“Failure is not an option” obsession leads to a remarkable marriage…


It is during the for worse in a marriage that you discover if you need to become a better lover. Or if you love your spouse the way God does. And you will also find out just how truly committed you are to God, your vows, and your husband or wife.

For when he or she disappoints or hurts you do you choose to rise above it? And I’m not talking about ignoring habitual, abusiveness or making excuses for your spouses repeated rudeness or unkindness to you.

Can you forgive remembering how very much God has forgiven you? And continue to forge ahead as two in one. Fighting against the true enemy, the destroyer of marriage.


Gaining strength from your personal relationship with Jesus and making some withdrawals during moments of need from your marital love account where deposit after deposit of good has been made by your mate?

And choosing to love and forgive them anyway. For God’s sake if temporarily not your own.

Or do you revert to the same old self-protective cycle of withdrawal, pulling back your love that flows easily when the sailing is smooth?

Do you abandon self-control and in a moment of self-centeredness throw a temper tantrum, words whipping like lashes as an inner tempest reaches its tipping point and demands its rights?

Do you passively punish and reject your beloved, saying words intended to hurt and distance yourself from the one who is your other half?

Letting all the hurts of all the ages and people past rise to the surface where they spill over molten.

Damaging love. Destroying marital unions if you are not careful.

Unfortunately in this fallen, dark and dirty world fights happen. And discord and disagreements between partners who stood before God and vowed their entire lives and hearts and minds to each other divorce.

Yet it should not be so. And as Jesus said was not so at the beginning.

God created them male and female and joined the first man to the first woman in that first garden so that they would be a gift of grace and hope to each other, bringing healing and help, and as companions in a lonely world. And then parents of children so a race of people made in His image would continue.



God’s sweetest gift after forgiveness and a relationship with Him. And you want to be completely saturated with the Spirit and obsessed with making your marriage the best it can be.

For failure is not an option! 

But husbands and wives disappoint each other sometimes. Just like they do their Heavenly Father. Me and my Michael included.

Spouses get angry and say stupid things, do stupid things, or equally harmful, employ the silent treatment. Sometimes they just give up the ghost of the marriage and walk away.

And marriages are casually tossed overboard into a stormy sea like so much flotsam and partners for life forget that Love’s beacon lights the way to safety. And children sink as collateral damage.

Whenever any of these negative, unloving reactions are employed as a means of coping with your hurts and anger, fears and frustrations, only sin wins.

In the heat of the moment it may be wise to take a cool down, wrestle with God individually, and then come back together to resolve the issue. Just don’t let a cool down last all night and into the next day, giving satan just what he wants.

To keep a married couple apart.

And sometimes, if husbands and wives cannot get past the issues confronting their marriage, it is okay to seek professional help and talk with a professional counselor or pastor. Or even a trusted friend or mentor.


God wants husbands and wives to live in harmony. Love flourishing. And the story of their marriage symbolizing hope for other couples.

But conflicts occur because sin is ever crouching at the door. And it can be so easy when you let your guard down and choose to please self over other.

And added to sin is a laundry list of factors designed by the destroyer which conspires against couples and can lead to the brink of divorce or affairs if the man and woman do not learn to keep coming together.

An unhealed wounded past, negative thoughts on which you choose to ruminate, unhappiness, unforgiveness that forges a grudge when you keep a scorecard of your spouse’s transgressions, your pride, fear, financial stress and worries, job loss, health and pain levels, sleeplessness, regrets that haunt you in the middle of the night, obsessive busyness, working too much, lack of sex, kids, in-laws and the darkness of this present age.

Yet regardless of obstacles and your feelings that fluctuate in good and bad times, choose to see the end goal — success in marriage at all costs — instead of the differences which derail.

Learning ways to constructively resolve conflict through communication and compromise so that both spouses feel heard, respected and loved.

