A few days ago I (Julie Holmquist) encouraged you to shift your perspective. Biblical Wifehood invites us to have eyes to see that God is bigger than any problem we face. I can almost hear you thinking… But I’ve already surrendered to survival mode in my Christian marriage? Is it really possible to move from just surviving to thriving in my marriage? Yes, sweet sister, it is possible because with God all things are possible!
Think back with me – to the beginning when love was thriving in your marriage.
Starry-eyed and hopeful for the future, the bride stands at the altar on her wedding day. She thanks God for her husband and their marriage.
Life is good!
She now has someone to share her life with: the good, the bad and even the mundane things.
Friday nights are spent snuggled up with one another watching a movie. Grocery shopping suddenly becomes something fun to do simply because they are together.
Her days are spent discovering the gift God’s given her in her husband.
She feels loved, cared for and cherished by him. They are thriving.
Some time passes.
She begins to notice there’s a slight shift in how she views this man God’s given her.
“Who is this man? I didn’t sign up for this.”
She continues to unwrap this “gift” that she once thanked God for in her husband. Soon she realizes she doesn’t necessarily like the gift anymore.
- He forgets to take out the trash.
- He leaves his dirty socks on the floor.
She tells herself life could be worse, at least she can close the door to the mess. And for now, she doesn’t mind picking up the dirty socks. For now.
Their marriage kicks into survival mode as the busyness of life creeps in.
Pornography threatens to unravel their commitment. They hunker down and do what needs to be done to get through it. They’ve grown accustomed to doing that. It’s what they know.
Hurtful words are spoken out of the heat of the moment.
- He feels disrespected, belittled and devalued in their relationship.
- She feels taken for granted staying home with the kids and keeping house.
- Bills pile up.
- Children disobey.
- Health issues arise.
She doesn’t feel loved or cherished anymore.
- He chooses his friends on a Friday night now instead of spending it with her.
- She would rather scroll through Facebook than listen to him go on and on about his job.
Their eyes are no longer filled with stars. Instead, contempt eclipses the hopeful future they once had.
She doesn’t feel “in love” anymore. It’s just a “get me through the day” existence. God intends so much more for their marriage than what they are experiencing, but she doesn’t know how to get to it. She no longer wants to be in survival mode. Really, she wants her marriage to be different. But how?
How do you move from surviving to thriving in a Christian Marriage?
I believe we can find the answer in Scripture. In Revelation 2:3-5, God speaks to the Church who represent the bride of Christ. Scripture often compares our relationship with Christ with marriage, therefore I feel safe applying His words to both parts of our lives. I like it in the Berean Study Bible.
1. Recognize that you have gone through some tough things.
Don’t sweep things under the rug. Sometimes God has to tear down before He can rebuild.
The tough things in life have a way of tearing us down. Get things out in the open. Acknowledge those things, but don’t dwell there. God knows where you’ve come from and where you are going. He has plans for your marriage.
2. Acknowledge that you have persevered and endured.
You are still married. That is huge!
You are on the same team! You are doing this life together. Even if your marriage is hanging on by a thread, God can use that! If He can take five loaves and two fish and feed thousands of people, He can take the thread holding your marriage together and strengthen it. It will be stronger than before.
3. Remember your first love.
Strive to remember your first love with your husband. Focus on the qualities you loved about him. What drew you to him? Write them down and put them somewhere so you’ll see them again and again.
God uses the word “remember” a lot in the Bible. Do whatever it takes to remind yourself of what brought you together.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, honorable, just, pure, compelling, lovely—the best, not the worst (good repute)the excellent, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Be specific in how you apply Scripture. Ask yourself what is true about your husband? What is noble? What is reputable? In what areas is he authentic? Compelling? Gracious? Think the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly. Things to praise and not things to curse. God will make your lives together into his most excellent harmonies.
Focus on those things!
4. Go back and do the things you did at first.
- Did you give him back rubs?
- Do you remember him enjoying when you simply sat with him in the garage while he worked on the cars?
- Did he have a favorite sport you used to watch together.
- You may not have necessarily liked football, but you watched the games before because he liked them.
- Purpose to do those things you used to do that made deposits into his love bank.
- Do you know what his love language is?
- Do the things that you used to do so effortlessly in the past.
God is on your team! If God is for you, who can be against you!?
It is possible to move from your marriage just surviving to thriving! Believe it!
Can I share some verses to Keep Your Eyes fixed on Jesus even through the hard times in your Marriage? I’d love to give you a Free Printable to print out, cut up and post around the house to remind you: Your God is Big!
Way to wrap that all together Julie!
I know I have some thinking to do. And some application to be sure we are thriving! It’s a good thing we have a community to talk through this and hold each other accountable!
You will want to check Julie out at http://www.stuffofheaven.com.
Be sure to grab her free printable to help keep God’s perspective in your marriage!
Speaking of community, are you in the Facebook Group? We are having some great fun, with real talk about Marriage and some cool Flash Giveaways!
And Don’t forget to Enter the Ultimate Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage Giveaway!
We are in a Series called Reclaiming Hope & Joy in Your Marriage
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
Keep up with all the posts on the Main Biblical Wifehood Page