So many of you have written in to share that you are trying to find hope in a difficult marriage. I’m thankful that my friend, Tiffany, is here to share about just that: how to find hope in a difficult Christian marriage. She brings a wealth of knowledge and has a heart for wives in a struggling marriage.
Are you trying to find hope for your Christian Marriage? Hope is the word I hold onto – day in and day out – through every season. Hope can breathe life into even the most difficult situation. But is Hope enough to change the course of a difficult Christian marriage? Is Hope enough to save your marriage? And if we find hope, can it work quickly enough to make those lasting changes… Now?
Honestly, I want the change yesterday. I don’t want to do the hard work of learning patience and applying it to my Christian marriage. I am in a Christian marriage specifically so that we can both have hope and faith and be on the same page and not need patience. Anyone else?
It didn’t take long to realize that – it doesn’t matter if my marriage is a Christian marriage, an unequally yoked marriage or anything in-between – marriage is difficult. Relationships are difficult – but somehow adding marriage to that relationship adds a new level of difficulty.
No one wakes up on morning saying, “I’d like my Christian marriage to become difficult”!
How does a Christian Marriage become a Difficult Christian Marriage?
For us it was difficult from the start, we both came from divorced families filled with dysfunction. Neither of us had a clue how to compromise or set realistic expectations. When tragedy struck our lives we didn’t know how to cling to God and each other – instead we fought each other and tore a rift that caused a difficult season of marriage to morph into a difficult marriage headed toward divorce.
All of our stories are different, but if you are married, odds are you have weathered Difficult Season or two. The question I answer all the time is in different variations of this:
“How do I keep my difficult season from leading us to divorce?”
My answer is always the same.
Hope breathes life in ways nothing else can. There are stories all around of God showing up and changing the direction of situations that seemed hopeless. Find them, read them and be renewed in your faith in His miracle-working abilities. I love this story from Luke 7:
Luke 7:11-18 Soon afterwards He (Jesus) went to a city called Nain; and His disciples were going along with Him, accompanied by a large crowd. Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizable crowd from the city was with her.
When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her, and said to her, “Do not weep.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!” The dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.
Fear gripped them all, and they began glorifying God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and, “God has visited His people!” This report concerning Him went out all over Judea and in all the surrounding district.
The Same Jesus that Raised the Dead 2000 years ago is alive today. Find Hope.
When I say, “find Hope” I don’t mean ignore reality, live in denial, naively believe that everything will be a fairy tale one day.
Hope is about believing that God is alive and active today.
Hope is about knowing in your heart of hearts that God cares for you and your situation.
Knowing that in God’s caring for your situation He will come and move in power to change the direction of that situation.
Hope is about waiting on God to work.
Knowing that He can.
Believing that He will.
Praying diligently – fighting for your marriage instead of fighting in your marriage.
Allowing God to move and change things in you first.
Hope is powerful.
I understand the hesitation to hope when you are knee-deep in a difficult season or nearing divorce in a difficult Christian marriage. It feels like it will hurt too much to hope – even knowing Jesus Raises the dead. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 can help us by offering a perspective shift about what we are hoping in.
Forgive me for a moment – I am a Bible nerd and LOVE Word Studies. Each of the 8 words in this passage is an action verb and has a specific meaning in the life of a Disciple of Christ. If you think they are repetitious I encourage you to click through and see what they all mean and how to apply them.
Love is Patient, love is Kind and is not Jealous, Love does not Brag and is not Arrogant, does not Disrespect or Act unbecomingly; it does not Seek its own, is not provoked,does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not Rejoice in unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth; Bears All Things, Believes All Things, Hopes All things and Endures all things. Love Never Fails.
The last 4 verbs in this passage are like the final verse in a powerful song. They sum up this picture of what it means to love others (not just in marriage but in every relationship) the way God loves us.
And it’s hard to Hope all things. We get hurt so often when we hold out hope in people.
I would suggest to you that we may not be able to Hope in people… fickle fallible people… but we can Hope all things in God!
When I can’t hope all things about my husband I can Hope/believe all things in God.
- God is for me and our family.
- His plans are to prosper us and give us a future.
- God will listen when I pray.
- He will be just a prayer away if I seek Him with my whole heart.
- God will never leave me or forsake me.
- I can trust in God with all my heart and He won’t break it.
- The same Jesus who raised people from the dead can resurrect my marriage.
Find Hope. Hold onto it. Remind yourself often who you are hoping in. Surround yourself with other women who are holding onto Hope. God can change any situation. That same God (Jesus) who raised 3 people and then himself from the dead – Loves you, sweet sister. He cares about you and your cares. Cry out to Him and beg Him to speak. Don’t let go until He has given you a word to hold onto!
Praying for you even now!
Tiffany Montgomery of HopeJoyInChrist.com is a Jesus Girl with a passion and Equip Wives and Moms with Practical tools to Grow in Faith through Biblical Discipleship. Connect with her on Facebook and Pinterest.
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