The Corona virus is impacting almost every area of our lives: our schedule, our relationships, our jobs, our health practices, our budget, our moods, etc…
If it hasn’t already, the Corona Virus will also impact your marriage.
Your marriage might be a victim of this virus unless you do something different in this time of uncertainty. If you try to live life like you always have, your marriage might suffer. Extreme times require taking extreme measures in order to thrive.
Here’s a couple thoughts to help you do more than survive this season, but actually thrive:
Stay Informed But Don’t Be Obsessed
I know it’s tempting to stay glued to social media and the news to get the latest update on how this virus is impacting your world, but you have to limit the amount of information you take in to have a clear head and a peaceful soul.
If the primary information you’re taking in to your mind and your heart is regurgitated updates on the virus, your judgment, decision making, and overall countenance will be bent towards fear, scarcity, anxiousness, and control. Don’t bury your head in the sand and act is if nothing is happening, but also don’t bury your head in the news so that all you’re thinking about is the virus.
Personally, I’m trying to check in to a trusted news source 2-3x per day to get the latest updates. This allows me to consider what’s happening in my world without being controlled by it.
When I’m tempted to dwell on the Corona Virus, I’m trying to turn my thoughts towards the Creator through prayer, reading a Psalm, giving thanks for the provision I have, or playing my favorite worship play list.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:6-8
Stress Has A Tendency To Bring Out Your Sin Struggles
I’ve said it often, “…when you put 2 people in the same house, in the same room, sleeping in the same bed, and you throw some little sinners in the mix, it can be a recipe for disaster!” How much more true is this when we are in the same house and in the same room almost all day every day!
If you struggle with anger, you might be more susceptible for your anger to turn sinful. If you have a propensity towards depression / worry, you might be more tempted drift in this direction. Whatever your struggle is, it might be more visible during this time.
Awareness of this fact won’t prevent you from struggling, but it will help you to proactively prepare. How?
- Share your struggle with your spouse and ask them to pray for you.
- Before your feet hit the floor in the morning, let your first words be upward to God asking him for help in these specific areas.
“So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful you don’t fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John15:5
Stress has a tendency to bring out YOUR SPOUSE’s sin struggles
This season also has the potential to bring out your spouse’s sin struggles. Resist the temptation to shame, criticize, or speak harshly with your spouse in response to their struggles, but rather look for opportunities to show grace, forgive, speak the truth in love, and pray for them.
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9
Settle In To This Season
At the time of this writing, it seems as if this new normal will last longer than a couple weeks. Pray for this season to end quickly, but prepare as if it will last as long as predicted.
“Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” Proverbs 22:3
Develop a new routine with more margin
Talk about and write out a new routine that takes your new circumstances into consideration. Discuss this routine with your entire family and set expectations moving forward.
Allow more time for things to get done, and be appropriately flexible and forgiving as it will take some time for everyone to adapt to this new normal.
Get back to the basics
In some ways, the best way to get through a difficult season is to remember and implement the basics. The ingredients of a healthy marriage are very similar regardless of the circumstances.
These are stressful times, but they don’t have to be void of making great memories. Create space in your marriage and family to enjoy each other. Make meal times sacred and special. Play cards. Have a game night. Watch a show together. Exercise together. Go on a walk together without your phones. Structure some time individually and as a family where no screens are allowed. Date night might not be able to happen at a restaurant, but shut the door to your bedroom or go on the back porch without the kids.
These things won’t just happen. They take intentionality and planning. Make them happen!
Have faith and do not fear
Foundationally, thriving through this season will only happen to the degree you have a spirit of trust and dependence on God.
I’m not being trying to be cliché or overly spiritual. I’m trying to point you to the most practical and helpful point of this entire post. God sees you, he cares about you, and he is able to provide you peace during this season.
Peace is not found in a vaccine. Peace is not found in protecting yourself perfectly according to the CDC’s guidelines. Peace is not found in having 4 week supply of your basic needs. Peace is not found in having 3-6 months worth of living expenses (even though you should pursue all these things).
The prescription for peace is turning to and trusting God during this season. Pray for this. Read scriptures that point to this (the Psalms are a great place to start). Get in community that models this.
I’m praying you experience this.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” Habakkuk 3:17-19
Hans co-founded Marriage Revolution with his wife, Star, in 2010. He counsels couples in The Woodlands, TX, speaks at marriage conferences around the country, and provides leadership and direction to Marriage Revolution.