Helping Marriages – YOU Can Do It!

July 28, 2013

in Beyond the Marriage, Encouragement, Grass-roots Movement, Series

Grass © antpkr and © tungphoto |

This is part of the Grass-roots Marriage Movement series running on Sundays.

Many couples don’t help other marriages because they feel they’re not qualified.

If your marriage is really a mess, you should be putting all your time and effort into getting help, not offering it. However, if you have a decent marriage, you can help others. You do need to know your limits, and when to point to someone else; I’ll cover those in weeks to come.

dinner table © Elin B |

I will illustrate with the first marriage Lori and I helped. We had been married about six years at the time. We had gotten past most of the bad stuff, but we had a long way to go, and we knew it. We wouldn’t have said we were qualified to help others. Fortunately, the other couple didn’t ask for help with their marriage, they asked for friendship. They were young, and the only ones in their group who had married so far. They weren’t getting what they needed from their still single friends, and weren’t finding much acceptance from the older married couples at our church. They told us they needed some married friends, and asked if we were up for it. Sure, we figured we could do that.

We meet weekly for a meal and conversation at one of our homes for a good while. We occasionally did things beyond that, and we were always friendly at church. We often discussed marriage issues, and from time to time, he would pull me aside, or she would pull Lori aside, with some question. We enjoyed being with them, and became good friends.

However, Lori and I didn’t know the full extent of what was happening. A year or more after we started to meet with them, we over heard her telling someone “Paul and Lori saved our marriage.” We were flabbergasted! It seems they were worse off than we thought, and the possibility their marriage would not last had been considered.

Here’s the thing: at that point, we knew so little! We’d read few marriage books, but we hadn’t been to any seminars or marriage retreats. All we had to offer was friendship and a few more years of marriage experience. And that was all it took. Please don’t think I’m cutting God out of the equation here, I’m just showing you He can work with nothing as long as we are willing!

So be a friend to a couple younger/married a shorter time than you and your spouse. Just listening and helping them to think about their marriage is huge.

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Great tweet of the week:

God doesn’t call us failures when we fail, He calls us beloved. We’re defined by our joy, not our success. @bobgoff

Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

Do Not Disturb

Delivery Matters ◄ How is worth a bit of thought before you bring up something with your spouse.

The Generous Wife

Burnt Split Pea Soup ◄ Are you understanding when she messes up?
Every Day ◄ A simple challenge.
Wait for the Words ◄ Finishing her sentences is not loving!

Genuine Husband

Love Is A Feeling … NOT ◄ How do you love?

Intimacy in Marriage

Husbands Who Deny Sex and the Wives Who Suffer ◄ Men say no too. If you say no, PLEASE read this.

Journey to Surrender

Male and Female Part 1: Yin, Yang and God ◄ Why did God make men AND women?

Marriage Life

Quality vs. Quantity ◄ The age old question.
You Are Not the Exception ◄ Yes, this post is about you.

One Flesh Marriage

I’m Just . . . Therefore I’m Justified ◄ Explaining why does not excuse it!

refine us

Talking to Your Kids About Sex ◄ Everyone’s favourite thing! (NOT)
The Whole Truth ◄ What are you denying that is actually true?

The Romantic Vineyard

If Only My Spouse Would ______________! ◄ What do you do when they won’t?


Agreed. The idea of just showing up and being real with people is an incredibly important aspect of living a fulfilling life. That's where we are finding ourselves and God is indeed using it.  Thanks!


Someone just emailed me yesterday and said "God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called".  I like that.


Great story! While reading it I saw a truth I'd like to point out about how God, 'works with nothing'. That truth is that you and Lori were the ones that this couple choose to approach for friendship, even though you seemed to be implying that you were the only ones available. They could have not chosen you and moved on, is my point. But they did. Why? Because you apparently demonstrated to them that the two of you had something in your marriage that they wanted in theirs.

That is to say that you lived your life before them unaware that you were being evaluated by them, as were many others on the periphery of their lives, as they sought out someone they could trust their hearts to in a friendship.

They chose the two of you. Yes, it was because you were willing, but more to the point it was because your love was attractive.

Several times in my life I've been in similar situations as your friends and when I looked around I found not one winsome soul I felt I could approach for a friendship. So, I kept my silence because willingness without winsomeness is not a willingness that is attractive.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@SexWithinMarriage I've heard that before, and like it. The "trick" then is to know where you are called. If he qualifies the called, trying to do something He's not called you to do is going to be a mess! (Or an Ishmael )

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Eleutheros We were not the only choice, but we must have been doing something that first they wanted, and second that made them feel we would respond well. 

We were, as I said, willing. God can do amazing things with willingness.

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