I’m happy to have my friend, Jen, back to share a post that is so timely for me. I hope these tips on being a warrior wife are an encouragement to your heart as well.
During the month of January, more people file for divorce than any other time of year, which means the weeks following New Years are the most important time to be a warrior wife.
Whether you’re feeling the natural let-down that follows the holiday season or you’re longing for a fresh start, recognize that the temptation to give up on your marriage is very real. Let’s also recognize this temptation has an evil source, one we must actively fight against!
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 1 Peter 5:8-9
The good news is you don’t have to fight this battle alone!
Fighting for a healthy marriage may feel like an impossible task, friend, and it is if we try to fight in our own strength. But let’s not forget that we belong to the God of the impossible.
Lately I’ve been reading through the Chronicles, and I’m impressed with the number of times God helped his people overcome enemies, even when outnumbered! Often, God’s people didn’t even have to go into battle because the Lord went before them and destroyed their enemies in miraculous ways.
Our God delights in mustard-seed faith, in second chances, in impossible victories, and in miraculous transformations! A warrior wife is one who remembers her strength doesn’t come from herself, but from her Almighty God!
5 Ways to be a Warrior Wife this New Year
1. Pray continually.
Every time spiritual warfare seems relentless and overwhelming in my life, it’s a red flag for me. Why?
Because when I reflect back on my personal walk with Christ, I often recognize a lack of time spent in prayer leading up to the present battle. Not always, but often enough.
Prayer is key, which is why we mention it often in Hope for the Hurting Wife.
Prayer is biblical.
As for me, I call to God,
and the Lord saves me.
Evening, morning and noon
I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice. Psalm 55:16-17 (NIV)
By far the very best thing you can do for your marriage today is get on your knees and pray! Invite God to have His way with you and with your husband, and wait expectantly for Him to work. A hope-focused, warrior wife is one who prays for her husband and her marriage consistently.
2. Remain connected to the Vine.
Along with a lack of time spent in prayer, weary wives can usually point to a lack of time spent in the Word or in God’s presence.
But friend, expecting to remain strong and effective while disconnected from the Vine is like trying to vacuum without plugging in the power cord.
As silly as that seems, that’s exactly what we’re doing when we starve ourselves spiritually. You cannot be a hope-focused, warrior wife in your own strength.
Believe me – I’ve tried. And failed.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)
Sheer determination may work for a season, but eventually your natural strength will run out, and you’ll find yourself desperate for hope.
Make time today to reconnect with Christ. You can’t afford not to!
3. Stay focused on truth.
At the helm of the spiritual battle over your marriage is the Great Deceiver along with his sidekick, sin nature. He begins his war in the mind with our thoughts. And according to the Word, once a thought takes root, it soon leads to destructive action.
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15 (NIV)
One way to be a warrior wife is to stay focused on the truth no matter what comes your way.
Here are a few practical ways to focus on truth:
• Develop a habit of recognizing lies and meeting them with God’s truth (writing them down helps!)
• Keep a record of progress made (like stones of remembrance)
• Ask the Lord to help you see your situation clearly
• Enlist a truth-speaking friend who loves you enough to tell you when you’re wrong
4. Prepare for battle.
As soon as you commit to fighting for hope in your marriage, you will become the focus of an intense spiritual battle. The Enemy hates to give up ground that was previously his, and he will not let it go easily.
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (NIV)
Prepare yourself by enlisting an army of prayer warriors you can trust and share honestly with them. Prepare yourself by utilizing Christian marriage resources that will keep you encouraged. Prepare yourself by writing down your commitment and finding other ways to hold yourself accountable.
Above all, prepare yourself by putting on your spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:10-18)!
And as hard as it may be, prepare yourself to fight alone should your husband choose to give up – it’s a potential reality you must face, the sooner the better.
You can choose to be a warrior wife even if it means standing alone!
5. Seek the right kind of support.
The worst move a struggling wife can make is to seek worldly wisdom for a spiritual issue.
If you determine to fight for you marriage, you’ll need a support system, but as important as a support system is, the quality of that support system matters even more.
Surround yourself with other Christ-followers who are committed to staying married. Guard your mind by choosing only those mentors who speak truth based on God’s Word rather than offering worldly wisdom or their own opinions.
Sometimes we need professional help.
All too often Christian wives or couples wait until the last minute to seek outside help because of the stigma attached to those who seek counseling. At root, it’s a pride issue. If I could change a few aspects of the modern Church, this tendency to wear masks would be one of them!
If we became more focused on confessing our sin to one another rather than trying to “fake it ’til we make it,” God would have freedom to work in our midst like never before!
Please don’t make the mistake so many Christian wives and couples make by waiting too long to address the brokenness in your marriage. What good is your pride if it leads to a divorce?
A Note for the Warrior Wife Whose Marriage Fails
I remember sitting in front of the counselor, my face burning with both embarrassment and anger. Within the first few minutes of meeting, it became clear to me that he had already assumed that I wasn’t walking with the Lord.
If only he knew the time I spent searching the Word for comfort and wisdom. If only he knew the time I spent confessing my own sin and inviting the Lord to search my heart. If only he knew the time I spent in prayer for both myself and my husband, begging the Lord to intervene.
If only he knew… perhaps he would have been more gentle and less presumptive.
Goodness knows that in the past those hinted at accusations were true, but praise the Lord, I had changed as a wife.
Nevertheless, I began to question myself. His suggestion played right into my perfectionism as I wondered – maybe I haven’t prayed enough? Maybe my faith isn’t strong enough? Maybe I’m really not a good enough wife and that’s why our marriage is struggling?
Looking back, I see that his efforts to help were genuine, but he really didn’t have a clue about what was really going on. In hindsight, I recognize that the burden of guilt I felt that day was NOT mine to bear.
But in the moment… I felt shame that didn’t belong to me.
As determined as many Christian women are to fight for a healthy marriage, sometimes there’s nothing more a wife can do.
She has prayed faithfully. She has followed the biblical instruction to lead by example (1 Peter 3:1).
She has lovingly, yet truthfully, encouraged her husband. She has done her best to meet his needs. She has set healthy boundaries, and she’s been submissive to his authority.
The only choice left? To leave her marriage and her husband in God’s hands.
Learning to be a warrior wife isn’t a guarantee of success, friend. I wish it was!
Even if your marriage ultimately ends in separation or divorce, you can rest in knowing God has a plan and a purpose for you when marriage fails. He has not cast you aside. He has not forgotten you. According to scripture, nothing can separate you from His love, not even divorce.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (NIV)
If this is you – headed for a divorce you did not want or choose, please don’t take God’s lack of supernatural intervention as a reflection on your faith or even evidence of how He feels about you. His ways are higher than our ways, and we often fail to comprehend because our sight is limited. We cannot see the bigger picture (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Learning to be a warrior wife isn’t easy, especially if our husbands aren’t keeping up their end of the marriage vows. However, in Christ, it IS possible.
In Christ, we can learn to love even when we feel unloved. We can fight for someone who may have stopped fighting for us. We can choose trust in the Lord even when earthly trust has been broken.
Friend, do your best not to let the Enemy win the battle for your marriage and your soul.
Choose today to be a warrior wife who actively engages in the spiritual battle.
Then trust God with the rest!