Words can be cheap. Any fool can make a vow at a wedding ceremony. But it takes character, perseverance, and tenacity to keep it. This especially applies to the tenacity that is required in persevering in marriage.
Before we marry many think that having a good marriage won’t be that hard to do. The relationship is good now; it’s only natural that it will grow to be even better. But that’s just not true! There is nothing natural about growing a good marriage. Building a good marriage takes a lot of hard work and a LOT of tenacity. That’s because both spouses will bump heads in disagreement in more ways than they could ever imagine! It’s extremely difficult to marry our differences so we enjoy our relationship.
Of course, all of this is bathed in prayer and doing things God’s way. If not, the marriage just won’t be as good as it could be! There’s no doubt about that!
We’ve seen some pretty good marriages out there. But the best ones always build upon God’s timeless principles. There’s no doubt in our mind that without the Lord our marriage would be lacking in more ways than we could count! Going God’s way is the best way! And to keep on course, we will have to apply a LOT of tenacity.
With that thought in mind, below you will find a few quotes to consider as far as being tenacious in following through with what you promised in your wedding vow. They concern going the extra mile in putting in extra effort to make your marriage the best it can be.
Tenacity in Marriage
It’s interesting what Dr Steve Stephens wrote in his book, “Marriage: Experience the Best” on this issue:
“It’s a sad state of affairs when we take better care of our cars and houses than we do our marriages. We change the oil, fill the tank, check the tires, and periodically tune up our cars. We change light bulbs, wash windows, paint walls, unplug toilets, and re-roof our houses. But what do we do to maintain our marriage? The truth is, more damage is done than repairs are made.
“How important is your marriage? Is it more important to you than your car or your house? Are you willing to put in the time and energy and whatever else it takes to prove to your partner how valuable the relationship truly is to you?
“Stop saying your marriage is important. Words are cheap. Rather, prove it! Prove it to your spouse by the effort you put forth. The bottom line is: Do you have the tenacity to make your marriage great?”
Training and Tenacity Required
We train for jobs —do extensive studying, not to mention the great expense of getting an education to get a better job. And yet, most of us would say that our marriages are more important to us than our jobs. So, why won’t/don’t we put even more effort into doing what it takes to be “successful” in our marriages? That will take tenacity.
For those in non-abusive marriages —where you are unhappy and think that you’ll never experience joy in your marriage again, keep the following study in mind. It was featured in Prevention Magazine:
“In studies of 700 miserable, ready-to-split spouses, researchers found that two thirds of those who stayed married were happy five years later. They toughed out some of the most difficult problems a couple could face. What was their strategy? A mix of stubborn commitment, a willingness to work together on issues, and a healthy lowering of expectations.”
In other words, these couples applied tenacity, and stubborn commitment.
And that, which entails “a mix of stubborn commitment,” and “a willingness to work” is also called perseverance. It’s something the Bible tells us is important to develop “so you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” We’re also told to “make every effort” to “add to your faith” perseverance in “increasing measure” because if you possess this quality “in increasing measure“, along with other virtues, it “will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We’re also told that perseverance produces “character.” (See: James 1:1-4; 2 Peter 1:5-8; Romans 5:3-4.) There is no doubt that if we apply ourselves and do all we personally can, we will benefit from all of this in many ways, even if things don’t go in the direction we think they should so we will be “happy.”
It would be good for us to consider what Paul Tripp wrote in his book What Did You Expect?, as it relates to this.
“There are moments in our marriages when we’re crying out for grace, not recognizing that we’re getting it. We’re not getting the grace of relief or release, because that isn’t the grace we really need. No, what we’re getting is something we desperately need. It’s the uncomfortable grace of personal growth and change.
“With the love of a Father, your Lord is prying open your hands. This is so you will let go of that, which rules your heart but will never satisfy you. With the insight of a seasoned teacher, He is driving you to question your own wisdom so that you will let go of your understanding and rest in His. Plus, with the skill of the world’s best counselor, God is showing you the delusions of your control so that you will take comfort in His rule. With the gentleness of a faithful friend He is facing you toward the inadequacies of your own righteousness so that you find hope in His.
“When you are tired and uncomfortable because you are living with someone who is not like you, what you tell yourself about what you are going through is very important. It is in this moment that you must preach to yourself the theology of uncomfortable grace. (See Romans 5; James 1; and 1 Peter 1.) Because when you do, you begin to be less resistant and more appreciative. And you are on your way to forging a marriage of unity, understanding, and love.”
Applying Tenacity in Marriage
We pray you will apply tenacity in your marriage. Preach to yourself to hang in there during the tough times. Ask God to empower you to apply stubbornness and perseverance. That’s what Professional Counselor John Thurman recommends. He also gives this insight (that will also help you to persevere):
“If you stay married long enough you will go through various seasons. There will be warm Summers of recreation, joy, fun, and great memory building. There will be Fall seasons in your relationship when you will see things are moving toward a somber transition, some things like dreams, feelings of love may appear to be dying or at least losing their zest. Then there is Winter, a time when things could be very quiet, cold and apparently dead. Unfortunately, so many mistakes this season in a relationship as final. Then comes the Spring, a time of new, fresh, growth, renewed hope and change.
“One of the most important things that my wife Angie and I have learned are that a couple cannot avoid these seasons. Way too many couples quit in the Fall and Winter seasons of their marriage. They lose hope, they quit.
“The resilient couple—those who are tenacious and persevere, learn that these seasons are just seasons, nothing more. And with that resilient mindset they live and learn through the falls and winters to experience personal and couple growth.” (From John’s article, “Perseverance and Tenacity”)
Growing Through the Seasons
As you apply God’s stubborn, persevering love, applying tenacity, may you:
“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun —all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might…” (Ecclesiastes 9:9-10)
This especially applies to marriage —a living picture of Christ’s love for His bride —the church. Concerning marriage:
“May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5)
“And this is my (our) prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ —to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
Cindy & 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:
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