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9 Ways to Keep from Losing Hope

We all need hope. No one wants to live life without it. Anyone that has it, tries to hang onto it. Anyone that has lost it, wants to get it back.

When we want to do anything significant in our lives we have to have hope stirring in our hearts. That includes having a great marriage. And if we want our marriage to overcome all of life’s struggles, we have to have hope for what our marriage can be and hope for where our future will take us.

9 ways to keep from losing hope

Hope is something we are naturally inclined to. We just have it without any effort to create it. It is formed out of our desire for something and our belief we can have it. It’s the image we carry in our hearts of what life should be and what life could be.

Even if we don’t have it because of the present circumstance we are dealing with, we still want it. We want to have hope for a better life, a better marriage, and a better future.

But some people are afraid to hope. Their hearts have been broken and they just don’t think they can stand anymore disappointments. “Their hope has been delayed and their hearts have become sick with sadness….” (Prov. 13:12)

But if we are naturally inclined to hope, why do we lose our hope and what can we do to get it back? Or what do we do to hang onto it while we go through the worst of life’s struggles.

Whenever you’ve lost hope or you are afraid you might lose it, the answer is the same. You defeat the thieves that steal your hope and your hope will rise again, effortlessly.

9 Ways to Keep from Losing Hope.

Place your hope in the right direction.     

The most common reason for lost hope, especially in marriage, is placing all of our hope on another human being. The only one we can truly depend on and therefore put our hope in is Jesus. He is the one that will never leave us or forsake us. He is the only one capable of being completely faithful to us. When we place too much hope on our spouse, we are expecting them to never let us down. And that is simply an unrealistic expectation.

Put your trust in the word.

The word tells us that He will never leave us. (Heb.13:5) He walks with us through the valley. (Ps.23:4) The troubles we go through in this life are temporary. Our life with Him is eternal. (2Cor.4:16-18) He will cause anything we go through to work for our good, if we love Him and surrender to His purpose in our lives. (Rom.8:28) So bring every thought into obedience with His word. (2Cor.10:5) Believe the word above all circumstances.

Encourage your self.

Many times throughout the book of Psalms we read where king David encouraged himself when he went through difficulty. We can do this too. So speak to yourself according to God’s word. Refuse to believe anything that is contrary to His word. And find others who will speak encouraging words according to the truth that is found in the word. Be careful of whose voice you listen to.

Get inspired.    

Look for examples that inspire you to overcome your struggles. Testimonies like ours and so many other testimonies of how God did a miraculous work in someone’s life can inspire hope to rise in your own heart.

Examine unrealistic expectations.    

Sometimes we build up in our minds an idea of what our spouse should be without examining where those ideas come from. Is there a model of what you think a good husband or a good wife should look like that does not line up with scripture? Is there someone else you admire and appreciate their example and now you want your spouse to measure up to them? Make sure you accept your spouse for who God says they are and who they can be according to His call on their life.

Initiate what you want in your marriage.    

Don’t set back waiting on your spouse to make the first move. That will only cause you to feel like a victim when you get let down. Make a bold move and initiate ways to make your marriage better. Be creative. Be proactive.

Change your focus.    

Don’t focus on what your spouse can do for you, but focus on what you can do for your spouse. There is so much more life in the giving than there is in the receiving. And when you focus on your own giving you are not as likely to feel let down. People do not resist being served, so when you serve your spouse with your gifts of love there is a good chance they will receive it.

Count your blessings.    

Be thankful everyday for everything you can think of. If you want hope for tomorrow, you start by being thankful for today. When we are thankful we let go of the things that are disappointing and we focus on the good things of life.

Express it.    

Hope is contagious and the more you express it, the more you will have it. Then it will spread to the rest of your family. Your spouse will catch it and your children will also.   

 One final word

The reason I can give this advise is because I have lived it. As I said in Our Story, I could not see any reason for hope when our marriage went through a very dark season. But yet, hope was something I held on to. It was something the Lord would not let me let go of regardless of our situation. Without it I could never have push through those difficult days. I would have quit and moved on if I had believed the situation was as hopeless as it looked. But the Lord gave me a picture of what our marriage could be. It was what we both had always wanted. And as I held on to that picture, it began to infect Janet with hope. Now we have the proof that what we had hoped for was not in vain.

