Five Marital Responses to World Crises

By Brad & Heidi Mitchell Published on March 1, 2022

Russia has invaded Ukraine. Estimates are that up to 70% of those in Ukraine are Christians. Our hearts ache for our brothers and sisters in Christ who are facing the onslaught of unprovoked aggression. In the years to come, we believe there will be increased wars and attacks that unsettle the world order.

In fact, Jesus said so:

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains. — Matthew 24:6-8 (ESV)

Married couples will face these issues together until the return of Jesus. What can you do together to strengthen your faith and your marriage when a world crisis hits? Here are five things:

1. Remember God’s Sovereignty

God is fully aware of the evil or tragedy taking place. He isn’t wringing His hands in heaven wondering how it will all turn out! Jesus said to His followers:

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. — John 16:33 (NLT)

God has the bigger picture and greater purpose in mind. As the book of Revelation spells out, there will be massive tribulation in our world. Eventually the The Antichrist will rule … and be defeated. Jesus won over the grave at His resurrection, and He wins in the end over the enemy.

As a couple, remind each other that God is in control. His purposes will prevail — Proverbs 19:21 (NLT). You are already on the winning side.

2. Recall God’s Word

Power and hope are found in the Bible, God’s Word to you as a couple. Re-center your hearts and confidence by reading passages that will point you back to Him. Here are some Scriptures to read together:

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. — Psalm 20:7 (ESV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? — Psalm 27:1 (ESV)

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. — Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. — Lamentations 3:21-23 (ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. — Romans 8:28 (ESV)

… for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. — 2 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful. — Revelation 17:14 (ESV)

3. Restrict Your News Intake

Have you ever watched the news and felt your anxiety level rising? We have. It’s easy to let your mind run wild with “what if’s,” especially during a world crisis. According to a study referenced in Very Well Mind, people who watched negative news bulletins or programs showed an increase in both anxious and sad moods, compared to those who watched neutral or positive material.

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Does that mean we should ignore the news? No, but it does mean we may need to put some self-imposed boundaries around how we obtain our news and how much we watch.

For example, do you watch the news right before bed, then lie awake worrying? Do you leave your TV on all day? That may be unwise for you. Choose just one or two specific times to check the news each day the day and check the news only at those designated times. Avoid sources that sensationalize events, and find instead a news source or two that reports succinctly, accurately, without a lot of editorializing.

If you find images disturbing, just read the news instead; there are plenty of apps for that. Another option is for your spouse to monitor world affairs and tell you what’s happening.

4. Reach Out to Others

In our highly connected world, you may know people who are impacted by crises. Perhaps you or a friend of yours have loved ones in Ukraine or you’ve traveled there yourself. You’re concerned for their well-being.

Reach out to them — if it’s safe to do so. Let them know you care, and you’re praying for them. Remind them God is with them even in the worst of times. Sometimes just acknowledging their situation helps: “I know this is a really scary time for you and I’m so sorry this is happening. I’m praying for God to direct you and give you the strength you need for each day.”

If possible, come alongside those left behind. Give a hug, write a note, pray with them, provide financial support, let them talk. Listen to their concerns. Love them. This is your opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are suffering. (Romans 12:15)

5. Reach up in Prayer

Finally, pray together. This is vital. Joining together in the intimacy of a shared conversation with God will unify you as a couple, and together you can “touch the world through prayer.”

Pray boldly for peace, for God’s miraculous intervention. Pray for those who are persecuted. Whether it’s war or natural disaster, pray for those who are displaced, and for those who’ve lost loved ones.

Pray and trust God for spiritual protection. (See 2 Kings 6:15-17 and Ephesians 6:10-18) Pray for our government leaders. (1 Timothy 2:1-2) And pray that the good news of Jesus would be spread and people would be saved.

Let the crisis of the world draw your focus to Jesus, to others, and to your relationship. As you do, you will build your marriage.

Brad and Heidi Mitchell founded Build Your Marriage out of a passion to help couples build Christ-centered marriages. They lead marriage retreats and conferences across the country and internationally, and have authored several books, including their Amazon best-selling guide for couples dealing with infidelity, Ruined to Recovery: Help When the Affair is Discovered. Their marriage articles and additional information can be found at BuildYourMarriage.org.

 

Originally published at BuildYourMarriage.org. Used by permission.

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