We recently watched a movie we don’t necessarily recommend, but there was one quote that jumped out at us and was worth remembering:
“Beginnings are scary. Endings are usually sad, but it’s what’s in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will.” Birdie Pruitt, Hope Floats
We are all in the middle of our marriages – somewhere between the “I Do’s,” and the “Death do us part.” We may have made it through the scary adjustment stages of leaving and cleaving, but now we’re faced with the reality of one fact–our spouse isn’t perfect! And neither are we!
One commentary says of 1 Corinthians 13:7 the following:
“A sincere love chooses to believe what is good of another, even when others have ceased to hope.”
This begs the question, does our love continue for our spouse even when others believe there is no hope for change? What about when you are being tempted to believe there is no hope? The Bible clearly tells us when we do this we are not loving! It is love to keep hope alive, even when there is no evidence. Is this denying reality and merely wishful thinking? Only if your hope is in your ability to change your spouse. We don’t possess this ability–never have–never will. Then where does our help (and hope) come from? It comes from God:
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God!” Psalm 42:5
We all have areas where change hasn’t happened or any progress we have made is too small to notice. Yet God has promised to complete the work He’s begun in us. This applies to our spouse as well! Don’t give up hope! As long as we are living and breathing there is always hope for change. Hope can float if we aren’t trying to control and choose to trust instead.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines Hope:
- A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy; whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.
- Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.
The Bible says, “you have not because you ask not!” Begin to ask God to bring the changes you desire – ask Him daily as long as it takes.
“Hope always pertains to a future event. It goes beyond thinking the best of someone to expecting improvement as time goes by. When we say we hope all things, we are saying we believe others are changing for the better.” (Pastor Mitch Horton)
And it’s most important that we communicate this hope to our spouse! They need the encouragement from the one who knows them best. It’s not easy hoping all things when our reality says otherwise. It can be downright scary. This is why we need faith in God to help us love our spouse the way He has loved us. He alone can cause hope to “float up” no matter how deep our struggle.