How To Get Lost in God’s Love and Save Your Marriage

By Dannah Gresh
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
iStock/Thinkstock
Every person on earth has a deep desire to be loved. And as wonderful as love in marriage is, it will never be a fulfilling love unless we first saturate ourselves in the unfailing love of God.

“Lord, fix my husband. Fix us!” As quickly as the prayer was on my lips, I felt God ask, Do you believe I can do what you are asking Me to do?

I did not.

My husband, Bob, and I had reached a place of deep pain. Busyness. Sinfulness. Selfishness. I was angry with Bob. The circumstances don’t really matter. They’re probably a lot like the circumstances in your marriage from time to time. But convinced I could not love him well until he loved me better, I dug myself into a prayer routine that proved futile.

I was, in fact, looking for love in the wrong place. As wonderful as love in marriage is, it will never be a fulfilling love unless we first saturate ourselves in the unfailing love of God.

Before you accuse me of sounding cliché, I’ve learned this on the hot pavement of life, and I’d like to offer four practical tips that have helped me to live it out.

Admit that what you need more than anything else in this world is to be well loved.

Because love is a basic need of humanity, every person has a deep desire to be loved. During a difficult season of feeling unloved in my marriage, God led me to Proverbs 19:22 (NIV): “What a person desires is unfailing love; better to be poor than a liar.”

The Bible uses the phrase “unfailing love” more than 30 times, and not one of them refers to any source other than God himself. He alone holds the answer to our deep craving for love. This means that your husband or wife will never be able to fulfill this need unless you first find satisfaction in God’s love.

Let your spouse off the hook.

The greatest symptom that my need for love was misdirected was that I was praying for God to change my husband — without having the humility to ask God how He wanted to change me. It is never wrong to pray for God to make your husband or wife more like Him. However, when your prayers are void of your own need, that might indicate you’re trying to have your needs met through a person’s love rather than through God’s. When I realized this in my own life, I simply asked God to make me hungry for His love.

It takes a lot of courage to admit that your marriage might not be exactly what you want because you are not exactly what you need to be. Be brave. Put yourself under God’s care to be changed.

Write a list of things your spouse does to express his or her love for you.

Do this as an act of thanksgiving to God. My counselor assigned this task to me and, although I took it on reluctantly, it had a dramatic impact on my heart. I am, in fact, a very loved woman. I have a husband who never fails to ask for forgiveness, prays with me each night at bedtime, willingly enters into counseling when we need it, manages our money well, begs me to sneak away with him from time to time, and tolerates my weaknesses as much as I tolerate his. It’s easy to lose sight of all this when we’re hurting each other, and it is so important to refocus our thinking to be grateful. As I did this, it became an act of loving my husband through God’s love in me.

Invest in the friendship of your spouse.

This world’s paradigm of love can often put a lot of emphasis on sex, romance and passion in marriage. If those things aren’t on full boil, we tend to think our relationship lacks love. But God’s Word defines marital love more in terms of friendship and commitment than sex and romance. Take a night to play a board game or enjoy a hike together on a Sunday afternoon. If you can meet your spouse for lunch, consider canceling an appointment with a personal trainer or even a friend.

I’ve long embraced the biblical story of the woman at the well (John 4). She tried man after man but never felt that her thirst for love had been quenched. She was desperate and love-sick. Then, when Jesus showed up, He offered her the love she really needed. But she said, “You have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep”

How like us! How like me. You don’t have to be a woman who has had many husbands to be parched with a thirst for love. You just have to be a woman who is trying to get something from her husband that only God can give. I know. I have been there many times, just waiting for God to show up. And when He does, I’m prone to tell him, “But God, I’m in so deep, and you don’t have a bucket!”

It doesn’t matter how deep the problem; the solution is still God’s love. And He has buckets and buckets of love to fix your marriage. And to fix your heart.

 

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

© 2017 Dannah Gresh. Originally published on FocusOnTheFamily.com.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh is a best-selling author of numerous books and a popular public speaker who is especially passionate about helping parents build strong relationships with their children and encouraging tweens and teens to pursue sexual purity. Dannah’s recent books include It’s Great to Be a Girl, Raising Body-Confident Daughters and A Girl’s Guide to Understanding Boys. Dannah and her husband, …

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.