First Aid for a Wounded Marriage.
Healing is going to take a while. You need to give God all the time He needs to complete the work. Do not become impatient with yourself, just follow His directions and let Him heal you from the inside out.
Give Him all the time He needs to work on your spouse. Don't become anxious and try to hurry things up a bit. Mark 4:26-29 talks about a growing seed. Read it now.
Realize that you are planting seeds of marriage healing. You are sowing good seed to reap a good harvest. Galatians 6:7-9 (NIV) says, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows... Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
God has a timetable for the seed you have planted. It will come to harvest when it is mature. Each crop has its own timetable. Do not compare your marriage to someone else's. Do not try to harvest your crop before it is ready. Do not demand that things come together before their time. God knows how long it will take to heal your marriage. Leave it in His hands.
You will have well-meaning friends and counselors who will feel that you have waited long enough. They will tell you that if God were going to do something, He would have done it by now. Stand firm on what God has spoken to you. God gives the grace to go through something to the one who is going through it, not to those who are watching. In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Lord said to Paul, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." God will not only give you grace to face what you must, but He will also perfect His power in your weakness.
Think of this healing time as a course of physical therapy. When a human body has been injured, it has a tendency to become "stiff" as it heals. The job of the physical therapist is to force the body to move even when it doesn't feel like it. It is painful at times and usually not what the person would do on their own if they were not forced to do it.
You have been wounded. Your marriage has been wounded. Sometimes it seems easier to just stay where you are in your pain and wait for it to go away. God has plan for healing, though, and that plan is going to force you beyond what you would be willing to do on your own. Through this time He is not just healing your marriage, He is also causing growth within you at a rate that probably would not have been achieved without the pain. There will be days when you just wish God would leave you alone and let you just sit in your misery. Just like the skilled physical therapist, however, God is going to help you go beyond your own limits. His plan is to bring a vibrant wholeness and health to your marriage that will reflect His glory. He is not just doing this for you. He has a call upon your lives together in this marriage and He plans to touch many others through the two of you.
If you are standing for the healing of your marriage just for your needs to be met, there will be times when you will be more comfortable just forgetting the whole thing. If, however, you realize there is a greater purpose of God in all of this, you will have the strength and courage to allow God to do what He needs to do even though it hurts.
The time that it took to stand for the healing of our marriage seems very little now in comparison to the joy that God has established in our lives. It seems He has truly redeemed the time and has accomplished more in us and through us in the years since our reconciliation than could have been accomplished had we not given Him those years to heal. The fruit of the years of standing is much greater than the time it took.
Today Michael truly is the godly man that the Lord spoke of years ago. He is born-again, filled with the Holy Spirit and on fire for God. He is a preacher and teacher of the Word and has led many to the Lord just as He said he would. The Lord has established us as a couple in a ministry to marriages and we have watched Him touch thousands of lives through us. God has expanded the ministry world-wide that couples of every nation and tongue might know of His plan for their homes. What a waste it would have been had we let Satan have this marriage.
God has a plan for the two of you also. You have been given an assignment that is yours alone. The victory gained in your home is going to minister to more people than you can imagine.
"Lord Jesus, I give You permission to do what You need to do within me and within my life. I know it will sometimes be painful, but I am willing to let You take me beyond my comfort zone. Mold me, Lord, into Your image. Use me, Lord, for the glory of Your name. And, Father, when our marriage is reconciled and healed, use us as a mighty one-flesh team to take Your love and healing to others. Give me vision now for Your future plan.
In Jesus' name, amen.