Yesterday I had a breakthrough. And it happened in church.
During the summer months, translate – not football season- my husband will attend church with me on occasion. Yesterday my man and daughter went to church with me. Woo Hoo.
But, why is it I’m still not happy? Sheesh. I mean really. More than anything, I have yearned for my man to sit with me in church. Now after many, many years of praying, there I am seated between Caitie and my husband.
This is a strange journey, the unequally yoked.
What I think happened yesterday morning is something many of you have faced and what many more of you will deal with down the road. There are times in our lives when our unbelieving spouse will attend church with us. And when that day arrives, it should be one of the happiest days of our lives. However, I’m finding sitting with my spouse terribly challenging and emotional.
I am uber concerned over the experience my husband will have and what that experience means for his future salvation and his future church attendance. (Please, someone tell me I’m not alone here).
Anyway, for years I have believed and have made a solemn commitment that I would change churches or go anywhere (Christian) if only my husband would attend. Well yesterday morning God hit me upside the head and this is how it went down.
Right from the beginning, I should have known something was up. Every sentence out of my mouth during the car ride to church was met with an immediate counter argument from my spouse. After the fourth incident I said, “Are you trying to have an argument with me this morning?” After all, the topics of conversation weren’t confrontational and I will add my daughter piped up and replied to her dad after he said, “I’m not trying to argue.”
Her response, “Ya,,,, you are.”
Okay, typical on the way to church whether believing or non-believing, arguments will breakout. This is a clue that the spiritual realm is in full battle. I smile because I “get” what is really going on. I say a quick prayer and the conversation is light for the remaining ride.
We shuffle into our seats and the praise team is in full chorus. We hadn’t been there more than two minutes and my man leans over to me and says, “The music is loud this morning.”
This is a common complaint. This followed his demanding question earlier in the car on the ride in, “Who is teaching today.” Translate – I only want to hear one specific teacher.
Two minutes into the service, I’m completely stressed out. I’m concerned about who the teacher might be. I’m concerned about the music. I’m concerned about …. whatever the current week’s complaint might be.
At that moment.
And it wasn’t anger or frustration or concern or worry.
I actually smiled and I found freedom.
I leaned into my husband and said, “Our pastor said that our church plays the music a little louder on purpose. It reaches an audience that is desperate for Christ and if it’s too loud for you then this church isn’t for you.”
He turned to me and said, “Well then this church isn’t my church.”
My smile grew as the freedom grew in my heart, “Well there is a blue-hair church off Highway 79.” I turned back to the worship leader and just smiled.
In years previous, this exchange would leave me crushed and bleeding. But I was smiling inspite of my glance in his direction where I see his typical hostile stance, arms on his hips, elbows jutting out and glaring straight forward.
As I stood there, peace overcame me. It’s as if the Lord said, “Lynn he is not going to go to another church. He will always go with you. So don’t you worry about it.”
Then I prayed while standing there, “Lord, you deal with him (I’m blunt that way with the Lord). He is looking for every excuse to nitpick church to death and I won’t have it anymore. I can’t make church be the perfect experience. Lord, you deal with him.”
My smile grew.
I knew God would deal with him. I just knew.
Within minutes after giving my husband to God to “deal with him,” I noticed his arms relax down to his sides and his posture unwind.
He even reached over later in the service to hold my hand.
Well, I’m not sure where this pivotal change in my universe will lead but I have asked God to deal with him. If my husband is looking for any excuse to stop going, he got it yesterday. But in my heart I’m not worried. God will deal with it.
After 19 years of marriage, I realize that my husband’s church attendance isn’t going to save him. Jesus Christ is going to save him and my husband will come to a place where he wants to attend church because… And only because, he wants to.
And I’m okay, really okay with that.
Be Blessed, Lynn