On Monday June 29, four months of pure marital bliss came to a screeching halt, when I was forced to resign from my job as a resident physician. My husband and I are young and saddled with the so called “good debt” that comes with higher education, so our budget is dependent on two incomes. How were we to continue on only one income?
The layers of complexity go even deeper because this setback was not only about money. It was about the trust that my husband had in me, to hold up my end of the bargain for our family. It was about me dropping the ball. It was about my husband placing the blame on me. It was about him questioning whether this would be come a repeating pattern, thereby putting our family in jeopardy. The situation and our respective responses had us both questioning “who did I marry?” and sent us right back to our pastor for counseling. It is important for us to nip this in the bud so that we don’t set up poor habits for conflict in this very formative year of our marriage. This situation made me question – what does the bible have to offer us during the storms of our marriage. There are so many lessons!
1. Loving and supporting our spouse. 1 John 3:18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. When the very thing that I had worked my entire life for was taken away, I wanted my husband’s silent support. I wanted him to hold me, to reassure me with his strong presence, that he would be there and everything would be OK. Similarly, when our husbands are challenged in this grueling world, they need our ACTIONS and TRUTH to show them their loving wife stands with and for them.
2. Do not worry. Matt 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Whenever the storms of life rage on our marriages, we must remember that God is the captain of our ship! There is no reason to worry. In fact, worrying is not compatible with FAITH. Faith tells us that all things work together for our good, while worrying doubts that. When we got married, we became one with our spouse. So when trials come, we need to be one in our faith. Don’t worry.
3. Don’t give up! Galations 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” There’s a saying that goes, ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going’. Similarly, we must recognize that storms in our marriage MUST pass and they MUST make us stronger if we weather them together. Resist the temptation to throw in the towel. Early in our engagement, my husband and I decided that “divorce” was no longer in our vocabulary when it came to each other. When the storms of life hit, stick together and don’t give up.
4. The storm will not win! Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment, You shall condemn” If this doesn’t encourage you, I don’t know what will. God says that NO weapon – no person, effort, unemployment, illness, misfortune etc – shall prosper. This means that although storms will come, we will emerge stronger and unscathed. They will not prosper, but WE will. Note that in this verse, God requires us to be active, not passive. It says that every tongue that rises, WE shall condemn. This means that if we stay in faith and condemn those negative thoughts and forces that come against us, they will not prosper.
These are just a few of the lessons from The Word that can help us weather the storms of our marriage. What lessons have you found? Please feel free to share encouragement for me and other wives!