My husband and I have spent a significant amount of time as an ‘island’ isolated. Due to several moves across the country that took us away from family and friends, we were basically alone for several years. We had a growing family and were struggling with a major issue in our marriage. We had no one to talk to, no one to advise us, and we weren’t sure we would make it.
My husband and I have been married for 19 years. We just celebrated our anniversary earlier this month. We’re excited that we have made it this far with every intention to make it until the day we take our breaths in heaven.
It saddens us that so many who enter into marriage today do so with the attitude that it’s a try-it-and-see kind of thing. Or, that they will only stay married as long as life is easy.
There have been times in our marriage when it was hard, when we weren’t sure if there was a solution to our problems, when we had tried everything we could think of, and we had each thought of ‘getting out’.
However, we have received so much healing from God over the years, and specifically over the last year, that we know if the Lord can heal our marriage, then He can heal any marriage!
What does it take to make a marriage work? Ha, so much!
There are many things that I could talk about and I still wouldn’t cover them all. God is still teaching me. What I can offer are just a few keys that I have discovered with much help from some god-loving, marriage-championing friends whom we met through our church.
The 3 Cs for Working On a Successful Marriage
Since we became a part of the marriage ministry in our church, we have seen commitment displayed in front of us by the leadership team and other table leaders of this ministry.
Each person is committed to their spouse. They are each committed to God and His plan for their marriage.
Look at any married couple and I guarantee you that they have been through at least one major issue in their marriage-Deaths, affairs, financial troubles, divorces, sexual abuse, strained relationships with in-laws, and so much more.
No one is perfect, and life gets tough.
The commitment to remain married to your spouse, and to do whatever it takes, can only really come from your commitment to Christ and His plan for your life. He doesn’t give up on us, and we should not be too quick to give up on our marriages. He can redeem all the baggage, junk, hurts, abuse, and hardships. Bring it to Him, commit to your marriage, and watch how God will work.
Marriage is not for the faint of heart.
A successful marriage requires energy, time, patience, and courage. We must be brave and vulnerable. Opening up to others about our deepest feelings, thoughts, hopes, and dreams can be difficult, but it is necessary if we want a close and flourishing relationship with our husbands. Be courageous! Begin to talk to your husband about your future, your hopes and dreams, the hard things.
You may be afraid of rejection, of unkind words, or that he won’t care. Especially if you have been hurt by your spouse in the past. I’ll admit to having those fears myself, and they are real. But, give it a try anyway.
You may be surprised at the changes that take place in your husband after he begins to see a real change in you. I have a long way to go, many improvements that still need to be made in my life. I’m looking to God to do that work in me. When my husband saw real change in me last fall, he began to change as well.
It has been beautiful to watch him begin to step up to lead in areas where I’ve wanted him to for years. I simply had to get out of the way, to let go of the bitterness. Be brave, have the courage to change first. Your spouse may very well follow.
“And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.”
This is a very important part of finding success in marriage. A married couple cannot remain an island unto themselves and expect to flourish. Even when things are going great we all sometimes need help managing our lives. When we are struggling, it becomes almost impossible to continue successfully if we have no one to hold up our arms.
Jumping into the marriage class at our church was a huge turning point for us. God has done some immense work in my heart. He has allowed me to completely let go of the bitterness and anger. My husband and I are able to now work on the other areas that we neglected during those many years of struggle.
It is in large part due to having a group of mentors through our ministry team. We have men and women who have been transparent about their struggles, who are committed and courageous, and who love the Lord. He has worked miracles in their marriages, and they are now pointing the way for others. These friends are our Aaron and Hur. They have come alongside us and are holding up our arms when we grow weary.
I urge you, find others to hold up your arms when you cannot hold them up yourselves. Search for community and join in!
Are you struggling in your marriage? Perhaps you have a praise to share about the work God has done in your relationship. Please share them with me! I want to pray for you and celebrate with you.
This post is featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: When You Need to Work on Your Marriage. View all of the inspirational articles on marriage HERE.
Wendy is a homeschooling mama to five who loves to encourage others along the homeschooling journey. She also considers herself a ‘foodie’and is always ready to try a new recipe in the kitchen. You will find Wendy writing about homeschooling, faith, family, food, and books over on her blog, Striving to Follow Him. Wendy is also founder of Your One Tree, a contributor blog dedicated to encouraging others to die to self daily, as well as contributing monthly over at Managing Your Blessings. Be sure to visit and connect with Wendy on Facebook and Twitter, too!
Thank you, Wendy, for encouraging us to spend quality time on our marriages as moms. It is an important part of our work as women.
When I asked Wendy if she would help me celebrate my blog anniversary with you all by guest posting, I was truly hoping she would share some wise words about marriage. She has been married longer than I and has a tremendous faith that centers her focus and guides her life-I have learned so much from her posts!
She previously shared some recipes with us, and if you are a new or beginning homeschooling mama, you will benefit from her series on starting to homeschool. Her wealth of experiences in motherhood, marriage, homeschooling and life are always beneficial! I know they have given me great tips to focus on in my life.
Hi there! Welcome to my little corner of the internet. My name is Jaimi, and I am a mom who love to encourage other mothers in the season of raising children, making a home, and staying focused on the end goals of motherhood.