When you think about marriage, you don’t necessarily think about all of the struggles a married couple often faces. Your mind probably thinks back to having a gorgeous wedding, starting a family and growing old together. No one ever dreams they’ll be 2 years into marriage and wanting out. But the fact is, almost 20% of marriages end with in the first 5 years! That’s a lot of struggling married couples!!
Fortunately, when Michael and I got married, we had a wonderful pastor and his wife do marriage classes with us. One of the first things they told us was that a marriage without God often fails. While I took his words to heart, Michael and I didn’t put God in our marriage right away and we struggled. There were nights I couldn’t even stand to look at Michael and he probably couldn’t stand looking at me. Our marriage was rocky.
It wasn’t because we did anything wrong it was just we weren’t putting God first. When we finally put God in our marriage, our marriage became this amazing unbreakable bond. It’s better now – almost 11 years later, than its ever been!
Now I’m not just saying that putting God info your marriage will save it – you actually have to follow His amazing advice. These 10 Bible Verses for struggling married couples are so powerful, they may just save your marriage.
10 Powerful Bible Verses for Struggling Married Couples
1. A Marriage Should Not Be Broken
So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” -Matthew 9:6
One of the easiest things to say is, I quit. It’s so easy to do because you don’t even have to work to do it. Unfortunately, in marriage, a lot of couples quit because it’s easier than fixing the problems that are already there. Having a successful marriage takes a lot of time and effort and it’s never easy. But, the Bible clearly states that once you’re married, you’re no longer two, but one and what God has joined together should not be separated.
While it may be easier to call it quits in your marriage, it isn’t the Biblically correct thing to do. In fact, the only time it’s okay in God’s eyes to end a marriage is through death or if one partner cheats. (Matthew 19:9)
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. -Colossians 3:13-14
If there’s one thing a struggling marriage needs more than anything, it’s forgiveness. After living with someone for so long, its easy to feel hurt when the other one does something “wrong”, but your marriage should never focus around each other’s mistakes.
In fact, if there is one thing that the Bible ever taught us, it’s that we’re all human and we ALL make mistakes. God forgives our mistakes because He loves us, so when we hold on to bitter feelings and keep shoving these mistakes back into each other’s face, we’re kind of saying to one another that we don’t feel the love that Christ had for us, towards one another. If God can forgive our sins, there’s no reason we can’t forgive something as silly as forgetting an anniversary.
3. Get Rid of Anger
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. -Ephesians 4:31-32
It’s easy to feel anger, bitterness, and resentment towards our spouses. We’re all human. When we get hurt, or feel like we are unequally treated, we often choose to sin, rather than, give our partners the benefit of the doubt. We slander them to our families and friends, we harbor bitter feelings, and we feel angry towards them. Instead of being kind, forgiving, and compassionate towards them, we choose to hold them guilty for silly things like missing their child’s talent show while they worked to put food on the table, or for getting called into work on their anniversary.
Instead of showing them the love and kindness that Christ shows us, we hold them to a higher standard that no one could ever pass and a once successful marriage begins to fail.
In the Bible there are many occurrences when Jesus could have turned His back on someone or chosen to hold feelings of anger towards someone, but instead He choose to show us how to love. Look at the story of Zacchaeus.
Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector. He was wealthy, a sinner, and hated by everyone. That day Jesus could have shown Zacchaeus anger and harbored bitterness towards him, but instead He choose to stay at his house! If God can chose to love us and all of our sins, we should learn to love our spouses in the way that God intended us to; with kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.
4. Do Everything in Love
Do everything in love. – 1 Corinthians 16:14
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up early with Michael before he started work. There were days I woke up and the last thing on my mind was feelings of love. I was tired. I hadn’t gotten much sleep and the last thing I wanted to do was be up at 4 am and not be able to fall back asleep when he left. And, he left for some really long days and there I was tired, at home with three kids. Ugh, I definitely did things and probably said things that wasn’t out of love.
But, God says that everything we should do should be in love. That’s an awfully big request to fill. But when you think about it, wouldn’t it be nice to know your husband is waking up with you because they love you and want to spend an extra 10 minutes with you. That you’re not inconveniencing them and causing them to feel bitterness towards you?
5. Do Not Let Other People Interfere in Your Marriage
Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” -Mark 10:9
We women love to talk to our mamas and friends about our relationships, but did you know, we’re not really supposed to let others mendle in our relationships. Whenever we tell our mamas about a mistake our husbands made and she takes our side, we’re kind of letting someone interfere in our marriage and we allow these feelings of anger and bitterness towards our spouses to grow. Instead of talking our feelings over with our spouses, we’re not even giving them a chance.
We’re kind of like ganging up on our spouses and saying, “mom said you were wrong too”. This causes bad feelings to grow in both sides of the marriage and can really cause major issues in an already struggling marriage.
6. Don’t Give Up
And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. – Genesis 2:18
God never wanted us to be alone. The Bible clearly states that God created Eve because He saw that man should not be alone, so when we choose to throw in the towel, rather than working on our marriage, we’re going against God’s original plan for us.
Marriage was never intended as a punishment, it was supposed to be a wonderful, happy gift. And just like anything, it isn’t always easy, but we shouldn’t be so quick to call it quits.
7. Love Each Other As Yourself
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:33
We all have a morning routine. For some of us, we take a shower, put on perfume, and then we attempt to dress nicely. We put just enough time and effort into our appearance, so we look good. But what we often neglect, is making sure we put that same little bit of effort back into our marriages.
It’s so easy to love ourselves, but yet, it’s so easy to forget about our spouses. Whenever we don’t treat our spouses with the same amount of time and effort we put into silly things, our marriages can really end up struggling.
8. Do Not Cheat on One Another
Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. – Hebrews 13:4
A lot of times whenever the other 9 points in this post are missing in a marriage, a spouse will go looking for love elsewhere. Not only is this one of the most disrespectful things you could do to someone, it’s also mortally wrong. God calls those who cheat on their spouses adulterers and “Thou Shall Not Commit Adultery” is even one of the 10 commandments.
9. Respect One Another
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. – Ephesians 5:33
Remember when you were in grade school and they used to pass out awards for the most respectful students? The teachers would award the students who were respectful because they were the students who really made the teacher’s day less stressful and easier.
When you’re married there aren’t awards for the most respectful spouse, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to show one another respect. Whenever you start treating one another with a lack of respect, it’s kind of rude. It shows the other spouse that you don’t really care and will do whatever you want, no matter what they think.
The Bible says, that a man should love his wife as himself and a wife should respect her husband. While the Bible doesn’t clearly state for a man to respect his wife, it is implied by the man loving his wife as himself.
10. Both Spouses Must Fulfill Their Marital Duties
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. – 1 Corinthians 7:3-5
Yes, sex matters in a marriage, even the Bible says so. “Come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self control.” The Bible knew man (&women) had sexual desires and God wanted both husband and wife to have sex so that we wouldn’t sin by lusting over someone else or physically cheating on one another.
Even though I know it’s hard to want to always have sex, a struggling marriage should both perform their marital duty enough that each one is fulfilled and don’t go looking for love elsewhere.
God clearly is the best marriage counselor for struggling married couples. Many of these same concepts have even been used by marriage experts for ways to save a marriage. I hope these 10 Bible verses can help your transform your struggling marriage into a wonderful marriage that last a lifetime.
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