Essentials for surviving difficulties in marriage.
Just a few days ago, many celebrated Valentine’s Day, smothering their loved ones with chocolates and flowers and other special gifts. For the couple who is facing difficulty in their marriage, Valentines was probably a distant thought. For the couple who has chosen to follow Christ and is determined to fulfill his purpose for their lives together, there is a wealth of support, wisdom and guidance available to you when difficulties in your marriage arise. It is important however that you keep loving each other through those rough seasons, never giving up on your spouse.
Here are some essentials that I believe are needed to survive difficulties in marriage:
- An understanding that each spouse is responsible for the state of the marriage. It would be difficult to overcome your problems if only one spouse is held responsible for the poor state of your marriage.
- A willingness to acknowledge one’s weaknesses or flaws. Always be willing to examine yourself before God and ask him to show you where you have erred in your marriage. As he convicts you, do not hesitate to openly admit to these flaws and apologize to your spouse where your actions or words adversely affected them. It takes a humble heart of great strength and character to do so, but it will yield great reward.
- A willingness to accept help to overcome deep seated character flaws, generational curses or to move on after failure. Be wise enough to know who to listen to. Prayerfully seek out a small circle of friends who cares about both of you and can help to build you up. Work on you as if you are working on a school project. For example if you have difficulty with impulsive spending, avoid keeping too much cash on you, try to avoid window shopping, assign more money to your saving accounts, find out how others dealt with it, etc. Work on you, do things to curb that habit or overcome that weakness.
- A willingness to do what is necessary to grow; read books, attend counselling, seminars, listen to messages on marriages, meditate on relevant verses, pray and fast Too many times husbands and wives are reluctant to do the work. The desired results cannot be realized if we refuse to come out of our fixed mind-sets and adopt a growth mentality. Many times we are our greatest setbacks. Open your mind to learning, expanding, and growing beyond your wildest dreams. Don’t think negatively of your spouse or yourself regarding change. If you are alive, it means the possibility of change still exists.
- A willingness to forgive – Forgiveness is never easy but possible. When we truly forgive, we feel no resentment or bitterness against our spouse and are willing to put their confessed wrongs in the hands of God and in the past giving you the freedom to love them anew.
Marriage is not for the man or woman who does not want to work. Like any other goal in life, success in marriage requires sacrifice, effort, patience, fearlessness and determination. It also requires a willingness to face the unpleasant and uncomfortable truth about ourselves.
Ephesians 4: 2-3 applies to any believer in Christ and it says “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in Love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Know that God would take care of your desire to build, increase or maintain the Unity of the Spirit and peace within your marriage once you trust him to do just that.