By Dineen A. Miller
It was 2 a.m., and I was tired. What I’d thought would be a simple disagreement had turned into a two-hour discussion. Yet despite our attempts to find common ground, something we’d usually accomplished quite easily, my husband and I still hadn’t found a solution. I sensed something deeper stirring the waters of our marriage.
I prayed silently to myself, leaning on my new faith for guidance. I’d recommitted my life to Christ six months earlier and had embraced my decision with my whole heart. I knew I had changed to some degree. My depression was gone and each day held new promise. And my hope was that my husband would join me in this faith walk I’d undertaken.
Then he said something I never expected. He’d decided he didn’t believe there was a God. The air left my lungs as he said it. The physical sensation was like being punched in the stomach. I struggled to breathe as tears coursed down my cheeks. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Later I would learn the term for this was atheism.
As I tried to grab what sleep I could that night, my tears finally dried. My husband’s steady breathing told me he was asleep. My heart ached so deeply I didn’t even know what to pray. Silence pervaded not only the room but my mind as well. What did I do now?
I remember hearing a moaning, a soft cry, but it wasn’t my own. I listened more intently. Awe spread through me as I realized what I heard was the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” (NIV Romans 8:26) I believe God allowed me to hear the Holy Spirit to comfort my spirit. He knew my pain and understood it more deeply than I could.
The next day played out as any other day. Our kids went to school. My husband went to work. I forced myself to meet my mother for our planned shopping. All I really wanted to do was to hide. How could I face the world? What had I done wrong? Amazingly, in the midst of such turmoil, I knew peace.
The evening was awkward. My husband feared I wouldn’t accept him anymore. I feared he wouldn’t’ accept me and my new beliefs. We shared our fears and found each other again.
That was ten years ago. I still pray every day for my husband to come to know God, to know his great love and majesty. I still wait. Yet everyday God has blessed my marriage and kept every promise. Our marriage has thrived and grown despite the trials of being a mismatched couple.
I know my husband will one day embrace his Creator, but in the meantime I am free to love him just as he is. God has shown me He doesn’t withhold his blessings in such circumstances. He rains them down even more in reward to my faithfulness—to Him and to my husband.
Share your voice, heart and love in the comments.
Marching Around Jericho is a spiritual guide. As you read through the pages, powerful and transformative instruction and equipping takes place. We follow Jesus as he leads us around the walls, imparting kingdom truths with each passing, finally arriving at the gates of the walled-off city, our spouse’s unbelieving heart. After the circles in prayer are complete, we arrive fully prepared to command the walls to crumble and be removed, making a way for our spouse to step from the rubble of lies and captivity, into faith and freedom!