This is definitely one of the most uncertain times that most of us have ever had to live in within recent years. The Coronavirus is causing devastation all over the world in many different ways. Many people are sick and dying. And others are tense, and restlessness. We’ve heard that abuse hot lines are soaring in growing numbers. Also addiction issues are getting worse. Plus people are longing to break out to be liberated from all of the imposed restrictions. That’s why we’re asking you to join us to pray for marriages.
Please pray for people in general; but also pray for marriages. We’re hearing that people are filing for divorce in record numbers. Couples that should be partnering together during these difficult times are turning on each other. It appears to be a sign of these times where “men’s hearts are growing cold.” But God can turn (and in some incidences He is turning) those hearts in the right direction—His direction.
Earlier this week I was praying about what God wants for this Insight. All of a sudden, within my mind’s eye, I saw the face of a person who was visibly abused. It really shook me. I prayed for whoever that person might be. But the thought occurred to me that this face was just a representative of many faces all over the world.
Pray for Marriages
Right now, men, women, and children all over the world are being sequestered at home. Sadly, this situation adds to the tension in many abusive homes. As a result, “social distancing” is causing many people to feel trapped within their situations.
In my prayer time, God reminded me of something I experienced earlier in my life. It concerned a situation my mom. But before I share this, let me say that my mom had many wonderful qualities. I loved/love and miss her with all of my heart. (She died several years ago.) But despite her good qualities, she was a screamer. If she were here she would be the first to admit it. When she was upset, she would scream at us.
But this one time was especially bad. Unfortunately, she often screamed at us when we were in the car with her. She also smoked… a lot! So the car was filled with choking smoke, and she was screaming at us (4 kids) at the top of her lungs.
All of a sudden, I started to feel claustrophobic. Everything seemed to be closing in on me. And all I wanted to do was escape that smoke-filled scream box. I was so tempted to just open the car door and jump out. It scares me to think about how close I came to doing that. I could have been killed. (We were on the expressway.) Thank God I didn’t. Instead, I ran out of the car as soon as the car was stopped. But I’ll never forget how panicked and trapped I felt.
Pray for Marriages Where Spouses Feel Trapped
I tell you all of this for an important reason. This morning God impressed upon my heart that many spouses (and children) are experiencing those feelings. They feel trapped in their homes all the more because of the Coronavirus quarantines. I believe God gave me that vision so I would fervently pray for those who feel trapped. I also believe He is asking you to join us in praying for them. They need you/us to petition God on their behalf.
It’s especially important to pray that God would draw others to Himself. There is a world out there of people who don’t know Jesus in a personal way. They need Him now more than ever. But there are also people who do know Christ, that are forgetting to put Him up front and central in their focus. They justify their sinful actions because they’re in pain. But we must not allow ourselves to believe the lie that just because we are hurting so badly, solutions to do that, which we should not, are okay. It isn’t.
Lets continually pray for the promise God gives in the Bible. He says:
“If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
At this present time we need our land to be healed. But our hearts must be turned to Him before He will do this. God requires that we live life in godliness.
Pray for Marriages During Anxious Times
Please don’t let these uncertain time take your thoughts hostage. Instead, live out the following scripture that God gives to us in His Word:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6 ESV)
To help you do this, you might even post that scripture in a prominent place. It can be a continual reminder to give your anxious feelings and fears to God. As you do this, you will feel tension melting away. And as a result you will be able to more readily show your spouse godly love.
On this note, Drs Les and Leslie Parrott wrote this additional relevant tip:
“Be extra nurturing to one another during this difficult time. Seek to comfort one another—especially preemptively. Show each other love and do things that fill each other’s cups. This will look different for every couple since each of us have unique needs. Try to anticipate your spouse’s needs. And then fill them where you can. This is a time to pay special attention to one another’s love languages. Go over the top in showing love and care for one another. After this season is over, that love won’t be forgotten. Plus it will set you up for good habits in the future.” (Drs Les & Leslie Parrott)
We encourage you to pray for marriages. Also, prayerfully consider the following thoughts:
• “Like a wildfire, emotional wounding and defensiveness can spiral out of control and quickly consume a relationship. Couples need to be mindful of the negative cycles that arise in their relationship.” (Richard Nicastro, PhD)
If you are doing anything that can cause your spouse to feel trapped, work to break that negative cycle. God does not call us to abuse one another—verbally, emotionally, or physically. We are to show love to one another. Ask God to help you. Look to Him and lean upon Him.
And if you are feeling trapped, ask God for “a way of escape.” We don’t know what that would look like for you, but God does. And pray for marriages. You may be the only one who is praying for those who are especially hurting at this time. They need you to petition God on their behalf. Please note:
• “Prayer is always a priority, but especially in unprecedented times like these. Do you pray with your spouse? If not, now is the time to start. Praying together for your marriage and family is the most intimate thing you can do together.” (Jim Mueller)
Talking to God Concerning Your Marriage
Here’s something Stormie Omartian and then Debi Walter wrote that would be good for us to remember during tense times:
• “If you have been dealing with challenging issues in your marriage, it may seem like your relationship will never change. But don’t let your frustration get the best of you. While you and your spouse’s own efforts to change may fail, God will change your marriage if you pray. Prayer has the power to accomplish what nothing else can.” (From the Crosswalk.com article, “Transform Your Marriage through the Power of Prayer”)
• “Have you ever felt irritable with your spouse over insignificant things? Or maybe you’ve had significant things over which to fret? Have you discussed these issues with God? Have you asked His perspective? Many times God uses situations we think are for others when He is actually after something in our own hearts. He’s willing to tell us—but He often waits for us to ask!” (Debi Walter, from Theromanticvineyard.com article, Love Is Not Irritable)
• “The defects of a spouse must never be our first order of business. When divisions erupt, we must ask whether we can detect any selfishness in our own hearts and then ask God to renew within us the humble love that characterizes His image.” (Tim Savage)
• “Many marriages consist of two people who have become enemies. Consider this: It’s hard to hate someone you’re praying for. Your heart simply won’t allow it. It’s also hard to sling mud on a person who is praying for you. Does your marriage break out in all-out combat on a consistent basis? Try bombing your battles with prayer instead of anger. It brings amazingly effective peace talks to the conflict. But don’t just pray for your imperfect spouse before or after the battle. Pray with him or her during the battle. It’s hard to launch scud missiles when you’re on your knees praying for each other.” (Alex and Stephen Kendrick)
Please note as you pray for marriages, including your own:
• “Prayer Empowers. God uniquely tied marriage to prayer. In 1 Peter 3:7, we learn that a man’s prayer life is hindered if he’s mistreating and dishonoring his wife. Are you bitter with your spouse? Mark 11:25 implies that mountain-moving prayers are blocked by an unwillingness to forgive. And when a couple ties the knot, Scripture reveals that God has joined them together (Matthew 19:4-6).
“But as a wedding gift, God also gives each spouse a prayer partner for life. When a husband and wife pray together, they usher the presence of God into their marriage in a special way. His presence brings the love, joy, and peace that we all need residing in our imperfect homes.” (Stephen Kendrick, from Lifeway.com article, “When You Don’t Have a Prayer”)
• “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16)
Pray for others, your spouse, those who are hurting, and pray for marriages. Unite with God in changing this world so they know Him better.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
If you are not a subscriber to the Marriage Insights (emailed out weekly)
and you would like to receive them directly, click onto the following: