5 Reasons Not to Quit Your Marriage

why to keep hanging on when you think it is over...

You might need more than 5 reasons not to quit your marriage.

All I have today is 5. Hang on to the end, and you’ll understand why. If you’re looking for hope today, it’s my goal to dish some.

One Friday in October, Jim and I sat in the surgery waiting area at Children’s Hospital.

The cheerful bright green and orange walls contrasted starkly with the concerned faces of family and friends as they sat waiting for a word from the surgery teams working on their kids.

Jim and I waited similarly, but I noticed something missing…

I felt gratitude.

Because what was missing wasn’t missed… it wasn’t even noticed.

I was completely unaware that I wasn’t afraid.

Fear was absent.

This was new.  

Fear’s absence left me in awe and wonder.

Of God.

Of His mercy.

He IS in the transformation business, you know.

🙂

For the last five years, three really important men in my life have undergone major surgeries.

Two of our teen boys had pectus excavatum repairs and large titanium bars inserted into their chests, pulling their sternums out of their heart, lungs, and for one of them, out of his flattened esophagus. They kept them for 3 years. They dealt with pain daily because of the placement of the bars – but that pain was less than the pain that came because their lungs and heart were compressed. Or because of vomiting from a too-small smashed space in the esophagus.

These are what they removed from my 18 year old on Friday:

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Two weeks before Christmas in 2014, my husband had open-heart surgery to repair an aneurysm. Most people aren’t this blessed to have known about it, much less have it repaired before it ruptured. Most people find out after death that they had one.

In case you don’t know, an aortic aneurysm is when your aorta expands in a certain spot. The walls are thin and it can blow with exertion or high blood pressure. We spent about 8 months knowing if it ruptured, he’d have searing pain, then we’d have about 20 minutes to get him from wherever he was into surgery before he bled to death.

Knowing and being able to be proactive with the surgery for my husband was beyond kind of God – and we are all thankful for the second chance at life.

I remember walking the halls of hospitals dealing with everything from the evil acts of a nurse trying to steal narcotics from one of my young men, to watching them rush my husband back to ICU so he wouldn’t have permanent damage from a complication. The worst were the moments of helplessness… like in my most gut-wrenching moment as a mother when I wanted to trade places in a heartbeat to take the blinding pain of my 14 year-old son suffering from a nursing mistake.

But Friday?

Friday in October was different. 

Because I was different. 

I slept great Thursday night.

I woke Friday morning without stress. Went to the hospital without stress. 

Registered him, interacted with staff, and prayed over him – without stress.

I listened to the surgeon give us the outcome and expressed gratitude to him.

I saw life through the lens of Philippians 4:8…

philippians 4 8

I was not at all afraid. 

And I didn’t even notice that, until we got home late that afternoon.

I sat, thankful, on the couch, looking at the young man dozing after his surgery.

And it hit me.

I didn’t have even one moment of concern. 

When as recently as two years ago, when our oldest son had his bar removed, I was anxious. Nervous. Dreading.

And this time?

I just trusted God.

During a discussion with a friend this weekend, I came to realize that the difference was that over the last two years, I had come to understand, on a whole new level, God’s freedom for us.

We often think that Jesus’s purpose is to save us from our sins – and that it means heaven is our hope. I don’t disagree with that, but I have learned more about what Jesus meant when He read from Isaiah in the synagogue on the Sabbath:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He he has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.  Luke 4:18-19

In the last few years, I have received an even deeper understanding of who I am, and Whose I am.

(Do you know who you are?)

I  understand on a whole new level the freedom He offers to all of us. Freedom from the opinions of nearly everyone in my life, freedom from the lies of my past, freedom from the judgments of our culture, freedom from judging myself.

(Do you judge yourself?)

Have you ever considered what it means to judge oneself and others in light of His gift of grace and love for us – what our judgment says about His gift?

Saturday morning after surgery, my recovering son and I both slept in til 8am. We missed the 5:00am pain pill.

I freaked out for a hot second, then woke him up to give him the drugs.

He woke in pain.

The old me would have spent the day beating myself up.

You know, “MOTHER GUILT” – ever been good at that?

This new-every-day me grieved the mistake, offered an apology, for which my son said, “It’s cool. Seriously. The sleep was worth it.” He forgave me.

I fought for a moment against condemning myself…then let go of that. I knew the sleep was valuable for me, too.

So opened my hands and I let go of condemnation. 

(there is NO condemnation in Christ Jesus)

I received God’s grace. And my son’s. And my own.

Fully.

Don’t you think it just seems like before we can more completely receive His grace and love, we have to open our hands to let go?

before-we-can-more-fullyreceive-his-grace-and-lovewe-have-to-open-our-hands-and-surrender-what-were-trying-to-hold-on-to

And at the end of the day, I was left with these five things… reasons… if you will… for not quitting on your marriage, or anything else God has given you to do:

  1. This life isn’t ours – we’ve been bought with the ultimate price – so we need to offer up whatever we have, including our sufferings, to be used for His glory
  2. Fear can be conquered – but only through the on-going redemptive work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ – and God IS IN the transformation business
  3. There’s not much space for His love or grace when our hearts that are full of control, fear, discouragement, or condemnation/judgment for ourselves or others
  4. To the extent that we receive His love and grace – we can extend that to others and ourselves – I think the sin of self-judgment (self-condemnation) is a big sin indeed – it flies in the face of His greatest gift to us, salvation and freedom through Jesus Christ, where there is no condemnation
  5. His teachings are gentle, and He is patient – and we don’t have to stay the way we are – and change is what we’re looking for, right?

