Desperate Marriage Myth #4 – Hopeless Situation

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Today we’re looking at the last of the myths, Myth #4 – Some situations are hopeless and my situation is one of these.

When people are in a desperate situation where positive change seems impossible or at least a distant memory, they tend to take on a victim mentality. With a victim mentality, you begin to believe that nothing you or others do will ever improve your situation. But it’s important to recognize the rationalizations that are often behind this kind of thinking—fueling and distorting your perception of reality.

Ask yourself if you’re …

  • Avoiding difficulty/conflict
  • Afraid of rejection or failure
  • Unsure of the outcome
  • Tired of trying

Once you’ve identified what really lies behind your sense of hopelessness, you can deal with it directly with positive interventions like learning better communication skills or finding support and perspective through things like Bible reading, journaling, counseling and/or prayer.

Doing something positive that builds and helps you understand and relate to your spouse better can only help, but what I’ve done when I feel helpless that blows even the best communication and relationship strategies away is finding my hope in God. After all, He is the source of all hope. Any other hope we find will not bring about the change we so desperately need. Any other hope we find in this life outside of Christ is but a shadow of His divine hope.

 

“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain …” Hebrews 6:19 (NIV)

 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead …” 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

 

Practically speaking, how do you set your hope in God when you’re facing a desperate situation?

Here’s how I’ve done it –

  • I’ve asked God to reveal the many ways I’ve tried to seek hope outside of Him. (Psalm 139:23, 24)
  • Then I confess those areas to Him and commit to clinging only to Christ instead of my idols. (1 John 1:9)
  • Then I daily, sometimes minute-by-minute, choose to surrender the situation to Him. (John 15:5, James 4:7, 8)
  • I tell God (both aloud and in times of prayer) that I am trusting in His hope alone to fix and redeem my marriage (or life) mess. (Psalm 40:1-2, 1 John 5:14-15)
  • When I stray (which I do more than I like to admit), I immediately recommit to these steps again. (Proverbs 28:13, James 5:16)

 

What are some intentional steps you’ve taken—yielding positive results for your marriage?

 

What are ways you’ve sought and maintained your hope in God alone?

 

photo by Saul Molloy

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Come join our Wednesday Link-up!

  • Beth, these are valuable points even for the non-desperate situations… for the everyday frustrations and disappointments. I appreciate how you’ve tied each step to scripture. As always, wise words, my friend. Thank you!

    • You know, they really are, aren’t they, Becky?! I’m not always losing my hope in my marriage but sometimes I lose hope in my circumstances. So these steps have been used over and over again! Thanks for the encouragement and stopping by to weigh in as well, sweet friend!

  • Candace @ candacecreates.com

    You are so right- God is the fastest and safest way out of hopelessness! It can be easy to distort what we see as reality. We sometimes think we are alone in our suffering which is incredibly untrue. Not only are there others with the same struggles, but God is always right there with us. Thanks for hosting! It’s always a pleasure to visit you :)!

    • Yes, God is certainly always there, even when we don’t feel Him or see His immediate response, Candace. And I’m glad you brought up the fact that so many of us share these feelings when we’ve been in a difficulty of any kind for a prolonged period. I just hope this gives some direction to those who are so discouraged right now that they’ve lost their way. Thanks so much for your sweet words, my friend and so glad to have you in the link up!

  • GailBP

    I’ve not had internet regularly the past few weeks, but I can see that I need to catch up with this series. I love today’s post. So, so true. Our attitudes of hopelessness hinder us more than any circumstance. Thanks for holding out the truth about marriage, Beth. Blessing you from Croatia,
    Gail

    • I bet it’s hard to find “wi-fi” in Croatia! 🙂 My husband and I are about to leave on our 25th (plus one) anniversary trip to England and Wales and I’m certain I will miss my internet connections here and there! I’m so glad you stopped by to encourage me, though. Your kind words mean a lot to me, Gail! And I’ll continue to lift you and your husband up!

  • Kim Adams Morgan

    Thanks for hosting, Beth. We sometimes defeat ourselves by our thoughts and limited perspective. We forget to go to God and remember how BIG He is. Great message on hopelessness. Same type of things happen when dealing with grief and pain (I’ll be covering). Our thoughts are so powerful, we need to remember joy.

