Where are You Broken?

Being willing to look at where you are broken can be a scary and intimidating task. But it can also be the key to unlocking your spouse’s heart and the marriage gridlock you’ve been facing.

I know, because it wasn’t until I really took a serious look at my heart that I was able to bring the broken pieces to Jesus, where He began to mend, redeem and heal the brokenness of my marriage.

And I’m not just talking past tense here! This is a moment-by-moment search by God that I must yield to every day.

The reason this is key to unlocking our spouses’ hearts is because of the way it shifts our perspective.

mosaic glass window IIII must confess, I’ve struggled with self-righteousness (broken area #1). Whenever I cling to the illusion that I am better or “less sinful” than my spouse—no matter how big his sins are compared to my own—I will remain stuck and bound to swim in the messy marriage waters.

But as soon as I recognize that sin is sin and that I am not better or more acceptable to my Savior than any other person, then I feel His grace and love filling up the cracks in my heart. It is then that I am free to fully and completely love my spouse as the flawed and sinful human being that he is … because Jesus loves me—the flawed and sinful human being that I am.

So ask God to do a careful examination of your heart. Maybe you’ll find pride like me or maybe you’ll see insecurity (my broken area #2) or maybe it will be laziness (check that box for me as well) or a sense of entitlement (ugly to admit, but “yep!”) or lust (do we really have to go there?) or greed (Ugh!) or perfectionism (What? Isn’t that a good thing?) or self-deception (uh-oh!).

I may sound like I’m kidding, but in all seriousness, these are pieces that are broken in me. I know the list could go on and maybe you can identify with me as well. But maybe you fear that if you allowed God to peek inside your heart, you might just feel like throwing in the towel. It’s so much easier to focus on your spouse’s sin than your own, right?

But the beautiful thing is that as we confess and turn these broken areas over to our Savior, He is able to transform us like never before!

It’s like the broken glass that the Master Craftsman turns into a beautiful mosaic for His light to shine through!

I’m not going to lie … it’s a painful process.

But it will open your eyes and transform you and your marriage.

It will give you the ability to forgive your spouse as you find yourself at the foot of the cross—both in need of Christ’s forgiveness.

So, will you do it? Will you let Christ reveal where you’re broken?

 

If so, what broken areas has He revealed? (Did you know there’s healing in confession?!)

 

How have you seen Christ heal your marriage after giving Him your brokenness?

 

“If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” –1 John 1:8-9 (NIV)

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

Photo by Louise

****************

Linking up with – NOBH, Momma Notes, Marriage Mondays, Marriage Moments Monday, Making Your Home Sing Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Playdates with God and Marriage Monday

  • Your broken areas are my broken areas. I wonder if these are common places for most wives?

    I have seen great strides in our marriage when I have given up the pieces to God that are anchoring me to darkness. It IS a daily death … and I don’t always take the time to meet it every day. Those are the days that don’t go as well!

    Repetition bores me. I don’t like schedules, I don’t like anything remotely close to monotony. I believe this is something that keeps me from a definite devotion time each day and a definite “dying to self” time each day.

    If I would manage those things well, I would find greater success in giving what I need to give to Christ and glorifying him through my choices, rather than finding the need to ask forgiveness so often.

    Imperfection is humbling!

    • Perhaps they are common areas for most “people”–not just wives, Amy! 🙂 Yes, that’s a good way to put it – “daily death.” But oh, what He resurrects in our lives and marriages when we die to our sins and desires and let Christ live through us. As far as repetition is concerned, I’ve come to love it. I have a daily ritual that I religiously follow for my time with God. But it’s never an obligation or a grind. It is something I so look forward to and it refuels me for the day. So yes, I think that might be a place to start for you, Amy. I know it’s where God has really grown and stretched me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and adding them to the discussion, my friend. I always love it when you come by to say “hi.”

  • bluecottonmemory

    When I realized my husband wasn’t in charge of healing my brokenness that I brought into the marriage – there was a lot of liberation, more healthy appropriate expectations of our God-designed roles:) I do think that marriage requires continual maintenance, much like a garden.

    • It was the same way for me, my friend. I don’t know why we think our spouses can bring the healing and wholeness that only God can bring! And yes, there is a lot of “liberation” when we let God work in our hearts instead of focusing our efforts on getting our spouse to change. Thanks for weighing in on the conversation. I think you and I have a lot in common! 🙂

  • Such healthy messages you share here, Beth. But hard ones. Last night I was having a conversation with my husband over an issue that we disagree on. I immediately felt defensiveness rising in me–the brokenness of my desire to be “right”. Thankfully this time we moved forward in our discussion without it becoming an issue, but it’s not always that way. I so need grace to continue filling in all my cracks, and grace to forgive my husband for his.

