For the Wife Who Has Lost All Hope (and a Giveaway!)

Has a book ever touched your life in a way that you knew would forever change you?

Hope for the Hurting Wife has changed me.

From the early years of marriage when I lived out the reality of this book, I’ve seen the hand of God at work in my marriage. It’s a good thing, too, because without His intervention, I probably would have ended up divorced.

Yes, this book has changed me. Writing out your struggles, reliving them for the world to see, is no easy thing. It requires time and patience and lots of shaking-in-my-boots bravery.

As an imperfect wife, I never planned to write about marriage. In fact, I purposefully avoided writing about marriage for quite a while until the Lord convinced me otherwise.

You see, friend, I wanted nothing more than to be the good, Christian girl and the good, Christian wife. But when my life became tainted by sin and doubt and suffering, upholding my good, Christian girl facade became impossible.

And I’m thankful it did.

I’m not the same person I was ten years ago. I’m not the same wife, either.

But for many years, I believed my marriage was tainted, too. I thought we might never find our way back to happiness.

I lost all hope.

In a day when marriages quickly end in divorce, where do hurting wives who want to stay married turn? You're not alone and finding hope in a difficult marriage IS possible! hope for marriage|marriage crisis|Christian marriage|devotional|godly wife|unloved|divorce|encouragement|inspirational|marriage book|marriage help

For a time, I even contemplated divorce, but I knew it was wrong, and I didn’t want my children to grow up in a broken family.

So, I cried out to the Lord for rescue. I allowed him into my anger and my brokenness. Instead of hiding the emotions I was so ashamed of, I started being brutally honest with God about my pain and my anger. I quit living in denial and allowed Him to open my eyes to the truth of our situation.

If not for family support and godly mentors during this season of life, I’m sure my story would be very different, friend.

I needed other Chrisitan women who were willing to admit that marriage is hard work. I needed other Christian women to show me there is no such thing as a perfect wife. I needed women to sit with me in suffering rather than sit with me in condemnation.

I needed women to sit with me in suffering rather than sit in condemnation.

I know some of you are searching for the same. You’re desperate to be the wife God wants you to be, but you don’t quite know how when your marriage is so troubled. You don’t know how you can possibly fight for your marriage when you can barely stand under the weight of it.

Fellow hurting wife, listen closely: You. are. not. alone.

My co-author Rebekah Hallberg and I hear frequently from women just like you (and just like us), who truly desire to avoid divorce. We know the shame and guilt you often bear. We know the loneliness you experience. We know what it is to feel unloved and rejected.

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That’s why we wrote Hope for the Hurting Wife, for women like you who have lost all hope and don’t know where to turn.

Hope for the Hurting Wife

Hope for the Hurting Wife is a thirty-day devotional journey that meets hurting and heartbroken wives right in the midst of a difficult marriage and gently encourages them to find hope that truly lasts.

Through our personal stories of heartache and scriptural insight, we address topics such as:

• Moving forward after trauma
• Loving even when you feel unloved
• Protecting your heart
• Understanding the power of choice
• Trusting God while waiting for redemption

You will never experience a perfect marriage here on earth, but you can experience real hope.

Our God is the God of the impossible!

While the world is quick to throw away marriage and run straight to divorce, we who are in Christ know that our present troubles never accurately reflect our future.

In a day when marriages quickly end in divorce, where do hurting wives who want to stay married turn? Hope for the Hurting Wife is written by two women who have lived through the dark and difficult times in marriage. Through personal stories and biblical insight, they encourage all women to fight for hope in their marriages! hope for marriage|marriage crisis|Christian marriage|devotional|godly wife|unloved|divorce|encouragement|inspirational|marriage book|marriage help

We serve a God who invested His very self into us through the work of Jesus, and He continually works to transform us from the inside out (Phil. 1:6). He continually works to transform our relationships, too.

