1. Pray for wisdom and guidance. It starts right here. Without God’s wisdom and guidance, none of this is possible. It’s like groping in the dark for a light switch. If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him (James 1:5). First and foremost, we need to be cultivating a relationship with God. If you do just this one thing, the rest of the steps below will fall into place.
2. Pray for change in you. As I shared last week, we are often the heart of our families. That means we are also a catalyst for change. Ask God to help you be the wife and mother HE (not your husband or family) needs you to be. This means you’re asking God to use you to be this person of influence and change in the lives of your husband and children. This means asking God to help you see your husband as a blessing, not a burden. We are not martyrs in our own homes, but we can be missionaries.
3. Pray for your husband. This is most likely your highest calling. Pray for his protection, for his mind and heart to know and accept Jesus, and pray for him as the leader of your family. He may not be the spiritual leader of your family right now, but he is still the leader of you and your family in general. Allow him to lead! This is where you will find your greatest calling and challenge as a wife—to stand by your husband, to affirm him as a man, as a husband, as a father. In doing this we serve him and we serve God. The amazing thing is, when we take this place, we discover what God truly means by, “and the two will become one.” This is a beautiful place of partnership where we work together as a team, as a “we” and not two “I”s working against each other. Our greatest gift to our husband is to help him reach his God-given potential, even in the midst of his unbelief or lagging faith. Remember, God is working there too.
4. Pray for your children. This is your legacy. This is your influence on future generations. This is your mark on eternity. As I said before, we often set the tone and pattern in our family. Nothing has been more rewarding than to see my oldest daughter choose a relationship with a godly man and desire to have a marriage based upon God’s design. Even in their engagement I see these two taking their God-given and ordained places in their relationship. It is truly a thing of beauty. All the years that I’ve poured into my marriage and into my family are bearing fruit in her. That is so humbling and so rewarding. I’ve already received some of my treasure in the here and now.
5. Pray for and encourage other women in mismatched marriages. Lynn and I are walking and talking testimonies to this. If you look at 2 Cor. 1:3-7, you’ll see that God never intends for us to keep what we know about and learn from Him to ourselves. Those areas of victory will be used to help others. That right there is another blessing we can receive in this lifetime. I can think of no better way to serve God than to share His hope—to share Him—with others so that they too can know love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in their lives and their marriages. This is the example we have in Titus 2 as well.
6. Be still and know God is God. Quit trying to fix your husband, your kids, your life...youself. If you look at the Lord’s prayer, the end affirms that God’s kingdom, power and glory are forever. Pray these prayers and then trust that God is already in action. He probably was even before you said a word. The hardest part is waiting on God’s timing. I waited 16 years for my husband to accept my faith, to accept this is who I am and I’m not going to change. It’s a small step forward and worth the wait. Ten years ago I was impatient and anxious for my husband to know Jesus NOW! Today I am content and thankful that he now accepts my faith, understands this is who I am, and chooses to love me and walk the road of marriage together.
My friends, I write these things from my heart and from my experience. And with this comes the full understanding that we cannot do this, fill this place of influence without constantly seeking God for strength, wisdom and courage. Do not let your husband’s unbelief and the lies of the enemy tell you that you can’t be this kind of wife to your husband. You can and God will give you everything you need to do so.
Just trust Him. Trust Him to equip you. The most amazing part of this journey, for me, is finding myself and my life in Christ. This is the part that’s hard to put in words other than to say that there is nothing more peaceful and empowering than walking in obedience to God. Had I clung to what I wanted instead of allowing God to be the one in control, I would not have the marriage I have now. I wouldn’t have the life of joy I’m experiencing now! This is what Jesus meant when he said we must lose our life to get it back and that his burden is light. Though our lives will always have conflicts, challenges and trials, His way is the best way to live a life of joy and peace in the midst of it all.
In walking this path as a mismatched wife I have found purpose, joy and amazing faith. This is God’s doing, not mine. And we have so much more waiting for us in heaven. That’s when we will see the full picture of what our place of influence truly accomplished for God.
Lynn shared that we’ll be giving away two copies of the Resolution for Women. I feel led to buy one for myself, sign it and put it in a card for my husband as a Valentine’s Day present. To be honest, the idea scares me—what will my husband think of it? How will he react? I’m choosing to step out in courage and follow what I believe to be God asking me to testify openly to my husband what my place in our marriage means to me. I’m praying for God’s courage and for my husband’s heart to receive my gift.
Is God calling you to have courage and take a step of faith in your marriage?
Praying and believing,