Thursday, June 01, 2017

Can Your Marriage Really Be Saved?

Bolles Harbor, Monroe

Can a failing marriage really be saved? If a marriage is an absolute train wreck, can it be transformed? If you are a follower of Jesus, you have to answer "Yes" to these questions. 

This is because, with God, all things are possible. Nothing is impossible for God. If God created the vast complexity of the universe, then rescuing a marriage is well within God's cognitive and creative abilities.

For the person whose marriage is in cardiac arrest, it all looks unresurrectable. But from my vantage point, and even more so from God's, the dead can be raised. I have seen it happen with marriages, many times. The person in the marital ER won't see it, because they have no experience in saving marriages. But Linda and I have. We have worked with hundreds of marriages at every level of sin and dysfunction. We have seen God work through us and others to set things right and make things better than ever.

The couple who looks at their troubled marriage and concludes, "This could never work", commits the "fallacy of hasty generalization." Here is a benign example.

1. I polled two college students who said Coke is better than Pepsi.
2. Therefore, Coke is better than Pepsi.

Such reasoning is faulty, because the sample is too small. One can't go from 1 to 2. To do so is to reason hastily. 


1. I have never seen a disastrous marriage like mine be helped.
2. Therefore, my marriage cannot be helped.

But I have. Linda and I have a large sample group of hundreds of marriages we have worked with, and you haven't done this. 

In addition, this reasoning doesn't work:

1. I have friends whose marriages failed.
2. My friends are telling me to get a divorce (failure loves company).
3. Therefore, my marriage won't work.

Never look at the failed marriages of your friends to validate the death of your marriage. To do this adds another fallacy to the irrationality, the "fallacy of faulty analogy." No two marriages are the same.

Have we seen train-wreck marriages fail to come together? Yes. They fail because one or both partners refuse to:

a) get humble and get outside help;
b) look at their own selves and the faults they bring to the marriage; and
c) look to the God they say they worship.

All it takes is one of the two partners to bail out and refuse to get help. 

Sometimes Linda and I look at each other and say, "I doubt if this marriage will ever come together." And then, it does. God does it. We must trust that, even as we do our very best in counseling marital couples, God is doing infinitely better.

God loves to save marriages and families. It happens when:

a) Two people humble themselves and get outside help.
b) Two people look at their own selves and the faults they bring to the marriage.
c) Two people get on their knees and turn to God.

Note: Read Gary Chapman's One More Try: What to Do When Your Marriage is Falling Apart. Excellent!


Marriage Takes Work

Saving Your Marriage: You Can't Derive 'Ought' From Feeling

Your Marriage Can Be Saved (Especially for Husbands)

Marriage Counseling Material

I'm now writing Leading the Presence-Driven Church, to be published Summer 2017.