Too many couples are giving up the fight for their marriage, thinking that if they don’t have a perfect relationship, their marriages aren’t worth saving. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. Marriage is worth fighting for!
How to Fight the Good Fight in Marriage
My parents fought through some tough battles in marriage. Gratefully, they came through those times together.
As well, my husband and I have wrestled through some turbulent times of our own. Even though hard pressed on every side, we weren’t crushed because of “the all-surpassing power of God within us” (2 Corinthians 4:7-10). Because of these battles, we’ve experienced firsthand what it means to “Fight the good fight of faith” in our marriage (1 Timothy 6:12).
If you have a desire to fight the good fight in your relationship, below are five ways to start fighting for your marriage:
1. Keep your vows.
Fighting the good fight of faith includes keeping your marriage vows to God and to one another, even when there is conflict, a difference of opinions, disappointments, difficulties, and more.
God doesn’t take your wedding vows lightly. And you have a responsibility to honor your pledge to Him, as stated, “When a man makes a vow to the Lord or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said” (Numbers 30:20).
2. Recognize your enemy.
Understand there are spiritual forces at work to divide your marriage and pit you against each other. Realize who the real enemy is to your marriage. 1 Peter 5:8 states, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
Sadly, too many couples see their husband or wife as their foe. But rather than believing the adversary, commit to seeing your spouse as your comrade. When you do, a strong camaraderie develops, like it does for individuals who have endured wartime battles together serving side-by-side. Fighting a common enemy builds bonds between people. Believe what Scriptures says about you, that you are more than conquerors through Him who loved you (Romans 8:37). Make a point of practicing 2 Corinthians 10: 4,5 by taking captive every accusation and unloving thought towards your mate to the obedience of Christ. Decide to submit each one to the Word of God, instead of letting the thoughts run wild in your mind.
3. Examine your own heart.
If you don’t feel like you can love an imperfect spouse, instead of focusing on his or her failures and flaws, examine yourself. 2 Corinthians 13:5 encourages you to “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-unless, of course, you fail the test?”
Ask God to reveal attitudes of your own heart that color how you look at your spouse. Instead of focusing on their weaknesses, ask God to expose areas in your own life that are not pleasing to Him.
4. Ask God to help you forgive your spouse.
Surrender your right to hold on to unforgiveness for the ways your husband or wife has messed up or disappointed you. Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”
Forgiving one another helps prevent the schemes of the enemy from being effective in your relationship (2 Corinthians 1:10.11).
5. Love your spouse regardless.
If you don’t feel love towards your spouse or believe your husband or wife no longer loves you, love him or her anyways, remembering, “we love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Also, consider how to above all, “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).
If you’re battling through your marriage, keep fighting! Look to God to work through the conflicts meant to tear your marriage apart, trusting Him to bring you closer to Him and to each other.
Set the goal in your marriage of being able to say, “ I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).