/ / Love Keeps Going When the Going Gets Tough

Love Keeps Going When the Going Gets Tough

Love and marriage are not always very easy. Love is a choice in the hard times. Here's how love keeps going when the going gets tough.  #marriagegoals #womenlivingwell #messybeautifullove

Welcome back to the Messy Beautiful Love*Book Club!

Messy Beautiful Love Cover

{To find the weekly schedule and FREE downloadable Study Guide – click here.}

Today we move into chapters 3 & 4 and we have a guest writer – hooray!  Her name is Bridget.

Bridget profileBridget has been married to her best friend for 14 years. Together they have 3 boys and 1 little girl. For the biggest part of her life Bridget has been concerned with what others thought of her marriage and how she was raising her children. It wasn’t until she realized that there is no such thing as a cookie cutter way to do things that she realized that she was never going to be perfect. That is when she started to view herself with grace. It was then and only then that motherhood and marriage both seemed to make sense.

Bridget lives in a small town in North Carolina and has all her life. She writes full time at Becoming A Godly Wife there she encourages women to be the best wives, mothers and children of God that we can possibly be. When she is not writing you can find Bridget curled up to a good book, playing with her children and stealing special stolen moments with her husband. You can follow Bridget on Twitter, Facebook, G+ and Instagram.

Bridget is also a part of the Good Morning Girls Leadership Team and I am thankful for her story she’s about to share of how God has transformed her marriage.

********************

Bridget writes:

When my husband and I first met it was that fiery spark that was deep within me that he loved the most. I was able to care for myself, I was stubborn and yes I would fight for what ever I felt was right.

Little did we know that this was no way for a marriage to be.

Being submissive and willing to step away from conflict was not my strong suit for a very long time. This stubbornness inside me was stunting the growth of my marriage. I was being selfish and living in a “it’s all about me kind of world”. I was so quick to point out my husband’s flaws and never wanting to admit my own.

It wasn’t until I fully gave over my life to Christ that I was truly able to see how bad my actions were hurting my family.

My husband was still a non – believer yet the more I began to pray for God to make changes within me to save my marriage the more I was able to see my husband in a different light. In a purer light. In a way that only God sees us.

In those moments, I was determined I was going to be the best wife I possibly could. I was going to become a Biblical wife. One who was willing to submit even when I felt I was wrong and I was going to be willing to turn the other cheek when things just were not going my way. In fact, I was determined that anytime that things got rough I was going to be even nicer.

This however seemed to be when Satan struck the hardest. He knew my weak point and he knew to get to me, all he had to do was use my husband. And use he did. That was the roughest year of our marriage. That was when I felt as though we were the most divided.

So many times I wanted to scream “If you would only see the truth and believe this would all get better!” Instead I would go to bed silently crying and praying.

The end justified the means….after too many nights to count of praying and of giving up my need to be right, I was able to attend my husband’s baptism.

Of course I cried then too because I knew that that was all God. Only God could have used me in this way. Only God could have changed me in such a way that my husband could no longer deny the truth that had been staring at him all this time.

There are moments in our marriages when we want to give up.

There are moments when we know we are in the right and our husband’s would be better off if they would just listen to us.

Yet, in those moments the way we conduct ourselves can be the most life altering.

Choose, instead of lashing out, to simply serve your husband.

Love your husband in the way that God wants you to…Unconditionally….Purely….With complete and utter compassion….. Only then do we begin to see changes in our marriage. Only then do we truly begin to enjoy marriage the way that God intended.

~Bridget, BecomingAGodlyWife.com

*******

Thank you Bridget for sharing your testimony with us!

Love keeps going when the going gets tough and look what God has done because you did not give up!

Let’s discuss…

Discussion Questions:

1.) Is your story like Bridget’s?  Have you been married to an unbeliever and had the joy of seeing him come to know the Lord? Tell us how it happened! 

Chapter 3

“Record keeping damages our hearts and feeds the root of bitterness within us, while love heals the wound.” pg. 28

2.) Do you struggle with record keeping? How has letting go of the record keeping, helped to heal some of the wounds in your marriage?

