I have heard the title and phrase, "Marriage is not for punks." When we consider the spiritual significance of marriage, it is obvious that war is inevitable. The Bible speaks about spiritual warfare and even offers how to properly fight and equipment yourself for war. As a Christian, I strive to have on my "full armor" of God and I strive to remember I am not at war against the flesh or actual people but against demonic spirits and principalities in high places. However, I have recognized that being spiritually strong is not always enough -- especially in marriage.
I believe in mind, body, and spirit. I believe God created us this way in order to properly survive while here on earth. This is why I believe it takes mental and physical strength to help overcome marital hardships. Do not misinterpret the 'physical strength' as physically fighting with slaps, punches, kicks, etc. That is physical abuse and in that situation the only solution is to get help immediately and safely in order to survive. The physical strength I am referring to is maintaining proper health while under stress. Marital hardships are stressful! Stress can cause headaches, loss of appetite, poor concentration, and more. Your physical strength is important and is needed in order to adequately get through the hardship. Marriage is supposed to be about unconditional love. If we are too weak or cannot think clearly most of the time, we will end up not being able to focus on how to love unconditionally. The other strength that is necessary is mental. I personally feel this is the biggest one to maintain! Not overthinking while yet thinking rationally. If you already deal with mental health issues, it can be even worst when having to deal with marital hardships.
I am not sharing because my marriage has always been perfect. The truth is: it is not perfect right now. It has issues and we (individually) have issues. The great news is we are working on them and sharing with each other about working on those issues. But it took time -- A LONG TIME -- to get to this season. When marriage is tough, it takes both husband and wife to admit it is. Both must see the marriage has hit a major hardship. Both must be willing to work on the issues and be willing to agree that at some point those issues will be resolved. You might consider the various issues the battles and if you both can win at the battles then the war will not seem so intense at times. Because the butt-naked truth is: the war will never stop. Not until God says it is time for the new heaven and earth or until one of you reaches the 'death due us part'.
This is why I believe having spiritual strength is not enough. Get your mental health checked! If you need to see a counselor or therapist, see one. If that means getting on special medicines for while, then do it. BUT...make sure it is just temporary unless a medical professional says otherwise. Some mental health issues do not require lifelong dependence on medicines so strive to overcome certain mental health struggles with natural remedies. This mental health check is for man and woman! Men should not be ashamed to talk to a professional about mental health issues. It will not make the man less masculine or weaker. It will actually do the opposite! Even when the man recognizes he has some mental health issues, that can begin the process of progress towards healing and better strength. With the body or physical, it may require some professional help too. Get hormone levels check. Do a sleep study. You never know some of the battles may be triggered by something that can be fixed with a good night sleep or balanced hormones.
In marriage, one spouse cannot be whole without the other. You are still an individual who possess their own unique qualities and strengths. However, that full power or force in a marriage is only achievable when both are truly one! When marriage gets tough, it takes the mind, body, and spirit to be strong in order to win!
-Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Question: If you are married, how are you staying strong mentally, physically, and spiritually?