The movies, media, and culture gives us the idea that when two people marry they live “happily ever after.” I can still see Cinderella’s carriage as she and her Prince drive away. I can see the sign on the back of the beautiful carriage, “And they lived happily ever after.” Being a new believer when I got married I truly thought marriage would be easy. After all you had two believers coming together. LOL!
Through the years I realized that there were two problems with that.
First of all there were two sinners coming together who were focused on themselves. 1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves.”
Secondly marriage is to glorify God. It is to represent a picture of Christ and His love for the church. It is not for MY happiness.
Companionship and happiness are all secondary. Pleasing God is my first priority. God never told me life would be without trials. He tells us “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
If our lives were to be without trial and tribulation we would not have a need for a Savior.
So how do I live with a sinful spouse? Oh wait a minute! I’m a sinner too.
1. I need to ask God to reveal if there are areas in my life I need to work on.
I can only fix myself. I can not change my spouse. Only God can do that. For years I thought I was the one that could change him. If I just said this or would do this. As you wait on the Lord pray for your spouse. For me I find it hard to stay mad at someone that I am praying for. I ask God to give me a Christ like love for that person, this being my spouse. One of the books I love and recommend is The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omaritian.
A give away in celebration of launching my new blog Two books for two winners!
[See my other giveaway here!]
Giveaway is limited to USA only. Giveaway ends June 5, 2015 11:59 p.m. EST. You will be notified by email when you win!
2. I need to be in the word daily.
I need to renew my mind daily. I need to focus on how Christ wants me to interact with my spouse.
“To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds.”
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 ESV
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV
How do I spend time in His Word if I am a mom with young children?
I know how it is with sleepless nights and the demand of young children. I do remember those days. When I would be up in the middle of the night to nurse a child, comfort a sick child, etc., I would look at it as an opportunity. It was quiet and I would just rest in the fact that God gave me this time to pray for my family and friends. As far as engrafting the word I would put Scripture where I did the dishes, and put it on 3×5 cards on the bathroom mirror so I saw it when I would brush my teeth. You can even listen to the audio Bible.
3. Consider my spouse’s needs above my own.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
Phil 2:3 ESV
When you do that you are showing Christ like love which speaks volumes. Do thoughtful things without him asking. When my husband is working in the yard or doing a job around the house I take a cold glass of lemonade to him. That encourages him and tells him that “I appreciate you”. I know that showing grace and love to a person encourages them more than nagging and criticizing.
I am not telling you to be a doormat but to love as Christ did. (see note at end of post)***
Remember love is not a feeling. In Matthew 23:37-40 it tells us the greatest commandment.
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
4. Spend time with your spouse in the word and in prayer.
Before my husband went to work we would spend time doing a devotional and praying about concerns of the day. If the morning does not fit your schedule then try to find time in the evening. We are doing a devotional now called Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon.
You may be wondering, “What if my husband is not a believer, or does not feel comfortable doing a devotional with me?”
My advice is ask once, “Would you like to do this devotional? I would be glad to read it.” If he says no just leave it and pray God would change his heart. If he is not comfortable ask him, “Do you mind if I pray for you before you head off to work?” If he wants nothing to do with it you make sure you feed your soul and during that time pray for your husband. The Power of a Praying Wife is a great encouragement and speaks to that.
5. Spend time with your spouse.
Plan weekly dates. They do not have to cost anything except time. You can plan one week and he can plan the next. Make sure you write it on your calendar as a reminder. You can do free things like:
- go for a walk
- a picnic
- a bike ride
- Look in your local newspaper for things to do for free. A local art exhibit, concert, and others.
- Romantic movie at home with your favorite snacks.
- Make a time capsule with your favorite memories. Write a love letter to each other to put in the capsule. Take a picture of your children and or pets and recent home to put in the capsule.
- Reminisce of how you met and the fond memories surrounding your dating time.
- Do a game night.
Send me some of your favorite ideas for free date nights
“What if I have young children and I have to pay for a babysitter?”
What I did with another gal from our church when our children were younger was start a baby sitting co-op within our church. We used points instead of money. You can also swap babysitting with a good friend who you trust.
6. Come to an agreement.
When my husband and I had concerns came up with agreements, and put scriptures with them. For example,
Bob and Cathy will use kind, respectful, and edifying words when we talk to each other.
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”
My husband and I celebrated our 31st anniversary on May 12th, 2015. That is nothing short of a miracle. It is certainly not a testimony to our greatness but to God’s faithfulness and to answered prayer. We love each other now more than the day we were married. That was not always the case. Marriage is HARD work. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy what God has joined together. Don’t give the enemy the victory. Your marriage is worth fighting for.
I know everyone is walking a different walk. I am in no way trying to judge. May the Lord richly bless you as you live out the life God has set before you.
“What God has joined together let no man separate.” Mark 10:9
**Note: This article is written for marriages with a healthy relationship. I am not advocating staying in a physically abusive relationship or an emotionally destructive one. If you are in such a relationship my heart goes out to you. Seek Godly counsel.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is not connected with any social media platform.
Subscribe to get my blog updates directly in your inbox!