    • You’re welcome, Kim! And yes, our thoughts really can distort our perspective. I’m so glad we have a God who can see way ahead of us and guides us every day! Thanks also for your kind words to me, my friend!

  • Minute by minute surrendering the situation to God’s care…and sometimes that is what it takes during a difficult spell as satan hurls one negative lie after another. We are in a battle for our marriages — good and bad — from the moments our eyes open in the morning. Thanks Beth for all your words here at Messy Marriage and especially for this myth busting series. You speak from a place of knowing and those true life tales of being more than a conqueror can help us all as we walk in the darker places…Thanks, friend, for the link up, and blessings to you always…

    • Ah yes, surrender for me is often a constant, not so much because my situation has gotten worse but because I take the problem back! But Christ is so patient with me and gently reminds me to “wash, rinse and repeat!” ha! Thank you so much for your kind words, Sheila. I hope that the series has been helpful. And yes, I do speak from a place of “knowing” and I’m so glad God is using the lessons He’s taught me to help others too. Thanks for your sweet support here, my friend!

  • Wanda@The Watered Soul

    Our own thoughts can be what limits us the most. Keeping them in check and pointed in the right direction is a constant battle for me. When I find myself easily frustrated or feeling downcast, I know that I have allowed my hope to move from our one true hope.

    • Yes, that’s so true, Wanda. We can always know that when we are discouraged, we are putting our hope in something or someone other than God! Great thoughts and I’m so glad you added them to the discussion, my friend!

  • Thank you Beth for such a good post. I liked your advice. Thanks for hosting the linkup today.

    • Thanks to you too, Judith for your link up. It’s been great to get to know you and your blog a bit better.

  • I like you’ve gone about keeping your hope in God, Beth. Holding on to God’s revealed truth, reminding myself of it over and over, leaning on His grace more than anything else – are some of the ways i keep hope in messy moments. Hope is so important because without hope, we really can’t move on.

    • Yes, those are great practices and focuses you’ve learned, Ngina. I can hear and see them coming through in your writing week after week. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I like you so much! Yes, that’s true, we really can’t move on without hope in God.

  • Mary

    Beth-
    I love the truth you speak about marriage and the difficulty that can surround you. I know that if God is not your center it is easy to give up and say “i’m tired of trying”. I know now that God provides my hope – a lesson I wish I had known before my marriage failed. Thank you for this series. I pray it blesses many and that their end result turns out to be a positive outcome.

    • Yes, even paying attention to the fact that you’re tired is a clue that you’ve not kept your hope in the Lord. He has always renewed my strength when I’ve kept my eyes firmly on Him and not my messy marriage or difficult circumstance. Thanks so much for your kind words to me, Mary. I really appreciate you coming by and saying!

  • Nykiah

    I love this post! Been missing linking up with you all, I’m in my preschool series. There are some great reads up there.

    Always a pleasure reading here Beth!

    • We like preschool posts here at Wedded Wed too, Nykiah. 🙂 The posts at your place probably relate to “parenting” or spiritual encouragement, right? If so, please come on by and add your link. And thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, my friend!

  • bluecottonmemory

    Hope and Faith – really. really. really believing that He has the plan. That He pursues. Someone once accused me of my faith being a fairy tale – not real life. Without really. really believing – it would be hard to parent. It would have been hard to trust when I first married (my dad left us when I was 5). I believe Shaddai – that He pursues us, has the plan – even when the plan seems like opposite day living:) Thank you, Beth – for this encouraging reminder to not. give. up!

  • What a great post, Beth, and definitely something I believe many women struggle with in life, not just in marriage. I especially relate to “unsure of the outcome” since I have control freak tendencies and it frustrates the wazoo out of me when I can’t control the outcome or I’m uncertain as to what might happen if I… x… y… z… I really love the verse you shared from Hebrews 6. It’s wonderful to know that God is an anchor even when I’m floundering on my own, and when the world seems to be giving way right beneath my feet. And you’re so right about asking God to reveal all the ways I try to seek hope or security outside of Him because those are idols and anytime I cling to anything but God I am setting myself up for failure and making myself vulnerable to the lies of Satan. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  • Lisa Raub

    Wow, Beth, this is very good. Having been in a hopeless marriage myself (which God turned around, by the way) I know it’s just a myth. As long as there is breath, there is hope…and in a marriage, there are TWO people breathing! 😉

    Thanks so much again for your timely wisdom!