When Marriage Gets Tough: Have the Willingness to STAY.

To the woman doubting her marriage: I’ve doubted mine, too. You’re not alone. In fact, there are thousands of women with the very same uncertainties.

Maybe you’re questioning if you married the right man. Or if maybe at first, you THOUGHT God put him in your life, but now you’re thinking you missed the mark.
Let me put it this way: I’ve been there. A lot.

After almost a decade, I have defended my husband, even when he was wrong. I have sacrificed relationships with family because of him. I have chosen him over and over and over when given an ultimatum of “him or me.” I lost what felt like every person in my life because of the husband I chose.

Looking at my marriage today, we’ve been through hell and back, and together, we’ve got one heck of a story to share. When I see women struggle today in their marriage and they want to walk away, I’m the one encouraging them to STAY. Why? Because it’s worth it, that’s why.

Just recently, in a women’s group I shared that I am reluctant to trust my husband again, even today. Some of our issues cut deep, and I mean really deep. It feels like through my walk with God, I have “cleaned house” on some of the bigger struggles in my life. My messed-up childhood, my spending issues, to name a few. However, every now and then I still ask God why He gave me the marriage He did.

Did God “hand pick” my husband for me? I struggle with the answer. Why? I never asked God to choose my husband in the first place. I didn’t seek the Lord in basically any aspect of my life until after I became a mother, even though I had been a Christian for years.

However, today I firmly believe that everything in life is either God ARRANGED, or God ALLOWED. I don’t know which one my marriage was, but I choose to trust either way that it’s for a purpose.

During our marital troubles, every single time I feel God remind me that He DID call on me to raise this family. I was absolutely, positively hand-picked by God to be the Mother of my four children. Knowing this, mean that He acknowledged my husband would be their father.

1 Peter 3:1-2 says,
“Wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives.” (NLT)

Before I receive any flack for sharing submissive scripture, I’d like to clarify. It was against Roman Law for a woman to attend church without her husband’s support. A man had the final say over what the members of his household did. Here, Peter is encouraging women who are married to unbelievers to witness to their husbands not by preaching to them, but by their actions. As Christian women, their lifestyles would change, making a positive impact on their household, including their husbands with the hope that they may too, become Christians.

This kind of witness is something we can absolutely apply today. Sure, we are much more independent now, and we’re not held to these standards under law anymore, but we can and should be an example to our husbands and children.

What if God called upon you to bring your husband back to God? What if He laid that job in your hands, knowing you were the right person? What if you were, in fact, meant to be his wife? To influence his salvation? That’s a huge responsibility. Not that you have to, but that you get to. What an amazing opportunity!

We don’t know what God is up to. It’s not our responsibility to know, either. It’s our duty to trust that everything goes according to His plan. What if the plan was for you to be the first believer in your home? What if you were called for this very moment in your life to be a Godly example to your family?

God gives women powerful influence and responsibility that we often dismiss because of the natural order of submission in the Bible. Yet He has called us to do some things that also seem impossible. Think about Esther, and her courage to stand up for her people. “For such a time as this.” Or Rahab, when she made the brave choice to protect the spies in Jericho that resulted in saving her entire family. Courageous women who stand up for their God and their families. We are called to be those women, too.

Now, don’t get me wrong, being married to a troubled husband is never easy. I’ve been where you are. I often ask myself WHY my first instinct is to forgive him after a fight. Or to tolerate his crap as often as I do. It’s hard. I feel God remind me often that I’m here for a reason. Now that I see through years of prayer and my willingness to STAY… I’m aware of the calling God has given me to be his wife. Some days, I go kicking and screaming but overall, God placed me here.

And if you feel like you’re not sure what God wants you to do, ask Him. Too often, we think that He will call us to do something big, but we can do small things and do them REALLY WELL, like raise amazing kids alongside our spouses. Maybe our calling is to raise an amazing tribe of children that will go out and do the big things…we don’t know. God’s plan is bigger than ours. Trust where you are. Let God guide you through this season. Be willing to STAY in a world that tells you to go.

*DISCLAIMER* This article is not intended to be applied to victims of domestic violence. If you are in a dangerous situation, please reach out for help. Do not continue to live in fear. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or visit their website at www.thehotline.org

 

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

2 comments

  1. I can so understand this and have been there many times and I still am. I question my marriage often, and it is hard living an unlocked marriage! My husband use to believe and I don’t know what happened to him…

    Like

    • I can completely relate. In areas where our husband lacks, we can pick up. If he struggles with faith, yet you don’t, the best approach would be to continue in the Word. Keep fighting, and pray for him in all ways. The enemy is hard at work to destroy marriages today and will target the weakest of the two of you. Stand firm.

      Like

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