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Marriage is not easy. I understand. Prior to your wedding you had some control regarding the time you spent together. Prior to your wedding there were certain things about the way the person you married lives that you did not know. Now you are finding those things frustrating and maybe even irritating.
What do you do now? Here are 3 important truths for every troubled marriage.
#1. Remember that you are not alone
You are not alone in at least two different ways.
First, you are not alone in the sense that there have been many couples who had a rough year or two of marriage. I have been married for 22 years now, but I still remember our pre-marriage counselor telling us that year one could be rough. I think there is a certain amount of hope in this. The Bible reminds us that there is no temptation that is unique (1 Corinthians 10:13). What you are experiencing can change.
Second, you are not alone in the sense that Christ is with you. He is constantly loving you and giving you grace. In fact, God’s grace and love are likely operating in ways that you cannot see. It may even be true that God’s grace operates primarily behind the scenes. But it is there regardless. Again, that is comforting and hopeful.
You are not on an island. The Lord is with you and the Lord is working in your life.
#2. Rely on the Lord’s grace and strength
Knowing that the Lord is with you and that many other couples have experienced difficulty does not change much by itself. But learning something is not all you can do.
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The Lord tells us to come boldly before his throne of grace so that we would receive mercy and grace to help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). You are in need. You need the Lord’s grace and strength to fill you. You need his grace to endure, what you believe is unjust or unkind treatment from your spouse. You need his grace to respond graciously when your spouse does something or says something you find hurtful.
The Lord is the perfect person to go to in the midst of hurt. He suffered much and he honored God in the midst of that suffering. Follow his example and rely on his strength to do the same thing.
Many young couples look to their spouse to make them happy and fill their heart with joy. While a spouse can do SOME of that, our primary source of joy and happiness comes from our walk with the Lord Jesus. He is our savior. He is our hero.
The sooner you learn to find your strength in the Lord, the sooner your anger and bitterness will subside and you will begin to see the blessings that your spouse gives you.
#3. Seek additional help
Your church is not comprised of perfect people. The church is a group of broken people that Jesus has restored. Sometimes couples are able to work out their struggles without outside help, but many times it is helpful to have someone else to help you.
It is much easier to help someone at the beginning of the conflict than it is to help someone later. The reason is that time does not heal all wounds. In fact, once the seed of bitterness germinates in your heart time only makes it worse.
Having marital difficulty is very painful, but I want you to know that there is hope. There is hope in the Lord and his Word. The more you focus on your walk with God and stop focusing on the failures of your spouse, the readier you will be to learn and grow. There are also many godly couples and individuals who would be happy to help you experience the joys and blessings that God designed marriage to have.
Rob Green is the author of Tying the Knot: A Premarital Guide to a Strong and Lasting Marriage (New Growth Press). He is the pastor of counseling and seminary ministries at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN. Green also serves on the council board of the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He and his wife, Stephanie, have three children. Learn more about Rob Green’s ministry work at blogs.faithlafayette.org/