For Better AFTER the Worse



Taking stock of your life to examine where you’ve been and where you’re going is good, it gives perspective when you ask, why are we doing what we’re doing?

At this stage, for us, we are entering a different season – although we call them adventures at our house – more on that in another post.  Lately I’ve been revisiting my purpose of Upwithmarriage to make sure I’m on target.  Those of you that have been following us know that we’re all about the fight to stay married.

There are a few simple reasons I believe that it’s a fight that often translates into war in our marriages and homes:

  • Satan is real and is a real adversary to God
  • Satan is real and hates you and me and wants to devour us
  • Satan is real and hates marriage because it represents Christ and us

This is why my tagline says:  a place for those who want to keep their vows, for better or for … WORSE.

I believe there are great rewards for sticking with your marriage while it’s in the fray.  If we’ll do our part, God will be sure to do His.  The earthly reward for gutting it out through the worse is that on the other side of it is the better, just waiting to be grabbed.

I know this because Darrell and I now live on other side of our worse – in the better.  Notice I didn’t say perfect.  Better means we now see the war and know that we are on the same team against a common enemy.  Instead of facing each other in war we have our backs to each other in defence, FOR each other.

In life it will always be a fight, nothing comes easy worth having comes easy.  Or like the song says, nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight.

  • chicks have to fight to get out of the egg, for life
  • eaglets take their first flight as they fall
  • the only way positive and negative ions in our atmosphere get reset is through great thunderstorms
  • proper nutritional food and healthy lifestyle yield the shapely body
  • sweating it out through pain will build muscles
  • in order to have nice teeth there is always dental work, without this pain it doesn’t happen.

The work or the effort always comes before the reward.  In marriage, the reward of better will come … after the worse.  But we’ll never get to experience the better that God has for us if we won’t endure and trust Him to get us there. (1 Peter 2:19-23; Romans 8:17; 1 Peter 4:13 )

It’s in the worse that Satan tries to chase us out of our marriages.  But if you’re going to stay in a marriage through the ‘for worse’ part you are going to need to be strong.  You’re going to need to grow up and eat some meat.  You’re going to need to work those faith muscles until they are aching.

Emotional and Physical

Maturity in the Lord requires emotional growth.  And just like physical growth, it isn’t constant.  When you work your physical muscles, technically what you do is rip them (injure them – just a little) and after this they need a rest period, usually 24 hours.  In our emotional growth there are also times to grow and times to heal.

Sometimes you overdo so much that you cause harmful physical injury and you might need more than just the normal rest period.  You might need physiotherapy – for slow and gentle step by step healing.  This isn’t the time or place for sweating under the strain to make your muscles stronger; but a place of being personally cared for to get basic mobility and function back.

The entire point of physiotherapy, as with any form of therapy, is to heal and build up so that you can move on – it’s not where you stay.  There IS a time for all things, and sometimes we can even get re-injured, hurt or find a new wound and need to slow it down and get healing again.

My point is that you can’t live in that comfy ‘cared-for’ place, forever.  Therapy is for injured people and once you’ve completed your course of treatment, you are discharged.  They send you back out into the world – they don’t keep giving you that slow, gentle step-by-step, do it for you treatment.

If your muscles aren’t used and worked they atrophy.  This makes you helpless; a victim

Upwithmarriage is not physiotherapy – it’s a Gold’s Gym for your spiritual muscles.  I’m not going to let you sit back in a victim mentality, give up on your training program.  Nope.  I’m going to add MORE weight.

Your training program comes from being a wife. (1 Corinthians 7:28)  The resistance of weight comes in 2 forms:  Your husband’s offences towards you, and your offences towards him.  And the resistance on you will hurt. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

  • This blog is for wives who have decided to stay married because they’ve chosen to see beyond this present life (Romans 8:18).  They choose to look beyond the present conflicts, struggles, and battles in marriage, into the darkness of the real enemy: the one who seeks to devour marriage.
  • For wives who see that their men are not just husbands here on earth, but also brothers in the faith – worth fighting for.
  • For wives who have a heart like that of David, and will not raise their sword or hand against a brother, but instead will fearlessly walk into that enemy camp, grab Satan by the horns (bear with me, the spiritual imagery works), and shake him until he lets go of her husband.
  • For wives who are ready to engage in spiritual battle for their brothers, for marriage and for God.

Again, just so I’m not misunderstood, I’ll repeat.  It’s not that being in that cared-for and healing place makes you a victim – we all get injured and wounded and need that time of healing.  But if you’re sitting in that place already healed, and you’ve got fight in you, you’re not helping anyone – especially your marriage.  It means you are not growing and furthering the cause for which Christ died.  No salt.  No light.

