By Karen Friday
Does the sound of persevering in anything, especially marriage, seem exhausting to you?
Honestly, it does to me.
Look at this definition by Google and we kind of understand the hesitation, “continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” (emphasis mine)
See what I mean? This doesn’t sound pleasant at all.
Because the Bible portrays persevering as a spiritual aspect that’s important to help us in the rough parts of life and grow in our faith, we need to dig deeper in how this applies to our marriages.
First, know that “the face of difficulty” applies to the hard parts and difficult seasons of marriage we all experience. It in no way means to continue in an abusive situation.
Here are three ways the Bible calls us to persevere.
Never Give Up Doing Good
Sometimes you may feel like you are the only one in the marriage who is giving and doing, doing, and giving. You may reach a point that you want to give up.
Perhaps it feels like you and your husband are on different pages. Maybe it feels like forever since you’ve really connected as a couple. Or, possibly, your marriage is in a hard and strained season, and you think you can’t do this anymore.
Friend, I’ve been in these hard places and at these same crossroads.
The Apostle Paul encouraged believers in Galatians to help carry the burdens of others and to do good to all people. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
Continue to persevere in your marriage by doing good, even when it feels hard.
Grow Your Faith and Godly Character
When you persevere in the midst of difficult circumstances, you grow in your faith. Your faith stretches your character to become more Christ-like.
This growth of faith can reach your husband and children who don’t know the Lord personally. It also encourages a believing husband in his own faith. He sees Jesus in you like never before.
A few years ago, I persevered through the most difficult season in my marriage of thirty-seven years. Through the suffering and tears and sleepless nights, my faith grew like never before. “We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3b-4 (NIV)
Let perseverance work in you to grow your faith and produce a godly character.
Loving does not come naturally for people. You and I must learn and work at what the Bible says love is and what love is not. We were born with unconditional love being outside of our wheelhouse.
God loves perfectly, so we let His love do a work in our heart and life to persevere in love. First Corinthians 13 describes His love as patient, kind, not arrogant, never failing, not keeping a record of wrongs and rejoicing in the truth. Further, “It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) As followers of Jesus, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can learn what it means to live out this type of love toward others.
A persevering love continues when:
- Your husband seems distant.
- You feel invisible.
- You disagree.
- He didn’t pull his weight today.
- He could’ve said it better, or differently.
Persevere in your marriage through unconditional love, learning what it looks like to honestly and lovingly share.
Wife Step: Reflect on what difficulties you face in your marriage and ask the Lord to help you in doing good to your husband and loving him in spite of hard circumstances.
Karen Friday is a pastor’s wife and women’s ministry leader. A blogger, Karen “Girl” Friday engages a community every week, Hope is Among Us. She has published a number of articles and devotions in both print and online media, and is currently working on her first book. Vulnerable about her own marriage journey, Karen knows life never gets more real than as a wife. Karen and her husband Mike have two grown children and two grandchildren. The entire family is fond of the expression, “TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday.” They owe Monday an apology. Visit her blog at KarenGirlFriday.com