Are unresolved issues destroying your marriage?

In the beginning it’s white lace and promises and hopes for happily ever after. Wedding photos show the happy couple taking their vows, feeding each other cake, dancing the night away. But the honeymoon comes to a hard stop when unresolved issues unpack their bags, turning your fairytale romance into a marriage nightmare.

Words and gestures of love that came easily while dating are replaced with loveless accusations, screaming pride, and maybe even fits of rage. It’s been like this for a while and now you want to call it quits. And it’s not just a thousand little things that you hate, but it’s big things like adultery, lying, addictions, anger, pride, selfishness, and pain from the past. You don’t see anyway you can go on in your marriage.

{And there are valid reasons for divorce as I well know so my words are not in judgement or condemnation of anyone. And certainly if you are being abused in your marriage, please get out now before it’s too late.}

But as Michael and I look back over our past failures, we understand the utter devastation of divorce — emotionally, spiritually, physically and financially. And when there are children, the shock waves reverberate for decades to come. So before you call the attorney, please take a moment to settle your soul and sometimes in a deeply troubled marriage a separation is necessary.

Though one spouse’s negative contribution to the marriage may be bigger, both husband and wife add their share to the mutual mess. Unfortunately, like attracts like on some level and hurt people hurt people. You may think, I’m okay, he or she’s not, but if you take a peek at the person in the mirror you may see your own flaws, too. We all are sinners.

And since neither you nor I can change another human being, the place to start is yourself.  For even if your marriage ends, without personal healing, change and growth, you may be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, continuing a downward dysfunctional trend.

Because when a couple marries four people show up at the altar. The lovely picture-perfect adults plus the unseen messy little boy and girl. These individuals — products of their families of origin yet never beyond breaking free of the past — bring to the marriage whatever was learned and lived during childhood in addition to their adult choices and experiences.

Maybe you had an alcoholic parent? Or maybe your parent struggled with mental illness? Perhaps both your folks drank? Were you abused in some way? Or maybe your mom and dad fought all the time until they finally got divorced? All these early traumas hurt tiny hearts that harden as a means of self-preservation, surviving the family of origin using coping mechanisms like perfectionism, control, anger, codependency. Later, using sex for love and attention, or repeating the mistakes of the previous generation and abusing or using in a vain attempt to make the pain go away.

And while these four are busy battling each other, the next generation of tiny hearts are getting hurt and learning love and life all wrong. And so it goes, generation after generation.

But God!

You’ve tried everything to eradicate your pain but despite the counseling or meds or running away, the screaming, cursing, crying tantrums remain. And in all this drama you keep running from God because maybe you don’t really believe or maybe you perceive God as a punisher. Maybe you fear working on yourself. But God is for you, your spouse, your marriage and family.

Trusting in God and purposing to live a Jesus lifestyle is the only way you can escape your pain. The ugliness won’t magically stop should you say I Do in future because you will still be there. But there’s hope! It will take time and surrendering pride, but if both you and your spouse are willing to work hard you can do it! IF you CHOOSE to CHANGE.

If you choose God.

And now I ask you what is it you really want? Do you want to end this marriage, hurt your children, keep doing life your way?

Or do you want to reach out and ask for help? Let go of the past and be free? Learn how to love and live like Jesus and reap the rewards and blessings?

It is your choice to keep or end your marriage; God will love you no matter what you decide, but please think of the potential ramifications down the road.

**Divorce hurts children making them more susceptible to future acting-out behaviors, drug abuse, promiscuity and problems in school.

**Wrecks bank accounts — attorneys fees can range in the tens of thousands.

**Forces single mothers to work long hours away from their kids just to put food on the table.

**Increases stress on multiple levels.

**Causes you to run from God in shame and guilt.

**Exposes you to sexually transmitted diseases.

**Yields abysmal loneliness.

**Renders emotional pain now and decades later when an innocent remark by an adult child makes you wonder, What if we had tried harder to heal our marriage?

Consider this true story… Years ago a thirty-something wife whose marriage was seriously bad from the start filed for divorce having grounds three times over. But the husband’s brother was a Christian who deeply believed God could change and renew their marriage. He flew in from out-of-state to share that God was the key to healing their hearts, freeing the husband of his addictions, the wife of her issues, and restoring their marriage. This brother even suffered a minor accident en route to the couple’s apartment. Undeterred he shared what God had done for him and his marriage. But neither husband nor wife would listen for they had allowed their hearts to give up and shut tight. They divorced. Their relational futures remained dismal through the ensuing years. Their little children who had witnessed awful things, grew up broken and as adults lived what they had learned from their parents — anger, fear, addictions and divorces. And I can’t help wondering what would have become of that family through the generations if that young husband and wife had decided to believe God, humble their hearts, and worked on building a new marriage and life together…

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When your marriage ends, motherhood doesn’t…Tips for single moms

MotherhoodThere were times when he worked late. And back then I wasn’t very understanding so I complained that I felt like a single mom doing all the work myself.