My marriage of eighteen years is stronger than ever, but not because of me. Only God could take a marriage so messy and so broken and transform it into something truly beautiful. Not perfect, but beautiful.

And I’m more certain now than ever that the Enemy just hates to see what God does when women hand over their lives and their marriages into His trust.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans :3-5 (NIV – emphasis mine)

You don’t have to be a wife who has lost all hope any longer, friend. Cry out to the God of all hope who comforts us in our troubles (2 Cor. 1:4).

Don’t be afraid to hope lest you be disappointed because God’s hope does not put us to shame!

Choose today to fight like a warrior wife for your marriage!

Choose hope over fear!

Jen :)

Marriage Resource Bundle Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of our book, Hope for the Hurting Wife, we’re giving away a four-book bundle of marriage resources! These resources were hand-selected by Rebekah and I specifically for wives who have lost all hope, but they would benefit any and every married woman! Here’s what the winner will receive

1. Hope for the Hurting Wife paperback – see info above!

2. Every Wife’s Choice by Sarah Fairchild (paperback) takes an in-depth look at how our emotions come into play in marriage. Sarah uses both humor and insightful key-word study to examine the famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. I promise you will laugh out loud when reading this book!

3. A Wife’s 40-day Fasting and Prayer Journal by Kaylene Yoder (paperback) is a devotional combined with a prayer journal. It is beautifully designed with spaces to record what you learn from relevant verses, your own prayers, and even how you intend to fast should you choose to use that portion. Kaylene understands that marriages are often under spiritual attack, so she encourages women to fight back by covering their marriages in prayer!

4. Blues to Bliss by Ngina Otiende (ebook version) speaks to those times when marriage fails to live up to our expectations (especially in the early years). Ngina shares from her own marriage, as well as the Bible, about how to navigate areas such as intimacy, submission, communication and even finances!

We're celebrating the launch of our new book Hope for the Hurting Wife by giving away a bundle of marriage books! Enter for your chance to win these four books written for wives! marriage books|Christian wife|godly wife|marriage growth|faith|bible studies|devotionals|encouragement for marriage|hope for the  hurting wife|prayer journal

We are especially hopeful that some of these resources will make their way into the hands of wives who have nearly lost all hope.

Enter for your chance to win below! (And stop by Rebakah’s blog for a chance to win in her giveaway, too!)

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Finding Hope for Your Marriage

My heart is heavy today for the many wives who feel stuck in a difficult marriage. For the last couple of months, the top google search word that led people to this site has been the word “unloved.” How unfortunate that during the month of February, when we highlight and celebrate love, so many of us feel it is lacking!

Maybe you, too, are searching for hope for your marriage?

As a wife myself, I spent many years fearing the reality of divorce. In fact, it’s only been the last few years that I’ve begun to find confidence in our marriage. So I feel qualified to tell you that you can still find hope for your marriage!

No marriage is too messy, no life too destroyed, for our Father God to work a transformation that leads to new life.

The real question is, how badly do you want it?

Are you willing to fight for hope?

Are you willing to cling to truth?

Are you willing to spend time praying for and loving someone who may not act loving toward you in return?

Perhaps even daring to hope sounds too painful to you at the moment – I’ve been there before, too, friend.

Are you searching for marriage encouragement? It's possible to find hope for your marriage, and we want to make that easier through this free ebook! The authors understand what a burden a troubled marriage relationship can be, but they also know the power of God's redeeming work.  Christian wife, hope for marriage, troubled marriage, difficult marriage, marriage problems, marriage encouragement, strong marriage, healthy marriage, god-centered marriage, godly wife, good wife

Yet our Father redeemed those broken places for me, and He desperately wants to do the same for you.

My friend Rebekah Hallberg and I have spent the last year writing about marriage and family life for each other’s blogs, attempting to share our stories that they might encourage women from all walks of life who really want to stay married but are weary of the struggle, women who have nearly lost hope.