If we could take back the past, we would.  Knowing what we know now, we’d do so many thing differently than we did.  We’d handle each other with care. We’d give more than we get. We’d listen more than we speak. pg. 31

3.)  If you could go back and do it all over again – what would you do differently in your marriage?
(if there is something God is prompting you to apologize about from the past – do it today!)

Chapter 4

“I’m committed to living out my vows and reflecting the covenant of my Lord; therefore, I must be willing to go the extra mile when it is required of me.  When my flesh is at war with my spirit, I have a choice.  I can either let my flesh win or I can exercise virtue. I can fly off the handle, or I can patiently offer him kindness.  I’ve come to learn that choosing the right path is well worth the effort.  Love is so many things, but the heart of the matter is that beautiful love is Christ-centered.” pg. 44-45

4.) How have your vows helped you in times when you wanted to fly off the handle?

“A wife is to protect her husband’s reputation by speaking highly of him to others.  She is also wise to protect him by covering him in prayer.” pg. 51

5.) How do you protect your husband?  Do you struggle to speak highly of him to others or to cover him in prayer?

Join the discussion – you can answer just 1 or 2 of the questions or all 5!

Do you have a favorite section or something you underlined or highlighted from this week’s reading? Share it!

Walk with the King,

Courtney

*Affiliate Link

If you don’t have the book yet – you can buy it here: Messy Beautiful Love*

Messy Beautiful Love Cover

31 Comments

  1. Oh Bridget – what a beautiful example of loving our husbands- and loving and honoring God – even when times are tough! Also – by being a loving example to a husband who wasn’t a believer yet- that is such a testimony so many need to hear! <3 Thank you for sharing your heart tonight!

    I struggled with record keeping in the beginning of my marriage– God really convicted me of that! It was a hard battle to over come, but I just kept reminding myself how I was so glad God didn't keep a record of wrongs for me!

    I wrote my own vows- and I used scripture- so anytime I am struggling with them, I have them printed. I re-read them, and the scriptures they came from, and just remind myself I promised God's Word. God's word was spoken- and it does not return void. It helps me to refocus. One of the verses was the one in Proverbs 31 where it says she will do him good, and not evil – all the days of his life. I want to speak well of him. If I have an issue, I always try not to share it in a "husband bash" session. The times I have let my tongue get the best of me – I tell him. It is hard- but I think he trust me more that he knows I am honest about it, than a bad played secret on him.

    1. Aww thank you for the kind words Mandy. I love that idea. What a great way to remember what you promised by being able to pull it out in the times that you need it most.

  2. What a beautiful testimony, Bridget! Thank you for sharing your heart!

    You are so right about the fact that the way we handle ourselves in the messy moments of our marriage can be the most life-altering.

    I began to see the most growth in my marriage – 18 years this coming April…Praise the Lord!! – when I surrender my perceived rights in order to bring peace to a situation. It’s during those times that I’m allowing God to move through me and have His way. It diffuses tense moments and molds my heart into what He desires. It wasn’t easy at first, but the more I allowed His grace to move through me the more my heart was changed so that I became more spiritually alert to the battle Satan wages against my marriage. I’m by no means perfect, but I’m not who I used to be when we were first married and neither is my husband. There’s been spiritual growth on both of our parts and we continue to pray that God would have His way with both of us. We are committed to keeping God at the center of our marriage. #ACordOfThreeStrands

    May God continue to bless you and your marriage! 🙂

    Walking in His Grace,
    Laurie

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, I think that it is a constant journey to submit ourselves to our husbands and to our marriage. Yet, this is exactly the way God intended marriage to be. Once we do that our marriage is blessed far beyond measure.

  3. “Yet, in those moments the way we conduct ourselves can be the most life altering.” – YES! THAT! I have seen this so often in our short married life, as well. When I choose to lay down my rights and expectations, I can see that it sets him free to see Jesus…even though we were both believers when we got married, he still needs to see Jesus – he still needs me to get out of the way so he can.

    1. Yes, we are a wonderful tools if discipleship to our husbands if we allow ourselves to be. It is certainly not always easy but it is always worth it.

