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Sometimes the love and grace that I often extend to others I don’t always extend to my husband.
Buried beneath all the pain of past hurts, past broken promises, past unforgiveness, are the resemblance of my broken heart.
Which often-times manifest itself in the things that I say about my husband.
The things I do for my husband.
The way I treat my husband.
My actions towards my husband.
And sometimes they are exhibited unfairly.
I admit that more often than not my actions are unwarranted.
But let me be clear, he isn’t perfect, far from it, but neither am I.
No perfect people here!
We both have things we need to change within ourselves, within our hearts, and within our minds.
And more importantly there are things we need to surrender to God.
I often think about how God views my responses, my words, my actions, and even, my thoughts towards my husband.
I’m certain He isn’t pleased, but mercifully understands my pain.
Even in the midst of pain and immense suffering often attributed by the hands of others, aren’t we supposed to forgive?
Didn’t the Lord say in His Holy Word that we are to forgive others as we were forgiven?
Why do I hold on so tightly to resentment?
Why do I allow the enemy to continue to steal my joy?
Why do I allow the enemy to hold so tightly to my bruised heart with a force so tight that only God can release his grip?
Even when I see my husband trying, I find myself questioning his sincerity, which quickly diminishes his efforts.
But then there are times when I see that he isn’t trying very hard.
When hints of past hurts are blatantly splashed across my face.
When words are thrown at me like a twirling knife, tumbling through the air that cuts deep within my heart and soul.
Then I ask God how am I supposed to surrender our marriage over to Him when every evidence of restoration isn’t often visible?
Do I hurt?
Do I want to forgive?
Is it possible to forgive?
I have to ask the question again, have I honestly surrendered our marriage into the hands of the Lord?
I thought I had.
When I think I have surrendered, I must surrender more!
Why do I often allow myself to continue to condemn my husband?
We all know the answer to that, right!
I’m unpleasantly aware that the enemy would like nothing more than to destroy our marriage.
He will stop at nothing to accomplish his goal.
In fact that’s his ultimate goal.
To steal, kill and destroy by whatever means possible.
He will even go as far as to use manipulation.
He will manipulate my mind into believing his lies and focusing on things that aren’t true.
And in effect when I act on them, I have failed myself, I have failed my husband, And I have failed God.
How do I combat the fiery darts that are relentlessly thrown at me?
Do I continue to trust in my own self will and abilities or do I trust in God?
So, I’ll ask myself the question again, have I truly surrendered it all over to Him?
Admittedly, not fully.
One moment I’m laying it all at His feet and the next I’m picking it back up again.
Do I want to fully surrender?
Yes, so very desperately!
I’m desperate for the Lord to be the center of our marriage union. I’m desperate for restoration in our marriage. I’m desperate for healing in our marriage. I’m desperate for transformation in our marriage. I’m desperate for forgiveness in our marriage. I’m desperate for soundness in our marriage. I’m desperate for unity in our marriage. I’m desperate for peace in our marriage. I’m desperate for the Lord to be the foundation of our marriage. I’m desperate for everything the Lord has to give us in regards to our marriage.
It is the cry of my wounded heart.
Can we ever get to that place?
Can we ever move past the brokenness?
We don’t have to be broken together do we?
Can’t we be whole together?
Can’t we find completeness in Christ, together?
Is life hard?
Is marriage hard?
I’m not the first to admit it, am I ?
Then what do we do?
How do we proceed?
Do we give up?
Do we throw in the towel so to speak?
Do we say we’re done?
Giving up on each other isn’t the solution.
We keep pressing onward. We keep putting one foot in front of the other. We keep praying and seeking the face of God. We continue to put our trust over our marriage into the hands of God. We cry out to Him when we need Him. We continually ask God to help us. We continually ask Him to show us ways that we can do better. We continually ask Him to show us how we can become a better spouse to one another. We continually ask Him to reveal those things that we need to change within ourselves. We continually ask Him to show us the areas where we are failing each other and how to improve on them.
Will we fall short?
Yes, at times we may.
