“I’ve had it!” That’s the chorus I keep hearing these days. And it’s not just, “I’ve had it with COVID and the lockdown.” It’s, “I’ve had it with my spouse too!”
I can understand why they might feel that way. Inevitably, two people who are vastly different marry each other. The neat-nik marries the messy. The Netflix addict marries the fitness fanatic. The frugal saver marries the Amazonaholic. Unhappiness will surface if you let it. And then—as in Eden—the blaming starts. The situation spirals downward.
Usually, we take these things in stride. We go for a walk or get together with a friend. But now, this individual who is really getting on our last nerve is locked in the house with us 24/7. And the escapes we used to use to let off steam may not be available.
I’ve heard these phrases a lot:
“I just don’t know what to do.”
“I don’t think my spouse is ever going to change.”
“My marriage is never going to get better.”
“I’m so tired. I don’t have any more to give.”
Do you hear the hopelessness? I’m reminded that King David in the Bible also felt hopeless. David had treated Saul honorably and done nothing but good for him, and yet Saul persisted in trying to corner him, attack him, and kill him. In addition, David’s living arrangements were less than optimal as he looked for hiding places in the wilderness and scrounged food and water for a growing army. This went on for TEN years.
Sometimes David just out and out complained to God:
“I’m being unjustly accused.”
“This is unfair treatment.”
You hear it again and again when you read the Psalms. But, as he prays, you also see the point where David’s focus changes and his hope returns. Psalm 69 is just one example:
“Save me, O God, for the waters have threatened my life. I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me. I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; my eyes fail while I wait for my God. Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; those who would destroy me are powerful, being wrongfully my enemies; What I did not steal, I then have to restore.” (Psalm 69:1-4)
But then, David’s focus changes and his complaint turns to making a request of God:
“But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, answer me with your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink; May I be delivered from my foes and from the deep waters. May the flood of water not overflow me nor the deep swallow me up, nor the pit shut its mouth on me. Answer me, O Lord, for Your lovingkindness is good; according to the greatness of Your compassion, turn to me.” (Psalm 69:13-16)
By the end of the psalm, David’s attitude is completely different:
“But I am afflicted and in pain; may Your salvation, O God, set me securely on high.
I will praise the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. . . . Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them. For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, that they may dwell there and possess it. The descendants of His servants will inherit it, and those who love His name will dwell in it.” (Psalm 69:29-30 and 34-36)
Sometimes you must endure. Immerse yourself in the promises of God. Praise God despite the trials and look ahead to “inheriting the beautiful cities” God has in store for you and your marriage.