Most people I know have a plan for their marriage. I know that my husband and I planned to have a fulfilling marriage, to love one another, to have children, to pray for one another, to be debt-free, and a plethora of other things. And I am guessing that those reading this article made plans for their marriage and likely saw some (or many of them) fail.
I mean who gets married and plans to fail? That would defeat the purpose, right?
But as those of us who have made it into adulthood know, nothing ever goes according to our plan, and frankly, I've learned to be happy about it.
My reasoning for no longer getting upset when my plans fail can be summed up nicely in this verse from Jeremiah 29:11:
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.
This verse has given me exceptional insight into planning and what to do when things don't go as planned. One of the first things that we can see in Jeremiah 29:11 is that God is on our side. God really wants to bless us and it up to us to listen to His guidance so we can walk into the amazing marriage He has planned for us. While our plans might fail, His do not.
Today I want to share with you some tips about how to handle it when your marriage doesn't go as planned.
When Your Marriage Doesn't Go As Planned
Take a step back and pray.
My husband and I have found that when we have a plan set in place and it doesn't turn out the way we'd hoped – praying together is the most important thing we can do. As we prayerfully take a step back from our situation, we find a lot of peace and direction for what we can do better next time. If you and your spouse don't pray together, I still highly recommend taking this same step alone as it will give you clarity on what to do next.
Evaluate your marriage plans with your spouse and see where you can improve.
We've learned that going back to the drawing board not only makes us stronger as a couple, but it also helps us to improve our overall relationship with God. It is good to continually reevaluate your marriage goals as life changes take place. What we once needed as a young newlywed couple 16 years ago is vastly different (with the exception to the basics like communication, trust, etc) now.
Never stop praying. Prayer is our lifeline directly to God and it is one of the few things in life that will bring us joy, wisdom, and peace. We've found that a lifestyle of prayer (as modeled for us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17) is what helps us the most when our emotions want to cave in as yet another of our plans fail. And if we are being honest, this happens a lot. Let's develop the habit to pray without ceasing because it works.
Don't give up.
This right here is imperative to the success of your marriage from start to finish. With the exception of abuse (physical/verbal) or an affair – both my husband and I believe wholeheartedly that you need to stick together through what life throws your way. Be a united front so when the hardships of life try to divide you that you will rise above them together as a stronger, united married couple.
So while things may not always go as planned, I've learned to rejoice in our failures. As Henry Ford once said: Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, and this time more wisely. Let it be so! Let's be wise in our marriages and allow God to show us the way!
Carlie K. @ fulfillingyourvows.com