How I Fight To Keep My Marriage Strong
By: Valerie Murray
I’ve been married to my best friend for 20 years! And friends, let me tell you, our marriage hasn’t been easy! It’s been hard work. There have been times when I honestly didn’t know if we would last. Times when I just wanted to give up because it was hard and painful.
But now I’m so thankful for the healing I see when I look back. I see how through time our marriage has grown and is still growing. Through time, brokenness finds healing, a heart learns to trust again and true redemption is possible.
God has been the glue that keeps my marriage together. I love the triangle graphic. The top of the triangle is God and the sides are the husband and wife. As each spouse grows closer to God, they, in turn, grow closer to each other.
And in order to stay close to the Lord, we need to fight the good fight of faith. We need to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.
The Bible says:
“Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”
1 Timothy 6:12
I believe we need to do the same for our marriages.
And so I’ve learned over the course of my marriage when hard times come, I get ready to do battle. Battle for my marriage. Battle for my faith. Here are some ways I’ve learned to fight for my marriage.
Here are ways to FIGHT in order to keep your marriage strong:
Know who the real enemy is.
And it’s usually not my spouse.
Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil.
When we understand those unseen forces at work, we can see the problem through a different lens.
And since my husband and I both love the Lord, this usually brings us back together.
Prayer is our most powerful weapon.
We must know who the real enemy is and put on the armor of God.
Pray for yourself.
Read the Word.
Pray scripture verses over your marriage.
Make a prayer journal and pray over every area of your marriage. I have seen God work little miracles in my everyday life in my relationship with my husband through the power of prayer.
Make sure your marriage is healthy.
Every marriage will have its problems. The Bible encourages us to seek counsel when we’re struggling. Sometimes we just need the support of others to lead and guide us when we don’t know what to do, how to forgive, or how to change. Often we come to a place where we need outside help for issues we can’t resolve on our own. If you are at a place in your marriage where you just can’t communicate or get along, seek counsel.
Do everything you can to get your marriage to a healthy place. God will help you.
*A spouse who is being abused can try their best to be a peacemaker and forgive but the problems just persist. The marriage needs outside help. Please get help and remove yourself from harm. Abuse of any kind goes against all that God is, and you are not required to take it.
Don’t let your feelings control you.
Feelings, whoa oh feelings…. Boy, can they paint a bleak picture and cause you to see your life through a dim cloud of despair. Feelings can fool us into making all kinds of assumptions. There have been days when I felt like my husband was THE enemy (as mentioned above). I could only see him through my negative lens.
And then a few days would pass and those feelings would fade and I’d begin to see the bigger picture of reality. My husband loves me. He cares for me. But sometimes I convince myself that he doesn’t.
I’ve learned to appreciate my husband’s differences and understand the way he shows love.
Stand firm in who you are in Christ.
When my husband disagrees with my opinion on something or is critical of me, I don’t need to let it affect how I feel about myself. Because I know the truth of who I am in Christ.
I stand firm in the fact that the love of Christ completes me.
I don’t need my husband to show love to me in a certain way anymore in order to feel complete, because, for one, I know my husband loves me….and I also know that I’m completely loved by Christ.
I’m humbled when I remember the grace that God has shown me. I’m humbled when my husband shows me grace and forgives me. And sometimes I realize I don’t give grace as I should.
God’s grace has allowed the power of forgiveness and continued restoration to take place in my marriage.
God’s grace gives us the power of the Holy Spirit to love as Christ loved us. And that kind of love can help restore a marriage.
This is huge. Forgiveness occurs every single day. We are two imperfect people. We sin. We fail. We disappoint.
Maybe you’ve been wronged and your spouse isn’t repentant. I’m so sorry for your pain. Bring it to the Lord. Find counsel. God can change hearts. He gives us wisdom when we don’t know how to handle a situation. All we have to do is ask.
I’ve learned forgiveness doesn’t mean you don’t work for restoration. It doesn’t mean you ignore problems that need solving.
Forgiveness means you work to restore brokenness.
It’s part of the good fight to make our marriage strong. I know this may not be possible for every marriage…but I do believe if both partners are willing to fiercely fight for their marriage God can redeem.
God created marriage to be a beautiful companionship. But sometimes we need to fight for it.
Valerie Murray is a wife of 20 years and a busy mom to 4 energetic children. She writes at Cord of 6 about keeping family strong through Christ. Her heart’s desire is to offer hope to others and declare the glory of God in her life through her writing. Her mission is to offer encouragement to struggling marriages, overwhelmed moms and people striving to face their fears and know their worth. Coffee, chocolate, and a good movie always make her happy!