From a precious sister in Christ regarding the issue of our husbands praying with us. I’m so thankful for her willingness to allow me to share her thoughts:
Just had one of those random thoughts regarding this issue, may have come from breathing chicken feathers while cleaning the hen house, lol!
I was thinking about why it bothers me so much when I hear of other women who have men who seem to fit the ideal image; you know – seriously godly man who takes his walk with Jesus seriously, would rather be found dead than put anything ahead of his Lord, takes discpling and leading his family very seriously, wants to lead his wife and seeks God daily for His direction is in the word, when he’s wrong or has sinned, promptly confesses and does what he can to make it right, etc. You know, the kind of man who is upheld as the male version of the Prov. 31 wife.
I think it triggers twin fears:
1. Another sister has been more loved and favored than I. Why her and not me?
2. And of course, the fear that I have somehow wound up with a “dud” and seriously messed up my life.
Of course both those things are still all focused on me.
Don’t know if this amounts to spiritual sibling rivalry or not, hee hee:) But I think that’s it; no one wants to feel that somehow they’ve missed out and they have something that is of far lesser quality than what others have. It’s said that comparison is the basis of feelings of inferiority and there is some truth to that one. It’s not just when I hear of a sister whose husband takes praying with his wife seriously, but when I hear of other sisters who have husbands who bring them flowers or plan romantic surprises or who put an “equal” [in a woman’s eyes] amount of effort into having a “real” relationship.
Such things touch deeply on root issues in my life that are painful, and on response patterns that probably have something to with what sorts of things continually crop up. And of course there is always the whole thing of wanting our sense of value and worth to come from other people instead of Christ. I realize that in a sense, writing this – it certainly gives away that I have some areas where even at the age of 50, it’s like I am still a hurt and jealous, insecure child watching what everyone else has to make sure that I am not getting ripped off somehow. Hardly makes me the sort of woman you’d come to for discipling and wisdom on how to be a mature woman of God.
But scripturally, I realize that this is one of those issues that is a trust in God issue at core. And its one of those places that affords the evil one convenient handles to grab onto and mess with us. Its only in Him that such soul snarls can get worked out. I was thinking of the scripture where one of the disciples asked Jesus about another disciple’s future and Jesus responded by saying, ”What is that to you? Come you after me”.
When I looked this scripture up online, I came across John Piper’s article on the Desiring God site about the same subject, which delighted me and I think may prove a blessing to us all : http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/what-is-that-to-you-you-follow-me.
From a precious wife in whom God is doing a mighty work! She is married to a man who is believer in Christ (they don’t have major issues in their marriage like abuse, infidelity, addictions, etc…). I so appreciate her willingness to allow me to share a bit of her journey with y’all. I love to share stories from all kinds of wives in every stage of this amazing journey we are sharing together with Christ.
I do feel that God is doing a huge work in my life, and I am so grateful. It is very exciting, even though not easy.
There are three things that God showed to me very clearly that I would also like to share with you.
1. He showed me that all my fears and insecurities and control addiction are due to thefact that I don’t trust Him to take care of me:
In reality it is God that I think of as being responsible for my father failing me, and for every other spiritual authority (like spiritual father) failing me, because it is God who placed them in my life. That is why, knowing that He chose my husband for me doesn’t comfort me. I feel He has left me uncovered and unprotected when I most needed it. Of course, I didn’t know I was feeling like that, but He revealed it to me, He told me this is the root of the problem, and this is what He is working to heal.
2. He showed me that He is the highest authority in my life, above any other authorityhe placed over me, by that meaning that – He is not compromising the plans of blessing Hehas for me just because the people in my life who were supposed to help me, didn’t.
He did place these people in my life to bless me, but sometimes people don’t respond to God’s calling or they just make mistakes, because this is a fallen world. However, He sees and He knows what has happened and He plans to restore me completely as if I had never found my self in an disadvantaged situation. He, Himself can be for me the father, the pastor… or anyone else I feel that wasn’t there for me, including my husband, if my husband were to fail me.
He did call my husband to respond to his role as a spiritual leader, and He will work in my husband to make him a godly spiritual leader. However, I need to lay down
my expectations and make a decision that even in the worst case scenario…
Even if I face another disappointment by another spiritual authority in my life, God will meet me where I am and somehow – (I don’t know how) – He will cover that gap in my life.
That will help me lay down my idols about how my husband should be, help me accept him unconditionally, and see him as a gift and not as someone who is about to fail me all the time. That will also remove the pressure from him and take his focus off of how I might judge and reject him all the time.
I think that God is asking me to let Him show me that He can be for me everything that people failed to be in my life in the past, so that I can trust Him for the future as well, that He is going to be everything I need.
It is indeed a long journey and I need to take it just one day at a time. I have been starting to feel hopeful! I do have my ups and downs, and some days are harder than others, sometimes I just feel terrified. But I think that my heart has started to feel hopeful expectation about what God will do in my marriage and in my life in general. I am starting to see the potential of change of my self and my perspective about my husband and marriage. I think that when you try to take the first step in obeying and honoring God, He steps in to help you make it. I’m starting with baby steps to let God change one thing at a time.
I want to go through the pain of recovery because it does brings results and makes the next step a little easier every time. And it is so worth it because it leads you to His peace and freedom. I’m not there yet completely, but I am starting to see the light at the end of this long tunnel. I am learning to trust Him one baby step at a time.
3. I have always heard and thought, and I believe it to be true, that our earthly fathers represent God in our lives and we perceive God as a Father by the way they respond to this role. I have felt very disadvantaged to find myself in a place where I need to discover who God is – as a Father – for me, all by myself because my dad didn’t respond to his role. You know…feeling like my life got started all wrong just because my father hurt me and that is going to affect me for the rest of my life inevitably!
But God showed me that before my father, He was my Father. Even more precisely, before my father, HE IS my Father. The beginning of my life wasn’t when I was conceived and born by my parents, my beginning was way before that, when I was conceived in my Father’s heart and plans. That is when it all started for me. He is my real Dad.
The other day my husband and I were talking about a financial decision he made, and we both knew he had to make it in a short time. I had let him know that it’s up to him to decide but when he finally told me what he actually decided, I started feeling all the well-known fearful and disappointed feelings that I do every time I think I would have done some thing differently than he did!
I tried not to say much (and that’s also progress by the way!) but couldn’t hide my disappointment and concern, and suddenly my husband became gloomy and sad and started telling me how he feels pressured about me thinking that he has made the wrong decision all the time.
It was such a wonderful morning until this conversation. So, I started thinking what would be the right way for me to handle this. He was responsible to make the decision. He was trying to make it wisely so, even if I thought he made a mistake, I should trust God with it and let it go. Letting go is always the problem for me, I don’t want tolet go, I want to control. But this time I thought, there’s nothing I can do, I can ask God to take over this issue and enjoy the day with my husband or I can stay miserable and ruin the rest of our day.
So I said to my husband, “It is ok. Even if you had made a mistake, God will show us.”
I couldn’t believe these words were coming out of my mouth! My husband said: “This is the way I want you to react.” He didn’t say that with anger, but with pain and I realized how hard it must have been on him to constantly feel the pressure of my judgement and control. It was really an important moment.
The other day, I apologized to my husband for all the pressure I have been putting on him about his spiritual growth and decision-making. I made it clear that I am not completely changed yet, but I want to change. Maybe that move will help me keep myself accountable about how I handle situations from now on.
If you want to share a story from your journey about something God has shown you – we’d love to hear it! I may even share your story anonymously in a post or in a book in the future.