Obedience meant apologizing. It meant changing my tone or keeping quiet to begin with. It meant bringing him a can of coke. Each day God gave me something to do as an act of worship to Him and it often looked like blessing my husband or a refining of my character.

About 6 months after I made the decision to obey God above all else, the Lord took off the blindfolds. It was time to see where He’d taken me.

I was still married to the same guy. I was still picking up his socks and wishing he’d come home. But there was joy. Joy in the midst of the mess. And for the first time in years, my heart was for my husband.

And I had hope. I’d been convinced hope was dead. There’d been almost nothing good between us. But God brings the dead back to life and creates new things where there is nothing. He did that for us.

We’ve been married 18½ years. We still disagree. We still hurt each other’s feelings. We’re far from perfect. Yet with God’s grace we’re learning to make it work, better and better.

Many ask how I stayed in my marriage and some say I shouldn’t have. I tell them all the same thing: My focus on obeying God helped me stay.

Does God want His people to have a happy marriage? Absolutely! I truly think He does. But He doesn’t promise it. Above all He wants obedience. Obeying God won’t guarantee you a happy marriage, but it will give you all the ingredients for joy and hope in the midst of the mess.

Read Trent's perspective: Why I Stayed, Too.

Carla Anne Coroy is the author of Married Mom, Solo Parent: Finding God’s Strength to Face the Challenge. She is a regularly blogger on her website www.carlaanne.com and serves as a staff writer for an online Christian women’s magazine Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Carla Anne lives in Canada with her husband, Trent, and four homeschooled children.