“I will not let you go unless you bless me.” – Genesis 32:26

Haunted and Terrified

This is my story. This is your story.

In Genesis, we find Jacob terrified—terrified because he is about to encounter his brother, Esau, and they are not on the best of terms. They had deeply hurt each other in the past, and as we know, time doesn’t always heal all wounds. There had not been redemption in this relationship and it followed Jacob…

It haunted him.

Jacob KNEW that God had blessed him. He KNEW that God had been a hedge of protection around him throughout his lifetime. He KNEW that God was faithful… But, he didn’t trust that God could handle his encounter with Esau. Even though all of the Lord’s power and might was with him, he still feared his encounter with one man.

Wrestling with God

Jacob and his family, which included 2 wives, 12 children, hundreds of servants and livestocks, had been living with his father-in-law. Needless to say, Jacob was ready to make a life for himself. So, they packed up and began traveling.

Traveling towards the town that his brother, Esau, lived.

And Jacob was terrified.

Jacob sent everyone away—thousands of his livestock, hundreds of his family and servants; and then when he was alone, God showed up.

I think Jacob knew that God would show up once he got rid of all the distractions. I think Jacob told God he needed to talk to him. I think that’s why God showed up.

All night long, Jacob wrestled with God and God let him. God knew that Jacob was scared and angry, so He let Jacob get out all of his frustration.

They fought. All. Night. Long.

Finally Jacob cried out, “I WILL NOT LET GO OF YOU GOD. I’m scared. I’m terrified. I’m mad. I love You, but I’m not sure what’s going to happen next in my life. I trust You, but I’m still human. I want to have complete faith that you will protect me, but my flesh is weak. So I’m not going to let go of You, ever. But I’m not going to let go of You tonight until You bless me. Give me reassurance. Let me know You are in this with me…just one more time.”

God’s Blessing

God had already told Jacob before that He had blessed him. He had already come through with Jacob time after time. Protecting him. Delivering him. Even when Jacob did something stupid. Even when things didn’t turn out the way Jacob expected, God delivered.

But interestingly, on this night, when Jacob spent hours hashing it out with God, God didn’t get mad.

He didn’t curse Jacob.

He didn’t punish Jacob for his fear or unbelief.

He blessed Jacob.

Because of Jacob’s persistence, because of his longing for more, because of his perseverance…God at this moment gave Jacob a new identity.

Sometimes we encounter those life-defining moments with God. The moments where we show God that we are serious…serious about longing for Him no matter what the cost. No matter what the outcome. God sees a spark in us, and He uses that spark to create a manifestation of change.

And so it happened with Jacob. God changed his name from Jacob to Israel and told him that a great nation would come from him.

Does That Mean God Answers My Prayers?

God’s blessing didn’t mean Jacob walked away unscathed.

Jacob wrestled with God because of his fear of one man…or at least that’s what Jacob thought.

But really Jacob was wrestling with God for a deeper, much more important issue: for the complete certainty that although Jacob would not know God’s reasonings for everything, God would answer his prayer in some way. It may not be the way Jacob intended, but it would be in a way that God would protect Jacob and fulfill His promise to Jacob.

You Won’t Leave Unchanged

When wrestling with God, you won’t leave unchanged.

Jacob went into his fight with God strong, determined, and scared.

He left the fight humbled, faithful, and courageous.

God wanted Jacob to have a constant reminder of the time he wrestled with Him, so he placed a physical marking inside of his hip.

Now Jacob didn’t need to fear his encounter with Esau anymore, because he had fought with God and won.

The Fight for Your Marriage

Right now, you are fighting for your marriage. Even though you know deep down inside that God is with you, maybe you’ve forgotten. You have become so focused on the fear of the outcome that you have forgotten the power of the Lord in your life and all of the times He has protected you before.

Maybe it’s time for you to wrestle with God.

Maybe it’s time for you to hold on to God so tightly that you say, “God, I want you. I need you. I’m scared; but one thing I know for sure is that I am NOT LETTING GO OF YOU, and I need you to bless me. I need a reminder that you won’t leave me.”