Does God expect us to always get it all right?
He knows that as long as we walk in this freshly body that we will have trouble, trials, tribulation,temptation, affliction, and the list goes on.
But I have found assurance in these two words…
But God promises to be with us. But God promises to walk with us. But God promises to comfort us. But God promises to lead us. But God promises to instruct us. But God promises to guide us. But God promises to teach us.
But God promises to direct us in the lessons we can learn from Scripture that will show us how we can exemplify the marriage union after His will for us.
But God promises to reveal in us how important it is to build our marriage on a strong foundation on the things of God.
But God promises to convey the significance of being patient, kind and loving with our spouses, and to show us how to be attentive, avoid resentment, anger, blame, jealousy, or becoming indifferent or boastful in our own achievements.
But God promises to remind us of our obligation to our spouses to be thoughtful, respectful, and forgiving towards one another.
But God promises that when we resolve to put Him first in every aspect, and at the center of our marriage, with our dependence fully in Him and Him alone, we can and will overcome anything, even our marriages.
But God promises in our willingness to surrender our lives, heart and marriages over to Him, then He can and will bless the marriage union in ways one could never have imagined.
But God promises that …“We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37 NKJV)
But God! But God! But God!
When all seems impossible, there is always… But God! When all feels hopeless, there is always… But God! When all appears lost, there is always… But God! When all looks unrepairable, there is always… But God!
But God … is the good news of God Almighty, Himself.
It’s His answer to every challenge,every situation, every difficulty,every sadness,every burden,every adversity to mention a few.
The enemy doesn’t have the final word concerning our marriage, But God… does!
I’ve finally surrendered my marriage over to the Lord!
After so many years of fighting our differences I have laid it all down at the feet of Jesus.
I’m handing it all over to Him.
In prayer I am surrendering my marriage over to God and opening my heart and hands in representation of the release of my marriage to Him.
I’m exchanging the pain, heartache and wondering what the future might hold for our marriage for God’s good and perfect will for our marriage.
In Proverbs 3:5-7 the Lord instructs us to ….”Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”
Here the Lord is saying that we cannot do this by our own self will and abilities, but we must trust in the Lord and ask for His strength.
If we put our trust in Him, He promises to remove the obstacles that are a hindrance to our marriage and straighten the stressful path.
When we give our marriage over to the Lord and fully trust in Him with the understanding that our marriage is a gift from Him, it can bring God glory and ourselves joy when we surrender our marriage to Him.
He already knows what’s broken and needs mending.
He knows what is good and worthy of nurturing and protecting.
He knows the time that we have invested in our marriage is worth preserving.
He knows the things that I need to improve on.
He knows the things that my husband needs to improve on.
He knows what I need to change in order to be a Godly wife that nurtures and respects my husband.
He knows what my husband needs to change in order to be a Godly man that nurtures and respects me as His wife as well.
I am allowing the Lord to lead me in the areas that need correcting.
I understand that I have made many errors in our relationship.
We both have.
I am asking the Lord to make me aware of those past mistakes so that I do not continue to make them.
I am praying the same for my husband, however I will have to leave his part of surrendering his past mistakes into the hands of the Lord.
I cannot do the work for my husband. He has to be willing to do the work of restoration and healing on behalf of our marriage as well.
I am trusting God, and allowing Him to transform our marriage.
I know our marriage isn’t perfect.
Actually it’s far from it.
Whose marriage is perfect?
Marriage takes work! A lot of work!
Yes, there have been enormous heartbreaks, words we can’t take back, unwise decisions and choices that can’t be undone, and years wasted on trying to change one another.
If I’ve learned anything along this journey as a married couple, it is this,
You can’t take away the pain by adding more pain.
You can’t take away the bitterness by adding more bitterness.
You can’t take away those hurtful words by adding more hurtful words.
You can’t take away the unwise choices by adding more unwise choices.
You can’t take away those wrong decisions by adding more wrong decisions.
You can’t take away the bad behavior by adding more bad behavior.
