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When Your Marriage Is on Life Support, with Jill Savage
What if your imperfect marriage is what God wants to use to perfect you? He did it for Mark and Jill Savage. Hear about a marriage God brought back from the brink and let us pray for your marriage. Be encouraged by the restoring, redeeming power of Jesus.
Connect with Jill:
Introduction: Marriages on Life Support
Dannah Gresh: Imagine this, you glance at your husband's cell phone and you see a text from a number you just don't recognize. So, you look a little closer. That's when your stomach ties in knots because what's on the screen makes one thing very clear. Your husband has been seeing another woman. You know, that actually happened to this week's guest. And by God's grace, she survived; her marriage survived. In fact, God has done a miraculous work of restoration in her family, and He can do it …
What if your imperfect marriage is what God wants to use to perfect you? He did it for Mark and Jill Savage. Hear about a marriage God brought back from the brink and let us pray for your marriage. Be encouraged by the restoring, redeeming power of Jesus.
Connect with Jill:
Introduction: Marriages on Life Support
Dannah Gresh: Imagine this, you glance at your husband's cell phone and you see a text from a number you just don't recognize. So, you look a little closer. That's when your stomach ties in knots because what's on the screen makes one thing very clear. Your husband has been seeing another woman. You know, that actually happened to this week's guest. And by God's grace, she survived; her marriage survived. In fact, God has done a miraculous work of restoration in her family, and He can do it in yours.
Welcome to Grounded. This is a podcast and videocast from Revive Our Hearts. I'm Dannah Gresh.
Portia Collins: And I'm Portia Collins, along with our cohost, Erin Davis. We are here to give you your weekly infusion of hope and perspective. Today, we want to speak hope into marriages that are on life support.
Dannah: Life support. Oh, Portia. Wow. Powerful words. In fact, those words make me a little bit sad, because I can remember seeing my preemie grandbabies hooked up to those wires knowing that without them, they could not survive. They were on literal life support. And I guess as you say those words, that's a pretty vivid picture of what some marriages really do look like.
In fact, if I'm honest with you, Bob and I have been there. We've been there in that spot where others had to attend to us to help our marriage survive. And I gotta say, for Bob and me, giving up was never an option. We've never spoken the divorce word. But I did wonder, would God ever bring back the passion, the fun, the chemistry that we once knew. I longed for that.
Portia: Well, did He?
Dannah: Well, of course He did. You know He did Portia. Oh, in fact, let me show you a picture. It's one of my favorites. We took this on the most miraculous life-giving day. It was one of those days where everything went wrong. We were at the beach; the weather was bad. The dinner reservations we made didn't work out. But we were just like kids in love.
So, when nothing went as planned, we just went for a drive, and we found this truck stop. It's the truck stop on the side of the road with food trucks, and we just snapped this photo. Now, you can tell by looking at that photo, we were not kids in love. That wasn't so long ago. But mind you, this was after I thought it can never be fun again.
I sat there that night across from Bob and I thought, We did it. But Portia, as soon as that thought went through my head I realized, no, God did it. God fixed us. God healed us. God used His people and His Word to give us spiritual and emotional CPR, and it worked. Friend, hear me on this, if you're listening and your heart is hurting because your marriage is broken, Jesus really is able to restore broken marriages. Bob and Dannah Gresh are living proof.
Portia: That is such a bucket of encouragement.
Dannah: A whole bucket.
Portia: Yes, a whole bucket. You know, Mikail and I have been married for five years in November, and marriage is beautiful. I love my husband dearly. I love our family. But I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard.
Dannah: Yes, you would.
Portia: That we haven't had our own unique challenges. You know, I look ahead, and I want to celebrate our fiftieth anniversary, side by side, although we are still somewhat newlyweds. I do know enough to know that strong lasting marriages don't just happen. They are built every day through commitment and sacrifice.
Dannah: They sure are. Bob and I are still looking for that fiftieth, but we are on 30. So we're closer than you Portia, we have you beat by about 25 years.
Portia: That's like a whole human.