Let it all out. Give it all to God. He wants you to wrestle with Him today. He wants to take your pain away. He longs to carry your burdens.

Does that mean your marriage will be saved? I don’t know.

Here’s what I do know: God will hear your prayers. He will let you wrestle with Him. He won’t let you leave unchanged.

“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Matthew‬ ‭11:30‬, NIV‬‬

A New Name

You will come out on the other side with a new name—a name that doesn’t leave you abandoned, a name that doesn’t leave you afraid, a name that gives you strength and confidence, and a name that marks you as a child of the living God.

And after you have wrestled with God, you will fear no man; because just as Jacob, you too have wrestled with the Lord Almighty and He did not let you go without a blessing.

25 thoughts on “Wrestling with God: The Battle for Your Marriage

  • November 10, 2015 at 1:52 am
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    Excellent, Kimberly! God is big enough to handle our anger and still love us. Thankfully, as you said so eloquently, he doesn’t let us stay unchanged if we hold on tight through the messy stuff.

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  • November 12, 2015 at 8:35 pm
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    I read this as I sit in an attorney’s office to file for divorce.. I’ve prayed, been a doormat finally gave over. My heart is still broken..

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  • November 12, 2015 at 11:27 pm
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    Thank you so much for this. I had given up. I don’t know how to fight for this anymore buy I can only tell God how I feel in hopes of strength and preserverance

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  • November 14, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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    Thank you for the article. I was encouraged to continue to Trust in God for the outcome no matter the circumstances. My husband has filed for a divorce, refuses to stop it. But yet we still live in the same home and continue to try to work on our communication skills and change for the better. Everything in me wants to give up and move out of the home. I have some days where I feel hopeful and other days, feel like giving up. i guess time will tell wether or not we have the emotional maturity to continue to fight for our marriage. I believe with God all things are possible, if we let him be the director of our lives. After all he knows whats best! Unfortunately he gave us both a free will, to be obedient or not. Until then I will continue to do my part, and pray he does his. May God be with everyone struggling in their marriage. Amen

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    • January 4, 2016 at 6:09 am
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      Dear Janet I’m praying with u you said the key word a husband or wife have a free will they can choose I’m believing he will choose to follow god .

      Reply
  • November 14, 2015 at 7:45 pm
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    Kimberly, I know that God will never leave us, we might ask for certain things in prayer, God will always answer you sometimes a person might have to wait and sometimes a person might have to look and dig deep for the answer ! That’s what having faith is all about, BELIEVING in a higher power.

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  • December 7, 2016 at 8:19 pm
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    My wife had an affair and wants a divorce after 14 years I’ve tried to stop it i believe we can fix it but she wants a divorce and its tie ring my kids a part anyone got any advice she won’t get help or talk to any one please tell me something for closer thanks

    Reply
  • December 24, 2016 at 2:23 am
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    Hello Mike I encourage you to keep praying to God.m He is the only one who can cause the division in that affair. You shall get strengthen when you wait on The Lord.

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  • January 3, 2017 at 11:07 pm
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    All things is possible with GOD. My husband left our marriage for 3 years for other women. Yes more then one. He got caught up in drugs and ended up in prison for 5 years, also he was physically abusing me and our oldest son. I filed for divorce, but GOD did not allow the process to go through. My husband found Jesus in prison. To make this short we are married still and GOD gave me a new born-again husband, the husband I deserved. For me, I asked GOD to give me HIS love for my husband. Today we are married for 36 years. For 8 years alone and a single parent I stayed very close to GOD and HE did a mighty work in me! I was a emotionally basket case. Today I am a strong, living woman of GOD. Wait on GOD and continue to live life in HIM. He will guide your every step and HE is a mighty counselor.

    Reply
  • March 28, 2017 at 5:50 am
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    I have been married for 22 years my husband left me for a25 year old it hurt so bad when I thought everything was fine with us. After he got cought he will not talk to me please give me some advice anyone

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    • March 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm
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      I am so sorry you are going through this… My heart goes out to you. It sounds like you are wanting to fight for your marriage. Have you looked into our Save My Marriage Online Course? It is dedicated to the “standing spouse.”

