Everyone needs redemption. Call it salvation, deliverance, or recovery – we are born with the need. After saying farewell to the cozy, sacred nest of our conception, we enter the arena of all creation groaning together, seeking deeper encounter with the heart of Father God. An orphan heart in search of the “Spirit of adoption”, is every person’s story-line from day one.

Earthly parents are meant to be a prototype of sorts, forerunners who facilitate God encounters for their children. We are to be authentic models of redemption, confessing our imperfections when needed and growing our family into being a team, harnessing the inward groan we all share into a passionate life-long pursuit of God. The core of the family team is husband and wife.

Every parent resonates with the words of the Apostle John: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.” (3 John 4) The alternative, walking in falsehood, is a sure path to a dysfunctional adulthood. Not surprisingly, when adults see a counselor to understand why they are feeling a certain way, the answers are sought from the childhood years. Forgiveness and repentance are tools that each one must master. It is essential that we forgive those who wounded us and repent for our ungodly responses.

The most deadly and costly “misdirect” I’ve seen in marriages, is when a husband and wife fail to redeem their stories and place unrealistic hope in finding fulfillment in one another. The renovation of each person’s interior life cannot be an option. Transformation weaves from the inside out.

A sub-plot here is almost always to magnify the shortcomings of your significant other. Much of our labor in marriage counseling is to direct each spouse deeper into their own rewrite. The redemptive frame for the portrait of a restored marriage is constructed as each partner is willing to unpack their individual story-lines, before God and with one another.

Unmarried persons are also integral to building such families and communities of redemption. Many will someday marry, joining the workforce as moms and dads- building kingdom homes from the ground up. Even if they never marry, they will parent and mentor others.

I live in the “now” and my future is in front of me, but if I’m operating out of lies rooted in the past then I need a Holy Spirit escort to ransom those captive places. Failure to pursue the rewrite will drain the resources of your “now” and cloud the vision of your future.

It takes faith and courage to break from the status quo, to mature in your marriage through every season. It takes even more to persevere when you’re flying solo – your spouse not yet on board in the process. May I encourage you not to quit.

Be salt and light in your marriage. Demonstrate by inward transformation.