We lay there, side by side, not speaking nor daring to touch. It had been a long day of arguing in battle off and on – mostly about surface issues. We were ignoring the root problem, hoping if we failed to give heed to it, it might fade away.
But that’s not how this battle works, is it?
Festering wounds lead to rot if left unattended, and in many ways, our marriage was rotten.
In those days, hope seemed hard to come by. We’re we doomed to a loveless marriage? How long could we continue on as hostile roommates rather than friendly lovers?
We needed rescue. We needed the tide to change.
Eventually it did, but not until we each reached a point of decision in our marriage – give up, or choose to fight for it?
Many marriages face this same question today, even Christian marriages!
Fellow wife, I know you may be hard-pressed and Satan’s attacks seem never-ending, but we serve a God who loves to demonstrate His might over the forces of darkness. As you choose to stand firm in the battle for your marriage, keep in mind these three tips.
1. Confront Satan’s lies
So often women feel shame over marriage issues, even if those issues are a result of their husband’s sin and not their own. This is perhaps especially true in Christian marriages because we have that deep desire to be the godly wife we know God wants us to be.
Because we’re ashamed, we hide our problems from others and put up a good front.
We begin to believe the lie that we’re alone in our suffering.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, dating all the way back to the Garden of Eden; the Enemy uses it often.
However, when we allow shame to rule us, we give the Satan the spiritual foothold he is looking for.
- Fail to seek help.
- Ignore problems rather than addressing them.
- Become re-active rather than pro-active.
Even more, we fail to be an encouragement to others.
Listen, friends, without brave, work-in-progress women who are willing to share their messy stories, we all feel alone in this fight for healthy Christian marriages!
The more alone we feel, the more we keep to ourselves, the more victory the Enemy experiences in our lives.
If we want to reclaim that victory for ourselves, we must bravely drag our issues out into the light!
We must stand firm.
Your husband won’t join you? That’s okay. You can still seek help for yourself!
2. Remember God’s character
In the midst of real pain and suffering, we quickly forget who God is and what He is capable of.
Remember the Israelites? They spent decades in the desert reliving a cycle of experiencing God’s deliverance and then His wrath.
All God asked was that they follow Him to the Promised Land. However, they frequently focused so intently on their present difficult circumstances that they forgot God’s miraculous work on their behalf in freeing them from Pharaoh’s slavery.
In my naiveté, I used to think that anyone who saw the Red Sea parted, and an army of chariots with armored men wiped out in one swoop, yet still failed to believe must have really weak faith.
But how often has God rescued me from life’s circumstances? Yet still I struggle with doubt.
Friend, in the dark times, don’t be an Israelite.
Instead, intentionally meditate on who God is:
- He is all-powerful.
- That His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9).
- He works all things out for our ultimate good (Rom. 8:28), even broken relationships.
- That He loves us more than we can fathom (Jer. 31:3),
- He strengthens us for every battle we face (Josh. 1:9).
3. Trust the work in progress
Sometimes we experience victory in one area of marriage only to be faced with yet another battle.
That’s discouraging because it feels like a step backwards. If it happens frequently, we learn to avoid getting our hopes up for fear they might be dashed.
But lately I’ve been reading in the Psalms about this idea that our hope in God is something we should be proud of, not ashamed of. David cries out again and again in the early chapters, “Let me not put to shame” (Ps. 25:20 and others).
Friend, don’t let the Enemy convince you that your little battle today was the first step on that downward spiral.
Don’t let him dash your hopes by whispering lies like, “He’ll never change.”
If you want to stand firm in the battle for your marriage, you must learn to recognize progress and claim it for the victory that it is!
Remember, you’re focused on winning the war, which means you need a long-term strategy. You need something to cling to when marriage gets tough.
Every marriage has ups and downs, seasons of intimacy and seasons of survival mode.
These are temporary setbacks unless we give them the power to weigh us down.
If we despair each time we face a struggle, if we give in to that false belief that nothing is changing, then we give ground to the Enemy. Instead, we must cling to the promise of Philippians 1:6 – that God will continue the work He began in us until the day it is complete!
Do you want to experience wholeness in your marriage? Stay focused on the progress rather than unattainable standards of perfection.
Don’t let a small stumble turn into a permanent fall.
That’s why reclaiming hope is so important – without hope, we are tempted to give up.
Hope for the Hurting Wife
If you are a wife who is desperate for some hope, desperate for the comfort of knowing you are not alone, then Hope for the Hurting Wife is just the book for you. My co-author, Rebekah Hallberg, and I share from our own experiences as hurting wives who determined to fight for healthy, Christian marriages. This 30-day devotional journey for when Christian marriage goes awry addresses topics such as:
- Moving forward after trauma
- Loving even when you feel unloved
- Protecting your heart
- Understanding the power of choice
- Trusting God while waiting for redemption
PS. I am giving away a copy of the book to 1 lucky Wife -Enter the Ultimate Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage Giveaway!
Don’t fight alone, friend.
Confront Satan’s lies, and remember who your God is. Ask Him to help you see how He’s working, to see the work in progress.
Thank you Jen, for that amazing picture of Hope in our very real Battle for this marriage!
You can find Jen at BeingConfidentOfThis.com where she shares stories of Hope to Encourage women in their journey to Biblical Wifehood!
We are in a 30 day Series called Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage
Here are the Articles so Far:
Reclaiming Hope and Joy in your Christian Marriage
Three Ways God Works Through Hard Seasons of Marriage
What Submission Looks Like in a Christian Marriage
How To Be a Biblical Wife To an Ungodly Husband
How to Create an Abundantly Fruitful Marriage
The Best Kept Secret Piece of the Marriage Puzzle
The Greatest Gift I Gave My Man
Moving from Lost to Found in Marriage
Perspective in Marriage: Give Us Eyes to See (Part 1)
Finding Joy in Being a HelpMeet to Your Husband
Perspective in Marriage: from Surviving to Thriving (Part 2)
Can You Reclaim Hope & Joy After Betrayal in Marriage?
The Unexpected Path to Happiness in Marriage
Keep up with all the posts on the Main Biblical Wifehood Page or Get them direct to your Inbox and read them when you have time
And Don’t forget to Enter the Ultimate Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage Giveaway!