Life can throw unexpected situations at us in a myriad of different ways creating a loss of hope in either spouse. In our marriage we’ve experienced health issues, financial struggles, loss of employment, consequences of sin, vocational challenges—and one or the other of us has had to be to hold the other up.
We recognize that situations and relationships are complex, so the following suggestions are simply signs pointing in the direction you can head in your marriage. We also know that hope is different from wishful thinking. Hope is based on certainty. It’s something in which you can have confidence. So take what seems to fit your marriage from these three categories and use them to bring hope to your spouse!
Bringing hope to your spouse begins by redirecting their attention above whatever is bringing them down. In Psalm 121 the psalmist wrote, “I lift up my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” His point is that his true help isn’t coming over the next hill–it’s coming from the Maker of the hills! Whatever is looming and bringing fear is brought into perspective when we remember the One who is far greater than the issue at hand.
Your mate needs to hear that from you. In Psalm 46 the psalmist declared that God is “an ever-present help in trouble.” You can remind your spouse that God will not leave them. Tell them that God promises to give the strength and wisdom they need as they seek to honor him.
Fear, loss, pain, grieving, uncertainty—these are all times when you can guide your spouse to recall the times that God provided in the past. God hasn’t deserted them even when things may feel like it. Some of the greatest men and women in the Bible were people who were molded through the fires of life. There can be purpose even in the deepest pain, as the cross of Christ reminds us.
Your spouse needs your faithful prayers for hope to be re-instilled into their life. We strongly recommend that you ask your spouse if you can pray out loud for them. You can pray and simply ask God to give them the strength and hope they need.
When hope begins to wane, so does one’s confidence. In marriage, you have the unique front-row opportunity to inject hope into your spouse’s life. Let them know that you believe in them. Be specific about the good you see in them. Affirm the qualities of their character that are the bedrock of who they are.
Reaffirm your unconditional acceptance of your spouse. Let them know that you have never regretted saying, “I do” and you’d marry them all over again no matter what you two are facing. Tell them in your words, your touch, and your tone of voice that you love them and respect them.
You have the opportunity to be your mate’s biggest cheerleader. Your belief and support will help to billow their sails to move forward in greater confidence and hope.
This is the time when you let your spouse know that you are inseparably linked shoulder-to-shoulder as you face the future together. Knowing that they have a teammate who is committed to them will bring hope to their spirit and lift their countenance. Tell them that you are by their side no matter what may come. Give them confidence in the stability of your marriage, and they will have hope even as they face the valleys of life.
Being a hope-giver requires perseverance because your spouse will need multiple infusions of hope from you. Your spouse may struggle for a long time to believe you or trust things can be better, but God has called you to this role. You can have hope because God will give you what you need as you Build Your Marriage with hope!