I’m sure by now you’re tired of hearing about Valentines Day. I hope the day was special for you, even if you and God were the only two celebrating it. A dear lady I’ve come to know on Facebook called God her “sweetie.” I thought that was so precious.
And I will share that two nights ago my heart was aching over the emotional and health issues of my daughter. Add to that a “lostness” I’ve never seen in my husband before. He’s definitely struggling too, to figure out his place in this world. To us, the answer is so simple! But for him, the foundations of his world are being torn down and he’s not sure what direction to go.
As I said, two nights ago, my heart was aching over all this—seeing my family struggle and knowing full well this is in God’s hands and in His plan for both of them. I snuggled into my pillow and imagined it was Jesus’ shoulder and He had me firmly in His hold. He was my greatest comfort and “sweetie” in that moment. I am so grateful we serve a God of comfort.
It’s not easy to watch those we love struggle. We want to hop in there and fix it, fix them! But sometimes—a lot of times actually—God’s using that issue to bring change, growth, and even to plant the seeds of salvation.
In the meantime, we have to trust and hang on, right?
Well, yes, but what if we can do more than just hang on? What if we can actually thrive in our marriages and relationships despite all the challenges and issues whirling around us?
This is the heart of our message here at S.U.M., that God wants us to thrive in our marriages, not just survive in them. In my own marriage, that meant letting go of my husband’s salvation and leaving it in God’s hands. That meant letting go of my expectations of what I thought my marriage would be and allow God to show me what He had planned. That meant shifting my focus on the deficit—my husband’s unbelief—and focusing on the benefit—an opportunity to love my husband just as he is and enjoy this man I’d made a promise to love until death parts us.
This is the thriving part, when we see our roles in our marriages as one of the most important ways we can serve God. When we do, we experience joy, and we begin to thrive in our relationship with our husband because we’re thriving in our relationship with God. That’s a life transformed—our life. And that’s a powerful witness to our unbelieving spouses.
There will be difficult times. That’s true of any marriage. But this is a journey you will never walk alone. God wants to do great things in our marriages, one of which is to bring our unbelieving spouses to know Him. He wants that even more than we do! And being a part of that process, to walk along side God and join Him in the journey is a worthy mission.
You are not alone. God is right there. Let Him carry the burden of your spouse’s salvation. Ask Him to show how to love your husband like Christ loves us. Then you will begin to experience new freedom in your marriage as will your husband.
Then you won’t just be hanging in there. You’ll be thriving and enjoying your marriage in ways you never imagined!
Praying and believing,