Marriage in Crisis Experiences Miracle
By Rob Hull
The 700 Club
CBN.com -“In our marriage, everything by the world’s standards was absolutely against us.” Christina Suarez says it looked like her marriage was doomed to fail, “There was no one, in fact even some Christians who would say that we would survive.”
Steven and Christina Suarez married three months after they met. He was a meth user who had done prison time for domestic violence. Christina was twice divorced and had two children at home.
Steven says, “I thought it was going to be happy-go-lucky. It was anything but that.”
Christina remembers, “We married quickly in codependence, in addiction and in unhealthy mental and emotional state. Right after we got married I was pregnant. With that, excitement was hell.”
Steven says, “You know, I wasn’t really looking to be a dad. No, I was too busy getting high.”
Steven was orphaned as a child and never learned to deal with conflict. He remembers, “It was so frustrating to not be able to voice my emotions, because I didn’t know what frustration or irritation, love, compassion, concern looked like. So it was from zero to anger, and I would explode.”
Early into their marriage, Steven’s anger erupted. He says, “I can’t remember what all happened, but I laid my hand on my wife, and she fell on the ground.”
Christina remembers, “He drank alcohol. And he just, I think, blacked out and started beating me. Broke my face, and in front of the kids. And he ended up going to prison for a short while.”
As part of his sentence Steven went to counseling and took steps to restore their marriage. Christina says, “He wanted our marriage to be successful. He had no clue how. And I think he’d had counseling before for aggression, but this time he went into it with a want to. I want to get on the other side of anger.”
“The marriage was not going good at all, says Steven, “you know. I was willing to try anything.”
One afternoon Steven noticed a church near his son’s soccer practice. He walked in and asked to talk with a pastor. He says, “I didn’t know why I went into that church. I just know I needed help. And I looked him in his eyes and I said, ‘I need help’. He said, ‘You need Jesus.’”
Christina met Steven at the church with divorce papers in hand. She wasn’t convinced the church offered a solution. She remembers, “Two pastors had been meeting with him during that prayer time.”
Steven says, “And that prayer, it –I felt peace, you know. I felt real peace. I felt comfort, that there was hope for my marriage.”
Christina says she was ready to end the marriage, “I had told him, I had said, ‘all right, this is finally it. This is the all bottom low. You say your God can fix it, then you have Him fix it. Otherwise, here’s the papers. I’m done.’”
Even though she was hesitant at first, they started attending church and marriage counseling. Soon they both became Christians and saw positive changes in their lives.
Steven says, “The change in my heart is when I think we really started coming together, just learning how to love them genuinely and learning how not to dictate. I consistently prayed to God. I consistently let Him shape and mold me.”
“When we sincerely decided to let God actually do the work and sit back and be obedient to what His instructions were, things were broken off, permanently. Christina says, “Drug addiction, broken off. Physical abuse, broken off. There was a lot of bad behavior broken off completely.”
They also committed to a ten week course of marriage coaching that gave them tools on how to effectively love and communicate with each another. Christina remembers, “This is so hard. But it was the first time that we had each looked at ourselves honestly and it was scary and it was a mess. And as a woman, the first thing that I learned that was the most difficult was letting God deal with Steven in God’s way, not my way, and that’s when I started appreciating, seeing what God was doing. Because I was like, ‘Ahhhh.’ it took a load off and the results were way better.”
Today their marriage is happy and healthy. They say putting Jesus at the center of their lives has been the key to their success. “All my hope comes from Him and He continues to give me hope.” Says Steven, “Stuff today that would’ve knocked me down years ago, I don’t even wobble today. I know what it’s like to live without Him. And I know what it’s like to live with Him. It’s amazing.”
“You have to know God for God, and let God be God,” Says Christina, “otherwise things will not change. So I’m very, very thankful that I was blessed to see those moments with God and now I think, ‘oh, yes!’”
Stephen and Christina say they are grateful they serve a God who restores broken lives.
“She’s a great wife. She’s my friend. She’s my best friend. She’s beautiful and she’s got a lot of patience to put up with me,” says Steven.
“Yes, I have an amazing husband. And yes, I am more in love with him today than I have ever been.” Christina says, “But I’m excited because now I’m excited to how many generations forward do I get to see. So it’s outside of just our marriage now. We started including Bible studies for our children every day. They’re very enthusiastic, and we get excited because now it’s starting to live.”
Steven says, “Jesus in the middle of our marriage, you know, if I trust the Jesus in my wife, and if she trusts the Jesus in me, then there’s nothing her and I can’t get through. Nothing. With God, all things are possible. There’s no doubt about that.”
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