Remembering the Goal

If we were watching a football game, we would expect the players from each team to keep their goal in mind. We would anticipate they would move as one toward that goal. And we would be surprised if one of them took the ball and ran in another direction. It would seem he had forgotten the original objective.

Sometimes standing in faith is a lot like that.

We start out with a goal in mind, usually to see our marriage healed. As we spend time with the Lord, though, we begin to realize that His goal is perhaps a bit different than ours. While we have one objective in mind, He usually has quite another. Yes, He wants to see our marriage healed, but the path that we travel with Him begins to reveal a far more profound goal.

He desires for us to know Him deeply; for Him to abide in us and us in Him. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

Various meanings of abide are persist, persevere, to be true, to remain, to tarry, to wait, to continue, and to not recede or flee. Obviously, abiding means remaining faithfully together at all times.

Sometimes as we stand we lose sight of God’s goal. We look for changes in circumstances or signs that we are making progress. Our goal begins to shift from the Lord’s goal. Our time spent in prayer and the Word doesn’t seem to be making a difference. We begin to doubt and to question. How long must I do this? Is it really making a difference? Will my spouse ever come home?

We become like that player with the ball running in a different direction than the end zone. We run to and fro looking desperately for what we desire to see. Our goal becomes the only important one.

Thankfully, Jesus waits patiently at the goal line. His arms are open wide, waiting for us to return to the purpose He has for us.

I have said many times that I would not want to go through again what I had to face in our marriage. Yet, I have always rejoiced that that is what brought me to the closeness I have with the Lord today. His goal for me was so much greater than the limited one I had in mind. His goal to see our marriage healed took second place to His goal for intimacy and my deep abiding with Him. It is His goal for each one of us and it is the goal we need to keep in sight as we stand. Love, Marilyn

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4

Author: Marilyn Phillipps

Married 48 years, we have three children and five grandchildren. My initial career of nursing prepared me to work with marriages that are wounded and in need of healing. For 33 my husband and I have led 2=1 International, a ministry to marriages and families around the world. We have seen miracle after miracle when many had given up hope.

4 thoughts on “Remembering the Goal”

    1. So good to know this encouraged you and thank you for the great suggestion, Grace. I will see that a link gets added.

  1. I needed this. Your “First Aid…” spoke to me so strongly. My husband walked out on our family at the end of April and just this morning I found out that he has been seeing a “friend” of ours for about a month– just as long as I’ve been trying to give this whole thing to God. I’m so lost and hurt right now and your writing gave me the guidelines of what I need to do. It still honestly terrifies me though. He is so hateful and 100% sure we are over/that he can’t stand living with me again.

    1. When the one we love begins following the will of the enemy, nothing they say or do makes sense in the world we have known. You cannot expect your husband to simply change what he is doing or saying. You cannot convince him or say or do the “right thing”. In fact, it may get worse. He is not the one you need to listen to right now. He is not the one who should determine what emotions you are feeling. You need to fix your eyes on Jesus and listen to His voice to you. Take the hurt, the betrayal, the fear, and all the other emotions you are feeling right now to the Lord. He is the One who can bring you healing no matter what your husband says or does. Be honest with Him. He knows your heart and you don’t have to pretend with Him. Put your faith and trust in Jesus, not in circumstances. Spend time daily with Him in His Word and in prayer. You will discover amazing peace in the midst of the storm!

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