The big idea behind the transformation of your marriage is that you can make choices in key areas to heal it. You are in control of the conflicts that occur in your relationship. Conflict, in and of itself, is not a bad thing. What is important is how we deal with it. Conflicts will happen, but fights don’t have to. You can make different choices. The first major choice both of you must make is to stop doing what has not worked in your relationship so far.
Before you say this is oversimplifying marriage, think about it. Isn’t stopping what you’re doing wrong the exact place where you have to start? You have to learn what doesn’t work in your relationship and make a clear choice not to do that anymore. That is the one and only way you can make space to try new ways of handling problems.
The second choice to make is deciding if you are willing to work together as teammates instead of competing against each other to achieve your own individual goals. You can make a choice to do what your partner needs and give up what you need. You can choose to forgive your spouse even when you don’t feel your partner deserves forgiveness, (and we will talk about what forgiveness is and isn’t later this week.)
Marriage is also about hope. There is hope that if you have made poor choices in the past, you can change the way you do things in the future. There is hope that your relationship and your future as a couple are not at the mercy of disagreements or conflict. There is hope that the marriage you believed in when you said “I do” is not only possible but within your reach. And, there is room for hope even if hope never existed.
With so many hurting people and damaged marriages, I can’t emphasize enough that your marriage is not hopeless, and you are not helpless. Your relationship doesn’t have to continue on the way it is. You can choose to start making choices that will transform your marriage. You will learn how to understand the process of what happens when you and your partner are in conflict and how to focus more on the way you treat each other than on what you disagree about.
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.
Isaiah 43:25 NASB
What area of your marriage if restored would give you a sense of hope? Take a small step in that direction.