How To Stay Encouraged In Your Marriage

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If you are feeling discouraged in your marriage, you may need to tweak your expectations.  You are about to read one of the most important bits of counseling advice that Dr. Force shares with couples in need.

 

Results-Driven versus Right-Driven

 

Husbands and wives trying to resolve their issues have a way of setting themselves up for feelings of discouragement in marriage. They do this by being what I call results-driven instead of right-driven.

Our primary objective in life should never be to get results as much as it should be to walk in obedience to God. Whenever this is turned around in our minds, we are inviting disappointment into our lives as God seldom works on our timetable.

The scriptures speak to this subject. In Proverbs 3:6, Solomon said:

 

“In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

 

Notice the order in this verse. Solomon tells us that our job is to acknowledge God through faith and obedience to His Word. As we submit to His will, God will guide us into a pathway of blessing.

Unfortunately, we typically do the exact opposite of what Proverbs 3 is teaching. Our sights are usually set on what we want in life rather than Whom we should be serving. This is actually a form of disobedience no matter how Christian our actions appear to be.  As Matthew Henry said, “Duty is ours, events [results] are God’s.”.

 

Cream Rises to the Top

 

Imagine with me for a few moments that you are at the bottom of a milk jug and it is your desire to get to the top. Let us also assume that you only have two choices. You can work hard at trying to swim to the top, or you can work more at becoming cream which always finds a way to rise to the surface.

Obedience to God and spiritual character development cause us to be that cream that finds a way to rise to where it needs to go. In essence, this is what the scriptures are teaching us through Proverbs 3.

For those feeling discouraged in marriage, it is best to set your sights on obedience to your marriage vows rather than how much progress you are making. At the end of the day, your goal should be to ask yourself this question:

 

“Did I obey my marriage vows today and, thus, walk in obedience to God?”

 

If the answer to that question is a resounding yes, then you will be able to find comfort in the following ways:

 

God rewards obedience regardless of what other people do or do not do.

 

Ephesians 6:8 tells us that “whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord”. This is a very applicable verse to marriage in that if a person does right, the Bible tells us that their reward does not lie in the hands of their spouse. It is in the faithful and loving hands of the Lord.

Husbands and wives that feel their happiness is controlled by their spouse are giving far too much power to their mate. Only God should hold that much power over us.

Keep in mind, on the other hand, that if your spouse has had that power over you, it is not because they have taken it. It is because you have given it away through a lack of faith in the Lord or a general misunderstanding of the scriptures. As stated earlier, God’s promises concerning your own happiness and joy never hinge upon your spouse’s obedience or disobedience to God. They only rest upon our faith or lack thereof in His Word and His precious promises.

 

Your future is bright no matter what your spouse does or does not do.

 

Whether in this life or the life to come, God promises a blessed state to those that walk in accordance to His Word. Here are a few scriptures that validate this point:

 

“. . . blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Luke 11:28)

 

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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 1:1-3)

 

When it comes to your future, I do not know how or when God will fulfill these promises in your life. I also cannot guarantee what type of reaction your current spouse will have to the changes that you have been making in your marriage. What I do know is that God and all the blessings that come with Him are in the future of those that walk with Him, and He has promised that He “will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

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9 comments on “How To Stay Encouraged In Your Marriage
  1. Maris V. says:

    My husband left me and our three kids, to continue his adultery with his coworker. I have decided to fight for this marriage and go on a journey with God? The Holy Spirit has told me, “No divorce, God will bring restoration and reconciliation to my marriage and family.” But my husband continues to live in sin, and blames me for his infidelity. I don’t even see signs of repentance and he’s never asked us for forgiveness. How do I know when to give up? How do I know if this marriage or my husband is still worth fighting for?

    • Jenilee says:

      I myself am standing for my marriage. I don’t have kids with my husband, just a daughter from a previous relationship from when I was 19 years old. My husband left 5 months ago and has had an affair. I also have felt that God will restore our marriage but it will be in his timing. For God has been working and changing me first. Even though my husband is still angry and blames me I know God will convict him in his own timing. I just found this website. I also go to Rejoice Marriage Ministries. They have a podcast with a lot of uplifting messages and encouragement for standing.

