• We have so many couples connected to our marriage builders, and many more who receive these forwarded by friends like you, so I recognize that simply by the law of large numbers, many couples reading this are struggling with thoughts about “what if” and “options” when troubled times hit in marriage.

    Hear my heart, but also take counsel: You’ll never truly have the marriage God desires for you, and you’ll never truly fix things that seem broken, as long as ending it is an option. Stop. Read that again, clear your head, and search your heart.

    Is it?

    Is it an option at any level? You’ll never fix your marriage, you’ll never have the kind of marriage God designed for you, if ending it is an option. Don’t fool yourself, either; thoughts of a marriage with someone else won’t ever be what God wants for you if ending this one is an option, so don’t be fooled, misinformed, or ill-advised.

    I know that’s not popular advice with this generation, but with my parents, I never heard the word divorce…Ever! I was in my house eighteen years and I never heard it come out of their mouths. It was never an option. As long as that is still an option you’re shutting yourself out from real options to help your marriage. It’s only whenever quitting ceases to be an option that you can get on the road to recovery. Some of you need to step back and remind yourself you made a covenant, for better or for worse, and that wasn’t a cliché; that was a vow to God, and right now as you look at your marriage through that vow, you may be in the “worse” part. In the past, it may have been in the “better” but now it’s bad; that may be the facts, but facts aren’t truth. Fact is, it’s worse. Truth is, you don’t need character when things are “better,” you need character for when things are “worse.” The Bible teaches us that we have this treasure in Earthern vessels. Listen to me: inside of your husband, inside of your wife, there is something valuable that God has placed down inside him/her. You caught glimpses of it, like light hitting the tip of a diamond barely visible under a pile of dirt, in the past. You’ve seen snap shots of it as the lens opened up and you saw pictures of it while you were dating, and it made you fall madly in love.

    Now, though, it seems like life has thrown dirt all over that treasure and you feel like all you do all day is sift through dirt, clump after clump, pile after pile.

    I’ve shared this principle at our marriage conferences: Talk to a miner, and he’ll tell you that you have to move a ton of dirt to get to one ounce of gold. We don’t go into marriage understanding that, because all we saw up front was easy-to-find pieces of the treasure, handed to us, all pre-polished. We didn’t even have to dig to find it. We go into marriage and it’s all hope, all potential, all gold. However, the fact is marriage is like mining. You’ve gotta wade through a ton of dirt. You gotta get in there with your bulldozer to find the ounces of gold, and oh, how precious that gold is when you find it. Talk to the miner long enough, he’ll also share with you that he never went in there looking for the dirt. He only dealt with the dirt because he knew the dirt was just part of the process in getting to the gold! Some of you thought marriage was gold, and you didn’t know dirt was part of the process, and now that you’re miring through the dirt you don’t know how to respond because you don’t think there’s any gold in sight.

    Don’t quit! Keep shoveling that dirt! There is not a person reading this who does not have something precious and valuable in them under the dirt! Don’t let the dream of an uncommon marriage die on the doorstep. You’re closer than you think.

    Marriage Builder Action step:

    List three treasures you saw in your spouse when you first got married. This week, set a few minutes aside before you go to sleep. Share with each other that failure isn’t an option and that you’re more committed today than ever. Begin sharing with each other the treasures you remember seeing in each other.

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  • 15 Comments

    Take a look at some of the responses we've had to this article.

    1. Jack Surrett
      Posted on May 23rd

      Thank you apostle for sharing this principle. My wife and I firmly believe in the “quitting is not an option” principle. We teach this to the couples in our class and we are thankful to know that what we teach is in line with the leadership of the house.

    2. Lyons (couple)
      Posted on May 24th

      Good analogy, our premarital counseling is actually entitled “Divorce is not an Option” we practice this in our own relationship and understand that in order to have the marriage that Gods wants us to have, it starts with your thoughts, and continues with your words. My husband and I have seen some very hard trials but always understood that God put us together and regardless of what “dirt” gets thrown on top, we are not to ever think that there is another option, but to remain right where God placed us TOGETHER!!!! We benefit from this vow and our legacy is benefitting from it. Our children who are growing up in a society where divorce is higher than ever before, understand that in the Lyons home that is not God’s truth concerning a marriage.

    3. Posted on May 24th

      My husband and I have separated due to his addiction problems. I don’t want a divorce, but I’ve had to let go and let God. I pray that God will answers my prayers for my husband, that he will be saved, come home and love his family as Christ Loved the Church!!!

      Please pray for us and our marriage.

    4. Ferguson
      Posted on May 24th

      I appreciate the message, and I know that storms in a marriage will come and go, but if the marriage had the wrong foundation from the get go, then how do you know that you are supposed to stay? How do you know that you married the person that you were supposed to, especially if the marriage was for the wrong reason and not love?

