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. 151
    leigh ann says:

    thank you. that's all..just thank you.

  2. 152
    Karla says:

    Thanks so much Amanda for this post.

    I was thinking about the movie, Nemo and the advice of Dori…"just keep swimming, just keep swimming"! Sometimes you just have to keep keeping on… working, forgiving, starting over…again and again.

  3. 153
    Stefani says:

    When the waves come, go surfing.

    We have had an endless string of stresses and mishaps happen in the last 2 years. Sometimes we just look at each other and say, "Dang, that was HARD." But I am so glad we got through it together!

    Advice: Make up your mind you are going to stay no. matter. what. Satan will feed you any line of bull to get to reason yourself out of a marriage and into a divorce.

    God ALWAYS wants you to stay together, unless he's (your hub) cheating on you. No matter what the circumstances were when you got married, GOD WAS THERE. He can keep you there.

    Am I the only one who is so disheartened about a very public couple's marital problems? Ya'll, let's pray for them. Let's pray for a miracle. Pray the sweetness comes back to their relationship.

  4. 154
    Judy says:

    A word of humble advice from someone who has been married 32 plus years…the best thing you can do when trouble in your marriage comes, and it will surely come, is to hit your knees and pray for God to heal your broken marriage. Also, God may lead you to seek professional counseling from a Godly counselor. I've been there, done that and my marriage is better for it. My husband and I have gone through some very rough patches and it took me a while to learn to fight my battles on my knees, but by the grace of God we came through the battles ( at least the ones we have faced thus far :0) )and we are stronger for it. Praise God!

  5. 155
    Cyndi says:

    I've been feeling pretty down about my marriage lately. We will celebrate our 21st anniversary in August. Since we made a major move about 3 months ago, our marriage has fizzled and we just don't seem to enjoy one another. I've been quite concerned and thought about counseling but the cost has held me back. Plus I think if we just have a heart to heart open conversation we can work through our problems. But when I try to talk to him and tell him how I'm feeling, it just makes him feel like he doesn't measure up. It's like I'm telling him how he's failing. The times we've talked haven't resolved much of anything. Last night, I was asking the Lord about it and I believe He revealed to me that my husband is just physically exhausted. He has been under a lot of stress with this move, the new job, new house, traveling, plus wife being unhappy with him. It all has taken a toll on him and he really needs some rest. He is heavy laden and weary. So today, I have felt totally different! It's like that was all I needed to know – that he was tired! I can deal with that! I no longer feel like I'm being neglected and overlooked. He's just needing me to give him time and space to rest. I can do that. Today we've been relating better – mainly because the chip is no longer on my shoulder. Thank you, Lord! Ask and you will receive…

  6. 156
    betcteach says:

    My first marriage did not last. My ex husband became addicted to prescription pain killers. When his behavior became dangerous to my children and me, I made him leave. I stayed with him while he went through rehab. I held my head as high as I could while whispers and accusations swirled around me. It's sad that it's "ok" to have an alcoholic husband, but YOU become suspect when your husband is a drug addict. I worked full time as a teacher and cared for a 4 & 1 yr old. I got up at the break of dawn every Saturday to drive to the rehab facility and participate in the family counseling and spend the day "as a family." On the advice of my pastor and my parents, I set up some "rules" that had to be followed before he could come home….meetings once a week, counseling, a job, etc…. And I prayed a lot. He actually accepted his 6 month "clean and sober" pin at AA "under the influence." He never made it home. Divorce, bankruptcy, and a move "home" to my support system followed. He has since died as a result of Satan's curse of addiction. Did I do the right thing……My sweet LORD has never caused me to question that. I have 2 GODLY sons who know THE FATHER as THEIR FATHER.
    I have a coworker whose husband is struggling with alcoholism and dragging her and their children through the mud. My heart bleeds for her. I advise counseling–she will go, he won't. I pray and pray about what to tell her, but I fear I have too much baggage to be objective. Will you please pray for Patty??

  7. 157
    Marcie says:

    A few years ago our marriage was at its worst. But in January of 2006 I finally told God I couldn't take it anymore that it was His to do with whatever He wanted. I surrendered my whole self to God. I've been a Christian most of my life and never thought my marriage would go this way. Anyway, two days after that surrender, our daughters and I were in a very bad car accident. God used that accident to save our marriage and now it is better than it ever was before. We just celebrated 14 years! God is still doing miracles and He can do a miracle of any marriage if we'll just let Him! Thank you for the post Amanda! Be Encouraged. (And yes, Fireproof is a wonderful movie for all couples to watch!) 🙂

  8. 158
    Stephanie says:

    As a woman who has survived a failed marriage I'd have to say….YES divorce is so much more expensive than counseling when you consider the emotional cost you pay. It is something you pay nearly everyday especially if you have children involved. Also when you are in the thick of things and it feels like you'll never find a happy place again with your mate, being single again can appear easy and fun and worth walking away from your marriage. In truth it is for a short time then you realize being alone is harder than ever these days. It's really true "you don't know what you've got till it's gone". For instance you think it's tough paying all the bills at the end of the month on two incomes try doing it on one. Marriage isn't just about the money but I think you all know where I'm coming from on this. God has worked my divorce out for the good for me personally. But I encourage every woman who is thinking of leaving to pray harder, read longer, counsel more, find a support group at church. Be the woman of God you were designed to be. I could go on but I'll stop there.


