Restoration in marriage is hard. Sometimes you’ll want to quit, but if you’ll just hang on, you can be fully restored. In fact, your marriage can be better than restored, no matter the circumstance!
We live in a world in which we want everything to be easy and convenient, don’t we? We want faster, easier, and simpler.
We want crockpot meals that take 30 minutes to prepare, can simmer all day and be ready to eat when we get home from work.
We want to order our favorite Starbucks drink from an app on our phone and swing by and pick it up in 10 minutes without waiting or talking to anyone.
We want to pay for things with nothing more than our thumbprint on our iPhones. We want what we want, and we want it right now!
And as much as our society thrives on the now, obtaining restoration in marriage is not immediate.
That is why it’s hard.
But, I’ve got good news for you today –Nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26)
There were times in my own marriage that I didn’t think that we would make it.
There was just no way.
Too much damage had been done.
The betrayal was too deep.
Every single day, I feared that John was going to come home and say, “Shannon, I can’t do this anymore, it’s too hard, it hurts too much and I’m too tired.”
He had every right to leave.
It’s what everyone expected.
It’s what I expected.
Honestly, it would’ve been easier on both of us if he had left –rather than embracing the hard work of restoration. But he didn’t…
He chose to stay.
He chose to forgive.
He chose to rebuild.
My husband and I embraced the difficult work of restoration 5 years ago, and by the grace of God, our marriage is stronger than ever before.
Five years of hard work.
Looking back, it seems like a tiny blurb in history when in reality it was huge.
We had to take one day at a time and it seemed so slow.
But now, as I look into our future, those five years are everything.
I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am that we stuck by each other and fought for each other…even when at times we wanted to do the exact opposite.
Making the decision to pursue restoration is just the beginning.
John and I discovered that there are four crucial steps for anyone seeking to restore their marriage once trust has been broken.
It’s vital that once you’ve made the decision to restore your marriage, you take each phase of restoration carefully.
1. Forgive, forgive, forgive. And then, forgive again. It is imperative. With that said, do not confuse forgiveness and trust! It takes time to rebuild trust. It took a long time for John to trust me again. I had to work at building his trust but it didn’t mean that he had not forgiven me.
2. Communication is Key. Be real with each other. Be vulnerable. No matter how scary it is. Authenticity and vulnerability in a marriage are two of its most beautiful aspects.
3. Seek Christian Counseling. I can’t stress this enough. I know it’s expensive, especially if you do not have insurance coverage, but in the end, it will be worth every penny. Make the investment in your future. And make sure that the counsel you receive is from a Biblical Perspective.
4. Prioritize your Relationship with Jesus. I saved the most important step for last. The one absolute in marriage restoration is your relationship with Jesus Christ
God isn’t afraid to talk about the details surrounding your brokenness in marriage and He isn’t afraid to talk about your mistakes! Fully surrender yourself to God and allow Him to see you and your heart, even the dark parts.
God can restore what is broken and transform it into something amazing.
As we walked through this process of restoration, we learned that marriage is not about sex, parenting, tax advantages or getting our needs met.
Marriage is about two people joining every part of their lives together.
Webster’s definition of restoration is the act or process of returning something to its original condition by repairing it.
According to that definition, John and I have moved way past restoration. We’ve been re-built and renovated.
We’re better than restored.
What does a “better than restored” marriage look like?
You wake up every single day with gratitude for your mate.
You do not take your spouse for granted.
You recognize that love is an action word, not a feeling.
When there is strife, you communicate and resolve it quickly.
You purposely make your spouse a priority every day.
Through restoration, John and I have become better people; it has helped to build deeper character within both of us.
1 Peter 5:10 says, “And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”
God has confirmed our marriage. We are his children and He wants good things for us. We do not ever doubt this!
God has strengthened us. Our hearts are strong. We are not timid. We are fighters, but we realize that the strength comes from God and God alone.
God has established us. We have been given so much favor in the last couple of years. John’s career has flourished. I have become a writer and am working on a book. We are seeing fruit in the lives of our girls.
When two people are committed to the hard work of restoration, every marriage has the potential to become “better than restored.”
A Note from Sarah: If you have experienced broken trust and betrayal in your own marriage, I encourage you to read Shannon & John’s full story by clicking here. It is a beautiful testimony of God’s ability to redeem and restore a broken marriage.
Shannon is fun-loving and authentic. She loves big and she loves fierce. At the top of that love list is Jesus, her husband John and her two daughters, Alex and Averee. She’s a woman who has been rescued and restored. She believes every woman has a calling and Shannon has a passion to see women everywhere rise up into who God has designed them to be. Although a book is in her future, you can currently read her blog at www.shannongeurin.com. You can also find Shannon on Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram.
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