Months ago my husband and I hit a rough patch that got so bad we could no longer communicate about it without being bitter and mean. It seemed easier to hang out in different rooms or just not talk at all because when we did talk, we kept trying to convince the other of his or her wrongdoing.
It went around and around. The Love & Respect book would call this the “crazy cycle.”
And then it all got a little worse, coming to a head the night of our office holiday party. The same night my mother-in-law came to watch the kids so we could “go out and have fun.”
I couldn’t get past the issue and find a way to just make it disappear.
“Forget it,” I said, “I’m not going.”
And so there we sat, at the kitchen table, defeated, looking at leftovers, mumbling negative commentary back and forth, all while Mom urged us to get out. She said we would feel better.
How? We could barely look at each other. It felt impossible.
There was nothing in me that wanted to go. And it was a bummer, especially because we looked forward to the event for weeks. Especially because Mom traveled so far to get there. Especially because we were tired of fighting amongst ourselves and around our kids.
But I was at a standstill in my heart. There seemed no other option. I couldn’t imagine how to submit in that kind of a situation.
And then God told me to go outside and pray.
I went outside, sat on the front step and started praying for our marriage. When the focus turned to God, calling on him, delighting in his presence, a breath of fresh air entered my entire body, from head to toe, and everything felt … different.
It was suddenly a good idea to start fresh. What?
Yes, and also to shove aside the details. Heh?
I jumped up from the step and went back inside.
Yes, it was like getting a text from God: Go to party tonight. Thanks 🙂
The amazing thing about it (and there ALWAYS is something amazing), is that at that moment I wanted to go… with my husband. Minutes before, the idea was out of the question.
Scripture says God can turn the heart of a king (Ezra 6:22), and I realized that with a single breath, he could also change the heart of a bitter wife.
He actually breathed his spirit into me–bringing me back to a life in him. A life that overlooks the things we can’t seem to overlook in our humanness. A life filled with love and new beginnings.
A life that is worth living.
“The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his
nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
With no transition or appropriate segue whatsoever, I entered the kitchen, sat down and started smiling.
“Want to go to the party?”
The whole thing probably seemed a little crazy, since moments before a completely different person sat in that same chair. But my husband knows how God works.
It is by his grace that we go from bitter husband to better husband; from angry wife to loving wife; from self-centered spouse to God-centered spouse; from worldly marriage to faithful marriage; from sinner to saved.
Going by faith in marriage isn’t easy when we go it alone. It’s unthinkably easy when we go it with God.
I love you Lord! Who knows how many marriages are ravaged, destroyed and torn apart by the enemy. You alone have the power to change our minds and hearts.
“My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.” -Psalm 62:7
How has God changed your heart in marriage?
Resources You Might Like:
Post: Confessing Bitterness.
Post: 34 Ways to Pray for Your Marriage When Stressed, Sleep Deprived, Frustrated and Fed Up