A few years and more than a few fights later I found myself left alone with a baby and his two little brothers.

My former spouse had had enough of my brokenness expressed as anger and selfishness and he filed for divorce.

And now I was a single mom for real.

I lived to eat my earlier words, nearly choking at times from holding back the tears as exhaustion, fear, regret and more fear enveloped me.

Divorce left me devastated.

For two days after he left all I could do was lie on the sofa, nuke mac and cheese, change diapers and pop in a new video as soon as one ended.

And I felt like my life had ended.

Then on the third day I realized my role of mom was far from over…

For the rest of the story, please click and join me at

Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood 

where I am guest posting today 

and sharing tips I learned in the trenches to

help you cope as a single mom.

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When a husband heaves a heavy sigh…and how wives can stop being so angry and abusive


He’s dragging up the stairs at the end of a long day.

He can’t imagine that anyone is listening to him.

To those hurts in his heart.

To the fears.

And the frustrations.

And a sigh escapes his soul that break’s his Father’s heart.

For the Bible says that marriage is supposed to be a blessing and the man that finds a wife finds a good thing,

And he loves you, he truly does. He’s standing on the vows he made to you. And everyday he’s hoping that things will change.

Because he’s really tired.

And wives are to be their husband’s helper. Making a man’s life better, sweeter, gentler.

But you, dear wounded wife, are not helping your man.

For day in and day out, from sun up to sun down — no matter how kind, giving, patient he is with you, your tongue hammers away at your husband’s heart with words that tear his soul apart.

With tones and expressions that reveal your disrespect. Maybe even your utter contempt.

You may have once been abused, wife, but now you are the abuser. And it may not get as much media attention, but wives abuse their husbands every day in countless subtle or overtly sinful ways.

Yet your husband keeps on keeping on. Loving you, exhorting you to relax, to let go.

But you can’t hear him because you refuse to listen to reason.

You reject any message of truth that might help you heal.

And you keep listening to the old tapes that wind incessant in the battlefield of your mind, tormented since childhood.

It’s the voice of your enemy in the form of a critical inner parent. The voice you internalized after listening to your mom scold you unrelentingly all the years of your growing up. Or the voice of your dad screaming, scathing or sarcastic. Or worse.

They say children — and that means all of us — learn what they live. And you, precious wounded wife, learned life and marriage and most likely parenting and other forms of relating all wrong.

All wrong.

And when your husband — who bears his own scars from his growing up years yet valiantly tries to uphold his spousal role day after tedious day — gently suggests that life can be different for the two of you and your kids…

That you don’t have to keep believing the lies your mom told you about yourself…

That you no longer have to follow the abusive rules your dad set forth…

That you don’t have to try and control every little thing…

You lash back in your angry, aggressive way — which is nothing more than a hard shield of sin covering a very tender, deeply hurting heart — like an injured animal baring its fangs afraid it will be hurt again.

And you give voice to a lie that is as old as time.

The lie that you just can’t change.

Not after 20 or 30 or 40 or 50 years of doing life the dysfunctional way you have always done it.

And continuing to believe and live that lie — with all its nasty ramifications that manifest in your marriage — can drain every drop of desire and devotion from the best of men. And maybe he will stick by you year in and year out.

Or maybe he won’t.

Maybe one day he will just say he’s had enough. And Lord knows he probably has.

Or maybe one day he’ll meet a sweet lady at the office.

And everything will come tumbling down and you may begin to see how very wrong and very wounded you are.

But the devastation to you and your babies will be like a tsunami that sucks away your last gulping breath.

And the outcome will depend — again — on your choice. To become better. Or stay just as you are and grow into a bitter, ugly old woman. Alone. Hurting. Hard. Never giving in. And your children growing into adults who limp badly.

But wife, here is an amazing truth that may sound too good to be real.

God loves you. No. Matter. What.

No matter what you’ve been through.

No matter what you have put your husband or others through.

No matter even if you don’t believe in God.

God loves you so much He sent Jesus to die for you. And He wants you to die to your self and your sin and your fears and your hurts so that He can make all things new.

He is your Savior, dear sweet wife. He is the only One who can save you from the mess that is your marriage, the mess that is your life.

He can heal your heart, mend your memories and make you whole. His words of love can finally silence those screaming lies that hold you captive.


