I spoke with a friend in ministry recently about how to counsel women who have difficulty being married to a husband who sometimes can be selfish, prideful, unkind, or otherwise hurtful (not that they are bad husbands, but sometimes act in ways that cause their wives to resent them, pull back from them, or live in fear). I was interested in her thoughts, in particular, because I greatly admire the way she is as a wife, and the way she has weathered challenging times in her marriage.

She offered four pieces of wisdom for enduring the aforementioned challenges in marriage:

1. Seek solace in God.
Look to Him as your constant rather than being affected by the ups and downs or behaviors of your husband.

2. Pray internally for God’s grace on you and your husband during difficult conversations/interactions.
It’s only by God’s grace that your marriage will improve, strengthen, and survive. Ask for His grace on your words, heart, thoughts, and on his as well in the moment that it happens.

3. Remind yourself of God’s redemptive power.
Think of how He’s already changed you and your husband. Reflect on how He’s miraculously changed other people. Have faith in His power and ability to redeem and change your husband. Remember what God has done and trust in Him.

4. Think about the positive.
Choose to think of the things in your marriage that are good and for which you are grateful. You can decide whether to focus on all the things that aren’t going great, all the things you wish were different, or all the things that are wrong. Or you can focus on the things that are going well, the things for which you respect your husband, and the ways your marriage is better than it was or better than it otherwise could be. Thinking about positive things will help to keep you positive and give you the strength to endure through the trials.