When fixing up a house, sometimes things go wrong. You may find broken pipes, termites, or other hidden problems that you previously did not expect. Unexpected problems and setbacks can really mess up your budget and your plans. In marriage, you can expect unexpected problems to occur, because they will. These problems come in all shapes and sizes. The following are some examples:
- Broken marriage covenant
- Grief/ loss
- Physical/ emotional problems
- Faith/ church problems
You can restore and recover from problems in your marriage with God’s help.
How You Can Overcome Problems in Your Marriage
When Things Go Wrong with Your Fixer Upper
1. Make Sure You Keep Growing in Your Faith in God
Dangers of Having a Stagnant Faith
Your faith should always be growing. There are times when my faith regresses or I just settle for where I am at. However, growing your faith is critical for being a thriving christian and having a godly marriage for that matter. God is always speaking to me about something I need to correct in my life and heart. Therefore, when you respond to the working of the Spirit in your life, that is when your faith grows.
Also, when you are actively responding to the Spirit you are growing in ways that you may or may not see. If you have ever planted a garden from seed, then you know what this is all about. For weeks before you see anything, the seed is growing in the ground where you cannot see. In like manner, faith grows sometimes for weeks or months before you see the results. God is working as long as your heart is willing and open to Him.
The danger is that you settle for a stagnant faith and you are not able to respond right to problems in your life and your marriage. The Bible admonishes Christians to add to their faith. Read the following passage carefully.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.II Peter 1: 5-8
Learn To Be Consistent in Seeking the Lord
There is great value in doing things everyday to have a relationship with Lord even when you having problems. At times it may feel like you are wasting your time, but in reality God is working in your heart in ways that you may not be able to comprehend at the moment.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.Psalm 1: 3
You should be considering your relationship the Lord in the long run. Just like that tree that slowly grows outward and its roots become more established in places that you cannot see. A tree with a good root system can withstand storms better. Likewise, if you faith in the Lord has a deep root system you can withstand the storms of life better.
The following are examples of ways you can consistently grow your faith:
- Systematically read the Bible.
- Pray through Bible verses or passages.
- Set a specific block of time everyday to focus on the Lord.
- Memorize relevant Bible verses that are relevant to your life right now.
- Listen to audio Bibles.
- Faithfully attend Church even when it is not convenient.
- Actively engage in listening to sermons. (take notes, ask yourself questions, etc.)
Don’t Allow Problems to Distract from Your Faith
If you are not careful, times of problems will lead you to neglect your faith and your relationship with the Lord. Often, in these times we all have a tendency to question what or why certain things are going on. Therefore, it is important that you give yourself opportunities for God to speak to you. You give yourself those opportunities every time you stop and focus on your walk and your relationship with God. Even when you think that God is not hearing you, if you are His child, rest assured that He is.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.I John 5: 14-15
2. Stay Together
Through Outside Problems
Problems have the potential to tear your marriage apart, if you allow them to. Recently, some friends of ours went through a terrible tragedy. My wife and I both said to each other that it could really mess up their marriage and we hoped that they would let someone help them. Sure enough, it was not longer before their marriage fell apart. Whatever the reason, it seems to be true that outside problems can ruin a happy marriage.
Have a determination that you are going to stay together and honor your marriage covenant even through grief and loss. The hardest thing I have ever had to do, was bury our stillborn child. All the tears, sleepless nights, and grief just seemed to pile on while the world just seemed to continue on like nothing ever happened. However, we had each other and that is what marriage is all about- having each other and being there for each other when there is no one else in the world who understands.
Through Internal Problems
Why are we so shocked when we find out that our spouse has a sin problem? After all, you struggle with temptations everyday, and the Bible teaches clearly that we all have a sin nature. When your spouse makes a mistake, be there for them like you would want them to be there for you.
Also, consider that even though your spouse may be wrong, you may have contributed to their failure. You could have prevented them from falling, had you been there to hold them. Before you point a judgmental finger at your spouse, point that finger at yourself. This principle was taught by Jesus in the great sermon on the mount.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.Matthew 7: 1-2
When you sign up for marriage, you sign up for the better and for the worse that you could experience together. In those worse times, the commitment and covenant of marriage shines. It is like your relationship with God, you cannot fully appreciate His forgiveness and mercy until you experience it. In the marriage covenant, the forgiving spouse learns the value and joy of learning to forgive like God while the forgiven spouse learns the value and joy of being forgiven. This is what marriage was made for, this is what it means to truly become one, to share the heartache of failure and the joy of restoration together.
3. Believe in God’s Plan
Trust that God Has a Plan
You don’t have to be around me long to understand that I love having a plan, even if it is a flawed one. God always has plan, and it is never flawed. Even when you are having problems in your life and in your marriage, God has an ultimate plan and design for it. God has a purpose. Oftentimes, that purpose is to make us more like Jesus, and it is always for our ultimate good.
That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:I Peter 1: 7
Accept that God is in Control of Your Life
Sometimes God allows things in your life and marriage. You have to trust that He is in control of your life. If you have prayed and things have not changed, keep praying, but learn to accept that God is allowing something in your life and ask him for Grace. This is another principle that we learn from God’s Word. The apostle Paul had what he called, “a thorn in the flesh” that He asked the Lord to take three times. After this he accepted it as God’s will and pressed on for God’s glory.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.II Corinthians 12: 9
How you can overcome problems in your marriage:
- Make Sure You Keep Growing in Your Faith
- Stay Together
- Believe in God’s Plan