I hear this expression many times, "I want to find a way to mend my marriage and get it on the right path" (KW).
When I think of Christian couples who have gotten off track in their marriage and feel they have ruined their chances of restoring their marriage, a contemporary phenomena comes to mind. The GPS unit -- the global positioning system.
When I use my GPS unit for my car, I drive in amazement when I take a wrong turn and hear the little voice say, "Recalculating" and then hear that voice tell me how to get back on the right path. I have gone the wrong direction intentionally to find that GPS device brilliantly re-navigate me to the main road. That unit knows my final destiny! Even if I experience an unexpected detour by outside factors, I soon return to the perfect course guiding me to the right address.
How in the world does GPS relate to marriage? Similarly, couples get off the right path. They can experience adultery, abandonment, abuse, and addiction. Few things inflict more pain and bring couples to what feels like a dead-end. Sadly, these things can lead to a biblical divorce or separation.
On the other hand, God can whisper in a person's ear, "Recalculating!" Even if we willfully take the wrong turn, God will speak to our heart and conscience about how to get back on a godly, wise path. Think about this. If a Garmin GPS unit, a device made by human beings, can recalculate and put a car back on the main road, which marvels me, Almighty God, the omniscient and omnipotent one, can do that easy enough.
I love what Isaiah 30:21 states, "If you wander off the road to the right or the left, you will hear his voice behind you saying, "Here is the road. Follow it" (GNB).
In your marriage have you wandered off the road? God is recalculating for you. Will you listen to him? “He can make a way where there is no way”, as the song says. Getting back on the right road may take longer than you wish, since there are consequences to wrong choices, but he will show you the new direction back to righteous pavement.
Do you hear God's voice saying:
• "Stop the adultery. Turn away from this relationship. Turn back to your spouse and family"?
• "Do not abandon your spouse. Turn around. Return to your partner"?
• "Face your abuse/ addiction. Enter the path of long-term counseling"?
Remember, God does not shout. We read in 1 Kings 19:12, that he will speak in the soft whisper of a voice (GNB) a quiet, whispering voice (GW), a still small voice (KJV+), a gentle whisper (NIV). The beautiful thing is that as we listen, God returns us to our place of destiny, the place of His calling.
Does everyone respond when hearing his voice? Jeremiah 6:16 pens, "Thus says the LORD, 'Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls.' But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'"
God permits us to exercise free will against him. In theology, we have a term called the permissive will of God. God permits us to go off course. In fact, he permits us to stay off course after we hear his voice saying, "Recalculating."
For example, God reveals his will to couples in Ephesians 5:33, where the husband is commanded to love his wife and the wife is commanded to respect her husband. The Christian husband and wife will hear the still small voice whispering, "Get back on the main road by doing the loving or respectful thing." Some refuse to listen.
Others, do listen. Hear these testimonies.
• “Your teaching series is ‘a word from God’ letting me know that my wife and I are on the right path” (B.C.).
• “I sent him 'respect' letter for Valentine's Day and he loved it. I know that this is the right path and my daily prayer confirms that I am following God's plan" (KM)
• "We never had… the opportunity to be on the right path, (but) we are now seeking that".(JL)
• I said, "honey...I'm so sorry...I have never respected you." And he forgave me. Well, to make a long story short...He and I learned so much, and we now have the tools to enable us to live a very happy and fulfilling life together. We now recognize our crazy cycle...and we get off as soon as it starts. We're communicating like never before...and loving and respecting each other the way that God meant for us too. I have my husband back, and my son is happy and we're now living a total different life! ...Thank you for bringing forth the tools we need to keep us on the right path" (SO).
This person says it well, "... there is enough blame to go around. Own what is yours, apologize, make amends, and then repent, turn and go down the right path."
Where are you? Along with this person, and thousands of others, you can hear, “Recalculating.” Are you listening?
Copyrighted by Emerson