  9. 159
    Melanie says:

    Those are awesome scriptures, Amanda, and packed with truth. My hubby and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary in a month and a half and we've had our fair share of difficulties. When those scriptures are put into practice, it can be a beautiful thing.

    Our problems come when our pride and selfishness rise up and start that same ol' vicious cycle. He/she hurt/offended/neglected me so if he/she isn't going to hold up his/her end of this relationship then I'm not either. And then we're off to the races – again.

    Marriage is often thought of as a 50/50 partnership but God's Word says we're to do everything as unto the Lord and not unto men.

    I've come to believe that regardless of whether my husband holds up his end of things or not, God still calls me to hold up mine. And if I'm not wanting to do it because I'm not feeling particularly loving toward hubby at the moment, God has asked if I'm willing to humble myself and do it for Him instead who gave all knowing I'd never be able to hold up mine.

    Sometimes hubby and I get it right and often we mess it up but I thank God that, after nearly 15 years, we still love each other, we're still together, still working it out, seeking Godly counsel when needed and, Lord willing, passing on a good example for our kids.

    To God be the glory.

  10. 160
    Heather in CA says:

    Good post…before I even read the others I must chime in. Just AFTER a friend divorced he met a woman and within 6 weeks he stopped speaking to us and they moved in together, and they are in leadership at our church. My husband tried EVERYTHING to help this guy "un-do" he loved him, got mad at him, told him "straight up", etc. To no avail…what we did learn is that we MUST trust our friends to hold us accountable in situations that are hard. We must trust that our accountability partner is going to do just that!

    In the middle of this guy's separation your mom wrote about her marriage on the website and I still have a copy of it….because there will always be a struggle around the corner. Last summer was awful for us…I also realized that I can be prideful and not tell anyone, too prideful to seek counseling….but I am VERY ware of that now.


  11. 161
    Anonymous says:

    I understand that the hard times in marriage come in waves, but what if those waves seem to last and last, for years? What if you're the only one in your marriage who thinks anything is wrong, and your spouse doesn't see it? Or what if you try and kindly ask for things to change and he only hears that I think he can't do anything right? (And that isn't true!) He continually feels like a failure, so how can I share how things he does — or doesn't — do make me feel? What if I feel a complete absence of love from him? When is too much, too much? I want to honor my vows, but I also don't want to spend the next 50 years of my life this miserable.

    My parents have made it 50 years (!!) and my father said they made it by "not sweating the small stuff… and just about everything is the small stuff." But this feels like such BIG stuff! I feel like the man I married is gone.

  12. 162
    Jill_in_AL says:

    Last year a good friend of mine was forced by repeated infidelity including public humiliation to take a stand against her "godly" husband and eventually file for divorce when his habits (internet and in person) would not stop. For my part as her friend, I simply supported her and provided a place she could land and vent when needed. Little advice did or could I give; little did she need.

    I think just knowing that she had a few true friends who didn't need details and would not second guess or judge her was priceless to her.

    It is now over and she is building a stable, balanced life.

  13. 163
    Susan says:

    Thank you for the sharing of life in its various shades, Amanda! This post and the comments were a blessing and AMEN to riding the waves. I appreciate what God teaches in the ebb and flow of marriage…well, a good bit after the fact. :o)

  14. 164
    Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this post. Christians need to stop thinking "this will never happen to us"- my husband and I thought that, and now he's not with me and the kids. However, I'm 'Believing God' for a miracle 🙂

  15. 165
    Denise says:

    I just got home from going to Zambia on a mission trip and heard that several of our couple friends are separated. Thanks for following Jesus so closely and writing what He put on your heart, Amanda. I intend to read the responses carefully, for I truly want to minister to my friends. Yes, I have given the book The Power of a Praying Wife to everyone. It needs to be read by anyone considering marriage or anyone married (young and older.) It is so powerful! Another good book is called Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall. Learning to forgive yourself and others is a universal need. I have prayed with many women who fought (stormed the gates of heaven), and God has made their marriages stronger now than they ever thought possible! Our God can do anything!!! Praise Him for His resurrection, life-changing power!

  16. 166
    Cindy says:

    I would say…Love is not just a feeling or an emotion, it's a decision. You make up your mind to do it or not. If you don't "feel like it" (and even sometimes when you do) we all need God to love through us – that means when it's an easy decision and most importantly when it's a tough decision. It's very hard work but as with most things that require great effort, the rewards are also great!

  17. 167
    Anonymous says:

    This post is a great idea, and I would contribute to it if I had any advice for my married sisters; however, I am not married and wouldn't presume to know what advice to give. I DO know that marriage is a wonderful, albeit difficult, institution, if the comments of my married friends are anything to go by. Hey! How about sometime in the near future doing the same type of thing for us single sisters so that we may discuss the worries, frustrations, and challenges unique to single life. Married women aren't the only ones that need advice from time to time, and we don't have an "Ephesians 5" as a guideline to look to. (If any of this sounds snarky, I promise I didn't mean for it to.)

  18. 168
    ~ Laurie says:

    1 year ago my marriage was 'on the rocks' as many people would say. I remember thinking "how did this happen?" Here we were in full-time ministry, with three kids and our marriage was on the edge of complete and absolute destruction. Not a single person that saw it from the outside said a thing. And the people that did told my husband to 'be a man' and me to be 'submissive'. Those words were not helping us, or fixing the problems.
    I'm happy to say after seeking out another pastor at a different church, some counseling, some intense discussions God has healed our marriage and we are in a much better place.
    I wish someone would have said to me, what can I do to help you, to pray for you. A godly woman or man to come along aside us and encourage us BEFORE it got out of control. Friendships that are real and authentic were it doesn't come as a shock how things really are…but that we are an open book and honest with people what every day life behind the doors is about.

  19. 169
    Anonymous says:

    I don't expect that you'll approve this comment and that's ok, but I'm presenting it to you sincerely: Hang on, get past the wave, etc. All that's fine. Commitment to marriage. It's necessary, I'll be the first to admit. Kudos to anyone mature enough to grasp it in the least. But my mom did that in excess of 40 years when her brother-in-law died and she was left with the responsibility of my uncle's estate and care / decision-making for my oldest aunt, who, as it turns out, was experiencing mild Alzheimer's. At that time, my "father" starting hitting on my cousin (my mom's niece) to have an affair. She wouldn't bite, so he ended up with an illegal immigrant Mexican two years older than I am. That's the Reader's Digest Condensed Version of the story. But she went through wave after wave after wave. . . and what she's ended up with is about the worst hurt imaginable after 45 years of trying to take care of him, because he's such an emotional and moral invertebrate. Is that what she was supposed to do? Sometimes all you get is a lot of lost time.

  20. 170
    Completely His says:

    My husband and I are approaching 17 years of marriage in July. It's an absolute miracle. As a follower of Jesus, I willfully entered into this union unequally yoked to my husband. Before we were married, he said "enough" for me to think he was a believer and it was OK to proceed. Besides that, I could change him once we were married. Well, surprise, surprise, I couldn't change him. Only God could. We have survived drug addiction/alcoholism, gambling, adultry, and uber-selfishness. Not all of these were his issues. Several were mine. Satan came after us with guns loaded. He meant to completely destroy both of us and our children. To God be the glory, we persevered, prayed, and threw ourselves on the cross. Today, our marriage is redeemed and restored. My husband is the strong, godly leader I have prayed for. We both have been brought to the end of ourselves and God showed us amazing grace to display His glory. Fireproof is our story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent:)
    All I can say is: keep on praying, keep on loving, and don't give up. It's SO worth the fight! Also highly recommend "Love and Respect" by Emmerson Eggerich. Christ is most glorified in our marriages when we are most satisfied with Him. Seek Him with all your heart. Die to self and let Christ reign in you.

  21. 171
    tealovingmom says:

    Great thoughts, Amanda.

    I would tell that person that no matter the outcome of her marriage, she WILL be OK because God is still holding her in the palm of His hand. I would also encourage her to stay in touch with a counselor or another godly mentor/friend so that she can hear good advice on how to take care of herself and how to conduct herself in the midst of such difficulties.

    Love y'all so much,

  22. 172
    Lori says:


    You are certainly wise at such a tender age. God bless you, your family and your marriage.

    I attended Living Proof Live in Pittsburgh, and was delighted by the way your mom was able to share her struggles with your dad in such a loving, godly way. Soon after I returned to Erie, PA from Pittsburgh, I found the following in my e-mail box, forwarded by a friend from Crossroads. I thought it was worth sharing.

