How long has it been since you’ve been broken and humble before your spouse?
Since you were willing to tell him/her the honest truth of how you’ve been feeling?
The good, the bad, the ugly.
To let the one you married, the one you promised to love forever, see into your heart?
And you didn’t hold back. You said everything that needed to be said—in gentleness and love.
And you listened too.
If we truly want things to change for the better.
If we want to get back to the love we knew.
The love we long for.
The love we’ve, perhaps, wandered from.
To say our marriage is worth fighting for.
And the healing starts right here, right now.
And it starts with me.
Then you have to be willing to bare your heart and share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse.
Without blame, if possible.
But tell the truth.
Even if it hurts.
In the Second Chance series, Ty calls it having “the talk.”
It’s when a husband or wife shares what may hurt the other person, but it’s getting everything out in the open. Even the stuff that he/she doesn’t want to tell.
It’s being gut-wrenchingly honest.
It’s important for both spouses to listen to each other.
And that they can ask any question.
Which may feel scary.
But allowing your spouse to ask anything is you being vulnerable and open.
To the best of each spouse’s ability, honesty is vital.
As is a sincere apology.
God can bring about amazing changes in our lives.
If we’re willing and open.
If we’re broken before Him first.
It’s admitting we can’t do this by ourselves.
It’s seeking internal forgiveness and strength.
Relying on Him to be in our hearts, and in our marriage, in the days ahead.
It’s receiving healing.
If prayer is a part of your life, and even if it hasn’t been up to this point, I highly recommend it.
Here’s a scene from Season’s Flame when Max comes to the point where he truly wants his marriage to be healed and restored:
When the younger man implored heaven for God to wrap Max and Season in a covering of His love, sobs, that Max couldn’t hold back if his life depended on it, rushed out of him. The burden on his chest felt suffocating. He had to let out the anguish and the bleakness of the last six months, or it felt like he’d die right there. “God, help me.” He repeated the phrase over and over.
After a few minutes, Josh stood. “I’ll leave you to spend time with the Lord. When you’re done laying it on the line with Him, find your wife. Bare your heart to her. Tell her everything. Ty calls it having ‘the talk.’ Hurts like crazy. But once it’s done, your hearts will be melded together in a beautiful way.” He threw on his coat and left.
Max stayed on his knees on the wooden floor, his face pressed into the curve of his arm which rested against the striped mattress of a bed they weren’t using. “God, I’ve clung to bitterness and pain in my heart. Forgive me. I need Your love. I want You.” Why had he thought he had to be so strong? Invincible as a pastor? Obscure with his feelings? Now, it felt as if his heart had broken open wide. He sensed God was hearing him. And loving him, still.
But how could he express himself to Season? Would she understand?
Being vulnerable with your spouse takes courage.
And a desire to make your marriage work, and thrive.
It may seem difficult.
But you can do it.
You are stronger than you think.
Start with being humble and honest.
Say what needs to be said.
Then tell your spouse you want your marriage to last.
That you choose him/her.
That you want things better for both of you.
You might even make a pledge.
A promise to do better at whatever the issue has been between you.
“Season Prescott, from this day forward, I promise to love you like I promised I would twenty-two years ago. I’m yours if you’ll have me. God is changing me, and I’m going to be the best husband I can be for you all the days of my life.”Max’s vow to his wife in Season’s Flame
Your spouse might not be ready to hug or touch, and that’s okay.
Forgiveness may take time.
Allow that time, but keep working at getting closer.
Each of you should do whatever you can to continue being humble and vulnerable.
Open to forgiveness.
Giving second chances.
And being gentle.
When you both feel ready for some closeness, it’s time to think about the next step.
Take her hand in yours. Gaze into her eyes …
Mary Hanks writes inspirational Christian fiction about couples finding their way back to grace and each other.
Note from the author: I’m not a counselor. I’m just a girl with a mended heart who’s weathered a few of life’s storms.