Does your spouse dread coming home? Do you dread it when your husband or wife comes home?
I know from experience that when you’re in a bad place in your relationship, the last thing you want to do is read about how to be a better spouse. Especially when you’re convinced that an article telling your husband or wife how to be a better spouse would be much more helpful.
Yet here you are, and here I am. You may need encouragement; you may crave a miracle. And I need inspiration on how to say what I want to say without losing your attention.
I’m sure that you want to be the spouse you always imagined you’d be. But being married is challenging, and you might wonder sometimes if it’s worth it. I often wish it was as easy to be a good spouse as it is to write about it.
On your wedding day, you pledged to love and cherish your spouse for the rest of your life. Have you kept that promise? I know many of you are probably thinking, “What about my spouse’s promises to me?!” And that can easily become a cycle — both of you feel unhappy and neither of you want to be the first to do what it takes to get your marriage moving in the right direction.
But what would happen if today one of you decided to make a change? Rather than waiting for our spouse to take the first step, we can ask God for the grace to pray Psalm 139:24: “[God,] see if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (NIV).
What would happen if you invited God to reveal to you the areas in which you are wrong? To show you any behavior that isn’t pleasing to God? Then to lead you back to God’s ways? I’m not discounting or minimizing your spouse’s shortcomings, I’m simply offering you a different option for handling difficult situations with your spouse. Sometimes the middle of a rough patch is the perfect time to take a step back and begin bridging your way to peace — and perhaps a miracle.
We can ask God to help us value our spouses even when we’re not in the best places in our marriages. Let’s guard our thoughts about our spouses, and only speak well of them to others and to ourselves. Every time we’re tempted to do otherwise, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to stop us mid-track.
If you and your spouse choose to love and honor one another through the happy and the difficult times alike, you will have the kind of marriage you always imagined even years from now. And now is the perfect time to start.
Sheryl H. Boldt writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her weekly devotions have appeared in newspapers across the South since 2014. She and her husband, Bert, enjoy counting pelicans at their home on the beach in the Florida Panhandle. You can visit Sheryl’s blog, Today Can Be Different, at http://todaycanbedifferent.net/ and contact her, if you would like, through the “Contact” page on her blog.
Joining friends at The Upper Room in morning prayer on Facebook Live has been an anchor in the storm during recent weeks. In the chaos of trying to figure out how to do ministry in strange and uncertain times, it was a compelling call to stop, breathe, listen, and be in community with those who gather "where the world meets to pray." Join us each day for morning prayer.