Like every little girl does, I grew up imagining this perfect life I would one day have. Perfect husband, perfect marriage, perfect kids, perfect house, it would all be just...perfect. When I met my husband, he was incredible. We dated for 1 year before marrying. In that 1 year, we never ever had an argument. We didn't disagree about anything. We seemed perfectly matched and headed for that perfect life I envisioned.
Then we married.
Marriage cannot be perfect because we as humans are not perfect. We are flawed in many ways. We are never "right" all of the time, we wake up on the wrong side of the bed from time to time, we go through situations, we get tired, we get sick, we get hungry, we let hormones come in and wack out our mood, we are just not perfect. In fact, we are millions of miles from being perfect.
Since we are flawed and marriage isn't perfect, there will be disagreements and there will be hard days. There will even be days when you are just done. You are tired of trying, tired of losing, tired of the fights, tired of it all and ready to give up. Friend, we've all been there. But don't lose hope!
Here are a few tips for when you are just done:
- Pray. Then pray some more. Prayer really does change things and is a vital part of a healthy, Christian marriage. The key is to not pray that God would change your husband, but to pray that God would do a work and change both of your hearts. Ask God to turn both of your hearts first to Him, then to each other. Pray that God would help you to fall in love all over again and ask God to help you put Him at the center of your marriage. Never stop praying for your marriage.
- Seek help. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking counsel when your marriage is struggling. It might be the counsel of your pastor, maybe a pastor you don't know to be an impartial party, or maybe you just seek mentorsip from a good Christian couple. Whoever you turn to, know that it is okay. As a matter of fact, if you are trying to save your marriage or better your marriage, it is an incredible thing you are doing in seeking counsel.
- Talk. It is impossible to work on your marriage when you are not talking to each other. You must open the lines of honest communication. Openly and honestly share with your spouse how you are feeling. Don't play the blame game by saying you do ___ or you don't do ___. Instead, just share how you feel.
- Listen. Remember, there are 2 parts to communication: talking and listening. Give your spouse a chance to openly and honestly share their heart. Even if what they say hurts your feelings, let them keep going. You have to get it all out there to work it out. Set all distractions aside and give your spouse eye contact as they share. Don't interrupt. Don't make faces. Don't roll your eyes. Don't ignore them. Just pay close attention to the words they say and the heart they are coming from.
- Spend time in prayer together. If God is to be the center of your marriage, family and home, then it is a must that you pray together. After you have both had a chance to talk, bow your heads and pray together. Ask God to do a work in your marriage. Then, continue regularly praying together. This practice will grow your marriage in ways you can't begin to imagine.
- Try resources. There are amazing Christian resources out there to help. 2 of my favorite resources that I have personally used over and over and often gift to couples are The Love Dare and Power of a Praying Wife. The Love Dare is 40 days of daring you to love your spouse. You will find dares that have you do things for your spouse and dares that have you working on your own heart. I promise you, if you do The Love Dare with an open heart, it will change your heart and your spouse's heart. You can do The Love Dare 2 different ways: do it with your husband or don't tell him and do it alone. Either way, it will be life changing. Power of a Praying Wife is 30 days of learning to pray for your husband. You learn to pray over his walk with God, his relationships, his health, his attitude, his work, his addictions and much more. After doing Power of a Praying Wife you will see an incredible change in your marriage. (Men, check out Power of a Praying Husband and you too will see an incredible change in your marriage.)
Friend, if your marriage is struggling and you've come to the point where you are just done, ready to throw in the towel, don't give up and don't lose faith! Try these steps. God can and will save your marriage if you really try. You can look back in a year or even a month and be amazed at how things have changed for the good. If your marriage is to this point, or you know someone who is, comment below or email me. I would love to join you in praying.