Endurance in Marriage

Gray Foshee

Understanding Endurance

“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”. Romans 5:3

The Greek word for endurance is hypomone meaning to abide under. The three English words patience, steadfast, and endurance can all be traced back to the same Greek word hypomone.

In Greg Harris's book The Cup and the Glory he states “Most of us do not seek ‘to abide under’ suffering when it comes our way. Instead we seek a way out, which is the normal human response”. 

It’s fascinating that the terms sufferings, trials, afflictions, and hardships are all parallel with the Greek word Hypomone. In addition to these words being synonyms, they are tied to words of disproportionate meaning such as joy, hope, faith, love, perfect, complete, and character. 

Learning to Abide

How is it possible to find joy or hope in the midst of losing a loved one? Why do you see people who seem to thrive and survive under great afflictions or hardships? My belief is that they have learned the art of “ABIDING”. John 15 gives us life giving instructions on how to abide in the True Vine, Jesus. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:10-11

The word abide is the Greek word meno, meaning “to wait for” or “remain in a place or state”. That’s how someone can find joy or hope or love in the middle of life’s biggest gut punches. They have learned to remain in a state and proximity to the One who is all of these attributes. 

New Revelation

Read Acts 16:25-34. In this account of Paul and Silas being imprisoned we see them doing something in verse 25, they were praying and singing hymns to God. We don’t know their exact prayers, but I know what I would be praying… “Father, we need a miracle and we need You to get us up out of this place”. Bam! God causes an earthquake, shakes the place so mightily that all their chains fell off and all of a sudden, the prison doors opened.

God gave me a new revelation several years ago about Paul’s response to his freedom. Paul and Silas didn’t run to the closest exit praising God for their new found freedom. They did the opposite. They stayed. Why? The Holy Spirit asked me a question. “Why are you so quick to sprint out of your afflictions or trials as soon as I open the door or set you free”? As I began to dig deeper, I realized it was for comfort’s sake. But God challenged me to endure longer to ensure that there is not a greater work or in some cases, a deeper work that needs to take place. Because Paul and Silas waited after their freedom, the Philippian jailer and his whole household got saved. What an incredible testimony. 

Personal Realization

My wife, Shelly, and I have experienced our fair share of heartbreak and suffering.  If I may be transparent, we seem to stay in a state of trials. In marriage, we have one of two choices when faced with trials, we can allow them to bring us closer or let them push us away and divide us.  I desperately need to learn to abide in a state of joy by abiding in Him, my Shalom. It’s important we find Peace even in the center of our grief. If your marriage is currently facing trials, afflictions or sufferings, lean into God. Don’t blame each other or someone else. 

One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in I Thessalonians 5: 16-18. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all things; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. I will admit that I’m still learning to “give thanks in all things”, especially as it relates to my trials.

Conclusion

I’ll conclude with this passage found in John 14:26-27

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 

If you want to learn how to overcome and be victorious through your trials, join me in learning how to “abide”. Abide in the One who has joy everlasting and peace that surpasses all our understanding.

If you want know how to endure and find joy in your marriage listen to our podcast https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/christianfamilylife/episodes/Finding-Joy-In-Your-Marriage-e2ka0tp

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