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When Families Fall Apart

Unbelievable things can happen when you partner with God.
By Dennis Rainey

Matt and Laurie both came from broken homes. Both went careening off into drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity early in their teens as their families were ripped apart. And, like far too many couples today, neither had any idea how to “do marriage.”

Early in their marriage, the fissures began to multiply. Matt quickly identified the things that he thought would make him complete … money, prestige, drugs, and alcohol. He set out on a no-holds-barred pursuit of these four idols, all the while destroying his marriage, his family, his life. In a desperate attempt to be noticed and valued, Laurie focused on losing weight. If she could only look more attractive, she thought, things would change.

They didn’t. And there was no peace for Matt and Laurie.

Life was spinning out of control—fast. After years of reckless behavior, empty promises, and failed attempts at rehab, Laurie threw Matt out of the house. He wasn’t just an addict; he was a danger to her and their children. 

But God showed up in the middle of Matt’s pain.

He was offered a scholarship to rehab and decided to give it another try. Matt cried out to God and his life began changing.

But the marriage was still falling apart. Even after a year of sobriety, Matt and Laurie looked at each other and realized they had nothing in common—nothing to hold them together. They talked about divorce because there was no trust, only constant fighting. After all they had been through, was this as good as it gets?

At their church they heard about an upcoming Weekend to Remember® marriage getaway. Matt picked up a brochure and asked Laurie if she wanted to go. She was stunned that he was actually interested.

By the grace of God, that weekend they began to fit their fractured lives back into place. That weekend, Matt and Laurie got plugged into Christ, and it made all the difference. They experienced real forgiveness and allowed themselves the freedom to love each other again. And they discovered that God had a plan for their marriage. He doesn’t make mistakes, and their family was no exception.

God is in the “fix it” business

I share this story for two reasons. First, it’s important to remember that, when families fall apart, God can put them back together. He is in the “fix it” business. When a husband and wife come to God in true humility, walk in obedience to His Word, and allow Him to work in their lives, He will heal them. And that goes for any other family relationship.

Second, there are fractured and hurting families all around you, and God can use you to reach out to them. Think of the people in Matt and Laurie’s church who promoted the Weekend to Remember marriage conference. They had a vision—that people from their church would experience God’s best in marriage. They were faithful to encourage couples to attend a life-changing conference, and God blessed that faithfulness.

Look around you. Do you know a Matt and Laurie? I am willing to bet that you do. Is there some way you can encourage them … by inviting them to a marriage conference … by including them in a HomeBuilders Couples Series® group … or just by offering them some much-needed friendship? God is the only one who can change a human heart, but He uses people like you as His ambassadors. And when you partner with Him, worthwhile and unbelievable things are going to happen.

Copyright © 2013 by FamilyLife.  All rights reserved.

FamilyLife is a donor-supported ministry offering practical and biblical resources and events to help you build a godly marriage and family.

Meet the Author: Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey hosts FamilyLife Today®, a nationally syndicated broadcast bringing help and hope to nearly 1000 communities in the U.S. Along with his wife, Barbara, the Raineys co-founded FamilyLife®, a ministry committed to helping marriages and families survive and thrive in our generation. Dennis and Barbara live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children and an impressive number of grandchildren.



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