CAUSES OF WORRY
What makes a woman worry?? For me, some of the biggest times of worry have been when I didn’t think things would work out the way I wanted them to. I spent a LOT of time and energy trying to figure out how to MAKE things happen the way I thought they should and worrying to death about how awful everything would be if it didn’t happen exactly as I thought it should. Trying to control things that are beyond my control does NOT lead to peace! It leads to anxiety and fear! Trying to force my own will means I am not living in faith, and that is a slap in the face to God. Worrying and being afraid means that I think God is very small and impotent. I am saying I don’t trust Him enough, that I think I know better, that I think my wisdom is superior to His. That is NOT the way to get closer to God!
GOD IS SOVEREIGN
Now, I am willing to leave the end results of a decision or situation to my husband and ultimately to God. God knows the path I need to take. He knows where each path leads and where each one ends. I don’t have the mountains of information and ability to see the future that God has, so my attempts to make decisions will be faulty. I trust God’s sovereign wisdom to work in my daily life with all kinds of decisions to bring about what is best for me, my marriage, my husband and our children.
GOD’S “NO” IS A HUGE BLESSING!
When I was 12, I had the BIGGEST crush ever on a boy in my youth group. I didn’t really know him at all. But he seemed nice, and cute, and had a great smile. I hardly ever got to talk to him, but I would imagine being married to him and had his whole personality developed beautifully in my fantasies! I prayed and begged God to let me marry that boy. Yes, he was in trouble a lot with his parents. They were probably just really strict, right? I never did date him, but found out years later that he was in prison for a very serious crime. How grateful I am that God did NOT say “YES!” to my deepest desires to marry that cute boy! God has wisdom that I don’t have. I can trust Him much more than I can trust my feelings and desires.
TRUSTING GOD AND MY HUSBAND BRINGS PEACE
So now, instead of trying to force or demand MY way, I express my desires and feelings to my husband and to God, and then I leave it in their hands. Whatever decision my husband makes, I take that as being God’s will for me – and I know that if it is NOT God’s will for me, that God will still use it for my best and His glory.
The most important things are 1. my intimacy with God and 2. my intimacy with my husband. My closeness and unity with God and in my marriage are MUCH more important than an individual decision outcome. And if I am being disrespectful of God’s authority over me (the leadership of my husband), then it doesn’t matter what I am trying to do, it will NOT be blessed by God!
If I believe that God may be calling us to adopt a baby – I pray about it. I ask God for His will. I know that God calls believers to care for orphans and the destitute and those in poverty and great need. I know that part of why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed was because they didn’t care for the poor. I know this is a HUGE deal to God. I know that I want to help and have love to give. I believe that what I am praying about is within the will of God. I believe my motives are right before God. But I also know that deciding what to give to charities and deciding about adopting a child is a decision that ultimately belongs to my husband. So I respectfully, gently and briefly tell my husband something like – “I want to do something to help take care of orphans. I want to give money to a ministry that cares for orphans or I want to think about adopting a baby/child.” And then I don’t bring it up again but maybe once a year or so. I pray for God’s will. And I trust God to work through my husband to accomplish His will. I know that God may tell me “no” or that He may tell me to “wait.”
The key to peace is being ok with “no” or “wait”! I trust that God will cause my husband to desire to adopt a child if that is His divine will for us. Or I trust that God will put caring for orphans on my husband’s heart if that is His will. I do not try to force my desires – even if they are good, even if I believe they are God’s will, even if I think I am “right.”
I used to think “God NEEDS me” to do His work. If I don’t adopt that baby – then there is a baby that might die somewhere and never be loved and it will be MY fault! If I don’t give $20 per month to a charity for orphans, then those orphans will go without food or medicine or clothing and it will be my fault and my responsibility. That was faulty thinking and faulty theology on my part!
God doesn’t need my help. Period. He has all the resources of the universe at His command and His disposal. He might choose to use me! God is sovereign over the affairs of the world and His purposes WILL stand. No human can thwart God’s divine purposes and His will. There is a world of difference between God USING me and God NEEDING me. The more important thing to God is that I am acting in obedience and respect to His Word and to the chain of command of authority He has placed over me.
