For the past 5 days, I have spent time in the evenings after my devotions praying for my marriage, as I referenced in Part 1 of this series. Now, I can’t say that every evening of prayer spoke specifically to me, but I did feel like God used the past few days to speak some truth into my marriage that I needed to hear.
There have been times in the past year that I have wondered to myself if I did the right thing. Now, those thoughts are HARD because when it truly comes down to it, I know my husband is the man God placed in my life for marriage (someday I’ll have to tell you our story–it’s good). There are times when our thought processes are ENTIRELY different from each other. The way we grew up is different, we have different love languages, we even have vastly different ideas on how many hours need to be spent at work.
But when you really come down to the nitty gritty–the way we love Jesus–my husband and I are on the same page. And that has been the greatest and most rewarding aspect of my marriage.
After spending 5 days in focused prayer, one lesson stood out to me and still weighs heavily on my heart each evening: God doesn’t want me to change my husband, God wants to be the one to change me!
On Day 3 of the 5-day challenge, God spoke very powerfully to me about MY need to change. That night, my devotional book’s subject was “Lord, Change Me.” The prayer that night, before I even opened the marriage prayer series, was “Lord change me–not my husband….Please change me from the inside out.”
Then I turned to the Praying Boldly For Your Marriage series and read this: “I needed to be a wife daring enough to ask God to reveal to me how to love him. And I needed to ask God where I was going wrong—where I was being selfish—where I needed to work. When I shifted my focus on letting God change me, that’s when I started to see real progress.”
It was like a slap in the face from Jesus. My husband was sitting in bed next to me, not knowing I was diligently praying for our marriage, and God was telling me that I can’t change my husband, I can only change me and my selfish desires.
And suddenly, it just made so much sense! Instead of fighting with my husband, what if I was supportive? What if I listened to his perspective and we did things his way? Now, I’m not talking about being a pushover and letting my husband dictate our lives, but I noticed that when I was actively listening to what he wanted and told him that I believed his points were valid, he was much more open to listening to my thoughts and talking things through. I saw a change in him because I was focusing on changing me!
Such a small lesson, in a particularly stressful and crazy time for us, has made a huge difference. Now, we are only a year into our marriage. I will need these reminders, and the only way for us to be successful is if we both keep earnestly seeking the Lord. But I know God covers us with His grace and that what He ordained, He will support with His love.
If you’re feeling like there are things about your spouse you’d like to change, can I encourage you to seek change in yourself first? And I would highly encourage you to take the 5 Day challenge and pray ardently for your marriage. Then let me know, how did God speak more directly to you through your time with Him?
Praying for your marriage today,