    Thanks for always keeping things real here. Your honesty helps us see ourselves and our Savior a little clearer each time.

    • Yes, hard ones. I don’t always like having to share from this angle, but God prods me on and I trust Him with the result. Thanks so much for sharing about your own struggles, Lisa. You’ve not left me “out there” emotionally “naked” alone! ha! I’m so glad to hear that you are paying attention to the areas of brokenness that God shows you. That’s really a very rare quality and one that I could tell is true of you and your compassionate heart. Thanks so much for your kind words here. I appreciate it more than you know!

  • My, my, we are so similar. Self-righteous? Yup. Proud? Check. Laziness too? Oh yes.
    These are areas where I struggle and it does spill into my marriage, which is never good.
    It’s always a clarifying and bracing look in the mirror when I visit, Beth. Thanks!

    • Really? You? Self-righteous? I can’t picture it, Kim! You have such a sweet, humble, authentic way about you, my friend. But I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles in some of these ways. I always cringe when I sense God leading me to write one of these kinds of posts. It never really gets easy, but who said I signed up for easy?! ha! Thanks for your encouraging words to me, my friend. I feel the same way about your words and your blog. We hold the mirror up for each other … that’s what friends do! 🙂

  • Beth, thank you for being so transparent about your brokenness. My husband and I try to give each other grace — because we know how messed up we truly are. This is a starting place for every relationship — not just marriage. We must give each other grace.

    Thanks for sharing your heart. I was encouraged.

    • It’s great that you and your husband extend grace and keep that “broken, frail human but loved by God” in mind when you face tough times. I find myself straying from these truths still, but I’m making progress (or imperfect progress as Lysa TerKeurst says). And yes it really is the starting place for each marriage–giving grace. Thanks for your encouragement to me, Lyli. I appreciate you coming by!

  • Kim Adams Morgan

    Beth, I love your willingness to be so transparent. This is such a great post. It is a moment by moment search and takes a lot of honesty and humility. A while back, as we were going through a difficult time, I sat down to write. It started with what I was unhappy about, but God led me to what I was doing wrong. I decided to make a list of all my flaws, things I could improve on, ways I had hurt people in the past that now impacted my marriage in some way. It was lengthy, but so freeing. I prayed over it and then gave it to my husband as a sign of my commitment to growth and our marriage.

    • What a humble and powerful assignment you did, Kim, when you wrote those things down … in black and white! Ugh! It’s hard enough to admit them in prayers to God but to put them in written words that hit you between the eyes! That can be quite a convicting exercise! But what I love even more is how you gave that to your husband. Such a sweet offering, and as you said, “commitment to growth.” I’m right there alongside you, Kim! Committed to growth! Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me, my friend!

  • Jill McKnight

    I can identify with each of the character defects that you named for yourself. I would have never realized anything was wrong with me until I started attending Celebrate Recovery back in 2010. It is hard to work on our “stuff” but the peace that comes from it is amazing! Anytime I want to be critical of my husband, I ask God to show me what I am doing wrong that is similar and I ask Him to help both of us. We couldn’t do it with out Him… that is for sure! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • Oh, yes! Celebrate Recovery! Love it! I’ve gone through many of the Celebrate Recovery resources on my own and as a facilitator and have found it to be so helpful in this process of peeling back the layers of self-deception and sin, Jill. And I love what you ask yourself that question when you want to be critical of your hubby. That’s a great thing to do and I’m so glad you shared it here! Thanks so much for coming by too!

  • Ceil

    Hi Beth! I am coming over from Playdates.

    Oh my, every marriage is a work in progress. And I am broken in many places, mostly in the expectation department. But I am willing to make the effort, and that makes all the difference. I think it’s the same with you.

    So blessed to meet you today!
    Ceil

    • Yes, making the effort to admit and deal with our sin is the first step in joining arms with our spouses, Ceil. I’m going to pray that God richly blesses you in this “work in progress”–that really we all are and can identify with! Thankfully we have an amazing Father who can give us the ability and guidance to take those next steps toward greater progress and growth! Thanks for your sweet words to me, my friend and I hope we get to know each other better through this new bloggy connection!

  • for sure, none of this is ‘past tense,’ is it, dear Beth. our marriages are constantly growing, stretching, expanding. or they are dying bit by bit …

    • So well put, Linda! Thanks for stopping by and adding that truth to the discussion, my friend. Always good to hear from you!

  • Lisha

    Well. wowsers. God is walking me through this right now. Step by step, as I choose to trust that my brokenness will ultimately bring Him the most glory and will bring us the most good. It has been a painful road toward restoration in our marriage but God is revealing which areas in my life I’ve been proud/selfish/insubordinate toward my husband/bitter….oh. Pretty much all of them.

