Which brings me to my question....have you ever felt like you heard something that seemed so small, but was so powerful that it could change so much in your marriage? I have. This summer when I first listened to the CD that came with my "Motivating Your Man God's Way" series, I knew that my marriage could be transformed. That one hour changed so much inside of me & then inside of my husband.
Well, it happened again last night....twice. Once when I was listening to this sermon & once when I went to Bible study. First, lets talk about Bible study. I have never been to a women's Bible study before. Adam & I went to a group study for a few weeks when we moved here but this was different. I had the pleasure of meeting 5 new women that love the Lord! I do not believe in accidents & I know in my heart that God has a reason for everything. A friend invited me to this study last night & I decided to go at the last minute. We went around the table taking turns reading scripture from Ephesians 5. Being new, I was holding back a bit & I didn't read until everyone else went. Believe it or not, my passages were Ephesians 5:22-33. This in itself took me back a little.
22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
This is the stuff that I have been telling you guys & learning myself. Interesting. God is trying to tell me something. One of the ladies said something during our reading that really stuck with me & I can't stop thinking about. She said that we are on a WALK with the Lord. We can't expect to change all in one day. This is a process & it takes time. She also said that the enemy will speak to us & convince us that things will never change & they will be this way forever. This could be when thinking of yourself & the changes that you need to make, or changes that you want your spouse to make. Things WON'T always be this way. God can do anything in anyone. He can change anything. Don't let the enemy trick you. You may just be being tested, don't fail!
Six months ago I realized several things that needed to be changed within myself. I have discussed most of them here on this blog & I have been doing my best to change all of them. Some happened over night & were pretty easy & some are going to take time & practice. That doesn't mean that I am not trying to change them every day, some changes are just bigger & require more prayer & grace. Of course our husbands wish that we could change everything 100% overnight & we wish the same about them. God is always working on us on our WALK with Him. We are made in His image & we should love & respect our husbands (& they should love us) unconditionally, as God loves us.
I realize that this is easier said than done. We all have days where we want to give up & trust the enemy instead of the Lord. It is easier that way. It is much harder to surround yourself in Scripture, Bible study, Christian people, Church, & positivity when you feel as though your spouse is against you. We have both been there, we get it. It is much easier to believe the bad in a person than the good. I am very guilty of this. It is hard when you are hurting to want to continue in that hurt for the possibility of things getting better when you could just choose any of 100 sins to feel better right now.
Marriage is made in CHRIST & you can't take CHRIST out of it. The Lord wants your marriage to work, that is without question. Matthew 19:6 says, "What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." This means you! You can't play God. By taking God out of the equation & choosing to do what YOU want to do, you are doing just that. How do you expect this marriage, your next marriage, or the one after that to work if you have already decided that you can play by your own set of rules whenever you so choose?
Ok, so you are going to make it work. Now what? Well, that is where the sermon that I posted comes in. Here it is again so that you don't have to scroll all the way to the top. Elevation Church No excuses, ladies. I told you that I would tell you something that I learned in the sermon that was powerful to me & I felt like it could change a lot in my own marriage. I have to admit that sometimes when I "learn" something, I feel so stupid. It hits me so hard & it is so obvious that I am like, "Geez. Why didn't I ever look at it that way before?" I guess this goes back to my WALK with God though. He can't reveal every little thing to me on one day or I would go into overload.
Pastor Furtick's wife, Holly, came on stage & shared a little bit about her marriage. Maybe it just took me hearing it from a woman but she explained something to me in a different way than anyone, including Adam, has ever been able to do for me. When I am upset or hurt, I show my emotions by crying. (So does Holly) I can do that pretty well & sometimes uncontrollably. I don't want to be crying, but I can't stop. Adam shows his hurt through anger. (So does Pastor Furtick) Does he really WANT to be angry with me? No, of course not. But just maybe, he can't help it either. There is my duh moment #1. If I am crying & Adam keeps yelling at me that is just going to make me more upset. Well, why am I not considering that about Adam? When he is showing me anger, I am just getting more upset & I am not "listening" to the fact that he is "crying" too. I even sometimes get angry, that he is angry, thinking that he is a jerk. Like how dare Adam get mad at me when I am crying. But, he is crying too, in his own way! What if I was crying & Adam started crying too as a way to show me that I am being a jerk? That would hurt. Duh moment #2.