      First, you are going to want to focus on your PIES. For more info on that listen to this podcast –>http://www.marriagehelper.com/attractive-podcast

      I would also encourage you to join our Save My Marriage Facebook Group. Here you will get support from other people going through very similar situations.

      Please let me know if you have any questions!

      Reply
    • March 29, 2017 at 8:35 pm
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      I too just caught my husband in what turns out to be an 8 month affair with a business client. We are both Christians and I trusted him implicitly. This caught me totally off guard. He has stopped the affair and returned to me but I am so angry and hurt I am having a hard time letting it go. My husband gave me all kinds of excuses that I thought were crazy until I went into a Christian bookstore asking God for a word to help me make sense of what had happened. He led me to a lesson guide by Beth Moore; “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.” I couldn’t believe how similar what she wrote was to my husband’s story. There may be more to this affair that what is obvious. Maybe it will help you get a grasp on what is happening spiritually so that you can battle it accordingly.

      Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 2:43 pm
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    My husband cheated on me, kept it a secret for 15 years, then confessed. We’ve gone to counseling. But I just don’t trust him anymore. I’m thinking of divorce, but I have 13/15 yr olds and I don’t want to break their hearts. 😢 I’m so sad, and broken hearted. I’ve given it 6 months and I just don’t think I can do this any longer.

    Reply
    • April 3, 2017 at 10:51 pm
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      I am so sorry you are going through this…

      Is there anyway you and your husband could attend our 911 Workshop??

      Reply
  • April 3, 2017 at 8:28 pm
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    married 6 months..husband was very disrespectful, would be in bathroom for hours looking and chatting with other women, wouldn’t sleep in bed with me, wouldn’t pay bills, calling woman from house phone…finally left me and I think he staying with another woman….yet he been popping up at our house to see my kids (not his) ….still hasn’t spoken to me about us. im praying, just don’t know what to do. Don’t even know if I should start a conversation.

    Reply
    • April 3, 2017 at 8:30 pm
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      2nd……and blames me for a lot…and say he wants affection and im not giving.. I tried to explain that I want to love him freely but he want stop with the other women and it hurts me so its very hard to be affectionate towards him…I stay angry and mad at him alot

      Reply
    • April 6, 2017 at 6:35 pm
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      I am so sorry you are going through this..

      Have you happened to listen to the podcast Kimberly Holmes did on the first step to take when saving your marriage?

      Reply
  • May 8, 2017 at 3:01 pm
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    My husband is kind, generous, loving, funny, smart, an amazing lover, and faithful to the church. Despite that, I have a desire to have sexual relationships with other men. I love men. I want to nurture and serve them all. I am without excuse since my husband is so ideal. I can think of some superficial excuses but in reality I desire to commit adultery because of the insatiable lust of my own flesh. This is what I must overcome if I am going to have sanity.

    The power of Jesus Christ helped me overcome an addiction to food 11 years ago. After 8 years of sobriety from food-lust and body-image obsession I feel that I am now facing the root of that original original addiction. I believe God wants me to come into deeper intimacy with Him and that is why this deeper root has been exposed.

    Reply
  • May 9, 2017 at 8:21 pm
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    I have been married 24 years and just found out my husband has a 14 year old daughter from an affair I’m guessing 14 years ago. I want to save my marriage but I am just hurt, angry and just all these emotions that I don’t even know how to tell what I’m feeling. I am good one day but then another I’m just terrified. I wish I could trust him even though this happened 14 years ago. He is a different man, but I just can’t get over him having another child.

    Reply
  • June 23, 2017 at 5:35 pm
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    You just don’t know how this has blessed me in such away. I have was struggling as Jacob was, with insecurity and fear. I couldn’t sleep last night and I was praying. This morning I new that God would speak to me and little did I knew that He would be bringing me to this website. It’s amazing how God brings us to such websites at the perfect time when we need to hear from Him! It has brought me so much comfort and courage to finally wrestle with God so the battle can be won over my marriage! God bless you!!

