Heart-shaped chocolates and songs all about gushy love abound in grocery stores and are talked about on the radio. Although February is the “month of love,” there are many who are still waiting to find their person and others who are wondering if their marriage is going to make it. This season, which is dedicated to celebrating love, can feel uncertain, frustrating, or even isolating if you are currently wondering if or how your relationship will survive.
You may be feeling disconnected from your partner or even walking through complicated issues together that threaten the future of your marriage. You may be recovering from broken trust, feeling like you are drifting apart and are more like strangers living in the same house. Addiction may have caused a wedge between you, or an affair may have recently become part of the story of your relationship and now rather than celebrating your love, you may find yourself holding out hope that your relationship will be restored.
We’ve been in that season of waiting, both as a couple and individually, and while it isn’t fun, we have come to realize that God doesn’t waste our seasons of waiting. On the contrary, it’s often during these seasons that He can grow and transform us in some incredible and meaningful ways.
If you’re navigating this month of celebrating love while you are in a season of waiting, here are a few principles we have found helpful:
Principles During This Season of Waiting
#1: Focus on what you have.
While nothing can take away the pain you feel during your waiting season, it’s important to focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t. That may be focusing on building a deeper relationship with your children or rekindling a neglected friendship you didn’t have time for in the past. God has provided numerous blessings we can focus on from the flowers in our gardens, a roof over our heads, food on the table, and a supportive community around us.
What we allow our minds to dwell on can often overtake the rest of our thoughts until it’s all we can think about. By giving attention to all the things we do have, we can help ourselves avoid getting stuck in overwhelm.
#2: See your partner as confused and wandering.
If you are in a place where your spouse has left, separated from you, or your relationship is uncertain at the moment, it’s easy to see them as having rejected you but it’s crucial to remember that there is likely a whole lot more happening under the surface. It takes time and a whole lot of personal work to be ready to repair and restore the relationship.
In the middle of a waiting season, remember that they are not rejecting you specifically, but they are experiencing confusion about who they are and where they are going in their life.
#3: Treat your partner with kindness.
It’s easy to return hurt with more hurt. It’s important to remember that God’s way of handling things is different than ours. He calls us to respond with love and kindness. We can be honest about our pain without throwing it back at the one who hurt us. This is easier said than done, but that’s why we need to be surrendering to Christ daily!
If you feel frustration or disappointment rising up from Valentine’s Day advertisements and memories of this month in past years, I encourage you to bring that to God in prayer. Tell Him what you’re feeling. Ask Him for the strength to not pour out all that frustration on your spouse, even if it’s “justified.” We are invited to respond in a much better way, a way that reflects Christ.
I encourage you to check out Episode 20 of the No More Perfect Podcast for more on this: How to Love Someone Who’s Hard to Love | Episode 20
#4: Make a new tradition.
Just because Valentine’s Day is a holiday primarily celebrated by couples doesn’t mean that you can’t make new traditions if you are in a waiting season right now. You might decide to arrange fun activities to share with your children, book a massage, or get a pedicure with a close friend. You could even offer to babysit for a friend or family member who could use a night out. There are a ton of ways you can use this holiday as an opportunity to minister to others in a similar situation as you today. Get creative and have fun with it!
#5: Pray regularly.
This is a season when you will need to lean on your Heavenly Father, perhaps more than you ever have before. He can do great things during this season of waiting. He will hold you steady, minister to your soul, and comfort you in your darkest days.
While you are waiting, you have a unique opportunity to grow. God is able to deepen your relationship with Him, help you discover relating patterns that are healthier and better, show you a new area of ministry, and make your soul well.
You are not alone.
The Wait is Not Wasted
We hope that these principles will be an encouragement and help you navigate this season. If you’d like to go deeper, we invite you to check out The Wait is Not Wasted Course to help you find calm in the chaos while you are inviting your spouse to re-engage in your marriage. You can also tap into our free webinar on waiting here.
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