1. Follow Jesus’ example and pray! Stats show that couples who pray together stay together! Come together as simple, needy children before your Father in heaven and seek Him together with honesty and trust. Also, pray for your spouse. Pray earnestly for their protection from temptation, the evil one and for their relationship with God to grow strong.

2. Be compassionate to one another. Stress causes us to do some weird things and we all need grace! Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (NIV).

3. Encourage your spouse to take the time they need to seek God, maintain physical health (time to sleep, exercise, eat well) and positive, Christian fellowship. My husband has always encouraged me to take time for women’s retreats, enjoy my sisters who are a great source of joy and encouragement for me, eat healthy and spend time in God’s word. Especially when life is stressful, it seems really hard to take care of yourself -- and that is often when you need to do it most! Encourage your spouse to take care of him/herself.

4. Spoil ‘em a little! Does your hubby really like foot rubs or a certain meal for dinner? Does it bless your wife when you wash up the dishes after dinner or rub her shoulders at the end of the day? Then go the extra mile and spoil your honey when life is stressful! (And this refers to you -- it’s not for you to elbow your spouse to read -- wink, wink!)

If you find yourself in a season of stress, we are praying that God’s grace would surround you, that you would learn more of who God is, that your faith would grow deeper and that your marriage would grow stronger.

April Motl and her husband, Eric, minister at their church in Southern California where he is a pastor on staff. April is the founder of In His Eyes Ministries; a teaching ministry devoted to helping women see their life from God's perspective. For more information about the ministry visit www.InHisEyesMinistries.com.

Publication date: June 5, 2012