We’ve been working for the last month or so to bring you a gift, a marriage resource that will hep you find renewed hope for your marriage. What we ended up with exceeded even our own expectations!

We firmly believe that God wants to use these words to encourage wives across the globe to persevere when it comes to having a marriage that lasts.

Are you searching for marriage encouragement? It's possible to find hope for your marriage, and we want to make that easier through this free ebook! The authors understand what a burden a troubled marriage relationship can be, but they also know the power of God's redeeming work.  Christian wife, hope for marriage, troubled marriage, difficult marriage, marriage problems, marriage encouragement, strong marriage, healthy marriage, god-centered marriage, godly wife, good wife


Our book, Hope for the Hurting Wife, is a devotional that will meet you right where you are at and gently lead you toward the only hope that has the power to transform your marriage.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

  • personal stories from women who understand the struggle
  • evidence that you are not alone
  • comfort and encouragement from God’s Word
  • practical steps to take
  • resources for further help
  • bonus content

Our hope is that God can use our painful pasts to bring new life to other married women.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Cor. 2:3-5

There is hope for your marriage if you are willing to seek it!

Jen :)

To join a community of women determined to cling to hope for their marriages, sign up below! We’ll send you a monthly newsletter with helpful articles, encouraging words, and free resources. :)

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The Key to Finding True Love

Some say it is our deepest human need: to feel loved and accepted. This deep  need for love – it’s why we were designed for community, granted the ability to build relationships with others.

Yet many men and women alike walk through this life feeling unloved and unaccepted. I know this to be true because every month hundreds of you come here to this space searching one word.



The problem is that we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world; thus finding true love that lasts a lifetime seems nearly impossible. True love often escapes us no matter how diligently we search for it, and thus, we end up feeling unloved and alone.

Perhaps we’re looking in the wrong places?

Many of us believe that we can fill the love-shaped void in our lives if we find that one special person we are meant to spend the rest of our lives with. That one person who will:

  • make us feel loved and accepted
  • love us unconditionally
  • bring out the very best in us
  • want only good for us
  • be willing to die for us – that’s how fierce the love is

We believe if we find “The One,” then we’ll never feel unloved again.  But even those who are happily married can sometimes feel unloved; it’s true.

Is love that lasts impossible to find then?

Many people walk through this life searching for the cure for feeling unloved.  They believe that if they find "the one" then they will find love that lasts.  But it doesn't always work that way.  Finding true love that lasts isn't a simple task.  Read here for the missing key!

Don’t give up just yet, friends because I’ve got good news for all of us today: there is such a person!

There is One who already loves unconditionally;

One who fills the void perfectly;

One who brings out the very best in us;

One who wants only what is good for us;

One who not only was willing but who actually suffered and died in our place also – that’s how fiercely He loves.

The cure for feeling unloved lies only in one person, and His name is Jesus.

If you need help finding true love, then He is the answer!

Maybe that sounds too easy for you, too simple or too trite.

Maybe you struggle to believe He is real, or that He could ever love someone like you.  Maybe others have hurt you, let you down in life and you’re not even sure if you believe in true love anymore anyways.

Before you laugh me off or click away in frustration, please hear me out.

The world is not kind to those who wish to find true love.  No, the world – fallen men and women – seek love for themselves first and foremost. We find love hard to come by, and thus, hard to give.

We’re so true-love deprived that we fear we can’t afford to just give our own love away.

But we don’t have to stay stuck that way, friends. We don’t!

I said it before and I’ll say it again.

The key to finding true love isn’t a formula, nor a special prayer, nor a happy accident, nor a karmic promise to those who “give back to the world.”

The key to finding true love can only be found in the person of Jesus.


Listen to the lengths He has gone in order to prove His love is true.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. Jn. 15:13

 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us… 1 Jn. 3:16a

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:8

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jn. 3:16

This is True Love, friends, the kind that sacrifices all for the sake of another, even if that person never returns the love He gives.  That’s pure love like we’ve never seen before and will never see again.