  4. I constantly struggle with what other people think of me and my marriage and kids. I had a season last year where when speaking to another person about my husband, I should have backed up my husband and spoke well of him to this person. But I didn’t because I was afraid of what they thought and coming against their opinions and strong personality.
    The Lord graciously (and literally) moved us away from the situation. I do regret it. I have since then repented to my husband for not supporting him, but I am still searching for ways to improve in this area. Now I understand that I am on my husband’s side always. We are ONE and I must speak well of him to others, even when others point out his faults or disagree with him/us. I need to not be concerned with MY reputation or feelings and be willing to lay that down for my husband’s reputation.

    1. Yes, that is hard. Even more so it is hard when we are unsure what we need to do in a situation where we are put on the spot like that. Something I always try to remember is that if they are talking about my husband then ultimately they are talking about me. I would of course defend myself and so I should do so for my husband as well.

  5. My first husband, who passed away a few years ago (I am now remarried) was a non-believer when we married. When we began dating and got serious, instead of being a Christian example, I decided to live like him, a non-believer. We moved to his home state and lived together without being married, and I hid it from my family. However, I continued to attend church and found a group of believers that reminded me (without them knowing) how important it was for me to live as a Christian example to my husband and his family. I then graduated from college, we got engaged, and then we got married. Just a few months after we married, he got a job transfer back near my hometown and near my family.
    As his wife, I felt very responsible for him and his salvation. I prayed fervently that he would know Jesus as his Savior. I attended church and Bible studies regularly, while trying to be a good example to him. However, I learned from some good men of God that it wasn’t my responsibility. It was between him and God. All I could do was pray and share with him. I rarely openly talked about my deep desire for him to come to know God and spend eternity with me some day. But one day, God led me to write him a letter where I opened up my heart to him about my desire for his salvation, and shared with him about God in a more detailed way.
    He soon began attending church with me and my family to make me happy, but it was through relationships with my family and fellow church members that he began seeing a difference between how believers lived and non-believers lived. Right after 9/11 when I was 7 months pregnant with our firstborn, he told me he was ready to make that very important decision. Seeing him baptized at the age of 29 was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I had no idea that he would die just 10 years later, and knowing that his soul was secure in Jesus made his death more bearable for me and our two young children. My husband got to see his firstborn baptized at the age of 8. His young daughter followed suit just months after his death at the age of 7. I’m sure he was jumping for joy with the angels.

  6. I celebrated my 16th anniversary in September. I can relate to Darlene in so many ways. I have highlights on almost every page and it’s hard to narrow down all my thoughts to a small post.I want to encourage the wives who have lost hope. My marriage started out a mess and went down hill from there. It was not all bad, we had good times, but as a whole it was indeed a mess. What it boils down to is that we weren’t doing anything God’s way. We were ignorant and didn’t know His ways, but that doesn’t make an exception to the results. My husband was selfish and I was disrespectful. That’s the shortest description I can give for a multitude of sin. Our ways led us to affairs and spiritual separation. Yes affairs is plural. About 5 or 6 years ago God gave me a promise. Isaiah 43:18-19 Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. I believe that If you are reading this book, there is a reason. God is for your marriage and he hears your cries and he holds your tears in his hand. He is faithful, and even when it seems that he isn’t listening or doing anything, I promise you, He is. I can tell you that even a year ago, almost exactly, I was questioning God’s promise to me. My husband was leaving me for another. But God has done exceedingly abundantly more in this past year than I ever could have imagined! My marriage is “New” . And we are learning to do it God’s way. And His blessings are immeasurable. God is the God of the impossible! Don’t give up, surrender yourself to Him. Allow him to examine your heart. Take your eyes off of your husband, and put your eyes on the almighty God.

    1. Jana~ Thank you for sharing, your story of your marriage is almost identical to mine. Except I am waiting on the Lord to restore mine. Every time I get discouraged and think I need to just accept the way it is, I read/hear of stories like yours. Your story has given me new hope. I have been praying for God to make our marriage new and keep praying for the impossible 🙂 Thank you for your inspiration!
      Blessings
      ~Krista

    2. What a perfect verse for me. Thanks for sharing! I’m going to memorize it for the times the enemy want to remind me about the sinful choices I made in the past.

