If you’ve read my posts or any of my women’s fiction, you know I write stories about second chances in marriage–about broken couples who defy the odds and find their way back to each other.
You might wonder, is she blind to divorce rates? Unfeeling toward people on their second or third marriages? Is she living in some kind of fantasy world to imagine relationships can recover from horrible rifts, and even the worst crime against marriage–infidelity?
When put that way, it seems like a ridiculous impossibility, doesn’t it?
The truth is, before my tenth birthday, my parents divorced. I have relatives who have divorced and married someone else and seem quite happy. And even though Jason and I agreed early on not to mention the “D” word, at a couple of dividing lines in our relationship, we considered separating.
I’m not foolish enough to believe all marriages should be reconciled. If violence is involved, run. Flee! Even as a child, I never wished for my parents to get back together.
So why do I write stories of second chances?
First, I love reading them. Two of my favorite reconciliation books are Francine Rivers’ And the Shofar Blew and Karen Kingsbury’s A Time to Dance. I’ve read both of these inspirational books many times.
Second, through telling the married fictional tales of Winter and Ty, April and Chad, Summer and Josh, and others, I get to relive the wonder of a husband and wife falling in love with each other all over again. Bits and pieces of these couples’ lives come from my heart. The saying about writers bleeding into their work is true. Are the books autobiographical? No. But here and there, real-life seeps in.
The other reason I love reconciliation stories is that I believe in God’s amazing power to transform and change couples in such a way that they can let go of their pride, their hurts, and their right to hate or act in revenge. That Jesus can soften a husband’s and a wife’s spirits to such a degree that they melt before the other one is powerful and life-changing.
While I won’t go into details of how Jason and I ended up in a bad situation, when we came to the point of deciding whether or not to split, we chose to stick together, instead. One day I turned on the audio of our wedding and asked Jason to listen with me.
As I cried and listened to our young selves pledging the words “til death do us part” something gripped me. I had made a lifelong promise to my husband. I still wanted to be married to him. I was willing to fight for and do whatever it took to change, to be humble, to make a marked turnaround.
We could only do that and have the testimony we do–we’ve been married 40 years–because of God’s grace and power. He changed us. He made us whole. He brought true love back into our hearts and our home.
That’s what I want to write about.
This blog post was originally written on 1/11/16.
Mary Hanks writes inspirational Christian fiction about couples finding their way back to grace and each other.
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