When marriage is difficult, turn to the Lord in prayer. It’s one amazing way you’ll be able to watch God transform your marriage.
Marriage is a lifelong commitment. And as a commitment, it’s not always easy.
In fact, sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s difficult.
But to honor the vow you made to the Lord and to your spouse, it’s important to keep your commitment.
When marriage seems difficult and like there’s no way you and your spouse can make it work, it is so incredibly vital to turn to God.
When things are frustrating, pray. When things are downright uncomfortable, pray. When things are difficult, pray.
Pray for your attitude. Pray for your spouse’s attitude. Pray for the words you speak. Pray for patience. Pray for both of you to begin to see eye to eye. Pray for both of you to glorify God. If your spouse is unsaved, pray for your husband’s or wife’s salvation.
And keep praying. Far too often, it’s easy to pray once or twice and expect an answer – but labor in prayer. Your marriage is worth it. Like Luke 18: 1-8 describes:
“And Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, “Give me justice against my adversary.” For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, “Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.” ’ ”
When things are really bad
When you have no idea how your marriage can possibly last, cry out to God for help. Beg Him for a miracle. Plead with Him to please heal your marriage.
As far as it depends on you, work hard on your marriage. Be full of love and grace, so your spouse can’t find anything wrong with you. Give 100 percent. If it seems like your spouse isn’t giving 100 percent, pray that he or she would and keep giving of yourself. Do all of it in love – as to the Lord and not your spouse.
As Elisabeth Elliot so wisely advises in her book, Discipline,
“The disciple stands alone before God, facing his obligation primarily to God Himself. God will not ask him whether the other party fulfilled his part of the bargain. God asks only for a pure heart. It is easy enough to exonerate ourselves on the basis of the other party’s (a person’s, an institution’s, a society’s) failure to live up to its obligation, but a disciple’s obedience is not contingent.”
As you’re praying and trusting God, remember that you’re not in control of your spouse. Your husband can make decisions that may crush you. If this happens, keep depending on God. Keep trusting Him. Run to Him with your cares. Ask him to help you try to understand your husband.
When you see an improvement
Sometimes, though, you may catch a glimmer of hope. Sometimes, God will bring healing and reconciliation. Eventually, you may even watch huge changes right before your eyes. When you do, keep praying and trusting God. Thank Him for what He’s done and for what He’ll continue to do.
As you cover your marriage in prayer, you’ll be transformed. Your husband who you’ve been so faithfully praying for may be transformed, too. And in the process of all this praying and transformation, you may even be blessed to watch a transformation in your own marriage.
Seeing it with my own eyes
I’ve watched this process take years to happen in my parents’ marriage. The changes that God brought about over 30 years were nothing short but miraculous. Many times throughout my childhood I was certain their marriage would end in divorce – yet this year they’re happily celebrating their 43rd anniversary.
Even with all of the years of difficulty and threats of separation, God was in the middle of ever so slowly changing both of my parents. As He alone transformed their hearts and they turned to Him, their marriage healed and grew stronger.
I also watched this process work throughout my own marriage. All marriages hit rough spots, and when it hit mine, I had no idea what to do but to cry out to God. One year of difficulty seemed to take a long time. (Though nowhere near 30 years like my parents!) My husband and I endured plenty of frustration and misunderstanding.
But after much (MUCH!) prayer, eventual communication, and a commitment to our marriage vows, we came out of our rough season stronger and more deeply in love than before.
As utterly difficult as it was to live through, I’m thankful through all the strife my husband and I were able to realize that marriage is a lifelong commitment. Even when it’s frustrating. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when it’s difficult.
Of all people, I know that when marriage seems difficult and like there’s no way you and your spouse can make it work, it is so incredibly vital to turn to God.
If you’re married and a praying believer, how have you watched God transform your marriage?
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All images courtesy of Unsplash.
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