6 Ways to Apply God’s Word When Your Spouse Hurts You

Apply God's Word - Read this post to discover 6 ways to apply God's word when you feel hurt in life and marriage. #Godsword #healingbyGod #marriagehurts #Scriptureapplication

God’s word is like a salve that, when applied to the wounds and tension-filled moments we experience in marriage, soothes and heals. But just how do we apply God’s word when hurts come in life and marriage?

Apply God's Word - Read this post to discover 6 ways to apply God's word when you feel hurt in life and marriage. #Godsword #healingbyGod #marriagehurts #Scriptureapplication

Consider this day in the life of my marriage …

I woke up to my husband’s cheerful greeting and warm embrace. He handed me the cup of coffee he had made for me while I was still dozing.

We then made our way downstairs, where we chatted playfully over our breakfast together.

When it was time for us to go our separate ways that day, we grabbed each other’s hands and prayed a short, meaningful prayer together. We then kissed and floated through our respective days—buoyed by our love and joy in marriage.

Does that sound like a day in your life and marriage?

Well, it’s not really how my day goes either. 😉

Sure, there are parts of it that are foundational and true for me—like greeting my spouse warmly and praying together with him before we part for the day.

But mostly, it’s not how our days typically go.

The reason I chose to sound like it was is to make a point about love and how love develops.

[bctt tweet=”Love develops and shines brightest in the crucible of difficulty and stress. #lovewhenitishard #applyGodsword #21daysoflove” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Sure, I feel loved and show love back to my mate when he is acting perfectly on point. That’s easy to do!

But when it’s harder to love our spouses, you and I are given golden opportunities to stretch and workout our love.

After all …

We feel loved the most when we are hard to love, yet our mates still continue to love us! Agreed?!

And who exemplifies that kind of love the most?


He leads the way by showing love when we were/are unlovely and even reject Him.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” —Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Love bursts out of my chest when I experience God’s deep, sacrificial and unconditional love!

That’s why applying God’s word to tension-filled moments can be so healing and powerful.

[bctt tweet=”You are never more like Christ than when you love your mate when it is hard, even painful. #lovelikeGod #applyGodsWord #21Daysoflove” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

God’s word moves us to live out His love in every kind of situation and challenge in marriage and life.

6 ways to apply God’s Word in marriage, when your mate …

Healing by God - This post shows how to apply God's word to 6 hurtful actions by our mates. Click the link to discover how! #marriagehurts #ApplyGodsword #Godheals #Godswordheals #marriage1. Speaks harshly to you.

“The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Prov. 12:18

The way to apply God’s word in this situation is to “wisely” consider what might bring healing to your mate.

If you look at the conflict from your mate’s vantage point, it will really soften your heart and stir compassion for him/her. Ask God to reveal how your words/actions were like a sword, piercing your mate’s heart. Then use the insights He reveals to you.

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

Responding to harshness with a calm demeanor and gentle words also helps.

“gentle” way to defuse anger and bring calmness is to ask your mate clarifying, open-ended questions. This lets your mate know you’re really interested in understanding him/her.

2. Neglects to spend time with you.

“Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside, let us spend the night in the villages.” —Song of Songs 7:11

If your spouse won’t spend time with you, apply God’s word by inviting him/her to a fun getaway. Just be sure it’s full of activities your mate finds fun, rather than dragging them to all your favorite places.

If getting away for a weekend is too difficult, carve out brief moments in your day. Ask your mate to share a highlight from his/her day, then really listen. Make listening to your mate your agenda.

In time, these kinds of winsome acts of love will draw your mate to you. Just don’t give up, but look to God for the strength to start over and over again!

3. Breaks a healthy boundary.

“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. A rebuke impresses a discerning person more than a hundred lashes a fool.” —Prov. 17:9-10

These two verses might seem disconnected, but I see how they relate to each other. Especially in regards to a boundary that continually goes unheeded.

First, I think this verse reminds us to depersonalize the hurt, especially when our mate (or others) breaks a boundary repeatedly. By that, I mean realize a boundary violation truly does separate close friends. It would in any situation, so feeling offended by this is natural.

Therefore, it does not say something about you necessarily, but rather about your mate’s actions. Use that realization to take some of the sting out.

Secondly, this verse also teaches that “rebuking” your mate when he or she isn’t owning up to his/her part in the problem, will likely not be effective.