  2. Erica says:

    I am a 43 and a mother 3. Two boys and girl. I love the Lord and trying to live right before him. He is first in my life then my husband and children. I am sad, depress because I no longer want to remain married. My husband doesn’t love or respect trust me. Love is a verb that you chose to show he doesn’t. I am no longer willing to tolerate the constant name calling. Example b””tc, slut and a stupid mother f*”ck. Whore. He says these things to me when he gets mad at me. He always threatens to harm me. No I am not afraid of him because if he tries to do this he is going to jail. He puts me down all the time. He doesn’t care to spend any quality time together. He doesn’t support any goals I want to achieved formysef. He screams and hollars in front our children cursing up a storm. He only stops when they start crying. This man is no husband to me. He is the Devil literally. I can’t prove if he is cheating because I don’t know for sure. I am a stay home mother with no income. He controls all the financials. I am a prisoner. I have no friends. I know what God word says but I want to be free. Please advise and pray for me. For my faith has left me

  3. faithful says:

    I have been married for 18 yrs and recently found out my husband was having an affair for the last two years and 6 months ago the woman had a baby whim she claims to be his my husband ask me to stay with him he said he wish he could go back in the past and work on us but his actions still shows nonchalant for our marriage. He has pictures of this woman breastfeeding the baby and other pictures of her boobs hanging out randomly I ask him to get rid of them and told him it made me feel uncomfortable I told him it’s ok to keep the pictures of the baby but he should not have any of her because it can remind him of the closeness they had and who knows what could happen again but he refuse to get rid of them we still have sex and it makes me uncomfortable because all I think about is the pictures and if he had s looking at them first before he makes his move on me. The woman and I talk and she said she thought we were getting a divorce but I told her she was still wrong because she didn’t see any divorce papers she should have stayed away I told her I was not leaving my husband and now whenever he wants to see the baby she keeps the car seat so that he can’t leave the house making him stay at her house and there has been times where he has not come back home until 10pm because he is waiting on her to come back I told him he needs to get visitation rights if this is really his baby he just tells me to stay out of it…I don’t know what to do..please help

    • Anonymous says:

      “faithful” I don’t know if you will see this, as it has been months, but the first thing you need to have happen is a paternity test before anything goes any further. If she was sleeping with a married man then her morals aren’t that high and there could be others. If the baby is not his, that is end of story with baby and woman, period. That baby needs his real father then. That being said, if it is his, then the game plan has to change. He does not need to go there to see the baby. The baby can come to your house. Do you have children with your husband? That would complicate things, for sure. If you don’t have children together, and this is his baby – then you need to decide how much you can handle as divorce is permitted by the Bible for adultery. But if you choose to continue to try then he needs to change some things and one of them is where he sees that baby. The baby should come to you. You are the step mom and you would handle it as if he was divorced to that other woman – not divorced to you. I am SOO sorry you are going through this! I truly am, but please start with the paternity test.

  4. what about my past interfearing with my marriage it’s still me not serving my husbend right? Or is it me and god still have a personal relationship in marriage then my husbend and i together second. How do i know whom I’m putting first and who I should, I think the roles is confusing me and wether I put god first or not- what that actually looks like in marriage. I know we both confess and talk more about our pain, problems, and past then what we should. I feel inside something wrong with this. I really need help with this and i really want Gods answer coming to me through this. right now i have no one else to talk to except my husbend. wondering about this cause I read bout serving my husbend! Can you help?

    • Thank you for the question. However, why is there a battle between serving God and serving your husband? Service to your husband is serving God just as your husband loving you as Christ loved the church is obedience to God as well.

      The Christian life is not a checklist. That is, you don’t serve God one hour, then your family, the church, and then the community. Here is the one check box you need: did I walk in the Holy Spirit today?

      Galatians 5:23 tells us that when we walk in the Spirit that we will not be doing anything that is against God. Therefore, I would encourage you to make it your goal to walk in God’s Spirit. As you do that, you will be doing everything that God’s requires of you.

      Thanks,

      Dr. Force
      http://www.Shop.HittingHomeMinistry.com

  5. sam says:

    Thank you for your insight concerning marriage.
    what can I do after 20 years of marriage she has divorced me over a year and is looking to get married to someone else with three teenagers.
    I was faithful until now.trying to save my family many attempts but nothing. What do i do?

    • One of the most difficult aspects of life is that there are times when we are utterly unable to salvage something that is good and right. As a pastor, pastoral care counselor, and a life coach, I struggle with the fact that there are certain people and situations that I am unable to change.

      Jeremiah 3:8 tells us that the Lord came to the point where he wrote His wife, Israel a bill of divorcement for her spiritual adultery. Of course, this was after 700 years of hard unrepentant idolatry / adultery, yet the verse still stands.

      Matthew 13:58 tells us that Christ could not do many mighty works in His own country because of the people’s unbelief.

      So there are times when even the best a person can offer is not enough to salvage a marriage.

      I would recommend that you be sure that your all in all is Christ. No earthly person, not even your spouse, should take that place in your life. Here is an article that you should find beneficial.

      http://hittinghomeministry.com/happy-marriage/

      I will keep you in prayer. I will also pray for a miracle as the Lord leads.

      Dr. Force
      Marriage Material Available for an Immediate Download

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