      When a husband cheats, more than once, and the wife does not feel the same and wants to move on, is that not OK? Let’s say that you have tried and tried to do things to make it better, and you may even have one good evening out and a good day here and there, but the next day reality sets in and you are back to the drama. Your married friends say stick it out, and your single friends say just find happiness, but the wife is miserable and just wants to be happy. She prays but God is silent. Lets say that this scenario has been going on for almost two years. They are going in two different directions, but now that she has shut her heart to him, he is madly in love with her and knows what he did was wrong and is doing everything he can to prove himself. But she is like that broken chair that you discussed in a marriage conference once: She has tested the chair for strength and security before she sat down and it keeps breaking each time she sits in it. She does not want to hurt him or the kids so she stayed and is miserable. She feels that the only way she will be happy is to end it. When does her happiness get put first? Two years of working it out has caused tension in the house. When do you know it is time to call it quits?

    5. Christina Lorenzen
      Posted on May 26th

      That is a good word and I will be considering the gold when the dirt shows up again. Thank you, Chris

    6. Lucy Rhoades
      Posted on May 27th

      Thank you so much Pastor Ron,
      I love your teachings! God speaks so clear to me through them. I was married before, twice I’m not proud of that but I’m so proud of the husband I have now. Through so many horrible situations God was always faithful. Hes promise came to me and I am so blessed with this godly wonderful man that God gave me. I praise my Lord for all His goodness.I thank God for you and Pastor Hope and I pray that God will keep you and your family always save. Thank you for all that you are doing I’m so proud to be part of this wonderful church!

    7. Posted on May 29th

      Ron Carpenter: read the comment by Mims again. It’s wrong and dangerous to suggest that divorce should not be an option.
      I was in a marriage that ended with infidelity. For three years I fought and struggled to persuade him to end it, and be truly married to me. He promised many times, but always went back to her. Divorcing him was the best thignI ever did. I am now jpyfully married to a good, honest, loving man. I literally thank God ever day for giving me the strength to walk away from the bad marriage.
      Yes, divorce is an option. If you are the only one committed to the marriage, it has already happened.

    8. jack
      Posted on May 30th

      Again thank you Apostle for sharing this principle. As we can see from the other comments there are some that would disagree based on their on experience. So let me reply to that with my own experience. Four times over a nineteen year period my wife wanted a divorce and I did not. I knew then as well as I do now that the word says God hates divorce. So as a result of my comitment and the Lords work in our marriage we have now been married over twenty-six years and our love for each other grows every day. So I know and I will always tell others that God can “turn it around.” As you also teach our enemy was for our promotion. we now use our testimony and experience from the school of hard knocks to help us teach other married couples in the marriage builders class. When we share what we have been through we have seen the encouragement it brings to others. So again thank you for being very clear on this issue.

    9. AJ
      Posted on June 26th

      Ron, I’d also love to know what you have to say about Ferguson’s comment. What this person described is my marriage now and has been for 6 years. My husband won’t quit cheating on me… I recently found out he had a sexually explicit but not physically sexual relationship with a coworker who was UNDERAGE… our pastor has thrown his hands up and literally said he cannot counsel us because he just wants to be ‘friends’… I know if I stay God will bless me because I will have been faithful to the LORD in addition to my husband but I can’t keep sitting down in the broken chair. There has to be something better than this life.

    10. MJ
      Posted on July 24th

      I saw you preaching/teaching on the television, and it was funny, because I was going to bed, but You really caught my attention. Your web site was at the top of the tv, and I just couldn’t go to sleep without peeking at it.
      My marriage has been on rocky grounds off and on for the past year, and there have been two times I have had to take the children and leave. This last time, I prayed that God would get a hold of the daddy and husband that I knew deep down he wanted to be. Since I left, somehow I kept getting pushed back through different circumstances. I couldn’t get help from “the county” without a place to live- I homeschool, and if I went to a shelter they would place my children into public school- then when I thought things were bad enough,my grandmother died(so we were unable to stay with grandma anymore)
      Since we have been home, I have seen a difference in my husband that I have never seen before. Every day he speaks words of God or about God and how we can apply him in our daily life. We have been hearing so many words of encouragement from others, and have been able to witness to others about our journey and how far we have and will continue to come all because we have Jesus in our life!! God Bless You.

    11. Posted on June 6th

      You post great posts. Bookmarked !

    12. cynthia
      Posted on June 7th

      Thank you Apostle Ron for allowing the Lord to use you in the way he does. Such great insight and wisdom. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

    13. cynthia
      Posted on June 7th

      Thank you Apostle Ron for allowing the Lord to use you in the way he does. Such great insight and wisdom. That in this season of my
      life, my singleness I must continue to love me and then prepare for the next season of my life of marriage. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.

    14. Posted on June 15th

      nice bolg .nice content ,i found your blog on Fiest online gold ,.i think i wll back soon

    15. Ronie
      Posted on September 12th

      Apostle, I have read your message and when my husband and I got married, both of us loved the Lord , but as it stands now, my husband is in a homosexual relationship ans has been for the past five years. For the past five years I have been travailing and seeking the Lord, pulling down st rongholds, but he looks to be going in deeper into this lifestyle. on more than one occasion he has told me to file for divorce, but I was believing the word of God. we have two children, what is your word in this case?

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