Has your marriage ever been in a place where you barely knew how to pray?
At times, the only prayer that formed on my lips was, Lord, help!
And He did. God has written a redemption story in the marriage of Bob and Dannah Gresh that I could never have dreamed of. We worked hard, of course. And we used many tools to help us work through what we were walking through, including clinically informed and biblically grounded therapists, godly friends, support groups, and the slow passage of time. But nothing and no one helped me more than the precious Holy Spirit.
Have you experienced His power?
Jesus said this about the Spirit: “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).
Jesus had close friends and followers when He walked on this earth. Perhaps no one other than His mother would have felt the acute pain of His departure more than these individuals. But our Savior told them it was to their advantage that He would leave them.
Because after Jesus went away, He sent the Helper — the Holy Spirit.
And think about this: with intention and purpose, God chose when you would be born. (Jeremiah 1:5; Psalm 139:15-16) He placed you — and me — onto the planet during this time, ever so short in the scheme of things, when it is to our “advantage” that Jesus is not here in the flesh. We get to experience the goodness and help of the Holy Spirit!
During my time of pain, I pulled together some scriptures to give me understanding of how the Holy Spirit provides support no matter our need. I then considered how these truths applied to a wife when her marriage was painful. As I kept my eyes open to see Him at work, I experienced eight ways the Spirit helps us through marriage trauma.
- He comes alongside us to advocate for us. (John 14:26, NIV; John 15:26, NIV)
- He intercedes for us when we run out of words to pray for ourselves. (Romans 8:26)
- He opens our minds to understand the Scriptures, something we may need a lot of help with when our brains are hijacked by trauma. (John 14:26; Ephesians 1:17-18)
- He helps us experience freedom from anything that holds us in bondage, including fear, bitterness or hyper-vigilance. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
- He leads us into Truth, helping us bypass all the confusing lies. (John 16:13)
- He works to lead us and make us more like Jesus in everything we do rather than reacting to our husbands out of our emotion and fear. (Romans 8:14-16)
- He sweetly convicts us — and our husbands — of sin so we can confess and find freedom. (John 16:8)
- He helps us, our husbands, and others in the body of Christ to experience unity of heart and mind. (Acts 4:31-32)
The Spirit’s help makes all the difference when your body and soul need some extra care because your heart is in trauma. Call upon Him. The Spirit is able to help you as you seek redemption and healing in your marriage.
Do you need help finding the healing God's Spirit brings? Join me, Bob, and our therapist, Pete Kuiper, for an encouraging weekend of Truth-filled redemption hope. Apply for the Happily Even After Couple's Weekend here.
Need some biblical, clinically informed advice for how to navigate your husband’s battle with lust and pornography? Get a copy of Happily Even After: Let God Redeem Your Marriage by Dannah Gresh. (That's me!)
Read a FREE sample chapter, “This Is His Brain (and Sadly Yours) on Sin.” It contains useful research to help you understand why you need and deserve help when your heart is wounded by your husband’s sexual sin.