You have a powerful role of influence in your friend’s life. Is your friend struggling in her marriage? Does she confide in you? Has she invited you to share the painful road she’s walking?
Your friend needs you to be a voice of truth in her life.
When I was at my darkest point in our marriage, I finally reached out for help. For years I’d carried my pain silently. No one knew. But when I chose to confide in two godly women and ask for their input, I’m thankful they were truth-speakers.
Today, I want to share with you some guidelines for helping a friend whose marriage is fragile:
♥ Depend entirely on God’s empowering grace (and remind your friend—that is her only hope as well). You cannot “save” your friend’s marriage, but God can use you as a tool of His saving grace. Continually ask for the Spirit to lead you, give you discernment and wisdom, fill your mouth with His message, and allow you to be an instrument of grace in your friend’s life.
♥ Keep reminding yourself that you’re only hearing half the story. In any conflict, there is guilt on both sides, be mindful of this as your friend shares, no matter how the story is portrayed. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you objectivity, discernment, and insight from Him as you listen to your friend.
♥ Continually take your friend back to the cross. Be tenderhearted in sharing in her pain, weep with those who weep, but also remind her continually of the redeeming nature of God and how He can make all things new. Give her hope based on the merciful character of God. Provide her with courage by reminding her of God’s unrelenting love and unshakable power.
♥ Encourage your friend to fight the temptation to focus on her pain. She doesn’t need to move into denial, or stuff her emotions, but becoming self-focused will rob her of the sanctifying work God desires to do in her life through this season of suffering. Provide her with the tools to think rightly by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and dwelling on what is true (not what is imagined).
♥ Assess whether this situation is serious enough to include church leadership or civil authorities. Reading the blog post: “How do I Confront My Husband?” with your friend may help you to determine a course of action. Provide immediate help for a friend who is in physical danger. This may mean taking her into your home, or finding a safe place of shelter, and contacting civil authorities.
♥ Gently challenge your friend to consider any way she may be a contributing factor to the problems in their marriage. Pray for wisdom and discernment from the Spirit and ask Him to bring to light heart issues that may need to be discussed.
♥ Encourage your friend to take advantage of good resources. You might share with her the link to this blog and suggest she read some of the posts on marriage. Perhaps give her a copy of Fierce Women.
♥ This week, you and your friend can listen to our story on the Revive Our Hearts radio program (or listen online by clicking on the link). It might be helpful for your friend and her husband to listen together.
♥ Be faithful to pray regularly for your friend’s marriage. Take time to pray with her often and use that as another opportunity to fuel her faith in what God is able to do in her marriage.
Let me take this time to offer a prayer for you. I don’t know who you are (unless you leave a comment below), but I feel sure that many of you are walking through marital difficulty right now, or perhaps you are walking through it with a dear friend. I am asking God to use you in your friend’s life.
Father, thank You that You are the Great I AM. You are able to step into our darkest night and fill it with the light of Your presence. Your truth is able to expose the enemy’s lies. Your Word is able to lead us into true understanding. Please use women who are reading this post today. Please give them the courage to be truth-speakers in their friends’ lives. Fill their mouths with the words they need to communicate—by the power of Your Spirit. Pour out Your grace on the situation.
We need You to raise up a host of godly women who will stand for the preservation of marriages! We need You to work in our lives, that You will be seen and known as the God who is able to redeem, the God who restores and brings beauty from ashes.
For Your glory, O God, help us!