3 Reasons to Have Hope for Your Marriage

It was six months after our second cross-country move in five years. My husband and I were expecting our second child, and we’d just purchased a new home. On the surface, things probably appeared fine. But underneath the smiles and the baby announcements, our marriage suffered.

We struggled to make connections in our new community and find a church home. We tried to make new friends, but it was a slow process. And because of all these things combined with the stress of a new move, we took our frustrations out on each other. One night I remember crying, “We need to find a way to stop fighting, or get counseling.”

I sent a desperate prayer up to God and asked him to help us communicate. And while there wasn’t a lightning bolt miracle or a sudden change, over time, he gave me hope for our marriage. My husband and I went through a Bible study together and prayed together each night. In the midst of that extremely difficult season, God pressed one command on my heart: to keep loving and keep persevering.

If you don’t see how your marriage is going to survive, here are three reasons to have hope:

1. God uses marriage as a living testimony of his relationship with his bride, the Church.

Marriage isn’t just a relationship with our spouse, but a living story of God’s love for his people. When we persevere through hardship, misunderstandings, and trials, God uses our faithfulness to speak to others. He shows those who are questioning God and faith that his covenants last. They aren’t shaken by the arrows the world and the enemy fire at them, but his covenants only grow stronger.

In the Gospel of Mark, the Pharisees try to test Jesus and ask him about divorce. They state that under the old law, Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send his wife away (Mark 10:5). Jesus doesn’t dispute this law but instead points to the reason behind it. This addition to the law wasn’t made because it was what God wanted, but because the people’s hearts were hardened.

When our hearts become hardened, we are no longer sensitive to the desires of God or the Spirit’s prompting. Although the Holy Spirit will attempt to draw us back to the truth, he cannot and will not force us to choose God’s ways over our own. Jesus makes the will of God clear when he says, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:9

If we see marriage as only a means to make us happy and satisfied, we will be perpetually disappointed. Of course, happy seasons and moments will come and God does care about our fulfillment. But marriage is hard. Our spouses see the best and the worst of us, and it takes valiant effort from both parties to make it last.

When valleys come, instead of asking ourselves, “Why is this happening?”, let’s look for the ways God is drawing us closer to him. What can we learn about his character as we seek to understand our spouse and communicate in a healthy way?

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SOURCE: iBelieve, Abby McDonald