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Monday, January 28, 2013

Commitment in Marriage

I'm glad it's Marriage Monday again which means, it's time to reflect about my own marriage despite the busyness of Mondays. Our topic this time is about commitment.

My first decade of marriage was not all smooth sailing as many marriages are usually due to lots of adjustments. Thanks to our very good friends and family who helped us weather the storms in our journey.

Most of our couple friends who have greatly influenced us are from our church. They have served as our support group thus we are also happy sharing our experiences to the new couples because we do believe how our couple friends' support, good modeling of love and commitment, encouragement and prayers worked well for us.

All our couple friends don't believe that divorce is the ultimate solution to marital problems. One friend though whose American husband is our church elder confides that the only sin her husband would consider divorce is adultery. No matter how terrible her behavior could turn in the past when their kids were still growing, her husband would always forgive her. In my case though, when we had a somewhat serious infidelity issue at the time when I and hubby were apart from each other, I sought support and advice from a few selected friends in the church. None of them suggested divorce. Instead, they prayed hard for both of us. They asked me other strong reasons why I should leave him, or if he had been ever unfaithful when we were together, the same questions my parents who have been happy together with each other for about 50 years now asked. I answered them, "never" and told them he's been such a caring husband and a dad to our 2 kids and also very hardworking  And so all of them bid me to forgive him and give him another chance the way he was also asking  for. He showed true repentance and renewed commitment, although we both struggled a lot during our healing time especially if I would recall the betrayal. But let me tell you this now, especially you, e-Mom who asked, that this forgiveness I offered him consequently led to his conversion to Jesus Christ.We praise God for this bitter turned sweet experience!

Now, I feel more effective in encouraging those who have struggles in their marriage. I can minister more for all the heartaches I went through. God used those heartaches so I can deeply understand and empathize how it is to suffer so I should be more willing to reach out those who need my encouragement and prayers. Our commitment is deepened when we are willing to forgive no matter how grave the sin is as long as the spouse is willing to recognize that sin and work things out. Just like Jesus Christ forgives if we confess our sins, we too should sincerely confess our sins to one another and offer/accept pardon. It takes humility and courage, of course, to open up our guilt to someone we love and who are we not to forgive?

With this experience, I can now share to other couples that it's good to stick together no matter what, to avoid temptations. Some couples are even tempted even if they are with each other, how much more if they are separated with great distance? I Corinthians 7:5 says, "Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won't be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control." Because my father read this verse to me when I was plotting divorce, he instead made me realize that I shared the blame for what happened. Then, our commitment got ever strengthened since then and we keep renewing it on a daily basis. Why do we need to do it? I have my own weaknesses, he has his own imperfections so if we don't tolerate or forgive each other every now and then, how can our partnership endure?

Be more encouraged and blessed by other Marriage Monday posts over at Chrysaliscafe.com.

12 comments:

Denise said...

Appreciate your sharing your thoughts.

nice A said...

Thanks for stopping by, Denise. Will go read your post in a while.

Beth said...

I'm so glad to hear that God redeemed what seemed broken and beyond repair in your relationship with your husband. That's amazing and encourages me, as I have a friend who is facing the infidelity of her husband. I keep believing and hoping God will do the same in her marriage as he did in yours. It's an encouragement I needed to hear today! Thanks so much, A!

nice A said...

Glad to hear that, Beth. Sure, God works in amazing ways we can never imagine. I pray He will do the same to your friend.

e-Mom said...

First, thank you for your absolute honesty, NiceA. Secondly, I am so sorry you've suffered such a depth of heartache and pain. :~(

I'm touched by the work of grace and healing that God has done in your heart. Your willingness to reach out to others who are struggling in their marriages speaks volumes.

Now I am able to put the puzzle pieces of your husband's salvation together, and I see how critical your forgiveness was to his conversion. May you be richly rewarded for modelling the deep, deep love of Christ.

Hugs and blessings, e-Mom ღ

nice A said...

@e-Mom, I used to keep this experience secret but now that we have completely moved on, we're willing to share it so others can learn from us.

Thank you very much for this topic you've chosen that urged me to reflect deeply on how much I have grown in my marriage. I always look forward to joining the next MM.

Cheers!

Tami Boesiger said...

I love how God uses the pain of your past for His good. And I love the way you sought good counsel in the dark days. Not only did you listen, you acted in a Godly way. No doubt you are reaping rewards for that now and God uses your story to help many others. Well done.

nice A said...

@Tami, it's really true that God uses pain of the past for His good. I'm humbled down with such bitter experience that has drawn me even closer both to my husband and to God.

Constance said...

In both of my divorces, my ex husbands were unfaithful. I know first hand the feeling of betrayal and what that does to a woman's self-esteem. Granted, we had problems in our marriage but infidelity is NEVER the correct response! I appreciate your honesty and what an encouragement you can be to other women!

It always amazes me how God works! He takes broken people, broken lives and painful situations to further His kingdom. The world would tell us that only perfect people need apply and yet, God desires us. His strength is indeed made perfect in our weakness.

What an amazing position of influence you are in as mentors! I remember reading somewhere that "God never wastes a hurt". If I have been wounded, especially by other people and their actions, it helps to see that even in the midst of all that pain, God works that out for His glory and MY good!
Thanks for sharing,
Connie

nice A said...

@Constance, thank you very much for your encouraging comment and for sharing your own experience here. With our similar experience, we can together lift up those suffering in their marriage. God indeed never wastes a hurt.

Julie Arduini said...

I'm late to reading the Marriage Monday posts, but I know so many women will be changed for the better because of your testimony. What a story of grace, forgiveness and commitment. May He bless you, your husband, and marriage abundantly this year and beyond!

nice A said...

@Julie, better late than never. :) Thank you very much for coming over and blessing and encouraging me. I will for sure be blessed with your post. God bless you, too, in your ministry to women around the globe.

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