By Michelle S. Lazurek, Crosswalk.com
Marriage is one of the hardest relationships people have in their lives. As two people merge their lives together, they develop quirks and habits that can become annoying to their partner after having lived with them for so long. Those irritations, when left unchecked, can create big problems in a marriage. In today's world, approximately seventy-five percent of marriages end in divorce. Our own selfishness gets in the way of being an emotional support for each other. If you find you are fighting with your spouse constantly, your marriage may be that one mountain in your life you feel is too hard to move. Yet, a couple can move any mountain in marriage if those people are willing to do the work it takes to repair it. Marriage takes work. It takes a physical, emotional, and mental investment in your partner. If your marriage may feel like something too difficult to endure, here are four prayers to help move the mountains in your marriage:
Lord, Help Me See
In Luke7:36-47, Jesus spends an evening having dinner with a Pharisee. During this time, a woman who has a bad reputation enters the home. She washes Jesus’ feet and wipes them with their tears. However, the Pharisee is disgusted by the scene and secretly wants to know why he is doing nothing to stop it. This is what the passage says: “Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.” God saw the bigger picture. He knew this woman needed the grace and forgiveness that only he could offer. In the same way, we need to see the bigger picture of our marriage. We need to see the reason why that person feels negative emotions like anger. Strive to see your spouse through God's eyes. It's easy to allow the little annoyances and life to dictate the state of our marriage and make it more than what it is Jesus answered in that parable. Jesus, in this parable, asks, “Do you see this woman?” Yet, because his feet would have been reclining behind him, Jesus never saw the woman face-to-face at first. In verse 44, it says he “turned around,” which is when he saw the woman for the first time. Jesus didn’t need to see the woman directly; he already knew she should receive the same grace and forgiveness as the Pharisee! Jesus already resolved in his heart to offer her that forgiveness and grace we all deserve.
Lord, Help Me Forgive
Forgiveness is behind many of our marriage troubles. It's difficult to let go of things people do when we're constantly repeating bad behavior. Even if our spouse is unrepentant regarding his bad behavior, it’s important to let go of the little offenses. We are called to forgive even when we don't feel like it. If we feel like we can't forgive someone, spend time in quiet time with the spirit and ask him to reveal anything that you have done that would be hindering him from offering full forgiveness. God wants us to live our lives in freedom. He does not want us to live bound in sin. God allows us to be who we are, and we need to allow ourselves to forgive our spouses and allow them to be who they are too. Give them adequate space as it's easy to become enmeshed with our spouse as couples spend a lot of time together. Our spouses may need independence and space so God can mold and shape them too. Giving someone space doesn’t mean you’re not prioritizing your marriage.
Help Me Support My Spouse
It is important to support our spouses’ hopes and dreams. Better yet, help make those dreams a reality. Has your spouse always wanted to go on a trip? Has she always wanted a profession? As he wanted to start his own business? Whatever dream they hold in their hearts, spend some time trying to make their dreams a reality. It will go a long way with support and encouragement to know that you are in their corner and know they can achieve anything they put their mind to. Your spouse is not only your other half but is also an individual. Give them the space they need to be the people God desires for them. Being overly controlling or manipulative is not good in any marriage. It would help to seek wise counsel. Sometimes a professional is what a marriage needs to repair itself. Sometimes it is difficult to see our own blind spots, and it's important that we have someone reveal them to us so that we can work on it. When we strive to have a good marriage on our own merits and nothing works, we may need to seek outside help. If counseling is unaffordable or unavailable in your area, seek help from a pastor or leader in their church. Ask them for wise counsel on what to do and present some of your problems and see what they come up with. Brainstorm with someone and let them know there's a problem. It may be sufficient for people to pray and stand in the gap for you to move the mountain in your marriage. It's important to be a part of the local church body that knows both your strengths and weaknesses and can help you figure out your situation accordingly. Life is not meant to be done alone, yet we constantly do things on our own resulting in bad decisions. We often blame others (or the church) for those bad decisions. Yet, it’s important we make every effort to fix what is wrong inside of us before projecting those issues onto our spouse.
Lord, Help Me to Be an Example
Seek to display the fruits of the spirit in our lives. It’s easy to get caught up in what the other spouse is doing and become selfish rather than others-
centered. Your spouse may be standing in the way of change because they’re afraid of you repeating bad behavior. Help us to see their faults through the eyes of grace and be open to correction and change rather than waiting for your spouse to pinpoint changes. Our identity comes from Jesus. He is the person who makes us who we are whether our marriage is going well or not.
Every marriage has rough patches, dark valleys, and high peaks. To ensure there are more peaks than valleys, strive to see the other person as Jesus sees them. Forgive them for offenses, and let go of the little things. It's important to support other 's hopes and dreams. In doing so, you may find you have a better relationship than you thought. Let go of the offenses, be prepared for the power of Jesus to guide our lives, and allow the Holy Spirit to order our steps, and it will result in a fruitful and abundant life in every area of our lives, including our marriages.
Photo Credit: Unsplash/Franciele Cunha
Michelle S. Lazurek is a multi-genre award-winning author, speaker, pastor's wife, and mother. She is a literary agent for Wordwise Media Services and a certified writing coach. Her new children’s book Who God Wants Me to Be encourages girls to discover God’s plan for their careers. When not working, she enjoys sipping a Starbucks latte, collecting 80s memorabilia, and spending time with her family and her crazy dog. For more info, please visit her website www.michellelazurek.
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