Normally, Thursday is prayer day. This week, I had the opportunity to work extra in the pharmacy, so we will change up the schedule a bit. 🙂 I do have a prayer for us at the end of this post – but I am also going to share some incredible insights another wife has been gleaning.
comments By HisHelper:
For me, my focus has shifted 180 degrees from obsessing about my marriage and listening to the lies of the enemy that tempt me to condemn my husband, to learning to quiet my thoughts and fix my eyes on Jesus and His truth.
Whereas I used to be very proactive with DOING things to improve my marriage (which only seemed to repel my husband), I now just focus on Jesus and my relationship with Him. It’s amazing how the rest takes care of itself. As Marcia stated above, “None of this is really about my husband. It is about me and my humbly seeking God’s face.”
That way, I’m not merely trying to quiet the lies, I am replacing those lies with truth.
The words of the song Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus keep coming to mind…
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
AND THE THINGS OF EARTH WILL GROW STRANGELY DIM,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!
The troubles of my marriage have grown “strangely dim”.
While some things have improved, many things that I would have liked to have changed in my husband have not. BUT, peace pervades me so completely that I don’t seem to notice what’s lacking so often. It is not where my focus lies anymore. Jesus has changed ME!…The sin of many idols I had pursued above Him have been purged, and I know that I am more peaceful because of that, and if reflects in my marriage as well.
As I am walking in the Spirit, sin does NOT have dominion over me! There is so much freedom in that fact. Therein lies the power to defeat the “demons” that seek to put me back into bondage to their lies. As I abide in Him they cannot touch me.
Pondering this further… I can’t help but think that God meant what He said when He told us in Colossians 2: 9-10 (Really the whole chapter of Colossians):
“For in him (Jesus) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
AND YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM, which is the head of all principality and power.”
The principles of respecting our husbands and living a life of faith are laid out before us here at the Peacefulwife website, but the application of these things are really brought to life through the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (from peacefulwife – AMEN! AMEN!!!!!!!!!)
It is one thing to learn that certain phrases or body language communicate disrespect to our husbands, or that our condemning thoughts toward our husbands lead us to disrespect them, but the power to overcome that sin is found in Jesus.
All the time I was trying to improve my marriage, I was doing it in my own strength with many tears, frustration and constant failure. My ultimate pursuit in life was a godly, Christian marriage. (Not a bad thing in itself, except that for me it was an all-consuming desire, set far above my pursuit of Christ.) I can easily slip back into trying to walk out my life in the flesh. The difference for me farther along in this journey is this:
Now that I have tasted the glorious intimacy and fellowship with Christ and walking in His Spirit, I am more sensitive in knowing I am slipping back into the flesh when I do sin or neglect seeking that fellowship with Him.
Something just feels wrong. If I have slipped into sin I actually resist spending time with the Lord. Then I know I need to examine my heart and quickly return to the Father and repent (and, if necessary, go to the person I have sinned against), resting in the fact that Jesus is right there waiting for me, not condemning me, but ever so glad to be back in fellowship with me again.
Isn’t that just incredible love the Father shows us?! When you are loved like that, and are focused on the Source of that love, it is hard not to let it overflow to those around you, even in the most difficult relationships. The troubles may be all around you, but fixing your eyes on HIM and not the circumstance brings victory because His joy and His strength are freely yours.
Those are some extremely hard-learned lessons that I’ve only very recently had the privilege to even begin to understand and experience! I wouldn’t trade them for anything!! It is almost surreal how overall content He has made me.
As the Lord has begun to answer some specific prayers in regard to my marriage, I find myself thankful and satisfied with those answers, but they just do not compare to the joy I find in Jesus.
Whereas before, the Lord allowing me a little taste of what I had asked for when I prayed about my marriage would have made me even MORE discontent, and only fed my hunger for MORE. That idol was insatiable, and I know now why He refused to give me what I had prayed for so desperately!
I don’t know what He has in store for me and my husband in the future, as far as further answering my prayers, but I know that He alone is more than enough. The rest is just icing on the cake!
I love this! I think HisHelper articulates this journey so well. This has been my experience, too. Many of the “struggles” I wrote about yesterday – I don’t really think of as “struggles” anymore. Some of them can be struggles at times, yes. But usually, I am able to experience God’s victory and trust Him with things in faith that He will handle them for my ultimate good and His glory. So, things I used to get upset and anxious about – I lay in God’s hands and wait, trusting Him to lead me through my husband, circumstances and His Spirit. I may struggle/wrestle with some of these issues from time to time. But not constantly the way I used to – if that makes sense. There is spiritual battle all day every day. But I am not usually in turmoil or defeat. And I am definitely not in despair! I approach issues with great hope and faith! Giving up the email ministry was a struggle for about 4-5 days. And I am sure that if we got some tragic news or news about a big change, like a big move or we lost our jobs or a major medical issue or something, it would take some time to process and lay those things down and rest in God’s peace.
It kind of amazed me later yesterday that I didn’t even think about mentioning my longing to have more children which used to consume me in my list of “struggles.” I am not biologically able to have more children, the doctor said another pregnancy would likely kill me and the baby. I used to pray about adoption almost every day a few years ago. The same with homeschooling or Christian school for our children. Now, I feel no struggle about these issues. It is all His perfect peace. If God desires for these things to happen, He will place that desire in Greg’s heart. If He doesn’t, then He has other things for me and our family.
I shared in yesterday’s post about how at the beginning of this journey, I felt like I was pushing a car. That was me operating in my own strength. It was EXHAUSTING!!! It took a long time for me to get into the car. I didn’t trust God at first. “God, how is this car ever going to move if I am not behind it pushing it?” Yes, I was THAT clueless! It took me a long time to get in and to sit down and to begin to have any understanding what the wheel and pedals and instruments were for. I am sure there are many instruments I still don’t know how to use! I have much to learn! To me, thinking about being tempted to disrespect Greg would be a lot like me being tempted to get out of the car and start pushing again instead of driving and allowing the car’s engine and fuel to do the real work. Not very tempting at this point. But it WAS tempting to get out and push earlier when I didn’t know how to use the gas pedal!! I sat still for a LONG, LONG time! I don’t usually even think the disrespectful things or hear the disrespectful things anymore in my head. God has been and is continuing to transform my mind. But when I do hear that voice of accusation against Greg, lights and alarms start going off to remind me not to go back to my old ways but to quickly repent. There are different temptations now, like I talked about yesterday. I pray that God might empower me to live in obedience to Him in ALL things! He is my hope!
I LOVE sharing this journey with all of you! You are welcome to share your story, prayer requests, encouragement, struggles and concerns. We are all on this same road together
May we seek You with all our hearts until the things of this world grow strangely dim in the light of Your glory and grace. May we joyfully lay down our burdens, our dreams, our desires, our goals, our priorities, our families, our marriages, our children, our jobs, our health, our money, our country, our future, our health and all that we have at Your feet. Let us delight to be living sacrifices for You each day. Let us delight in dying to our old self and sinful nature and putting on our new self in You and living in the power of Your Spirit, abiding in You, knowing You, loving and trusting You with all our hearts. Make us a holy people. Use us to bring great glory and honor to You!
In the Name and power of Christ,