Blog  /  Uncategorized  /  What Can Truly Save a Marriage?

19
Sep
2018
marriage, habits, family matters, susan yates

At the end of 2018 Scott and I will have been married 27 years. This is longer than some of the young men and women in the couples we mentor have even been alive. It’s longer than either of our parents’ marriages lasted. There have been seasons when 27 years is longer than we would have ever imagined we would be married. So when we cross that threshold this year, I will fall on my knees in gratitude as I do after each and every one of our hard-fought anniversaries. I’m so thankful that we reached another celebration milestone. That we didn’t give up. That we considered this marriage something to battle for.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Scott Cleverly, people smiling, people standing

Because I don’t know about yours, but my marriage is hard. I find it difficult to love someone who, on some days, I don’t even like. To love someone when I’m giving 100% and they seem to be giving nothing.  To love someone who consistently fails me in certain areas.

And I don’t know about you, but I’ve discovered that Hollywood lies about the power of romance in saving marriages. And culture lies about the power of effective communication in saving marriages. And sometimes even my well-meaning Christian friends lie about the power of date night and couples’ Bible studies in saving marriages. In the 27 years of our marriage, all of these things have been helpful tools in improving my marriage. All of these things should be intentional parts of a healthy, thriving marriage. But they have never once saved it when we were in danger of drowning in stormy seas.

Because in those dark seasons, my prayers were too desperate for mere helpful tools:

Lord, help my memory stay long and strong for the reasons I fell in love with this man – the little things and the big things. I don’t remember today.

Lord, help me understand him.  I think maybe we don’t even speak the same language.  Soften his heart so he can hear me, too. I don’t feel loved.

Lord, help me stay anchored in you as my hope in this marriage that feels hopeless.  We are doing all the right things with none of the right results.  I don’t have it in my own power to keep persevering. 

And He never failed to answer me. When we celebrate year 27 this December, I will be thankful that the Lord is faithful even when I am not. That He hears my prayers. That He loves my marriage. And what I will be most thankful for is that His response to all of my deepest pleas has always been to rain down His grace. On me. On Scott. And on this union that He, more than the two of us put together, wants to endure. It has been grace – that beautiful, counter-cultural, unheard of in Hollywood, missing in too many marriages, undeserved favor toward one another – that allows me to love Scott when I can’t remember why I did in the first place, when we just can’t seem to understand each other, and when we can’t see the end of the tunnel we seem to be in. And it has been grace that allows Scott to love me when I’m really not that likable. When he’s giving his all, and I’m giving nothing. When I consistently fail him in certain areas.

So, truly, it’s been grace that has saved my marriage. And it’s grace that saves it over and over and over again.

 

Want to learn how grace can save your marriage too?Join us at Scottsdale Bible Church, Saturday October 13th, 2018 from 9am-1pm for Family Matters, Grace Filled Marriage Conference. Child care is available. For more information and to register click here:

https://familymatters.net/events/details/2018/10/13/scottsdale-az-1-day-marriage-event-scottsdale-bible-church/

Sonia Cleverly

Sonia Cleverly, M.Ed., is a wife, mother, lover of language, and passionate advocate for families. She equally adores Shakespeare and Seinfeld, and she tiptoed back into the work world a few years ago after spending more than a decade blissfully immersed in the greatest job known to womankind – the stay at home mom. She currently works in Family Ministry at Scottsdale Bible Church where she supports parents in “getting” grace. She and her husband, Scott, have been married for almost 27 years, and he is ever so happy she has a new audience for the 20,000+ words she feels the need to use each day.

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