Navigating Holiday Stress in Marriage

11.20.18 | Family, Heartbeat | by Holly Miller

Navigating Holiday Stress in Marriage

    The holiday season is full of cherished memories for my husband, Jason, and I. We enjoyed a beautiful Christmas-themed wedding. I remember so much about that day, but my favorite memory is of our friends and family gathering around us. Years later, we now have the opportunity to experience the holidays through our five-year-old daughter’s eyes.

    On the other hand, there have been holiday seasons when we’ve felt burned by significant stress—a loved one passing away, planning particularly large gatherings, distant travel or a packed calendar and workload. At times these seasons have been a strain on our marriage. The pressure to navigate circumstances together has overwhelmed us.

    The Lord has shown His faithfulness and provision in countless ways through those seasons. Jason and I continue to learn how to refocus on Jesus in all circumstances, but particularly during the holidays. First-hand, we have experienced the peace that comes from the biblical definition of Christmas—to gather around Christ.

    Each holiday season, we commit to refocus on Christ and allow Him to navigate our paths. Sometimes that commitment comes naturally and other times it’s challenging. Ultimately, we end up finding great peace in Christ.

    But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

    Jesus responded to the fear and anxiousness of His disciples by promising His Holy Spirit. When you face pressure, take the opportunity to stop and refocus, asking for the help of the Holy Spirit.

    Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

    Jesus intentionally highlighted the promise that His disciples would need His peace and not the world’s perceived peace. He encourages us through His Word to not let our circumstances trouble and draw us away from Him. As we refocus on Christ and not the stress, worry or challenging circumstance, He blesses us with His peace.

    I encourage you and your spouse to process and pray through scripture together. The Lord breathes life into us through His divinely inspired Word. This promise can provide needed encouragement throughout the holiday season.

    May your marriage be filled with the peace and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ as you walk toward Jesus together.

    Holly Miller, Children & Family Ministries Director, holds a masters in ministry and a bachelor's degree in Christian ministry. She has 20 years of experience at the local church level and in non-profit leadership. Her passion is empowering ministry teams, developing leaders, equipping volunteers and shepherding families to grow in Christ. Holly is also a police chaplain, and is married to Jason and they have a daughter, Kayla.