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Hope for Damaged Marriages - Psalm 107

Hope for Damaged Marriages

Psalm 107:10-16, 33-35

Paul J. Bucknell

(Contined from page 2)

The Steps #6-10

Step #6

Review together

Start with the husband's list. For each area of sin on his list, see if he knows of any scripture passage that would speak against it. Have him find it and then read it.

After him, the wife needs to do the same. If either of them have difficulty for one reason or another, the advisor can help them find those passages.

Step #7

Reflect on God's Word

Go back to Psalm 107:33-34. What specifically caused the pool to go dry? We need to understand that it is wickedness that emptied the pool of life and water.
He changes rivers into a wilderness, And springs of water into a thirsty ground; A fruitful land into a salt waste, Because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. (Psalms 107:33,34).

Next go to Psalm 107:10-12. What reason does the text give for their living in darkness and in chains?
There were those who dwelt in darkness and in the shadow of death, Prisoners in misery and chains, Because they had rebelled against the words of God, And spurned the counsel of the Most High. Therefore He humbled their heart with labor; They stumbled and there was none to help. (Psalms 107:10-12).

Some sins in our life are more readily detectable than others. Below the surface actions are words, thoughts and attitudes that support our wrong actions. These do not please the Lord. Our goal is not to speak on all of them now but to isolate a few and humble ourselves before the Lord.

The premise of this study is that we make excuses for our sins. As long as we can call it a communication 'problem' instead of sin (e.g. got angry), then the problems remain and no forgiveness is received. This pride creates an impasse and so the water dries up.

Step #8

Time to repent

If the grievance is seen by both sides to be only a difference of preference, skip over it for now. It is important, but it should be dealt with later.

Read aloud Psalm 107:13-16.

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their bands apart. Let them give thanks to the LORD for His lovingkindness, And for His wonders to the sons of men! For He has shattered gates of bronze, And cut bars of iron asunder.

Have the husband confess (agree with) out loud his sins before the Lord and ask for forgiveness. Then have the wife do the same.

Be specific. Don’t leave any items out. Remember you might not know how to stop doing it or might feel that you can’t stop it, but by openly acknowledging your sin and pleading to God for help and forgiveness, He will bring help. God the Spirit is your true Counselor.

Step #9

Apologize to each other

When one person has wronged another, they need to apologize to each other. The man goes first.
  • 1) Specifically acknowledge your own sins (not the other's!)
  • 2) Afterwards make the request, "Please forgive me."
  • 3) Wait for an answer. If no response, again gently say, "Will you please forgive me?"

Some people have difficulty forgiving another because they believe that by forgiving them that emotional hurt or pain is not important. Actually, a sincere apology admits to the pain and confesses an offense has been made.

It is true we sometimes have suffered a tremendous amount of pain, but we need to do just what God has done for us. He forgave us. God wants to restore your relationship so no more pain will occur.

Step #10

Follow up

poolEach side needs to see if there is any follow up action.

If he has been drinking, then he needs to put aside his alcohol and start paying special attention to her.

If she has been bitter, she needs to purposely care for him.

Changing feels funny but remember it is the way the pool is filled up again. Soon the good habits become habitual and protect your relationship.


We want you to realize that this is just an initial meeting where communication can be restored. Sometimes deeper problems lie underneath the problems mentioned above. Actually, one can go through these steps several times. Proceed until there are no more grievances. (Not necessarily the same meeting!) You will be able to get down to those problems in time if you really desire. Sometimes you will not be able to know how to solve different problems. That is okay. In the meantime practice patience, love and kindness. Give your frustrations and selfishness to the Lord. Remember, the LORD is your helper.

For issues that continue, meet with a pastor/elder who loves God’s Word. Pray to God on his behalf that God will heal your lives. (Read Psalm 1:1-2 for guidance on finding someone to help).

(How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalms 1:1,2, NASB).

If a person is not willing to forgive, he or she must be reminded of God’s example and instruction. If we do not forgive, then we will not be forgiven. The pain goes extremely deep in some cases. But they need to be coaxed to come to the cross where much more undeserved pain was suffered by Jesus Christ for our own sins. If we were treated in grace, then we need to so treat others. Revenge is the Lord’s.

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