- To Heal, Immerse Yourself in Recovery
7. Create a New Normal
The Christian life, said Jesus to one of His would-be disciples, is an all-or-nothing proposition. It’s not for the half-hearted or partially committed. If you want it, you’ve got to grab for it with both fists. You’ve got to jump in with both feet — no reservations, no holds barred. It’s exactly the same with marriage. And this idea of total commitment becomes doubly important when it’s a matter of saving and restoring a marriage that has been shattered by infidelity.
If that’s your situation — if you and your spouse are having difficulty living under the same roof because one of you has broken trust and violated the marital covenant by becoming involved in an extramarital affair — things probably look pretty bleak to you right now. At a moment like this, it’s easy to start thinking about throwing in the towel. Yet, believe it or not, this isn’t the time to give up hope! You can turn things around. But to do it successfully, you’ll have to immerse yourself in a process of recovery — not just dabble with it.
Gardening provides a good illustration of this principle. Seeds will never germinate and grow if you simply dip them into a patch of dirt every so often. The gardener can’t become impatient and give up on a seed if it doesn’t push through the soil after a day or two. On the contrary, a seed is transformed into a thriving plant when you plunge it deep into the soil, leave it there for a long time, and allow the process of sun, light, and water to take its course.
A troubled marriage isn’t much different. You can’t heal a broken relationship overnight or with an occasional visit to a counsellor. Struggling couples must throw themselves into the process of recovery lock, stock, and barrel if they want to rekindle the spark of real love and romance. They’ve got to give helpful resources time to breathe life back into their foundering relationship.
Here’s the bottom line: even under the worst of circumstances — even when a marriage has been ripped from top to bottom by the pain of infidelity — willing couples can turn almost any situation around. It has happened time and time again. But to achieve this goal, you have to seek God’s help in prayer, commit yourself to the influence of knowledgeable, helpful people, and do the hard work that needs to be done.
But Jesus told him,
“Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back
is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”