Heather Marshall on August 11th, 2008

I am blessed with a wonderful marriage. I have a husband who loves God and loves me, and we both strive to be the spouse that God wants us to be. It is not difficult for me to love my husband (even though he can get annoying sometimes!), and it is certainly not difficult for me to imagine us together in 50 years. We’ll be a lot slower and grayer and probably wrinkly… but I look forward to the idea of us growing old together.

However, this is not the case with every marriage that I see. I know of a few couples who have difficult marriages. This may be, in part, due to the fact that one (or both) are either not saved or not walking with the Lord. Some of these couples “hope” they’ll be together in 5 years, but aren’t sure simply because divorce is an option for them. For some Christian couples, divorce is not an option and they’ve geared themselves up for a long and arduous journey.

As I was reading the book “How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong,” by Leslie Vernick, I came across a paragraph that made me stop and go, “Oh wow.” I read it, reread it, and then read it to Jason… I really felt that God was speaking through those pages, and it was written directly to those whose marriages are struggling…

WARNING: If you are reading this, and you’re not happy in your marriage, this will not make you happy! In fact, it might upset you or cause you to get angry. That may be the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and I would encourage you to pray about what is said here. It is powerful…

“The dictionary defines perseverance as the ability to ‘remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in spite of obstacles.’ In order for us to develop perseverance in our marriage, it is crucial that we understand the specific purpose or idea to which God calls us to remain true.

Many Christians are committed to staying married. No matter how awful their marriage is, they will endure; they will never divorce! Although not a bad idea, this goal falls far short of what God intends. God doesn’t command us to be committed to staying married; that is too easy. He requires us to be committed to loving our spouse. That is a whole lot harder than just not filing for divorce. To love my spouse means I must pursue him, attempt to engage him, to actively seek to know him and to live my life in ways that are in his best interests. Ouch! How do I do that when I don’t feel like it or he isn’t responsive? How do I love when he doesn’t give me much love in return? when I am angry? when he has just hurt me? It starts with perseverance - choosing to stay committed to your goal (of loving your spouse, of loving God and glorifying Him) no matter what the obstacles. Perseverance is a long obedience in the same direction. Marriage is a long walk.”

(excerpt from “How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong” by Leslie Vernick, p. 129-130; emphasis mine)

Convicting even for me in a happy marriage! I pray that as you strive to be a wife after God’s own heart, you would evaluate what you are committed to in your marriage. Are you committed to just your marriage, or are you committed to loving your husband? God’s not happy with mediocre marriages. He planned marriage to be a wonderful union, the closest two people can possibly be… and it must break his heart to see Christians settling for less than His best!

God can restore even the worst of sinners, the deadest of marriages, and the most awful of circumstances…. choose to obey Him first, and He will supply the rest!

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Matthew 6:33

Do you have a perseverance story? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, or questions …. leave a comment below!

Keep on Striving!!!


63971: How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts Wrong How to Act Right When Your Spouse Acts WrongBy Leslie Vernick

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8 Responses to “Perseverance in Marriage”

  1. Dear Heather,

    You did it again girl! Tears flowing - but good ones!

    I had a wonderful blessing just now - I was able to read that paragraph starting on the definition of perserverance down to “marriage is a long walk” to my unsaved husband. He listened and made a little joke about his best interest (to which, in all honesty, was true) but he reacted positive to it - I was able to let him know I was in our marriage for life and I am growing as we go. Then he gave me a huge smile, a kiss, and a thumbs up on his way out the door back to work after lunchtime. I was also able to explain that this is the definition of marriage that I grew up with and striving for.

    I read your note about the warning but I did not get angry - only full of peace as that is what I/we are striving for and you said the truth.

    Brian is very open to God’s word and has questions, so I pray that a Christian man will come into Brian’s life and share more.

    Thank you Heather so very much!!

  2. Graet post! God doesn’t want our marriages merely to survive, but to thrive!

  3. Awesome post, Heather! This is such an important topic today~ loving our husbands and enjoying thriving marriages!!

    Thanks for coming over and thanks for your kind comments. I would love to read “A Wife After God’s Own Heart!”


  4. Karen, your comment made me cry! I’m over here, blubbering like a baby, but so blessed!! I am praying hard-core for your marriage and for your husband’s salvation! Keep on striving…. I can already tell you’re doing a great job!!

    Honestly, I recommend reading this “How to Act Right…” book. It deals a LOT with loving and treating unsaved spouses right. I’m almost finished with it (I don’t have a whole lot of time to read these days so it’s taking me a while!) but these last few chapters seem to be dealing directly with loving your husband God’s way.

    Ladies (and any gents that drop by), let’s remember to keep Karen and her husband in our prayers!!

    Keep on striving!

  5. Thank you Heather, Thank you!!

  6. hey heather i can tell your an awesome wife…an awesome wife takes work its not easy but its worth it!

  7. My husband and I have been married for 3 1/2 long tumultuous years. We’ve both wounded each other deeply with our words and actions and we’ve tried to “fix” our marriage without God. We flirted with divorce on several occasions and we are going through a very rough time right now. We have 2 beautiful little boys and I feel as if they are the only thing keeping me in my marriage which is terrible. We’re hurting them either way by modeling how NOT to treat a husband/wife. I’ve been reading through your blog for the first time today and I pray that since God led me here today that this will be the beginning of a heart transformation and the renewing of our marriage. Thank you for being a vessel for God’s glory and a testament to his love for us. I pray that your marriage continues to flourish. Thank you.

  8. My husband and I have done the same thing and I have learned that it cant be fixed or be healthy without God in it and he being first and foremost. and once you have that extablished it will all just come together on its own. Just pray for his constant guidance and be patient. I am finally geting my husband to come around and see this also and I belive it is going to save our marriage and that is all that I want more that anything. thank you so much for your web site it is such a blessing.


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