Marriage

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24

Marriage

How can a stranger tell if two people are married? When eight-year old Derrick was asked this question he stopped to think for a minute. Then he replied most seriously, ‘You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.’

Kids really have a way of making us laugh, reflect, and, yes. . . sometimes yell, don’t they? But young Derrick hit upon a very important fact: marriage can be tough and that’s true regardless of whether or not you have kids.

Finances, communication, intimacy, and sometimes-even kids can become sources of tension in your relationship with your spouse. Nevertheless, God’s intention for marriage is that it be a source of joy, encouragement, comfort, and grace that gives richness to life.

Steve Arterburn

‘Marriage is the state or condition of a community consisting of a master, a mistress and two slaves, making in all, two.’ – Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

Transform your Marriage

Transform your Marriage

Could your childhood be a stumbling block in your marriage?

Milan and Kay Yerkovich are two great counselors who enthusiastically share their journey as a couple. The first 15 years of their marriage were difficult. They weren’t sure why, until they journeyed back to their childhoods and discovered differences that were driving a wedge between them. Theirs is an amazing story of transformation that could illuminate struggles in your own life. I think you’ll find this video incredibly helpful. Click on the image below to watch.

Yerkovichs

Divorce Proof your Marriage

Divorce Proof Your Marriage

Divorce is an all-too-common reality in our society. How can we protect our marriages? Dr. Dave Stoop has a few simple methods to keep couples together, and there are even studies to prove they work. Click the image below for the answer to how to divorce-proof your marriage!

divorceproof.newlife

What’s Different about this Marriage Weekend

davestoop

On the radio today, Steve Arterburn mentioned Dave Stoop’s blog article about our Marriage Weekend. You can read that here.  Find out about our Marriage Solution Weekend.

Hope for the Broken Marriage

(A ‘broken marriage’ – in the context I am writing – is one damaged by sexually inappropriate conduct.)

mended-heartThere are a growing number of broken marriages in the United States today. Men, and a rapidly increasing number of women, are falling prey to the schemes of pornographers and a culture saturated in sexual gratification at the expense of moral integrity. These couples regularly lie to each other in order to keep their sin a secret. The more they lie the further they drift apart emotionally. The further apart they drift the wider the crevice of brokenness expands. Given enough time, the chasm between them seems an insurmountable obstacle. Thus, many couples who eventually wake up to the reality of their broken marriage feel they have fallen too far apart for any reasonable expectation of real healing and reconciliation.

As more and more broken couples reach out for help, too many are not finding what they really need to rebuild their relationship. Why? No one seems to be offering them the foundational element of long-term healing: hope. A host of well-intentioned counselors and pastors see a hurting, broken couple sitting on the couch in their office and immediately begin strategizing the best techniques to remedy the numerous problems of communication, finances, or sex they might be facing. What is wrong with this approach? Without casting a vision of hope, the counselor or pastor is simply offering a band aid as the solution for the gaping wound in the broken marriage. Broken marriages need hope for long-term healing and restoration.

There are many challenges to assisting spouses in a broken marriage to embrace hope. First, trust is always damaged in a broken marriage, and as such each spouse is reluctant to move toward the other for fear of being wounded even more deeply. Second, most couples suffering broken marriages have little, if any, ability to communicate well with one another. They have each learned to place their own interests first, thus making communication a tool to manipulate his/her spouse to achieve his/her self-centered agenda. Finally, the sheer distance created between spouses through lying and hiding makes it difficult for the couple to imagine closeness as God designed it.

Does it seem like the deck is stacked against the couple in a broken marriage? Only if you believe God is incapable of dealing them a new hand. And this is where hope must be reborn (or birthed for the first time) for those suffering the broken marriage. A couple must believe that God is able to heal, willing to restore, and desirous to make all things new. Spouses in a broken marriage must embrace the truth, individually and as a couple, that God can bring beauty from ashes and breathe life into their ashen relationship. Hope, true hope, is born in the one who begins to expect God to fulfill His promises even when it appears the situation is beyond repair. Hope sees beyond circumstance and anchors itself on the certainty of God’s Word.

So, how does a couple suffering from a broken marriage actually embrace this kind of hope? Surprisingly, this type of hope is gained through brokenness. That’s right. The couple who wakes up one day and realizes the extent to which their marriage has been broken is closer to hope than they might know. But such a realization and appropriation of hope cannot come without outside intervention and guidance.

Most couples can experience brokenness without any help from anybody else. In fact, it comes naturally to those who allow sexual sin to infiltrate their union. But hope, healing, and a rebuilt marriage must involve external influence. Of course, there must be the touch of God if true and lasting healing is to occur. But there must also be the instruction and guidance of wise counselors and friends to help a broken marriage be rebuilt. Without such influence the probability of the couple drifting back to old patterns of deception and self-centeredness is virtually certain.

In choosing those to counsel the broken couple, the determining factor is truth. Invite truth-tellers in; reject falsehood. How can such a broken couple determine what is the truth and what isn’t? Through the benchmark of truth, God’s Word. God never lies. Never. If particular counsel does not match up with God’s Word, it is not good for the healing of the broken marriage. And such false instruction does more to damage hope than to encourage it. Truth, though it may require painful self-examination, will always lead to the path of freedom. And freedom (from deception, bitterness, fear, and self-centeredness) is exactly what the broken marriage needs in order to rebuild to a healthy, whole, ‘oneness’ union.

