There are times in every marriage when the accumulation of hurts feels so bad that we can never go back to the idealistic love we felt when the relationship was new and exciting. This is the moment when couples begin to think that divorce is the only escape from the pain.
If it is a Christ-centered marriage, however, he will lead us to another cure. Divorce is always more painful than imagined: the custody battles, bitterness, getting victimized by revenge and bad-mouthing, disputes over who gets what, its effect on the children, and the loss of financial security. And worst of all: being abandoned and rejected by the one who was supposed to love you no matter what and forever more.
With Jesus, there is always a resurrection after the cross. To reach the new life of a renewed marriage, we have to embrace the cross and realize that it is meant to be redemptive. There is supernatural healing that’s hidden in the cross.
We are not supposed to go back to the idealistic love we used to feel. Jesus wants to lead us to a more perfect love, a more mature love – the Radical Love of his own heart.
He might lead us on a journey of healing through counselors, rehab programs, anger management classes, or marriage enrichment retreats (such as Marriage Encounter and Retrouvaille). But always he leads us on a journey of healing. When it seems like there’s nothing good left in the marriage but Jesus, Jesus is more than enough to lead us to a newly resurrected relationship with our spouse.
- Think of an endearing quality that attracted you to your beloved. How has it evolved into a stronger virtue?
- How present and involved does Jesus seem to be in your relationship with your beloved?
Strengthen your relationship:
Design a ceremony for renewing your wedding vows (or a promise of commitment to each other if you are not yet married). It can be a private renewal shared between just the two of you right now, in a prayer that places Jesus as the presider, or it can be a formal renewal set for your next anniversary, in church, with family and friends – or anything in between.
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© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries