Seven Ways to Handle Difficulty in Marriage

On Tuesday I told you I’d share 5 ways to handle difficulty.  I added a couple, making it seven.  I pray this encourages your heart as God encouraged mine with these truths very recently.

If there was any example in Scripture of a difficult marriage, we find it in the story of Nabal and Abigail in I Samuel 25.  We learn that Abigail is a beautiful, godly woman who is married to a fool.   In short what happens is that David wants to pass through Nabal’s land and also asks Nabal to feed his hungry men who had been kind to his shepherds.  Nabal’s refusal infuriates David.  Nabal’s household are all on David’s warpath until a servant runs to inform Abigail so she can intervene for her foolish husband.  She’s probably done this many times before.  She hurries to send a gracious and generous gift to David, then rides a donkey and greets him herself.  She bowed herself to the ground, showing honor for the king he would soon become.  She spoke of God’s sovereign plan for David and reminds him that the Lord will take care of his enemies.  David’s anger is pacified, and God ends up taking Nabal’s life just a few short days later.  Guess who David chose to be his next wife?  Abigail! 
As I read this story recently, I thought about how Abigail’s response in difficulty caused this man after God’s heart to desire her as a wife.  I can’t say that the way I handle trials in our home always makes my husband glad he’s married to me!  But I’ve taken notes about what she did so I can handle things better in the future. 
Here’s how you and I can handle difficulty in marriage as exampled by Abigail – Let’s start with her response then we’ll make the application:

  1. Abigail acted immediately.  
  2. Abigail took a gift.
  3. She chose the best time to speak with Nabal.  
  4. Abigail spoke words of respect – “my lord.” 
  5. Abigail humbled herself and took the blame for Nabal’s foolish actions, though she was clearly not at fault. 
  6. Abigail reminded David of God’s character and care for him – she knew God’s Word. 
  7. Abigail didn’t attack David. 

  1. Don’t shove trouble under the rug hoping it will get better tomorrow – it must be dealt with.
  2. Be generous. Give a gift in love to pacify anger. Proverbs 21:4
  3. Use the HALT principle. If you or your husband are hungry, angry, lonely or tired, wait a while to speak.
  4. Words said in respect will gain you your husband’s ear AND his heart.
  5. Humble yourself and be willing to shoulder the blame. (Ouch, this one is hard!)
  6. Be in the Word and fill your heart with it! Speak God’s Words to your husband and bring in Truth.
  7. Attack the problem, not the person.

Do these principles make sense to you?  How do you think it would change a stressful situation?

2 thoughts on “Seven Ways to Handle Difficulty in Marriage

  1. Gotta tell you, Denise, living with my husband who has T B I can be quite challenging every day. What I.m learning after 6 years is, he doesn't.t even realize how some of his comments cut me to the core. God is helping me to sweetly let him know the truth.
    Sometimes I want to quit. But, we promised in sickness and health… For better or worse ( was that included?)

    I love you and appreciate you, Denise~ debby


  2. Every marriage has something that makes it hard – at least for a time. I know that the things you are sowing – kindness, love, respect, patience, etc. you will reap. Thanks for your honesty.
    Love you, too!


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