I wait for God to move in my husband’s heart. This is not glamorous – but it is critical to being spiritually mature! The more mature I am, the better able I am to wait as long as God wants me to. It’s His will I want to do. He is perfectly able to cause things to happen at the right time for Him. I am content with where we are and what God has given me to do right now. I pray for orphans that are in great need and pray that God will take care of their needs. But I do not go around the authority God put over me (my husband) and sneak money to a charity or undermine my husband’s decision. I am respectful of my husband’s decision and I don’t try to change his mind. He knows my feelings and desires. I don’t keep bringing it up, and I don’t pout or sulk about it. I don’t throw in his face that he is not as spiritual as I am since he doesn’t want to talk about adopting a baby. God may be directing my husband NOT to go in the direction I want to go in and I need to let my husband have the space to hear God’s voice. I am not the authority here! I live with great joy for today, putting my faith in God and my husband and looking expectantly for God to do great things. He is a God of surprises and adventure! God can change the way things are any moment, so I am ready for whatever He may have in store.
If I believe that my children’s spiritual needs might be best served in a private Christian school or by being home schooled instead of in public school, then I can pray about it. I know that God desires what is spiritually best for my children even more than I do! I seek God’s will. I believe that what I am praying for is in God’s will. I think about the verse where Jesus says, “He who is not with Me is against Me” and I can know with certainty that a public school is not WITH Jesus. So I can conclude that the public school is against Jesus. I can see that clearly.
I say to my husband something like: “I really want our children to have a Christian education. I want to think about a private Christian school or homeschooling.” And that’s all I say. REALLY! I don’t keep bringing it up. I don’t pout or complain that they are in public school every day. I pray with them and for them and I teach them God’s Word and read the Bible to them and talk about the Bible’s wisdom. I thank my husband whenever he teaches them from God’s Word and takes them to church. I continue to pray for God’s best and for His will. And I wait expectantly knowing that God will move my husband’s heart in the direction He wants him to go. I trust that God will use my husband to make the best decision for my children. I pray for my children’s teachers and classmates. I support my husband’s decision and wait with great expectation to see what God will do. But I leave the answer up to God.
God may have my children in the particular public school they are in for His sovereign purposes. Who am I to say that my husband’s decision is “wrong”? I will trust God to do what is best for my children through the leadership of my husband.
WHAT IF MY HUSBAND MAKES A MISTAKE?
He will! That is a fact. But I can trust even then that God will use his mistake to teach him something very valuable. I can still trust that God will use even my husband’s sin and errors to accomplish His good purpose in my life and in my family. I would rather my husband make the right choice, but I know that he may have to travel a difficult road to learn something the hard way that God desires him to learn. That has to be ok with me! My peace is based on God’s sovereignty and Him having control, not based on my husband making perfect choices.
The way I react when my husband does make a mistake will go a LONG way to either increasing our unity and oneness, or to destroying our marriage. I have the opportunity not to make a big deal out of my husband’s shortcomings, to show him mercy and grace, and to show my faith in him and help him get up and encourage him to get back in the race.
(Let me make a disclaimer here – if you are dealing with a husband who is physically abusive or there is an addiction in your marriage, or an untreated mental health condition – that changes the game considerably!!! Please get professional, godly help ASAP! The principles I discuss are for a marriage where you are physically safe. Submitting to an abusive or addicted man may not be safe for you or your children. God says to submit to your husband, “as to the Lord.” There are times that a husband’s leadership may endanger his wife and chidlren. I am not addressing that situation in detail here. I think it is important to communicate that you “want” to trust him, but there will have to be a new history of trustworthiness built over time and established with wise guidelines that protect everyone in the family.)
The key to peace is to not get too attached to a particular outcome! Whether you are single and trying to find the man God has for you, and the one you think you want isn’t calling you, or you are married and you think you should move or that your husband should change jobs or that you should start a new business – whatever the issue is – Submitting to God and submitting to our husbands means that we accept “no” or “wait” with grace. We know that God will work for our ultimate best interests. We pray according to His will, and we wait for Him to work miracles in our marriages and families!
Help us to learn to trust You and trust our husbands. Help us to seek Your will above all else, and to be able to graciously receive whatever answer You deem is best in each situation. Let us care more about our intimacy with You and our husbands than getting our way. Help us to humbly accept your will even when it doesn’t look like what we want at first. Help us to cultivate a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving even when things are hard.
In Christ’s Name,