    Dear Lord, I want to respect my husband and build Him up with my words. Help me to measure my thoughts carefully and come to You with my complaints. I want to become my husband's biggest cheerleader and watch You do Your thing in His life. I know this is possible as I depend on You to live Your life through me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

  23. 173
    Anonymous says:

    I just want to say that when I was first married I was pretty naive that my marriage would ever be in trouble…my parents had divorced and I was determined that I would never get a divorce and told my husband the night he proposed.. this is forever..
    Well, about 4 years into our marriage I learned that my husband was deeply into pornography. He had hid it well for four years.. that was my first devastation. He sought counseling but it didn't seem to help much. I didn't really deal with it as I didn't want to "shame" him.. then 13 years into our marriage I discovered he was having an affair.. this deeply rocked my world. You see we were church going family.. he was a deacon, we tithed, we had a young daughter..
    I was devastated and it was the scariest moment of my life.. as I picked up God's word and when he arrived home. I confronted him. We did go through counseling. I only told two friends. I didn't want people's perceptions of my husband to be changed as I was already dealing with that myself. This man who I knew loved God and I felt he loved me had been an off and on affair for over 4 years. Thankfully, we went to counseling and God saved our marriage. My two friends prayed with me and looked after me. The one thing I learned is that God can do ALL things. And No one is perfect. I had to remind myself daily that sin is sin. God does not grade sin like man does so I had to learn to forgive. Now, I still deal with some small tinges of fear at times.. but that is Satan. He does want to destroy relationships.
    Don't ever think "that would never happen to me".. we are all prone to sin.

  24. 174
    Cindy- My Life HIS Story says:

    Looks like Melissa Sue captured my advice. Love is a verb, so even when you don't feel the emotion love…DO THE THING.

    As a divorce survivor who now is in a strong, healthy marriage, I don't ever take it for granted. So we need to pray, pray, pray…for our man and our marriage.
    Oh, and one more thing, don't give the best of yourself to everyone else in your life and only have the grumpy you to give to your husband.

  25. 175
    Ceffie in WV says:

    Marriage isn't easy and it takes two people willing to stick it out even when you think if I stay here one more minute I might stick something sharp in this person trying to just stick it out. After 14 years of marriage I had decided that I couldn't do it anymore. I had an appointment with a lawyer and was on my way out the door when the world stopped around me and God grabbed me by the shoulder (which I thought at the time was my husband but when I turned around to knock his hand off he wasn't there) an told me he would help me if I got back in the house. we then went to a marriage counseling class with several other married couples. During the session my husband told his group that he never felt trapped in the marriage but for the first time he felt like he belonged. WOW does that change the way you look at your spouse. My advice to anyone struggling in their marriage would be to get to a christian counselor and work it out. It isn't greener anywhere else. I can say this after celebrating our 38th anniversay in May. WORK IT TAKE WORK!! Are you up for the challenge?

  26. 176
    Technonana says:

    The FireProof Your Marriage series is excellent!!!
    Our Church did this study back in Feb. My husband teaches The 30Somethings Class, and asked me to join him in teaching the study…we had so many of the young couples ask us over and over, why no one taught this before marriage. Just doing the LOVE DARE is excellent for any marriage. Dan and I have been married for 42 years, and it was great for us!!
    I recommend it to everyone!!

  27. 177
    Anonymous says:

    My husband and I have been married 32 years tomorrow. I think the one thing that would've helped me so much if I had it to do over again is this. Ask God to fill those empty places and insecurities and quit expecting my husband (and friends and everyone else) to. Most of the time, my husband doesn't even know what I am talking about!!! LOL One study that Beth taught (Ican't remember….I think Breaking Free) she said "let your husbands off the hook". That is the truth. Hard to do most of the time. Would've saved alot of unnecessary arguments! Go to God first, receive from Him, love husband freely!

  28. 178
    Anonymous says:

    It doesn't take long for the devil to find an entryway and get a foothold in your marriage if you're not nurturing it every day. My husband and I discovered this recently when my husband had a young, immature friend giving him unsolicited marriage advice. What were actually little irritations to my husband seemed like huge issues to his unmarried friend, who had no experience with marriage and the commitment that it requires. My husband's friend thought the issues were big enough for my husband to leave me and my daughter, instead of talking to me about what was bothering him. The friend even went so far as to tell his girlfriend that my husband had asked me to leave, which wasn't true. When it got back to me that he had said these things, my husband and I had quite the eye opening experience about who to trust with our marriage. I am just grateful that God saw fit to save my marriage and help us both learn something.

    Communication is key to a healthy marriage, and if your marriage is in trouble, seek the advice of someone who loves you and has your best interest at heart.

