Ephesians 5:33b: And the wife should respect her husband.
Respect is his primary need, his deepest desire.

I Put My Followers First

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dear Struggling Wife

I am honored that you would turn to me for advice in your time of trial.  I am sorry that you are struggling in your marriage but you need to know that I am not a professional and have no training but what I have acquired through personal experience.

I believe that God is in charge - of this universe, this world, and all the individual parts.  He can permit, alter, and adapt the course of human events to every individual's choice - using the effect of human behavior for His purposes.  

What I mean to say is, "I know that God is in the details."

Understanding and accepting that "God is in the details" is vital to comprehending my point of view.

I do know what it is to be injured by my husband. Unfortunately I did not know then what I know now and the marriage ended.  Actually - three times, three major offenses, three marriages ended.  They all had one common problem – me - and my lack of understanding of God’s plan for my life.  I felt that the only way to end the game was to quit.  It was obvious that I could never win and losing was much too painful. 

I have never been so wrong in my life.

I don't know what gave me the idea that marriage was a sport or a competition. 

I don't know why I thought that life and marriage were designed to be fair. 

In both assumptions I was so wrong.  Life and all of its experiences were designed to try us, to test us, to perfect us - to refine us.  Life experience – including marriage - is the Refiner's fire.  Every human being, every child of God, must be brought through that Fire to reach the Lord's desired result. 

Each individual requires a different process - some more than others - some less - but each process is immeasurably different than any another.  There is no measuring in a tit-for-tat fashion. What may be required to smooth my rough edges are totally different from that required of you – or of your husband.

Sometimes the Lord uses the bad behavior of one individual to smooth the rough edges of another.  In my case I know that the abuse I suffered as a child created the strongest parts of my character.   More importantly, the act of forgiving that abuse forged my faith.   I am grateful for what God did with the abuse I suffered.

Every time we are mistreated is an opportunity for God to refine us and to purge us of impurity. As soon as I recognize the Lord’s hand in my trial – I receive the benefit. As long as I rebel against it – for any reason – I will not receive the benefit.   The longer I rebel, the longer the process takes. 

The Lord will do whatever is needful but it is my pliability that will make His work effective in me.  The same is true of my husband.  The Lord will do whatever is needful but it is up to my husband and his cooperation for the Lord’s work to be effective.  Fair and equal have no place in this process.

I can either help or hinder the Lord’s work in me. If I kick against His efforts, it may not be accomplished before I leave this earth.

I have been called to be my husband’s helpmeet.  I am not the Refiner.  I can be the fire or I can be the cooling water where he finds relief.  That choice is mine.

That choice is also yours.  Do not measure, judge or discredit any effort that your husband is making.  Doing so makes you the fire of his trial.

Do not measure your efforts against his and declare your efforts greater, grander or harder than his.  It is not a contest.

The devil would have you think that marriage is a contest – a win/lose game with rules of fairness and equality – but it is not.  As your mind continues to clamor for “fairness” remember this:

The sooner you quit the devil’s game and stand behind God in His efforts in your marriage, the sooner you will find happiness.

P.S. Don’t beat yourself up when you fail.  You have as many “do-over’s” as it takes to get it right.  Never, ever forget that.

~ ~ ~ 

Thanks for reading. I am participating in Marriage Mondays blog hop sponsored by Julie Sanders at Come Have a Peace.


Karen said...

What a powerful testimony...your ending remarks about marriage not being a contest really spoke volumes to me....

gaelikaa said...

I've just visited your blog for the first time and find it very deep and interesting. I'll be back again to read more.

Thanks for coming over to my blog the other day via Saturday Sampling.

Jennifer Sikora said...

Amen girl! I love your last line. So many women and men feel like once they have failed it is ALL over, but they are SO wrong!

Reminds me of the verse, a man may fall seven times. . .

Thanks for sharing your heart today.



Warren Baldwin said...

Good advice for the most important relationship in our lives.

Thanks for visiting and following Family Fountain.

Marla said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving such a sweet comment. I have been reading through yours and am your newest follower. Great posts, sister!

Can I get an Amen?