Dannah: Yeah, exactly. When we were at the five-year mark, I remember us dreaming about becoming godly old grandparents. In fact, that dream was part of our survival plan when we were needing a lot of help. I didn't want to give up on that dream. And here we are, at year 32. We are grandparents, we are old, and I hope we are godly ones. I don't know, somebody else would have to say. But listen, friend, if you are at your 5 or your 10, or you're 20, or 25, or 32, I hope that Bob and I and our story that gives you some hope, especially if you feel like you're on life support.
I believe that there's at least one woman, probably many listening or watching right now, who thinks her marriage is dead or her child's marriage is dead or maybe even your belief in marriage is dead. If that's you, stop what you're doing right now. Just sit with us, because we're about to offer you some hope for a lasting marriage.
Portia: Author Jill Savage is with us this morning. Several years ago, her marriage to her husband Mark was barely breathing. Now she believes that God uses imperfect marriages to perfect us.
Dannah: That could be our good news for today, Portia, because every marriage is an imperfect marriage, which means every marriage makes room for God to work. I'm so excited that Jill is with us. You know, when my marriage was on life support, she was one of the people tending to my heart, tending to my need. I remember meeting her for coffee, hearing her story, and just being brave enough, because she's another fellow author. I texted her saying, “Would you meet me? I need some help. I need some perspective.” We met for coffee, and she tended to my heart, encouraged me, coached me up. And today, she's gonna coach you up. I'm so excited about that.
Portia: Yes. Yes, me too. And you know what? We're going to, we're going to do something special in this episode. And that is to pray for your marriage. If you're not married, consider yourself the newest recruit of the Grounded prayer team. Because celebrating God's design for marriage is a job assigned to each of us as followers of Christ. We need you praying with us because marriage is about so much more than just one man, one woman making it until death do us part. It's about putting the beauty of the gospel on display.
Portia: And that’s our mission this morning.
Dannah: Get off my soapbox, Portia girl, I’m coming up there with you. Yes, it is a picture of the gospel, marriage is a picture of the gospel. So, if yours is on life support, we want to remind you of that and give you hope. And we want to pray for you. Now, we don't need you to share all the details, but in the comments right now, could you let us know how we can pray for you? And if you know someone on life support who needs some hope and perspective, maybe you are giving them life support, share this broadcast right now so that we can be a part of your life support team with you.
Help for Marriages on Life Support: Interview with Jill Savage
Dannah: Erin, good morning, my friend. Are you as excited as we are about this?
Erin Davis: Good morning. I'm so excited. I wish that we were broadcasting live from that cool truck stop with the food trucks. But I'm so eager to jump into my conversation with Jill. So, let me tell you just a little bit about her. Jill Savage survived an affair. That's probably not how she dreamed of being introduced. But she lives to tell about it, and more than living to tell about it, she lives to give God glory from it. So after more than 20 years of marriage, her husband rekindled a relationship with an old flame and left their marriage. So, talk about needing life support. Let's hear from her what God did.Welcome to Grounded, Jill.
Jill Savage: Thank you. It's good to be with you.
Erin: Jill, before we hear more about your story, I want to make a little bit of a confession. I always do a lot of research before a Grounded episode. I read everything I could find about you and Mark and your marriage. It made me feel some fear that I haven't felt in a long time, and that's because of trauma in my nuclear family with my mom and dad. Affairs are my number one fear. I spent my first 15 years of marriage white knuckling my way through it just hoping I could keep my husband from making that choice. So, we don't want this episode to be a cause for suspicion or for fear or for white knuckling. So, before we jump into this story, would you mind just taking a moment to pray for the tens of thousands of women who are going to be watching and listening?
Jill: Yes. Lord, thank You so much for this opportunity to talk about a topic that isn't talked about very often. And we pray, Father, that You would, where there is fear, that You would replace it with faith. Where there is chaos, You would replace it with clarity. I pray, Father, that You would lead and guide the conversation. Take us where You know that we need to go based upon the needs of the women that are watching and listening. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Erin: Amen. Amen. Okay. Thank you, Jill. Take us to that moment when you saw your husband's phone, and you realized something was terribly wrong. What was that moment like?
Jill: It was horrid. It was absolutely horrid. It was certainly not something I ever thought I would have to deal with. I had been speaking at a church in Chicago. I live about two hours south of Chicago. I'd come home very late. I found him laying in bed holding his phone. And I thought, Oh, bless his heart, he's fallen asleep. And so, I just pulled it out of his hand, and I was gonna go plug it in. That's when I looked at the screen. I saw that he was having conversations with someone else. And that, absolutely, I won't even say broke my heart; I will say stunned me. I wanted to throw up. It was awful.
