All marriages (even Christian Marriages) don’t have a Happily Ever After. The Fairytale ending we dreamed of as girls can seem to slip away shortly after the honeymoon. What do we do when Marriage is Not a Fairytale? Can there still be Joy in a Christian Marriage that is far from perfect?
The reality we live within the 21st Century includes a 50% divorce rate – Christian or not. So I feel safe to say most of us did not get the Fairytale Marriage we dreamed of. As Christians (Disciples of Christ) we have the Joy of the Lord living and breathing in our souls. This enables us to claim and Reclaim Joy even in the midst of disappointment, trial, and suffering. What we need are some Practical Ways to do it.
Today Angela Sackett is our Guest to share about this Joy we can have in a situation in a Christian Marriage.
Is Joy missing in your life? Need a guide to help get it back? I’d love to give you this Free 30 Day Reading Guide to help.
How to Reclaim Joy When Marriage Is Not a Fairytale
Do not be surprised.
Psalm 34:19 says “Many are the afflictions of the righteous.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.
Fortunately/unfortunately, God warns us through His word that attacks will come against us.
- “Unfortunately,” because yuck, who wants to know in advance that we are promised hardship?
- Fortunately, because they will be used for His glory and our good.
This applies to our marriage because marriage is made of two broken people. And because trials are promised to people, a struggle is inevitable. Hard time and conflict are bound to come.
But because we have God’s word, we can have advance warning and trust that the good and sovereign God has ultimately “got this,” and not be crushed or caught unaware.
Look for how God will be Glorified
Because we know hard times will come we can be intentional to find ways to glorify God through them. Take Job for example. Job certainly suffered more hardship and trial than any of us hopes to ever see in our lifetime. I’m not sure you can experience a worse moment in your marriage than to have your spouse tell you to kill yourself! Yet job glorified God and looked to Him alone.
Job 1:20, “he fell to the ground and worshiped.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the early believers are instructed to “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Because we know that God is not surprised by our struggles and times of hardship, we also know that we can thank Him. No matter how frustrating, no matter how lonely, or painful the wounds, or even how hopeless we feel that our circumstances are we can Thank God and find things to be thankful for.
Speak the Truth in Love
Ephesians 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
The tendency in trials is to deny the problems, bury our head in the sand and hope things will magically get better. But the truth is we need to speak the truth of our situation. When we are communicating with our spouse there can be healing. But let’s be honest – communication usually is the first thing to suffer when hard seasons come. If you need help with Communication in your Marriage check out The Marriage Communication Mini-Course in the HopeJoyInChrist Shop.
Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ’There is no commandment greater than these.”
We know this commandment but did you ever notice the stipulation Jesus slid in there (I have it in pink)? You have to love yourself well to love your neighbor well. If your best friend were in a bad situation you would give her the following advice:
- If there is abuse (emotional or physical), if you or any family are in danger do not stay in danger.
- Physically separate and get to a safe place.
- Seek qualified, Christian, professional counsel.
- No qualified counsel should ever advise you to stay in a dangerous situation.
- Restoration is only possible when there is:
- but never at the expense of someone’s emotional or physical well-being.
- Professionally trained counselors can diagnose when healing and restoration can happen
- Christians are uniquely able to help pursue Jesus’ instruction and hope for a marriage, as well as help discern if separation is needed.
If any of this applies to you – take your own advice. Seek help. Love yourself so you will be better able to love others the way Jesus tells us to!
1 Peter 4:7-9 – The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Something amazing happens when we serve others. Our focus is redirected from our own problems and we can rejoice with others. Not that our situation isn’t disappointing or hard, but there are others in need as well. We gain and reclaim Joy when we serve others.
Which of these 6 Practical Ways to Reclaim Joy when your Marriage is not a Fairytale will you pick today?
Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment? We could all use a community to help us in Reclaiming Hope & Joy in our marriages!
We just finished a 31 day Series to help us Reclaim Hope & Joy in Marriage by Intentionally Investing in our Christian Marriage.
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Angela Sackett is a wife, momma, home educator, speaker, author and photographer (and her house is perpetually in need of a good dusting!). She blogs at Everyday Welcome, where she encourages women to open their hearts and homes to God and others, living as salt and light right where they are. She shares recipes, devotional thoughts, and inspiration for home and family.