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He had just let me down again. My heart splintered and my emotions raged. I glared at him across the table and all I could feel was hate. This really isn’t what I envisioned married life would be like at all. I’d given up on ‘happily ever after’ a long time ago. At this point I’d be thrilled if we could just stop making each other miserable. Where was God in this marriage?
I felt myself plunging into a downward spiral of everything that seemed impossible to fix. All the what ifs and I deserves and he shoulds overwhelmed me. I gave into to the anger, disgust, and pain. And this pattern became the refrain of our lives for many years before we were set free.
It’s the inevitable result when two people choose to stand against one another, neither one willing to humble themselves and sacrificially love their partner ‘til death do us part.
This post isn’t for the woman who is in an unfaithful or abusive marriage– although I’ve seen God work unbelievable miracles in those situations. If that’s you, I have a very different message for you and I can’t urge you enough to get professional help to guide you through. No– this is written for the countless relationships where the intimacy has grown cold and you know God is calling you to take a stand for your marriage.
I remember the first time my marriage paradigm shifted when I was introduced to the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. The cover tagline read, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”
I’ll admit, at first I cringed at the thought. I felt defensive. But the Holy Spirit massaged my heart until I could see it was a loving truth that brings freedom as opposed to a punishment from a harsh God. I eventually learned that a CHRIST-ian who pursues God with everything you’ve got has no room for hate. Least of all for your husband, your covenant partner.
I love you enough to tell you the truth right now: It’s your bitterness and hate that will destroy your marriage and then you.
Not what your spouse has done or is doing right now. We don’t like to hear it, but we are in complete control of our attitude and response.
But there’s good news, too. It only takes ONE person to begin to turn everything around. A dramatic change can start with you.
One of my mentors is a powerhouse Christian Psychologist named Dominic Herbst. He says:
“The best way to change another person is to begin by changing yourself.”
Here’s what I want you to know:
You can sincerely and passionately love your husband again. I promise. Everything can change. It worked for me and it will work for you if you keep your heart-attitude right before God.
Here are 5 (practical) things you can do to fall back in love with your husband:
1. Activate your prayer life
Pray for God to soften your heart and give you His agape love for your husband.
Ask Him to reveal to you areas where you have believed lies and to heal your heart and mind.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Lord, I come before you today and I’m asking you to help my marriage. Your Word says what you bring together, let no man separate– and I need your help to sacrificially love and respect my husband.
I choose, as an act of my will, to loose all bitterness, hate, judgement, hurt, anger, and selfishness from my soul, in Jesus’ name. I repent for my bitterness and hate—please forgive me. I ask that you cleanse me from everything that offends you and my husband.
Lord, fill me with your light, your agape love, your presence, your righteousness, your patience. I bind them to me, in Jesus’ name according to Matthew 16:18-19. Let me see my husband through your eyes. Give me the strength to respond out of your never-ending love instead of out of my own flesh and emotions.
I thank you Lord that with you, nothing is impossible. Thank you for working through me. Thank you for changing and healing me. I lift my husband up to you. I ask that you bless him, Lord. Meet him at his place of greatest need. Minister to him in ways only you can.
I ask that you give me divine insight into my husband and my marriage, Lord. Show me what only you can know– and work through me to build a covenant marriage according to your perfect will.
All of these things I pray in the precious name of Jesus. Amen.
2. Focus on the positive things
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. –Philippians 4:8
This is so practical that even the secular world recommends it. But the scriptures prove it’s a biblical truth! Choose to focus on your husband’s best qualities. Make lists of all the good stuff and actively think about them. Better yet— kick it up a notch and tell him when he does them.
Journal about the best times, your happiest memories, and all the reasons you fell in love with him to begin with. This will help rewire your thoughts from all the things that are wrong and negative to all the things that are good. This is proven to work by neuro-scientists like Dr. Caroline Leaf! Check out Switch On Your Brain to learn more. Excellent book!
In the beginning this might be really hard for you. I pray it isn’t, but I want you to be prepared so you don’t give up early. I learned that when I did it out of obedience instead of feeling like it, God gave me the grace to believe them again. He made it easier and easier as I surrendered to this mindset.
3. Discipline your thought life
We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. -2 Corinthians 10:5b
Have you ever been mildly annoyed by something your husband did and you thought about it, and thought about it, until you became overwhelmed with all the things wrong with him? I’ve made this mistake so many times and ended up furious. The truth is—this is EXACTLY what the devil wants you to do.
Don’t let one nagging thought take you down a rabbit hole. Change the subject in your head as soon as the negative thought comes in. No one can force you to think about anything.
If you really struggle with this— I highly recommend Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. (If you don’t like to read, get the audio book or sermon series.) It will absolutely help you get your thought life under control.
4. Shift your mindset to think eternal
I remember when my husband and I were going through a really challenging season and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. It was during that time that I met a woman who had been a stay-at-home mom to her two very young children. Her husband had recently left them out of the blue for another woman and filed for divorce. All of a sudden, my life didn’t seem so bad. I felt guilty for playing the victim when many people were facing much worse than I was.
The Word of God says: Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2
When we think about the big picture— all of the people who would give anything for our life because theirs is desperately worse—it makes our current negative circumstances become increasingly dim. We have to remember the reality of heaven and what God has waiting for the faithful instead of feeling sorry for ourselves here.
Refocus on an eternal perspective instead of a temporal one. Remember the cross and why you choose the high road in this life. When you focus on the Kingdom of God and remember that this life is only a vapor, it can become much easier to withstand hardship.
I wrote a whole post about “thinking eternal” if it’s something you’d like to meditate on for a few more minutes.
5. Seek soul healing
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. –Psalm 23:3
So many of us begin our marriage at a disadvantage because of all the past wounds and baggage we bring into it. When you consider, then, all of the hurts and disappointments we inflict on each other– it almost becomes an impossible battle. But nothing is impossible with God.
If you’re experiencing a lot of turmoil in your marriage or other relationships today, there are probably a number of wounds in your soul that need to be addressed and healed. Once they are, you’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to understand the Bible, hear God’s voice, AND love your husband and others when they’re unlovable.
See– when we’re weighted down with past baggage, we can’t see clearly in the here and now. It’s sort of like trying to tread water with an anchor tied to each foot. You might be giving it your all, but until the hindrance of the anchor is removed, you’ll only get so far and ultimately become exhausted.
My mentor, Dominic, runs an extremely anointed ministry that helps with this. It’s called Restoring Relationships and they have a web-based curriculum called the Online Journey that is available to you. It’s what I used to get better a few years back, AND I was so transformed that my husband went through it too. It was a huge key to our healing and reconciliation. You can read more of our story here and check out the Online Journey here: https://restoringrelationships.org/online-journey-with-peaceful-home/
I have to tell you again… There is so much hope. What you’re going through right now is no surprise to God. He’s the redeemer, the reconciler, the healer—and He can make a way where there is no way. God can help you to sincerely and passionately love your husband again. You are NOT the only one who feels completely alone in this. Hundreds of thousands of Christian wives can relate, including me. Just look at the divorce relate in the church—it’s almost the exact same as the world. But that doesn’t have to be us. I believe in you, your marriage, and God’s plans for your family. I pray that God’s presence would fall on you right now and revive you. I pray that you would fight the good fight. Use the tools in this post and DEFINITELY share any others that have helped you in the comments. We need to stick together.
For more on Christian marriage, you might also enjoy my post: 10 Faith-Based Books and Resources that Strengthened My Marriage
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