Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
You may be in a season of your restoration where you doubt your marriage will ever be satisfying again. We know there are hills and valleys in life, and this may be a valley time in your marriage.
I want to be realistic with you today, and then fill you with hope.
You are going to face struggles in your marriage.
Even a restored marriage will face hardship. The Bible even tells us in 1 Corinthians 7:28, “those who marry will face many trials in this life.” Do not despair! I want you to realize that a great marriage will take work, but it is possible. You fought and stood for this marriage. Don’t give up when you are in a season of hardship.
Sometimes people will panic when a trying time comes because they fear that restoration was just a false start. That is what the enemy wants you to believe. He is the author of all lies, and he wants you to believe the lie that your marriage is hopeless.
Marriage restoration is a journey, not a destination. The rest of your lives will be spent investing in and working on your marriage. When you face struggles, you must be willing to work hard to get to a healthy place. Depending on where your relationship is, that may mean some type of professional counseling, but there are also things you can routinely do to invest in your marriage.
Your restored marriage is a new relationship. Most couples say they didn’t return to the spouse they once had. There were new areas that needed forgiveness, grace that needed to be offered, and other things.
I want to give you a few tips for keeping a short record of wrongs as you continue to work on your marriage.
You may be surprised to hear how many people tell us they let up on praying for their spouse once restoration happened. That is the time to continue to pray over your marriage because the devil will be trying to cause confusion. Don’t ever stop praying for your spouse.
Get to the root of the problem –
If you are snapping at your spouse because the garbage didn’t get taken out or a bill didn’t get paid, it is usually not about the surface issue. There is possibly an underlying issue that has been ignored. When you are working on your marriage, you need to be willing to be transparent about the frustration you are facing. Nothing will be resolved until you get to the root of the problem.
Be honest –
Getting to that root means you need to be honest and willing to accept honesty from your spouse. Don’t expect your spouse to be a mind-reader and instinctively know what is bothering you.
Find a loving way to communicate your frustrations. You may even need to schedule a time when you can both focus and have space to talk about the issue.
Being honest also means that when your spouse is honest with you, there should be a consideration about their feelings, and it must go both ways.
Fight fair –
It is possible to have a marriage that doesn’t revolve around arguing. Tension in marriage is inevitable, but fighting doesn’t have to happen. There doesn’t have to be raised voices and anger. Make a plan so you both know how to handle tension. If you or your spouse have a short fuse, discuss ways to approach tension so it doesn’t escalate.
If fighting is an issue in your marriage, agree to have a cooling-off time before discussing the root problem. Make those plans ahead of time so that when the issue arises, you both know how you will handle things.
You can avoid so much heartache by finding ways to strengthen your marriage little by little. God can be glorified through your restored marriage.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
If your marriage has slipped back to a place with deep-rooted anger or sinful actions such as abuse or infidelity, I want to encourage you to get outside help. Having someone who can guide you to a place of safety and healing in your family is helpful. It is possible to heal, and the testimony of your family is proof of that!
There is hope because of Jesus Christ!
If you need to find a Christian counselor, you can search the American Association of Christian Counselors.