You may have heard it said, “Into every life a little rain must fall.” Some people seem to live in places where it rains more often than others. And some marriages seem to live where monsoons are a regular occurrence. But what happens when the really big storms come? Is your marriage built to withstand a lost job, a church split, a major health problem, or the loss of a child?
Unfortunately, most marriages struggle to survive small problems. If that describes your marriage, there’s little hope it will survive when a crisis hits. So now is the time to prepare. Now is the time to learn how to handle small problems. Here are six things you should consider:
First, make sure you and your spouse have God as your only priority. If work, church, or family is your priority, then what happens when one of those is taken out in a crisis? Your whole life is in shambles. But we know for a fact that God will never change. He will always be there. He is the Rock that can weather any storm. Like Job, you can say, “The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). If God is your priority, He can take away anything you have, but your focus is unchanged.
Second, with God as your priority, remember that He should determine how you respond to your spouse in every situation. Not your emotions. In order to do that, you’ve got to know His Word and what it says about marriage.
Third, in the midst of a crisis, you will be hurting. But remember that your spouse is hurting too. Take the time to listen to that hurt. Even if you think you’re hurting worse than your spouse, treat them as more important than yourself and work to minister to them. Self-sacrifice in the midst of a crisis is very hard, but it will go miles toward protecting your marriage.
Fourth, don’t let pride destroy you. You may not think you need help, but there are those in your church who can do a lot more for you than you ever thought possible. Let them love you and minister to you.
And, finally, spend a lot of time on your knees. Acknowledge God’s sovereignty, confess sin, admit weakness, and state your willingness to submit to His will. This goes right along with my first point, but I can’t overemphasize the importance of it.
If you start to practice these disciplines before you have a big crisis, you’ll be able to weather the storms a lot better. And it’s possible your marriage will do more than survive a crisis — it might just grow even deeper and richer during those really tough times.
Steve Kroening writes for Success magazine and also publishes Wisdom’s Edge. You can get Biblical tips on health, finance, relationships, parenting, and success, delivered to your email inbox every week. Simply visit http://www.wisdomsedge.com and sign up for this free e-zine.