Many people walk through this life searching for the cure for feeling unloved.  We believe that if we find "the one" then they will find love that lasts.  But it doesn't always work that way.  Finding true love that lasts isn't a simple task.  Read here for the missing key!

The key to finding true love is in a personal relationship with Jesus.

What does that mean?

A personal relationship goes deeper than just belief that there is a God or that Jesus exists, or even that He died on the cross for the sins of the world.  The Bible claims that even the demons recognize God and shudder, yet they have no personal relationship with Him. (James 2:19)

A personal relationship with Jesus begins with an understanding of your personal sin and how that separates you from the love of God.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Rom. 3:23

As much as we hate to admit it, we are all broken. We’ve run away from our Creator God’s original design for us, and this has left us unable to be good and acceptable and whole on our own.

You don’t believe me?  You think mankind is naturally good?  Then why are you here searching for the key to finding true love?  It should be easy to find if that were the case.

If mankind were intrinsically good, then we would not feel so unloved.

A quick glance around our world and all of its pain tells us that mankind isn’t naturally good. And if you’re honest with yourself, you can admit that you have to work at being good, just as I do.

Being good doesn’t come easily or naturally.

That fact doesn’t negate the beauty of the human experience, though. In fact, our Creator God values us so much, in spite of our flawed nature, that He sent His only Son to die in our place, bearing our shame and punishment.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 6:23

That death was and is ours to pay, friends!

The wages of sin, death, is what we have earned by our own choices in life to walk away from God’s plan in favor of our own plan.

But don’t despair!

The good news is that True Love took what we deserved and nailed it to the cross, just for the joy of knowing us, redeeming us, and calling us His own!

So many people are still searching for that one true love, but true love is hard to come by these days.  Read here for the key to finding true love that lasts a lifetime!

Who wouldn’t want that kind of sacrificial love in their life?

Because of Jesus’s death on the cross in your place, you can have that personal relationship with Him. It is a free gift, ready for the taking.

They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:31

[T]hat if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. Rom. 10:9-10

It’s really that simple.


Believe that True Love is real, that True Love died in your place out of love for you.  Believe that the free gift of salvation is yours for the taking. Choose True Love and you won’t have to go through this life feeling unloved for another second.

The key to finding true love, the kind that lasts for a lifetime?

You won’t find it in a woman or a man.

It’s only found in Jesus.

Jen :)

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6 Ways to Stir Up Love in a Difficult Marriage

A few days ago, I shared just part of my struggling marriage story and how difficult Valentine’s Day is when you don’t feel like celebrating love. If you didn’t catch that first part, please go back and read For the Wife Who Doesn’t Feel Like Celebrating Love  before you read any further here so that you can get the whole picture. :)

I’m happy to say that our marriage is in a much stronger place now than it was then, although not without its problems. So, this Valentine’s Day will be easier than the one I previously described.

However, I know so many of you wives out there are hurting, too. How do I know? Because the number one searched word that leads people to this blog is the word “unloved” from a post I wrote way back in 2013.

Since then, I’ve been contacted by so many Christian wives who truly desire to walk in obedience to the Lord even in the midst of marriage problems, but they just aren’t sure how. I have been that wife myself!

So, if you find yourself in a marriage that just plain stinks this Valentine’s Day (or birthday, anniversary, Christmas, whatever you happen to be celebrating) – if you believe you can’t show love because you feel so unloved – I have some advice for you that comes from my personal experience as a struggling wife.

6 Ways to Stir Up Love in a Difficult Marriage

1. Remember who you are in Christ. This has been key for me in overcoming lies from the Enemy about my marriage. In Christ, I am completely and perfectly fulfilled. I am perfectly loved. I am wanted. I am cherished. I am chosen.  Any loving that I do, has to flow from that place of understanding who I am as a Daughter of the King and Christ’s Bride.  When I find my identity in Christ instead of in my marriage, then I can survive the tough times.

