given tons of advice to marriages over the years, most of it well received and even helpful, praise God.

    But now, I find myself in an odd position. My own husband of 20 years told me he never loved me, not even when he married me and that he didn't want a divorce because he didn't want to destroy our family, but he wanted to unburden himself and tell this truth of his that he had kept to himself for twenty years. He married, it seems, simply because all our friends were getting married and there I was. But he felt he needed to be honest and let me know that he had never loved me and probably never would.

    Now, I find myself wishing I knew someone to give me advice. I wish there were more people like myself who don't mind butting in, who will ask if everything is okay and who will give some helpful advice. Because when I shared this with some friends, their immediate response was to back off–I later learned that this is because people feel divorce or martial troubles are contagious. They go into instant fear for their own, esp. if they thought yours was good and most did think that about mine. My husband has been the perfect husband and father.

    So, I agree with Amanda. Take the couple to the woodshed and beat sense into them. Don't be afraid, but go straight to the truth and show it to them. Yes, they'll do whatever they want in the end but at least you'll know you spoke the truth to them. We need more people who will do that.

  45. 145
    Daughter of the King says:

    Recently, someone so very close to us filed for divorce from her husband. They'd been married over 20 years. I struggled with this on so many levels – but the biggest part was that they were both believers in Jesus Christ. There were some major health issues occurring that had added stress on their marriage and finances. We, looking from the outside, could see the hand of the enemy all over the situation. My husband and I spoke the word of God. For a period of time we were "shunned" by the wife as she felt we were siding with the husband since he didn't want a divorce. We were siding with God.

    I've been now married to my husband for 11 years (June 4 was our anniversary). We have seen so many attacks from the enemy on our marriage including 5 years physically separated by prison – but spiritually growing together in faith together and with our walk with the Lord.

    Someone did a beautiful response earlier to your question explaining so well why God created marriage and what it represents in the Body of Christ according to the Word – I agree 100% with what she wrote.

    I know from this recent experience – I would speak TRUTH (His Truth) in Love and risk possibly losing a friend/family member for a season – than to be a poor witness for Christ and align myself with the world and the enemies lies about marriage.

    God is the GOD of the IMPOSSIBLE. HE can and does redeem it all. Most especially marriages.

    And what satan meant for evil – God surely is turning and using for good for His glory. The husband in the story – He is praying for his wife and speaking life to her even though the divorce went through. He is growing in his walk with the Lord. And God is instructing the wife as well. She called me just the other day. God is working on her – but not how she could have thought or imagined. Her road is harder because of her choice – but God surely is in the midst of all of it!

  46. 146
    Daughter of the King says:

    There are some amazing responses here! I know that in our 11 years I have struggled. My husband was away in prison for 5 of our 11 years. When he was supposed to be getting ready to come home – I was on my bathroom floor crying out to God asking if we were ready. I'd changed. Our marriage had grown in the Lord over that period of time. Our walks had gotten stronger in the Lord. But we were different people having been separated in the natural for those 5 years. I cried out to God telling Him I wasn't sure that I was ready, that I couldn't do this…
    (God is so faithful to come to us when we seek Him, even in our total rawness and the realness of the moment)

    The Lord showed me in my spirit a vessel – my husband. And then He showed me another vessel – me. I saw "me" as this vessel when I first got married and saved & then what it looked like when we were separated and what it looked like now. The vessel had gotten stronger, bigger, more filled up. Then the Lord showed me my husband's vessel at each of those stages. His vessel had changed and been transformed too. I felt the Lord say – "Who are you to say how much you've changed and where you think he should be, he is Mine and I am His." I knew then that God had us each exactly where we needed to be and we could do this. God had kept us those 5 years. He'd kept us the 5 years before prison – and He would keep us the rest! And He has!

    So, this is what I know – God will keep us in sickness, health, abundance, need, sadness, laughter, captivity and freedom – throughout every season as long as He is Lord of our life and we seek His face.

    He is Life to our marriage. He is bigger than all of us and any of our circumstances. He truly is GOD of the miraculous & the very simple!

    Pray, Speak, Believe Life – Jesus and His Word for all marriages!

  47. 147
    Elizabeth says:

    You're right. People do what they want.

    Some men meet naive virgins on missions trips abroad, say they love Jesus, marry them, and then leave them with nothing after they've gotten their green cards. And then where is their Jesus? Ugh. Happens every day. Happened to me in Brazil. Destroyed my life in Houston. But the Lord is faithful. Yes, He is faithful. And mighty to save.

    Thanks for writing what you did. It's nice to hear a Christian act like Christ. 🙂


  48. 148
    Brenda says:

    Love that scripture. That is the scripture my husband and I had the pastor who married use for his sermon.

  49. 149
    lavonda says:

    I love what Nikki said. Their friends were the Body of Christ to their marriage. And things are turning around. Praise You Jesus!

    Our friends and family, great as they were, were not. They supported me, but never took him out to the woodshed and held him accountable. My husband had an addiction to women… so many affairs, with friends, with neighbors, with people he worked with… we depleted our savings on counselling… I fought like h, e, double hockey sticks to keep my children from being in a broken home. In the end, he left to marry his high school sweetheart. The NFL cheerleader. His greener pasture. Even his dad, who is a preacher, never reached out to support us. I would say, and I have said, to friends who may be going through a rough patch in their marriage, when it's too hard to look at your spouse and to love him through that rough patch, look at Jesus, and focus on Him, and love HIM. Love your man like He's Jesus. Treat him the way you would want to be treated, no matter what. Don't be a doormat, but doesn't He tell us to do unto others as we'd want done to us? Measure after measure of grace and forgiveness? And then, if it still doesn't work, at least you know YOU tried. And if it's too hard to try for yourself, try for your children. You'd be amazed at what you can do, and how long you can do it, when you put them before yourself. Give God a chance to work in your marriage.

    I know, this coming from someone who's didn't work. But I sleep well at night, knowing I really really tried. Instead of celebrating a 20 yr anniversary last month, I just celebrated my 2yr anniversary with my new best friend. 🙂 (Who would never cheat on me. Who loves Jesus with all his heart.)

    If any of you are going through something similar to what I did, hang in there. At least give God a chance to work in your man. Some won't let Him, but at least give Him time to see if he will. I've seen it happen with friends of mine. And they are happier now than they've ever been.

  50. 150
    Anonymous says:

    we are in our 14th year of marriage and ministry. pregnant with our 6th child.
    not struggling a little in our marriage.
    struggling a lot.
    my husband hasn't been faithful.
    i haven't been honest.
    he could have done more.
    i should have done more.
    we are committed to the God who created our union.
    and decidedly we are committed to the union as well.
    we are being attacked by a present evil…
    that has already been overcome.
    so we stand firm.
    and cry out.

    but i have been shocked that my cry to our friends was returned with a random text here and there. i do wonder if anyone would care if we just walked away. hm. so your question was interesting to me.
    God's timing stirs my hope..that He is at work through the post that He knew i would read tonight blows me away 😉 and keeps me hoping. thanks for writing this. God is at work.
    Glory to the King who sits enthroned-our God

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