Marriage is a sweet blessing from God. Like anything worth holding onto, it will require work to some degree. The amount of work and heart you put in, and how you seek direction and heavenly wisdom, will determine the outcome and it’s fruitfulness. We will experience different seasons of life, It’s inevitable. As the years continue in my marriage, I’m finding that Gods beckoning to emulate His Son, has become much stronger in my life.
CONFLICT AND SOLUTION
My husband can easily forgive. I, on the other hand, have a harder time forgetting issues that have caused hurt and pain. I can honestly say that I’ve said sorry more in my marriage, than I ever have in my lifetime. However, I had past hurts and pains before I invited Christ into my life. I lived a life using those hurts as a shield, in allowing someone else to come in and cause more hurt and pain. And since I wasn’t careful in guarding my heart in my marriage, I began to allow those “cautions” to creep inside my heart and create a wedge between my husband and I.
Even though I learnt to say sorry, It didn’t stop issues from occurring in our marriage. Conversations get heated, words are exchanged and once again, the words I’m sorry were repeated. In some cases, I allowed myself to feel justified in being upset long after those issues should have been resolved. The more I allowed myself to feel justified for the hurt and pain, I was suppressing unforgiveness.
I was so consumed in my justification to be “bothered”, I allowed the enemy to manipulate every action and thought. Even though I knew I had learnt to say sorry, I began to get tired of saying it. Without notice, my desire to say sorry began to reduce. Apologizing is no big deal for my husband. In fact, he’ll say it, even if it’s not his fault; just to avoid conflict. Though I knew this graciousness about him, I was troubled because I didn’t want him to say sorry without understanding why he said it. I wanted to talk about why the sorry had to be said. I needed him to understand me!
“Above all, be careful what you think because your thoughts control your life.” Proverbs 4:23 ERV
THE NEED TO BE UNDERSTOOD
In the process of mending, my need was that my husband would understand why he said i’m sorry. Every time I asked him, his response has always been, “because it doesn’t matter who was wrong or right, I don’t want us to fight.” What an awesome husband right?! Well, for me – it wasn’t enough. I didn’t want us to continue fighting about the same issues, and if only he would understand that, those issues wouldn’t continue.
Well, so I thought!
My intention wasn’t to control my husband. Rather, I was trying to get him to understand me. The more I longed for him to understand this issue, and he wasn’t getting it, the deeper my frustration was, and I began to withdrawal emotionally.
There was this heated discussion once and because I was already withdrawing, the tension grew stronger that day. Our issues don’t last all day, but on this particular day it did. We tried to talk, then the conversation heated quickly once again. The tension was lingering and this definitely wasn’t like other days. There was something deeper happening here…
My husband left to the supermarket and here I was, upset at him and the fact that we couldn’t make up as easily as we’ve done so in the past. So, I began to pray. I wanted so bad to pray and tell God to change him. But, all that could come out was “God, help me to understand him.” As I prayed that, I gently heard the Holy Spirit tell me “you’ve become weary in saying I’m sorry.”
Pray to change – YOU
As soon as the Holy Spirit spoke those words, I felt all my walls come down. I understood why this time, things got as bad as they did. I may not have intentionally wanted to control my husband, but I wanted to have some sort of control. Somewhere. I felt soo convicted and soo loved all at the same time. I knew I needed to worry about God changing me.
The Hebrew word for prayer is ‘Tefillah’, which means to self-evaluate. For the Jews of the Bible, prayer was not a time of asking for things but a time to examine their lives.
“Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong— then guide me on the road to eternal life.” Psalm 139:23-24 MSG
When we are intentional about living a righteous life, I can assure you that whatever is displeasing to God in our lives – the Holy Spirit will reveal those areas that need a spiritual “tune-up”.
When my need to be understood, became greater than the need for peace in my marriage, I became an open target for the enemy to create division between my husband and I. Opening up my heart to the Lord and asking Him to change me, allowed my spiritual eyes to be open and my ears attentive to what the Holy Spirit was saying. God wasn’t concerned about who was right, He was concerned about our hearts.
I immediately called my husband and told him I was sorry. I shared with him what the Holy Spirit had said. He apologized to me and our hearts were mended. In my act of obedience, God was able to work through both of us and bring true peace. God works best in our humility!
Don’t just survive, but THRIVE
Friends, even with those issues we faced, it didn’t stop us from having a good marriage. We had no desire to divorce or look for comfort elsewhere. We both love God, and continually allow God to work in us. But issues did stop us from having a THRIVING marriage.
If we aren’t constantly checking our hearts against Gods truth, we will be tossed around like the waves of the sea, by the lies and devises of the enemy.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” JOHN 10:10 AMP
Gods desire is that we would thrive in this life He’s given us. We aren’t meant to live life trying to survive, but to THRIVE in the midst of all that comes against us. The most important truth I can leave you with is that we (God’s creation) have a common enemy (satan). His mission is to bring down, men and women of God. He wants to bring division in any area he is able.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
1 Peter 5:8 NIV
So, it’s imperative that we remain connected to the vine [John 15:4]. We must stand firm in who God says we are. We are sons and daughters of the Most High. We can live out successfull, abundant lives through Christ. We can be obedient and humble through the same power that gave Jesus the strength to endure the cross.
Let no one tell you otherwise!
My issues were at home and in my marriage. The enemy sought to bring division there. Your attack can be elsewhere. It can be with a fellow sister or brother. It can be with your kids. Maybe, it is with your spouse. My point is that the enemy seeks to bring division in any area in our life. DON’T LET him! Praying peace over your life. Praying that whatever is holding you back from thriving – God will give you wisdom and strength to overcome.
Rest in Him friend,