Out of respect for privacy and some individuals’ decisions to leave overcome struggles in the past, we do not share extensive examples about the many other couples we have helped. But their stories are all shaped by faith in God and the renewal he offers.
This is the story of Lisa F., one of my classmates, who originated from Jamaica. She got to the United States and settled down to become a U.S. Citizen. According to her testimony, she met her husband when they were both at a young age. They fell in love, got married, and now have a child together. Lisa came to the U.S. while leaving her husband behind. She returned to their home overseas in Jamaica from time to time to go and stay with her husband. When I met her in the U.S., Lisa felt stressed and worried every single day. She was having issues with her husband for a long time. She felt that her husband did not love her or care for her the same way as before. She felt like her husband was cheating on her. Lisa carried that pain for many years, and it took a toll on her. She was crying incessantly. She said she was trying so hard to make things better, but she believed her husband no longer cared or even tried at all. Lisa said that her heart grew cold and hard, like a stone. She felt that the love between them had died.
I took many approaches to encourage Lisa towards therapy. I questioned her to understand and explained to her God’s Word about marriage. I opened the Bible and read some passages regarding what God wants for every couple: The Bible says in Hebrews 13: “Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.” I told her that God created mankind in his own image; male and female, He created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen. 1:27-28).
For Lisa, I cited Matthew 19: 4-6: “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
This is something we did every time we met. We opened the Bible, read some passages, and I advised Lisa regarding God’s purpose and plan for marriage; telling her that the good news is that God has the power to completely turn things around. I told her that our God is a God of restoration, a God of miracles, and a restorer of the afflicted. He can make things happen and renew all things. Lisa learned that God offers assurances within the Bible:
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
I helped Lisa to understand that God is the ultimate source of operations and resurrection power, and that our great God can resurrect affection and love again – even if it has been dying for years. Indeed, He is a God that can restore the broken heart and soften your spouse’s heart toward you. I counseled Lisa that she only needs to believe, because:
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).
Lisa has learned that God can bring her marriage to life again. I have been a mentor for her, counseling or advising her. We prayed frequently together until God brought a solution to her broken marriage.
I want everyone to know that Lisa’s situation could be anyone’s situation, maybe in a different way. This type of problem can happen to anyone or any marriage where one spouse is working so hard to make things better and the other one doesn’t care at all. I’m saying that everyone’s marriage will be or can be restored, depending on your situation.