"'Go...tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.'" Mark 5:19
I keep this in my commonplace to remind myself of why I keep notes, why I journal, why I write down most of my prayers. There are several verses where God charges His people to tell the next generation about His faithfulness to them. I guess that's what I'm doing with all my journals. But today I just want to share how God's been faithful to me in my prayers for my husband and marriage.
A few months before I got married I bought a prayer journal. This has been the single most important tool in my life and marriage, next to the Bible. Every day of the month it gives you something different to pray for your husband, children, and yourself. The morning is my favorite time of the day, as I'm sure most of you know. I loooove getting up extra early before everyone else to sip on some coffee, read my Bible, and journal in the quiet. I covet this quiet time. I'm a creature of habit, and I believe God at His word when He says He shows Himself to those who seek Him. As a new mom, I've really been having to fight against my flesh and get up extra early before Ari to do this. But God has been faithful to me. And that's more of what I want to write about today.
Wives, do you realize how important prayer is to your marriage? Do you BELIEVE it is the weapon of choice God has given you in the battleground that our families and relationships sometimes turn into?
"...as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening." 1 Peter 3:6
This verse has often used comforted me in my marriage. The context of this verse is dealing with submission in marriage. Submission is scary. God never says it's easy. That's why the Holy Spirit is saying "do not fear anything that is frightening" right here. Pastor Jeremy taught on this the week before we were married, and it has always stuck with me. Submission can be frightening when you watch your spouse screw up, lie, confess a sin they struggle with over, and over again, are not good stewards of different aspects of their life, and yet ask you to to come alongside the decisions and leadings they feel is appropriate for your lives and family. Submitting to another sinner really is one of the most terrifying things you can do, and it's something I've not always (if ever have) been good at doing.
So, what do we use in battle against our fears as a wife?
Pray. Pray. Pray. Pray! Pray! I really can't stress this enough.
I have a note at the bottom of one of the pages in my prayer journal that says something along the lines of, "I need to stop nagging, start praying, and let the Holy Spirit do the nagging."
Wives, don't stop praying for that specific area of weakness that you see and nobody else does in your husband's life. Go to God in your moments of fear and keep on praying. Pray for his mind, body, and heart. Pray the reflection of Jesus into his life. Pray, pray, pray until you see the future glory of your husband (which you won't ever see on this side of heaven, so...pray some more). Pray for the Holy Spirit to empower him to be more like Christ in every single area of his life. Pray that you keep your mouth shut and entrust your husband to the Lord.
I know how hard this is. I've been so fearful lately in some specific areas of our marriage. I know I've failed to pray about it as much as I should, but God's given me a taste of the sweet fruit of my feeble prayers these last few days. And what reaction has it caused in my heart?
I rejoice at wanting to submit to a husband that God I see God working in! I find the future, Christ-likeness the Holy Spirit is cultivating in my husband as the most attractive thing about him, and it makes me want to be more conformed into the image of Christ too!
(Here's a little secret for husbands: admiting your need for a Savior verbally to your wife, in private, often, and as a normal part of your relationships is one of the most attractive things you can do. Why? Because it shows humility, and we desire to follow a humble leader we see the evidence of Christ in. You don't have to act like you have it all together and don't need someone to lead you. We know that's not true. If it were, there probably wouldn't be as many dirty dishes and laundry left around my house. There wouldn't be the silence and fear a wife feels after her husband makes a final decision.)
So ladies, where's your hope? Is it in your nagging voice that makes your husband want to campout on the roof (Proverbs 21:9)? Or is it in Jesus Christ, who's voice commands even the wind and waves (Luke 8:24)? Call on our Helper, the Holy Spirit, to help make you a better helper for your husband, the helper God is calling you to be, always giving your husband strength through your prayers. This is the best gift a wife can ever give to her husband. Ask God to renew your mind to believe this truth.