The book of Proverbs is a collection of short instructions for living a good life. Most of it was written or compiled by King Solomon between 970–931 BC. Since it was written so long ago, many people may believe that these bite-sized pieces of wisdom would have very little impact on their lives and marriages. However, even in 2020, or maybe especially in 2020, we can apply Solomon’s words and turn a troubled marriage around.
Stay Faithful to your spouse.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it. Proverbs 21:20
Your spouse is a blessing. This person was willing to commit to you and create a life with you. That is a precious treasure, so don’t find a way to waste that gift, or “devour” it, as the verse says.
Keep your marriage safe by avoiding situations and people that could tempt you to stray. Don’t flirt with other people. Create definite boundaries for yourself that won’t put you in any place where your actions could be interpreted as sketchy.
Show they can trust you by keeping your phone available to your spouse. If you aren’t doing anything wrong, prove it.
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.- Proverbs 28:13
We’ve all heard the saying, “Honesty is the best policy.” This could not be more true in a marriage. Just one little lie will quickly lead to another. Those lies will embolden you to lie more until you have utterly destroyed the trust in your relationship.
After a while, the lies will begin to catch up with you, and your story will fall apart. As Judge Judy often says, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to have a good memory!”
Lying is a slippery slope, and I’ve seen it destroy a marriage I would never have thought could ever end.
Keep your promises
A person who promises a gift but doesn’t give it is like clouds and wind that bring no rain. Proverbs 25:14
As God is faithful to us, and always keeps his promises, strive to keep your promises to your spouse. The obvious promise you should keep is the one you made on your wedding day, but remembering to keep the everyday promises is just as crucial if you want to keep your marriage healthy.
If you know you won’t keep a promise, don’t make it in the first place. Perhaps you’ve done that just to end an argument. Instead, be honest and say that you probably won’t keep that promise because you are forgetful (or lazy, or busy, or don’t have the resources for it).
Also, if you make a promise, make sure both of you understand exactly what the promise is. If you expect one thing and your spouse expects another, you ask for a misunderstanding that could make your troubled marriage even more unstable.
Understand Seasons of Life
A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
Life is full of different seasons. Just as seasons bring change to the weather, seasons of life will bring change to your marriage. No matter how old you are, you will not be the same person 20 years from now, and neither will your partner.
Different seasons have different qualities. No season is better than another. They all have their purpose. For example, summer is warm and allows you to be outside, but it also brings hurricanes and other intense storms.
Seasons of marriage, like newlywed, child-rearing years, and empty nest all have their good and not so good parts.
This quarantine season probably affected your marriage. Some couples say they’re closer than ever, and others feel the love fading away. Remember, this is just a season, and it will pass. Keep purposely loving your spouse through it all, whether it’s times of adversity or prosperity by remembering that it’s just a season, and it will soon be over.
Appreciate what you have
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Proverbs 31:10
This proverb applies to a good husband too! You can make strides in your troubled marriage by recognizing the good things about your spouse and seeing their value in your life and as a child of God.
Do something each day to show your spouse that you appreciate the little things they do. Just a simple “Thank you” can do wonders for morale.
If you want to see more quick things you can do each day to show appreciation, read or 6 Ideas for Habits that Will Give You a Happier Marriage
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18
The tongue is the most dangerous organ in your body. When you are upset, disappointed, or angry, it can be challenging to control this monster. Those critical words chip away at your troubled marriage each time you speak to your spouse in a disrespectful and unkind manner.
Instead, remember your spouse is not perfect. They have flaws. So do you. Don’t hold your spouse up to lofty expectations. Build them up with praise for what you love about them and stop tearing them down with criticism.
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
In my family, just reading this verse can bring laughter! There’s an old song based on this verse that my pastor father-in-law used to have us sing all the time in church.
A merry heart, doeth good like a medicine
Like a medicine is a merry heart,
But a broken spirit drieth the bones;
A merry heart is the joy of the Lord.
Yes. Those are great words. But we ALL hated that song, and it became a family joke. I don’t think our feelings toward that song greatly affected his life. He’s a good sport.
The point is, this verse makes us laugh and finding ways to laugh with (not at) your spouse really will make you feel better.
In this article from the Mayo Clinic on stress relief, the experts say:
A good laugh has great short-term effects. When you start to laugh, it doesn’t just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A rollicking laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
So, look for the funny. Laugh about what you can, even when you don’t feel like it.
Find good role models
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
People say that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Use this to your troubled marriage’s advantage by surrounding yourself with friends who encourage you to prioritize your relationship. Look for couples that are older than you that you would like to model your marriage after and ask to hang out with them. Also, seek out couples in the same season of life as you are and are serious about their marriage. You can encourage each other along the way.
Will any of these proverbs help your troubled marriage build trust and connection? Send us a message on the form below and tell us which ones and what happened!
Or if you are struggling and feel like these things are just impossible at this point, please contact us today. We can help you bring your marriage back to a place of peace and contentment.