Recently on a date with my husband we entered a conversation that we’ve been repeating for over a year. It goes something like this:
“If you do ‘______’ it will help heal our marriage.”
We both could acknowledge our marriage needed healing from past hurts. However, we were not yet experiencing the complete joy of a healed marriage. We both wanted to invest and make our marriage better, but we each made different demands and had different expectations of what healing our marriage would take. I would demand, you need to win me back. He would demands you need to understand me. This time our conversation took a turn. Instead of continuing the same conversation that led us nowhere and has kept our intimacy stagnant, my husband suggested we each look up scriptures in the Bible about healing. So right there in the restaurant, we pulled out our phones and did just that. We both learned new and tangible things we can do to promote healing in our marriage and we decided to put them into practice.
Here are 5 things that bring healing according to the Bible.
1) God and God’s Word Bring Healing
Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
Jeremiah 33:6 NIV
He sent out his word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.
Psalm 107:20 NIV
Instead of looking to God for healing as these scriptures teach, we learned that we were each expecting the other spouse to be the healing agent in our marriage. The Bible calls this idolatry (1 John 5:21)- letting someone or something else take God’s place in your heart – and it has led to a lot of discouragement because our humanistic efforts towards healing have been insufficient. Looking to God for healing is empowering and encouraging. I had to take responsibility for lacking the intimate prayers and personal search of the scriptures to allow God to heal my heart. I had to stop looking for my husband to fix it. We both needed individual healing in our personal walks with God so that we could then come together to experience healing in our marriage.
To experience this kind of change in your walk with God, ask yourself these questions:
- Where have you been looking for healing outside of God?
- What can you change today to rely on God and God’s powerful word to bring healing? What scriptures can you turn to?
- How much have you been pouring your heart out in prayer to God?
2) Wise and Gracious Words Bring Healing
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18 NIV
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Proverbs 16:24 NIV
I have often withheld verbal encouragement from my husband. I’ll think nice things about him, but do not always say them. On the other hand, when I’m angry or bitter I say all my negative thoughts; reckless words come pouring out of my mouth causing a lot of damage. So my husband hears mostly negative things from me and then I expect him to have loving feelings towards me; needless to say, this does not add up. So I’ve been making a point to share every nice thing I think and to take the time to think of gracious things to say. Speaking kind words has brought significant healing to my own heart. When we first read these scriptures in the restaurant, I assumed the healing would come from hearing his voice saying nice things to me. But to my surprise it does much more good to my heart and soul to say pleasant things than to hear them. This is good news for anyone reading this article whose spouse is not yet committed to promoting healing in your marriage or to obeying the Bible. Your choice to become wise and speak graciously can help heal your heart towards your marriage.
How have unwise, harsh, or reckless words damaged your marriage? Decide to start saying wise and gracious thing to and about your spouse every day.
3) Becoming Trustworthy Brings Healing
A wicked messenger falls into trouble, but a trustworthy envoy brings healing.
Proverbs 13:17 NIV
Much of the hurt in our marriage is caused by broken trust. I often hear people say, “It takes time to heal.” Well, we’ve learned that just waiting for our marriage to heal for doesn’t necessarily bring success. Time alone is not enough, but time well spent rebuilding trust leads to healing. As we have each been working to become trustworthy in the areas where we had let each other down, trust is growing and our marriage is actively healing.
In what area does your spouse trust you the least? How have you broken your their trust in his area? What can you change to become trustworthy in this area?
4) Confessing Sin Brings Healing
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
James 5:16a NIV
We want a close, connected, trusting marriage full of love and able to dream together, but our sin separates us from each other. Sin also separates us from God. Confessing sin means acknowledging it and agreeing with God about how destructive it is. I am usually very aware of how destructive my husband’s sin is because I feel experience the consequences, but I am often less aware of how my sin destroys my marriage. Proverbs 14:1 NIV says “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” As women we can destroy our home and marriage when we let our sin go unchecked, without humility, awareness, and confession. Confessing sin brings healing because it is the first step in repenting of our sin.
It is important to confess our own sin. When I’m bitter, I get focused on my husband’s sin and cannot see my own. Don’t fall into this trap that prevents healing from taking place. Matthew 7:3-5 can help us with this. It says:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
If your husband confesses a sin, take that as an opportunity to confess some of your own. What sins do you have a hard time confessing to your spouse? Why? Which of your spouse’s sins do you tend to fixate on? How does your sin contribute to the dynamic of your home?
5) Prayer Brings Healing
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16 NIV
The Bible calls us to pray for each other so that we can be healed. It also says we need to be righteous to have powerful and effective prayers. This takes us back to our first point – how important it is to work on our personal relationship with God.
How much do you really pray for your spouse? For your marriage? Do you pray for your spouse to master their sin? Or only pray about how their sin has hurt your feelings? Decide to pray every day for your spouse.
After only a few short days of both of us putting these 5 things into practice, we could feel the improvements. After a few weeks, loving interactions and playfulness returned. After a few months we are working together better and being considerate of each other in a deeper way. We still make mistakes and hurt each other, but it is much easier to express our hurt feelings and work through things quicker now that we are looking to God to bring healing. I highly recommend that you give God a chance to bring healing to your marriage by deciding to rely on God and the Bible to heal your heart, by committing to say only wise and gracious words to your husband, by doing the work to become trustworthy, by choosing to confess your sin to your husband and by consistently praying for your husband and your marriage. Healing for your marriage is within in reach. Put these 5 things into practice and enjoy the results.
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