But to my sisters who’ve done the healing and are ready to own their victory as wives conquering for Christ – Semper Fi!






  1. While not wanting to sound pessimistic or grim, I would amplify your point with the observation that frequently in nature growth is preceded by some form or destruction or devastation. A volcanic eruption or forest fire destroys all living matter creating desolation that looks hopelessly permanent. Later the wind, and birds deposit seeds, and the rains come followed by green rebirth. The landscape will not be the same as before, but different. If we embrace and nurture that new landscape, different can become something even better and stronger. Like growing a garden, it will take work. The work will have to be done in good weather and bad, and in its required season and order. There are no shortcuts on the farm: no skipping steps, no dealing with it later, no cultivating only when we feel like it. We’ll have to be vigilant about the weeds, bugs, and varmints along the way and exterminate them before they infest and take over our little world. Because we are sinners, there is no getting around being nourished by the sweat of our brows. We will have to work to be feed each other in a way that meets our needs. We don’t have the option of sitting back and expecting things to work themselves out. If we don’t exercise vigilance, obedience and authority, evil weeds and pests will consume all that is good and leave the rest to rot.

    Even when the seasons change and the garden isn’t flourishing, in that winter of our discontent, we have to remember to maintain the soil so it will be fertile and freshly turned to receive the new season in its time. We have God’s word that there is a new season, and a new time for every purpose. It is our duty to stay prepared and embrace it when it arrives.

  2. This is not pessimistic at all! I love what you said, (and I think we sometimes forget) … There are NO shortcuts. It’s just simple truth. Getting prepared from the rough times and hard work is what makes us ready and able to embrace the richness that comes from His blessings.

    Thanks Brother D!

    1. After reading another of your post, I feel you perceived the influence of Steven Covey in my above comment and my life. Such a wise man gone too soon. I wonder how much more he would have blessed us with wise counsel had he lived another 20 years? All of my grandkids do or will have a copy of the 7 Habits. I went to a library friends sale and bought about 8 copies for $1 each. There was also a copy of 7 habits of highly effective families. I was going to buy it but ran into a young women with a new baby in a stroller. I mentioned the book and asked her if she had ever read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When she said no, I told her she must and she should buy the book I had on families. I even gave her the dollar to do it to insure she did. The 7 HoHEP should be taught in every school, and we need to not worry about the religious PC freaks who would block that. He may have been spiritual and a Mormon, but the message transcends religion and is of too great a value to ignore. This generation will only be aware of his teachings if they make a 7 Habits movie, TV show or video game. I will concede to one possibility: If there isn’t a 7 Habits Twitter account, there should be. It would be a sad commentary to see it become a victim of pop psychology and be archived with the Dr. Phil’s of the world with the passage of time. Covey’s work is timeless in it’s applicability and fundamentally built on solid rock in the theory behind it.

      1. “He may have been spiritual and a Mormon, but the message transcends religion and is of too great a value to ignore. ” Very true.

        I don’t have a problem with whatever venue God decides to use to reveal His truth. Who am I to say that His choice of revelation is not acceptable o_O

        In the past I struggled with this until I understood that God will even use a donkey to speak His truth. And Jesus said, “Leave him [the one who wasn’t part of their group] alone, it doesn’t matter who is speaking as long as the Truth is being shared/spoken.” (paraphrased) I can’t remember the ch/v right now and I’m jumping off the computer to prepare lunch, Darrell will be home for soon. I’ll dig up the verse and pop it into my reply.

    1. Not ‘just’ a guy, you are a brother of mine and that’s more, much more, than – ‘just’. If God would use anything I share to lead you and your wife to lift your marriage “UP” above yourselves then read on!

      A word from experience though. When reading any information on marriage I needed to be careful to intake and apply anything I learned directly towards myself as a wife, and not hold Darrell up to the measure of the husband. I guess what I mean is, don’t use my growth in my areas as a measure for her. This isn’t to say that, “Robyn is great and a great wife,” for I know and Darrell knows this is NOT true, we are all works in progress. I just know, like I said, from experience of comparing Darrell to other husbands (i’m currently preparing a post on this) –it is a huge temptation which happens very subtly.

      Glad to have you reading RHW. I really enjoy reading your blog as well.

  3. I am new to your blog, but I will be a follower now. All I can say is, Wow! You have put my feelings into words. I am one who has made it through “the worse” and is in “the better”, it took 18 years to get there, but glad we fought through!

  4. Welcome Janna nice to meet you! KUDOS to you and hubby for battling through the worse. It’s true: The better really does come if we’ll only just hang on! Blessings, Robyn.

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