Jill: I knew he had not been in a good place. He'd been a pastor for 20 years. And in that last year, he had resigned from pastoring. He had launched his own construction business. He was pretty worn out from ministry. I knew he wasn't doing well, emotionally. I never thought that this was what we would be facing. And so that was absolutely overwhelming to me.
I did have a friend during that dark time that kept saying to me, “Jill, I'm here for you. Even if it's in the middle of the night, I'm here for you.” And I thought, Well, that's kind of weird. “I'm not gonna call you in the middle of the night.” And she was like, “I know, but I just want you to know, I'm here for you.”
And I'll tell you it was 1 a.m. when I saw it on his phone. I actually made the phone call to the person that he had been talking to. I used his phone to make the phone call to the person to let her know that I knew what was going on and to draw a boundary line that I expected her to never speak to my husband again. I then called my friend Becky. We cried. We prayed. And she took me to God's Word. We cried, and we prayed throughout the night. And I'm so grateful.
Erin: What a friend. I mean, that is what the church is meant to do. We're meant to be first responders, at all kinds of scenes. And so, I celebrate that. But you mentioned that your husband was a pastor. I want to be very clear here that you were both followers of Jesus. This is not a situation where this happened before you knew the Lord. You're both followers of Jesus. He'd been a pastor for two decades. So, what do your conversations with God become when you're standing at the epicenter of someone who loves sin? How did you cry out to the Lord? What was that like?
Jill: “What do I do, Lord?” That was my number one. I mean, my heart is broken. You know.
Erin: I imagine you were angry.
Jill: Well, I am not even angry at this point. I'm stunned. I'm stunned. I don't even know what I feel. And then, the anger sets in, for sure. And then the questions of what does somebody do in this? You know, in this situation, I don't even know what to do in this situation. And so, I would say that was probably my biggest prayer, “Lord, what do I do? What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?” And then, just honestly, just asking the Lord for His presence to hold me. “Lead me, Lord. I know You're with me. I need to feel Your presence. I need to feel Your arms around me. I need to feel that even in the midst of this craziness that You are my anchor.”
So, all of that. I would say all of that was diverging at the same time. It was a very, very, very dark season. I can't even imagine going through that without having that anchor of God's truth, without having that anchor of knowing that even in the midst of a very, very difficult season, that there is always the light of His Word.
Erin: Hmm, yeah, I mean, any women who know Jesus and don't know Jesus can face the storm. But if you don't know Jesus, you aren’t anchored. You're a boat in that storm that's just unmoored. But what I hear you saying is your anchor held. It doesn't mean it wasn't hard. It didn't mean you weren't done and then angry and then heartbroken. But that your anchor to God's truth held, is that true?
Jill: It is very true. I think that this is why it's so important for us to be anchored in God's truth. Because hard seasons, it's not if they'll come, it's when. And so, we have to be anchored in God's Word, even in the good seasons, because that is what will hold us when the wind blows, when things get crazy, even when we even ask ourselves, “Is this really my life? Is this the life that I am living? It's not what I imagined life was gonna look like.”
Erin: And then when you confronted your husband, what happened?
Jill: He was very, very defensive. We actually had a counseling session scheduled for the next day, after I discovered this. And so, as my friend Becky and I cried and talked and prayed overnight, we agreed that it would probably be best for me to confront him in the counseling session rather than at home. So just the timing of that I was so grateful for. And so, I did. He looked right at me, and he said, “You’re right. I'm having an affair, and I'm not stopping.” He was not in a good place emotionally; he was not in a good place spiritually. And quite frankly, I didn't know who I was looking at, like, this was not my husband. And so I just was at a loss as to what to do.
Our counselor actually separated us at that moment. He said, “I want to talk to each of you individually.” He encouraged me at that moment. He said, “If he will get help, then I think you can have him stay. But if he won't get help, you probably need to ask him to leave.
So, I mean, I just couldn't imagine any of this. I am grateful that he asked for help. He did say he would get help. But I want you to know, it wasn't that easy. Because he did, he went and got treatment for sexual addiction, recommitted to the marriage eventually. But then, he went back to the other relationship. Recommitted to the marriage, went back to the other relationship—that happened seven times.