As you can imagine whenever you discover something negative about yourself, you feel terrible. Hopefully. You repent, ask your spouse for forgiveness, & make a change without wasting another second. Make no excuses or allowances to behave that way in the future. So was God speaking through Holly? Was it because she was a woman saying this & not my husband? Was it because they are so "Holy" in my mind? Was it my time in my WALK to hear this? Why did I not hear this sooner? It certainly wasn't because I wanted to keep making Adam feel bad. One thing that I know for sure & what I keep reminding myself is that God won't come early, but He will never be too late. So we should be glad that we are blessed with information that will change us when it DOES come. He tells us when we need to hear it the most. Remember, we don't change everything at once. It is a process of baby steps.
The video sermon goes into even more detail than I am covering here. I realize that it is probably taking an hour out of your day to read this already. LOL But, I want to give you a few more tips that I jotted down on my paper that I have been horribly guilty of in the past. These aren't easy things to do, but they are necessary & most importantly, they are how the Lord wants you to respond.
1. Don't yell at him, sick God on him. We can't change our husbands & they can't change us. They can tell us what bugs them or what they would like changed, which of course would require decent communication, but we can't change each other. Only God can change us. Therefore, if you feel like you have to have a more active part in his changing, pray for him. Pray that God will change this behavior & that he will show your husband that it hurts you. Holly said that often, Pastor Steven would apologize hours or even days later that he hurt her. Probably because the Lord worked on him. If you are in God's way, he can't work in your husband. Plus, taking this role will prevent the conversation from going down other roads that will lead to more destruction. Every bad argument goes to places that have nothing to do with the issue at hand. Now there is more damage to repair. Like I spoke about earlier, this is VERY hard to do & will require prayer for yourself for strength, wisdom, & discernment. It is much easier to sin, yell back, & disrespect your husband. This is probably one of my greatest flaws.
It was funny to me that they chose another way to describe a situation. They said that if your spouse locks you out of their life or a situation, don't kick down the door, but leave myrrh on the lock. A few weeks ago, Adam & I got into a fight. Adam, trying to be honorable & not argue back with me & locked himself in the bedroom. I took this personal & didn't not see him "crying" as I mentioned earlier. He just needed space away from me & to not make matter worse. I acted poorly & banged on the door for several minutes & then even kicked the door, twice I think. At that moment God convicted me & I realized that I was not helping the situation, but making it worse. I knew that I was being disrespectful. However, an apology would not have seemed sincere at the time. I wanted to "fix" things because I realized that it got out of control. So once Adam felt safe enough to come out, I wanted to "talk" again. All I should have done was sprinkle a little myrrh on the lock, prayed to the Lord, & left it alone. He would have taken care of this. Adam was still hurt even though I passed my peak of pain. Knowing that he doesn't like conflict, I should have realized that an easy truce could have been made without a word.
2. Make it right before the sun goes down. Our husbands are called to be our spiritual leaders. Pastor Furtick prays with his wife every night before bed. Not always a long prayer, sometimes it is actually very short. However, it is very hard to remain upset with someone if you are holding their hand praying for them & with them. You being mad at them isn't going to change them anyway. God is working on that. This is not to say that the issue has to be 100% cleared up, but you just don't go to bed angry with each other. Remember, your spouse is a good willed person, one that you love, your husband would kill to protect you & his family. Try to remember that even though he is mad, he might just need his space, he might just be "crying" too. If he lets Him, the Lord will heal your husband, protect your marriage, & make you stronger together than ever.
In the heat of the moment we don't always see what is right. We take what makes us feel better right then & there which is usually the wrong move. We compound our sin by adding additional sins. We let the enemy poison our minds to think that things will always be hard. We need to pray not only for ourselves daily to make the right choices, but also for our husbands. After everything that we went through with Kayleigh, I have so much confidence in the power of prayer. I know without a doubt that God can make anything happen regardless of how far away it seems right now. Hang on to that. He WANTS your marriage to work. It was HIS creation. He COMMANDS you to stick through it. Sprinkle a little myrrh on the lock, pray for your husband like crazy, (& yourself) get out of God's way, & let Him work. It will be the hardest thing that you have ever done, but isn't your husband worth it?