2. Pray. Pray without ceasing that the Lord will give you His unfailing love for your man. I can’t tell you how often I’ve begged this of our Father over the years. That agape love comes not from us, my sisters in Christ. Rather, it is an overflow of abiding in the One who IS perfect Love. Pray for your man, as well, that he will demonstrate love to you in return. The Lord can affect changes in his heart that you can never hope to make!

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3. Seek counsel. My husband and I might face the effects of PTSD on our marriage for the rest of our lives. I pray not, but it could be so.  We’ve found a few godly friends who really “get” us and even more importantly, “get” our marriage dynamic.  They understand because they’ve been there, too.  However, I highly recommend seeking out a godly Christian counselor.  We’ve been through several over our nearly 16 years of marriage.

Our current counselor is by far my favorite. He doesn’t downplay the reality of PTSD as some do, neither does he downplay the power of Christ. He brings scripture into our sessions and ends each one with a prayer that brings encouragement to our hearts.

My friends, there is an indescribable comfort in realizing that your marriage problems are not unique.

Others have faced them and overcome them before!  You are not alone as the Enemy would have you believe. Seek help! And if your man won’t go with you, please don’t use that as an excuse not to get help for yourself.

4. Make a list. Sometimes when I’m really struggling to love my husband, I make a list. I take note of all of the things I admire about him – all of the reasons for loving who he is as a person.  This really helps me to turn my focus from the negative, things I dislike, to the positive, things I like.  It also helps me to look back and see the ways in which he has grown over the years. After all, he is a work-in-progress, just as I am. Remembering that fact helps me to show him more grace and love.

5. Read your old journals or love notes. Every once in a great while, I pull out my memory box and look through pictures or keepsakes from the early years. I read the notes my husband wrote to me. It’s easier to love someone when I remember that he loves me, too! The memory box also helps me to remember how marriage can be easy between us.  It doesn’t always have to be a struggle (that’s another lie straight from the Enemy, sisters!). Good years will return as long as we both continue to follow the Lord and pursue each other.

6. Pursue your man.  Okay, honestly, I still fight this one so hard at times – it’s a pride issue for me and an area the Lord is still working in.  However, I’m learning that when I obediently reach out to my husband instead of waiting for him to reach out to me, he responds and we both gain. Pursuing him might be as simple as stopping what I’m doing and looking him in the eyes when he speaks to me, or choosing to sit next to him on the couch and hold his hand even if he sat way over there in the first place.;)

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I know how difficult the above advice is to hear when you’re so broken-hearted, so wounded, so unloved.

Yes, I know it is.

But I have faith in the God who works out the impossible!

I’ve seen it in my own marriage in places where the Father has torn down our shabby constructs of love in order to build up newer, stronger foundations that rest on Him alone. I believe Him when he says I can do ALL things through His strength – even loving someone whom I might believe to be undeserving of my love. I can love someone who doesn’t love me in return, perhaps even someone who truly despises me at the moment, because of the power of Christ in me. And you can do it, too!

You can celebrate Valentine’s Day without glossing over that fact that your marriage is hurting. You can be honest with your spouse. You can choose to act lovingly toward him even if he is not reciprocating. You can cling to the hope that Christ redeems us, and He redeems our marriages, too!

You can, my sisters in Christ, because of Jesus.

Father, when we feel discouraged in our marriages, when we struggle to speak even a few loving words to our husbands, help us to remember that our marriages are works-in-progress, too.  Show us the progress, Lord!  Give us agape love for our husbands so that they might be drawn to us and drawn to You.  Remind us to pray for them. Remind us to pursue them. Show us every small way in which we can encourage and uplift them because of Your strength in us. And when we’re feeling so unloved ourselves, help us to turn to You, the Author of perfect Love. Teach us to be satisfied in You.  Especially on this Valentine’s Day, I ask you to bind up the brokenhearted and give them Hope!  Because of Your one and only Son’s death on our behalf….


