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Can You Love Your Spouse Even When it Hurts?

It’s easy to love your spouse when your marriage is healthy and going strong. There is a rhythm to how love flows and it seems effortless. It’s like the two of you are dancing in harmony with each step perfectly timed and choreographed. You give and then you receive and then you give some more. You both give love at the same time and in the same way. You both give love at opposite times and in opposite ways. You know without a doubt the two of you are becoming one.

when it hurts

But what if your marriage is not working this way? What if the music has stopped and there is no dance left in your marriage? You’re trying to continue to love your spouse even though you are seriously hurting inside. You believe in marriage. You want to honor the vows you have made. You want to do what is right before God. So you keep trying to love even when the pain of rejection and neglect keeps telling you to stop.

How do you keep loving your spouse when it hurts so bad?

Thank God, if you are a believer there is help for you. If you’re real serious about your walk with the Lord and you’re willing to give your all to Him, there is hope. You are not alone in this and you don’t have to do this in your own strength. His help has already been made available to you.

Jesus said the Holy Spirit has been given to us to be our Helper.

John 14:16-17 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.”

I know this may sound cliché and just Christian rhetoric, but I have personally experienced the Lord’s help in this way. I also had to love my wife even when it was very hard to love. I still had to give love even when I faced the worst pain of rejection loneliness. I received no love in return and I had no reason to believe she would ever return my love. And to do it I had to have all the help I could get from the Lord.

So, here are three keys you need to allow the Lord to help you do this.


Give it to God. Don’t even try to do this in your own strength. Be honest with yourself and with God about how hard this is for you and how much you need His help. Then just as Jesus had to do in the garden, you say:

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

Surrender it all. Surrender your way of thinking about your marriage, your spouse, and your future together. Surrender your will, and your emotions. Even surrender your pain. Give it to God. Draw close to God and let Him comfort you. Let Him strengthen you. Let Him show you how His help can do more than you ever thought possible.

“God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1


Let the love you give to your spouse be a form of you loving God. Keep loving your spouse for the Lord’s sake and not for your spouse. Let this be a part of your worship and devotion to the Lord. Serve your spouse with acts of love as obedience to the Lord. Your worship before God is not just about reading your bible, praying, and singing songs. Your true worship shows up in the way you live everyday. Your true devotion to God shows up the greatest when you are challenged the most.

“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” Colossians 3:23


When you pray, pray for what you need. Ask the Lord to show you love in such a way that not even your spouse could ever love you that way. Fall in love with Jesus and let Him fill your love tank. Let Him fill you up so much that love overflows and you couldn’t stop yourself from loving your spouse even if you wanted to.

When you pray for your spouse, pray for his/her needs more than you pray for what you need from him/her. Don’t focus on what you’re not getting. Focus on what he/she is in need of. Join yourself as a helper to your spouse through your prayers. Be an ally through prayer and not an adversary.

Pray for what you know concerns your spouse the most; the job, children, health, or whatever it is. Pray for God’s favor in his/her life. Pray for healing in the things that have caused hardness in his/her heart. Pray for his/her heart to be open to God so that he/she can receive the same love of God you are receiving.

When you turn your efforts into part of your worship and pray for your spouse in this way, the Lord will fill your heart with more love to give to your spouse than you ever thought was possible. And I believe as you give out this God kind of love it will make a huge impact on you, your spouse and your marriage.


Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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