Marriage is both the sweetest and the toughest experience a couple will ever undertake. When a marriage is in a sweet, harmonious spot, and things are working according to plan, it is a beautiful thing to see.
But when that same marriage stumbles or the couple lose their way, there is nothing more painful than watching a marriage implode.
In this post, I want to share three strategies that will help you rescue your marriage from misery and possibly even divorce.
During our thirty-four years of marriage and counting, Judith and I have had our highs and lows. But very early in our relationship, we embraced a few life-giving strategies.
Reconnect with God
Problems in a marriage belie not just a failure to communicate or other psychological problems between two people, but a spiritual problem with God. If you are trapped in the cycle of never-ending conflict remember this core idea:
For those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen (I John 4:20).
In other words, it is rather hypocritical for me to claim that I love this God whom I have never seen, but then show utter contempt for the woman who sleeps on the bed next to me.
Reach out to a believing community
Despite the heavy usage of social media as a form of connection and friendship, people are lonely. Couples are afraid to open up and share their struggles out of fear of rejection and shame. Our hyper-individualized culture makes us think that we can make it on our own. The result is some couples find themselves isolated and overwhelmed by life. Fearing rejection and shame, they have little support or advocates who challenge and speak into their lives. Consider forming a 5 Disciplines small group (check here for resources on forming a group) for intentional sharing, support, and change. And then find a local church and begin forming friendships with other couples. In our church in Evanston, we have a Building Strong Relationships class designed to encourage couples at all stages.
Revisit your vows
If possible, go back to the day of your wedding and try to remember what you felt on that day. Try to remember not just the bells and whistles, the beautiful clothing, food, and music, but try to remember your vows. May you said the following:
“I, [name], take you [name], to be my [husband/wife], to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.
You didn’t commit to something that was easy. Your vows predicted that tough and painful times would come, but you promised to stay faithful to each other. Strength comes through pain and struggle. Ask the Lord to help you remain faithful to your spouse.
Question: What are you doing to sustain a strong marriage?