Every relationship has its struggles. Whether it's the struggle of communication, honesty, sexual temptation, attention, meeting each other's love languages, dealing with life changes, family issues, the list could go on and on. There is always something that is difficult for the couple to take on, especially alone. The most encouraging news is, you weren't made to go through life alone, God didn't design it that way, He is always there and wants us to be in a relationship with others. Through Christ and the reliance and faith in Him, He intercedes into our lives in different ways; from the guidance of His Word, to the provision of a conscious from the Spirit speaking into each passing day, to placing specific people in our lives to relay wisdom, guidance and truth to the relationship…no matter how difficult it may be to hear.
With the guidance of the Word and the Spirit, as a couple seeking Christ first, working together is beyond crucial when approaching issues and struggles occurring in the relationship. Addressing the issue at hand and verbalizing it to each other is one of the best things you can do because it makes you slow down, stop and really think about the issue at hand, allowing it to hit home the point that this is something that needs to be worked on intentionally and together.
Setting boundaries along with determining ways that could be beneficial in approaching the issue can be helpful but at the end of the day the best thing you two as a couple can do with your struggles, is take it up to the One who knows you, who created you, and lift it up to Him in prayer. Pray together, pray for each other, ask for prayer, pray for guidance and that the Lord's hand will prevail over the situation. He hears your prayers, He knows your struggles, and He will stay alongside you, always showing up. It may be in unexpected ways and He will answer your prayers out of love for you both, meaning they may not be answered in the way you may have hoped, but I encourage you to find peace and comfort in the fact He wants what's best for both of you.
God never intended us to be alone, not necessarily saying we are all promised romantic relationships because we're not, but that we are beings who were made to be relational. We have a relational Father who wants us to be relational with others as well. Through this, we form bonds and friendships with each other from those with different backgrounds, ages, experiences, etc.
The importance of these friendships and relationships is each one is different and unique, and each person has been through different moments, some you may have gone through, some you may have not or never will and the same concept applies to the struggles each of us face. God doesn't place people accidentally into our lives, I believe each person we meet is playing a role in God's plan for our life, and some of these people have already lived through the struggles you are currently going through in your relationship…and that could very well be the reason they are there.
It is people who are the closest to you, the ones who can relate, who have learned from the struggles and experiences you are now facing, that they are able to offer their wisdom and guidance to help you in you're current situation. The thing is when you seek someone who knows you, loves you and cares for your soul and relationship with Christ so greatly (these individuals are rare, so hang tight to these people when they are placed into your life)… they are going to be upfront with you whether it's easy to hear or not…I call this 'friendly wounding'. These people aren't intentionally trying to hurt you, but they care about you far more than the temporary feeling they may inflict on you in order to speak truth into your life and the reality of this is sometimes you need to be hurt in order to heal.
"Whoever rebukes a person will in the end gain favor rather than one who has a flattering tongue."
- Proverbs 28: 23
I'd rather be temporarily frustrated or upset by the means of a true friend making me aware of my struggles and the things that I need to work on, rather than someone who sugar coats and fills my ears with everything I want to hear.
This mindset is essential to anything in life but especially when it comes to relationships because it's no longer just you in the picture but you and another person you love that you hope to see a future with. Being intentional with the relationship through seeking accountability not only between you and your significant other but also godly others who are able to speak words of truth into your life will help in setting up the relationship for the most success in the long run.
"Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." -James 5:16
"As iron sharpens irons, so a friend sharpens a friend" – Proverbs 27:17
It's not going to be easy, relationships never are, but putting the relationship first off in Gods hands is the best thing you can do for yourself and each other. Trusting His plan that He has for you two, whether it leads in the direction you're hoping for or not, most importantly will help strengthen your relationship with Christ, but also help you learn to be intentional with relationships in general. Being intentional and proactive about your relationship, especially when struggles arise, which they will, through the resources God provides you with, is going to set you up for the best outcome at the end of it all.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken". – Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12