Yeah, I really feel for people when they desperately want to have a healthy, good marriage, even a godly marriage, but you have a spouse who doesn’t want that or seemingly doesn’t want that, or isn’t as committed to trying. There’s a lot of ways of thinking about that. And I think the first is challenging myself to say, Am I committed to this? Regardless of where my spouse is at. Should I be committed to this marriage? Am I committed to this marriage regardless where my spouse is at?
And then the second is really throwing myself before the Lord and saying, “How can you teach me to love without an expectation of return?” which is really painful, because you assume mutual ministry, you assume a mutuality in marriage. So it’s really painful when you don’t have a spouse who you feel is returning that and investing in it.
And I think that’s where the Lord really challenges us and forces us to go deeper in our walk with him and I learn to love sacrificially in ways I never knew how or never know I needed to. And it also forces me to look at the Lord as my hope and my comfort in the brokenness of a relationship.
Now all that said, I still pursue my spouse. I still want to have good communication, a good relationship. But I’m no longer—my agenda is not driven by an expectation of return and trying to get something from them. Rather, I’m committed to trying to be the person the Lord’s called me to be in that relationship.
I also think it’s really wise then to bring godly people around you who remind you of those truths, who encourage you, who sometimes give you practical advice. And you learn to pray not only about your spouse but actually for your spouse, and you pray the Lord work in them and through them as well.