God has brought His Word to life for me today in such a specific way. I want to share with you how last month He convicted me, led me to obedience, blessed that obedience and then reassured me in His Word today that He is in control. I am overcome with His goodness. I just spent time, after this great teaching happened, laughing and crying. Tears were streaming but I was also joyously laughing at the amazing love God pours on me. He truly is love. Grace and love and power are just a few of His attributes I was able to see today. He is always all of these things.
Let’s start with last month when I was convicted that I really needed to tread carefully in how I was speaking to my husband about his work. It was a “tear down vs. build up” lesson that God has been teaching me and spotlighting this year. The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. Proverbs 14:1. I decided, by God’s leading, that I would no longer mention or coerce or give my (negative) opinion on the amount of time and energy he gave to work. It used to look like this, “You are taking on too much. You are doing things that you don’t have to do. You are bringing your work home and never really being present, etc…” No change happened. Is that a surprise to anyone? I had preconceived notions of what I thought his time at home should look like and how he should manage his time and what and when he should do what and when. Those of you that know my planning and over planning tendencies can see this being an accurate depiction right?? So my new way, God’s way to speak to my husband about work is this, “Thank you for working so hard for us. Thank you for going above and beyond to provide for us. I appreciate all the many things you do for this family.” About two weeks ago I purposefully started speaking these words of truth to build him up instead of the negative words of destruction. We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor,(or husband in this case), for his good, to build him up. Romans 15:1-2. Now wait for it. Change happened! Most importantly in me, not my husband, but yes there was change in him also.
First, I began to see that my husband is under so much pressure. He is teaching several classes, he is the director of a new department, he is on several committees, and on top of all that he is a student getting his doctorate. He takes on all this to provide for us and takes on extra volunteer responsibilities at work on committees and such to establish himself among his peers and bosses. So much pressure. He needs no more from me. After my speech changed, he changed. He was so intentional about getting little projects done around the house. He redid my entire bathroom after it had been sitting with a hole in the drywall for a year. Now it is finished and beautiful and he even added special personal touches hanging on the wall. For three days in a row now he has come home, eaten dinner with us, and not taken his computer out of his bag once. No answering emails or texts. He has been home with us, playing, being a family. God can change my husband’s heart. The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it whenever He will. Proverbs 21:1. On this same note, last month God reminded me that He can use my husband to change me. God can use him to sanctify me. My husband isn’t a believer, but God is still my God and he is my husband and His design for our marriage is the same as anyone else. The above verse reminds me of that. God can change my husband’s heart and in this case He changed it in response to my changing attitude. God is so good!
Now here comes the part that I was overcome by. I am doing a bible study and the section I did today was called Building Up or Tearing Down. The very lesson I had received earlier in the month from God, I was now reading about and every scripture I was now reading was confirming the work God had done. The scriptures that I am referring to today are all from this study and they all applied to my situation that happened earlier in the month. God’s timing is spot on perfect, every time. He knows what we need, when we need it and He sure does write an amazing story in our lives!! The verse that I read that immediately caused the tears and joy filled laughing was Proverbs 18:22 – He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. When I read that word favor, I realized God is doing a good thing in my husband. He is doing an amazing work in our marriage. Every good work He is doing, every promise He is keeping, every conviction of my sin, every time He works and softens my heart in obedience is preparing us to bear much fruit in our marriage and that will glorify God and that is what all of this is for! God is the ONLY way our marriage is working and thriving. My husband doesn’t believe in God. The gravity of that hits me sometimes but then, like today, I am reminded of the power of God that is greater and more powerful than anything and my God is working on my husband. I love being able to see that. I pray that our marriage is already glorifying God by his great power and grace and anticipate how much even more so it will bear fruit when my husband knows and loves God and Jesus Christ as his savior. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3. Most importantly this marriage, what God is doing in my heart, how He convicts me and uses my marriage is preparing me for the day I am with my Lord, my King, for eternity. My eyes are lifted to that truth. That, above all else, is what matters.