Is healing a broken marriage possible? In short, yes. However, this question comes with many variables and leads to more questions such as…
- How do you desire to heal your marriage?
- How does your spouse desire to heal your marriage?
- Is the hurt you are experiencing rooted in events prior to marriage?
- Is the hurt your spouse experiences rooted in events prior to marriage?
There are many questions to ask when it comes to healing a broken marriage, but one thing is certain, God is completely aware of your circumstance and desires to see your marriage restored. To start the process, you must pursue Him first. He wants you to know He is the one who can heal your marriage.
The Bible gives us many promises of restoration and healing. However, whether you’ve walked with Jesus for decades or just a few months, you’ve likely found life’s situations, and other people don’t always agree with Biblical truth. So how do you move forward in your identity in Christ and the restoration and healing He promises? This is difficult when the world around you—specifically your marriage—seems to be falling apart.
Discover what is behind your broken marriage. Then get practical ways to walk out your faith in this intimate relationship.
How Brokenness in Marriage Feels
Brokenness in marriage feels…
These are feelings where the enemy loves to get a foothold. He wants to keep you in these low places and kick you while you’re down. How does he do this? He pushes you to act out of these places, telling you, “You will feel better when you do this or that.” But his lies are empty promises and only take you further down a pit.
Your Spouse Is Not the Enemy
Satan wants to fly under the radar so that you blame your spouse, yourself, or others, and leave him completely out of the equation.
First Corinthians 10:13 says…
- “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
The enemy wants you to think and act out of loneliness and insecurity. He lies and says no one knows your pain or can possibly understand your hurt. However, the Bible clearly states that you are not alone in your pain or temptation.
Ecclesiastes 1:9 says…
- “That which has been is what will be, that which is done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”
Satan has been using lies about loneliness and shame for generations. He has always made an effort to tear down marriages since the fall of man in the Garden.
However, in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, we are reminded of who is against us in marriage.
- “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”—Ephesians 6:12-13
Working Toward Healing in a Broken Marriage
Pain and hurt in marriage happen. When two imperfect people come together in an imperfect world, there will be conflicts and brokenness. But restoration is possible–healing is possible. And forgiveness is essential.
Here are 5 ways to work towards healing in a broken marriage.
First, Know Who Is Behind the Brokenness
As mentioned above, the enemy loves to play on your emotions. Though he can’t make you sin, he can certainly use situations and others to push your buttons. But if you are working toward healing a broken marriage, you must see who is at work in the darkness.
Second, Don’t Try to Manage on Your Own
Many people try to change or manage their broken marriages on their own. You cannot, nor is it your responsibility to, change the heart or actions of your spouse. With that being said, you can voice your concern or opinion about a matter in a respectful way. However they respond is up to them.
Again, this is typically where the enemy gets a foothold. When your spouse doesn’t respond in the way they should or how you’d prefer, bitterness and resentment can set in. This is when you must come to the place of surrender. Find scriptures to speak when these situations arise, verses such as…
- “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”—1 Peter 5:7
- “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. “—Romans 15:13
- “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”—John 16:33
Third, Pray for Your Spouse, Marriage, and Self
Perhaps this is something you have already been doing. But pause and think about the one you’ve focused on the most. Has it been your spouse? Yourself? Change your focus, pray for your spouse, marriage, and yourself.
Pray for your spouse to prosper in the role God has them in. Pray for blessings to flow from the works of their hands. Pray for them to pursue God and His Word with passion. Pray for God’s Word to teach you, and soften your heart, revealing areas where you have self-protected, which may have hindered intimacy.
You may feel that prayer hasn’t worked, but it’s often in the darkest moments that God breaks through in amazing ways. God hears your cry and sees your struggle. He acts for those who wait on Him, who meet Him with rejoicing (see Isaiah 64:4-5). As you pray, praise God for what He is doing that you can’t see.
Fourth, Focus on Yourself
It isn’t easy to look at your own actions and consider habits and words that have hurt or caused conflict in your marriage. However, without introspection and guidance from the Holy Spirit, healing is impossible. Ask God what He wants you to do, what He wants to heal within you, and how you have hurt your spouse.
It’s always easier to look at what your spouse is or isn’t doing to contribute to the brokenness. But looking at them without also considering your responsibility only builds more walls. In Matthew 7:3-4, Jesus said, “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?”
Ask God to search your heart and reveal any speck in your brokenness.
Fifth, Seek Reconciliation
Reconciliation may seem impossible, but Jesus’ work on the cross reminds us that reconciling the broken relationship between humanity and God is possible through Him. As you…
- Recognize who’s behind the brokenness
- Dig into God’s Word and reach out for support
- Pray for your spouse, your marriage, and yourself
- Ask God to reveal to you the times you’ve hurt your spouse
… you are taking steps toward reconciling and healing a broken marriage.
You entered marriage with expectations, and so did your spouse. Ask God to reveal the expectations that have contributed to the conflict, hurt, and brokenness. Identify them and ask God to help you start laying them aside, one by one. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t have any expectations, but we often think every expectation is equally important.
The truth is, there are expectations you can release to God that will lead to reconciliation. They start to reveal more of who you are in Christ. Letting go of expectations that have caused bitterness, anger, and resentment allows His Spirit to come in and begin the healing work He wants to do within you, your marriage, and your spouse—letting go sets you free.
Take Time and Trust
Healing a broken marriage takes time and trust. It is a process, and for some, this process is longer than others. But it is possible. The key is to understand God’s ways are above yours. So is His timing. Keep pursuing and trusting Him, and know He desires to see your marriage healed.