I remember sitting around a table of 5 friends.
Some closer than others and some fairly new in my life. It was a conversation I won’t ever forget. It offered emotion and conviction as well as anger and frustration. Words that cut deep and words that made no sense. With many hearts and minds coming together on this topic, I was overwhelmed with the truth that we all so desperately need Jesus.
Marriage was the conversation.
The pitfalls, the struggles, the challenges, and emotions. They talked about the fight to love. The fight to overcome selfishness. The fight to serve. I kept hearing that word:
fight. It was often in correlation to “hard” and “challenging” in the means of laying down themselves for their spouse.
I remember sitting there in utter disagreement, shocked even, that these certain words were taking over their hearts.
I remember thinking to myself, “it’s not hard to love my husband. It’s not hard to serve him. It’s not hard to hear him.” I remember wanting to know and dissect the emotions they were expressing.
But instead, I sat there and took it all in. Praying for discernment and patience. I sat there because before I spoke I wanted to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that what I said was gospel-centered.
Now, I have those words.
How to Fight for Your Marriage
I understand my frustration and confusion. It wasn’t because of the word “fight” itself, it was because of the way they were using it. It’s because of the rooted issue behind the conversation. The truth was, everything they were talking about had not yet ever been expressed to their spouse.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.”
A true biblical relationship involves the raw, delicate, and intimate side of communication.True biblical relationship involves the raw, delicate, and intimate side of communication. Click To Tweet
The kind of communication that sounds awkward to the normal ear, the very direct and inviting kind that maybe you only read in books, but it’s the kind of communication I believe to be biblical to its core. Here’s why.
In that James verse, we are commanded to essentially humble ourselves before the other. Give the benefit of the doubt. Listen and love. This is the way Jesus approaches us, and the way He loves us. In marriage, we have committed ourselves to live the same way.
So, when I think about the fight in marriage I think about the fight to choose him every day. To put him above myself. But I don’t consider the fight hard, or difficult. I consider it my duty as his wife and my command as God’s daughter. Part of that is because all that fight is inviting your spouse into the depths of your heart, your sin, and your emotion.
And him doing the same.
Here are 5 ways to show you how to fight for your marriage:
First… Ask how you can love your spouse better.
This is something we’ve been doing for a long time. We ask each other on a weekly basis, “How can I love you better?”
This is a safe and honest invitation to the other person’s heart. It allows you to bring
him into something that has maybe bothered you, or your struggling to accomplish or feel joy in. It allows you to let him know what you’re thinking and how you feel his love. The oldest saying in the book is true, friend, we can’t read minds.
We cannot expect them to read ours. Invite each other into what serves you, supports you, and encourages you. By withholding this information, you are taking his right away to serve you.
Let him love you the way he so desperately wants.Let him love you the way he so desperately wants. Click To Tweet
Second… Consider each other’s love language.
I couldn’t believe how important this was to discuss and dissect with one another. Take a moment and determine how you feel loved. Why? Because this will demolish those insecurities, the doubt, and the aggravation that can so easily creep in our hearts.
If you know how the other person feels love, you can express it ten times better. You can cater towards his emotion and consciously dive in deeper than you would without that knowledge. You’ll also know how to encourage the other person out of a bad mood
My husband knows that if I am stressed or frustrated I need to laugh. I need him to be goofy and wrestle me or dance with me. He knows that flowers or a hug won’t cut it. I need to be broken down into joy.
If he didn’t know that, how is he supposed to love me in those moments?
The staple of our faith is the staple of our marriage.The staple of our faith is the staple of our marriage. Click To Tweet
My favorite story to tell is how my husband decided to pursue me. He said, “If she is with the spirit and feels called to pursue me, and I am with the spirit and feel called to pursue her, and the spirit doesn’t contradict itself, then our decision must be to pursue
Simple, yet powerful. In marriage, our life is no longer our own. We are one with each
other. The decisions and hardships and experiences we go through are our decisions and hardships and experiences. Meaning, in order to do that together with faith, we must both be in the same place with God. So, pray together.
Prayer is our most vulnerable time with God. Doing so together tells the other person, “this is me. This is my heart and I want you to know it.” Go to God together, that He may bring you closer together in Him.Go to God together, that He may bring you closer together in Him. Click To Tweet
Fourth… Tell him how you feel.
This is a big one in regard to the story of the 5 women. Tell him. Talk to him about how you feel. Tell him what you are going through. Also, tell him what you are frustrated with. Tell him what hurts you. Tell him at that moment and tell him the truth. This one is not an option to ignore. Do not gossip about your husband.
Bring him your whole self and work through it together. Agree to receive each other’s hearts with grace and love. Agree to tell the other person with grace and love. Honesty and transparency will bring you to the point of true nakedness with one another. And it is so beautiful.Honesty and transparency will bring you to the point of true nakedness with one another. Click To Tweet
Fifth… Acknowledge your sin.
Marriage has beautifully brought out the darkest and ugliest parts of my sin. I have learned more about myself than I ever thought possible. It has revealed depths of my heart that I didn’t know was hiding. And it the most glorious thing. Why? Because having the opportunity to see my sin means the opportunity to repent and grow only closer to God.
When we take our sin for what it is and remember God and who He is, we can welcome the revelations and tackle them with the spirit. Together, as one, we can push each other closer to God. We can encourage and support each other in the process and
lean on one another through the emotion of it all. So, when you find yourself sinning, acknowledge it.
Tell your husband that you realized it and that you are sorry. This shows him that you feel safe and secure with him.Tell your husband that you realized it and that you are sorry. This shows him that you feel safe and secure with him. Click To Tweet
The Best Part
So, when I think of the fight of marriage I don’t think of it as difficult. I think of it as the beautiful choice to serve him the way we serve God.
In addition, I think of it as the fight to learn and grow and mold ourselves into the likeness of Christ.
I think of it as the beautiful gift of unity.
So, no. I don’t find it hard to love my husband. What I find hard, is what loving him brings – the revealing of my sin, the weakness in my heart, the hesitation in my worth. The hard part is realizing we aren’t perfect. Realizing we aren’t without flaw.
Realizing we desperately need Jesus.
But that hard part is also the best part.So, when I think of the fight of marriage I don’t think of it as difficult. I think of it as the beautiful choice to serve him the way we serve God. Click To Tweet
About the Author:
Amy Hornbuckle is a writer full time, wife to Dillon, part-time Children’s Director at her church, and is passionately pursuing the word and walk of God.
Her online ministry is designed to help you do the same by providing biblical resources and content. Learn her intentional method of studying God’s word, called the Jesus Meet Me method.
Outside of the ministry, she is an adventure junkie who loves to take her dog hiking, camping, trail running, paddle boarding, essentially anything outside and you can find her there!
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