We’re in a war, friends. There’s a full-on attack by the enemy on Christian marriages.
We see the casualties of well-respected leaders.
We hear the struggles of our friends’ marriages.
We live the battles of our own.
What’s Going On?
The truth is marriage is hard, y’all.
Marriage is difficult because we’re imperfect humans. Two flawed people living together forever is hard enough on its own.
Even if we weren’t under attack. But we are…
Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. -1 Peter 5:8
Our enemy is attacking us. It’s not hard to see why:
Attacking marriages is an excellent strategy to stop Jesus’ disciples in their tracks.Attacking marriages is an excellent strategy to stop Jesus' disciples in their tracks. Click To Tweet
When selfishness invades a home, it’s unlikely that the spouses are helping each other fulfill their callings. When a husband and wife can barely have a conversation, it’s pretty hard for them to work together to disciple their kids. When a husband and wife are battling against pornography or adultery, it’s a big distraction from doing anything great for God.
We cannot stand back and complain about the problem. Let’s fight for the marriages around us!
Before we continue, I want to say this post does not apply to friends in a marriage with an abusive partner or one who is unfaithful and unrepentant. In these cases, you may need to help them leave instead of stay.
What Can We Do?
Pray for the marriages around you. Pray for your pastors’ marriages. Pray for your own marriage.
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18
Need some ideas about how to pray for other marriages? This post has a great list!
Fasting is a spiritual discipline I’ve often overlooked, but the Bible has a lot to say about the topic. This post by a fellow blogger opened my eyes about fasting and how it impacts our spiritual growth.
I got the idea of fasting for marriages from the 40-Day Fasting and Prayer Challenge for Wives by Kaylene Yoder (It’s free!). A friend and I have committed to fasting one meal a week to pray for the strength of our own marriages and the marriages of people we love. If you feel led, you can join in too!
This is a helpful resource for fasting for beginners! It lays out the basics of fasting, suggests starting slow, and shares that it doesn’t have to be food that you fast from.
Speak truth, with grace
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. –Proverbs 27:17
Listen and love your friend. Encourage her to grow spiritually.
And when she’s way off-track, tell her with grace and love. Sometimes in the interest of friendship, we hesitate to say the hard thing because we think it will sound harsh or unloving. However, it’s more unloving to stand back and watch a friend destroy her marriage through her words, actions, or attitudes.
I’ve had friends speak truth to me about several things in my marriage, including not respecting my husband’s leadership, rushing him to make decisions, and focusing too heavily on the negative. My marriage is stronger because of it, even if it hurt at the time!
Ask the question
We’ve all been there. We’re listening to a friend’s story. Then a question comes to mind that we’re not sure we should say out loud. A question like:
Are you attracted to [male friend]?
Do you think [your husband] might have a porn issue?
Have you been alone with [male coworker] lately?
What do you think made [your husband] so mad?
Check your heart. Quickly ask for guidance from the Holy Spirit. If your motives are pure and you’re acting in your friend’s best interest, then ask the question.
Sometimes friends skirt all around an issue, waiting for someone to come out and ask. Then everything will come pouring out. (I’ve lived this! One question from a godly woman was all it took to make me run back to Jesus.)
Watch her kids so she and her husband can go on a date (or go to counseling!)
Make double of that freezer recipe you saw on pinterest, so the stress of dinner is calmed for at least one night.
Offer loving accountability for healthy habits she’s pursuing, like quiet time, exercise, etc.
Tell her husband nice things she’s said about him (in her presence, of course.)
Live life together. Stay in close enough contact that you know how to pray and how you can help.
Stay close to Jesus
Ultimately, you’re not going to help anyone very much if you’re walking far from God. One of the best things we can do for our friends is to have a vibrant relationship with Jesus! Through the working of the Holy Spirit, we can offer wisdom, discernment, and sound advice if requested.
We must band together as sisters in Christ and fight alongside each other. We are wrestling against the spiritual forces of evil and we can’t do it alone!
Your turn: How have you helped a struggling friend stay married?