CMBA_challenge_14The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association has a blog challenge this month, asking us to post each week about wisdom or encouragement about marriage from various sources.

This week, we write about words  from the Bible.

I am embarrassed to admit that during the difficult years of our marriage, I was angry at God and separated myself from Him in many ways. I rarely sought wisdom from the Bible.

When I did, I wouldn’t get much further than 1 Corinthians 13, at which point I would fill with sorrow at all the ways my husband wasn’t loving me without realizing that the verses were instructions to me about how to act rather than a list of expectations and demands I could make on my husband.
Psalms for my marriage


At the beginning of my gate-keeping and refusing years, I saw a poster tacked to the wall in church. The image of the beautiful sunrise captured my attention. The poster said,

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

I wrote about this verse  here.

Throughout these years, though, I clung to one Bible verse. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

And that was the single thing that ever gave me hope. I would get myself so wrapped up in the details of our interactions. My mind would be going a mile a minute in listing all the ways my husband had wronged me and all the expectations he had.

God would tell me, Be still. And for a few moments, I would be still. I would remember that God was God. I needed to just settle down and let Him do what it was He was doing—even if that meant keeping out of the way so He could work on me.

Those words always had the effect of settling me. For brief moments, I would see the chaos that had come into my life. I would see all the ways I was controlling those around me. When I got out of God’s way, I could see clearly, just for a moment.

I was stubborn, though, and I resisted what I saw in those moments. I buried them deep inside where I wouldn’t have to face them. Yet all along, I knew God was there, and all I needed to do to be with Him was to be still.

Once I began to make changes in sexual intimacy, those buried moments all came back to me. It was as if they had been stored up until a time when I was willing to really look at them.

It was hard to look back at those glimpses of the damage I was doing. I was filled with regret that I hadn’t truly absorbed that understanding before—yet I knew God was with me still, there for me to cling to as I faced my growing understanding of the ways I had damaged my marriage.

No matter what I had done, God was God, God was there, and I needed to still myself in order to make space for Him in my life.


So I began to make changes, for my husband’s sake, without any understanding that the changes would benefit our marriage or me.

Nearly two years into my efforts, I saw so much difference. Every aspect of our relationship was different. For the first year, my focus was simply on changing my actions and working on not disliking sex so much. For the second year, though, I had begun to reach for what I was suspecting marriage could be. I was changing for the sake of positive growth, not just ending negative habits.

These first two years were a struggle for me. Big Guy took a while to get used to the new version of me, and only then could he begin his own healing.

I was frustrated—with him and with myself. I began to seek refuge in the psalms.

And one day, I landed at Psalm 51:10:

Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.

It captured so perfectly what I was beginning to see happening within me. My heart was changing, and my spirit was becoming one of good will and love rather than one of fear and control.

 Growing On and On

The more our marriage transforms and the more I grow, the more I can see the growth I still have in front of me. My eyes have been opened to my ways. I still stumble (read here and here). I still have times when old patterns try to re-emerge. My husband has healing yet to do.

Now, however, I seek God’s wisdom frequently. When I am most distraught, I simply turn to the Psalms and see where God guides me. Quite often, I end up at Psalm 63: 8:

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

As I look back at our marriage, during the years of a dying marriage and the years of regrowth, I can see that all along, God’s hand was upholding me.

As stubborn and resistant as I was, I clung to the knowledge that God is God. That kept me afloat in our marriage long enough to get to a point of transformation and renewal.

God’s word was there for me throughout my entire marriage. I just needed to reach out for the encouragement and wisdom He had for me.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Make me a clean heart, O God: and renew a right spirit within me.

My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix at

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