Like any other couple, we have seen our share of change in almost 35 years of marriage. And so have you. There are all kinds of things that can change in our lives: health, job, career, having children, moving, financial (up or down), deaths, accidents, church, friendships, and the list goes on. And even if only one of you is facing a change of some kind, it affects both of you…and your marriage.
Throughout the pages of the Bible key personalities faced change. Here are just a few of them:
- Adam and Eve: relocation, death of a child
- Abram and Sarai: relocation, infertility, parenthood
- Joseph: betrayal, relocation, injustice, career change
- David: “career” change, persecution, discipline from God
- Jeremiah: injustice, persecution, relocation
- Zechariah and Elizabeth: infertility, parenthood
Change is inevitable. The question is: How are you going to navigate the change to BUILD your marriage and not damage your marriage?
From our experience, here are seven keys to staying strong in your marriage as you face different seasons of change:
1. Stay unified
Change can create insecurity, instability, fear, frustration, anger, and sadness. The context of change can reveal emotions that you don’t normally experienced together. These could be hotspots for the Enemy to throw fuel and try to create division. It’s important to show grace to one another. Use the experience to discover new things about each other, showing acceptance and support. Fighting for unity while going through change can deepen and strengthen the bond between you and your spouse.
2. Trust God
It can be easy to be focused so much on what is creating the change that we take our eyes off of our faith in the One who can guide, strengthen, and provide for us. Remind each other of God’s presence. Regularly pray together and seek his comfort and direction. This is a unique opportunity to build each other up in your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
3. Be obedient
Stay faithful to your identity as Christ followers. We have seen too many individuals turn to ungodly means of coping with change (drinking, drugs, pornography, etc.). As a result, they drift away from each other and lose God’s blessing and guidance in their deepest time of need.
4. Protect each other
Often when change hits a marriage, the one who can create the most pain in your spouse’s life…is you (and vice versa). Instead, make a firm commitment to provide care where you spouse is hurting. Be empathetic—try to understand and feel what they feel. Build up and encourage your spouse in their faith. Provide reassurance of your steadfast commitment “for better or for worse.”
5. Get prayer support
Ask people you both trust to support you in prayer. Be specific in your request as it relates to your need. The covering you receive in prayer will bring supernatural protection and wisdom when you need it most.
6. Seek godly counsel
You are not alone. There can be immense comfort and help when you talk to others who have been through your situation. Seek those who can provide a biblical framework for you both. At some point in your future, you may be able to do the same (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
7. Keep God’s perspective
Remember, nothing that you are facing is a surprise to God. He sees the big picture and knows how everything will play out. We have found strength in a familiar verse found in Romans 8:28 that says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
As you practice these seven keys to staying strong in change, your intimacy with God and each other will deepen and you will build your marriage!