When I got married, I was all for marriage. I was in love, blissfully happy and looking pretty amazing, if I do say so myself, in that gorgeous white dress. And the wedding was great, it was. It was all I had hoped and dreamed of—a real-life fairytale.
But of course, it wasn’t long before I realized that a wedding does not a marriage make, and that living in harmony and peace with another human being is HARD. Small problems simmered over time and became big problems, and soon enough, I wanted to kick off my glass slippers and RUN.
Wives, I am here to tell you that feeling of wanting to run when things get tough is totally normal. But running is almost never right—so let’s talk about why we want to run and what to do instead.
Why We Want to Run
We run because we feel hopeless. We see the problems and we don’t see any solutions. We ache for peace, but the arguments are escalating. We long to feel like partners but grimace at the idea of trusting him again. And if we are really honest, we are scared of a long and loveless marriage.
We run because staying will require significant sacrifices. When we are hurting, our first reaction is to find a quick way to ease the pain. Marriage hurts and we need to know that this pain is going to end. If we can’t see the end, we look for the door.
Sometimes the pain is much deeper than our relationship with our spouse. The intimacy of marriage merely reveals the damage we’ve managed to keep hidden. Inflammation is a natural physical and emotional response to injury. We self-protect our aching hearts with inflammatory words, gestures and a “don’t get too close” posture.
Staying Married Requires a Supernatural Response.
Our real battle is spiritual. We do not war against flesh and blood. We war against powerful, evil rulers in an unseen world (Ephesians 6:12).
Marriage reflects God’s covenant to faithfully love His people No.Matter.What.
Satan targets every marriage because his job is to hide the glory of God from the world. He has been scheming for generations to distract us from God’s power. He waves the “people don’t change” flag high to discourage you. He suggests that you deserve better.
The best news for battle weary wives is this:
“But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.” Thessalonians 3:3 NLT
You have a marriage Savior. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is able to make all things new in your marriage.
CPR for Your Married Life
Knowing CPR can save lives. Knowing God’s character can save marriages.
That was the difference maker between my first and second marriages. I ended my first marriage in fear that nothing would change. Five years into my second marriage, that same fear began to suffocate me. I made many mistakes. But God was merciful. I found a mustard seed of humility, and I repeatedly asked Jesus to help me. And He did.
With biblical counseling and intensive Bible study, I began to see that God was far more powerful than I had ever imagined. With His Word, God revealed Himself as my Defender. Now, I know Him as the Good Shepherd who leads me to peaceful thoughts and relationships.
He is Immanuel, “God with me.” He is our mighty warrior who saves. He delights in me and quiets me with His love.
This battle to stay married is God’s fight. He is with me, and fighting for me.
Jesus Christ in me supplies the power and strength I need to stand firm in the spiritual battle. He supplies me with the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control that I need to be a great wife.
He is my teacher and my friend. And He has taught me the rhythm of asking for help, and trusting that He will supply it for me.
Strength to Stay, Courage to Trust
You can become the wife who “never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance” (1 Corinthians 13:7). Jesus is that love for you. And He lives in you, empowering you to love ‘til death parts the two of you.
Allowing Jesus this role in your life takes courage and faith.
You can simply ask God for more of both. Here are some simple, Scriptural prayers to guide you in asking.
God you are my portion. Fill me with courage to believe you are able to heal our marriage. (Ps. 73:26)
Please heal our deep wounds, God. Let our automatic reactions be transformed to humility, gentleness and patience. (Jer. 17:14, Eph. 4:2)
Help me love _____ and help him love me. Please encourage us with testimonies of Your faithfulness in other marriages. (Ps 121:1, Luke 8:39)
God’s Word is the Sword of the Spirit, a most effective weapon in the spiritual battle. As you pray in agreement with God’s Word, you are activating your armor and renewing your mind. It will transform you into one who delights in the man you’ve chosen to marry. I’m living proof of that. Something else that really helped was learning to see David through God’s eyes. It is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned as a wife. Seeing your husband through his Creator’s eyes can make all the difference in your marriage.
Prayer is such a powerful tool to heal a broken marriage! No matter what stage of marriage you’re in, praying for your spouse is a MUST. Not sure what to pray for, or how to pray? To get you started, you can click here for a free download of Marriage Armor for the #PrayingBride—Seeing Him Through God’s Eyes. It’s a sample chapter of Jennifer’s new book, Prayers for New Brides: Putting on God’s Armor After the Wedding Dress.