Last week I had the chance to catch up with a dear friend. Over lunch, we brought each other up to date on the details of our lives. At one point after relaying my own family’s current events, she paid me a compliment in regards to my patience with my husband.
The firmness of my answer surprised me. “I’m simply doing what God is telling me.”
Obedience isn’t easy, especially when it affects our own lives adversely. To the outside world, we may seem foolish and even spineless, but here’s where that first choice to love our spouses becomes so critical. If we’ve chosen to love only when times are good, which is easy in the moment, our resolve falls away when times get tough.
And let me emphasize again that this decision is not based on our own feelings or the ability or inability of our spouses to meet our expectations. It’s a decision based in obedience to God and to His calling to love a lost soul.
In review, we can see these steps are very interconnected. First the decision to love, which is what opens the door and allows God to work in our own hearts as well as our unbelieving spouses.
Second, keeping our focus on God, not our circumstances. Remember Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” Not hope in our spouse’s conversion or change. No, we are to keep our hope firmly placed in God. That’s where our strength comes from, which is vital if we’re to persevere in step three.
Step three: Obedience. Whatever God is telling you to do, move forward in the confidence that He will supply what you need. Makes sense, but think it through. God certainly wouldn’t tell you to do a difficult task and then bail on you. That’s not His character. He’s going to strengthen you in ways you won’t even realize.
Like the confidence I had when I answered my friend. I know that wasn’t me. That was God working in me. As the words left my lips, I knew the truth of them resided deep within my spirit. I know what God is calling me to do in my marriage right now. To stand firm by my husband’s side in support and trust.
Because God told me to. So my thinking is if God says I’m to trust my husband in these new ventures we're about to embark upon, that’s the same as God saying, “Trust Me.”
God asks us to love as his Son. Jesus loved without conditions. Without expectations. Without restrictions. And it’s that kind of love that spoke the loudest of His presence and salvation.
So whatever God is calling you to do in your marriage, walk forward in confidence. Ignore those who criticize and carefully consider those who caution. Then know that you know that you know that what God is asking you to do is for Him.
And trust that God will give you the strength to persevere.
Praying and believing,