XII. Healing in the Marriage Crisis, Part 1
by Bill Hunt (with Mary Hunt)
Ultimately: Acceptance or Rejection
Can God save a marriage?
Emotions are very powerful. They prove to be either very supportive or very devastating. In my own personal opinion, I think a young wife can come to a point when she feels she needs to prove her husband and her marriage.
"Have I married the right husband?" she ponders.
Marriage progresses through defined stages: initial infatuation, growing awareness, disillusionment, and ultimately, acceptance or rejection. This disillusionment normally arrives during the seven to ten year period of marriage. I don't know if some marriages progress without these rocks, but I know we certainly experienced ours. I found this an extremely humbling experience.
Mary: There was a lack of security; I always wanted security. And yet we felt called to live our lives by faith. We had not really made the break from the religious church. We were not spiritually mature. I don't think we realized the kind of spiritual warfare that would confront us in ministry.
To do what we were doing, we should have had the mature backing of a Christian church. On our own, we spun off from our religious background. We didn't have people praying for or supporting us. Our families thought we were crazy to sell and give away all our possessions to follow the Lord.
I found it especially hard because I had these four kids under kindergarten age. I felt emotionally depleted. Our fourth baby was just age one.
Bill: I could not understand Mary's change in emotional attitude towards me from a supporting partner. I could not figure out what I might be doing wrong. I remember sitting on the front steps in the dark night trying to pray. My heart hurt inside my chest, and I could barely breathe. I sat very alone and very frightened.
Mary: More than that, he was involved as a graduate student, but I was still at home alone taking care of kids. I found it very difficult to handle this. I felt vulnerable, I guess, from all of it, and the enemy knew my weaknesses. Although we belonged to some prayer groups, they were still very new relationships.
At that time, nationally-known Christian leaders were in the process of divorcing. And we've come to see that when something is going wrong inside a certain ministry, that very spirit extends from the head and spreads throughout the body.
We heard and we knew of other married students getting divorces. I'll never forget this tall guy in our graduate class from Texas and how very sad and sullen his face appeared as he told us his wife was divorcing him.
All of sudden I just lost my bearings. I felt I couldn't depend on my husband. I couldn't depend on anybody. I just needed to get out. I folded up emotionally.
Often there was no food in the refrigerator. You've got to be prayed up to handle that. We had seen many miracles. I felt a lack of connection with my husband. He worked a night job to earn income selling insurance. He was gone during the day to classes. We didn't have enough time together. We had stress and tension. I grew further and further disconnected from him. I just did not want to do it anymore.
Bill: I made an appointment with our Pastor Phil. He talked with me. He prayed with me. Then he received a phone call. It was a final call from Mary. She was on her way to the airport with the kids. Then Pastor Phil confessed his heart to me; his wife, too, had just left him.
Mary: I think of the real reasons as I look back on it now. We didn't have a real prayer cover. I think the enemy knew our weak places. I think I played into his hands as much as anything. It was how I saw it, and I'm sure the lying demon twisted and turned things, as well. I have no doubt we played into the devil's trap to bring us down.
Bill: Mary took the kids and flew home, back East. As I drove the river drive in Tulsa to our empty house, I was in a state of shock. On the way I resolved to stand and prepare for the worst. If she divorced me, I would not fight her. She is the wife God gave me and those are my children. Everything I have is hers in God, and I would continue to surrender our finances and possessions to provide for her. I would not be forced back on my conviction to her. And I cried.
I learned well-meaning religious friends actually advised Mary to leave her husband. An angry person will tend to accept friends who support prevailing feelings. Spiritual Christians, on the other hand, have a different attitude. They know honest examination may come later, and that's when true friends believe in healing.
Mary: When I returned home, my aunt was helpful in getting me connected to the Christian counseling center. The counseling sessions showed me problems in communications and how to deal with my emotions. I just knew what I longed for was something more, anointed prayers for inner healing.
Bill: On the third morning, I packed the boxes alone sitting cross-legged on the dining room floor. Initially, I decided to pack up the house and return home to attempt to restore the relationship with my wife. The house was a mess from room to room.
Suddenly, I could feel the powerful presence of Jesus.
He sat there, also cross-legged, on the floor opposite me. I shared my hurts with him and cried out my heart to him in long repentant prayer. At the end of this prayer, I could strangely feel my hurting heart clearly stuck in and out of my chest.
"I'm taking out your heart of stone," Jesus spoke to me in my spirit.
This was no longer just a spiritual experience. Now I could feel my heart physically coming through my chest like a fist-sized rock. I could physically feel the stone coming out. I could also feel a deluge of the Holy Spirit's anointing all through the house.
"I'm taking out your heart of stone," Jesus repeated. "I'm giving you a new heart."
As the stone disappeared out from my chest, Jesus placed a live, fresh, beating, new heart into my chest.
"I'm giving you a new heart," he said, "I'm giving you My Heart."
(True Story #12 in series: Life is 100 Million Miracles.)
(Healing in the Marriage Crisis will continue in Story #13, Part 2.)
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Wow, Bill and Mary, thank God He kept you together. This story has some rhyme and reason to what I have experienced. But, Praise the Lord, His blessings are everywhere. Thank you Bill. for sharing your heart and bearing your soul.