  29. 179
    Cheri Bunch says:

    My husband and I have been married thirty years. Your mom is right, the difficult times do pass, but Satan is tenacious and we must fight for our marriage during those hard times. I remember laying across our bed and pleading with the Lord to bless our marriage. Not just once, but over and over and over!

    There were times I did not like my husband very much, but I kept telling myself that I loved him. I couldn't for the life of me find a good reason to sometimes but I just kept reminding myself that the truth was I was in love with him!

    During one of our most difficult times, I asked him if we could pray together every morning and every night. This probably has been the most powerful weapon we have used against the enemy! I explained to my husband that I thought the enemy was trying to destroy us and that prayer could save our marriage. He said, "You start!" (He was kind of frustrated at the time and probably for good reason) so I did. It has made a huge, may I say HUGE difference in our married relationship! There is power in agreement especially the agreement of husband and wife! The two praying as one brings about a blessing! That is not scripture necessarily but truth all the same!

    So, blessings to you.

    There should be a good fight in a marriage once in awhile. I believe it clears the cogs. But don't fight dirty. And forgive. And remember that you love that person!

    I think I preached a sermon here. Sorry, I am pretty passionate about this subject. I have a testimony of victory here. My husband and I are more crazy about each other than we ever thought possible!!! I never knew that marriage could be so wonderful!

    Enjoy one another. Your man is a gift to you. And you are a gift to him.

    Fireproof is an awesome movie! Just awesome! So glad that you were blessed by it too!

    Love to you and yours,

  30. 180
    Kingdom Mama says:

    Such a great post!!

    I blog about marriage A LOT because my marriage came seconds away from ending, and I feel so strongly that ANY marriage can be saved. I want to share our experience with as many people as will listen, because marriage is just that important, and it is NOT disposable. Anyway, here's my latest marriage post, if anyone has the time to read it:



    P.S. We waited to watch Fireproof too…but both LOVED it! Oh, the rebels.

  31. 181
    Michelle Bentham says:


    Having been on the brink of marital disaster at the beginning of this year. And, I do mean – five years ago, I would have left and broadcast my wound to the entire world – the kind of marital disaster that destroys lives.

    We watched "Fireproof" together, and when we talked about it later he didn't really seem to get it. What's worse, last fall we went and saw it in the theater and he was in the throws of "burning down our house." I thought I smelled smoke, but I just ignored it thinking it was my overactive imagination. My ignorance only fanned the roaring flames.

    So, after we watched it the second time, I asked him to watch it with me again and to specifically look for things that spoke to our situation. The result was phenomenal. He actually apologized for missing the signals and abandoning our relationship. And much, much more than should ever be written for public consumption.

    For women who are in that place where their marriage is burning to the ground, I would say – ask for counseling. I told my husband we needed it and he refused to go. So, I went to the pastor I serve under at church and told her what was happening in my marriage. She, too, said "marriage counseling." I said, "He won't go."

    So, she said, "Okay, you can come here and we will work on you. Then you can invite him to the Freedom classes and we will start there."

    For two months I did the work of confessing my hang ups, hiccups and hold-ontos and we prayed and worked through every aspect of wound and transgression with God in her office. Each week, I would return with a report about how the changes in me were actually working in our relationship and bringing change to our marriage.

    But, Amanda, before I even got to the office of my pastor, I chose to forgive him – not to say the hurtful thing he did was okay, but to say I forgive you and want to work on making our marriage better. I willfully said, "We have to deal with the yucky stuff as it comes up, but I don't want to wallow in it." I chose to ask for forgiveness for ignoring his needs and began to dialogue with him about what they were. I cried to him, and I found two people who loved my husband as a brother in Christ and poured my heart out to them and listened to them advise me to look at the painful truth about myself and how my "stuff" was contributing to our problems. They also told me when I was being too easy on him and too hard on myself.

    We are still recovering from our "fire" but the stinch of smoke only lingers occasionally and not for very long.

    I think the teaching/coaching of Gary and Barb Rosberg and the book "The Five Love Languages" along with the pastoral care I received helped us the most.

    And, finally… I just have had to learn to trust God more than the results. And… It's working.

    Rediscovering what I like about my husband has helped and choosing to love through the pain has changed my life.

  32. 182
    Theresa Haskins says:

    Absolute fabulous post. Words of wisdom to cling to.

  33. 183
    jes says:

    By every sense of logic, my husband and I should not be still married by now, but we are. A year ago we had papers drawn up and signed, each of us had abandoned the union completely, left in the desert like Hagar and Ishmael, but God had other plans.
    Now I watch as left and right, the marriages of those around me drop like swatted flies and I'm crying right now just thinking about it. And because I respond best this way, and because I'm finally at a place where I don't give a flip about how socially unacceptable it may be, I take a woodshed approach to those I love. I make no excuses, I refuse to justify excuses. "Its wrong. You WILL regret it. It WILL devastate your family." "Love is a choice." "On a scale of 1 to 10 how perfect are you? Your spouse? Then what makes you think your relationship would be perfect?" "Stop acting on your feelings, they are completely unreliable and change like the wind!" and the truth that NOBODY wants to hear, "Get over yourself, its not about how happy you are."
    sigh…. i could go on and on….

