Today I am excited to have Sarah Geringer as my guest! She is currently writing a blog series on loving your spouse in a difficult marriage and is here to offer encouragement for anyone in the midst of marriage trials.
My husband and I had a whirlwind romance. We met in February 2000 and were married by the end of that same year. I discovered deep problems only a few weeks after the wedding, and they are still popping up, 18 years later.
You may have been through past seasons of trials in your own marriage. You may be enduring painful trials today. Whatever your marriage trial is, there is always hope, joy, and peace for you with Jesus. He is your lasting hope that will carry you through the trials you face.
Here are nine scriptures that have helped me stand strong in my marriage trials, and I pray they will help you stand strong too.
9 Biblical Tips for Standing Strong in Marriage Trials
1. God is your perfect spouse.
“The Creator is your Husband.” (Isaiah 54:5 NLT)
The truth is, no spouse can ever meet all our needs. Marriage trials often result from unmet needs in one or both hearts. However, God is waiting to fill your need, and He will fill it perfectly. Give Him the desires of your heart in prayer, and watch how He meets them through His presence, His comfort, and His peace.
2. Be committed to your marriage.
“The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:23-24 NIV)
God ordained marriage to last for life. Once you said “I do,” His will has been for you to stay married. Refuse to let the word “divorce” come up in your conversations. In almost every case, God wants to you stand firm inside your marriage during your trials. He will strengthen you, because His intended design for marriage is so strong. He will help you stay committed.
(Note: I’m not referring to marriages with ongoing patterns of abuse or infidelity. Professional help is essential for those kinds of marriage trials. I greatly benefitted from years of counseling, and I highly recommend seeking out a Christian counselor in your area.)
3. Be prepared for spiritual attacks.
“Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” (Ephesians 6:11 NLT)
God will equip you for battle with all the armor described in Ephesians 6:13-18. Realize that you aren’t fighting against your spouse; you’re fighting against a spiritual enemy who wants to see you fail. (See Ephesians 6:12.) With God’s help, you will stand firm and glorify Him in your battles.
4. Guard your heart against temptation.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
When you are facing marriage trials, your heart is especially vulnerable. You may be drawn to godly people of the opposite sex. You may be tempted to immerse yourself in romance novels, films, or music to make up the difference in your marriage. Study this verse: everything you do flows from what is in your heart. If you constantly focus on what you DON’T have, your heart will be discouraged and prone to temptation. Identify your triggers and avoid them. Cover your weak areas with prayer and look to healthy alternatives for relief.
5. Be faithful in prayer.
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.” (Romans 12:12 NLT)
Ask God to strengthen, guide, and comfort you in your marriage trials. Pray that God will help your spouse in his or her struggles, needs, and faith. It’s easy to lose hope and grow weary of praying. But rejoice in your confident hope, that God loves your spouse even more than you do and wants you both to grow through your marriage trials. Prayer helps you stay grounded in hope.
6. Be a loving spouse.
“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.” (1 Corinthians 13:7 NLT)
Learn to love your spouse in the way God loves you. God will help you show your spouse love even if you feel lonely or discouraged in your trials. Your loving actions may someday turn your marriage trial around.
7. Be thankful in everything.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NLT)
You don’t have to be thankful FOR your marriage trials. But you can always find a way to thank God for who He is IN your marriage trials. Thank Him for empowering you in your struggles, and that you can trust Him to never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). A thankful heart will overcome days of discouragement better than a complaining heart. Thankfulness gives you strength to face days of trial.
8. Own your part of the conflict.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably made your marriage trials worse at times. My misplaced advice, my withdrawal, and my hypersensitivity have complicated our marriage. I had to confess my sin and repent of my harmful ways. I learned to accept my marriage for what it is and trust God to meet my needs instead.
9. Forgive, forgive, forgive.
“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.'” (Matthew 18:21-22 NIV)
The longer I’m married, the more I believe that forgiveness is the key to enduring marriage trials. Unforgiveness puts up walls that block love and friendship. Forgiveness sets your spouse free from your condemnation and opens a space for love within marriage trials. It’s only possible with God’s help. Stand strong in God’s Word, and God will show you how to forgive and keep forgiving.
If you are in a challenging marriage, God’s Word can help you stand strong. He sees your heartache, frustration, and doubt that things will ever improve. You can find fresh hope in him, just as I have in my marriage.
I’d love to hear from you:
- What verses have helped you during your marriage trials?
- Which of these verses is most helpful to you today?
- What action will you take to draw closer to God within your marriage trial?
Sarah Geringer writes about Finding Peace in God’s Word at sarahgeringer.com and is the author of three books. She has prepared special marriage resources for you in her library. Sarah lives in her beloved home state of Missouri with her husband and three children, right in the heart of prime viewing for the Great Eclipses of 2017 and 2024.
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