It's a good thing - it has the ability to bring out the best in you through much trial and error. Just like in raising children, there's no definitive formula for having a successful marriage but there are traits that improve the situation. Living and loving closely isn't always smooth sailing, but the importance of a solid foundation becomes prominent as you navigate the ups and downs of life.
Iron sharpens iron - the best in you sharpens the best in him and vice versa.
Don't neglect yourself for the sake of your marriage - this is often overlooked. Nowadays it sounds like taking "me" time with a focus on physical renewal. However if you had a solid walk, and a strong pray life, prior to marriage then this is something that you need to continue. This practice produces the best you. When two become one, it's two solid people that do so. To neglect this individual aspect of your union does not a strong union make. It seems counter intuitive - but when two people have strong walks and come together and continue their individual spiritual practices while at the same time adding to it, the union becomes stronger. The spiritual aspect affects the rest of you. Your pray time and time with God, literally provides practical application for day to day living. It is one of the most effective ways to affect change in your relationship.
One of the comments from the movie was, "It's hard being a woman." When I would say this, my husband would say, "It's hard being a man." I would have to agree with both statements. Some of the hardness has to do with cultural expectations combined with personality and general expectations. Being in relationship with others brings out the best and the worst in us, because though married we are still human with all of our flaws in addition to everything else.
I like that War Room shows a version of marriage most people don't see, in a demographic that is often overlooked. We've heard people talk and heard the Christian cliches, but the movie provides a visual representation of:
Praying for each other instead of trying to change each other - Elizabeth's prayer life has lapsed due to the busyness of life. But she knows and loves the Lord. Her husband, Tony seems to be even more cursory in his walk and his faith doesn't appear to have an impact on his daily life. This shows up in his actions at work, and how he treats his family. Elizabeth is burdened by the state of her marriage and wants it to change, but she seems to be at her wits end. Enter Ms. Clara who has seen how prayer changes things. There comes a point in the story where Elizabeth is forced to pray and she takes Ms. Clara's lessons to heart and establishes a War Room in her house - a place that is quiet and private where she can spend uninterrupted time with the Lord - and begins to pray earnestly for her marriage, her husband, her family, her house, and herself.
Christians can make dumb mistakes - Tony has made some poor choices and ultimately loses his job. Elizabeth knows her husband's flaws, but because she is no longer focusing on him and what he's not doing she can respond in a way that astounds him and forces him to search his heart and ultimately confess, repent to his wife and God, and change his ways.
Spiritual warfare - As Elizabeth prays for her family, she recognizes that she is fighting a battle in prayer. Sometimes when we have minor arguments that erupt in to big things I wonder how we got here. At these times, it is distinctly impressed on my heart that the devil does not like thriving Christian families and creates distractions that take our eyes off of our purpose. As Elizabeth prayed she recognized that something was trying to tear her family apart, but no more. In the mighty name of Jesus, it had to flee. When you recognize the enemy you are dealing with, you can pray smartly so that he is defeated.
Mentoring - Ms. Clara wasn't always a prayer warrior; she didn't always know how to pray and didn't always read the Bible. But now that she is, and she has seen visible proof in the transformation of Elizabeth, she charges Elizabeth to do the same for another person. She shares with Elizabeth how seeing her grow has strengthened her faith as well.
I have found that praying and spending time with the Lord, provides wisdom that you just do not have unless you do so. It gives you the courage to act and speak wisely. You have a confidence that belies your current situation. Now, I don't have a physical war room in my house and I don't typically write my prayers down. I have a prayer time daily in the quiet of the day where I read and pray. I know the importance of pray and set aside time to do so daily.
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:18 [NLT]