Every couple has marriage problems. Some couples get past them, and some struggle to keep their marriage together.
Try this, though. Rather than seeing problems as something that ruins your marriage, see those problems as possibilities –possibilities to grow closer, improve communication, or learn more about what makes your spouse tick.
Working through problems can leave your marriage better off than before the issue existed.
How can you do this?
Job’s problem and God’s possibilities
First, remember that God is a God of restoration. Remember Job? He lost everything. His animals, servants, all his children. All at once. And then his wife told him to curse God and die. So even though he still had her, she might as well have been dead.
And then God let Satan attack Job’s body. Not only was he devastated over the loss of everything he had of value, but now he’s physically a mess too!
Yet Job never cursed God. He worked through it. And in the end, his life was restored, and even better.
“And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.” Job 42:10
The problems Job faced became possibilities for an even brighter future. Your marriage can have that same outcome.
These outcomes are not just for Job
In the chaos of 2020, “Graves into Gardens” by Elevation worship has become a favorite of mine.
You turn mourning to dancing
You give beauty for ashes
You turn shame into glory
You’re the only One who can
Check out all those negative things that God changes into possibilities for His glory.
God can, and will, restore your marriage, but not without you taking an active part in the process.
Just working on the problem has an effect on the brain that will make you feel more optimistic about your marriage.
“These findings help reinforce a strategy whereby individuals may be able to improve their emotional functioning — their mood, their anxiety, their experience of depression — not only by directly addressing those phenomena, but also by indirectly improving their general cognitive functioning,” said Ahmad Hariri, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke. https://www.psypost.org/2017/11/activity-brains-thinking-problem-solving-center-linked-avoiding-anxiety-50223
It’s like saying if you use the part of your brain meant for problem-solving instead of just dwelling on how terrible the problem makes you feel, not only do you put yourself on the path to the solution, you will feel better emotionally too! (God gave us such an amazing brain!)
So how can you get started solving the problem with this new problems are possibilities mindset? Read on!
Four steps to a new mindset about your marriage problems
Take some time, relax, and think about what you would like your marriage to look like five years from now. How would you treat one another? What would a typical day in your life as a couple look like? Brainstorm ideas and write them down, because you will forget if you don’t.
What problems would have to be fixed for that to happen? Trust? Connection? Attraction? Affection? Honesty?
Don’t start the answer to this question with “My spouse blah, blah, blah. Keep fault out of it; just look for the root problem. “We don’t (fill in the blank).”
Go to the One who has the most control over what will happen in your marriage. If you want your marriage to be stronger, God has to be an integral part.
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
Think of an actual piece of rope. If you have one piece of rope, it only takes one fray in the rope to cause it to break when you add weight.
If you take two pieces of rope and put them together, and then add weight to it, there have to be two frays in the same part of each strand for the cord to fail. A doubled rope is more than twice as strong as just one.
But, if you braid those two strands together with a third strand, the amount of strain the rope can handle increases exponentially because the chances of a fray, in the same spot of all three strands, is much smaller.
In your marriage, the two of you are stronger together, but adding God into the equation makes your relationship even more durable. He’s the third strand that doesn’t fray. Ever.
So braid God into your marriage, and pray.
When you pray, do three things:
- Take responsibility for your part in the problem, even if you are not sure what it is.
- Take hold of His promises for marriage. He doesn’t want you to be miserable, but He doesn’t want you to divorce either.
- Commit to solving the problem.
And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.”
But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
And he said to him, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Jacob.”
Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” Genesis 32:24-30
Like Jacob refused to let go of God, have the same dedication to your marriage. Let God know that you are committed to doing whatever you need to do.
Once you have prayed and have a path to take to turn your marriage problems into possibilities, get up, and take action. You have to DO something. Praying is essential, and it should be our first thought at all times of trouble, but if you just pray but do nothing to make the changes, nothing will happen.
You have to make a plan. Choose something that you can DO to put your relationship on a new track moving toward the marriage you want to have. Start small. Give yourself and your spouse a chance to succeed. Then build on those successes.
While going through this process, keep the mindset that you will turn these problems into possibilities. If you find yourself discouraged, refocus your mind on the fantastic outcome you will have if you stay focused on the great things that will happen in your marriage, if you work with God and don’t give up.
What’s your next step?
If you’re not sure how to start creating possibilities from your marriage problems, we have an opportunity for you. We guide couples like you through exercises where you will take action and actually begin to move your marriage forward.
If you’re ready to REALLY dig in and create a marriage worth celebrating, one that is aligned with the Word of God — We’re here to support you. We’ve been married for 29 years and have used these mindsets to keep our marriage on track or redirect it when we needed to. We can help you do it too.
People have come to us because they feel stuck in a marriage that doesn’t fulfill their need for connection. They were experiencing issues with trust, communication, honesty, or affection. They feel like a failure, frustrated, lonely, and unloved.
Some weren’t even sure what their marriage needed! But they knew that they wanted to save their relationship. So, they took the leap and reached out for help.
And, by working with us and knuckling down, they were able to find what their marriage needed to succeed. These couples created marriages that are more fulfilling and designed for the long term.
If you are ready to be less stressed, relieved, and, well, happier, we would be honored to coach your marriage from frustration to fulfillment.
Think about it — what will your marriage look like a year from now if things stay exactly the same? Think about that. Do you want to continue repeating the same destructive pattern?
OR, will you choose to get down to business and create a marriage worth celebrating?
If you’re ready to move forward, we’re here for you. Schedule a free 30-minute video call with us by clicking the link below. You can succeed at marriage, no matter what you might think today!