Marriage is hard but it doesn't have to be impossible.
A few years ago, we moved into a quaint and modest three-bedroom brick house. Built in the 1920s, it’s a beautiful home for its age, but it also has its bumps and bruises. Like anything, time takes its toll. But it has, and still, endures.
If you have ever bought anything new, you know it doesn’t take long to develop cracks, rust, dents, dings, and a long list of other imperfections. Whatever is new eventually starts to fall apart.
Marriage is no exception.
I am a pastor’s wife. Being in ministry, we have had the joy of seeing many couples enter into marriage excited and hopeful for their new life together. We love to see God using couples to glorify Him in their marriage and in their family. But like anything else, many marriages that begin well, don’t always continue (or end) well.
There are all sorts of reasons for breakdown in marriage: Everything from something as serious as infidelity, to something as simple as poor communication.
You might be reading this today and your marriage may be struggling. Perhaps you feel like the brokenness is too much and you feel like you can’t go on. Maybe you feel like there is just no hope.
Don’t give up! God is a builder and He loves to restore what feels like it’s crumbling down. While there is so much that could be said, as we open this conversation let me offer four simple ways you can help build hope back into your marriage today.
1. Pray- I am reminded of Nehemiah’s response when he heard the news that the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed. Not only were the walls falling apart, so were God’s people. His response? He began to pray (Nehemiah 1:3-4)! Pray for a new and soft heart (whether for you or your spouse). Confess where there is sin. In all things, take your neediness to the God who can do all things. Be patient and persistent in prayer. It is God’s power, and not our own, that restores.
2. Open Your Bible and Read – God’s Word is life, nourishment, and a light for our path (Psalm 119). Without it, we not only spiritually starve we also stumble through the darkness. During difficult seasons, it is tempting to follow your feelings. Like a blind guide, they can often lead you into more trouble. More than how we feel, we need to keep coming back to the truth of what God says. Dig into His Word, seek His wisdom, and cling to His promises.
3. Seek Help from Your Pastor or a Counselor – While we can learn so much from so many great sites and books with helpful and biblical advice, that is not meant to replace belonging to a local church. We have seen many marriages that could have been helped had a couple humbled themselves to ask. By God’s grace, we have seen so many relationships restored through the guidance of an outside voice (a pastor or Christian counselor). While it’s not always easy to admit there is a problem, your marriage is worth it!
4. Protect Your Intimacy – If you are struggling in your marriage, you will likely be tempted to emotionally or relationally confide in someone who is not your spouse. Your heart will be drawn to someone who you perceive to be caring and compassionate. Don’t do it! In Mark 10:9, Jesus warns us not to let anyone separate what God has joined together. So build a protective wall around your marriage. Confide in a Godly person of the same gender who will offer you the friendship and wisdom you really need.
Maybe you or a friend needs the permission to ask for help today! We have to stand together and reach out to our brothers and sisters who are in need of God's healing touch upon their marriage. Let's do this ladies! Let's fight for our marriages!