Thursday, January 18, 2018

Lady-in-Waiting: Time’s on Your Side for a Happy Marriage

October 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Monthly Articles

Who’d get married if they thought they were gonna be miserable?! Everyone wants to be happy, especially in a marriage. We find that special one and jump into a relationship with all the fresh energy new love has to propel us. But a good marriage doesn’t just blip up on the screen of life fully grown and perfect, any more than a baby arrives doing math and able to drive a car. It takes time to learn, and that means we have to wait for results while we work together.

A happy marriage is built, worked on, and cared for. Unfortunately that takes time, and time takes its toll in the Big-3Es: Energy, Emotions and Effort. Obviously, frustrations are inevitable, and sometimes one or more of the Backwards Big-3Es set in. Here’s what I mean: pour out energy in the non-productive ways you can think up and you get Exhausted; embroil yourself in emotions that corrode your attitude and you get Exasperated. Exhaust your efforts and you’re finally tempted to Exit. But wait a minute! No, wait a while. . . a good and long while . . . give it time! Expaaaaand those Big-3Es of Energy, Emotions, and Effort with a dozen Gung-Ho! Eternal “Waits” of Glory.

Each column below outlines a dozen ways to handle the frustrations of marriage. We all know the choices we make individually and together are what will determine how our lives together go. I’m listing here the backwards Big-3 first so we can glance at them and then move on. Done deal, ain’t goin’ there again.

There’s a wealth of help from God who made you and watches over the institution of marriage, and who has good plans for your relationship—if you’ll both live by his outline for you, as described in the Bible.  What? It’s only you making this new move? Wait a minute . . . what does that change? Only you? My vote is for a proactive you, so it’s worth it anyway. Let’s go:


BACKWARDS BIG-3Es: A Dozen Emptying Wait-a-Minutes!

Exhausted, Exasperated . . . Exit                 

  1. Ignore your frustrations; they’re only your problem.
  2. Throw what’s in your hand across the room.
  3. Dole out the silent treatment; a quiet revenge at least feels peaceful.
  4. Stop at the bar and have a drink before going home.
  5. Fume internally about what’s bugging you instead of fumigate the internal bugs.
  6. So leave the house in a huff.
  7. Start a “friendship” with someone of the opposite sex.
  8. Forget this is the one you were so in love with at the start.
  9. “Joke” about “options” or drop subtle bombs suggesting divorce.
  10. Have another drink; start another separatist action (a new activity, evening away, hobby, etc.).
  11. Yammer about how bad it is to your best friends.
  12. Dull yourself to the fact that there is hope; it’s more work than is worth it.


Now, breathe in. Exhale slowly and release that frustration. Notice in the Gung-Ho! Big-3Es below there’s a special bonus: you are not alone in this work of waiting.

GUNG-HO! BIG-3Es: A Dozen Eternal Wait-for-its!

Energy, Emotions, and Effort

  1. Welcome God into every detail of your marriage, especially your bad attitude (yikes).
  2. Decide now: we will not let anything destroy our relationship, not even us.
  3. Capture the moment: we need to get through this civilly. Let’s talk it through. Then invite God to give you a hand!
  4. Any marriage can be better.  Plenty of books on the subject give positive helps (Not the kind  listed in the first column).
  5. Learn how to fight—there are rules for having a successful argument, and they involve a modicum of respect—and they invite God into the fray. Yes, I did say that.
  6. Remember you two are now one. (Remember?) That’s why mutual adjustments need to be made. The battle is the two o’ yuz against the common enemy of your marriage. You have a spiritual enemy.
  7. Love each other with God’s kind of love— unselfish, kind, unconditional—you really won’t lose, regardless what happens. I mean regardless.
  8. Get counsel from someone who is dedicated to preserving your marriage.
  9. Be part of a sound, loving Bible believing and practicing church.
  10. Learn what divides you and then make it your common goal to get rid of it.
  11. Thank God, he’s on your side! No, I don’t mean to the exclusion of your spouse’s side—remember, one flesh?
  12. Time is on your side. God is waiting for you to ask, but he says first, “Let’s give it time. . . a bit more time.”


There’s a principle in God’s ways of working that came to me recently. I wasn’t particularly looking for relationship helps, but the words suddenly took on a different form of encouragement. God reminds us that when he speaks something, it happens. When his will is made known, we can count on it. It may take time, but at the “appointed time” it is done. Yup, done deal. If we stay immersed in the Lord for our relationships, he will reveal the things that we need to know—what’s sapping us of his Energy; where our Emotions are being sabotaged; and how he will renew your strength in godly Effort towards a great relationship. We’re looking for an end result, after all, that only God can accomplish. Lady in Waiting: time’s on your side for a happy marriage.

“For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”   Habakkuk 2:3 NIV


Jacque Coffee, MA, author of “Your Gung-Ho! Life: The ABCs of Proactive Living,” communicates one powerful message through many mediums: God is Gung-Ho! about us. It’s God’s heart for us to be strengthened through encouragement, support, truth-telling, and love that covers it all—so that we can catch our calling, spread his life, and fulfill his mission in the earth. Visit the gung ho girl at to Ground Your Stand. So you can Stand Your Ground in the days to come.

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