    This post is a blessing to read. Not because I necessarily wanted to hear it, but needed to! It’s a confirmation of so much of what the Lord is actively working out in my heart right now. Thank you, thank you. I’ll be bookmarking your blog and will come back often 🙂

    I’m visiting from A Proverbs 31 Wife Link-Up 🙂

    ~Lisha
    http://www.theblishblog.blogspot.com

    • I’m so glad you found this to be relevant and helpful, Lisha, even if that means it’s also painful to hear. Actually, it’s kind of painful to write about too, but God is so good to redeem the weaknesses I lift up to Him. I’ll do it again and again if it means He is glorified and my readers are edified! And I’m also encouraged that this is a confirmation for you. Don’t ya just love it when God does that?! I’m so glad you found MM and I hope you keep coming back! I’ll have to check out your place next!

  • Mai Bateson

    When we are broken, we thought that we are weak… But really this is the time that we are strong because, we seek help from people around us, from God or sometimes opening up with our spouse! 🙂

    Visiting you from the Happy Wives Club Link Up.

    • Yes, this is so true. God is strong in our weaknesses! Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging me here, Mai! I truly appreciate it!

  • Anna Owens

    I just stumbled on to your blog from Pinterest and this was the first one I read and boy oh boy does it ever hit home. I will be spending my lunch break doing this assignment. I am broken and I have recently realized I look to my husband to fill me up, when I need to be looking to God. Yet, I also live in fear of the past repeating itself….or (worse?) not really being in the past but being the present, and I’m unaware. So my emotions swing from one to the next – all because I’m broken in so many ways. Thank you for this post! I have just subscribed and will be returning here often!

    ~Anna

    http://inkedanna.blogspot.com/

    • That’s great, Anna! I hope that opening yourself up to God’s examination yields amazing growth, healing and joy for you. It is a hard and confusing thing to navigate those messy marriage waters, but God will help you see the way as you surrender the mess to Him. I really appreciate your heart, Anna and your vulnerability in your comment as well. You’ve got my prayers!

  • Beth this is such a wonderful post. I love what you’ve said about brokenness being an every day thing. It’s so much like salvation, we need His grace not just on the day of salvation but every day after that!

    I have not always allowed God to have my broken pieces, not always immediately anyway! Sometimes we think we can fix some of these messes if we tinker around with them long enough or if we make our spouse see where they need to grow! But marriage is so much better when you don’t have to carry every burden and fix every mess and make everything work…allowing God in, while it’s initially a hard thing to do..has brought peace and rest, even in difficult moments to my life and marriage.

    • Yes, Ngina, you bring up a good point about trying to “fix ourselves” before we turn it over to God. I know I’ve been guilty of that. But marriage truly is so much better when we let God do the “heavy lifting” and/or any “major surgery.” He’s done both of those things in my life and marriage, but only after I’ve surrendered them to Him. I’m so glad that you and I have a similar story to tell of God’s goodness and healing in our marriages. Thanks so much for your sweet words of encouragement to me as well, my friend!

  • That’s a great way to think of it, Scott–God “making space within us” when we allow Him access to all areas of our heart and life. And the best part, not only does God have more freedom to work within us and our lives, but we feel that freedom to be ourselves as well. Thanks for the kind words about my site too. It’s been quite a scary and laborious process, that I won’t go into! ha! But suffice it to say, I’m glad you like it!

  • Andrea

    I really need to remember this daily. I often feel like my sins are not as “bothersome” or as big as my husbands. Self-righteousness is one of my broken areas. Thanks for reminding me of these things. Love your new look!

  • Hi Beth! I just found your blog, I have no idea how. 🙂 I’m also a marital and family therapist, and my husband and I are in full-time ministry as well, so I love how and truly appreciate the perspective from which you write!

    I love this post about brokenness. A huge part of my husband and my own story is working through our own brokenness, and making the difficult decision to look within ourselves instead of pointing the finger at the other. And God is gracious, as MESSY (YES, it’s been a messy marriage!!) and as difficult as it was in the moment. And in the end, both of us are refined more in the image of Christ and more free to love on each other and others as well. AND, not only that, we get to share our story with others struggling with brokenness!

    I started a little series recently called “Therapy Pro Tips.” 😉 In one of my posts, I wrote about our own brokenness, the difficulty of looking at the crap within us and the tendency to blame others, and the freedom that comes from confronting ourselves and our sin. If you have time, I’d love for you to take a look. 🙂 http://www.whatsonmymindgrapes.com/2013/07/18/therapy-pro-tip-2-its-not-them-its-you/

    Thanks again, Beth!