Do you believe God is bigger than any problem you face? In theory or in practice? A few days ago I (Julie Holmquist) encouraged you to shift your perspective. 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 thrive 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?
Do you need help Getting Hope & Joy Back into Your Marriage?
This article is part of a 31 Day series that was so Equipping! I’d love to give you this Free e-book (With all the articles in it) to encourage you in the journey.
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.
Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable
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.
Isaiah 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways And My thoughts than your thoughts.
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!? You can to move from just surviving to thriving in your Christian Marriage! Believe it!