Marriage is fun. But not all the time. Newlyweds rarely think of this when they say, “for better or for worse.”
Every young couple need this understanding and preferably before they get married! Pastor Sexton has taught our young families that marriage is much more than the wedding. And so it is.
Troubles come. Difficulties arise. Arguments (“discussions!”) happen. The question is: how do we respond on tough days?
I have the privilege of teaching a class each Sunday of young married couples. It is such a joy to invest in the lives of couples what others have invested in us. We are all working through the tests of life and growing in our understanding of the Lord’s way for us.
A few days ago I showed our class the story of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. You remember them. Christ had been crucified. There is word that He has risen again but the two on the road to Emmaus have not seen Him. Not yet at least.
Scripture tells us that one of the disciples was a man named Cleopas. The name of his companion is not given, but many Bible teachers believe that this was a husband and wife traveling home from Jerusalem. They are broken-hearted. Their dreams have been shattered and hope is waning.
Luke 24 details the story of Jesus joining them on the road. They did not recognize Him. That is often the case on difficult days; we fail to see the Lord at work right in front of us.
In this amazing story are simple principles for dealing with difficult days:
1. Guard your conversation.
The two were talking of all that had transpired in recent days. Jesus said that their countenances were “sad.” The problem is that we often say things when we are discouraged that should not be said. Discouraged people tend to speak without faith and hope.
Sometimes it is best not to speak. Wait. Pray. See what God will do. A husband can destroy the spirit of his wife. A wife can disrupt the spirit of the home. Parents can damage the peace of their children. Words are powerful things.
One thing we learn is that emotion is not always sanctified and our reason is not always right. Guard your tongue.
2. Invite the Lord Jesus into the discussion.
There is a dramatic shift in the story when they stop talking and let the Lord speak. He knew what needed to be said. Only He could answer their questions and heal their wounded hearts.
Difficult days are not days to ignore the Bible. They are days to remind ourselves of what we do know for sure. They are days to simply ask God to teach us what He has for us to learn. Difficult days are divine appointments.
Don’t do all of the talking. Let God speak.
3. Pray together.
The “aha” moment in the journey came when they sat down to supper. By the way, have a meal together! Don’t allow the dinner conversation to be negative. Enjoy being with the family and be grateful for what you have. This will help everyone.
In the Biblical account, Christ begins to pray for the meal. Suddenly they knew Him. Was it the nail pierced hands breaking the bread? Was it the way He said, “Father”? Was it the answer to His prayer? I don’t know. But the time of prayer opened their eyes.
The Lord Jesus taught that answers to prayer would come “if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing” (Matthew 18:19). Prayer brings unity. A believers greatest prayer partner should be their spouse.
When everything seems to be falling apart, join hands and pray together. You have access to the same Father to whom Christ prayed! As you pray, wisdom will come. Grace will be given. God’s peace will keep your heart and mind.
4. Minister to others.
Christ vanishes. The two are left alone to ponder the miracle they have just witnessed. What a great God! Yet instead of keeping this to themselves, they immediately make the return trip to Jerusalem to tell others.
When you are having a bad day, find someone else to encourage. Minister to another hurting family. God will minister to you and use you to minister to others. Remember “the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10).
Read Luke 24 with your husband or wife and ask God to teach you how to respond on difficult days. Remember that your response has an effect on your entire family.
I love my wife. I love married life, but I have learned to love the Lord more. He never changes and every day can be a good day if we keep our eyes on Him.