It is an all too common reality today that our marriage and romantic dating relationships become just like the picture frame in this post my friend. Nobody ever buys a broken frame, anymore than they desire their heart to be broken, life altered in a miserable way or to become divorced.
Our post-modern world today is way too often ready to smash the frame that represents their lives if it doesn’t meet their selfish needs and desires. It is known fact that all people can become easily selfish. However our culture today promotes having everything your way in life like our life is one Ground Hog Day like trip through Burger King.
When a marriage or romantic relationship is meeting our needs, and we feel in love it is an intoxicating, awe-inspiring force indeed. There is however a difference between being “in-love” and “being able to love”. Love is a choice you make every day to place value, significance and importance upon another person, even when you don’t want to or feel loved. True love is mature and understands that you can show a profound depth of love towards another person when you love the seemingly unlovable. In those moments, God refines you and teaches you more about how he loves you.
I have two pictures in this article for a reason. We already spoke about the broken frame, so let us move on to the picture of restoration and reconciliation that this story is all about. It is my hope and prayer that this story will encourage you in your marriage, dating relationship or the love relationship of your future destiny if you are single. The dates or names in this story are not important, however what happened was enough to make any grown man cry as I witnessed first hand.
rec·on·cil·i·a·tion – an act of reconciling or the state of being reconciled.
res·to·ra·tion – the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment.
A couple in my church (no different than any other church in the world), found themselves in a marriage meltdown of catastrophic proportions. Their story was ridden with sin, pain, and an echo of brokenness that affected the lives of many. Though it could have been either party who committed such sins, the woman who was unfaithful chose to separate herself from her husband and it created a seemingly endless thunderstorm over their family, especially their children. About a year and half or so went by, and for many I am sure all hope seemed lost like so many other broken marriages on the fast track to divorce.
The elders of our church made every effort to encourage restoration and reconciliation within the couple, however they needed to honor God through their faithfulness and remove the woman from our congregation because she was unwilling to repent and seek restoration with her willing husband. What happened in the next season is where the beauty was shining forth! I am proud to tell you that this story is one of restoration and reconciliation. Through an extended period of many months of sought counseling, the woman repented and sought restoration to her husband and their marriage covenant before God. In doing so, the eldership continued to lead as directed by the word of God, no matter how unpopular it might have been by the eyes of the world. After due diligence was taken and genuine restoration was sought, the couple began a walk to restore their marriage through continuing to reconcile their differences. It will certainly be a life-long process, however it is exciting that they are taking those steps now as they realize God’s forgiveness is open at all times. His forgiveness knows no limits.
In addition to seeking restoration within their marriage and family, she sought the same within our church and she was restored to fellowship with us during a beautiful evening where God showed us all what he can do through spiritual leaders who remain faithful in doing his work, and for those who continue to believe in the power of prayer and the goodness of God.
Churches should be a place of unity, refuge and support for struggling couples. Sadly, at times they are not, and because of that they sometimes keep some of the most broken people (and couples) from seeking the power of God’s restoration and reconciliation through spending time with God’s people at their local church. It was a breath of fresh air to see how long the process went, and to realize how faithful the leadership was in making sure that they were obedient to God. They did so while always holding out hope and arms of love ready to receive them both in an embrace of restoration and reconciliation before God. This story was full of love, not enablement, and was remarkable in my eyes because of how the elders focused on handling matters in accordance with the word of God. Nothing can be done any better when it agrees with God, my friend.
If you do not have a church that you call home or one that you feel you can seek for refuge, support, strength, restoration and reconciliation, I encourage you to seek out one that can bring this beauty into your life and the lives of those you care about. It is a true privilege to have in my life. A church that functions in accordance with God’s will and is led by godly men who hold their responsibilities with the utmost importance is something so special you cannot put a price tag on. You will never realize how much is missing from your life though if you do not have such a source.
I also want to thank my senior pastor, Steve Cornell, of Millersville Bible Church, for helping provide support resources below for this article on his blog. If you are struggling in your marriage or know someone who is, perhaps they can be forwarded to them to share the encouragement of this story my friend! Never doubt God’s ability to restore the relationship you hold dearest to your heart.
Help for Troubled Marriages: