From Prayinglikehannah, THANKS for allowing me to share your beautiful story, my precious sister!
For years I have been praying for God to fix “my husband,” not seeing how much fixing I need myself.
I read somewhere in one of your posts where you spoke about how God hardened Pharaoh’s heart, so that his power would be evident. I think the more I prayed about my husband, the more God allowed his heart to be hardened, so I could focus on MYSELF! I genuinely believe that. I used to wonder, how on earth it was possible for my once sweet husband, to have such a hardened heart – even when there was no reason for it! I do believe that God allowed that for my own growth in Him to take place….for me to find joy in him alone, instead of being so dependent on my husband emotionally…for me to be refined to be what He (God) wants me to be.
I am at a place of peace now, as I focus ONLY on me.
Of course, I DEFINITELY still pray for my husband (everyday). But it is not selfishly as I did before :(, when my main focus was for my marriage to be restored, and for God to “fix him.” Now, I know that I can be happy even if God does not honor that request. My joy is in God. I now, pray for God’s will for my husband and my family. I pray for my husband to taste how sweet and reassuring salvation is, because that is what is important!
I can confidently say that, while I love my husband, while I want restoration, (and some more things too, including daughters! ) I have placed EVERYTHING at God’s feet. I am focused on my own flaws right now. I can trust God that He will not withhold anything good from me. I can trust that ultimately – everything will work out for good. (Romans 8:28-29)
I find myself thanking God for the way he has used all the pain he allowed to make me a better person. As humans, we all have some level of selfishness in us. I think one of the major things we can use to assess our motives in prayer re our marriages, is this —- >
- Are we changing in the ways we react to “everyone” or just our husbands? Are we just wanting to become peaceful in our roles as “wives”, only?
It is very likely, that if we are being refined as a whole, if our focus is on God’s will for us, and not just our desires for our marriages/husbands, we will become brand new. I am a different person from when this started! I am a better mother, sister, child, aunt, friend, employee etc.
- God has been changing ME as a whole, because this cannot only be about my marriage. This is about God’s will for me as His child.
Thank God, that I am finally not focusing on my husband. What a place to be!
Hearing you say you can’t stop thanking God, is joy to my ears! Why? Because it reinforces that you are praying for me…and I know that many times, it has just been the prayers of others, that have held me up – times when I was just too weak (sadly) to pray for myself. Even when I am praying steadfastly, I believe in the power of group prayers.
I wish I could say there was “a moment” that clarified things.
I have had many moments over the years that should have clarified things! I have even had times when I believed things were really “clarified,” but my motives were still primarily based on wanting my marriage restored, wanting my husband to change etc. It was not about totally leaving things at God’s feet, and focusing on me. I don’t think the things I wanted were wrong, I just think I did not put my desires in the right order. My priorities were wrong.
- I still want those things – (including….daughters whew, how exciting that will be!) – but how secondary those are to my relationship with God, to my desire for my husband’s salvation, to my willingness to accept whatever God wants for me, to my willingness to grow in this “bad weather” of my life, to my willingness to be joyful in “whatever” God determines is what he will give me.
So it wasn’t a crash course… it was just the “education” from taking different courses I would say; courses such as –
- real trying situations with my husband
- reading the Bible
- reading other books
- reading from you and other Christian women on this blog
- trying to hear God
- learning at church etc.
- I think I also really heard from God, that HE was the one who allowed my husband’s heart to be hardened all these years. I really believe that.
I felt like the more his heart hardened, the more I acted like a bratty child in the supermarket crying for something and throwing a tantrum at God (my parent), God did not just take the thing off the shelf and give it to me, he let me throw my tantrum for as long as it took for me to realize I was not going to get it that way. It was not a bad thing to want a little candy….. but, my approach was bad. I was more focused on the candy, than honoring my parent.
It has been a VERY long road for me, with much heartache, and I guess God refused to yield to me! Because He is a good parent, who knows that I should be yielding to HIM! If I focus on my husband, I would never improve, because he is lost…… I cannot expect him to see clearly, I cannot respond to him the way he responds to me. I on the other hand, should act like a child of God. Remember, when all this started years ago – I was not saved! So when I cried out to God from day one, focusing on my marriage – he knew that there was something more important that needed to be fixed. He used the trials to save me first!
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i] have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;those he justified, he also glorified.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.