Making allowances 70 times seven for the others’ weaknesses {except in cases of extreme, dangerous or increasingly daily abuse}.

satan seeks the weak willed to lead astray. Those that entertain doubts that their marriage will survive are the ones easiest to prey upon. And doubts sow black-hearted seeds of distrust which erodes the foundation of your union and has the potential to promote its demise.

Instead tell yourself there is no option for failure in your marriage.

Then work on yourself to become the best person and spouse God wants you to be. Following Christ. Living out His commands which are not hard when your heart is soft. Remembering that in marriage you will have troubles.

But obedience brings blessing and Love has already won the day. And at the end of a day let love prevail on the home front, too. 

And remember that love is action according to 1 Corinthians 13. So make a habit of practicing love for sometimes loving feelings slumber in a marriage. Take courage and press on! By choosing to act lovingly your feelings will return sooner and you and your spouse will be stronger.

Happier, too!


So let go of your stubbornness that seeks to control.

And allow the power that raised Jesus from the cross to raise your marriage up out of the ashes of despair into the realm of glory with a peaceable and loving union that honors God.

Truly. Humbly. Sacrificially.

And at times is ain’t easy! But there is grace. And more grace especially in the moments when your spouse lacks grace and shows very little love.

Don’t wait for your mate to choose rightly.

Don’t expect that they will love away all your pain. They can’t. But God can. Cling to Him and pull in closer to your beloved while respecting their boundaries when their feelings are hurt.

And come back Wednesday for part two which includes tips to help you move beyond the rough moments when you and your mate fall from grace with God and each other.

Sending healing love and prayers for hearts and marriages everywhere…

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7 thoughts on ““Failure is not an option” obsession leads to a remarkable marriage…

  1. This is so true, Sheila. Very often when we give ourselves an “out” we choose that instead of running to God to give us the strength and love to persevere in marriage. I’ve been studying chapters 18 and 19 of Matthew that talk about many of the issues you’ve noted here. So I resonate with much of what you’re saying. Jesus’ words are not easy to swallow but so very true! BTW, I love the photos and miss your neck of the woods! (or should I say, “waves”)? 😉

    • Hello my friend…yes me thinks my pride makes His words hard to swallow at times 🙁 But truly His commands are not hard when our hearts are soft. Miss seeing you, too. Good luck with your computer problems!!

  2. Yes to all of this, Sheila! Your words reach a heart now ready to hear them. In the past I couldn’t see past my brokenness and wounded, hurting soul. I lashed out in fear, anticipating more loss, pushing away before I got rejected instead of seeking solace in my beloved husband. Over time God has been healing the wounds and problems you list in the paragraph beginning:”An unhealed, wounded past, negativity on which you choose to ruminate..” – I could see myself in most of them, by the way!
    And I’m working on me because only God can work on the man by my side – although he needs far less work than I do.. ha ha. So these are words I’m taking to heart:”work on yourself to become the best person and spouse God wants you to be” Amen! Thank you once again for pointing us toward the means to become stronger as spouses as we work on our relationship with God and with one another. Blessings and love. 🙂 Xx

  3. I look forward to Wednesday’s post, Sheila. This is such an important word for marriages. We need overcoming love and faith. My husband and I have a 20 year running joke: “No returns.” Just like in some stores.

  4. Sheila,
    Yes…how much we need to run to God to love our spouses well….my husband and I were just saying this past weekend as we worked through a problem, how much we needed God’s help to love each other well..blessings to you and your hubby 🙂

  5. My heart is deceitful and I am not proud of it. Rather than have my husband throw a fit, as I know he will not like what I am doing, I do not tell him. Today I got caught. I ordered something on the internet and they phoned me to confirm the order and he answered the phone. Thankfully he took it well, so I am off the hook, but not off the hook with God. He has dealt with me using that verse about the deceitful heart and I have repented. Turning around and going the way of truth. Thank you for sharing your lesson in harmony in the marriage with us here at Tell me a Story.