Ami Coote is joining us today from Hebrews 12 to give us a fresh perspective on How to Be Still When Marriage is Hard. Every Marriage goes through difficult seasons so this will be such an encouragement!
What do you do when marriage is hard? Is it okay to walk away or are we supposed to tough it out? As we search the Scriptures for answers we find Hannah, one woman who struggled with the pain of a difficult marriage. She offers advice on how to fix your marriage in a unique way.
Infertility in Marriage.
Year after year she prayed for a child only to be disappointed each month when her period came—a sign of an empty womb. Infidelity. In a culture that allowed multiple wives, it would have been called something else but Hannah would have felt the pain just as keenly. Her husband had taken a second wife because she hadn’t been able to give him children. Peninnah lived to prove to Hannah just how unworthy she was because her womb was a barren wasteland unable to sustain life. Married life was hard.
What circumstances are you walking through today?
—it may be financial difficulties, sickness, the death of a loved one, or maybe like Hannah it is infertility and infidelity. When marriage is hard we may be tempted to give up. Oh, on our weddings days we promise to love our husbands “in sickness and in health, through richer for poorer, till death do we part”. But many of us made those vows in innocence. We had no idea how hard marriage could be or what to do when marriage is hard.
Encouragement from Hannah’s Marriage
I would like to share some encouragement from Hannah’s marriage:
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish (1 Samuel 1:10 NKJV).
On the surface, these don’t appear to be very encouraging words, but let me ask you, friend, how do you react when you are deeply distressed? How do you react when someone takes pleasure in provoking you and making you unhappy? I’ll tell you how I normally respond: I get angry and lash out at the person. I get mad and I walk away. Most times I forget to pray until a long time has passed.
Hannah had to watch her husband keep house with this woman who went out of her way to make her unhappy. Worse, she had to share the same space with Penninah—watching year after year as she produced more children—as she herself got older and less likely to be a mom.
Hannah could have grumbled.
How do you talk to a difficult spouse?
She could have complained. Yes, she could have set little traps for her rival. I mean, none of us reading her story today would have faulted her because her marriage was really hard.
How do you survive a difficult marriage?
Hannah knew the secret. She didn’t do any of those things. When things got really difficult, she buttoned her lips and took her troubles to the Lord.
When life—and marriage—get hard our first thought is to run away.
We want to get as far away from our husbands and our troubles as we can be. As women, we have mastered the art of being there without being present. We do everything we’re supposed to do, but it’s almost as if we are automatons because we have mentally checked out. Some of us physically leave our husbands when our marriage becomes difficult. But my friend, may I suggest that we try another method of dealing with the trouble we face in our marriages?
How do you fix a Troubled Marriage
Hannah prayed as she wept in anguish. The word prayed is the Hebrew word palal which could have been translated: to judge (officially or mentally); to intercede, pray, entreat, or, make supplication.
Hannah interceded for all the babies she couldn’t have. She became a Prayer Warrior Wife! Read more about creating a prayer strategy and becoming the ultimate prayer warrior for your family here.
Hannah interceded for all the babies she couldn’t have. She became a Prayer Warrior Wife! Read more about creating a prayer strategy and becoming the ultimate prayer warrior for your family here. Click To Tweet
Hannah petitioned God for all the injustice she suffered at Penninah’s hand, for all the loneliness she experienced in her marriage. Oh how she longed to be married with children. She prayed for the present set of circumstances that were less than ideal and she prayed for a future that seemed uncertain and filled with trouble. Honestly, she prayed until the words refused to come and only her lips moved. While the tears ran down her cheeks she prayed. She never stopped praying.
Sometimes we have to hang on to God and press Him for the change we desire to see in our marriage. We have to let Him know we’re going to hold on and we won’t let go until He blesses us.
Does that mean that our difficult marriage will become easier in an instant?
Not necessarily. But it does mean that even in our difficulties we can choose God, we can choose Hope, we can choose Joy.
Learning to Be Still When Marriage Is Hard
Did you notice that Hannah did not respond to her tormentor?
She didn’t complain to her husband; she didn’t grumble about him, she simply walked away to spend time in the presence of her Lord. Hannah walked away from conflict in the most difficult years of marriage.
