How to Overcome the “For Worse” of Your Marriage Vows

It’s funny how just a few small words can really change our perspective. No doubt when you took your wedding vows, you were so eager for the “for better” of marriage. Me, too! That’s not the only thing I vowed, though. That phrase had 3 more words at the end of it – ones that we often overlook. So what happens when you feel like you’re stuck in the “or for worse” phase of marriage?

When You're Stuck in the "...or for worse..." Phase of Your Marriage

Please note: I do know that there are times when it’s not safe to stay in your marriage.
This post is written from the perspective of being within a safe marriage.

If you are struggling and not in a safe situation, please do get help.

Okay, this seems obvious, but let’s be realistic – so often, we forget about the most basic things when we’re stuck or trying to fix something.

What can you pray for? This list is certainly not all-inclusive, but here are a few suggestions:

Your husband – God knows the struggles he is facing, and He knows any areas that need work. Trust Him to work in your husband’s heart. (I can promise you with great certainty that the way God works will look completely different than the way you might have “fixed” the problem. TRUST GOD!)
Yourself - During this time, you’re going to need to pray for yourself, even if you don’t normally. You’re going to need God to work in and through you, to give you peace, rest and hope.
Your family - If there are children or extended family members involved in your life, pray for them. Ask God to provide for what they need as they go through this time.
Your situation - God knows the specifics of what is going on, of what brought you to this place. It’s so good to know that we can trust our future to God, no matter where we are, or where we hope to get!

God knows all the details of our lives – the good things and even the ugly parts – so I appreciate going to Him to pour out my heart.

God and I have had some intense heart-to-heart conversations as I’ve struggled through the “for worse” parts of my marriage vows.

I don’t know your situation, but I do know my own. When everything came undone, there were a million and one opportunities for trusting God. I had to trust God for everything from basic necessities to keeping a roof over my head and keeping my family together.

The hard thing about trust is that, in our humanness, we desperately want the answer we want, at the time we want it. In other words, every night I went to bed without a resolution to the problem was an opportunity for fear…or faith.

It turns out that there truly is only room for one of those – fear or faith.

I cannot promise you that there’s hope for your marriage, but I can – and do – promise you that God will be faithful to meet your needs and to make your heart whole.

In my own life, when things began to go badly, I needed to get a job. I needed income. You may not be in that situation, but we all have work that we can be doing.

Ask God to make you a blessing. He may choose to do that within your home, or He may choose to do that in various ways with friends, neighbors, even strangers. If you ask God to give you a way to be a blessing to someone, He is going to do it. Personally, I like this because it gave me an opportunity to take my mind off my marriage and focus on a way to benefit someone else.

Work isn’t just a physical act, though. Work is a spiritual act. We’re in a battle, whether our marriage is in the “for better” or “for worse” category. The enemy doesn’t want us honoring God within our marriage, so he’s happy when we’re struggling. He’s thrilled when we’re ready to throw in the towel.

If you’re truly going to work to stick it out in your marriage, then you’re going to need to do some spiritual work. Each day you’ll need to prepare for battle – like you never have before. A wife has a quiet strength that the enemy knows he can’t discount. Sisters, if each of us committed to truly working through the “for worse” parts of our marriages, think of the progress we could make for the kingdom of Heaven!

* * * * *

Friends, I know that often it isn’t completely our fault that our marriage is struggling. Believe me, if you were to look at my situation, it would be very safe to say that everything that has gone wrong is completely my husband’s fault.

But, I don’t want my story to end there.

I have prayed for redemption within my marriage. I have prayed, trusted and worked, and God has answered by keeping us together and growing stronger in Him.

Working through all that I have, though, also showed me that God has a plan for my life – my own life, separate from my husband’s or my kids’ lives. No matter how things might have turned out, I knew that God had a plan for me.

As women I think we can easily get sidetracked by the many hats we wear. At the end of the day, God needed to remind me that I am His. No matter what hat I wear, I belong to Jesus. And I woke up today because He still has a plan for my life!

Whatever you’re facing, even if you’re stuck in the “or for worse” stage of marriage, remember that God has a plan for you. Pray, trust and seek Him for the work He would have you to do.

Rebekah M. Hallberg

Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in her own marriage. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – encouraging wives who are praying for redemption in their marriage.


    • says

      I’m so glad you found it helpful, Jade! My friend Becky has so much wisdom to share about marriage, and I love reading her words because I know she’s had to live them out through some really tough years.


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