Why is hope so important in this process of healing the broken marriage? Because without hope it is easy to become discouraged. Healing a broken marriage is not easy. It takes time, sacrifice, endurance, and hard work. When the road gets bumpy it is hope that reminds the couple that their efforts will not be in vain. It is hope that reminds them that God is good, patient, and loving even when this appears not to be true. And it is hope that encourages the couple that what they are working toward will be more beautiful than anything they had in the past. This is the importance of hope for the broken marriage.

God promises a good return for those who invest in seeking hope. Amazingly, the Bible even tells us that we can ‘rejoice in our sufferings.’ Why? Because ‘suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.’ (Rom. 5:3-5) The benefit to pressing through the suffering of a broken marriage and pursuing hope to rebuild is that the love of God will increasingly abound. True love, true intimacy, and true joy can be experienced even by those whose marriages have been broken by sexual lust and unfaithfulness.

If you are living in a broken marriage, begin today to ask God to lead you and your spouse to hope. Keep a watchful eye for wise counselors and friends who can help you persevere, build character, and invest in hope. The small steps you take today toward a new attitude of hope will produce long-term benefits that far outweigh the current momentary sacrifice. And even if circumstances do not progress in the manner or time frame you expect, you can know that the hope you gain in Christ is not in vain because movement toward God is always movement in the right direction.

‘May the God of all hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’
(Rom. 15:13)

We would like to help you in your journey of finding hope and healing. Please consider attending our upcoming Marriage Solution Workshop or getting a copy of some of our resources. Read what previous attendees of our Marriage Solution Workshop are saying. Call us on 800-NEW-LIFE (639-5433), we can help.

New Life Live: September 23, 2013

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Topics: PornographyAddictionsMarriageAffairsDivorceSelf WorthAdult ChildrenIn-laws
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Henry CloudDr. Jill Hubbard

Caller Questions:

  1. Can I ask my husband to leave the home because of his pornography addiction? 
  2. I am having an affair with a married woman; shall I walk away? 
  3. Do I get hurt easily because my parents divorced when I was 14yo? 
  4. My son married a woman who hates us; what can we do? 

Suggested Resources:
Healing Is A Choice
7 Minute Marriage Solution
Boundaries in Marriage

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: September 18, 2013

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Topics: Aging ParentsMarriageAvoiderSubstance Abuse
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. John TownsendMilan Yerkovich

Caller Questions:

  1. How do I control my sinful thoughts when I am with my 98yo mom? 
  2. What would help me to connect with my avoider wife? 
  3. I love my pothead husband; how do I get him help? 

Suggested Resources:
Beyond Boundaries
Life Recovery Bible
Boundaries in Marriage
How We Love

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: July 29, 2013

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Topics: DatingSexual IntegrityMarriageAffairsParentingMaking Decisions
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Henry CloudDr. Dave Stoop
Caller Questions:

  1. How can I navigate my sexual desires while dating? 
  2. Is my boyfriend’s masturbation a red flag for marriage? 
  3. How should I respond to my husband who won’t give me money if I disagree with him? 
  4. My husband is moving out after his affair; how do I stay nice? 
  5. Should I uproot my 9yo son to move far away for a job? 

Suggested Resources:
Is This The One
7 Minute Marriage Solution
Boundaries with Marriage
Just Us

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: July 10, 2013

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Topics: DatingAffairsMarriageParentingPornography
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Jill HubbardMilan Yerkovich
Caller Questions:

  1. In dating, how much of the past should be shared? 
  2. My wife doesn’t affirm me and caused me to have 2 affairs. 
  3. Interview with Jim sharing his New Life Alaska Cruise experience. 
  4. In How We Love Our Kids, should the comfort circle be done with both kids or individually? 
  5. I found porn on my husband’s phone again; what can I do? 
  6. Interview with Leslie sharing her New Life Alaska Cruise experience. 

Suggested Resources:
Is This The One
Healing Is a Choice
Secrets Women Keep
Boundaries in Marriage

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.

New Life Live: July 8, 2013

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Topics: DatingAlcoholicsAdult ChildrenMarriageCodependencyBoundaries
Hosts: Steve ArterburnDr. Henry Cloud
Caller Questions:

  1. Thanks for your advice, Steve! 
  2. Should there be adjustments in your dating books for a 72yo man? 
  3. My husband lied about his drinking; what is the next boundary? 
  4. How can I help my 22yo daughter who quit school and drinks and smokes pot? 
  5. We stopped our divorce, but my 17yr marriage is dead; how can I cope? 
  6. Am I selfish if I don’t want to rescue my older sister and let her live with me? 
  7. My husband convinced our therapist I am schizophrenic like my mom, but I am not. 

Suggested Resources:
How to Get a Date Worth Keeping
7 Minute Marriage Solution
Life Recovery Bible
Boundaries in Marriage

Subscribe to the NEW LIFE LIVE Podcast via iTunes or streaming audio from Stitcher, the Smart Radio App.