Better to use the advice under number one—speaking your truth gently, rather than rebuking. If your mate continues to resist, consider calling in support from those your mate respects to gently confront alongside you.

4. Neglects to affirm you.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” —Luke 6:31

If you want more affirmation from your mate (or anything for that matter), be the one to lead out!

5. Expects too much of you.

“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, …” —2 Cor. 8:13-14

God is concerned about equality in our relationships. But He comes at it differently than we might. Instead of urging us to stand up for every right we have, God asks us to sacrificially give to fill up what is lacking.

When this turns into enabling or it begins to damage our relationship, we need to follow this truth …

“… For each one should carry their own load.” —Gal. 6:5

In this case, respectfully share your heart—communicating your boundary with love and grace. This likely will involve calling in additional, godly support too, like number 3.

6. Resists God or a deeper walk with Him.

“Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” —1 Peter 3:1-2

Even though this passage is about believing wives, the same principle holds true for husbands. As Christ-followers, we need to cooperate with our mates, as well as living pure lives, devoted to God, before them.

This may be the hardest of all the issues mentioned so far to know how to apply. Our hearts ache for our mates to pursue God as much as we do.

Take that energy and use it to live out the specific acts outlined above (1 through 5)—showing how deep and true your love is. #wintheheartofmymate

I’ve provided this prayer for you, if you want God to empower you to apply His word in times of hurt in marriage …

Father, every time my spouse does something that I feel is hurtful, give me the ability to extend Your love to them. You gave Your love and forgiveness to me, not so that I could hoard it to myself, but to give it sacrificially and continuously. For I see how Your love multiplies joy and passion in my life when I share it with others! So the next time my mate hurts me, may I love like You love. May I sacrifice like Jesus sacrificed. May I build a stronger bond in my marriage and evoke a greater feeling of love in my mate’s heart with each act of love I show, especially when tested. Help me to pass each test, just like Christ passed every one for me! In Jesus’ name, amen. 

[bctt tweet=”Live out your love in the biblically-anchored ways. Show just how deep and true your love is to your mate. #wintheheartofmymate #21daysoflove #messymarriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]

Click the following like to read more posts in the 21-Days of Love series. And if you haven’t joined the 21-Days of Love Challenge yet, there’s still time! Check out what you’ll get by joining this challenge through the act of subscribing to my blog (see form below or above) …

As a subscriber to MM and this challenge, you’ll receive a weekly email that includes what’s listed below (if you missed last week’s, you can find it in the MM Subscriber Library!). And if you’re not a subscriber, then sign up below today

  • 7 daily prompts/ideas for doing loving acts for your mate each week (21 total for all three weeks)
  • 1 brief devotional that you and your mate can discuss during the week (3 total during the 21-Days)
  • Bible Study “WORTHY” Method printable.


What verse has brought healing to your heart when you’ve been hurt by your spouse or others?


What is another challenging situation in marriage, not mentioned here, that you would like a Bible verse for? 


Here are some lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me MondayLiterary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdayPurposeful FaithTell His StoryRecharge WednesdayPorch Stories Linkup, Coffee for Your Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdayEncouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsDestination Inspiration, Tune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementMoments of HopeGrace and TruthFaith and FriendsBlogger Voices NetworkFaith on Fire FridayFresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday


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21 responses to “6 Ways to Apply God’s Word When Your Spouse Hurts You”

  1. Thank you for this – I needed a Word to help me with a boundary issue and thus my hurt and insecurity. I’ve been praying about it but this was confirmation for my heart . Thank you for your ministry. May the Lord bless you and your marriage and family and may He continue to give you words to share with us.


    1. I’m so glad this came as an answer to prayer in just the nick of time, Bonnie! Sometimes it’s hard to know what God’s word is directing us to do in a particular issue in marriage. I like to break it into digestible and practical steps because God’s word is so relevant and healing! Thank you for encouraging me and I’ll be praying for you in your situation!


  2. Kind of apt this morning; I have developed a painful “I’ve got a BAD feeling about this” swelling on my chest wall, and when I mentioned it, was told, “It’s probably just from the swelling in your abdomen from the tumours there, don’t give it too much thought.”

    Well, OK.

    But really, what the heck was supposed to happen? Expect Barb to kiss it and make it all better? Have her hold my hand so we can weep together?

    The words that come to mind are not Scripture, but they seem appropriate…first, some background.

