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By Angeline M Duran Santiago

I wonder how the heart of God feels when he looks at marriage, all marriages, regardless of the faith, the religious affiliation, if they believe or not? I wonder what we would hear if he chose to relate to us audibly? What would his viewpoints, positive and negative be if he'd write an observation paper for the thousands of married couples in this world who have taken a vow to be wed to one another according to the meaning of marriage found in scriptures from the beginning of time?

Would he see the faces that smile on the outside in front of company and at work that turn off immediately once they're in the car ride home or in the home? Would he observe the silence between two people who've decided that the best way not to argue is just to survive one another's presence in silence? Would God show up to sit in the living room of couples who have chosen a deeper and more intimate relationship with their television, their cell phone and their computer but have zero time for a true intimate relationship with their significant other? I wonder if God would walk into the bedroom of thousands who sleep, back to back, purposefully withholding meaningful and much needed conversation as well as the intimacy they've been created to pursue with one another?

I share this because it is a reality I see daily in so many that share their hearts with me. I hear the stories of how there is anger, hurtful words and the blame game going on in some marriages that have sort of just started. I pray and hope my words are the words the Lord would have me say to this person that is hurting and ready to call it quits. Then, I meditate on my marriage and realize it's not that far away from the painful stories I'm sitting here and listening to.

"Lord, did I speak with your heart in mind?" I look up to heaven and wonder if I'll get a thumb up or if God will whisper, "Hypocrite. Liar." 

I've told them that when we place our relationships and our marriages in God's hands, there is nothing difficult for Him. He restores what is broken and He breathes life into a love that is hurt and dying. I tell them God will not fail and that maybe they need to just learn to seek the Lord together and trust him. I speak these words and see the image of my own relationship, so void of the very things I counsel others to do. 

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Does God see marriages with the answer to their crisis and shout out for them to open their eyes, wake up, grow up and get it together because the answer is right there within their reach or does he sit back and wait to see if they will, we will, ever be quiet enough to hear him tell us once more that it's all in seeking Him and putting Him first that we can succeed?

Marriages today face the very same problems our grandparents faced. I'm sure they had issues, faced trials and temptations, and many times ended it all because it was just too painful and exhausting to continue to band their heads against the concrete wall in trying to deal with someone who just didn't want to change. Or, change was not an option for themselves so they walked away.

But, what if, what if we truly took to observing what we do each day and write it down, day after day to see what is our daily agenda like and how it is affecting our marriage positively or negatively? I write mostly from the viewpoint of someone who has faith in the God of the Bible, Yahweh, Creator of heaven and earth. I write from the perspective of someone who believes scriptures are words from our Heavenly Father and a guide for our lives.

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How many hours are spent on our cell phones googling nonsense? We would see that many have an addiction to certain subjects and curiosities on the internet. They spend every available free moment waiting to be on their phone to search, to type in those specific words that lead them to their destination. Free time that can be invested in recognizing that their marriage is falling apart and instead of their internet search be on how to save their marriage, they allow what is truly alive and important in their heart to dictate their heart's desire. So, their internet history is full of what is in that person's mind. 

You can seek counsel, do hours of marriage counseling or go in for personal counseling and therapy and nothing will work because it's not about you talking and talking and talking and never changing or taking the advice given. It's that you and I choose not to change, not to surrender to God and let him to do the work that is needed in us. We are selfish and care more about holding on to our past, to our lusts, and our own needs and we don't even truly give even a try to giving our all to God.

We see husbands and wives who can't put their phones away or leave them in a room. People walk into the home and the phone is always in their hands, never in a pocket or their bag. They are always on a mission to look and look and look at their phones. It never ends. I've honestly witnessed couples, married couples who are sitting in the same room, both have their cell phones in their hands and both are texting and searching on their phones while the television is on a movie they agreed to watch together. REALLY?

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God must see the countless nights that couples fall asleep  and one of them allows the tears to fall quietly because one more night, the only company was a book, or the Bible. The only embrace came from God's loving arms and the only love was poured out from The Father above. How many marriages are full of pain because they can't honestly say they understand what love is? Some are so caught up in their jobs, their company, their church, their ministry and their personal crisis, that one or the other cannot be in the same room with the other, there are no more hugs, genuine kisses from the heart, and even love making is a taboo, a subject to never discuss because honestly, if there's no love, how can anyone attempt love making unless it's just to fulfill what they're seeking on the internet?

I will continue to advise those that come to me in this way. God and God alone can save your marriage. It takes connecting to Him, to His heart and his word to understand that He is our all in all. Without God, we do not have love and we cannot give love. Without the Lord, we have empty promises and we cannot say, "Sorry or forgive me" from the heart because we are not truly repentant in front of God, so why would we feel guilt or hurt in front of our spouse? We will continue the same patterns we have until we've made a decision to seriously pursue God's will for our lives and thus dedicate our free time to finding his heart in the matter of our relationships, our marriages, and our families. If our marriage is falling apart and there are children in the home, do not for one moment believe that they aren't aware and that they aren't hurting alongside with the nonsense that's being allowed in your life and in your home.

God is real. He is present. But, we push him away. We ignore him. We silence him. We walk away while our eyes are on our cell phones. We shut him off to stay hours on the television. God sits back and laughs when we say we don't understand what is wrong or how to fix the problem. He is our help and refuge at all times.

Marriage is about loving one another. God is love. If God is present, and he is in our lives, we are able to walk in love. Marriage is about understanding no one is perfect. We fail. We mess up. God has provided forgiveness. His heart in us helps us to walk in forgiveness. Marriage is about communication. Prayer, worship and praise is our way of communicating with our Lord. His Word is a constant back and forth with those who love him. God is an intentional God who wants to be in our lives and cares enough to whisper into our hearts and speak to us. If God take time to pray and seek the Lord, then we have an example of communicating with our spouse. Without communication, how can we coexist in the same home together? How can anyone say they love you but never talk to you? How can anyone say they want to be with you but are never by your side?

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Marriage is about learning to fight together. God has provided so many scriptures to remind us that we need to pray together, trust together and serve the Lord together. But, we don't. We are selfish and pursue our personal agendas not really caring who we hurt along the way. We get caught up in our afflictions instead of sharing with our spouse and seeking the Lord for healing and breakthrough. 

I will always try my best to inspire others with the only hope I myself have, the Lord's life in me. He alone can rescue your marriage. It is the only advice even for me. I hope that in some way, these words wake you up enough to make you look into your marriage and make the needed changes, take those necessary steps, to heal and renew your life as a married woman or man of God. If God is truly your source of life, your marriage and my marriage cannot and will not survive unless He is truly the center of our hearts and all we do.

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