For Better or Worse …. Staying Committed In Marriage and In Matters of Faith

For better or worse. 

committed for better or worse

Little did my husband and I know what those words would mean when we repeated our marriage vows nearly three decades ago. Worse wasn’t just one deep valley but many strung together to become a deep trench.

Five babies lost to early pregnancy loss and caring for a child who will never grow up intellectually has tested and stretched our bond. Marriage isn’t easy in even the best of circumstances. Pregnancy loss and raising a child with disabilities definitely challenges things.

Still, we celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary October 7! And I believe a big reason we are still married is because we are committed to the promise we made before God and our friends and family members.

Yes, we love each other, but so do most couples before their marriage unwinds into divorce. This world can be unforgiving; throwing lots of things our way that test any couple.

The feeling of love is not a strong enough glue to withstand its battering. We need to be fiercely committed to standing on our promises. Not only our promise to our spouse*, but foremost, our promise to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

The feeling of love is not a strong enough glue to withstand the world's battering. We need to be fiercely committed. Click To Tweet

At my Baptism I became a child of God. At my Confirmation, I confirmed my desire to live for Jesus Christ. Because of His work of faith in my life, I committed my life to Him.

For Better or Worse Stay Committed

Like my marriage vows, this commitment to the Lord is for better or worse … during times of great blessings and times of great strife.

Yet how often have I tried to back out of the “for worse” part? Not me, Lord! My faith is not strong enough to handle this. I only want your good stuff please. 

Jesus wasn’t vague when He told His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24, HCSB).

And Paul didn’t mince words when he declared, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Because of the fallout of sin, living in this world holds many difficulties. They strain our marriage and our spiritual walk.

Yet we shouldn’t be surprised by those hardships. In fact, since we know they are coming, we should prepare for them.

Prepare for the Worst

Here are a few ways I gird myself to hold fast to the vows I made to my husband and to my God, regardless of whether I always feel like keeping them or not.

Hold fast to the vows you made, to your spouse and to God, regardless of whether you always feel like it. Click To Tweet

Seek reminders that you aren’t fighting this battle alone.

Both in your marriage and in your faith walk, the Holy Spirit is with you to guide and strengthen you for the long haul. Be intentional about talking to Him in prayer and being encouraged through the Word.

Listen to or read about people’s successes in both areas. Meet periodically with a mentor or other Christians who can relate and encourage you.

Feed regularly on the promises of God.

Remember you are not expected to do your marriage or walk with Christ on your own strength. God wants your total commitment in both your Christian walk and in your marriage.

But He doesn’t leave you to do either through your own strength. He promises to strengthen and equip you, and what He promises, He delivers.

God promises to strengthen and equip you to fulfill your vows, and what He promises, He delivers. Click To Tweet

Trust He sees what you can’t, and He knows what you don’t.

Here are a few of the Lord’s wonderful promises to hold onto (feel free to click and download):

Stand on God's promises for better or worse

Remind yourself that this life is not ultimately about you or your happiness.

It’s not what we want to hear, but this life ain’t about us! Our reason for being is to bring glory to God, to shine the light on Him, not us.

We need to get our eyes (and thoughts) off ourselves and onto our Creator and Savior.

Accept God’s grace for your failures and missteps.

Perfection can never happen for us this side of heaven, but we can make progress. When we falter in either our marriage or our spiritual life, repent and move forward in the full forgiveness of Jesus Christ. He paid dearly to give us that gift; walk in it.

Pray for Protection and Guidance

The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy our marriage and our relationship with the Lord. Ask for God’s protection from temptation and the Holy Spirit’s guidance in our thoughts and actions. 

With God, the Worst Becomes Our Best

In the end, no matter what happens during our race, if we run for Jesus, the worst always ends up being the best for those who persevere. 

Because the Lord is faithful to do as He promised, we can find the strength to walk out our commitments. A practice that in turn grows our faith as we experience His unmerited grace.

So don’t give up. Stay committed through better and through worse! 

Because the Lord is faithful to do as He promised, we can find the strength to walk out our commitments. Click To Tweet

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us” Hebrews 12:1

Reflections: What has helped you stay committed to your promises, even when you don’t feel like it? 

*Disclaimer: Of course I’m writing here about a typical marriage, with normal highs and lows. If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help immediately! 

I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Yours in grace ≈

Julie

I am a blessed wife, mother of four, and follower of Jesus Christ, celebrating each messy day through His grace. I write, edit, and speak as God leads.

Posted in Christian walk, Endurance, Faith, Marriage
  • So much wisdom here, Julie. I especially like the point about remembering this life is not about me and my happiness. May God give you patience and joy as you persevere.

    • Thank you, Betsy! Ironically, if I could remember that one point, I’d be happier all-the-more. 🙂 God bless you, sister.

  • MelAnn

    I may not read every post you write, but when I do they are usually spot on for my situations…today is no exception. Thank you for persevering in marriage, parenting through some really tough places AND writing to share with others. I’m so nearing the end of my parenting season with our youngest in high school now…so much changes. These seasons of a woman’s life, of parenting and marriage are quite a journey. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Oh, MelAnn, I hear you! Our youngest is a junior in high school! The time we have on this earth seems like a lot when we’re young, but in light of eternity, it’s not even a speck of time. We need to make the most of that speck for the Kingdom … with our loved ones and those strangers we come in contact with. Thank you for your kind words!

  • Cecelia Lester

    Julie: With all the issues we have faced in our soon-to-be 49 years of marriage, I have learned that God has to be the third party in our marriage.

    • Absolutely, Cecelia! Grateful for your wonderful example of what commitment looks like. Thank you! May God continue to bless your marriage.

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Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's BLESSINGS to get lost in its HAPPENINGS. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

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