The Sweet Christian Bride

10 Reasons for the Christian Bride To Marry a Christian Man: Reason 5

by admin on June 28, 2012 in Spouse with No Comments

Reason 5: Personal Healing

In 2004, my friend tried to kill herself.  I was watching The Incredibles with Chris (we were just dating at that point) when my phone rang.  It was from my friend’s boyfriend.  I thought it was odd that he was calling me, but I let it go to voicemail.  Instead of leaving a message, he called back.  I could tell something was not right.

He told me with panic in his voice that he and my friend had gotten into a major fight and as he was leaving, she told him she was going to kill herself.  She was alone in his apartment, and he needed me to go there.

 So I did.

I waited with her as the pills and alcohol ate at her liver.  I waited with her as she contemplated what she thought were the last few moments of her life; she hadn’t really wanted to die but just for him to feel pain.  I waited with her until the ambulance arrived.  I waited for her in the emergency room.  I waited days for her release from the hospital. 

And I waited through telling her parents, and telling leadership at our church, and telling herself that this had happened and was real.  I waited for her to recover and to learn from her mistakes.  I waited for her to let God’s grace really sink in. 

At times it all felt that I waited in vain.  Here I was, a total believer in God’s healing power, and I was at a crisis in my faith because it didn’t seem like He was healing my friend of her mental illness and emotional wounds. 

My waiting became laced with impatience and, eventually, her recovery became my recovery too.  I needed a healing of faith to believe that God was not only a physical healer, but that He too was a mental, emotional, and relational healer.  And every time she would spiral back down to square one, I had to learn to trust His healing power again.  And again.  And again.

In 2006, my friend married a man of God who loved her and adored her.  He saw her heart from the very beginning and cherished it.  Early on in their dating, she disclosed everything to him—all her dirty deeds, all her despairs, all her cries for help, all her failures.  She needed to know that he wasn’t falling in love with an illusion and, at the first swallow of reality, that he wouldn’t run from her.  And he didn’t. 

He loved her through her own pain and her own recovery.  He loved her when she was on her meds and when she was off them.   He loved her even when their anger at each other raged.  He loved her in their counseling… he just loved her.  Period.

Six months after their wedding, they were two totally different people.  They trusted each other.  They were calm.  They liked themselves.  Healing had happened.  True healing—of identity, of spirit, of mind, of body, of relationships… God had healed her mental illness.  Sometimes depression and anger are still triggered and flare up, but God has loosed her from their bondage over her; they don’t control or define her anymore.

My friend is just one example of how God uses Christian marriages as a catalyst for healing.  Hers was mental.  Mine was emotional.  My whole life I have fought the notion that I am loved for what I do.  If I fail, I’m unlovable. 

It was nobody’s fault that I was this way.  I just was.  I was predisposed to performance, both the thrill and the anxiety.  I wanted to be an actor my whole childhood, and when I finally realized how poorly I took rejection, I instead became a teacher (a rejection-less actor).  But even then, I couldn’t shake the striving for excellent performance. 

But God has used Chris time and time again to reinforce to me that I am loved for who I am.  I can’t earn God’s love by having longer quiet times.  I can’t earn Chris’s love by snapping at him less often.  I can’t earn my parents love by having a successful career.  I can’t earn my friends love by being available anytime they call.  And I can’t un-earn it either. 

So many times I am snappy or distraught and I take it out on Chris, and he just holds me and waits for the emotional junk to fall away until I can see myself again.  By leaps and bounds, I am so much better at letting the consequences of my performance be what they are without defining who I am.  And when I come home each day, Chris is the one God uses to help me do that.

Still other friends have had sexual healing in their marriages where their wounds from their sexual pasts (both forced and unforced) have healed without scars.  And others have had healing in their relationships with their parents. 

Like Imago Theory asserts, our ideal spouse is one who has both the positive and negative qualities of our parents.  The theory being that marriage becomes a safe place to work those negative qualities out; the result being that as we learn how to deal with those qualities in our spouse and find hope despite them, the entire dynamic of parental relationships can change simply because of Christ’s healing presence in the marriage.

God is a healer!  He lavishes this holy bond of marriage with His healing Spirit in a way that other relationships seem to pale in comparison.  When you are committed to oneness with your spouse, God will allow you both to go to some dirty, empty, broken places (mostly figuratively speaking) together so that you can retrain yourselves to respond with God’s strength and hope.

It’s like He infuses your spouse with the strength that you don’t have and vice-versa.   This is why two is better than one[i]: you finally now have someone to pick you up when, before, you would have fallen and remained a heap on the ground.  God gives us a do-over with our helpmate at our sides. 

Non-Christian marriages can certainly lean in a healing direction, but it’s not the marriage itself that gives the healing power.  It’s Christ alone.  Marriage is just the catalyst. 

Where is your heart broken?  What chronic pain do you hold?  Which relationships create turmoil for you? 

Do you see characteristics and opportunities in your fiancé that remind you of your past or current pain?  If so, don’t run from it.  Instead, invite Christ in to heal those wounds.  Let Him give you a do-over in the safety of marriage where you and your spouse are committed to oneness by the power of Christ in you.

[i] Ecclesiastes 4:9

By Lindsay

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