7 Passages for Struggling Married Couples

Contributing Writer
Updated May 03, 2024
7 Passages for Struggling Married Couples

We never go into our marriages thinking, I better gather some verses for the times when we don’t see eye-to-eye and things get really hard. Yet, here you are, wading through a season in your marriage that is truly difficult, and you are struggling. 

As beautiful as marriage can be, it can also come with some emotional baggage and a pull at the heartstrings. Right? After all, it is joined together by two flawed human beings. Should we expect anything less than a lovingly wild adventure?

Even still, God has a purposeful design for marriage, one in which He takes our sinful nature and the schemes of the enemy all into account. He knows we are apt to bend toward sin and seek selfishness, which is why He commands us to submit to one another and serve out of love (Ephesians 5:21). God is also well aware that this relationship centered around “love” and meant for good, is going to catch the eye of the enemy, which is why He commands us to seek Him - first (Matthew 6:33).

Can you see this delicate balance of waging war with our sin and evil while leaning into love? Of course, this is going to be difficult, and we are going to encounter some struggles. This is the intricate beauty and beckoning of a marriage.

So, as you navigate these hard times, let’s find some truth and hope to tuck into your heart. The passages below are meant to encourage you to lean into God’s faithfulness and His perfect love first as you step out in faith to restore what has been broken and lost in your precious marriage.

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Fighting Couple

1. When Tension Takes Hold

Every marriage experiences tension at some point, whether it comes from a snarky comment or has taken place over a lengthy period, and stress has taken a toll. If this is the place you find yourself now, then proclaim these verses over your marriage and allow God to work on both of your hearts to bring back peace and harmony.

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

I can do all this through him, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

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Married couple sitting with their backs up against the wall.

2. When Love Feels Lost

What happens when you have lost that lovin’ feeling? When love doesn’t seem to be a present theme in your marriage, it can be disheartening and discouraging. Yet, as much as love appears to be about a feeling, it is actually more about making a choice. Read through the verses about love below and choose to love your spouse by leaning on God for support.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

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Married couple feuding, the woman looking down at a wedding ring in her hand.

3. When Trust Is Broken 

When choices are made or events lead to a break in trust, it can be heart-shattering. How do you proceed forward? How do you recover from something that has left you depleted and completely lost? You place your trust in God and seek Him for wisdom, discernment, and guidance. Say these passages out loud and allow them to soften your heart. Then, seek God for restoration and healing.

"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” - Deuteronomy 31:8

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." - Psalm 147:3

"Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?'" Hebrews 13:4-6

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Sad couple

4. When God Is Silent

You have fervently prayed and sought God in a trying season in your marriage, and He is silent. You need and so desperately want God to draw near, but He feels distant. Now what? You need help, hope, and guidance. So, find a quiet place and cry out to God with these verses below, which will remind your heart that sometimes God is silent when He is working behind the scenes.

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." - Jeremiah 29:11

"Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation, he is my fortress, I will never be shaken." - Psalm 62:1-2

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7

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Angry couple

5. When Anger Abounds

Tempers have flared up, ugly words were exchanged, and hasty reactions have now brought on guilt, shame, and remorse. You feel misunderstood and your emotions are on heightened alert. Is there a place where peace can reside in your marriage when turmoil boils just below the surface? Yes, take a deep breath, go for a walk, or punch a pillow, then cling to the verses below.

"Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice." - Ephesians 4:31

"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger." - James 1:19

"Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord." - Hebrews 12:14

"What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God." - James 4:1-2

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Quarreling Couple

6. When Roles Are Misused

There are a lot of mixed messages there about the roles in a marriage. Should a wife submit, or should a husband rule? Many times, God’s Word is taken out of context and is used for personal gain or selfish motives. To be clear, each role is vital and equally as important in God’s eyes. Both a husband and wife are called to first and foremost submit to Christ, then use the model He provides with His relation to the church in their marriage. If roles have gotten lost in your marriage, read the Scriptures below and ask God to shed light on how to live in a faithful marriage that will serve Him as you serve one another.

"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." - Romans 12:9-10

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything." - Ephesians 2:21-24

"Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself." -  Ephesians 5:25-28

Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

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Couple in Counseling

7. When the Future Looks Bleak

You made a vow, you took an oath, promised to be faithful ‘til death do you part, and said “I do,” under God. A covenant was made, and your heart was filled with a lifetime of dreams. But now you are here, wading in uncharted territory. The life you once knew is gone and has been replaced with bleak unknowns. Oh, but take heart! God sees you and your marriage and declares in His Word that He has a bigger plan and greater purpose for your union. Hold on and read the verse below.

"Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find? The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them." - Provers 20:6-7

"'Haven’t you read,' he replied, 'that at the beginning the Creator "made them male and female," and said, "For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh"? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” - Matthew 19:4-6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:5-6

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Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Originally published Friday, 12 April 2024.