    In the summer of 1940, Wolfram von Richthofen (nephew to the famed Red Baron) commanded a unit of German dive bombers (‘Stukas’) in the Battle of Britain. The Stukas were decimated by the Royal Air Force.

    With typical Prussian warmth and compassion, von Richthofen put up a sign in his heaquarters:

    “The last man will go again.”

    Sometimes you’ve just got to be hard, and take what comes.



    1. It sounds like Barb has adopted your pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality on this one, Andrew! I’m sure your illness has made it very hard to be soft and tender when it continues to ravage your body–but thankfully, not spirit!

      And though most of us have not walked through the pain and unrelenting suffering that you have, we all have our own crosses to bear. I’m just hoping this gives people some navigation as they walk that painful path. I know you know the way, but there are so many that don’t. Thank you for your constant encouragement, my friend! Praying you feel God’s comfort in this ongoing valley.


  3. This is real life,and, as James says, “we all stumble in many ways.” Thanks for a game plan—an exit strategy from “sinning back” when our spouse is having a struggle.


    1. Oh yes, Michele! I used to have that Scripture prominently displayed in my sidebar here. I don’t know why I took it down, because it surely relates to the ongoing messy moments in marriage we all must face and endure. Thanks for you kindness to me, my friend! I hope you have a great week!


  4. This is wonderful. Lately my biggest struggle has been forgiving my spouse when I have been deeply hurt. I am reminded of Jesus when he says to forgive 70 x 7. It’s hard to be like Christ when it comes to loving our spouse, but necessary for a healthy marriage!


    1. Yes, that Scripture surely puts things into proper perspective, Leah! And yes, it is. I truly believe I would be divorced if it weren’t for Jesus teaching and empowering me to forgive. I don’t know if you’re interested, but one of my subscriber giveaways is an ebook I wrote on Forgiveness–“Forgive U.” You may feel well-equipped to deal with the process and practice, but if you’d like to know more, I’d love to encourage you to sign up! Thanks for coming by and encouraging me, my friend! Loved visiting your place!


  5. Such great reminders that marriage is not always roses. We must love each other and speak life even when we do not feel like it. Thank you for this very real truth.


    1. It might be more like roses than we ever expect, Brittany, since it’s beauty, sweetness and pain (thorns) mingled together. It truly is a love that is fueled by our faith for sure! Thanks for stopping by to encourage me, my friend!


  6. Thanks for sharing these very wise insights on how to apply Scripture when our spouse hurts us.



    1. You’re welcome, Karen! I appreciate you coming by, reading and encouraging me! Have a great week!


  7. I think we all need the point about speaking harshly. We have it done to us and we also do it to our spouse. No matter the excuses we may have, this is a good reminder for me that healing still may need to happen even in those few words spoken harshly. Thank you for getting my heart’s attention on that point!!


  8. Thank you for the gentle challenges here to step out, to reach out and to live out the things that I desire for my marriage. It can be easy to get stuck thinking about me, me, me, but this challenges me to think about us.


  9. Great suggestions, Beth! It’s not easy to live with someone else, is it? We must constantly put aside our preferences and learn to love others. I love affirmations, but I realize that I’m not very good at giving them! Oops!


  10. Such a good word, Beth. This is a hard pill to shallow, but oh, so based in truth. “You are never more like Christ than when you love your mate when it is hard, even painful.”

    All the ways you mention (actions or missing actions by my husband) often lead me down a path of coldness and bitterness. It’s just easy to justify my wrong reaction by blaming his wrong behavior. Because HE isn’t living biblically with me at the time of the offense. I excuse it away as being my own defense attorney and his judge.

    The Lord continues to teach me the better way to react, the godly way, the Jesus way. This article drives home God’s truth in my heart and is a beautiful reminder. Thank you for speaking to us as wives in a candid and needed approach.


  11. Beth, I love your practical application of the Word. We don’t have to wait on our mate. We can do the Word and they will see the difference in us. That is going to make stronger marriages!


  12. Hi Beth, I love your description of the Word as salve -and that applying God’s word to tension-filled moments can be so healing and powerful. Yes, and amen!


  13. What a beautiful reminder of how God calls us to respond. Thank you! You have blessed my day. Maree


  14. This is SO good Beth! Loved the examples you give with Scripture AND how to apply said verses. Excellent!


  15. These are great reminders and truths for us all to embrace. I am very humbled by the wonderful husband that God has given me. almost 44 years of marriage now. Praise God. I am visiting from LMMLinkup. Blessings, Amy


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