chronic illness and marriage

Navigating marriage with chronic illness can be dark and lonely.

Yet it can also be an opportunity to learn patience, forgiveness, tenderness, humility and sacrifice – gifts of a love forged by fire, a love to celebrate and savor.

Prayer for Marriage

Chronic illness is hard. Often finding and/or being a part of a community when chronic illness is the unwanted third-wheel in your marriage can be even more challenging.
 
 
You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond, a community rippling with radical hope and compassionate change. A place where you can share your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise. Whether a request, praise, lament, suffering, loss, hope, grief, or joy, each prayer ripples far beyond this day and the boundaries of our world.
 
How often we hear, “Prayer is the least I can do,” when in reality, prayer is the most we can do. 

Featured Books

I Take You in Sickness & in Health: Marriage with Chronic Illness

Cindee Snider Re

Before we can truly love one another, we must first discover how radically, passionately and perfectly we are loved by God.

REJUVENATE, REVITALIZE, REKINDLE AND RECONNECT

This insightful and enriching 10-chapter study, designed just for couples, offers you and your spouse a safe place to acknowledge chronic illness and its impact on your marriage, as you grieve, heal, and begin to thrive again together.

This Momentary Marriage: A Parable of Permanence

John Piper et al.

Reflecting on over forty years of matrimony, John Piper exalts the biblical meaning of marriage over its emotion, exhorting couples to keep their covenant as a display of Christ’s covenant-keeping love for the church. He aims to lift the church’s low view of marriage to something infinitely greater – a vision of Jesus’s unswerving allegiance to and affection for his bride. This Momentary Marriage unpacks the biblical vision, its unexpected contours, and its weighty implications for married, single, divorced, and remarried alike.

Hope Heals: A True Story of Overwhelming Loss and an Overcoming Love

Katherine Wolf et al.

When all seems lost, where can hope be found?
Katherine and Jay married right after college and sought adventure in Los Angeles. On April 21, 2008, as their son, James, slept in the other room, Katherine suffered a massive brain stem stroke without warning. Miraculously, Jay came home in time and called for help. Katherine was rushed into surgery, though her chance of survival was slim. Through 40 days on life support and nearly 2 years in full-time brain rehab, Katherine and Jay, struggled to regain a life for Katherine. Eight years later, they are stewarding their story of suffering, restoration, and Christ-centered hope through their ministry Hope Heals.

Love at First Fight

Carey and Dena Dyer

Love at First Fight will give your marriage encouragement and hope if you find that the once endearing, charming, and distinct qualities that attracted you to your spouse are now a source of stress and conflict. In sharing humorous, personal stories from both the male and female perspective, Carey and Dena Dyer will help you discover that a fun, resilient, fulfilling marriage can be realized through hard work, forgiveness, God’s grace, and a sense of humor. Fifty-two conversational meditations begin with Scripture, end with prayers, and include practical action steps to develop a deeper connection with your spouse.

Blog Posts

Love, Marriage, and Epilepsy

What God Has Joined Together   Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." (ESV) I'd always wanted to be a wife and a mother. I dreamed of it often growing up. Envisioning what my Prince Charming would be like. Yes, I sure did love my Disney movies! When asked...

love, marriage, and epilepsy

Your Pain Comes with Possibilities

It Seemed Like A Good Idea It seemed like a good idea at the time. They would borrow the camping gear collecting dust in the garage, and they would head to the mountains to enjoy a night under the stars. Two college buddies enjoying the great outdoors. Trevor, the young man who would later...

Your pain comes with possibilities.

Even More

ARTICLES

Chronic Illness in Marriage: There’s a Purpose for the Pain

“There’s a purpose for our pain.  Our perishing bodies are being used for His glory.” Jolene Engle

Spousal Caregivers: When Chronic Illness Crashes into Your Marriage

“When Thomas* and Carina* returned from their honeymoon in 1997, Carina was placed on long-term disability from work due to a string of illnesses – including lupus, fibromyalgia, migraines, arthritis and heart problems….What followed were years of chronic physical pain, sometimes keeping Carina bound to her bed day in and day out. Thomas often cooks, cleans, cares for their two young boys, does the laundry, buys groceries and serves as Carina’s primary caregiver. ‘I had the feeling of helplessness when I realized that her conditions simply wouldn’t go away,’ he recalls.” Focus on the Family Canada

How to Get Your Focus Back on Your Marriage

“Despite the distractions, difficulties, and sicknesses there are tangible things that we all can do to get our focus back on our marriage and make it strong and to help it thrive.” Tricia, Abounding in Hope with Lyme

Chronic Illness: A Blessing in Our Marriage

“When we married in 2002, I already had a chronic illness. At that time, I was still able to attend college, and after graduating I was able to work a part-time job for a while. However, less than two years after getting married, my health deteriorated to the point that I became disabled and homebound.” Rachel Lundy

When Chronic Illness Joins Your Marriage

“It can be so easy to focus on our health and lose the focus on our relationship. Marriage is hard work – with or without a chronic illness. But anything worthwhile is worth the work involved.” KimGrace is Sufficient: Finding and Purpose after Diagnosis

Printables

PRAYER OF EXAMEN

More than 400 years ago, the ancient prayer of Examen helped the Franciscan Monks intentionally seek the Presence of God. It was a retuning to or a refocusing on God in order to reflect on the day and discover God’s Presence eve.

At its heart, Examen is simply sharing our day with Jesus and seeking His direction in prayer.

Click here for this free guide.

BUILDING YOUR BUCKET LIST

Bucket lists are way of charting our hopes and dreams, the things we‘d love to see and experience before we die. You can write a bucket list for each season of the year or for specific seasons of life.

Items on your bucket list don’t have to be extreme or expensive. They can include things like going to a new restaurant or to a concert in the park, learning to play chess or learning to write a memoir, or watching the sunrise.They are a wonderful opportunity for you and your spouse to begin to dream together again.

Click here for this free guide.

76 QUESTIONS TO CONNECT YOU AS A COUPLE

Maintaining a healthy marriage is a sacrificial pursuit and a life-long journey.

Fulfillment isn’t something that just happens. It requires honesty and intentionality, commitment and compromise, patience and attention, trust and a willingness to forgive. Love that gives, multiplies. When we pursue one another, love deepens and grows. 

Click here for this free guide.

Image Gallery

INTERVIEWS AND PODCASTS

CHALLENGES AND JOYS OF LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS

by Our American Stories | Marriage On The Mind: Chronic Emotional/Physical Pain (Ep 1)

CHALLENGES AND JOYS OF MARRIAGE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS

by Our American Stories | Marriage On The Mind: Chronic Illness (Ep 2)

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