You can’t offer forgiveness if you are unwilling to forgive one another yourselves.
We both have to be willing to change.
We both have to be willing to forgive.
We both have to be willing to do better.
We both have to be willing to have a desire to do better.
We both have to resolve to change those habits that we have become so accustomed to during our marriage.
We both have our annoying habits.
We both get angry.
We both say things we don’t really mean.
We both have done things we wish we could take back.
We both have uttered words we wish we could take back.
But even amidst all that seemed to have gone wrong along the way, there is still so much that has gone right.
My husband gets me and I get him.
I understand him and he understands me.
We kind of just click in certain areas and those are the things that make us perfect for each other and cause us to enjoy one another’s company.
He knows my moods and I know his.
He cares about the things that I care about.
I care about the things he cares about.
He accepts me for who I am.
I accept him for who he is.
He loves me for who I am.
I love him for who he is.
Can we do better? Yes!
Are there things we should do better? Yes!
There are always those opportunities to improve and make our relationship stronger.
Can we open our hearts and resolve to stop the fighting and bickering with one another?
Can we take our broken hearts and place them into the hands of the one who can piece them back together again?
Can we learn how to forgive one another?
Scripture reminds us in Colossians 3:13: “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man has a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you.”
May we learn how to exhibit patience, love and forgiveness towards one another.
Not only for the heartbreak, the hurtful words, the unwise decisions, bad choices, or the wasted years trying to make each other into someone we’re not, but maybe we could forgive one another for wanting to make our marriage into what we wanted it to be, and not necessarily what God wants it to be.
Maybe if we could forgive ourselves for forgetting what it means to become one flesh, as the Lord intended and is reflected in the Godly union of man and woman.
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24 KJV)
God intended for man and woman to share the immense depth and love of their one-flesh union.
In the creation of both man and woman He understood that we would have differences.
It is important to understand that those differences weren’t designed to restrict us, divide us, separate us, or cause us to oppose and be set against one another. On the contrary, they’re meant to embody, unify and bring us together into closer bonds with each other.
Marriage is a partnership and both have to be willing to do the work.
Both the easy and the hard!
There will be times of difficulty, trials, grief, loss, sorrow, health related issues and even financial uphills that we must battle, but if we are willing to stay connected, support, respect and love one another through everything we endure, while allowing God’s sustaining power to strengthen us, there is nothing that we cannot achieve together.
I understand that our marriage isn’t past the point of unrepairable.
Yes, we both have flaws and imperfections that should be addressed.
We both have selfishness, apathy and pride buried deep within our hearts that needs conquered, but God is perfectly able to bring transformation into those areas and exceedingly far more.
God’s Word, Power and Truth can revitalize what appears to be a hopeless situation and make it joyous, blissful and satisfying.
God has the power to restore our marriage.
Nothing is too difficult for the Lord.
“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
When we resolve to release our marriage into the Lord’s faithful hands, that is when we can confidently declare that there is nothing too hard for those who put their hope and trust in Him.
God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine in our hearts and in our marriage.
Therefore, in my surrender, I will keep looking to God, praying, trusting, and thanking Him for my husband and for my marriage.
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of my husband and marriage. I humbly surrender myself and my marriage into Your loving hands and Your sovereignity. Give me the wisdom and the desire to daily seek to be a godly example of what a wife should be to her husband. Lord, help me to always live intentionally for You and by Your Word and by making You the center of our marriage. Give me the yearning and strength to be the kind of wife You want me to be and not who I want to be. Transform my mind, my heart and my thinking and make me into the person that is perfectly suited into the plan You have for my husband and our marriage. In Jesus’ name, Amen..
What is that hard thing that God is asking you to surrender?
Pray to God and ask Him to reveal it to you. We need His direction over our lives and even our marriages, for without it we wonder helplessly!
“O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.” —Philippians 4:6
As I look at my youngest son, my heart secretly wishes that these moments, in the here and now, could last just a little longer.
I quietly whisper to myself, Son, I’m not ready for you to grow up so fast.
