Hope for the Disappointed: Nurturing Your Marriage with Wisdom and Love

Marriage can be challenging, but there are different types of challenges. Some marriages may be hard and hopeful, while others might feel hard and hopeless. Some marriages may not be marked by blatant betrayals or cruelty but may still feel disappointing, lifeless, and lonely. In these situations, it can be difficult to see hope for change and growth.

You Can Make a Difference

One person can make a difference in a relationship. Jesus says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). As a believer, you carry the Holy Spirit within you, who can bring life into desolate places. God can use your holiness in Christ to promote His work in others, giving hope in your marriage.

Overcoming Silence and Frustration

In disappointing marriages, silence or words were spoken in frustration can be common. However, neither of these approaches is helpful in the long term. The goal is to speak wise, loving words, which requires being a lifelong learner. Wisdom is founded on the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10) and involves humbly listening to His gentle, patient, and careful words.

Seeking Wisdom and Creativity in Communication

To speak wise words in your marriage, first, enjoy God’s loving words to you and listen to Him. Then, ask Him for skillful, beautified words – “apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). Get creative in your communication with your spouse. Share your struggles and joys, ask for prayer, and find ways to understand and connect with one another.

Understanding Differences and Finding Patience

Disappointment often arises from differences between you and your spouse. Understanding these differences can lead to greater patience. Discuss the influences of your early family life, and explore your unique personality styles and mental abilities. These conversations can help you gain insight into each other’s responses and motives.

Noticing Small Steps Forward

In a disappointing marriage, it’s easy to overlook small steps in the right direction. However, it’s important to remember that Christ is at work in you, and His work will impact your relationship. Look for ways the Spirit is working in you and your marriage. When you see progress, no matter how small, acknowledge and celebrate it.

These ideas may not be new, but they can serve as gentle reminders of the truths that can help revive a disappointing marriage. As you nurture your relationship with wisdom and love, trust in the power of the Holy Spirit to guide and transform your marriage.