A Marriage at Rest: Finding Peace and Balance Where You Least Expect It

Updated: Oct 5

Rest: We All Want It. Where Do We Find It?


One Foot in Front of the Other

The long, slow incline of road stretches out before me as I plod up the last hill of my run in the country. One foot in front of the other.

I come home from another successful, yet stressful, work event. Exhausted, I cross off another day past on my calendar as my eyes look to the next big occasion. I can do this, I think. One day at a time. One foot in front of the other.

I walk through the front door into a kitchen filled with dishes and an overflowing trash can, mounds of dirty laundry in the bathroom, dried food and fingerprints on every surface of the house, toys scattered over the floors. *Sigh* Ok- since my husband didn’t clean up, I will. Why can’t he just see what needs done and do it? I wish I had a day to catch up on all this house stuff. One foot in front of the other.

I sit down to write, to spend some quiet time with the Lord, to just…sit….and the fighting begins. {Door slams} “Mom, she won’t let me in the room!”

“That’s because he keeps trying to take my stuff!”

“It’s not her stuff! Grandma gave it to all of us!”

{Slap}

“OW! MOM! She hit me! Mom! Aren’t you gonna DO anything about it?!”

*BIG Sigh* I just want some peace and quiet!! I wish I had a day away from this insanity. I can’t do this.

I think back to my morning run: the long, slow incline, the uphill battle at the end. I realize I don’t even have the strength to put one foot in front of the other anymore. I must stop. No peace, no balance, I need to rest.

I Need Rest

What do you think of when you hear the word “rest”? A break, relaxation, time-out? Peace and quiet? Stillness? Serenity? There are different forms of rest. Which kind are you craving?

1) Physical rest: Maybe you just want a nap or a good night’s sleep. Sitting down for 20 minutes without having to get up... that would be wonderful.

2) Rest for your mind: Seeking a mental escape, quiet for your mind, silence the whirlwind of thoughts, throw away the mental checklist.

3) Rest for your heart and soul: Inexplicable peace amid chaos and crazy.


Maybe you’re craving one of these; maybe you are craving all three. You feel overwhelmed; every time you have something else to accomplish it feels ten times harder than it should. Everything is about to bubble over, out of your control, and when it finally does, you sit in the mess with nothing left to give and wonder, what do I do now?

Well, the next logical answer is- get some rest. Not just that, but do whatever is necessary to attain the kind of rest so desperately desired. After all, we deserve it, don’t we? We have been juggling so many responsibilities for so long, we have earned a chance to destress and escape life. We are owed rest as payback to compensate us and recuperate us.

When we have a deep desire, we tend to justify the resulting behaviors when that need isn’t met.

I’m “hangry,” someone better get me some food… stat.

I’m so tired, I just need a nap and I’ll be a nice person again.

This pigsty of a house is making me mentally exhausted- if it doesn’t get picked up soon, I’m gonna explode!

Me and I, now and soon. I need, I need, I need. We have been fighting to get the satisfaction of rest for so long. The uphill climb is becoming a slippery slope of unmet needs, wants, and expectations. It’s a slippery slope down which we are sliding. Let’s see what happens if we keep going down…

Never Gonna Get It

When a desire we have is so strong, we look for ways to satisfy it quickly.

When nothing you have tried helps you find restful contentment, what do you try next?

How do you obtain the physical, mental, heart-soul rest you’re craving?

Read the following. Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Clean the house: a place for everything and everything in its place

  • Escape: an extra glass of wine, an evening with the guys when things aren’t peaceful at home, putting in the headphones so you don’t have to listen to your kids fight, using a “sick” day for an all-day Netflix binge

  • Medication: look for the quick fix, take the pills instead of dealing with the hard stuff

  • Organize: buy the planner, make the to-do lists, get all your “ducks in a row”

  • Work out- excessively

  • Vacation, anyone?

Most of these things are not bad in themselves,

But when we start to see rest as something we must provide for ourselves, it is a red flag that, at our core, we are not trusting God to meet our needs.


We have felt the weight and strain of running after something unachievable.

We are so worn out from chasing after the rest we’re trying to catch.

We can’t put one foot in front of the other anymore.

When we strive to find rest for ourselves, taking matters into our own hands, that rest for our heart and soul… we’re never gonna get it.

Whatever piece of peace we do find will be temporarily enjoyed, then displaced until we find the next quick fix. Down, down, down the slippery slope we go.

But God…

When we seek rest, what we’re really looking for is a lack of burden. But it is, in fact, impossible for us to be free of burden. However, if we ask God to meet our needs, He promises to give us a burden that we can bear.

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

He will give us rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Let’s stop sliding down the slippery slope of seeking rest for ourselves.

HE is the answer to our weary cry for rest, so let’s learn from Him and find rest for our souls.

Wait... that’s it?

In a word, yes. Jesus is the answer. If you are a believer in Christ and have put your faith in Him, the Holy Spirit resides within to align you to God’s will.

When we seek Him, we find the kind of rest and peace only Christ can offer. Jesus says in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”


Looking at Philippians 4:19 we learn, “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Read that again: my GOD will supply EVERY need! Not only that, but He will do so richly; He will provide lavishly!

He is so good, isn’t He? Let’s take Him at His word; let’s trust in His provisions.

So, what’s next?

Have you noticed this whole time I didn’t even mention marriage at rest?

Finding peace and balance in our marriage begins when our own heart is at peace with God. If we are yoked up to something other than our Lord, we won’t find balance, peace, or rest in our own life or our marriage.

So, now that we have established our need for the kind of rest found only in relationship with God, let’s find out what burdens we are yoked with, causing us to toil, stealing our balance, peace, and rest.

Read Why am I so Tired? to help you decipher what burdens you might be carrying, what you are yoked to (or hooked up with), and what is driving your decisions.


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