Fighting For Your Marriage
And the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate..
Its hard to decide in marriage when to walk away and when to give it all you have got. Every couple comes to this point at some time or another in their relationship. Fight or flight. It is programed into all of us. Do we try harder or do we walk away? Is it worth it anymore or am I wasting my time? How do you decide? How do you know everything is going to be okay?
Faith is how you know. If you marriage is struggling, then you need to have faith that God has plan for you, and that the best thing that you can do, is what you are suppose to do. War over your spouse. Pray for them. Ephesians 6:12 says - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. I am confident in the knowledge that mostly all, if not all, of marriages struggles are related to the devil and darkness! The devil is after your family, he is after your happiness. He wants to strip everything away from you and you have to put your foot down and say NO! You have to WAR, over your spouse, DAILY. You fight, because marriage is a God given gift. Even if you feel as though you married the wrong person, the bible even says "If your unbelieving spouse walks out on you then you must let them go, but if they wish to be with you still then hold onto them.." - I'm paraphrasing here, but you get the idea.
So we must fight for our marriages. There is a time to let go, but I will get to that..
Better Ourselves For Our Marriage
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Despite this being my favorite bible verse, I had a very hard time actually living it out. I think we all do in some ways or another. How many wives out there can actually say they are patient and kind to their husbands 100% of the time? I know I sure cant! Especially when he is being grouchy and ill with me, I really just want to be rude and grouchy right back at him! That isn't right way though, regardless of how good it might make me feel in the moment to retaliate.
Not irritable or resentful? Man, when it came to the kids and work, I felt like I was the only one doing anything productive and it did make me very irritable with my husband. There did come a point in time when I started to resent him. I had to pray hard to get past these feelings because they can be consuming and they are not of love.
Love endures all things. All things? This is the one that I have struggled with the most. Its a controversial issue. All things as in fights? Cheating? Abuse? What is too much?
True, unconditional love, does endure ALL things. God loves us unconditionally and no matter what we do he always takes us back and gives us another chance. While he does give us 'outs' when it comes to marriage, he wants us to love our spouses like he loves us. Unconditionally and without limits. He wants us to better ourselves for our spouses so that we can love like he does, and have fulfilling marriages.
Better ourselves can be a hard feat, especially when we don't entirely feel like it is us that needs to change. Maybe your spouse is an alcoholic? Maybe they say hurtful things to you or they have a short temper. Do you still need to change yourself? Yes.
If your spouse never sees you give it all you have, then they are a lot less likely to really try to change themselves. Think to yourself, is there anything that you could do differently to show your spouse unconditional love? Give up that episode on TV to do something nice for them, whether it be a bubble bath, foot rub, or something else special? Get up extra early to make their lunch and cook them breakfast? Lay out their clothes for them so they can get a little extra sleep? Take the kids out to give them some downtime?
I know these all might seem like things that you feel they should be doing, not you. I understand!! I was there! But when I realized that my husband wasn't ever going to change if he didn't see me changing and trying harder, I started doing everything within my power, even when I felt like the shoe should be on the other foot. We should always remember that no matter where we are in life, we always have room to grow.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
When Times Get REALLY hard
When everything is right, marriage can be a beautiful thing. But that doesn't mean that it will not have its fair share of challenges. The important thing to remember is it is okay to seek help. Marriage counseling, outside opinions of trusted, non-biased people, pastors whom you know and trust, etc.. Use discretion, of course, as you don't want everyone having an opinion and knowing your business, but reaching out to get help from an outside source could be the saving grace that helps you past your rough patches. I have heard and read a lot of good advice in my life from simply seeking it out. Bad times don't last forever. Hold on to that and these quotes..
When times get really hard you should remember these quotes & verses -
"Success in marriage does not come merely from finding the right mate, but by being the right mate" ~ Barnett Brickner
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. ~ Mary Engelbreit
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” ~ Psalms 30:5
“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them.” ~ Unknown
“Out of difficulties grow miracles.” ~ Jean de La Bruyere
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” ~ 1 Peter 4:8
Putting Your Spouse First
According to the bible, the order of the household is -
Having children was definitely my main struggle with this order though. Especially considering two of my children were already with me before my current husband and I were married, due to a previous marriage that did not work from my younger years. It was a struggle trying to be both a good wife and a good mother. I felt as though being one was making me bad at the other. I felt guilty for not spending more time with my kids than I was getting to between work and responsibilities, and to make matters worse, my husband was constantly telling me how we never spend any time together and he was feeling lonely! What was I to do??
Well, after a lot of thought and reflection, it turns out that I was putting everything else before my husband. Which is so easy to do, but not right at all. I made my kids and work a priority while putting him on the back burner for later. While I still struggle with this issue to this day, I know that in a lot of ways, I could have been doing more for him. My children are small. They need a lot of care and attention, but that doesn't mean that I should completely neglect the care and attention that my spouse needs! There were certain things that I could have done a little different. Things I could have combined together to spend more quality time as a family and not just separate, spending time with my spouse when I could and then devoting all of my time to my children. Being a good mother really did make me a struggle with being a good wife. I still feel like I cant please my children and please my husband too, but I have to remember that first, I must please my husband. God does say that he must also love and respect me, loving me as God loves him, but I must also do the same and put him first in my life. No matter how much of a struggle that may be!
Knowing When To Seek Help
Knowing when to seek help Is important. If your spouse is abusive and hurts you, then it is time to reach out to an outside source. I understand that It can be a scary thing. I have been in an abusive relationship and the last thing that I wanted to do was tell anybody what was going on. He was an abusive alcoholic and verbally abusive whether he was drunk or not. Me, being a firm believer in Christ and his word, didn't want to leave him and forsake him because I felt like I owed it to make it work. It was extremely hard, finally telling someone what was happening. The steps that followed weren't an easier, but I am so glad that I was able to walk away after I gave him the option to get help for his behavior and he did not.
Sometimes, just sometimes, you do need to seek help and walk away until they can learn to get the help they need for themselves and accept it.
It is perfectly okay to seek help in your marriage though, for any issues. You should no be embarrassed but rather enlightened by the advice of other Christian counsel!
What Is Your Favorite First With Your Spouse?
War Over Your Family
War over your family ~ Pray daily for your household and your spouse. This is the only way to keep things going the way God intended them. Marriage is hard enough on its own, but its even harder when God isn't first and you don't have him in your corner helping you in your time of need.
Pray for guidance, for wisdom, for patience, and for the ability to be the spouse that your partner needs. Grow, change, better yourself and don't give up when the going gets tough but rather give it everything you've got. Pray, PRAY, and Pray!