Dare you today to really ask yourself how you are doing in these areas.

And do not give up – because this hard Now you are in? It’s training for a thing you may not even know about.

Have you forgiven yourself? Will you let go of condemnation, fear, control – to receive what is even better?

See you in the comment section. 🙂 SO glad you are here!

Love to you!

~Nina

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Can’t wait to dialogue about these things with you! Our eCourse for The Respect Dare is starting NOW – it’s a new year, how about a new you? (psssst…use code respecthim and get $40 off tuition! – coupon expires January 15, so etc in NOW!  🙂

Here’s a few more posts you might find useful:

Want to Change Your Husband?

Am I Disrespecting MYSELF? – from Peacefulwife

Why Your Husband Doesn’t Respect YOU

Is Complaining Ruining Your Marriage?

How Being Defensive is Destroying Your Marriage

How encouragement can make a difference

Are your kids showing signs of ENTITLEMENT?

The rigorous training called “life” that we all must go through

Why your marriage is so hard 

Top 5 Ways to Respect Your Husband

How to lose the weight and keep it off (and yes, it really works!)

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womens leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

15 thoughts on “5 Reasons Not to Quit Your Marriage

  1. May God continue to bless you and your family. As a young wife, I have been so much blessed by your ministry. It’s my prayer that you will continue to stay true to your calling and may peace continually reside in your heart.

  2. “Thank you God for Nina and her ministry. Bless her for remaining faithful to You and following Your will for her life. Bless her and her family in the coming weeks as they recover from yet another challenging time in their lives. We praise You in all things. Amen”

    Nina, I am constantly astonished by God’s work in my life. I have been a life long struggling Christian for 50 plus years. In the last 10 months God has opened my heart and mind so I would listen to the disciples He has “put in my path” and so I would “seek” more wisdom from the disciples He had “waiting in the wings.” You and your ministry have been an amazing gift to me. One I was searching for (but didn’t realize). I was beyond blessed this past weekend, by other disciples and have been trying to put my feelings into words.

    You just did it for me! Thank you! You are amazing. I treasure your messages.

    Blessings to you today and always!

  3. Thank you for sharing. Your continual trust and confidence on the Lord encourages and inspires me to seek him with all me heart and mind, so I to can have peace in whatever comes my way! Praying for total healing for your son! Mucho blessings!

  4. Love it. I found that same peace yesterday as I went to church with my hubby. I started zeroing in on the Phil. 4:8 things of the songs and sermon God’s peace opened my heart to hear his truth.

    • Kathy! This is just great! So thankful to hear! Philippians 4:8 is my life verse. SO good… 🙂
      Love to you,
      Nina

  5. I, too, experienced a calm peace this summer when my father was going into and through surgery. Initially I wondered about that feeling, but I knew he was in God’s hands and that is the best place to be. Thank you for sharing today, Nina!

    • Laurie –
      God is amazing, isn’t He? I love how He keeps growing us. Thank you for sharing this!
      Love to you,
      Nina

  6. After threatening divorce dor 3 years, my husband had me served with divorce papers over 3 weeks ago. He refuses to work on our marriage. He tells me it is too late. He blames me for all that has gone wrong.

    How do I not give up on a marriage when my husband wants out so badly?

    • Hope Always –
      So here’s a few hard questions for you with the “why” at the end…
      Is there any truth in anything he’s said as to why he is divorcing?
      Have you asked God to reveal to you your part in any of this?
      If you have, I would encourage you to RUN, not walk, to your husband and OWN what’s yours to own without picking up stuff that’s his. Apologize, deeply, emphatically, and tell him 3 long-term steps you are taking to change your ways, even if he follows through with the divorce.
      Here’s why: Even though he is also responsible for the state of your marriage, if you want it to get better, you need to change. Follow Christ. Love well. Praying you receive more of Him and have a life changing love encounter with Him.
      Know that most 2nd and 3rd marriages fail at even higher rates – the issues we have with the first ones get carried into the second. If your husband is a believer and you have a church family – you need to go to leadership and rally some prayer warriors. I also have a counselor that might be of assistance to you. You can let me know if you want her contact info emailed to you.
      Bottom line: where there is breath, there is hope – our hope comes from the Lord, not from the things of this world.
      Love to you,
      Nina

  7. This is the exact encouragement and message I needed to wake up to this morning. He is good. More of Him less of me. I must decrease so He can increase. Fear, control, discouragement, self condemnation- that is not how Christ intends for us to live. Prayers as I continue to walk my trial/journey and wrestle with those things.

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