Jen :)


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Related Articles:

For the Wife Who Doesn’t Feel Like Celebrating Love

How to Love When You Feel Unloved

Through My Grace-colored Glasses

It Was Ugly

For more encouraging articles on marriage, check out the Celebrating Marriage pinterest board!

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For the Wife Who Doesn’t Feel Like Celebrating Love

It’s no secret to those who know me well that my marriage isn’t perfect. Whose is, really? :)

So maybe you’ve spent time there lately, struggling in marriage, battling  through in that part of the vows that we all like to ignore – the “for worse?”

And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, your pain is magnified because while everyone else is celebrating love, you’re left wondering where the love has gone.

Perhaps you don’t even want to celebrate Valentine’s Day at all?

You’re not alone.

I’ve been in that place, too.

Early on in our marriage, my husband revealed a secret about past trauma that he had kept hidden for years. He had survived things as a child that nearly made me vomit when I heard them, yet he never spoke a word!

That revelation (and other difficult circumstances) led to a really dark time in our marriage.

After talking with some trusted friends, we finally sought professional help, but it was years later before we learned that my husband really struggled with PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder). Yes, the kind that soldiers get when they’ve been to war, only his was induced by childhood trauma.

At some point, I began to wonder – who is this man that I married? Followed by the thought - this isn’t what I signed up for.


We continued to struggle in marriage, partially because of his own personal fight with demons from the past and partially because I was believing lies from the Enemy about myself, about him, and about us.

I worried a lot about whether we would make it.

Sometimes I even longed for the release and relief of a separation. Wouldn’t it be so much easier on my own?

But I knew that divorce was a sin. I also knew I didn’t want that life for my children, and I knew that part of me still loved my husband in spite of not feeling the love at the moment, so ultimately we decided to stick it out.

Yet it wasn’t easy.

And then came Valentine’s Day, a day for celebrating love and marriage.

The problem was that I didn’t feel “in love” anymore. In fact, at times I didn’t even like my husband, and I don’t think he liked me very much either.  I didn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day at all.

Nothing brings out the pain of struggling in marriage like the holidays! How can you even choose a card for someone you don't really like at the moment? For the wife who just doesn't feel like celebrating, take heart; you are not alone!

So, how can you buy a Valentine’s Day card for your husband when it feels like a lie to even say a simple, “I love you” or “You’re wonderful?”

There are no Valentine’s Day cards that talk about staying committed even though marriage really stinks right now.

There are no Valentine’s Day cards that talk about how you weep at night, yet you hold onto hope for better days.

No, those cards don’t exist.

What could I do?  To buy a sentimental card felt like a lie; it would be dishonest.  Finally, I settled on a more general card, then added my own note to it.

I wrote about how hard life had been lately for both of us.

I wrote how sorry I was for my own failures as a wife. I wrote about what I saw in him when we first fell in love. Most importantly, I wrote how I planned to stick by him, for better or for worse, even though marriage seemed so much more than “worse” at the moment.

In so many words, I told him I believed in us and I believed in our God.

Hope for the Hurting Wife: 30 Days of Practical Encouragement for Your Marriage. Coming Soon! marriage book|difficult marriage|husband|wife|hard times in marriage|marriage encouragement

My husband still keeps those cards, even the ones from the rough years (yes, years). They mean something to him. They mean something to me, too.

We survived that rough Valentine’s Day and some painful anniversaries, too. Although I’d love to tell you we never visited the dark times again in these last 15 years, it would be a lie.  We have.

I’ve since learned that every marriage has its ups and downs. That’s just normal. :)

So, this Valentine’s Day, my heart goes out to you, the wife who doesn’t feel like celebrating love, the wife who feels so unloved and maybe even trapped. I know that Valentine’s Day shines a great big spotlight on your source of pain. I know you are tired of struggling in marriage and you long for just a small slice of peace in your life.

