My parents separated when I was young. So, whenever I learn of a marriage ending, I always relate to the children involved. As a child, I recall lying in bed at night dreaming of the day I was grown. I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet, but I did know what I wanted to be. I wanted to be surrounded one day with my loving wife and kids. I wanted to be enveloped in their love and they in mine. I dreamed of being a dad and a husband. I dreamed of having a family united, because that is what I lacked.
Although my parents and step parents were kind, gentle and loving and did the best they could under the circumstances, there was still something about a divorced home that calloused my heart – and as I grew, so did my skepticism. I began to doubt marriage, for I saw very few long-term successes. Sadly, in time, I ditched my childish dream, thinking instead, who needs the headache and heartbreak of marriage (Psalms 146:3)!
The Dream: Thankfully, despite all this growing pessimism, God intervened and introduced me to a person I fell completely in love with. For the first time, in a long time, I once again had dreams of marriage and family. Yet, we both carried baggage into our relationship and faced many rocky roads – some we feared could lead to our own separation. It was then, when faced with my worst fear of repeating the life I so desperately wanted to avoid, I realized how hopeless I was without Christ. I believed in Jesus, but I was not surrendered to Him as my Lord. For, I was consumed and distracted by worldly pursuits and didn’t understand the power an intimate relationship with Christ provided (1 John 2:15-17).
The Dependence: Broken and desperate for hope, I surrendered my life, my marriage, my children, my career, my money, my everything to Him. It was no longer mine to try to control and keep, but His. It was His to direct, His to protect and His to sustain. As a result, God has restored every aspect of my life and has blessed my marriage in ways that surpasses all my wildest dreams.
The Deliverance: Clearly, everything is not perfect, but despite imperfections, our home is filled with the love and joy only God can provide. I now have unwavering hope for the future and for others who have grown discouraged with their dreams. For when we are in Christ, He wants to give us the righteous desires of our heart, because He is the One who plants them there (Psalm 37:4-5).
Application: “Christ Restores Faith, Families and Futures” Joel 2:25-26
When our Lord is Jesus Christ, we are never without hope. For even though there are consequences to past decisions, when we seek and surrender our lives to Him, He knows how to restore brokenness, mend wounds, heal homes and refresh dreams.