This Easter time of year, one is drawn to the hope of resurrection. Jesus was dead and in the tomb three days. Those who loved him were in deep grief and disappointment.
In today’s world, when life gets this heavy, when hope is lacking, when the days seem overwhelming and filled with discouragement, people tend to do one of two things: isolate or call for help and hope.
To relieve isolation is why God created Eve, a companion. Why marriage was invented. The Bible says, “It is not good that man be alone.” In our Before You Marry Book of Questions, we explain, “Alone here means in solitude, separated apart, isolated and curtained off.” We are not meant to live in solitary confinement. Even if a relationship feels dead, beyond hope of resurrection, God still wants us to call for help:
In your distress you called and I rescued you (Psalm 81:7).
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
Often shame and guilt keep us from reaching out to God—or anyone else. In the garden, when Adam and Eve sinned, they hid. They played hide-and-seek, from the all knowing, all seeing, all loving, all merciful, all powerful God—which makes no sense. They hid from the very one who could bring help and hope to the situation.
Today, people still hide instead of reaching out for help. It happened again today, a friend, a leader, called to share their marriage was over. My response was sadness and a little curiosity, so I asked, “You had our cell number, why didn’t you call for help?”
The answers we have received over the years included:
We thought we could handle it (So at some point you must have realized you couldn’t.)
We didn’t want anyone to know how bad things were (But now the whole world knows of your divorce. That seems worse as far as PR problems go.)
Only one of us wanted help (But one can often make a difference, as it brings change to a relationship.)
You are too good of friends, we didn’t want to bring in our personal lives (Pondering this, I thought being “real and authentic” was the definition of friendship.)
- We thought it might cost money (And a divorce is cheap? Counseling is a small investment, and often in a community free or nearly free help is available.)
If you hit a rough patch, pull out your cell phone. Chances are you have at least ONE person in your world that has a strong marriage who would be willing to mentor you, a pastor who would be willing to shepherd you, a therapist willing to counsel you, or a family member willing to walk alongside you. (If you can’t think of anyone to call for help, read our article, Marriage on the Rocks? Try Again! There are marriage experts and ministries listed that are waiting for your call and are willing to offer help.)
Shame wants you to sweep issues under the rug. Shame isolates you from those who love and care. Shame helps you make up excuses. Shame is not the voice to listen to. Desperation is a better voice. Be desperate to find the best, most qualified, most experienced or most caring help you can find. Be desperate like the woman with an “issue” that came to Jesus.
A woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years, who had spent all she had on doctors yet could not be healed by any, approached from behind and touched the tassel of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.
Show that kind of faith. If your marriage hits a rocky patch, call out to God in prayer, then pick up your cell and call someone who can help resurrect what you thought was dead and gone. Just as Easter morning brought hope for the followers of Christ, Christ can bring hope like a bright Easter morning to you and your relationships—if you call.
Pam and Bill Farrel are Directors of Love-Wise, marriage experts, international speakers, and authors of 40 books including A Couple’s Journey with God, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti and their newest, The Secret Language of Successful Couples. www.Love-Wise.com
Publication date: March 25, 2015