“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” These are the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ famed literary work. Although his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, depicts a fictional account of an actual historical period and related events, it accurately summarizes the timeless nature of our experiences in life and highlights the need for relationship help.

It is not unique to those of us who believe in Christ, but every person will certainly encounter some form of the best and worst of times in their human experience.

For example, when we recite marriage vows before our adoring family and friends, we also repeat a series of phrases that seem to echo a similar sentiment. Vows encompass the best and worst of what life may offer. Some of those challenges will surface in our spousal relationship as inconvenient and uncomfortable life events.

When the strength of our commitment is tested, life’s problems offer an invitation to explore new territory with God. They extend an opportunity for us to get relationship help and grow together with our mates, fortifying our love and commitment to one another, despite life’s storms.

Our vows embody a living and breathing covenant, a bond formed out of agreement to grow no longer individually, but rather as two becoming one (Mark 10:8-9). Initially, we may look wistfully at our past, present, and future, imagining that we will be able to conquer anything as a couple. As long as we are together, and most importantly, with God at the center, we may even view the conditions referred to in the vows themselves as unable to conquer us.

The unpleasant extremes found in sickness, for worse, and poorer circumstances can seem insurmountable when they do strike close to home. When we encounter threats to the security of our vows, we may not feel up to the challenge of contending against what we had imagined to be our happily ever after.


A key bit of relationship help involves daily and moment-by-moment choices to love, live, and forgive jointly with God set up a stronghold that barricades us against enemy attacks on our covenant marriages. As we juggle the responsibilities between home, the marketplace, and our faith communities, our marriages often take a back seat to other priorities.

Not only do we have to sift through our consistent choices to surrender to the Lord despite daily distractions, but we also must choose to esteem our spouse, even when we feel that we would rather shift our attention to other areas.

Finding refreshment in the Lord’s presence and submitting to one another, despite the worst of our times and circumstances, will pour strength and joy back into our strained marriages and help us tip the scales back toward an appreciation of our best times and circumstances.

Garrison is a military term associated with an established fortress, post, or safe place. In the Bible, it describes a stronghold that protects and shields one from an enemy assault. We know that Satan has introduced vices into the world, through the following: the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.

He works through these mediums to steal, kill, and destroy our lives (John 10:10). When we recognize that we are battling a common enemy who opposes us and our marriages, our mindset shifts to the very real fight and the foe behind it (Ephesians 6:12).

We form a garrison of protection for our marriages when we submit to the Lord and redirect our attention to the One who has already secured eternal victory for us in every area where we experience demonic strongholds. It is our Savior who is the Lord of angel armies and will dispatch heavenly warriors to fight on our behalf (Psalm 46:7).

Our words, however, play a significant role in how we partner with the Lord to advance His already-secured victory. How we speak about our spouses, even when we are in the midst of trouble, can launch an assault against the enemy of our souls, who wars against our mind, will, emotions, affections, and intellect. When we speak words about our spouse that are not consistent with who God created them to be, we defeat ourselves from the outset.


The angels respond to the voice of God’s Word (Psalm 103:20). When we identify scriptures to affirm our spouse, not by our complaints, but rather by the outline of God’s Word, we fuel the fire of God’s design and desire for our marriage.

As we seek Him, the Holy Spirit illuminates specific strategies to restore what has been fragmented and is in disrepair. When we arm ourselves with the equipment the Lord has given to cover and keep us, we activate His authority in the spiritual fight for what truly matters (Ephesians 6:10-19).

We aren’t naive enough to believe that our marriage will be challenge-free (John 16:33). Still, we must get relationship help to learn how to communicate effectively with one another, addressing matters that require attention and intervention. We may find ourselves triggered by past trauma, even as we allow for the kind of vulnerability that connects us intimately with our partner in life and purpose.

Yet, if we want a marriage that thrives and aligns with our vows despite opposition, we must welcome the Lord into the places we’d rather hide. He doesn’t ignore the reality of our marital difficulty, but He wants to transform our past experiences and the narratives that may be polluting our present and hindering our future.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7, NIV


When we allow peace to act as the security ambassador of our hearts, positioned to monitor what enters and remains, it fights for us. It strong-arms any contender that would poison our marriage with worry, anxiety, stress, and fear. It defends against the threats that would harass and torment us.

By biblical definition, shalom, or peace, is associated with the wholeness and wellness God intends to bring into our lives. It not only impacts us as individuals but also enables us to respond to our spouse’s needs with care and compassion.

While we may still be working through challenges in our marriage, the Lord refreshes us with life and strength. We are not ignorant of Satan’s devices, however (2 Corinthians 2:11).

While we are addressing and deconstructing what works against us through communication and counseling, God works through this peace to work in us and our spouse beneath the visible surface. When peace rules, we can surrender what we don’t know, like, or understand and embrace the faith that catalyzes change in us and our marriage.

We must still address our issues and work cooperatively to resolve them with our partners, the Lord, and the counsel He sends. It may not be an overnight process, but a covenant marriage commits to a lifetime of walking our vows out with our mate and God, who perfects His work in and through us (Philippians 1:6).

While we will certainly be tested in our level of commitment, if we want to embrace the best of times and enjoy the promise of restoration, we need a renewed heart, mind, and resolve to endure the worst of times when they come. His grace equips and offers sufficient strength and provision (2 Corinthians 12:9). In every weak and broken place, the peace of God supplements what is needed to outfit the missing and misaligned.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.Colossians 3:15, NIV

Next steps to get relationship help

Counseling is not only an active measure but also a restorative type of relationship help. Use this site to thoroughly search for a well-trained professional with compassion and empathy to support you and your mate in the restoration process.

While you may not know what rests on the other side of your choice to invest in a new direction, the same God who brought you together, will usher you through the journey. Reach out and schedule your appointment today.

Your choice to garrison, guard, and govern your marriage with peace underscores your vows to stay together, certainly through the best, but more importantly, during the worst of times that life is sure to bring.

“Tough Times”, Courtesy of Ben White, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Coffee Date”, Courtesy of Taylor Hernandez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Sitting on the Bridge”, Courtesy of Daniel J. Schwarz, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Above the Clouds”, Courtesy of Casey Horner, Unsplash.com, CC0 License


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