    Reply
  • July 5, 2017 at 1:26 pm
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    My husband and I have been married for four year. We just had a baby 11 months ago. We are Christians and he always says how much he loves God and quotes bible scriptures and says he is an evangelistic John the Baptist type. He even got a license to be a minister to marry people and he married a couple just 3 weeks ago. Now I found out as he admitted to me that he has been having an affair for a few
    Months with one of our employees and to make matters worse, she desperately wanted a baby and so he purposely was trying to get her pregnant. She says that she is now pregnant and they don’t have any sperm donor contract. She told him she didn’t want child support but she now refuses to sign any type of contract to protect him and I truly think she has alterior matters to get hugebsupport over the next 18 years from him. Being this is a community property state my income would be up for grabs too if we stay married. Back to the marriage, I truly believed that my husband would never ever cheat on me. I don’t know how to ever trust him again. I do have love for him but the hate and hurt is so strong and I am calling out to God to help me. I just can’t believe this and I feel like I am stuck in a horrible nightmare that I need to wake up from but this is reality! He said many times that he is sorry and learned his lesson but the damage is already done and I just don’t know how I could EVER trust him again. How do I havenintimate relations without remembering how he was inside one of my employees? It’s also difficult because I owned my house, my business, and had many financial assets when I met and married him. He however had nothing but debts and nothing to his name, so had a Prenuptual agreement signed and everything is still mine (the business, two houses, …) I feel my husband says one thing and speaks Godly and perhaps his heart is in the right place but he is so weak and proven to not be a man of his word. I’m still running the business by he doesn’t have a job now. I’m carrying some much more of the load and caring more for our 11 month old son that has Downs Syndrome. How do I keep my marriage and not only keep it but get it back to being healthy with trust and commitment. How do I truly forgive him and move on to love and trust him the way a healthy marriage should be? Help. I’m so angry and sad and confused.

    Reply
    • September 30, 2017 at 12:03 am
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      Hearing your story broke my heart. I mean, I’m on here because I just found out my husband was cheating with multiple people, but for some reason, your story just really stuck out to me. I’m struggling in the same way. I don’t feel comfortable with my husband touching me sexually anymore. I wish I was in a better place and could offer more advice, but honestly, I just want you to know that I hurt for you and I don’t know how my marriage is going to be restored, but I do know that God doesn’t waste pain or allow life to reak havoc on us for no reason. I have friends who just shared their story of restoring their marriage after cheating and the fact that they went through something that horrible has made the extreme pain more bearable and has given me hope. I know this is for a reason and there is a purpose larger than ourselves that these expereinces can donate themselves to. At the same time, God cares deeply and loves purely and our hearts were made for that and he does not disappoint.

      Reply
  • September 15, 2017 at 3:07 pm
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    My Husband and I have been together for 24 years we have one daughter in college. We are a Christian family and attend church every Sunday. He started a new job with his company January last year and it required him to do a lot a travel for the first year. One late night of January this year I received a phone call from a women telling me she has been seeing my husband for almost a year. I confronted my husband he admitted it and tells me he is moving out. I am overwhelm with be-trial, pain, angry that runs so deep its so hard for me to function in my everyday life. I have prayed to God to show me what to do and I do what to get an answer from God. I can’t seem to find the peace I need. I love my husband with my whole heart and I would have never in a million years thought my husband could do something like this to use. I trusted him with my heart. This is so hard for me to deal with. I haven’t open up and told my family anything that is going on in my family. I total understand the comment from Kimberly. I’M SO ANGRY!!! SAD, CONFUSED AND HURT.

    Reply
  • September 19, 2017 at 6:39 pm
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    Please pray for me and my wife Ann. I was unfaithful throughoit our marriage and we are separated now and likely getting divorced. I have repented and do not want a divorce. Please pray she will attend the marriage work shop on this site and give us a chance. We need a miracle for our marriage.

    Reply

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