If you’ve ever been caught outside in the midst of an unexpected storm, then I’m sure you know there is nothing fun about it. As the rain falls, and the wind blows, you are bound to get drenched. In that moment, nothing matters more than shelter, dry clothes, and (if you’re like me) maybe some hot chocolate. We instantly want to flee from what’s making us uncomfortable in order to find a place of comfort.
I must say, I would much rather be sitting inside on my comfy couch watching the rain fall outside my window (sipping my hot chocolate) instead of being stuck outside without an umbrella. But life isn’t always about sitting comfortably on your couch waiting for the storm to pass. Sometimes, you feel like the person caught in the rain. And sometimes that rain is on the wrong side of the window.
In marriage, the weather isn’t always sunny. Maybe you’re in a stormy season, or maybe you’ve yet to experience one. But, whether you’ve gone through one in the past, are in one now, or the forecast is currently sunny in your house, my prayer is that you begin to realize when you position your marriage under the umbrella of Jesus you then open up the door to healing, restoration, and joy.
In Matthew 14, Jesus calls Peter out onto the water. As Peter stepped over the side of the boat, he began walking on the water towards Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. He cried out, “save me, Lord!” And Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. As he was pulled to safety, Jesus said, “you have so little faith, why did you doubt me?”
Oftentimes, marriage starts out perfect. God calls us, and together we step out effortlessly crossing uncharted waters to get to Jesus. And then an unexpected storm comes, panic takes over, and our focus shifts from Jesus to our circumstances. What was once effortless is now causing us to drown. If you currently find yourself sinking, be reminded of Peter’s story, and remember you were created to boldly cross over waters, not sink.
How to weather the storm:
Shift your focus
Peter started sinking when he took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the wind and the waves. Although your storm may feel unbearable, don’t take your eyes off of the One who can calm the storm. Remember we live by principles and not our feelings. Learn to release your difficulties to God in prayer together.
There are many other marriages out there, marriages that may look perfect as you scroll through social media. But we all know perfection is an illusion, and social media is just a small window of someone’s actual life. In stormy seasons, comparing your marriage to your friends will only cause you more grief. Remember that God created your marriage to be unique and not a copy.
Communication in marriage is key. Without it, problems have the ability to pile up and become a weight too heavy to carry. Time spent talking to one another, and voicing how you feel is crucial. Cultivate a judgment-free zone, giving each other the space to communicate openly and honestly. Remember, you are a team. Seek to affirm and forgive instead of criticizing.
Don’t Speak Divorce
Death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Words build up or they can tear down. It’s no coincidence this verse comes directly before “he who finds a wife finds a good thing” (Proverbs 18:22). Remember your marriage is a good thing; choose not to curse it by what you speak.
Sometimes you need to seek outside help together, and that’s okay. Keep in mind that this should be from a trusted married couple or individual, someone who is a Christian and who can give you biblical truths for the season you’re in.
Your marriage is meant to thrive. Do you believe that? Your faith has the power to move the mountains that currently stand in your way. Commit yourselves to the Lord, and trust that the victory is already won. Remember, when you go through deep waters, He will be with you (Isaiah 43:2).
Don’t believe the lies: this will never get better, you have failed at marriage, you married the wrong person. Conflict in marriage is completely normal. It is possible to fight fair, and to come out of storms stronger and better than before. Storms have the power to bring you closer to God and closer to each other. Remember why you fell in love in the first place; let that anchor you when the boat gets rocky.
For more articles visit: www.NewLifeSouthCoast.com/blogs