This weekend will be THIRTEEN years of marriage for JC and me. It has not always been easy. As we’ve grown in our faith I have learned that praying for your spouse & your marriage is SO important.
One of my favorite memories of our wedding day was when my childhood pastor stopped, in the middle of reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, to remind me specifically “Stephanie, love is patient!” Those verses are something I repeat often.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7(NLT)
Using those verses as a template I think there are a few key things we should be praying over our marriage & our spouse.
We should pray for patience. Patience, when after 13 years they STILL cannot put the dirty laundry in the hamper. Patience, when you are facing a situation and you don’t agree on how it should be handled. Patience, when you see your other half struggling with waiting. So often I think we forget that we can be an intercessor of prayer for our spouses. If you see your husband/wife struggling with being patient PRAY for them.
Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 (NLT)
We should be praying for kindness. Kindness in the words we choose to use not just with each other, but also about each other. If your spouse struggles with kindness, don’t pray ABOUT them, pray FOR them.
Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing. Proverbs 12:18(NLT)
We should pray for humility. I think the best piece of marriage advice we were given was a reminder that marriage is NOT 50/50. It is 100/100! We are supposed to always give 100% and, to me, that means that we need to humble ourselves and put our spouse first. (but not above God)
This is a hard one for me personally, now that we have kids. I think the tendency is to put the kids before our marriage and I had a good friend tell me once that basically, if the marriage falls apart then the kids lose. It is SO important to put our marriage first! We need to pray that we can take pride in our marriage but not be prideful about our marriage. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what others think your marriage looks like on social media. It ONLY matters how your marriage looks between you, your spouse, and God. Pray that you DO NOT let pride stop you from seeking Godly council. Pray that you don’t get so wrapped up in social media appearances that you forget real life. Pray that you can set your needs aside for the needs of your spouse. If you are not in a place right now that you can pray that, then just pray that God will work on your heart towards your spouse. Pray that God would give you a heart of humility.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3-4(NLT)
We absolutely need to pray about forgiveness. NOT forgiveness with stipulations, just forgiveness. None of us are perfect, and neither are our spouses. We need to genuinely forgive and try our best to not bring back up the last 267 arguments we’ve had. Its tricky, because if its the same issue over & over it can be like ripping of a band-aid, just reminding you of all the other times that you’ve had to forgive this same thing.
Pray that you will be able to forgive and work through any hurts you might still be harboring. Pray that your spouse can forgive you for your shortcomings (remember the whole humility thing!?) Pray that you can move forward with a marriage full of grace towards one another. Don’t let something silly like how they loaded (or didn’t load) the dishwasher turn into a huge argument.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13(NLT)
Most importantly (I think) we need to pray for perseverance! Y’all the marriage and divorce statistics nowadays are just sad. Too many people buy into the “I love them, I’m just not in love anymore” excuse and call it quits. Too many people think the grass is greener on the other side and decide to leave. Too many people lose their patience, they get aggravated and start to only tell their spouse the negative things they see, too may couples let pride step in. Too many couples are letting those whispers of “you’re right,” “other couples don’t have to deal with this,” “you’d be better without them,” “you deserve better…” and so many more lies, come between them.
Now, I understand that there are some situations that you cannot tolerate. Barring those things I hope y’all will take time to pray. Pray for patience, kindness, humility, and forgiveness. Pray that you will not allow pride to take hold of your marriage. Pray when you feel Satan starting to attack your marriage. Include God in your marriage, put him first, form that triple braided cord that can’t be broken!
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12(NLT)