In my mind’s eye I see myself standing in front of Eric as we made our vows to each other over 18 years ago. Uttering the words…
For Better or For Worse
In Sickness and In Health
Til death due us part
This eager and in-love bride would have never thought in a million years that my life would consist of more worse years than better years. Girl, life is hard!
And the In Sickness and In Health part? Well how ironic that as I type this I am sick. Again. My health is fragile. (After many years of doctors and treatments and past health history, we’ve come to the conclusion that when I was adopted at birth, I was probably a drug baby. So, yeah, I have issues. If you happen to be living in the land of chronic-ill health, just subscribe below and get my free ebook, In Sickness and In Health: Dealing with Chronic Illness in Marriage, for some encouragement and practical advice.
The first year of mine and Eric’s marriage was absolutely glorious. If you’re a new bride reading this and you’re struggling, don’t be discouraged. Someday I’m going to put together on-line course or write a book just for you, because new wives need to learn a thing or two about how to have a thriving, Christ-centered marriage.
Now, I happen to be a firm believer that the Creator of Marriage knows how to do marriage the right way. Which is contrary to the world’s way. Way contrary.
And it’s contrary to our feelings. Way contrary!
But you’ve got to seek out this wisdom and then learn how to apply it with a man. A man who is clearly not a woman. We are different genders and therefore, we don’t always ‘get’ each other.
But marriage, the way God intended, is a beautiful and glorious experience. However, life is not. And being that I write to the Christian woman, you need to be wise and discerning about the Enemy of Marriage. His name is Satan and he wants to destroy your love story.
So, let’s recap for just a sec. And let’s address our perspective because sometimes our thinking and emotions are not in line with the Bible.
1. God meant marriage to be a gift.
Perspective: Marriage is a good thing! It’s not a ball and chain.
Question: Do you appreciate your gift of marriage? I’m sure when you were preparing for your wedding day you were beyond ecstatic to marry that man of yours!
2. God is the Author of Marriage, therefore He knows how to do marriage.
Perspective: God has all the answers to help you in your marriage. You are not alone.
Do you believe Him?
Do you turn to His word to find His Biblical Blueprint for Marriage?
Do you trust Him? Or are you trusting yourself and how you feel instead?
Have you allowed cynicism to squash all hope?
3. We, as God’s daughters, need to conform to His Word and not to this world. We need to dig for God’s truth and apply it to our marriage.
God’s truth should trump our feelings.
We should strive to apply the Trinity of Truth in marriage- which is love, forgiveness, & grace, as opposed to living out our marriage in the Trinity of Self- which is me, myself, and I.
If you don’t want to apply His truth to all areas of your life, well, that’s just fine and dandy. God’s given you free will. But, are you sure you really want to call yourself a Christian? After all, that word denotes that you are a Christ-follower.
Yep, I just typed out some tough stuff right there. I’ve done so because I’ve had some poor thinkin’. I’ve had to ask myself those exact same questions when life did not go according to me, myself, and I.
Perspective: Choose to glorify Christ in your marriage rather than yourself.
Are you applying God’s Word to your life?
Are you surrendering yourself to do His will or are you surrendering to your emotions?
4. Satan wants to destroy our marriage.
Perspective: View Satan as your enemy rather than your husband.
Do you fight the battles of this life with your husband or are you fighting against him? I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is take on a battle and go it alone. I want to pull out my sword and stand back to back with my man. My husband is my ally not my enemy.
Do you view your husband as your ally? Why or why not?
After all my years of marriage, I’ve come to the conclusion that God allows the worse in our marriage so we can experience the sweet part of better. But note that the word is better and not bitter. Did you catch that girfriend? Oh, goodness me, I can flip the bitter switch in about two seconds. But the desire of my heart is to be a better wife not a bitter wife. One wife honors God and the other wife honors self.
So, in the heartaches of life when my soul goes from being discouraged to depressed and then camps on the bank of despair, I choose better even if my circumstances clearly show things are worse. Although, I might not have the tendency to want to get out of bed that day!
Below are some tips to help you in your frustration and pain.
When Your Marriage Has More Years of Worse than Better
- Keep the right perspective and think on things that are true. God’s Word is true.
- Follow the Bible and the Holy Spirit, not your heart. Our emotions (heart) can be easily deceived.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” (Proverbs 28:26 NASB)
- Remain steadfast and persevere in those hard seasons.
- Rinse and repeat.
In due time, you’ll reap the rewards of a better marriage.
Our marital years of worse have made us stronger.
More gracious and forgiving.
All beautiful and required things for a Christ-centered marriage; the only type of marriage I want to have and the type of marriage that will require me to be in the battle.
How about you?
Live a poured out life for Christ,