Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
I love that verse. It hangs in our bedroom in a beautiful picture frame because it is a message I wanted to be reminded of every morning after going through a certain season of my life. The hoping and praying comes easy for me, but being certain was a struggle and this verse is the perfect reminder of what our faith in God can really do.
There was a time not too long ago when I questioned if God really had a plan for me. I used to believe he had a big one for me because I had escaped death 3 times in 38 years and am still here. God doesn’t almost take you 3 times for no reason. I always felt He was keeping me here for a purpose. But my life had been so mundane and at times down right miserable, I started to doubt my faith in God having a plan for me. What’s worse is I started to blame my husband for interfering with God’s plan for my life.
As I was learning more about what God wants from everyone, I didn’t look at my own faults and shortcomings. I was looking at my husbands. I could name off all the things HE needed to do to be blessed and saved by God right off the top of my head and figured once he fixed all his problems, blessings and prosperity would come flooding into our household. I never thought I had issues that needed to be addressed. I just thought that being yoked to him was my hindrance. After all, I was the one reading the word every day and pursuing God, so what else would I need to do?
I even started to believe that my husband was my ministry! But for some reason he wasn’t willing to listen to me tell him what he needed to do to have a better life. The nerve, huh?! So I’d get angry at him, because remember, I thought it was all his fault that my life’s purpose wasn’t being realized. Oh brother. How’s that for putting too much expectation on your husband! I had misplaced my faith.
In this chapter Dineen asked “who am I waiting for?” Thankfully this question was put on my heart during this time. My answer was, I was waiting for my husband to fix his problems. To my eye, his problems seemed heavier than mine. I was praying to God to speak to my husband’s heart and motivate him to change. Finally God said to me:
God: What are you doing to fix you?
Me: Wait…What? I don’t have anything to fix, do I?
God: Um, yea, ya do. Are you serving your husband, or judging him?
Me: Okay, God. I get it.
From that point on, my whole thought process changed. I started to ask God to point things out in MY life that I needed to improve or change. The list was long, by the way! I asked for his daily guidance and I asked how I could be a blessing to my husband. I spent a lot of time in Proverbs 31 and learned how to be a wife that my husband could be proud of. One who served her husband, took care of her household, raised her children with love and sought out to help others. I quit making my husband my ministry. Instead I made myself my ministry. I’ve said this in a previous post, but I now focus on being an example to my husband instead of being the nagging wife telling him what to change and how to do it. It’s the old adage, actions speak louder than words.
Please keep in mind this was not easy at first! For over 15 years I expected my husband to be my everything, as well as being perfectly pleasing to God. I struggled with “who was gonna make ME happy”. A lot! But the more I showed love and kindness to him on purpose, it really started to make me feel good. I was making myself happy by providing joy to my husband. I was, and still am obeying God’s command to serve my husband and being rewarded in tremendous ways.
I was a score keeper, too. If he did something that hurt my feelings, I’d do something to hurt him. If he forgot my birthday, I’d be sure to “forget” his, but also remind him that he had forgotten mine. That all had to go. No more keeping records of wrongs. I continue to treat him as I want to be treated and I am “wronged” less and less each day. Think about it this way, is it more important at the end of the day to be right or more important to be loved and give love to your husband? I threw the score card out & chose love.
And what about God’s purpose for me? Well, in hindsight I think God put me through that tough season of my life so I could write about it right here and share it with you all. I can help you learn from my mistakes or I can sympathize with you because I’ve been there. But most important of all, I can show you how well it turned out in the end by just listening to God and taking the focus off my husband and turning it on myself.
Dear Lord, help us to keep our faith placed in You. Remind us that You are working in each one of us, even though we cannot see it, we can be certain of it. Help us as wives to respect our husbands and serve them as best we can. Keep us from judging them. Keep us from trying to fix them or make them our own personal ministry. We know we need to leave them to You, but sometimes we are impatient and try to do things in our time, which only hinders Your plan. This is why it is so important for us to meditate on Hebrews 11:1 and to keep our faith placed in You and be certain You are doing Your work in them, as well as in us. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen.
Dineen said that men need respect and some even equate it with love. I read this to my husband and asked him what his definition of respect is. He told me “kindness.” He said that just the act of me being kind to him made him feel I respected him. For your assignment today, I want you to ask your husband his definition of respect and list it below. At home, take that definition and USE it! If it’s kindness, be more kind. If it’s not questioning or judging him, don’t question or judge. I’m excited for you to see how much of a blessing this will bring to your marriage!
For the “Winning Him Without Words” Bible Study, you will need the book, your Bible, pen or pencil, a highlighter and a quiet place. You can order the book right through our website by clicking the “sign-up here” button at the top of our webpage; which is also where you can sign up to participate in this awesome bible study!