I get asked lots of question from wives who are standing or simply having marital troubles and I am always amazed at how someone on one side of the country is experiencing the exact same thing as someone else a thousand miles away. So I have decided that every Wednesday I will answer your thought provoking questions. And by all means, please feel free to send me your questions and I will try to answer them on Wednesday's blog post which I have dubbed Wondering Wednesdays.
I was wondering if you think my marriage will be restored? I have been standing for a long time.
To answer this plainly and fairly...time has nothing to do with the outcome of your restoration. In fact, time is relative. What may seem like a short amount of time to one, can seem like an eternity to another. When we get wrapped in time frames, we begin to link that to the success of restoration and lose focus on God's ability to do any and all things.
While I do believe that above statement with all my heart, I realize that some of you may be looking for a little more in depth answer and so I am going to oblige you.
There is no magic number of days, months or years that determines restoration. Each restoration story and journey is different. And while I can't tell you if your marriage is ever going to be restored, I can tell you that SOMETIMES restoration takes longer because God is trying to change YOU but you aren't cooperating. Yep, you are the one hindering your own restoration.
Other times God wants to test you as He did Abraham to see if you are willing to go the extra mile and trust Him completely. You may have failed a few times, thus setting your restoration back.
And many times, God is changing your spouse into the Godly spouse that you deserve and need so that together, you can accomplish His will for your marriage.
Have you ever read the back of a cake mix box? After all of the mixing instructions are listed, the baking instructions are listed. Preheat at this temperature. Bake at this temperature. If your pan is a square pan bake at such and such temperature for so and so minutes. If your cake pan is round, bake at such and such temperature and so forth and so on.
Who would have thought that although we are all using the same ingredients (mix, eggs, oil, etc...) that the time and circumstance of each cake would differ. Don't even get me started on cakes being baked at higher elevation levels.
The same can apply to restoration. We all use the same ingredients (God, bible, prayer) but all of our pans (circumstances) and temperatures (how we allow God to change us) will determine our bake time. And if we take the cake out too soon, because we are impatient, we end up with a cake not ready for consumption.
Even worse is when we choose to turn up the heat assuming that it will bake the cake faster and we end up with an overbaked cake on the outside but raw on the inside. When we choose to pressure our spouse or ourselves into a time frame and force restoration, we end up with anry and tired spouses (overbaked, too done with us to want reconiliation) who are emotionally and spiritually empty towards us (not ready to be your spouse emotionally and spiritually therefore unable to do God's will effectively.)
Lastly, sometimes God is just waiting to restore a marriage so that He can be glorified. I am reminded of the man born blind. (You can read this in Book of John: 9) Someone asked Jesus if he was born blind because He or his parents and Jesus replied neither. The man awaited restoration for YEARS and YEARS so that the appointed time, when he was finally restored physically it would be only be God who received the glory.
So ask God to help you see where you are lacking? Show God that you trust Him completely and when the time comes to prove put on the full armor of God and do it! Pray for your spouse to have an encounter with God. Not just for restoration but for their spiritual well being. Lastly, if God asked you to stand for twice the amount of time you have been standing, so that He may be glorified, would your answer be pleasing to Him? Have you gotten so caught up in your spouse and restoration, that you have forgotten that God has called you stand first for Him and then your spouse?