  34. 184
    gigetgirl says:


    14When I saw their fear, I rose and spoke to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people: "(K)Do not be afraid of them; remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and (L)fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses

    …****fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives and your houses

    I've been divorced.

    Divorce is the MOST painful experience. One day you think you are going to live the next you cant wait to see JESUS.

    I remarried my husband by choice by fighting for him and our children.

    If anyone loves you they will stand WITH YOU, YOUR SPOUSE and Children.

    What should we do for each other?
    FAST & PRAY.

    PRAY ceaselessly
    PRAY til your knees bleed
    PRAY til that spouse turns his/her
    head back to GOD & GOD alone.

    Never stop praying for each marriage. Healthy and not healthy.

    Make a decision everyday to be married, to be committed to God not thoughts, and vain immaginations.

    I love my husband and those amazing gifts of God.

    Everyday i say many many thanks to God for allowing me a second chance with the husband of my youth.

    He is my hero.

    GOD is Good.

  35. 185
    The Cobbs says:

    The one thing I would say is run to Jesus and be as honest with yourself as possible. Ask a trusted friend to be honest with you as well.

    The only other thing I would point out is that no mater how you slice it, marriage still takes a certain amount of cooperation from both parties. So, running to Jesus and doing all the "right things" doesn't necessarily guarantee that your story will have the neet, tidy, happy ending that the Hollywood version does. I'll take Jesus over a Hollywood ending any day.

  36. 186
    Anonymous says:

    When we are born, we are dependent on someone else to care for all of our needs. Then as we grow older and our "world" gets bigger, we continue to seek security in an insecure world. Security in family, friends, children, home, marriage, material wealth, and work. What happens to a person when all that is gone? Divorce does change your perspective of the world. Divorce does leave you wondering: Why did this happen? Children can grieve the divorce of their parents their entire lives. I learned that even if I am experiencing great joy in those areas (family, friends, children, home, marriage, work, & material wealth) to always have empathy and to hopefully never get "content" enough to be boastful about my circumstances because they can easily change. I have learned the best thing I can do in any circumstance someone else is going through just hold someone else's hand and listen as they have to go through the journey alone 24 hours a day 7 days a week and I am only a bystander. It is easy to solve some else's "problems" or be judgemental as a bystander. That is all most people want and long for is for their side to be heard and understood. 2 Corinthians Chapter 5 is always a comfort.

  37. 187
    The Weeks Family says:

    Your blog touched my heart. My husband & I are deeply burdened for marriage. We teach a class at our church, going through the "Love & Respect" series and lead a small group of young couples. We also are mentors in our church and have had the privilege of being used by God to walk beside young couples. The funny thing is that we're only in our mid-30's but it hit us one day that when God said for the "older to teach the younger" we were older than many and had enough years of marriage and parenting under our belt to bring insight to some. And by the way, Fireproof is an all time favorite! We've watched it so much that our kids ask to put it in now! Thanks for a wonderful blog. Marriage is so often neglected in the church because we all assume everyone is doing ok.

  38. 188
    Anonymous says:

    As someone in their mid thirties, my husband and I talk about how when we graduated college we were attending almost a wedding a weekend as a guest or part of the wedding party, some weekends we would have to choose, then a few years later the baby showers, in what seems like just a few years ago now our friends are parents of school aged children (some graduating high school) we don't see them as often as they are busy with their families, we are a "great" aunt and uncle, we have seen some of our friends and family our age whose weddings we attended go through divorce. Both of us have divorced parents, but it is different when you get to the age of seeing couples/friends you grew up with go through either challenges of an affair or a divorce. It does give you a different perspective. Can relate to your post.

  39. 189
    Jina says:

    The major things I have learned in my own marriage that I would pass on in addition to great scriptures you listed are:

    My mate is not my enemy. My enemy is in the spiritual realm.

    I have finally learned to stop trying to convince my spouse and to start my obedience on the battlefield behind Jesus. I look to see where He is looking, what is He saying and how do I obey in those directives. I surrender to His annointing in the presence of my enemies. I let my cup overflow with His Words. Then I get on board and pray behind Him as He carries His banner of love on the field. I wield every weapon I have and take my sword out of my sheath, raising my shield of faith.

