If you are facing a prison sentence, or if your spouse is incarcerated, and you are still married, youve got an uphill battle to fight.

However, you and your family can still succeed with a lot of faith, love, and hard work. Here are some tips to help you maintain your marriage during this prison sentence—and lay a firm foundation for the future.

How to Maintain a Marriage During IncarcerationUSE TIME APART TO GROW FROM THE INSIDE OUT

Use this time of separation from your spouse to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Study the Bible and learn what it says about Jesus Christ’s purpose for your life. You can be the greatest asset to your spouse and your family if you are in the processing of becoming a new man or a new woman.*

Look inside yourself to ask some hard questions: How has your lifestyle hurt your spouse? Have you told them you are sorry? Are you ready to change?

If youre in prison, connect with Prison Fellowship or other programs available to support and encourage you during your sentence. If youre waiting on the outside for your incarcerated spouse, reach out to a church in your local community. Find strong people who can be a shoulder to lean on during this time.

If youre not sure where you stand with God, its never too late to start a relationship with Him. He is eager to accept you. See our page What It Means to Be a Christian for more information.

How to Maintain a Marriage During IncarcerationLET YOUR SPOUSE KNOW THEY ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITY

Maintain an interest in your spouse and family. Let them know not only that you miss them, but that you care for them. Pray for them every day.

If your spouse is incarcerated, write your spouse letters. Visit your spouse in prison if you can. Be open with your children about where your spouse is and why, but also on why you havent given up on them yet.

If your spouse is waiting for you on the outside, write letters. Make phone calls. If you have a job, send money or buy gifts.

If you have children, sign them up for Angel Tree so that at Christmas they can receive gifts from you.

How to Maintain a Marriage During IncarcerationMOVE FORWARD, NOT BACK

I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”

(Philippians 4:13, NIV)

Does your spouse have a substance abuse or alcohol problem? Do you?

You need to have a healthy relationship. If you have been clean during this time apart, don’t allow your home to become a place where drugs and alcohol are readily available.

The very best thing you can do for your spouse and your family is to keep away from overwhelming temptation and let them see you living a new life. If youve struggled with addiction in the past, your recovery has to come first. It will be hard, but if you are Christian, you can know that in Christ all things are possible. Let things come together in Gods time.

Seek out counselors who can help you and your spouse become better partners and better parents.

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