If I’m not careful, my marriage will ease itself into an unconscious state.
Running here and there, handling work and baby, social lives, errands, housework, writing projects, and the intention of my spousal relationship slips away. Not dying but not living, moving, or thriving.
Sometimes marriage comas come from serious injury or prolonged relational illness. Raw wounds. Unspoken hurts. Unrepentant sin. Comas caused by these things are serious, and need serious attention. Your relationship may wake up slowly, soap opera style, where you’ve been comatose for six months and they found your evil twin while you were asleep. Don’t try to fix everything all at once. Seek God, get help from a Christian counselor or mentor, receive prayer, and trust God to restore your relationship.
God wants to bring you out of your marriage coma.
No matter what circumstances brought you to this current state, your relationship is worth fighting for and Jesus longs to restore it. More than I long for chocolate or a full night’s rest. I’m not saying it’ll be easy. In fact, it’ll be hard. Especially hard if you’re recovering from a serious hurt. But your marriage is worth the effort.
It’s not dead, only sleeping.
In the gospels we read the account of Jesus and Jairus’s daughter. Here’s my paraphrase, with some creative liberties (read the full account in Luke 8):
The crowds wait on Jesus. They have stuff for Him to fix and heal and cast out and He’s been away ministering in other towns. So they gather at his home, anticipating His return.
In their midst stands a man named Jairus. Anxious because his daughter lays at home, dying. Jesus arrives and agrees to go to Jairus’s house, but on the way they receive an unfortunate update.
Post from @JairusServant: Don’t bother Jesus with this. It’s too late. #sorryJairus
Response from @JesusChrist: Do not fear. Do not weep. She’s only sleeping. #miracles
When they get to the house everyone laughs at Jesus. They know it’s over, but He’s not getting the picture.
Taking the girl by the hand, he calls her, saying “Child, arise.”
And her spirit returned (Luke 8:55a ESV)
I love the other details shared in Matthew’s accounting:
And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district. (Matthew 9:23-26 ESV)
Okay, let’s be real here. Sometimes breaking out of a marriage coma means kicking out the commotion-makers. The ones encouraging you to throw in the towel or deflect responsibility. They’re already planning your divorce party, playing funeral music in your front yard and laughing at Jesus when He says He can restore life and return the joy of your marital relationship.
Want out of your marriage coma? Put the crowd outside.
Don’t doubt the future God has for you. (If doubt is a hot button issue for you, stay around, we’re in a series!) Your circumstances may scream death but His presence brings life.
And what if you’re note recuperating from a relational wound, but somehow slipped into this stagnant state? Things were fine and you’re not distressed, but married life feels more like having a roommate than anything else?
God still wants to bring you out of your marriage coma.
He’s not just here for relationships in crisis. Your relationship with your hubby is made for more than shared task lists, coordinated schedules, and cohabitation as bed fellows.
We may need to kick out crowds of a different sort.
Make room for your husband. Physical room in your schedule to connect with him. Emotional, physical, and mental energy to be there in more than just a comatose way by the end of the night.
Turn off the to-do list. I’m really good at using my one-on-one date night with Jared to talk about plans for next week or work on the grocery shopping list. Turn it off. Whatever laundry didn’t get done today will still be there tomorrow. Coming out of the marriage coma means prioritizing our relationships.
Appreciate. Take a few minutes to pause and notice the little things. Even the littlest things like how he always smells good or remembers to cap the toothpaste.
Do something fun together. What energizes your relationship? What fuels your connection? Intentionally integrate those things back into your daily or weekly routines.
And the #1 step?
Pray. It’s not too late. Ask Jesus to come visit your marriage, to call the life back into it.
Your relationship isn’t dead. It’s only sleeping.
Please Note: This post doesn’t address serious relational issues of abuse or maltreatment, which may include untreated substance abuse and mental health issues; unrepentant infidelity; and fiscal, emotional, spiritual, mental, sexual, and verbal cruelty. Please seek appropriate godly counsel for healing and restoration in these areas.
Did this post encourage you? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!