Marriage isn’t easy. Whether you’ve been married a long time or a short time - you know it’s the truth! No matter how good your marriage is, you and your spouse will go through times of drought. Why? Because your spouse was never meant to satisfy you completely . . . only Jesus can love perfectly.
Happiness in marriage is not found when both partners are devoted to having the other partner provide all the happiness for them. Jesus must have this foundational position in your marriage. Being a faithful, wise, and loving spouse ultimately relies upon your choice to be faithful to God. When a husband or wife is unlovable or unable to be made happy, the marriage can only survive when you find hope and happiness in God’s strength, power, and glory.
Before you can ever know the deep security and confidence God intends for you to enjoy as a couple, you need to be certain in your heart that your relationship is rooted in a love that will never give up. Good things are possible because a bond exists between you, and God will not let you ignore it. He created the marriage bond—that solemn covenant—to be unbreakable.
So what do you do when you think things have gotten off-track in your relationship? When you feel the love fading?
Remember, love is a choice, not a feeling. You may not currently feel like you’re in love with your spouse, but because of the commitment you once made, you must choose to love and show it by your actions. You will find that the feelings will follow.
But what if you realize you’ve hit a roadblock in your marriage that you can’t get past on your own. You may need someone to step in and help you navigate the journey of healing to repair the damages and hurts in your marriage. A counselor could also be part of your team in helping you work through the rebuilding process.
Unsure if it’s time to add a counselor to your team? Ask yourself these three questions:
What is the problem?” At first glance, the answer is obvious: It’s the trial itself - stress, arguments, financial troubles, illness, etc. But here’s our point. First, the problem isn’t either one of you--you are on the same side and you are battling this problem together.
“What do we need from each other?” After you have made the decision to battle your problems together, ask yourselves what kind of help you need to solve them. Identify areas where you have the strength and know-how to support each other. Do you need the other to step in with a decision? Do you need some space? How about comfort and encouragement? Perhaps you need your spouse to brainstorm with you or to seek God’s truth with you in his Word and through prayer.
What kind of outside help do we need?” Resolving a trial or crisis is often beyond your ability and resources. In the case of marriage-threatening trills, in fact, this is always the case. God wants to put other people in your life to lift you up. Your task at this stage can be as concrete as making a list of the people you need to talk to who can help you in some way. Or getting recommendations for a qualified, trustworthy Christian counselor.
No matter what the situation, we want to encourage you that great marriages are often forged through difficult trials. Whatever you may be facing in your marriage right now, let the words of James 1:2-3 be both instruction and comfort: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
It’s easy to love in the good times. But when our marriage comes under intense testing, we still have in our possession what really matters: A love that won’t quit. No matter where our trials take us, we have each other.