By Dawn R. Ward
Why is perseverance necessary to make a marriage successful? In our society of instant gratification, having a marriage that can face disappointment and weather the storms of life requires perseverance.
Starting married life off as a couple is kind of like beginning a new exercise regimen. We start out convinced getting in shape will be easy, or at least not painful. But soon find out we can barely stand up or lift our arms above our head. Likewise in our marriages, before we know it the starry-eyed romance is over and the real work begins.
Why is it so much easier to overlook offenses when we are young and in love? When we are new to a relationship, love can be blind. If we are not careful, we start to have unrealistic expectations for our marriage.
Why We Need Perseverance in Marriage
Let’s face it: marriage is hard work. Anyone who tells you otherwise has never been married. The truth is, anything we desire to do well takes effort. Marriage is no different.
As I said earlier, just like starting a new fitness routine, marriage requires perseverance. It only takes a few workouts to discover there are muscles in our bodies we didn’t know existed. The same holds true for our marriages. The old saying, “no pain, no gain” holds true for our marriages as well as our workouts.
When Prince Charming suddenly loses his charm, bolting towards the nearest exit should not be our first option. It’s then that the hard work of persevering begins. So, how do you persevere in marriage when you feel like giving up?
5 Ways to Persevere When Marriage Is Hard
Here are five ways to persevere during the hard times in your marriage.
- Take a Pause. Think before you speak and before you do anything rash. Pause and ask God for self-control. Ask yourself if choosing to not take action and wait is better than reacting in the heat of the moment. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (ESV)
- Practice Patience. In Romans 12:12 ESV, Paul exhorts his followers to “be patient in tribulation.” It is challenging to be patient when our husbands push all our buttons, but “practice makes perfect” when it comes to exercising patience. The Lord is patient with us in our weakness. We can try and do the same for our husbands.
- Be Prayerful. Prayer helps us persevere in marriage. When we pray for our husbands, we actively engage in spiritual warfare for our marriages. We stand in the gap and persevere instead of retreating or giving up. (see Ephesians 6:18).
- Offer Praise. No one wants to listen to a complainer. Complaining is exhausting both for the listener and the complainer. Praise and encouragement, on the other hand, lifts our spirits and motivates us to keep persevering. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)
- Stay Persistent. When our marriages fall on hard times, it is then we need to dig in our heels and not give up. Persistence pays off when we keep on keeping on. Like the last few push-ups, it takes every ounce of strength and what little faith we have left to not lose hope. Love energizes us and strengthens us to persevere in our marriages. “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (See 1 Corinthians 13:7 ESV).
Marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady will win the race every time over harried and hurried. Persevere and stay the course. The prize of a beautiful marriage that glorifies God awaits you at the finish line.
Wife Step: When you feel frustrated, pray for God to help you persevere.
Dawn Ward is a speaker, writer and blogger. She is the founder of The Faith to Flourish, a ministry that equips women who desire to grow in their faith, cultivate healthy relationships and thrive in all seasons of life. She also ministers to women with loved ones struggling with addiction, mental health issues and life-destructive behaviors. Dawn is the co-author of the book “Still Standing After All the Tears Workbook: Faith in the Battle Edition. She has been married to her husband, Steve, for over forty years and is mom to three adult children. It is her passion to help all women grow in their faith as they learn to better understand the Bible and how to apply it to their lives.