Maybe, just maybe, you could slow down so that my Mama heart could have a chance to catch up.
Could you do me a favor?
As you grow could you promise to never lose…
Your sweetness Your tenderness Your loving & compassionate heart Your contagious giggles & laughter Your sense of wonder Your joyful essence Your kindhearted spirit Your humorous character Your creativity Your thoughtfulness Your considerate nature Your unselfishness Your generosity Your positive personality Your caring & gentleness Your love & affection Your love for Jesus And so much more …
In the meantime, could you help Mommy to hold onto your littleness for just a while longer?
For now, help Mommy to cherish all of …
Your little hands holding mine Your butterfly kisses Your lovable hugs Your I love you Mommys Your I need you Mommys Your Mommy you’re my everythings.
Oh, how I want to hold onto these moments forever, but I know that I must let go and allow you to grow, learn, develop, mature and become the man that God created you to be.
In the Christian circle, jealousy is not something you talk about.
Not openly, anyway.
It is preferred to be kept silent, hidden and not expressed to those who might judge you for actually having feelings of jealousy towards another.
Especially, if you claim the title of a Christian.
However, you cannot hide how you feel, even if you tried.
There is that old saying, “Faith over Feelings.”
I agree with that statement, however you cannot run, hide and pretend that your feelings don’t exist.
All that will do is cause you more harm than good.
God knows you are going to have feelings.
Some good feelings and some bad.
There is nothing wrong with having feelings.
It is all part of being human.
What is wrong is when you don’t own up to them and take responsibility for them.
That is the first step.
The next step is to take those unwanted feelings before the Lord.
Be honest with Him.
You are not hiding anything from Him that He doesn’t already know so just confess and talk to Him about them.
Allow Him to heal you from those unwanted feelings and ask Him to show you how to become more confident in who you are in Him
Ask Him to show you ways in which you can drive out these envious thoughts.
You can do this in so many ways.
Some examples are:
• Stay in His Word.
• Pray continually to God.
• Talk to Him like you would your best friend, because He is.
• Never forget the Lord’s great love for you.
• Know that your true identity is in Christ Jesus.
• Put on worship music and praise Him for who He is.
• Lift up your voice and proclaim the great things that He has done and will do for you.
• Know you are uniquely and wonderfully made in God’s own image.
• Stay in a mindful state of gratitude; which will drive out envy.
• Look for ways to celebrate the blessings of others.
• Welcome the simple act of having a giving heart which will free you from thoughts of envy.
• Express how you are feeling with other believers.
• Listen to sound advice from other believers on how you might be able to overcome those feelings of jealousy towards someone else.
If you try to pretend that those feelings are not there, brush them off, condemn yourself for having them, then you are essentially denying your feelings and that can detrimental to your health and emotional well being.
Lets face it, we have all felt jealousy towards another individual at some point in our lives.
We have compared ourselves in so many ways it can be hard to keep track of them all.
If you say that you haven’t felt jealousy or envy toward another, then chances are that you are not being honest with yourself and you are certainly not being honest with God.
I know that as a Christian having feelings of jealousy towards another is not something we want to carry around within our hearts and spirits.
It is a heavy weight and a burden that we want removed, and removed swiftly.
I myself want my attitude to be one of encouragement when I see others; especially other Christians, accomplishing great things in God’s Kingdom work.
I want to stand proud and cheer them on with gladness and purity of heart.
But sometimes, the flesh takes precedence over our emotions and feelings and we just can’t seem to feel in the way we hoped we would.
That is when we need to take it before the Lord.
Even in our shame we can still lay it at His feet.
He will lift it and carry the weight of it for you.
Psalms 55:22 says –“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
This should be a tremendous encouragement to all true Believers.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there!
1 Peter 5:6-7 says –“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
Go before the Lord in humility and seek His counsel.
He will not stir you wrongfully.
Trust Him and let him lift your burdens.
Jesus said we could cast all of our cares on him because he cares for us!
There is nothing we are going through that we cannot cast on the Lord.
God cares for what concerns you.
