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Hope for a Hurting Marriage- Appetizers and Desserts

15 “Bite-sized” Bits of Wisdom

to Quickly Bring Hope to Your Marriage

If you followed the A Marriage at Rest series, you may remember the Appetizers and Dessert post. I listed many “delicacies” not found in the "main courses" of the previous posts, but explained they were just as nourishing and important; too rich to leave out.

Consider this post from the same "restaurant." Except the appetizers and desserts will focus on hope rather than rest.

So, the next time you’re out to eat with the one you love, enjoy a yummy appetizer (mozzarella cheese sticks, perhaps?) or delectable dessert (warm apple pie a-la-mode?), and be reminded: there is always hope for your marriage (no matter the hurt you may feel).

And now, in no particular order, some truth nuggets for you. I pray each one brings you blessing and encouragement.

Food for Thought

1) Look for truth where only truth is found: in God’s Word.

2) We must see our spouse as our priority, NOT our problem.

3) Take note:

As Christians, we do NOT have the option to allow our personal preferences or personality attributes take precedence over what God’s Word asks of us.

No part of us should be so “set in stone” that we aren’t yielding to God. We’re asked to be clay (Jeremiah 18:1-4); moldable by God’s Word as it impacts our heart to the point of change.

4) Most of us don’t see idols of the heart for what they really are. We think, It’s just the way God made me, or I’m the type of person who really needs (fill in the blank); if I don’t get it, I’m a bear. If we don’t identify our idols Biblically, we won’t deal with them.

5) To trust God, you need to first KNOW God.

6) Beware:

The 50/50 deal in marriage (you give 50%, I’ll give 50%), will fail 100% of the time.

It makes marriage about keeping score. In a scoreboard marriage…

· Acceptance is based on merit

· Action is based on feeling

· Weakness leads to rejection

Therefore, God designed roles for husband and wife. Our marriage thrives when we give 100% effort to fulfilling those roles (even if our spouse doesn’t!).

7) What is my role if my spouse is deep in sin? God wants our faithfulness even when it comes at a cost. Sin is going to affect every marriage. If we let it, it will isolate us from our spouse. But God has specifically and intentionally placed us with our spouse to help us BOTH become more like Him. He is not surprised by our spouse’s sin, He anticipated it, and covered it with the blood of Jesus. He did the same for us.

So, when our spouse is deep in sin…

  • Don’t ignore it

  • Don’t be quick to judge; check your own motives (Matthew 7:3-5)

  • Extend forgiveness (even when it’s not offered or asked for)

  • Seek forgiveness (even for your 5%)

  • LOVE THEM anyway, love them through it

8) When we spend our time, money, energy, and attention to obtain our idols, we may gain short-term fulfillment, but it will not last, thus we spend more time, money, energy, and attention to get more fulfillment. Toiling, toiling, toiling. Stop the cycle. Keep your eyes fixed on HIM; HE has what we need for an abundant life.

9) Do you ever feel like your spouse is “in your way”, metaphorically speaking? That’s a red flag that you need a change of heart. Seek to please GOD, not yourself or your spouse.

10) Parenting like the Heavenly Father is life-giving.

11) In parenting, many people mistake they’re spouse’s silence for laziness, or think them uncaring, when in fact they are in silent disagreement. When we disagree, and one person is demanding their way or the highway, the other often shifts into neutral. We must stay engaged- with our spouse and our children. Have the hard conversations; don’t agree to disagree.

Getting on the same page with your spouse on a divisive topic is as simple as researching the pages of God’s Word.

12) You can and should be a Godly example… no matter your spouse’s behavior.

13) Sometimes the most obvious answer to a question isn’t the right one. Seek God’s will in every situation.

14) Behavioral changes LOOK aligned with God’s Word, but quickly fail when those changes aren’t coming from the heart. Trust and faith in the Lord, reliance on His love, knowing He is more than enough to bring about last change, drives our desire to obey His Word. Obedience to Him leads to lasting heart change.

15) God can create a family of faith through us. Our marriage can be a legacy. It can look different for our children and grandchildren and their children, generation after generation.

It starts with faith (which begins with really knowing God).

Ask God to increase your faith in Him; it’s a prayer He will most surely answer.

Vow to change: an encouraging call to action

Today’s challenge is a simple one. It can be done by anyone, at any time, in any marriage: hurting or hopeless, growing or thriving.

Take a moment and ask God the following questions:

  • What specifically do you want me to do for my spouse today?

  • What specifically do you want me to do for my spouse this week?

  • What specifically do you want me to do for my spouse this month?

  • What specifically do you want me to do for my spouse this month?

Write down what God is speaking to your heart when you ask Him these things.

Prayerfully commit to serving your spouse in those specific ways whether they deserve it or not. Ask God to help you be His hands and feet to your spouse, loving them how they need it most.

Then watch how He transforms your marriage from hurting and hopeless to healthy and whole in HIM.


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