Erin: Oh, Jill.
Jill: Before he actually recommitted and made what we call the U-turn, the final surrender, where he completely gave God his heart and his mind and let God call the shots.
Erin: Wow, wow wow. I know there's a lot of messy middle there that we won't be able to cover in our time. And there's probably still some messy. But I do want to know, what did restoration look like for you? What did God do that ultimately led to the restoration of your marriage, restoration of your heart, restoration of your home? What's the restoration been like?
Jill: Well, I'll tell you what, when I was begging God to tell me what to do, I literally was laying on my living room floor. Tears. I mean, the carpet is wet on my living room floor, and I'm begging Him, “God, what do you want me to do? What do I do? What do I do? I'm lost. I don't know what to do.”
And in that moment, and this was the day after I had found out we hadn't yet gone to the counselor's office. I heard God say to me, “I want you to love him.” And honestly, I rose up against that. I was like, “You have to be kidding me. Come on, God. I mean, he's not real lovable right now.” And God whispered back to my heart, “Sometimes you aren't either.” And I thought, You're right, Lord, You love me when I'm unlovable. I don't know how to do that.
And let me tell you, God eventually took me to Romans 12:9–21. These are some of the verses that I read. “Let love be genuine.” (v. 9) “Outdo one another in showing honor.” (v. 10) “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” (v. 12) “Bless those who persecute you, bless, and do not curse them. Repay no one evil for evil.” (v. 14) And then, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him, if he's thirsty, give him something to drink. For by doing so you will heap burning coals on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (v. 20)
And that became my marching orders. That became my marching orders. I read it morning and night. In fact, you know what I did at night? The hardest part for me because we were separated during part of this was the messy middle. And the hardest part for me was going to bed at night. And so, I’d take my Bible to bed with me. And I read Romans 12:9–21. And then I'd lay it on my husband's empty pillow. That would be the last thing I would see before I would go to bed. And it would be the first thing I would see in the morning. And eventually, I began to love at a deeper level than I'd ever loved before. I did not do it perfectly. Oh, my goodness, there were some nights when we were separated . . .
I remember one night the toilet overflowed. I was not happy that I was a single mother dealing with at that time two teenage boys. We had three children that were adults and out of the house and two teenagers still at home. I'm not so sure I was very loving that night. But in general, I was becoming characterized by a different kind of love. Because God was working in me in the midst of this waiting season.
And as I was doing that, my husband was noticing. In fact, he asked me one night, “Why have you treated me so kindly when I've treated you so poorly?” And I thought about it. And I was like, “I don't know, Mark. It's unhumanable. It’s unhumanable.” That was what came to my mind.
And he's like, “What's that?”
And I'm like, “I don't know. It's when we do something that is beyond us.”
Erin: Yeah, only Jesus.
Jill: That night I was reading Romans. I don't know if you can see this, but I wrote “key to unhumanable love” in my Bible on that very night. And that really changed me. I realized whether my marriage makes it or not, this season hasn't been wasted because I've learned to love deeper. I've learned to trust the Lord. I'm grateful.
Erin: There’s woman watching right now who just now thought, I got what I came forthat just that thought that unhumanable love is what God's called me to. That picture of your Bible on the pillow of your husband who had betrayed all trust, is, to me, the picture of I'm going to trust in this. I'm going to stand on this firm foundation, though the earth give way beneath me. It's so precious.
But I know this. We have women watching from around the world, women listening from around the world, Jill. I know there's a woman right now watching or listening to this. And her marriage barely has a pulse. I know the month that you walked through this felt long. I imagine there is a woman watching or listening. It's not months for her. It's not years for her. It might be a decade plus, and she's tried all kinds of things. The intimacy and the love in her marriage, they just aren't there. So, I love that you've taken us to Romans. But would you leave that woman who feels like my marriage is dead, is there somewhere in Scripture that you would point her to today?
Jill: Romans 8. And this is verse 5 “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
So, what we long for in those hard seasons is life and peace.
Jill: That's what we long for. God's Word tells us that there is a peace that passes understanding; it makes no sense. That's what we have to look for in those hard seasons, in those seasons where things are very, very dark.
