I’m writing this post on a very warm and sunny Super Bowl Sunday. I’m apologizing to all of you who are freezing your keister off in the icebox of February. And for those of you battling this ferocious flu, I speak to that bug in your body and command it in the name of Jesus; BE GONE. STAND DOWN! BODY BE HEALED!
Anyhoo, I ask for your grace as I describe the warm weather, exceptionally warm (I’m frustrated- What happened to winter around here?) weather in Southern California. Yesterday Mike and I sat on our front porch swing together with our puppies, Grace and Finney. In these strangely warm months of winter, we often sit out there together and take in the neighborhood. Yesterday we watch an entire swarm of bees take residence in our neighbor’s trees. (She was made aware).
While rocking and also yelling at Grace to get out of the dirt, I popped a question to Mike. “Mike, what advice would you give younger women who are married to unbelieving men?”
I prefaced the question with the understanding that Mike and I have now been married 25 years. We are in the most beautiful season of our married life. It is peaceful between us. The friction and pain that once existed is over and we are truly enjoying what I feel we both fought so hard to finally obtain; peace, security, love and a friendship that is … You complete my sentences…. kind of friendship.
It’s weird to type those words but we finally have arrived and are living a beautiful married life. With this new season, my mind tends to forget what it’s like to live in the season of struggle where many of you are residing today. So, that is why I often find my heart wanting to write and share more about what is happening in my faith that continues to grow exponentially. So be patient with me if I tend to write more about faith in the future. I’ve actually learned that the more I grow in Christ the less conflict I experience with other relationships. NOW That IS a powerful truth to grasp!
So, back to the question. Mike replied with three words. I reached for my phone to record what he said, and he continued, “Patience, understanding and love.”
Ya, pretty much sounds like Jesus talking! Perhaps this guy has gleaned a few things after all.
“What does that mean?” I ventured, holding the phone closer to capture his words.
“What I mean by patience is that you can’t change someone or expect them to do something they are not ready to do, like church. You have to have patience and realize that perhaps it will change or maybe it won’t. But you need patience and don’t FORCE the change because it will only alienate your husband.”
“Mike, I think you also said something about a man’s discovery of God and how his wife could better serve in his journey.”
“Yes, a wife can support his discovery and encourage his discovery, but a wife can’t make it happen. It’s not her responsibility.”
“What does understanding look like in this kind of marriage?”
Mike, “Understanding is coming to grips with his current faith or lack of faith. Also, be intentional to understand who he is and what is important to him. Understand where he’s coming from so that you don’t fight over your differences in faith.”
“Love your husband. As a believing wife, you demonstrate God’s love by how you love your husband.”
This response means the world to me!
Me, “Do you really believe what you just told me or are you just saying that, so I have something to write about?” (grin)
He laughs out loud and chuckles, “No, I really believe what I told you. This is what I have learned from our struggles and all that you wrote about in Winning Him Without Words. It’s true.”
Wow, I guess I never knew he really read the book.
My dearest SUMites, let our ordinary marriages become a testimony to the power of the love of God in an ordinary woman. You WILL overcome. Your marriage can THRIVE. Your kids will walk in faith. Keep on praying. Remain steadfast in belief. Study and learn about warfare and the promises of God. Know your identity as a Child of God. Love, love, love, love, love…. Forgive, forgive, forgive, grace, grace, grace. Wash, rinse, repeat.
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
Be Blessed, Lynn