Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Strength - Character in Marriage

Philippians 4:13 
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" 

Today is day 3 of the 31 days to pray for your spouse challenge. The focus is on 
"strength" and praying for the emotional, mental, and physical strength of your spouse.

Some of you may be fortunate enough to have perfect husbands- but, since
we are all imperfect people, it is more likely that you are married to someone who
does suffer at least a few shortcomings. 

Praying for your own strength in dealing with life's ups and downs is 
important, but it is critical that we also pray for our husbands to have strength in 
dealing with everyday demands along with the more difficult "mountains" we
all face at one time or another. 

I recently came across a blog post that quickly got my attention. 
from "To Love, Honor, and Vacuum" by Sheila Gregorie 

One of the quotes that Sheila points out #31 is this: 

"How we handle our husbands shortcomings
says more about our own character
than our husbands" 

Let that sink in for just a moment.

About 2 years into my (now almost 12 year) marriage,
we hit some rocky road. My son was a baby, and life was 
a little stressful. I disagreed with the way my husband handled
several issues (bless his heart) 

Being the quiet, submissive personality that I am
 (some of you just fell over laughing) 
I immediately handed it all over to the Lord.

OK, now for the truth- I griped and whined and lost my temper. 
I was angry and I let it begin to fester. 

I nurtured that thing.

It got to the point where he really just couldn't do anything
right. I wasn't going to be happy with him because I was hurt 
and angry. I felt entitled to my anger and hurt. 
It was obvious that I was right and he had been wrong. 
He even agreed with me! 

About the time I began to realize (none too soon) 
that I was making myself (not to mention him) miserable- 
I finally hit my knees and asked for God's help in releasing those hurts.

My mother (who is still happily married to my father after 40+ years) 
always told me not to let myself begin to think negative 
thoughts about my husband. 

It was a little late for that. It had snowballed, and I had 
nurtured my anger to the point that I couldn't begin to 
think anything positive about him! 

God laid it on my heart to start with just one thing each day 
that I could be thankful for in my husband. 
Every day I would choose one thing that I loved or respected about him. 
Even if it were very small and simple. 

It started out pretty pitiful - sorta like : 
"Thank you God that Mark doesn't beat me" 
(I told you - I was angry) 
I repeated the praise several times throughout the day
and especially if I started to get angry about 
something important (like that he forgot to pick up the milk)

Ladies, let's be honest. 
When we decide to be hurt and angry, 
it is not a pretty picture. 
We cannot be easy to live with at that point! 

After awhile it got a bit easier.

"Thank you Lord Jesus that my Mark is such a hard worker" 
"Thank you for giving me a husband who is kind and generous" 

Now, it is difficult for me to remember what the big deal was in 
the first place. Why did I allow myself to get so far gone? 

Like my mother said, "Don't allow yourself to begin to think 
negative thoughts about your husband, or it will get away from you"

You see, satan doesn't want us to have successful families. 
He doesn't want you to have a close relationship with your 
husband or with the Lord

But, our God is bigger than that! 
And Praise the Lord, it is true: 

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Phil. 4:13 

I want to encourage you that no matter what your circumstances are- 
or how big the troubles in your marriage. . . . 

*Remember to pray for your husbands strength as well as your own - God will bless it!

Linking with these wonderful blogs:
   Mustard Seeds 


Aurie{OurGoodLife} said...

What an amazingly honest post! Thank you for sharing your heart today.

Stacie said...

What beauty there is in honesty! Praise God that you are able to share such victory with us by being honest about the struggle. This was a timely read for me; God bless you!

Amy said...

Ah Im doing this challenge as well! I am loving it!!!!! I loved your post... straight from your honest, beautiful heart! :) Blessings my friend!

Jenilee said...

Hi Kelly! I'm visiting from ifellowship today! the pictures on your post are so beautiful! and what a wonderful post about marriage. Thanks for writing from your heart!

ells said...

We are neighbors today...oh yes...how we women can be so negative...a long time ago I had to change the way I prayed...a list of what I wanted God to change...now just asking God to continue to make him the man God wants him to be and make me his ezer...hope you are feeling well...enjoying the water:)
blessings on your 31 day jouney....

Ashley Pichea said...

AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!!!!!! Thank you for sharing this post... such a GREAT reminder to keep our focus on Christ and what HE is doing in and through our husbands, not on the nit-picky negatives we tend to eye-ball instead. THANK YOU!!

Rachel Lundy said...

I'm coming over from iFellowship today. What an honest and encouraging post. Thank you!

MomLaur said...

I honestly do not know how my hubby puts up with me sometimes - although he says I have changed a lot in the last 8 years! I can picture my angry, grumpy, so self-absorbed face - so not pretty. Thanks for your honesty here and encouragement to continue surrendering in love.

Rebecca said...

That is beautiful....last year in Marriage Mentoring, it really hit me....all of 'his' sins....were God reaching into my heart and transforming me...making us ONE to Glorify HIM!!! LOVE YOU!

Jennifer said...

Wonderful, wonderful lesson! I pray for my husband daily. It helps me as much (or more than) him to lift Him before the Father daily---asking for His blessing on him and His work in my husband's life.

Thanks for this reminder!

Lisa said...

Magnificent! Thank you so much for this post! I am going to join you in this challenge and pray for my husband everyday.

Many blessings,

Gidget said...

Wow, Kelli - thank you for being so honest and real about this! I never really thought about myself holding on to hurt and anger - but, you're absolutely right - that's a great way to describe it! Thank you for a great reminder and encouragement!

learning table said...

I've awarded your blog the Versatile Blogger Award!
Stop by my blog to receive it!


Anonymous said...

Great post. Loved that quote that you shared.
Stopping by from Learning Table. Congrats on the blogging award.

Anonymous said...

This is such an honest post. Thank you for sharing. I have definitely been there too. Actually I was there tonight! ha! I didn't lose my temper but i was annoyed...thanks for the reminder to pray during those moments!

Jennifer @ GettingDownWithJesus.com said...

I had a firsthand experience with this, just this week! I had prayed very specifically for something for my husband -- a prayer that I had honestly neglected to pray for him, despite being nudged. I wrote the prayer in my journal.

An hour later, the prayer was answered!

God is good. (All the time.)

Thanks for linking your story. I appreciate your God-focused heart.

Natasha said...

Appreciated your open honesty. It is an encouragement to know we are not alone in the journey to live rightly before God and with our husbands. My husband (bless him) has been through a similar experience with me. My third pregnancy was difficult and I was depressed. He could do nothing right. So thankful for God's grace and my husband's grace towards me.