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Marriage can feel like the changes in the seasons. Sometimes, life feels sunny and easy, and other days, bleak and cold.

Like the changing of the seasons, life and relationships don’t stay the same. How do we navigate the different seasons of marriage that every couple goes through?

[Related: What is the Purpose of Marriage?]

Seasons of Marriage

No marriage is ever problem-free, but in all marriages, there are different “seasons” when your lives together can vary widely. Summer in marriage is a time of happiness and consistency, where things in life and your relationship are going well and there aren’t a lot of changes happening. Fall is a season of change and new challenges when you are facing big choices or unexpected changes both positive and negative. Winter is the dark time that we all go through at some point in our lives and marriages. Spring is the season of business and productivity when things are being worked on and there is visible progress being made.

[Related: The Roommate Spouse is a Bad Idea]

“Spring” of Marriage

Knowing that marriages will have these differing seasons means we must understand how to navigate each of these times. Since spring is a time when so much is happening, it can be easy to get caught up in all of the work and productivity. The progress can be good, but the energy can run out. Use a consistent system of rest – “divert daily, withdraw weekly, and abandon annually” – along with taking a sabbath rest to ensure you have enough energy both physically and mentally to get through whatever that season has in store. Keeping that consistency regardless of the season allows us to maintain marital stability while so much around us can be fluctuating.

“Summer” of Marriage

In the marriage season of summer, when things are calmer and there just isn’t as much going on, that is when you devote time to your marriage. Work on those little things that are annoyances now but can turn into bigger problems during a later season. The more time and energy you put toward developing a stronger relationship with your spouse, the more prepared you will be to weather the storms of later seasons.

“Fall” of Marriage

Fall is the season of change, and that can mean positive change like new careers, starting a family, or moving to a new house. But there are other kinds of change that can come with the fall season. Sometimes fall can be full of wishing your partner would change, and the learning experience that comes out of dealing with that and figuring out how to work together within these unchanging differences.

“Winter” of Marriage”

Winter is that season when you are going through difficult times, struggles from outside forces or challenges within your marriage where your relationship is tested. These hardships can sometimes come at the same time as good things, but are still difficult and emotionally draining. When these dark times come, we must have a strong marital foundation so our marriages can survive hardship, struggle, and loss.

[Related: Contract vs. Covenant Marriage]

Each season of marriage presents its own unique challenges and opportunities. Whether it’s the spring, when you’re learning to balance the busy parts of your life, the summer, when you have time to invest in each other, the fall, when you are facing change, or the winter, when you are learning to grieve and struggle together, be willing to accept the season you’re in and become closer to your spouse.

Talk About It
  1. What is your initial reaction to this topic? What jumped out at you?
  2. What season do you think you are currently in? Why do you say this? How can you better live in this current “season?”
  3. What is the most challenging part of each season of your marriage? Why are those things uniquely challenging for you?
  4. What does the “springtime” of marriage look like for you and your spouse? Explain the pluses and the negatives of this season.
  5. What are some ways you can invest your time in working on your marriage during the “summer” season? How can those benefit you in fall, winter, and spring?
  6. Have you experienced a “fall” season in your marriage? What happened?
  7. What are you doing now to prepare for the “winter” of marriage (or if you’re in “winter,” how have you previously prepared)? What are sources of support you can turn to?
  8. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. What does this teach us about life? How do these verses apply to this topic?
  9. Write a personal action step based on this conversation.
This topic is adapted from the KayWarren1 YouTube channel. Written content for this topic by Andi Dolinsky-Webb.