Wouldn’t it be great if we could reach a healthy, joyful place in marriage then put our relationships on auto-pilot and coast through a lifetime of togetherness and agreement?
Instead, marriage is one of the most difficult relationships in life. It’s challenging—sometimes agonizing—to keep a marriage on track. We experience highs and lows, periods of agreement, and seasons of head-butting. Since we live in an imperfect world with genuine struggles and enticing temptations, it’s safe to say that nothing is automatic.
But one thing I know—the effort to hold together in wedlock is #worthit. Even with as much work as it requires, I wouldn’t trade the sense of wholeness, purpose, and partnership that marriage offers.
Surviving in a Disposable World
Ours is a “throw away” society. If the microwave dies, we buy a newer, fancier brand and dispose of the worn-out model. When our car needs expensive repairs, we’re apt to trade it in. And sadly, when marriages encounter troubled times, our social norms point to giving up and finding a new spouse who’s easier to live with.
But God designed marriage as an unbreakable relationship. It’s the ultimate example of covenant love between Christ and the church. Therefore, God provides all we need to thrive (not just survive) within the institution of marriage. Strength, joy, satisfaction, and fulfilling partnership are ours to enjoy.
When we invite the Lord into our marriages, we can embrace the hope of Jesus Christ. He actively redeems, heals, and restores—if we allow it. Mike and I have learned that surrender to God and His ways bring His partnership. He alone can provide and protect our relationship, walking alongside us through every season and struggle of life. He cares for us, for our marriage, for our family, with tender mercy.
I wish we’d known that years ago. The road to discovery was long and painful, plagued with near-fatal mistakes. To reach a point of surrender, we had to walk an excruciating journey. May I encourage you to learn from our mistakes?
Pray for Your Husband
There’s a simple way to reach a point of surrender, to avoid some of the perils and pitfalls of marriage, and grasp the help of Jesus. If you have a desire to flourish in your family life, there is an urgent need for you to pray. Immediately. Begin right this minute and never stop.
I can almost hear you moan. If your marriage is badly wounded, it’s a challenge to find the heart, or the words to pray. It’s one thing to pray for your marriage. But taking it a step further and praying for your husband can be a lot to ask, since you may not like him very much right now.
And that leads us to the first of many compelling reasons to do it anyway:
Praying for your husband softens your heart toward him.
As you talk to the Lord about your husband, you’ll begin to see a shift if your view of him. The Lord will help you see your spouse from a heavenly perspective, as someone who was created in the image of God. It’s a supernatural experience, yet one that happens slowly and gradually. Over time your heart will soften and you’ll feel less prideful and resentful toward him. If you stick with it long enough, you’ll see your prayers transition from “change him, Lord!” to “help me love Him as You do, Father.”
Here’s a good place to start. As you lift your husband in prayer today (dare I say right now?) ask for his peace. John 14:17 says, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful” (HCSB).
Pray it Like this:
Father, fill _____ (your spouse’s name) with peace. Not peace from the world or circumstances, but with the peace that comes from following wholeheartedly after You. Keep his heart free from trouble or fear and consume it with Your great love in Jesus’ name.
I hope you’ll join me over the next several posts. I look forward to sharing four more urgent and inspirational reasons to lift your husband in prayer.
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May you find strength in God’s Word,