On marriage

I've been thinking a lot lately about marriages, and how so many people we personally know are in marriages that are falling apart, or devastated by infidelity or addiction.

It deeply saddens me.

I've started and stopped this post several times.  I'm just not sure how to best tackle this thing that weighs so heavily on my heart.

I love my husband Mark so much, and we genuinely have a happy marriage.  He is my best friend and I have utmost respect for him.  I am so very, very thankful for my husband and for the blessing of our marriage.  But I know that's not everyone's story.

Maybe it's not your story, either.

Maybe you are one who feels stuck in an unhappy marriage.  Maybe you are discouraged.  Maybe you and your husband keep fighting over the same issues, and you feel the chasm widening between the two of you.  Maybe you feel unloved, or never able to measure up, or constantly disappointed.  Maybe you feel as if you're shouldering a burden that is too heavy to bear.

As I prayed this afternoon, this verse came to mind.  You're likely familiar with it:

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  
~Matthew 11:28-30

That's a promise.  Jesus will give you rest in the deepest parts of you, no matter where you're at right now and no matter what you may be struggling with.  Just go to Him and pour it all out and lay it down at His feet.  Ask Him to mend the broken parts, ask Him to restore and to heal and transform it all.  He can do it.  He is Almighty and He can do it.   And then go to Him again, over and over and over, and keep laying it down and asking for His help.

There are three other things on my heart:

1.  After you ask for Jesus' help, ask Him to reveal to you who else you can tell, and then go to them and tell them.  I can't emphasize this enough.  If you are struggling in your marriage right now, please go and tell a trusted friend or a member of your church body and ask them to pray for you and your marriage.  Go ask your pastor's wife.  Go ask that woman you've seen in church-- maybe you've never even spoken to her before.  It doesn't matter.  Just ask her.  Don't be too prideful or too afraid to express that you have a need.  We ALL do.  It may not be the same need, but we've all got them.  And we need to get over our pride already and be willing to say "I need help.  We need help.  Can you pray for me?"  I think that we as a Church need to get a whole lot better at this.  We need to be willing to be vulnerable and transparent and willing to show ourselves for the mess that we are, and ask for help.  (Isn't there something just so refreshing when you're with someone who acknowledges that they DON'T have it all together?  It allows the rest of us to put down our own walls and say, with a great sigh of relief, "Me too."  Then we're on a level field-- wobbling sinners who need Jesus so much, and we can pray for one another toward that end.)*

2.  Pray specifically for your marriage.  By specifically I mean: don't just ask God to help you love your spouse, but ask Him to show you how to love him; ask God to give you a tangible way to show your husband that love, today, and then do that one thing.  If you feel like all you ever do is criticize each other, ask God to help you think of one thing you can verbalize to your spouse today that would be kind; that would show respect and love, and then say it.  If you want your husband to grow or change in a particular area, express that to God, and wait and see what He does.  God is a God of details.  And He answers prayer in very specific, tangible ways.  I think He loves to surprise us and bless us by answering our specific prayers.  Even if you're at a good place in your marriage right now, you just keep right on praying.  Pray that God would strengthen your marriage.  Ask that He would guard both you and your husband from temptation.  Ask for ways to nurture your marriage and cherish this man God has given you. 

3.  And this, too: pray for the marriages of those around you.  Recently, some very dear friends of ours went through a very difficult time in their marriage.  Everyone who knew them was shocked.  No one had any idea to the degree in which they were struggling.  It prompted me to start praying for all the married couples we knew: our friends, our parents, our extended family... every marriage I could think of, I started praying for.  I truly think the enemy is working overtime to try to tear apart Christian marriages.  The Bible is clear that he comes to steal, kill and destroy.  So let's intercede on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ and pray over their marriages.

Because this is the way my brain works, I decided that on Mondays I was going to pray for Marriages, and I do so.  Some Mondays I pray for a specific marriage that God has laid on my heart, sometimes I run through the list and pray a general prayer or verse over all of those marriages, and some Mondays I forget entirely, but Mondays are "tagged" for praying for marriages.  Perhaps you'd like to join me in that and pray for those in your life on Mondays, too?

*If you're reading this and you need prayer but you feel like you don't have anyone else to ask, email me and I will pray for you. 


  1. Well said Stacy!!!!!! My holy discontent is marriages. It fires me up when marriages are divorcing!!!! Makes me sad!!! Love your post!!!

  2. Wonderful post, Stacy. And something we all need to remember. I am burdened by this topic as well and so often, feel at a loss as to what to do or to say. But the Lord knows and I am so thankful for that. I too, feel continually blessed by my marriage but I also know that it just takes a few expected or unexpected stresses (like constant exhaustion and nausea!) to put extra strain on a relationship. If we don't hold on tight, I can see how they might cause chasms over time.

  3. We too have seen and heard of so many that are struggling in their marriage. I like the Monday for Marriage idea and will join you.

  4. Mmmm... this makes my heart heavy too. After Jason and I went through a very difficult time in the beginning of our marriage, we have seen and known God's incredible power to redeem a marriage and make all things new... even in the most hopeless of times. There are so many reasons to hope.

    The Power of a Praying Wife is an excellent book for those looking for a prayer guide. She gives such specific things to pray for our husbands... things I would never think of. I consider it a must-have for wives!

    So many good things here, Stacy. Thanks so much for sharing your heart.

  5. This is great. I think too many people fail to think about what marriage really means before they enter into it. It is sad that so many have to fail. Keep up the good prayers! :)

  6. Thank you for your prayers for our marriage and for loving me so much. I love you dearly and am so thankful for you.

    And Yes! I will join you in praying on Mondays.

  7. Chantel~
    Me too! (Gets me all fired up.)

    Yes. It's so important to keep nurturing our marriages and keep on keeping on. :)

    Isn't it so sad?
    I'm so thankful that you'll join me in praying on Mondays, Christine!

    Wow, Jodi. What a powerful story that is. And yes! God can redeem it ALL. (I loved that book, too. It inspired me to make a "praying for my husband" list that I still pray off of.)

    Mighty M~
    So true.

    Awww.. shucks. You're welcome. I love you so much and am SO thankful for YOU! (And thanks for joining me in praying on Mondays, too!)



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