 

14 comments

  1. Susan says:

    My husband is the one who is lost, wants space, mostly wants to take a chance on divorce no matter if he loses his 3 kids – he doesn’t see me as a loss, just something he doesn’t want back. We just started counseling last week & he is intending on continuing, but in the meantime (between sessions) it’s agonizing since we’re not in a good financial situation to live apart. He also confuses me with his sporadic acceptance & return of kindness (hugs, smiles, pseudo-compliments). But, he just said this morning that he doesn’t want me to have hope & he doesn’t want me to try to do loving things for him. I know he wants space, but it makes me feel he’s going to pull farther apart & that counseling is just a formality of freedom to him. I hear you when you say not to crowd because he will want to run, but how do I keep from packing my kids & myself up right now & just giving him his freedom forever? We had to leave our hometown in order for him to take his current job & both of us have a goal to return. In fact, if I was able to move back with our kids, he said he’d be close behind but I believe that promises no hope for him of staying together & I won’t be able to move on. How do I maintain the hope when he doesn’t want me to & it appears, through my husband’s words, that God is leading him away from our marriage? Thank you

    • Jack and Janet says:

      Susan I’m sorry you are going through this. But I want to encourage you to hang onto your hope. Just don’t place your hope on what your husband does or says. Your hope has to be on who God is and what you know God can do. God is not the one who is leading your husband away from you. That is a lie from the enemy. God is the one who wants to redeem and bring healing to your marriage. and so that is where you keep your hope and you keep pressing forward.

      We are praying for you and your husband!

  2. Terry says:

    Hi my name is Terry I’m 27 years old I made a big mistake that I thought my video game and football games were more important than doing family things my wife told me that she felt like we were just roomates and that she didn’t feel like I wanted her around I told her that I would go to marriage counseling and do what ever it takes to save my marriage we both have been two classes and she is staying with her dad and she told me that she is afraid of getting hurt again and that she thinks that I will do good for. Few weeks and then go back to my old ways I told her that if she would give me one last chance to show her that I won’t go back to my old ways and she told me that I won’t change but I told her that if she gives me another chance that I will be the man she fell in love with she broke me that she loves me and cares about me but is not in love with me I need some help and when I asked her if she wants to make it work she always tells me that she don’t know.

  3. Praying wife says:

    My husband has been threatening divorce for a while. He lives his life separate from me. He has said that he does not want to be emotionally connected to me…yet was still physically connected. I have set a boundary that I cannot be physically intimate with him, knowing that he is refusing to be my husband in every sense. So the distance continues to widen.

    He refuses to work on the marriage, blames me for the state of our marriage, and is very stuck. Do I lose hope ? You betcha. This is the most painful experience I have been through. I work on myself through therapy, small groups, church support, prayer. I don’t want our marriage to end. I have repented, been convicted, asked for forgiveness, over and over again..and it’s never good enough in my husbands eyes. How do I go on?

  4. Anonymous says:

    My husband has left the family home. He sufferers with depression and is taking medication for this although he still gets angry and the medication doesn’t seem to making any difference. We are struggling financially. He is talking about divorce. There is no emotion in him. I am praying for our marriage to be saved but every time I see him he says something else indicating his thoughts are firmly on remaining separated. I am trying to remain hopeful but every day that goes by it gets harder. He is so distant. We have two beautiful children (7 and 3). Please please pray for us. Thank you.

  5. Ruby Diaz says:

    Hi everyone.
    My husband and I had an argument. And he left. I want the marriage to be restore. Since it has been 3 weeks. I love my husband and I pray for him more than i pray for myself. Should I call him or let him call me. This tough. Love is too much for me to handling. I am trusting the Lord to reconcile our marriage but the days are a killer. I am hoping and praying for answer to my heart desire. Iknow this going to be a great testimony. Pray for my husband delivetance too. Thanks

    • Jack says:

      Hi Ruby,

      I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t call him. I know you are trying to use tough love and that is what is needed when a spouse is showing many signs of trying to pull away. But I’m not sure you should be using tough love based on what you have said here. I believe if you have an opportunity to be the one that makes the first move toward reconciliation, you should do it. When a marriage breaks up because of fighting it is never a good idea to have a standoff, waiting to see who is going to make the first move.

      Now, you also asked us to pray for his deliverance. We will gladly do so. But if this means there is more information about your situation that you think would be important to share, we would be glad to communicate more with you. Perhaps, via email to protect your privacy.

