In a recent devotion, I shared Bert’s and my goal to pray together every day. Some of you may be thinking, “It must be nice to have a marriage like that!” Truth is, you probably do.
Bert and I struggle with many of the same issues most couples wrestle with, including our spiritual journey. It took many years before we finally made praying together a priority. Even now, we still miss some days, but we’re much more consistent than before.
Yet, I can’t ignore those of you who hate this week’s column (and similar messages) because of the long, painful disappointment you’ve experienced while waiting for God to give you “a marriage like that.”
If reading this makes you chafe with frustration because it doesn’t seem likely it’ll happen for you, I understand. I’ve been there. Actually, I’m “there” in several areas of my marriage as I continue to wait on God.
I wish I could redo the earlier years of our marriage. I wonder if Bert and I would’ve prayed together sooner if I’d handled myself better. Not to mention the strife we could have avoided. Worst of all, I’m ashamed of how poorly I represented God while berating Bert for not wanting to spend time with Him – in the way I thought he should.
It’s easy to resort to nagging or browbeating when our spouses resist our good intentions. But how often does this really work? Satan would love to take something that’s meant to bring us closer to each other (and to God) and use it instead as a tool to harass and divide us.
What would happen if we practiced Ephesians 4:1-2 instead?
Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love. (ESV).
I want to practice every line of this verse in my marriage. Don’t you? Think what it would mean to our spouses if we loved them in this way.
Let’s see how different our marriages would be if we bore with each other humbly and gently in the areas in which we each fall short – and allowed the Holy Spirit (rather than ourselves) to change our spouses.
Perhaps the changes in our marriages will inspire others to work toward a marriage like ours!
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- In what ways can you better practice Ephesians 4:1-2 in your marriage?
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