Thirteen years ago today the people of the United States experienced an unimaginable tragedy. I was in my classroom preparing to teach 6th grade music when I was told that the first tower of the World Trade Center had been hit by a plane. I sat in shock as the events of the day continued to unfold.
What would happen next?
Was this really happening?
What could I do, but sit and wait.
The following days revealed much about our nation. Much like other times of crisis, we had to make a choice as to how we would let 9/11 effect us. We could choose to work together to rebuild or we could let it destroy us.
Have you ever experienced a crisis? How did it effect you? Your marriage?
Many marriages are greatly effected by crises-the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, financial hardship, or any number of things. Our marriage has seen its share of crises. The birth of our daughter was a crisis that effected us each individually and our marriage.
Steps to Strengthen Your Marriage
Your marriage is strengthened or shattered by the choices you and your spouse make during a crisis. What steps are you willing to take to strengthen your marriage in a crisis? Here are some steps you can take:
- Pray. The first step you take should always be prayer. Many times we react to dire circumstances with our emotions first. Try to recognize when you do this, and then take your concerns to the Lord. He knows what is happening and He wants to hear from you. Make sure you take time to pray together as well as on your own.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” – Matthew 6:33
- Seek to work together. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus gives us a picture of what we can experience when we work as a team. He tells us that as we allow ourselves to be “yoked” with Him we can experience rest during difficult times. You “yoked” yourself to your spouse when you chose to marry. When you are yoked together you carry each other’s burdens together, thus you lighten the load each of you are carrying. God gifted you each with different strengths so that you are able to be strong when your spouse is weak. United, you are stronger than you are on your own.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30
- Extend grace and mercy to your spouse. Crisis reveals the character of a person. You probably have seen the rough edges of your spouse or maybe you have shown your true colors during a crisis. Remember that God has shown us mercy and grace when we didn’t deserve it. He wants us to show that same mercy to our spouse. Rather than becoming frustrated with your spouse, consider how you would feel if you were in his shoes. Then treat your spouse how you would want him to treat you.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
It is possible for your marriage to grow stronger during a crisis when you pray, work together to persevere and extend grace to your spouse. Not only will your marriage be stronger, you may find that your love for your spouse has grown deeper as well.
Have you been through a crisis recently? What steps would you add to our list?
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