Will Your Marriage Survive or THRIVE? - EncouragementMama.com

Dear Encouragement Sisters,

As I correspond with you week after week, and stand with you in prayer, I would love nothing more than to hear that your marriages are not only surviving but thriving.

In the day-to-day ordinary, I’d love to hear about how you’ve carved out time to reconnect in extraordinary ways.

Through all the trials, I’d love to hear about how you’ve reached the other side hand-in-hand.

Even in the depths of despair, I’d love to hear about how you never lost hope, and how that hope ushered your marriage into redemption and renewal.

My sisters, I pray, today, that your marriage will not only survive but thrive.

I pray your marriage will thrive
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Despite my hopes for all of our marriages, I realize that we all have free will. And sometimes our flesh chooses things that are contrary to God’s perfect will.

In marriage, the battle to remain one in God and one with each other is a mighty battle indeed.

Here are a couple of battles that prevent our marriages from thriving:


Every human on the planet has a measure of selfishness or self-centeredness that gets in the way of unity. But when selfishness dominates one or both sides of the marital relationship, it can be destructive.

~The constant need to be right

~Never listening but always talking

~Never content/always wanting something more or different

~Insisting on their own way no matter how the other person feels

~Focusing on their own needs and wants

The answer to selfishness?

No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 1 Corinthians 10:24

It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35

Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

So, here’s the big question some of you might be asking: How can my marriage thrive when I have a selfish spouse?

How can marriage survive selfishness?
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Here are two things you can do in a selfish marriage:

1. Don’t let your spouse’s selfishness change who you are in Christ.

Anger, bitterness, resentment, weariness, and even revenge can threaten to take root in a person dealing with a selfish spouse.

Guard against it.

My sisters, do not let anyone in your life change who you are in Christ!

In Him, you are steadfast, wise, patient, and kind. This does NOT mean you tolerate destructive behavior. It DOES mean you remain the person God created you to be under every circumstance. And as we’ll see in the next point, remaining the person God created you to be, still allows you to take action when needed.

2. Be honest and forthright in love.

Have you ever taken the time to tell your spouse what you need from them? Not demanding things, or pointing out their selfishness behavior, but actually letting them know what you need?

Sisters, being honest and forthright doesn’t have to be ugly. It doesn’t have to start an argument. It might start an argument, but as far as it depends on you, you can speak calmly and lovingly.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12:18

Here are a few conversation starters that may help. Of course, you can tailor these words to fit your personality and style of speaking.

“I need to talk about something important, and I would love to have your attention for a bit.”

“I’d really like to know how I’m meeting your needs, and I’d like to share some of the needs I have. Can we go grab a cup of coffee and talk about it?”

“Would you be open to trying something new in our discussions? I know it sounds kind of silly, but maybe we can set a timer and each take turns speaking and listening.”

While the words, “I feel like you’re being selfish with your behavior” might need to be said, there is a way of saying it. Much prayer and discernment are needed when approaching a selfish spouse. And God is faithful to give wisdom when we ask.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. James 1:5-6

God gives us wisdom
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The second battle that prevents marriages from thriving is probably the most important battle to be won:

A Lack of Love

The Biblical command for husbands to love their wives as Christ loves the church may seem simple enough, but it goes far deeper than we think.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it. Ephesians 5:25

Christ loved the church (us) so much, He died for us. Nothing could have stopped Him from fixing His eyes on the cross and dying in our place. His sacrifice was, and still is, the deepest form of love ever shown.

For husbands who struggle to love their wives in this way, it may be because they feel incapable of it. They might think it’s too high of a calling. They might feel defeated before they even try. Or, maybe they’re not aware of the seriousness of this command.

So, how can we encourage our husbands to love us in this way?

Be loveable.

Instead of being “bristly” or “edgy,” pray for the softness of heart, a spirit of gentleness, and a measure of peace. Remember the imagery of Proverbs 21:19?

It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

If our husbands are distant or uncaring, could it partly be because we have placed a wall around us – a wall of resistance?

Wall of resistance in marriage
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Sisters, let’s not forget the Lord’s direction for us.

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:22-23

I won’t go into all the arguments about submission, but I will encourage you to prayerfully revisit Ephesians 5:22-23. And as you consider God’s true intention, perhaps there will be things that come to light. The Lord might reveal things that need to change in your own heart and mind. He might reveal…

You’ve been holding a grudge.

You’ve been avoiding a major issue that needs to be dealt with.

You’ve been keeping a record of wrongs.

You’ve been withholding love as a way of getting back at him.

However the Lord speaks, take to heart His nudge to make the necessary changes. This might include scheduling a getaway for the two of you. It might include meeting with a trusted mentor or counselor. In whatever way you sense God is leading you, test your thoughts, motives, and actions in the light of His Word.

Test everything in light of God's Word.
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The best way I know how to encourage you today is to remind you of God’s beautiful intentions for marriage. I ask that you read them with an open heart and invite the Holy Spirit to speak as only He can.

Please know that I am praying for every one of your marriages, asking God to take your relationship from merely surviving to thriving.

And, as always, I’m only an email away.


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