Here’s a revelation. Marriage is not always a bed of roses. Couples face challenges in their relationship that can take a toll on their emotional well being…especially their sense of gratitude. At times, these hardships can either leave you stronger or weaker. Mentally and spiritually, the weight of these difficulties can leave you feeling down and possibly advance into a state of depression. As a way to combat trying times in your marriage, it’s important to remain thankful and do things that make you happy and keep you healthy and sane.
“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” Colossians 3:15
Trying times in your relationship offer opportunities for reflection and a chance to improve the areas that need to grow in your character. By showing gratitude to God for how far He has led you in your marriage, you are able to redirect your focus from the problem to the One who can solve them. Remember, God created you and won’t allow you to face more than you can handle.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
When life seems overwhelming, rather than slide into a pit of despair, switch your thoughts to happy times in the marriage and remain thankful as written in the Scripture.
“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
With that in mind, here are four ways to remain thankful in trying times in your marriage:
Write down things you’re thankful for each day
Remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in your life and write down five things you are grateful for. When you sense yourself slipping off into a sad or depressed mood, this exercise can help to bring you back to reality. The act of writing down God’s daily blessings in your life is a way to change your mood from discouraged to thankful in a heartbeat.
Share the things you are thankful for with others
I have a friend who, when asked how she is doing says “I’m great and grateful.” The ability to remember God’s blessings in your life and share them with others has its way of stirring up gratitude in your heart. It leaves you with awe-filled memories to worship Him, and helps to keep the complaining to a minimum.
Engage in activities that give you peace and keep you thankful
These are moments when you absolutely absorb yourself into an experience by completely engaging your mind in whatever it is you’re doing. Activities like artwork, writing, and sports have a way of distracting your mind from and keep your face from being downcast. They also help you to lose yourself and enjoy what you are doing. These moments allow you to open up and move toward peace. The more active moments you engage in, the happier and more thankful you’ll become.
Study God’s Word on being thankful
While this is last on the list, it is certainly not least. Strengthen your faith with God’s word; meditate on scriptures regarding thankfulness and commit to them to memory. They will help you to always be grateful to God no matter the circumstances. Remember, without expressing thanks to God, it is difficult to lift your heart from despair to worship.
When marriage is difficult, your emotions can get out of control. Gratitude for as many things you can think of, including your spouse can not only ease your pain but give you hope that a better day is coming.
BMWK, what are you grateful for?