And, you know, in several years before this ever happened in my life, I heard Jennifer Rothschild share a message. She was referring to her blindness. She's a fabulous speaker and author who is blind, and just has an incredible faith. She said, “it is not well with my circumstances, but it is well with my soul.”
Jill: Now, she was referring to her blindness. But I'll tell you what, I recalled those words in this dark season. And I said, “Lord, it is not well with my circumstances, but I know it can still be well with my soul. And God took me to Romans 8. And the only way that it can be well with our soul, in such dark circumstances is when our head and our heart are focused on the spirit and not on the flesh. In other words, when we're saying, “Okay, Lord, even though this is hurt, I want to do things Your way. I mean, I know that I want to lash out here and I want to let my anger go. It's okay to express anger. It's just not okay to sin in our anger.
Jill: So, you know, I want to hurt him back. I mean, let's be honest, all of those are going on inside of us. But that's our flesh. And God says, in My world, things are the opposite of what your flesh wants to do. So that's where we have to go to God's Word and say, “Okay, what's Your Spirit calling me to do? What is Your Word? What direction is Your Word giving me?
Erin: Jill, I'm so encouraged. My marriage is thriving. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary with a romantic hot air balloon, via sunset. I mean, I'm not where you were. But I certainly have the need to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. I certainly know that in walking by the flesh, I don't find peace; I find the opposite of peace. So encouraged by your story.
Well, I hate to give away the ending. And I know God is writing your story. But today Jill and Mark are, get this, marriage coaches together, and authors of the book No More Perfect Marriages. So, talk about restoration. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Jill. We want to drop a link to your website, JillSavage.org. I spent probably three hours there preparing for this episode. It really is a goldmine of resources for marriage, yes, but also for moms. For those who are finding their nest empty, and you have different headings there. You have, you just call them all hope for this season. Hope for this season, hope for this season, hope this season. I was so encouraged. So thank you again, Jill.
Jill: Thanks for having me.
Erin: It's time to get grounded in God's Word. Dannah is going to open her Bible and share from the Psalms. And we're going to set aside some time as we promised to pray for your marriage. But first, we've got a very short clip of Dannah sharing a little bit about that time when her marriage is on life support. You're going to want to pay attention to about the last four seconds, especially because she's talking about how God perfected her through her imperfect marriage. Let's watch.
Grounded in God’s Word Video: A Marriage on Life Support
Dannah: Loving my husband, I think . . . Nancy, being a close friend, has watched my husband and I walk recently through some difficult times. I felt a little set up. Like, oh, this is gonna be a hard one for me. Because I have a husband who he is phenomenal. And yet, he is human and has weaknesses like every man. And so, we've walked through some difficult, painful, deep waters together in the last few years that were from his weaknesses. I didn't know that God was going to work on me and my weaknesses through those. It was hard for me to take the beam out of my eye, so to speak.
But as I wrestled through the tension of how to share, my husband gave me the most beautiful permission. He said, “Listen, authors and speakers all the time . . . We look at them and we think these things are easy for them. They don't have the same challenges. Can I just give you the permission to be real with these ladies.” And then I was still struggling and Nancy said what if Bob shares with you?
So, my husband is going to be joining me on the stage. We're going to be sharing from our heart together, how loving your husband is the easiest thing you'll ever do at times. And sometimes it's the hardest thing you'll ever do. But a woman of faith in the times when she can't see where her marriage is going, and can't imagine it going forward or moving into a good place, that is when you rip, you wrestle and you lean into verses like: without faith, it is impossible to please Him.
And you believe what you can't see. And now, I'm happy to say that Bob and I are in a beautiful place where we can see what God was bringing us to the things that we were so blinded to and felt hopeless about. We're seeing them now. But that's because we had faith, we could not see.
Grounded in God’s Word: Psalm 119:105
Wow, that video was shot when Bob and I were just coming off of life support, starting to breathe again on our own, starting to see again. And it did take faith. But I gotta tell you, as I was listening to Jill, I had tears in my eyes. I did grab my tissues, because I feel like she is a heavyweight champion of faith for her marriage. And what Bob and I have walked through his battle with pornography, it feels so lightweight to compare it to what she shared. But the common denominator for both of us was faith and His Word. Because when it seems dark, we need the Word of God.
