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Every marriage has hard periods, especially in our current times. You may have tried counseling, reading self-help books, and talking it over. But have you tried the Bible yet?
There is no source that is for your marriage like God is for your marriage. He is behind you 100 percent. He wanted you to be married to each other, and he wants you to treat each other with love.
But how can I, you might wonder, when all this has gone on? You may feel far away from loving your spouse. You may feel bitter. You may believe you hate them.
Let’s take a look at the Love Chapter, 1 Corinthians 13.
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
That’s quite a list of ways we should behave when we love each other. And maybe you feel your spouse has let you down in one of these areas. The things is, we’re still supposed to act with love. Even if he didn’t protect you, you need to have hope for the marriage, persevere for the marriage. One of the best ways to get a marriage back on track is to support him and uplift him, and let him see that’s what you are doing.
Whew. I know how difficult all this is. Let’s look at another verse.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
Love can be a challenge, especially when the marriage is rocky. But by showing love and remembering it comes from God, we can display the patience, kindness, and support needed to get things back on the right track – if we want to.
If you are feeling angry, sad, and disappointed, you may not want to act with love toward your spouse right now. That’s okay, everyone feels that way sometimes. But it’s important to pray to God and have him reveal the source of your heartache, so that you can deal with it.
If some time passes and you still have not been able to move past the feelings of anger and sadness, it may be time to call in a professional counselor. You might need to be treated for depression. Of course, that’s not always the case, so don’t feel that we’re saying you automatically need medical care. But if you have been depressed for a number of weeks, it could be something for your to check into.
1 Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
Treat your wife with….respect, and as (an) heir with you in the gift of life. What a beautiful reminder of God’s grace. Hopefully, we strong women can get past the part about the weaker partner, and move to the next phrase. We appreciate our partner’s love, respect, and support.
Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her.
Wow! Love your wife as Christ loved the church. There is no clearer message about how to love someone than this. Love her deeply, thoroughly, and forever. Be someone she can depend on. This is a beautiful, clear example of how love should work. It would be a nice comparison for those who aren’t married yet, to see if this is how they will be treated long term.
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Mark 10:8, 9 ‘And the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.
Did you have this verse spoken in your wedding ceremony? It’s a reminder that God set us for marriage to one another, and we are to remain united. He has joined our souls.
The verse is also a good reminder of another issue: allowing someone else to get between you and your spouse. Oftentimes, well-meaning people can start arguments between a married couple. They don’t mean to but they interfere with the marriage. This is not to be allowed. The second verse is a great one to quote, especially to those interfering in-laws and “I’m just concerned” friends.
Ecclesiastes 5:10 Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless.
Sometimes one partner or the other becomes obsessed with wealth. Note that it says you never have enough. If you and/or your spouse are struggling with finances due to the love of money, it’s time to repent and get yourselves back on the right track. Living a life in Christ means your priorities have shifted away from wealth and from ‘having’ onto a track of giving to others.
Loving money, or the appearance of wealth, also means you cannot love your partner in the way you should. Money has in a sense taken his place. You may even pick fights over your lack of wealth or inability to make certain purchases. Now that you’ve seen the Biblical response to that, you can take a moment to repent and ask God’s forgiveness.
Colossians 3:13,14 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
If there’s one thing a marriage needs, it’s tons of forgiveness. We are all bound to make mistakes, but God asks that we not keep score. Instead forgive and be sure to forget your spouse’s “wrongdoing.” In time, you too will make a mistake and you’ll appreciate that he will forgive you easily.
Ephesians 4:31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Sometimes we’re so upset with our spouse that it boils over. We talk about them to anyone who’ll listen – usually friends and family. We say terrible things about them.
But this verse calls us to forgive as Christ forgives us. We need to stop tearing them down, and build them up.
1 Corinthians 16:14 Do everything in love.
If we only had one verse to share, this would be it. When everything we do comes from a place of love, the marriage becomes easier.
You may feel there is no way out when your marriage is struggling. But there is always a way, if both sides are committed to it. There is plenty of room to change your behavior and act from a place of love. It’s hard, especially if you feel you have been wronged. Many people state that “only with the strength of the Lord” they were able to change.
God intended for us to be married, and he made marriage a blessed state. By guarding against the interference of others, living as the Bible teaches, and trying to always respond in love, you can go a long way in saving and safeguarding your marriage.