You and I could learn much from Hannah. Too many times in the midst of our trials we give the enemy ammunition to use against us. Staying married is hard when we forget that we are fighting a spiritual battle with unseen enemies and instead attack the persons we can see.Staying married is hard when we forget that we are fighting a spiritual battle with unseen enemies and instead attack the persons we can see. Click To Tweet
Do you trade stillness for the noise of battle?
Most of us trade stillness for battle. We trade being still for being busy. We choose temporary relief from our struggles instead of victory in the battle. But Sister, God will fight our battles for us if only we would learn to be still (Exodus 14:14).Most of us trade stillness for battle. We trade being still for being busy. We choose temporary relief from our struggles instead of victory in the battle. But Sister, God will fight our battles for us if only we would learn to be… Click To Tweet
Three Ways to Be Still When Marriage Is Hard
Learn to be quiet to be still when Marriage is hard
This may be one of the most difficult things for us as women: when we are hurt we want everyone to know. We tell our family, our friends, and anyone who will listen, especially if we feel as though we are the victims.
We nag, complain and grumble—at least, I do. But this will not solve the problem. Yes, sometimes we get relief from our mental and emotional turmoil, but it doesn’t last. It doesn’t bring peace. Holding our tongue may be one of the smartest things we can do when marriage is hard.
Spend time in silence and solitude with God to be still when Marriage is Hard
When I’m mentally agitated, it can be difficult to focus on things like reading my Bible or praying and that’s just what the enemy wants. He wants me distracted and unable to pray or read God’s word because he knows that’s where my power lies.My friend, don’t let the enemy rob you of the weapons in your arsenal when Marriage is hard. Pray, read and study the Bible even when it is hard. Click To Tweet
Don’t complain, but praise to be still when Marriage is Hard
A few years ago a friend of mine introduced me to a song “Praise Him in Advance”.
“Praise will confuse the enemy”.
A lot of times we lose the battle because we’re so busy complaining, we miss the lesson and the blessing in the test. Click To Tweet
I know it may not seem like you have anything to be grateful for, it may feel as though things will never get better but hold on, sweet friend. Praise God anyway!
Close your eyes as tightly as you can and imagine yourself sitting on your Heavenly Father’s knees. He knows your troubles, pains, and fears but He also knows that when we focus on Him, we’ll have peace. Unbelievable peace—a peace which can’t be explained. One way to tap into this peace is by learning to praise instead of complaining.
As you focus on one thing you’re grateful for, you may find that your list keeps getting longer. You may find your gratitude being transformed into praise and then into worship. And then your enemy slinks away. He doesn’t like it when we give glory to God in every situation. Will he stay gone? No. He’ll be back.
Will being still fix the problems in your marriage?
Not necessarily, but as you learn to speak life instead of death, give praise and spend time seeking God, you’ll find that you have the strength to keep fighting. You remember that all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called unto His purpose (Romans 8:28). You remember you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).Will being still fix the problems in your marriage? Not necessarily, but as you learn to speak life instead of death, give praise and spend time seeking God, you’ll find that you have the strength to keep fighting. Click To Tweet
A Prayer to be still when Marriage is Hard
Father, your daughter has come into Your presence to seek Your face. She needs peace and the ability to cope with the challenges in her marriage. Teach her to pray and praise in every situation and grant her the peace which surpasses all understanding. In Jesus’ name, I pray,
Aminata Coote is a wife, mother, author, and follower of Jesus Christ. She is the founder of Hebrews 12 Endurance where she encourages women to know God, know themselves and run their race. She is the author of the books How to Find Your Gratitude Attitude and Through God’s Eyes: Marriage Lessons for Women. Read more from Aminata on her website: https://www.hebrews12endurance.com/. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Follow her on social media, Pinterest or YouTube.
A Marriage Bible Study Devotion style you will Love
Ami just published a book all about the biblical expectations for women in marriage. I finished reading and have to say it was so encouraging:
In a culture that looks to Hollywood for romantic inspiration and Marital advice, Ami Coot’s book Through God’s Eyes is like a breath of fresh air. Ami is a skilled storyteller with a creative way of keeping your attention from start to finish. I read through the book in one sitting but it would be a great devotional for wives looking to intentionally invest in a Christian Marriage. The way Ami brought each Marriage from scripture to life and gave practical application for a 21st-century God-Girl was inspiring.
Check out Through God’s Eyes: Marriage Lessons for Women on Amazon.