Let's visit Psalm 119—not normally a chapter of the Bible you head to when you're hurting, when your marriage is having trouble, when life seems difficult. But hear me out because there's one verse in here that was really a lifeline to me on one of the worst days of my life.
I still remember when Bob stood before me and said, “I want to find my way back to God without breaking your heart, but I can't seem to do it.” And then he did. He broke my heart. But he found his way back to God. And I found my way back to God in a way that I didn't even know because I didn't know I was lost.
I remember that day calling my best friend and telling her what was happening and walking through the woods near my house and feeling hopeless. And she began to quote this familiar Bible verse. You know it, I don't need to read it. But I'm going to Psalm 119 105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
And then Donna asked me. “Dannah, how much light does a lamp give for your feet?” I was just kind of silent. So, she answered for me. She said, “It gives just enough for the next few steps”. I didn't want to hear that. Did you hear how Jill kept saying, “Lord, what do I do? What do I do? What do I do?”
I was in my first day and all I had said to the Lord all day was, “What do I do?” I didn't want to hear that I would know just the next few steps. I wanted a million suns to tell me, what does my future look like? Or at least wanted some football stadium lights, so I could run some plays that would give me control of some hope of victory. But Donna reminded me that all I needed was a foot lamp. “Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path.”
The words in the Bible, they will be your lamp in the darkness. You do need to read it in the darkness of night because that is when the terror comes. And you do you need to maybe take Jill's example to heart and lay it on the pillow next to you or on the nightstand next to you—a lamp for your path. Now, that lamp isn't going to show you the beginning and the end of your journey. I'm afraid you're not going to find a single Bible verse in this book that will promise you that God's going to fix it all immediately. That's not the promise of Psalm 119:105. “Your word is a lamp to my feet a light to my path.”
The promise is that when you open God's Word, you will see even on the darkest days, and it'll be enough for the next step. It'll be enough for God to answer that prayer. What do I do? What do I do? On that day in the woods on my dark day, light rushed in. Light rushed into the darkness. Psalm 119, it was like a pair of night vision glasses to my soul. And do you know what that really means? It meant Jesus was with me. It means Jesus is with you when you open the Word because John 1:14 tells us that the Word was made flesh. That's Jesus. The Word of God was made flesh—Jesus. Jesus, Himself with shining light on my crooked path. And oh, what a light. He is.
I sort of wish I could tell you that my marriage had never walked through darkness. But I would never say that because what I can tell you is this, I've never known the brightness of the light of the Word made flesh the way I did during those dark days. In fact, I would go through it all again to experience God the way that I did. He is a light that shatters the darkness. My friend, John 8:12 records it like this, “Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
What a promise. The light of Jesus is what snuffed out the darkness in our marriage. He is the reason that we not only survived, but today we thrive. And friend, if you're in pain because life seems a little dark. Step one. What do I do? Get in the Word. Open your Bible, read it, soak in it, shine it on the darkness of your path. “Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
Erin: I had a memory bubble up. I'm sure we've talked about this before, but I wasn't your first phone call. But I was an early phone call when that nuclear bomb hit. I was walking through an airport. I laid down flat on my face in the middle of that airport and sobbed and asked the Lord to restore the Gresh marriage. And we heard something similar from Jill that middle of the night friend who she called that spoke life that interceded that prayed. We need those people.
And though my marriage is in a beautiful place . . . Now, every marriage ebbs and flows. And we all need those Christian women that we call on and say, “Yeah, I need you praying.” We want to be those women for you this morning.
Prayer for Marriages
Erin: You know, Jill's story is the same as all of our stories at its core. None of us can keep our commitments. None of us can build beautiful families. None of us can forgive each other . . . without the help of the Holy Spirit. We need Jesus. So, we did want to set aside some time this morning to pray for your marriages. And we would ask you to pray with us. So, Portia, I'd love it if you'd pray right now, for those new marriages.
Portia: I'd be happy to, happy to. You know, the verse that comes to mind as I think of marriage is 1 Corinthians 16:14. It says, “Let all that you do be done in love.” In fact, in the CSV, it says, “Do everything in love” and so that's our prayer.