    Then as the Lord allows, I ask a few fellow warriors to place a tee pee of shields of faith around our family to protect us from the arrows.

    It sounds like I have a recipe, I don't. I just have had the opportunity of practicing a lot of battle strategy and this is what I have found to be the most successful. Jesus will lead the way out.

  40. 190
    Kristen says:

    This post is near and dear to me as friends of ours were struggling in this manner a few years ago. They were a couple that was an integral part of our circle. She, a VBS teacher, he a Pastor's son. We noticed they began not showing to our social gatherings… soon they weren't attending church together. Husband at a service w/ one child, wife at another service time w/ the other.
    My friend and I were very close. We prayed, cried, laughed together. She began cancelling our lunches. I made attempts – sometimes feeble -to get together w/ her. I knew something was wrong. We all did and I knew that I was a close enough and a honest friend that I could ask her, talk to her, find out what was going on. She would either make an excuse or cancel. One night, and I mean dead of night the Spirit was urging me that I had to do something now… it was urgent. At 2am I emailed her. Told her that God put it on my heart to reach out, that we HAD to meet. I knew something was wrong. Her response "she was not ready to talk about it" I was heartbroken. Three days later, the day before their 17th wedding anniversary she announced to her husband she had filed for divorce. A few months later we found out she had gone outside of the marriage for companionship. There is so much more to the story… but sisters… if you have a friend, who's marriage is in trouble. PRAY and find out if it's you who should reach out. If it is… seek Godly advice from a Pastor, a friend… who can pray for you as you talk to your sister. Ask that the words be His not yours. I am not saying that I could have changed the outcome… but you will know that you did what He would want you to do.
    I wish my friends would have tried harder, worked through it… had known that it's a time they could have been passing through. That Satan had his wicked grip all over their marriage. It's tough, you have to fight hard! If it's a marraiage not full of abuse it can be saved.
    I am the 44 year old child of divorced parents. Believe me girls… even at 44 I am still dealing w/ the fact that my parents have divorced. Every holiday, every wedding, every event, my sisters and I have to figure out how it can all shake out so we don't hurt or offend. Sometimes we still feel like that proverbial ping pong ball bouncing back and forth… sometimes hitting smack dab into the net.
    OK… this is too long of a post.
    God bless!

  41. 191
    Christina M Autry says:

    This is my first visit to The LPM Blog, and as in all things, God is always right on time! I am not normally a blog-reader although I think this may change.

    Here's a little story: Doug and I have been married 21 years and recently we have been spending quite a bit of time together, even more than when we were dating. Doug recently broke his leg pretty badly while up on a ladder at church and we have been on a medical/emotional roller coaster since April 3. The break was bad, required surgery, a week's hospital stay and post-surgical complications almost killed him. We are in the midst of some pretty rough seas.

    However, one day, while I was doing some schoolwork in the room next to where he is doing his rehab in our home, I heard a friend ask him "So, Doug, what do you see God doing in all of this?" Of course, I listened intently: "I think it has to be what He has done for my relationship with my wife," Doug replied. And he was right. Riding these waves together began a wonderful rejuvenation of our marriage. We are brand new "empty-nesters," and we were on a voyage of re-discovering each other anyway, and then God gave us this little squall. What a blessing it has been to have this time to spend serving my husband as his cook, nurse, housekeeper, physical therapist, friend and cheerleader. Now, if you knew me, you would understand what a God-sized task this was to change me from a woman who rarely cooks, has little patience and even less time to spend just hanging out with my husband! I hate grocery shopping, I am a terrible nurse, and I rebel at just about everything that's supposed to go into making a "good" wife.

    We have been sailing along, better than we have for years (especially the year he slept on the couch), until yesterday. Yes, Father's Day. Yesterday, we reached into the past and pulled out some attitudes that we haven't seen in at least three months! We both ended up not speaking to each other and that old burning anger in the pit of my stomach began to heat up. My stubborn unwillingness to apologize (I wasn't the one who was wrong, of course) began to construct an all too-familiar wall between us as we drove home from his dad's. His backseat driving got worse and my temper flared up until I pulled the car over and made our 19 year old daughter drive. I got into the back seat, slammed the door and muttered "I just can't take it anymore."

    Then, our daughter (who was completely put out with both of us) turned on K-LOVE and I heard the song "Word of God Speak." Without thinking, I started singing along and the longer I sang, the more I became convicted that I couldn't sing this song unless I changed my heart! I began thinking….

    WHAT IF I PUT GOD in this situation?

    Was I going to give up all we had gained the past few months because of my pride and arrogance? Or was I going to allow God in and restore us? I took off my seatbelt, got down on my knees and reached over to take my husband's face into my hands…"I'm sorry," I said. "I'm sorry," he replied and that was it. We were back. Argument forgotten (literally, I mean, I can't even tell you what it was about!).

