Have you ever prayed and prayed about something, and it seemed like your prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling and weren’t working? That God was too busy, on vacation somewhere, or didn’t care?
That isn’t true, but sometimes when you pray so hard and nothing seems to be happening, that’s how you feel. I have felt that way many times about my marriage of almost 23 years to Ray.
Ray and I have been through so much together. From day one of our marriage, the enemy Satan has tried to destroy it because of the ministry calling of God on our lives.
Here’s just a few of the spiritual battles we’ve faced:
- Financial crises (including our home foreclosing and bankruptcy)
- Step-family issues
- Ray’s career problems
- and much more.
Currently the challenge we’re facing is that we’re trying to buy our rental home. We don’t know if the house loan is going to be approved or not, so we may be moving (again!). We’ve had multiple moves in our marriage, and it’s NOT fun–very stressful. Please keep us in prayer and I will keep you posted!
What are some of the problems you’ve faced–and overcome–in your marriage or in the marriages of those you love? With a frightening statistic of almost 50% of marriages ending in divorce, even for Christian couples, it’s hard sometimes to have faith and hope that your marriage will last “’til death do us part.”
The answer is always JESUS. Don’t stop praying! Being a believer doesn’t guarantee you’ll have an easy, happy marriage, but God can and will help you as you cry out to Him and walk in humble obedience to His word.
He’s able to do the impossible in your marriage, healing and restoring it, and making it resemble a beautiful, stained glass window, a picture of Jesus and His spotless, radiant Bride, the Church.
Here’s a few tips from my new book on marriage, Stained Glass & Marriage: Reflections of Light and Hope by an Imperfect Wife:
- Forgive daily. This is really hard sometimes, but God has forgiven you and me of so much. We need to extend that love and forgiveness to our spouse. Ask God to help you agape (unconditionally) love your husband or wife, the way God does you. This is a powerful prayer!
- Pray for each other and with each other. Prayer can help to divorce-proof your marriage. One great resource I recommend isThe Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. Often as we pray for others, God changes our own hearts, convicting us of sin. It’s also hard to stay mad at someone that you’re praying for! Your prayers are powerful. (James 5:16) God wants you to have a happy, blessed, fulfilling marriage.
- Have fun together. Go on regular dates. When you first met him or her, you did fun things together to get to know each other. After you marry, you both get busy, work, take care of the kids, do chores and errands, etc. Make time with each other–without the kids-a priority. Dream again. Go have some FUN!
- Learn to communicate well, not just yell (or ignore each other). Ray and I recently attended a marriage retreat in Kansas City, Kansas, taught by Roger and Laureen Traver of Mountain Top Marriages ministry. In the teaching sessions, they have couples volunteer to demonstrate effective communication versus bad communication. You can use “I feel” statements instead of saying, “You always” or “you never,” or express how you are feeling, without attacking, accusing, or blaming. Listening to your husband or wife is an important key because most spouses don’t really hear each other–the words or especially the HEART message. I encourage you to consider attending the Travers’ marriage retreats. This was our second one and we’d love to attend more.
- Don’t give up. Satan is attacking Christian marriages hard today because he knows his time is very short and that Jesus is coming soon. What he’s really after is your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren–your godly seed. (Malachi 2:15) Don’t give Satan or the people giving you ungodly counsel to just go ahead and divorce “to be happy” the satisfaction of your marriage being destroyed. (Even some Christian marriage counselors, family members, or so-called friends will tell you this!) Don’t quit! Too much is at stake spiritually.
These are just a few of the tips I cover in my new marriage book, which compares marriage to the traditional art of making stained glass windows. God wants to make your marriage like beautiful, multi-colored stained glass windows, displaying a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Church.
I’m so happy to announce that this new book is now in print–a physical copy available for sale for you. You can find it here, and please share with your family and friends: https://www.createspace.com/6099550
This book is also available as an eBook for your Kindle at Amazon here: http://hyperurl.co/j1un48
It’s also available as an eBook for your Nook at Barnes and Noble here: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stained-glass-marriage-beth-jones/1123488507?ean=2940157802592
Just click below to see the new video trailer for this book! (It’s less than a minute long!)