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The classic wedding vows. “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…” add a little 1 Cor 13, instrumental love songs, fancy clothes, and that doesn’t sound so bad. Wait, what?

Yep, I said what I said. Think about it for a second. When we were in the dream stage of our pre-married lives, we thought we’d be able to handle whatever the future held because doves would constantly be circling overhead. Love would be enough to push us through any situation.

The reality is that tough times come, and the doves aren’t around anymore. How romantic does this sound…things are so much worse in our relationships right now than ever, we are facing some big struggles due to chronic illness, or we are really struggling financially and cannot pay our bills. No amount of romance, rom-com movies, love songs, or flowers will fix those problems.

Sad, but true, we will all face many situations that are undesirable in marriage.

10 Tips to Handle the Difficult Times

  1. Know you are not the only couple or first couple in history to have this struggle. Many couples have worked through it. You can too. (John 16:33)
  2. Pray and ask God to guide you through the struggle. (1 Chron 16:11)
  3. Search the Bible for guidance and answers. (Psalms 119:105)
  4. You are a team, work with your teammate. (Hebrew 10:24)
  5. Work (see #4) means effort, sometimes hard, uncomfortable effort. (Hebrew 12: 1-3)
  6. Discuss if your expectations are realistic. (Jeremiah 29:11)
  7. Brainstorm with your spouse and be open to making changes that will benefit the marriage. (James 1:5)
  8. Seek a non-biased person to help guide the two of you. (Gal 6:2)
  9. Refrain from speaking ill of your spouse to others. (Eph 5:33), (Prov 12:18)
  10. Only seek guidance from people, who are for your marriage and in right relationships with God. (1 Cor 6:14)

Don’t give up. God keeps his promises.

Gal 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

What would an abundant harvest look like in your marriage?