Tensions in marriage are often held tight. Sometimes the springs burst loose and the whole matter is exposed. For most, the grip remains firm. Few ever know, except for the two who stubbornly hold tight to their secret. The fear of others ever discovering how bad things are, the fear of having to pick up the pieces becomes the adrenaline rush providing sufficient strength to keep the springs from ever snapping. Meanwhile, because all the energy is directed at protecting the secret, there is little energy left to work on rebuilding. Sometimes, no, often times, no, all the time, the best thing that can happen to a hurting, fragile marriage is for the two to let go of what they are trying to protect and face the shame of their brokeness. Carefully inviting several others into their broken world permits the two to collapse into the arms of others strong enough, trustworthy enough, to promise and provide hope.
When Elaine and I are invited into that brokeness we are both faced first with the reality of our own story. Because of it, Elaine insists that her best friend is Jesus. I embrace that. It’s her declaration, and my welcome admission, that He alone can provide what I cannot. Our early dreams did not include the nightmarish outcomes of loss and change, but they do promise now the possibilities available to cherish weakness and embrace vulnerability. I like to tell husbands especially that there is joy in tenderly loving the weaker vessel in this partnership we call marriage. Embrace the truth that Jesus wants to love them through you. There are some things you cannot do for her, things that only Jesus can give. Stop waiting for what might never be regained. Live on and love on. Letting go, could be the beginning of a new season – a beautiful season that will now invite into the brokeness the Master-Marriage-Builder Himself.