I know you often feel alone in this. And I know the loving feelings just aren’t there at the moment, as much as you wish them to be.

Take heart, lonely, wounded wife.

You are not alone! The Father has not forgotten you!

Psalm 34:17-18

The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
     The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

This is just part of my story of surviving Valentine’s Day when you feel unloved… and unloving.  I hope you’ll join us for Part 2 in which I share six practical tips for stirring up love when marriage just plain stinks.

Until then,

Jen :)

Related articles:

6 Ways to Stir Up Love in a Difficult Marriage

How to Love When You Feel Unloved

Through My Grace-colored Glasses

It Was Ugly

The Day I Saw Red

Because We’ve Been Falsely Accused

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How to Love When You Feel Unloved

In the spirit of truth-sharing, I’ll tell you that being the wife I am called to be is my weak area, my Achilles heel. I never feel so much like Paul in Romans 7, battling with the flesh, as when marital issues arise. How can I love my husband when I myself feel unloved?

Often Satan and sin have me so ensnared that I even become confused as to what “right” really is.

Like many married couples, we tend to get caught up in the cycle of an argument that’s been played out time and time again.  And that can be so frustrating!

Revisiting those same issues makes us feel like failures, trapped by the past, stalled in our progress.

But I’m not satisfied with a marriage that’s merely okay, and I mean that in the best of ways, I really do.  I desperately want to grow ever closer to the type of intimacy God intended for us  to experience as man and wife.

I don’t want to be fatalistic or resigned in my outlook, even though I may feel that way at times.  Because if I settle for “this is as good as it gets,” then where is my hope in the God who transforms souls, including my own?

Marriage is hard work, just like parenting is hard work.  If it were easy, we would not be challenged to grow!

Marriage teaches me things about myself that I loathe: how selfish I am, how easily offended, how weak and needy.  But unless I see the truth of where I stand, what chance do I have to move on from that spot?

By far the most difficult times in our marriage occur when we are both bearing unusual burdens that slowly wear us down, burdens like extended illness, or financial stress, or parenting issues, or major decisions, or unpredictable catastrophes.

We’re both weak.

We’re both worn and frayed.

We’re both longing for rest.

Love between a husband and wife needs to be sacrificial in nature, but the world tells us to put "me" first. How can we love when we feel so unloved ourselves? How can we keep going when it seems easier to give up? A little advice from a wife who understands such struggles yet believes in Hope.

Hope for marriages in hard times

You’ve been there before, I’m sure – those times in life when you both feel like you need a good long vacation from reality.

As much as I’d like to blame our marital strife on my husband’s inadequacies, I know the issues at hand aren’t his alone.  We’re called to be sacrificial in our love for one another, but when I’m already at the end of my rope, I often feel there is nothing left to give.

I become selfish;

I withhold kindness.

I justify: how can I love when I feel unloved?

How can I lift my husband up when I can barely lift myself up, Father?

How can I?

I’m certain I’m not alone in this desire we wives have to be rescued by our husbands when the going gets tough.

Love between a husband and wife needs to be sacrificial in nature, but the world tells us to put "me" first. How can we love when we feel so unloved ourselves? How can we keep going when it seems easier to give up? A little advice from a wife who understands such struggles yet believes in Hope.


This desire to have men of strength come charging in to save the day. This desire to let ourselves be the weak ones for once.  This desire to feel protected and cherished and cared for.

Because for all of our outward strength, we women often harbor needs that remain hidden.

The problem is that in wishing my husband would take on that role of Rescuer, I’m asking him to fill a space only our Father God can truly fill.

When I ask my husband to fill up that empty space, I’m asking to be disappointed.