    Life is hard, marriage is harder, but God is bigger than all of that. Sometimes the waves will knock us around a bit. Sometimes, we get hurt. This is true. We've got to remember that we don't ride the waves alone, that God is with us through it all. We might even find that riding the waves together with our spouses and God can be a great adventure! (Of course, those really big waves always look smaller after we've ridden them to shore and look back at the little bitty foam they leave behind!) "The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall for the LORD holds them by the hand."
    Psalm 37:23-24

    I hope my little story will give someone encouragement today. God bless you for this ministry and I am sure I will be back!

  42. 192
    Karen says:

    I am not sure what I would tell a girlfriend after being through so many situations myself. First, I would listen. Then, I would pray for her and her husband. If she was willing to be truly open~ then I would lovingly tell her the ways she needed to also change. It is such a process! My cousin did this for me and Jason for years.. it took so long for me to be obedient. I think the kicker was finally listening to the still, small voice saying.."I can handle my son, I love him. Let me work on him. Move aside." .. eventually I just threw my hands up in the air in total defeat.. not knowing yet that my "defeat" was the beginning of the victory. Step aside a little, ladies.. Let Him perfectly love your man while you learn to let Him love you. He can handle it!

  43. 193
    Stacie says:

    The book Momentary Marriage by John Piper sheds awesome light on God ordained marriage. I pray it will be a great encouragement.

  44. 194
    Shawnna says:

    While I'm reading this post almost a week later – God ordained you to write it on a day my beloved and I got in a big 'ol fight…one that had me in deep tears. And, just as you wrote, we rode that wave. After almost 18 years of marriage, we've had more than a few tsunamis hit right at us…and had it not been for His love for us, I don't think I would have made it.
    We need to wrap our marriages, the relationships of our family and friends tightly in prayer. There's no way we can't avoid what will bombard us on this earth…but our Heavenly Father will help us through those times.

  45. 195
    Jodi says:

    thank you for this post – I have an acquaintance who just left her husband – have felt compelled to write her…feel like God used this to give me the words to say.

    Please say a prayer for S & K that God would restore their marriage!

  46. 196
    Anonymous says:

    Forming and preserving godly families is one of the most effective weapons in our fight against the enemy. The fruits of a committed marriage bring honor and glory to God; therefore Satan will do all he can to disarm his opponents in this holy war. Either he will seek to prevent godly families from forming (hence the increasing rates of singleness rather than marriage) or he will do all he can to tear godly families apart. Don't give Satan the upper hand. Die to self every day. Be true to your marriage commitment. Be true to God.

  47. 197
    Christe says:

    I am proof that God is good and true and faithful! About a year ago, I didn't see how my marriage would make it. My husband's self destructive behavior was taking our entire family down a dark, emotional path. God threw a big event in our way that made change possible! I truly believe in the power of prayers!!! My husband is once again the same man I married. Praise Him!!!

  48. 198
    Anonymous says:

    The first few years of our marriage were terrible. We were both selfish, surrounded ourselves with the wrong friends, and I was waiting for our marriage to end. I didn't care. What happened? My husband who was 'trained up in the way he should go,' pulled me out of bed on a Sunday morning and said "we are not living this way anymore." I went to church with a hangover and a lousy attitude. The Lord turned our life around. It wasn't easy. We lost our friends and we had to basically start over. That was almost 37 years ago. The Lord has blessed our marriage beyond our expectations! No one can do it without the Lord, period. I believe selfishness and lack of respect and commitment chokes the life out of marriage. We must die to our selves in Christ and we must do a lot of dying to ourselves in our marriages in order for Him to make it strong. This is all opposite to what the world says.

  49. 199
    Anonymous says:

    Oh Amanda-I can't tell you how I've been thinking the same thing-marriages crumbling all around us in our church. If people would let the example in Fireproof be their guide-we have to honor our covenants because it pleases God. Maybe it will bring the wandering spouse back, maybe not-but we know how much more peace and power come when we follow Christ's covenant example.

  50. 200
    MissDaisyAnne---Annette says:

    My husband and I have been married over 26 years. We married when we were 18 and 19.
    What advice would I give to someone getting married now?
    1. God is greater than any problem we will encounter, and be prepared you will have problems!
    2. The other spouse is not the enemy, stay friends, stay close intimate friends; it is the married couple and God–against the enemy.
    About the time we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary, I thought about how my thinking had changed from back when we were first married. I no longer think about what can he do to make me happy, or even about "happiness" at all. We are both so grateful for each other, we cherish and deep appreciation for each other. When you have an attitude of gratefulness, your attitude, speech, and actions display that.

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