Here is another monthly marriage miracle story. The names have been changed, but the story is true. I know God works miracles in marriage because he has worked so many in ours. Often our relationship seemed hopeless, but calling out to the Lord changed so much–especially my perspective on our marriage as I embraced God’s view of my husband and of our life together. Sometimes miracles take a while, but as I and Joan were willing to wait, God came through.
After I talked to Joan on the phone to get her story, I saw how the faith she developed for her marriage involved waiting. She did not see a change in her husband until after 30 years of marriage.
Joan’s Story of Perseverance
Joan was someone who persevered. The primary difficulty in her marriage was that her husband, Mark, “was working, working, working.” She said, “He felt guilty—that he wasn’t doing enough—because of his background.”
She expressed she felt disconnected from him. He remained involved with their four children, but had nothing left for her—no intimacy—all because he stayed bound by fear and anxiety. Even when at home Mark worried about work. He said, “Don’t talk; I’m planning for tomorrow.” Day after day Joan had to deal with the fact that her husband was emotionally unavailable because of his high stress job.
“I was lonely and frustrated” she said, “I didn’t believe in divorce; I believed in covenant.” But what I said was, “I don’t think I love you anymore, and I don’t think I can stay in the marriage.” Joan said she felt like she was pushing a loaded wagon uphill. It felt too hard.
“He sobbed when I said I didn’t love him. We went to counseling where he ended up talking about his job. He had insecurity. He thought he was going to get fired but they were actually pleased with him. He was bound by perfectionism and insecurity. He was obsessed with his performance. I didn’t try to change him. I focused on the children, and we drifted apart.
“Things really began to change in recent years when Mark was invited to a seminar where he learned about rest. He’s changing. He’s resting finally—at the age of 65–even though he’s still working. Things changed in both of us. God showed me that I had too many activities and that I needed to find the proper timing for communication. Now I make a point to spend time with him instead of just with the children and my friends. After 40 years of marriage we’re learning how to communicate and enjoy each other. We walk together for a long time. We talk about practical things and about life.
“The Lord used other men to speak to my husband. They would say, “What does the Lord say?” Now he has embraced “take no thought for tomorrow…” (See Matthew 6:34) And he’s into rest and trusting the Lord. I made a decision along the way to stay—no matter what—even if he never changed, although I believed he could.”