No one ever wants to hear bad news about their health. Whether you go to the doctor for a routine visit or you’re forced to see a specialist because of a specific new ailment, most of us desire a positive outcome. But what do you do if you’re suddenly faced with sickness in your marriage? It was July 15, 2018 when my friend Chloe found out she had breast cancer. Though a devastating diagnosis, Chloe credits much of her fighting spirit not only with God, but with her husband Mike. From the very beginning, Mike’s attitude was that they would get through it. Chloe believed him. Married 25 years, they had seen their fair share of trouble. But their relationship had been rooted in Christ for a long time and their faith would have to guide them through this one.
5 Scriptures to Help You Through Sickness in Your Marriage
- Leave your guilt behind – 2 Corinthians 12:9
- Empathize with your spouse – Philippians 1:27
- Seek God for yourself – Deuteronomy 4: 29-31
- Get the right perspective – Galatians 6:9
- Remember your vows – Proverbs 24:10
So, this is breast cancer awareness month. In some ways, it seems almost flippant to refer to Chloe’s diagnosis as merely “trouble.” I mean, regardless of how far we’ve come with modern science, a cancer diagnosis is still a crushing blow to the psyche. Many of us, self included, would find it a difficult barrier to overcome. For those who are married, it’s comforting to know you have someone by your side to help you through a major sickness in your marriage. At least it should be. Unfortunately, the toll an illness places on a marriage can lead to separation if you have nothing to fall back on. In addition to scriptures that helped sustain Chloe’s faith, here are some verses to help you in the fight when your physical and spiritual walk are put to the test.
Leave Your Guilt Behind – 2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s not easy to watch your spouse suffer. Regardless of which spouse you are, the healthy caregiver or the sick partner, each one can feel burdened by the other’s pain. Chloe struggled with the hardship she felt her sickness put on Mike. But she knew if they were going to make it through, she had to come to grips with God’s and Mike’s grace.
2 Corinthians 12:9 – “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Empathize With Your Spouse – Philippians 1:27
One of the things that has helped Mike and Chloe is placing themselves in each other’s shoes. Try to understand what your spouse is facing. Talk to them about their struggle. Then treat them the way you would want to be treated. By showing empathy, you strengthen your bond and your faith through the process.
Philippians 1: 27 – “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel.”
Seek God for Yourself – Deuteronomy 4:29-31
In order to empathize with your spouse, you must be able to draw strength from your own personal walk with God. Regardless of how strong Mike is in his faith, Chloe knew she couldn’t get through this fight without seeking God out for herself. If you are facing sickness in your marriage, seeking God for yourself is a must.
Deuteronomy 4:29-31 – ” But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the Lord your God and obey him. 31 For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”
Get the Right Perspective – Proverbs 24:10
Mike considers it an honor to care for his wife. Chloe recognizes the importance of letting Mike know she needs him. Though they are facing this battle from two different perspectives, staying the course is not a cakewalk. Sickness is emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing on both spouses. But the right perspective is sure to keep you strong.
Proverbs 24:10 – “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!”
Remember Your Vows – Galatians 6:9
I saved this scripture for last because if all else fails, this one shouldn’t. Times of trouble are bound to come. Many times, our vows are the only thing keeping our relationship standing. So when facing sickness in your marriage, remember your commitment to your partner “in sickness and in health.” Remembering your vows improves your chances of not growing weary when times are tough.
Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
For Mike and Chloe, it’s breast cancer and they are trusting in God and standing firm on their vows. For you and your spouse, it may be something else. No matter what your situation, the right scripture can help you through some of your hardest days. As it says in Ecclesiastes 4:12, “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
BMWK: What scriptures help you in your marriage when facing life challenging situations?