After reading my recent column in which I shared Bert’s and my latest goal of committing to pray together every day, some of you may be thinking, “Gee, I would love to have a marriage like that!”
You probably do. Bert and I struggle with many of the same issues most couples struggle with, including praying together. It has taken eleven years for us to finally arrive at the point in which we have committed to praying together on a daily basis and actually sticking with it – albeit, not perfectly – but much more consistently 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 you’re screaming with frustration while reading this because it doesn’t seem likely it will happen for you, I would like to offer some words of caution and suggestions.
I wish I could redo the past eleven years. Had I handled myself better, I wonder if Bert and I would have begun praying together sooner. Not to mention the strife that would have been avoided. Worst of all, I’m ashamed of how poorly I represented the One I was berating Bert for not wanting to spend time with – in the way I thought he should.
When our spouses resist our good intentions, it’s easy to resort to nagging or browbeating. But how often does that really work? Satan would love to take something that is meant to bring us closer to each other (and to God) and turn it into unending harassment in our home.
But 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).
Let’s see how different our marriages would be if we were to humbly and gently bear with each other in the areas in which we each fall short – and allow the Holy Spirit (rather than ourselves) to change each other. Eventually, the changes in our marriage just may cause others to wish they had a marriage like that!
What about you?
You can use a pseudonym (fake name) when commenting.
- Are there some years you would like to redo in your marriage?
- In what ways can you better practice Ephesians 4:1-2, especially in your relationship with your spouse?
See sidebar to subscribe to this blog and receive the most recent post to your inbox. There is no charge for this service.