You CAN change your life in a heartbeat by making a choice to change.

Anyone can change IF they are willing to surrender to God, admit they are powerless, forgive others through the grace of God and then decide to live a new way. One day at a time.

Just. That. Simple.

Just. That. Hard.

But God and His amazing grace that really, truly is sufficient. And when you are weak, He will be all the stronger. I know. For I was once where you are now. I didn’t heed the warnings that were sent my way over the early years. Wouldn’t hear the still small voice calling me until my former spouse and father of my sons left.

And I was left behind with a million broken pieces scattered everywhere.

So very much was lost that can never be regained.

But you, TODAY, can make a better choice than I did all those years ago.

You can save yourself great heartache.

You can provide for your children a better growing up environment with a mom and a dad together under one roof.

You can choose to honor God with your every word, thought or action.

Dear wife, whose heart is crying to be heard, yearning to be loved:

You are.

God hears your every whimper. God seals each tear as a prayer in His bottle.

You can be set free if you so choose.

So why not? Why not choose God’s way? Why not right now?

Why forfeit your life, your marriage and your children’s futures for the sake of a lie?

God is calling to your heart to come to Him.

To let go of trying to control everything in your anger.

To let Him hold you and comfort you in ways your mom or dad never did.

I remember what it felt like back then and even what it feels like 20 years later and that is why I write.

So please don’t let your fear, your pride or your unbelief hold you back a moment longer.

Decide to change by letting God in and the bad out.



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Trying to raise godly children when mom is all broken…

SIngle mom and sons

I did so much wrong that sometimes I have a hard time accepting I did a lot right.

Yet my sons now grown gracious and forgiving readily tell me what a great mom I have always been.

But when they were tiny treasures in earthen vessels entrusted to my care they got broken because I was broken. And God had to raise the hurting little girl in me as I was single-mom-raising three little boys.

He had the harder job!

Before my former spouse left — helped out the door by my disrespectful, loveless, hot tempered and controlling ways – we looked like a picture perfect Sunday morning church family, masks worn well, filing in and out, knowing all the right things to say or not say while in the company of the body.

What I didn’t rightly know then was how deep and wide and high is the love of Christ for me. Or how my life is to be a living example of God’s love for others.

Without knowing this perfect love by heart, fear and trembling took control, guided by perfectionism and her cousin legalism.

And raising godly children revolved more around rules than teaching them how to deepen a relationship with the One who loves them best…

Please click over to Womanhood with Purpose
where I am a contributing writer for the rest of this post.
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When was the last time you received a love letter?


Every so often when I least expect it I find a plain white envelope with my name on it. Yellow legal pad pages inside are full of loving sentiments and exhortations in a flourishing script.

And I am thankful once again for my husband’s heart that loves the Lord most of all, and me next, with utter devotion.

The fact that he’s a novelist and a romantic produces beautiful letters that I treasure and re-read.

Especially when my Michael may need to travel and is away for a few days.

Seeing his words in print reassures my heart, making me long for his return.


It wasn’t always like this for me.

My story contains some severely dark chapters including divorce, abuse and heartbreak.

I was often alone.

The wee small hours of the morning would find me still and sitting in the darkness quiet before my single parent household awoke and three boys went bolting from the gate. My often aching heart clutching the love letter from the One who loves me best of all.


His words were a balm for my emotional bruises. I drank it in one daily dose at a time, His love healing me.

Our God of wonders, our Wonderful Counselor, shares words of beauty for you and me throughout the ancient text, a story of romance and redemption from start to finish.


Greatest love story ever told.

We may not be able to gaze directly into the eyes of Jesus right now, but we can peer into His heart. His word comforts us with the truth that He is coming back for us.

He will not leave us alone.

And when He returns He will hold us in the sweetest embrace and our hearts will beat as if they had never broken.

Wherever you find your heart today — in a loving marriage, divorced and hurting, single and longing, or missing someone so much you can barely breathe another breath, let God’s word slip inside your heart each day.

Grace, truth and love will kiss your pain line upon line.

Delight in His word as you would words from your lover for He is the Lover of your soul, your Maker who is your husband.

The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
John 15:9

I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness.
Jeremiah 31:3

But God demonstrates his own love for you in this: While we were still sinners,
Christ died for you.
Romans 5:8

Because of his great love for you, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4

Love never ends.
1 Corinthians 13:8

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Matthew 28:20

His love letter written in 66 books can be opened any moment, night or day.

Words of love and exhortation offering hope for you and me.

All of us the darlings of His heart…


Is your heart breaking? Or someone you know hurting?
Purchase your copy of Heart Cry today by clicking here.

Heart Cry by Sheila Kimball

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