My husband is imperfect.  Sometimes he lets me down, as I do him. Sometimes he needs a Rescuer just as I do.  Sometimes he is weak.  He is only human after all.  My desire for him to be what even I cannot is quite unfair, isn’t it?

I’ll be honest. As a busy mom of four, I wrestle with this idea that God should be my sole supply. After all, God cannot help with the bedtime routine or sweep the kitchen or sign permissions slips or pay the bills, at least not in a physical sense.

I wrestle, too, with feelings of disappointment and unkind thoughts toward a husband whom I truly wish to respect.

So, how can I love my husband                                                           when I feel unloved?

How can I be so filled with the Spirit, so filled with the Father’s love for my husband, that I have a constant and abundant supply to give?

Love between a husband and wife needs to be sacrificial in nature, but the world tells us to put "me" first. How can we love when we feel so unloved ourselves? How can we keep going when it seems easier to give up? A little advice from a wife who understands such struggles yet believes in Hope.

Honestly, I have no clear answers.

I have only ideas, inklings of what it takes.

Prayer would be a good start - telling God where I’m really at, even if it’s ugly.  Letting Him know how unfair it feels, how I feel unloved, how hurt I am, how afraid.  Asking Him to bring light to the Enemy’s lies, lies about how it will never change, about how it never has changed, about how you’re stuck.

They are Satan’s favorite lies. You’re trapped in this loveless marriage forever! He’s unfair!  He doesn’t appreciate you!  You shouldn’t have to put up with this!

Praying for supernatural intervention certainly helps!  God can change my husband’s heart, as well as my own, quicker than an hours-long “discussion.”  He can give me a supernatural love for my man, something that is not naturally “in me,” especially when I feel unloved.

The Father can melt my stubbornness, soothe my anger, hold my hurt, and forgive my sin, too.

He can also help me see the truth in the situation and  who my husband is in the Father’s eyes, a dearly beloved son. He can remind me of how big my husband’s shoes are, how broad his shoulders.  He can help me see clearly the load that often sits there and understand why my man sometimes stumbles beneath it.

When I see that truth, who my husband really, truly is at heart, I’m overwhelmed by compassion and ashamed by my traitorous thoughts.

I may not feel any stronger. I may still desperately need rescuing.  I may even carry wounds from the wrestling.

But at last I see that we two are the same: lonely, weary hearts in search of love and acceptance and a Rescuer.

You’re tired?  Me, too.  

You want to escape from life right now?  Me, too.  

You feel inadequate?  Me, too.

You hurt?  Me, too.

Instead of being angry with my hubby for failing to rescue me, we can turn hand in hand to the Father, the One who rescues us both.


Love between a husband and wife needs to be sacrificial in nature, but the world tells us to put "me" first. How can we love when we feel so unloved ourselves? How can we keep going when it seems easier to give up? A little advice from a wife who understands such struggles yet believes in Hope.

This is how we love, friends,

                                           by gazing into the face of Love Himself.

I’m not trying to make it sound simple or easy because I know how difficult it is to choose love when the world tells us it’s easier to give up and call it quits.

We can choose to love even when we feel unloved because Jesus did.

Greater Love has no man than this…

And so we stand, my husband and I, in the face of Perfect Love.

Side by side.

Fear washed away.

Compassion in our eyes.

Forgiveness on our faces.

Wearing our Grace-colored glasses because we serve the God of all Hope!

We’re merely works in progress here on Earth.

But we are not alone.

And this is not our home.

Jen :)

 Are you frustrated by failure you in your marriage? Do you wonder if there is any hope left for you? Hope for the Hurting Wife is a 30 day devotional journey written by two women who survived the muck and mire of marriage problems. Christian marriage|difficult marriage|encouragement for wives|hope for marriage|should I get a divorce|how to stay married| healthy marriage|trusting God with marriage|wife|husband|christian woman

When do you feel strain in your marriage the most?

How do you take it to the Lord?

You can find more great posts on marriage here:


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Also – Life in Grace

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