7 Important Ways to Help a Friend’s Struggling Marriage

You get a late night call from a good friend. Right away, you can tell there’s tension in her voice. She small talks with you, but you can tell something is amiss because she’s not her usual self.

Finally, after some prodding from you, she opens the flood gates. This was the reason she called. Long story short, her marriage is on the rocks.

As a friend, what do you say? What do you do?

7 Important Ways to Help a Friend’s Struggling Marriage. Tips and Ways to help be a better Christian friend. Lead your friend to Jesus and His truths about marriage.


Zip the Lip

Many times when we hear a story, we want to jump to conclusions. If we hear something negative, we’re off and running with it. We don’t pause and think through what our actions and words can do.

If our friend says something about her husband, we might want to criticize and help her make him out to be evil.
Not helpful.

It might make us feel better because we humans tend to thrive on focusing on other’s problems, but this doesn’t help her situation at all.
We might want to offer advice, which can be good or bad. The best gesture we can offer is being slow to speak and quick to listen.

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry (James 1:19, NLT).

Safe Place

A friend needs a safe haven to expel all her thoughts, without judgment. This would be a perfect time to say a breath prayer and ask God to give you the wisdom to help and the ability to shut your mouth and hold your tongue.

The best of friends listen with open ears and a closed mouth. Click To Tweet

Sometimes I need tape; duct tape because my tongue likes to wag. Often though I realize I made the situation worse and it wasn’t God-pleasing. My words were not carefully selected.

Lord, help me!

I don’t know about you, but then I get an attitude and tell myself- I just won’t help. I can act like a spoiled child.

Friends Who Bless Us

We need to help our friends. As a Christian, we can lead our friend to anchor more closely to God. God’s view of marriage is a life-long commitment. We can be the single voice in a culture which has lost the significance of this union.

Friends can help us forge ahead in faith or falter in fear.

Our friend needs to be reminded of the lasting consequences of divorce. Not only for the current children of this marriage, but generations to come.

Our culture has it wrong, divorce isn’t a quick, regret-free solution. There’s a reason God said He hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16)

Love is a choice even in the midst of the hard and uncomfortable. God has the ability to change an impossible situation, even a marriage on a slippery slope to disintegration.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:7, NLT).

The best for your friend is leading them to Jesus and expecting Him to help them through this time.

We also need to construct boundaries so we don’t give too much of ourselves helping our friend, and then witness our own marriage/family life failing. If we ask for God’s wisdom in this situation, we can be helpful but not overburdened.

7 Ways to Help Your Friend’s Marriage

1. Pray for them.
2. Be a listening ear.
3. Encourage your friend to pray and ask for God’s wisdom.
4. Urge them to get professional marriage help.
5. Help them ponder the good qualities in their spouse.
6. Lead them to talk to their spouse.
7. Remember you are hearing only one side of the story.

7 Important Ways to Help a Friend’s Struggling Marriage. Tips and Ways to help be a better Christian friend. Lead your friend to Jesus and His truths about marriage.

I pray we might be mentors to our friends and not hindrances in their marriages. What a different culture we would have if couples would fight and work hard in their marriages. Kids would see stable, family units instead of the current chaos in culture.

Let us be that friend who welcomes late night calls because we are such great listeners. We might not have the words to respond back with, but the wisdom to direct to God’s truth and help our struggling friend.


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18 thoughts on “7 Important Ways to Help a Friend’s Struggling Marriage

  1. Loved the post. Selecting words carefully – ah, yes. That one trips me up far too often, Julie. Sage advice for any friend to offer a hurting friend with a hurting marriage. #raralinkup

  2. Julie,
    What a timely post! I was actually Googling the title of your post last night because I have a friend who is going through a hard time in her marriage and I have no idea how to help her. This was INCREIDBLY helpful and came at the perfect time. Thank you for sharing, Julie!

  3. Julie, great advice to remember. One of my best friends and I were complaining about our husbands to each other years ago. We said it was just venting. But God convicted me and we agreed when the other person started we’d remind them of the good in their husband. It has helped so much! Great post.

  4. I’ve had some friends who have struggled, and I have had times when my own marriage has struggled. It’s good to have Christian friends to support you during that time and encourage you and pray for and with you. I’ve had the blessing of praying with friends over their marriage and it’s the best we can do for them.

  5. Great wisdom! I love the listening ear and slow to speak to apply to any situation where a friend might be coming to you. I am a fixer so I understand the need to jump in and make it all better but that is God’s job not mine. Blessings!

  6. I have struggled in my marriage and I was blessed to have friends who prayed with me and encouraged me. I do however remember a time when I got the guts to share and the response was, “You know I noticed……..about him”. I shut down immediately. I didn’t hear anything else the person said and I still think about it years later. I appreciate your wisdom, Julie. You are a blessing to us. Again, I will pass your post on to others.

  7. So good, Julie – zipping lips, listening ears, and safe havens. Such wise and sound advice for every aspect of friendship. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from a few places, but mostly #coffeeforyourheart. 🙂

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