I’m reading a book right now called “How to act right when your spouse acts wrong.” Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Before any of you jump to any conclusions, my reading this in no way is a reflection on my husband. He’s great. I tend not to be. Just the title alone convicts me to my core. Only two chapters in, and all my petty and selfish excuses have been exposed and broken down in the light of the truth of God’s Word. His desire for you and for me is to become more like Him…even through the difficulties of our marriages. And what was Jesus like? He acted right every time others treated Him wrongly.
One way that God is showing me how to practically apply this concept of acting right when my husband acts wrong is through the discipline of prayer. I have always loved prayer, but these past few weeks, the Lord has been drawing me to greater depths of prayer with Him, and I want to invite you to go deeper today with Him, too. Many years of my life were lived under the delusion and false belief that marriage was intended to make me happy. What I’m coming to understand more and more is that marriage is far more about me becoming holy than me being happy. God wants to change me through it. He wants to change you through it.
I didn’t write the below prayer (it comes from chapter one of “How to act right when your spouse acts wrong”), but I want to share it with you and encourage you to pray these very words yourself. It’s a prayer of confession. It’s a prayer of desperation. It’s honest, raw, and vulnerable. It’s a prayer of commitment. Would you choose to be willing to be transformed and changed through the trials and hardships that your marriage brings? Would you join me in this prayer today?
I confess that I am afraid to let go completely. I am afraid to trust you fully for my happiness and well-being. I do want a good marriage. I want to get along with my spouse and have a home that is full of laughter and caring, respect and love. But even more than that, Lord, I am beginning to see that you may use the present difficulties in my marriage to teach me to be more like you. Help me be a willing student in the school of holiness. Thank you for all the things that my spouse does that irritate, hurt, or trouble me, for this is the very sandpaper you will use to rub off my rough edges. Help me to submit to your refining process with a willing and yielded heart. Teach me your ways: how to love unselfishly, how to forgive when I don’t want to, how to speak the truth in love when I need to, and how to overcome evil with good. Those characteristics are so foreign to me. Remind me what life and marriage are all about, Lord. Loving you, serving you, glorifying you, and reflecting you to others, especially those I live with, will bring me my greatest joy. Dear Jesus, make me more willing and increase my faith. For I desire to love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and will.
In Jesus’ name,