How To Mend A Messy Marriage

Ashley Thrift

As the tears rolled down my face, I thought, “How did we get here? How could we let this happen to us?”

My husband and I had just finished our last counseling session with our third set of counselors. Each time, they regretfully informed us there was nothing more they could do for us.

We were high school sweethearts who made it through the drama of attending separate schools. We couldn’t just give up. We had been married only a few years and brought a sweet baby boy into our lives.

“Could this really be it for us?” I thought. “Are we going to be a statistic of another failed marriage?”

I pleaded with God about why things were the way they were. How could He allow us to get to this point in our marriage that it seemed to be over?

Did We Try Hard Enough?

We tried it all — counseling, prayer, date nights, marriage conferences. Nothing seemed to help heal what we were going through. The love was still there but was it enough?

The hurt and pain we had caused one another seemed too big to overcome. Resentment and regret had taken over our household. Our exchanged words had become tainted with bitterness, and our feelings of unworthiness became toxic to our emotions.

We kept pressing forward, and looking back, the turning point came as a result of five key decisions.

How To Move Forward In A Messy Marriage

1. Choose to believe.

Mark 9:23, “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Change comes when we are willing to believe our marriages are worth fighting for.

2. Pursue faith.

We must have faith that God is there through the storms and act on that faith. Acting on faith is not easy. Faith by definition requires us to do something without knowing the outcome. In marriage, this means pursuing our spouses every day with love and encouragement no matter what happens or how they respond back to us (James 2:22).

3. Embrace grace.

Ephesians 4:2 says, "Be completely humble and gentle, learning with one another in love.” You are not perfect, and your spouse isn’t either. God's grace allows us to see through the mess to embrace His No. 1 message: Love one another.

4. Pray for yourself.

Don't ask God to change your spouse, instead, ask God to change you. Pray that God will help you see your spouse through His eyes. This change in perspective lets us focus on how we can become more like Jesus instead of how we can fix our spouses.

5. Pray for your spouse.

Under all circumstances, pray for your spouse, not against him. Thank God for your spouse each day, praying for his health and safety. Prayer aligns our heart with God’s heart, allowing us to see our spouses not as problems to be solved, but as people to be loved.

My marriage is proof that God can take any mess of a situation and turn it into a message. What could have torn us apart has made us more hopeful, more faithful, and more determined.

God restores broken marriages as we commit to believe, pursue faith, embrace grace, and pray. What He did for us, He can do for you.

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