Water under the bridge
When there’s been too much water under the bridge, it’s over and done. What has happened has happened. It can’t be fixed, and it can’t be changed. When we claim that sentiment in marriage, we are saying there is no hope. We’re also saying God is not big enough.
Ah, but He is! And there is hope.
The torrential rains that swept over that marriage bridge destroyed what remained of a neglected relationship. Flooding from beneath the bridge pounded away at the structure until there was nothing left of the moorings that once kept the marriage together.
The problem is that sometimes folks try to repair the bridge using busted boards, bent nails, and rotten wood. In addition, they try to patch it quickly instead of taking time to get down to the initial foundation. This will not work. It’s sloppy work and sloppy work does not pay. Nor does it last.
Marriage rebuilding with new
We must start new.
This doesn’t mean we negate the past or that brokenness does not need to happen. It does not mean all is lost. It simply means when a marriage is broken, we must begin to build new. Adding more boards on top of rotten boards might look good from the top, but the underneath side of the bridge is still broken. No marriage built on frayed timber will last.
Hurrying up to fix the marriage before others “find out” or start gossiping is not a fix at all. Surely, things might initially look good from the outside, but there will still be trouble underneath. That’s why we must start new.
Starting new means we tear away the broken and messed up boards. We clean it out all the way down to the foundation for marriage rebuilding.
Realigning the foundation
The foundation is the premise that no marriage is too hard for God to fix. This is our mooring. We start there, and then we build on that. The next step is to rebuild the way God designed marriage to be, because marriage is His idea, not ours. We can’t build it based on our personal wants and desires. The design must follow His pattern, and that blueprint comes from His Word.
It’s that simple, and that hard.
For starters, read the entire chapter of Ephesians 5 and hone in on the verses that deal with you – not verses addressed to your spouse. Put your name in those places, and then ask yourself how well you have done following those verses. Then get ready for marriage rebuilding by building new.
This does not mean you can do it on your own. You might need to find a couple or Christian counselor who can walk beside you and help you follow the blueprint as your navigate marriage rebuilding. Certainly you need people who get in the trenches with you. And these people must believe that God is big enough to fix your marriage. These folks will ask hard questions and call you to accountability. ‘Trouble is, most of us don’t want to be accountable to folks, especially if those folks ask hard questions!
Constructing a new marriage
- Rebuilding involves acknowledging our wrongs and asking forgiveness.
- Reconstruction involves admitting our pain and learning new ways to act and respond to pain.
- Remodeling is changing the way we think toward our marriage and our spouse
- Renovating opens passageways for communication and learns to listen where we actually hear what our spouse says and then take the steps necessary to keep renovating on our foundation.
Starting over in marriage rebuilding
Make no mistake. The task of rebuilding is horrendously painful. Sometimes it is embarrassing. Other times it seems hopeless. It takes time, energy, and expense. It’s not something we can do on our own. We need accountability, and sometimes wisdom from others. When we’ve suffered a broken leg, we get help from surgeons and physical therapists so we can experience healing and return to normalcy. When our marriage is broken, we need to get help from others who can navigate with us and help us find healing through their wisdom and knowledge.
Don’t forget: With God, all things are possible. Remember: you must do it with God. You must follow His plan; then He can do the impossible.