Father, Lord, I believe in marriage, and I know that marriage is your good design. Lord, I ask that you help me to keep that at the forefront of my mind. And our sisters who are watching today, Lord, let us not be motivated by our pain, our insecurities, what our spouses are doing. But let us do everything, in love, every word that we speak, every action that we take, everything, Lord, let it be done in love. And not just the world's definition of love, but Your definition of love—love that is undergirded with truth. Father, know what we trust You to lead us and guide us in this way. We trust You to protect our marriages and to carry our marriages for Your glory alone. It's in Christ's name that I pray, amen.
Erin: Amen. I want to take a moment to pray for marriages that are in my season, which is that for many of us were in the busiest years, the messy middle. For Jason and I, we’re busy raising four children, from toddlers to teenagers. We're working—our careers are ramping up not going down. There's not enough energy in any day. There's often not enough money to get through the month. We need the Lord to sustain us through the pressures of this season. What comes to mind for me is Psalm 127:1—stamp this on your front door, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
Let me pray for your marriages, Jesus, we're busy building our houses. We're busy doing the things that life requires. And yet if we don't do those in partnership with You, and in fact, just following You, not even in partnership with You, but letting you build our homes, our marriages, our families, it's all for nothing. It's all in vain.
So, I pray for the women who are watching and listening, who are in the busiest season of life, that You would not let them take a single step today that is outside of submitting to You and that they would really surrender every area of their life to Your authority, and that they would have You to lead. Because unless You're building our houses, we're building in vain. We give our marriages, our children, our homes, our work, all that encompasses our lives. We give it back to You again today. We ask You to be the king. In Your name I pray., amen.
Dannah: Amen. Well, I would love to pray for marriages in crisis if your marriage feels like it's in the dark. Let me give you a little promise from the Lord if you're hurting. It's from Psalm 34:18. And it basically says the Lord is near the brokenhearted. He is close to you, friend. He is with you. He is closer than Erin and Portia and I are right now. Jesus is right there with you holding your hand walking you through this.
Father, I pray for my sister who's hurting. May she feel Your nearness. And God, may be she open to Your Word. It is the lamp. It is the light that will show her what the next step is. It might not answer every question she has in our heart right now. But we'll answer one and it'll give her, her next order her next step to take. Father be close to her today in the precious name of Jesus. I pray this, amen.
You know, if you don't feel the newness of the Lord, one thing that might be in the way is unforgiveness. I've known that in my heart, as I listened to Jill, I thought I let's invite her back and ask her to pray for the woman who needs to forgive Jill, would you pray for that woman right now?
Jill: Oh, Lord, that place those places that we need to forgive. They are battles between our flesh and our spirit. It is where we are. We're fearful if we forgive that we give away some sort of power. And, Lord, I pray Father right now for that woman that is struggling to forgive. Because she thinks that if she forgives, she then has to trust. Lord, that is completely different. You know that. Forgiveness opens the door for trust to be rebuilt. But in and of itself, it doesn't rebuild trust. I pray Father for that woman that is struggling to forgive because she thinks that it requires two people. It doesn’t Lord. It just takes one. And that's us. So, I pray Father, for the courage to forgive. I pray for that place where that woman that is listening right now who's struggling to forgive, needs to realize that forgiveness is really just about cleaning up her heart and making it available to You, Lord, may or she run after that today. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Erin: Amen. There's somebody watching and listening right now that I've been thinking of all week, and I don't know your name. Maybe you'll write to us and tell us your name. But I've been thinking about you and praying for you. And you're not even sure how you got to Grounded today. But you're the one who thinks your marriage is dead. And I want you to know, because of all you've heard here Jesus is He's a specialist in bringing the dead back to life and you can trust Him.
Erin: Nobody has to pray for Jesus to be close to you. He is as close as your breath right now. And His Word will light your path for the next step. So I will continue praying for you that this hope and perspective you received this morning will be what you need to take the next step in trusting Jesus.
You're not going to want to miss the next episode of Grounded, we're going to be telling a big story. And that's God's story in Iran. If you have any doubt that God is at work in this big world where darkness seems to be running amok, set a timer on your phone right now. Maybe gather a group in your living room next Monday because you are going to be amazed at what Jesus is doing in the nation of Iran.
Erin: Until then, let's wake up with hope and perspective together next week on Grounded.
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