      We are praying for you!
      Blessings!
      Jack

  6. Tito says:

    My name is Tito Hernandez. I have started the process with divorce paperwork. My wife has held our kids as a pawn from me. She was a believer at one point. I feel my children safety and well being are most important right now. I’m not proud, happy, excited or grateful of what I’m doing. In fact I feel guilt, sadness and depressed that there is no hope at all. I hope this not too late. But I have to stay strong for out kids right now. I’m praying for my wife to run to Jesus first. Please pray for us that Jesus intervenes in this awful, horrible thing of divorce. Thank you & God bless.

  7. Lena Roj says:

    Hi my name is Lena and i feel the love in my marriage is gone. Before we got married this lady told me that God told her that he (my husband) was not the guy i was suppose to marry. But i married him anyway now everytime we get into an argument i think maybe i should have listened to that lady. I have said some hurtful things to my husband. He also has done questionable things that helped fuel our anger toward each other. We have children. We don’t communicate like we use to. I don’t know what to do. I feel hopeless in our marriage.

  8. Patty says:

    Hi, Sorry this is long, but I would love a male perspective!!!
    My husband of 4 years (together 11 years) has been gone from our home for 4 months after a heated argument (only the 2nd argument we’ve had). He did this 4 1/2 years ago but was gone for only 2 months and came back when I said we’d set a wedding date. He has a pattern of running away, as he did this with his ex wife. He’s staying with a buddy of his (I’ve checked and am satisfied that he is actually there). Initially he would not speak to me, but God softened his heart and we began communicating some. He took me to a movie in July (Friday night) and August(Saturday night), and we had a few dinner dates, too on Sunday afternoons and during the week. He was sincere, loving, held my hand, kissed me, said he loves me, and he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. We talked some about our problems but he has been adamant all summer that he needs to “fix” himself and he doesn’t know what’s wrong with him. We were slowly reconnecting.

    More times than not, I wouldn’t hear from him at all on the weekends. He cancelled at least three planned activities on Saturdays, and of course Satan uses this to cast suspicion. I’ve never caught him lying to me, but he does “tiptoe” around the truth occasionally. Part of me doesn’t believe he’s been having an affair because of how staunchly he is against adultery (his father did this to his mother repeatedly). But my first husband was a serial adulterer, so I have begun doubting. Ive even gone so far as to say I could forgive a “slip up,” and Ive told him repeatedly that I want to make our marriage work (he says he does, too). He has said there is no one and, in fact, he has absolutely no sex drive/ desire for sex.

    For about a year I’ve tried to get him to go to the doctor to check his testosterone level. He also has MANY signs of male depression ( anger, irritability, mood swings, etc)but won’t go to the doctor. All his life he’s been angry ( never violent towards me…if fact he puts me on a pedestal–except the two times he’s left) and has inadequacies and low self esteem but he covers with macho bravado. He doesn’t like his job and has financial debt as well. Both of his parents and my dad, with whom he was close, have died in the last 5 years. So I absolutely believe he has some psychological and spiritual issues.

    He’s been going to church with me for about 1 1/2 years and had some questions, so a Christian buddy sponsored him (months before our argument and him leaving) to go on a Walk to Emmaus retreat the weekend after Labor Day (we had a very good date that Monday).He said he had many of his questions answered And it was positive experience.

    Ironically, since the retreat he has pulled away from me again ( the opposite of what I thought would happen) He calls himself an “a$@hole, says I deserve better/happiness, is sorry that he disappoints/hurts me, etc.) BUT that he loves me and just needs some more space. Our last phone conversation he said he thought we could make our marriage work, that the issue wasn’t me or us. He then said he just didn’t want to be around people, and he wanted to crawl in a cave. I know he’s taken his tent to the woods to clear his head a couple of times. He’s also deactivated all of his social media. I finally heard from him Saturday when he texted me that he was okay and sorry that he hadn’t texted.

    I owned up to being an overly critical, nagging wife and asked for his forgiveness and God’s forgiveness. I’ve asked God to change me, help my husband, and heal and restore our marriage. God has given me more patience, strength, and peace than I ever thought I could have and has revealed many things for me to work on. I have spent the summer on my knees in supplication and prayer for my marriage, husband, and me. But I am slowly giving up hope. I’ve “pursued” him more than I’d like to admit. I’ve cried every day (@ least once) since May 31st. What are your thoughts?
    Patty

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