  7. What a great testimony Bridget. I struggle pretty much with what you were struggling with. Up until recently, probably the last 2 months when I have decided to let God take control. Its hard to keep quiet when I can see some things going wrong.
    Another major thing I struggle with is record keeping. But lately I have decided that as much as somethings are just painful to forget, I will give the pain to God and everyday start afresh day, giving my husband a chance everyday.
    Thank you for sharing this and also creating a platform for us to know that we are not alone in this journey of being a wife and mother.

  8. I started a bit early on this and am on chapter 6. I am enjoying this study very much!!!

    In Chapter 3 I realized how I used to keep a tally. I know quite some time ago that keeping the tally only made me resentful and angry. since my husband is not home nightly, due to work, it lead to some pretty bitter times together. These times together are precious. We can’t spend them being bitter towards each other.

    In Chapter 4 I absolutely love 1 Cor 13!!! It reminds me what love is and isn’t. We all need that Phileo love. Deep, soulful, spiritual, unconditional love!!!

  9. I did have the joy of seeing my husband saved after we were married. One day I realized I needed to do something about it and I started praying, I watched a teaching on prayer and decided to picture how I thought this was going to happen (hubby getting saved) I truly believed it would happen so I held on to that picture during the day and would dream about it at night. You get the point right? lol, anyway my conversation as the bible says which is another way of saying not just your words but the way you live must, your attitude needed to line up with God’s Word. So I set about serving my husband in a way I would serve Jesus if He were before me. I would talk to myself saying Loresa pretend your husband is Jesus how would you treat him? It worked! And the picture I had of my husband at the table with my pastor well it happened in the living room instead but it happened!!! That was how I exercised my faith. Putting it into pictures of it as a reality, knowing that God wants everyone to be saved. I haven’t gone to this extreme for material things but eternal things that matter require extra effort I believe.
    I also speak highly of my hubby now, I didn’t always and once in a while I’ll slip and say something snarky to one of my grown children but I put myself in check and realize that does not honor my husband, myself and most of all my testimony with two very important people my children, and it does not honor my Lord and I now know that is how I am to spend my life, in honoring and loving my God.

  10. I was choosing not to walk with God when I married my non-believing husband. After my son was born, I rededicated my life to Jesus. That was when I really began to feel the weight of my decision to marry unequally yoked. I began to pray for my husband. It was not an easy road as I began to walk more in the ways of the Lord and he began to judge me for it. I made many mistakes along the way as his wife, but just as our marriage was about to end, an acquaintance handed me a book on the power of praising God in ALL circumstances. I praised God for the good stuff as well as the not-so-good stuff in our lives and my husband got saved very quickly. The power of praise is just amazing! My husband grew in the things of the Lord so fast and his hunger for God has never ceased. He is now a pastor and I am so happy that I did not give up! May I encourage other women that when you feel like all hope is lost, usually a breakthrough is right around the corner.

  11. Right now I’m really need help because I want to end my Marriage but at the same time I don’t , I think about god and my boys and I just can’t do that. My husband is not a Christian man, and I grew up in a family of pastors and Christian family . when I met him I was 17 and I wasn’t living for god anymore so I married him we had I baby boy named Caleb. I turn to Jesus soon after my son was born , but my husband didn’t , anyway is almost 4 years now and he still don’t want to be a Christian because he drink alcohol. We have 2 boys Caleb and peter they are growing and I don’t think they deserve to live with a alcoholic father ,but they love him and he is a wonderful dad for them. We used to live in USA but my husband decide to come to his country Brazil and bring us together, here the people and the law are so different and hard and I really don’t like here . I don’t have anybody here for me just gos and my boys I feel alone and lost I just want to get out of my husband mess and be happy again but like I said I can’t break my marriage vows. Please pray for me I’m desperate need prayers and help. Thank you for everything and the post .

    1. Bruna, my heart breaks for you. I can feel your pain in your words. God see’s you. Like Sarah’s servant out in the wilderness, He will meet you where you are. Persevere, ask God to renew your strength. Continue to pray for your husband, watch God work.

  12. Thank you for sharing! I have recently learned that we can be role models to many people in our lives and that includes our husbands as well! Thank you for the great reminder to keep serving.

    1. Yes everything we do and everyone we come in contact with can become a teachable moment and chance. Our most important ministry however, is to those in our homes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I accept the Privacy Policy

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.