I understand how difficult it can be to avoid the trappings that the enemy so cleverly persuades upon the human heart.
James 4:7 reminds us to –“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Remember Satan was defeated at the cross. He has no authority over Christians.
1 Peter 5:8-9 is a beautiful reminder to –“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”
Every true believer has faced or will face the onslaught of the evil one so we must stay mentally self-controlled, awake and watchful at all times.
This battle is not yours, it is the Lords!
Remember in 2 Chronicles 20:15, which plainly states – “…Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”
Allow the Lord to fight for you.
If we try to fight the battle on our terms, we will lose; if we fight the battle on His terms, we will win.
Remember beloved, as long as we walk in this fleshly body, we will be tempted.
We will be tempted in mind, body, and in spirit.
Our feelings and emotions are not immune to the devices of Satan.
In fact, that is how he accomplishes the majority of His evil schemes.
Don’t allow shame and condemnation to filtrate into your soul and spirits.
Remember what God’s Holy Word tells us in Romans 8 –“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
But even against all of our greatest efforts, the enemy will faithfully and without any resistance, continually remind us of our past failures, mistakes, and misgivings.
This is done so that we will continue to feel shame, regret, and guilt.
Remember that it is only our sin that is condemned and Jesus has set us free.
Remain steadfast and allow His love, grace and mercy to pour over you each and every day.
This will prevent you from having envious thoughts that will only cloud your mind, heart and spirit.
Give thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit within us to convict us of sin and turn us back to Christ Jesus.
Be not forgetful, Christ already fought the battle and won, and did so at the Cross.
By doing that, the Holy Spirit has guaranteed us victory through Christ.
Pray this Prayer
Dear Lord, We come before You, and ask that you purify our hearts and minds. Remove from our spirits those unwanted thoughts of envy and jealousy. We know that these feelings that so often accompany us along our journey are not pleasing to You. We want desperately to walk with sincerity, love and holiness. Help us, Lord, to uplift, encourage and edify other Christians as they diligently and faithfully go about Your Kingdom work. Strengthen and guard us against the evil one, Lord! Let Your peace and Your Word be our shield of faith that repels us against our unwarranted emotions and feelings of inadequacy. Remind us of who we are in You- beloved and cherished, forgiven and free. Bring your life and peace into each of our days and help us to walk righteously. Empower us to overcome a spirit of jealousy and the condemnation that often stricken us from accomplishing the plans that You have for us. May we forever grow in Your truth, grace, and love. We ask this in Jesus’ precious Name, Amen
In His Love, Tina ♡
* Some Expositor Notes were paraphrased and taken from -JSM Expositor’s Study Bible – KJV
When I think about all that I have been through, All the pain, all the heartache, and all the suffering, Nights of tear soaked pillows, All the mistakes I have made, And will make, Feeling like a failure In everything, Never quite measuring up, Defeat etched into my mind, Self worth all but diminished, Feeling abandoned, Unloved,
I am comforted by the assurance that through it all God was there.
Even now I have immense battles that I am desperately trying to conquer, Enormous struggles that no one knows about, Trying hard not to be what everyone else wants me to be, But to just be me. Longing for the wisdom And strength to make wise decisions, Reaching, but never quite grasping, what I was created to be. Wanting desperately to be freed from the toxic relationships that bind me.
Through it all, Even Still, God is there, Seeing my through.
Though my life isn’t what I had hoped it would be, I have never given up. I will never give up. Taking each day as a lesson, Watching, waiting, trusting, seeking and learning all that God is teaching me along this journey.. Holding nothing back and laying it all at His feet.. Letting go, Allowing Him to teach me, To lead me, To guide me, Filling me with His wisdom, His strength, His courage, Helping me to face each day anew. Loving me as His precious child, Renewing my mind, soul and spirit with His Truth, Instilling in me a new found confidence to rise above the challenges and the struggles, To claim victory over my life.
He has given me the life-giving keys that I need to free me from the things that keep me bound. The keys are hidden in His Word (the Bible) empowered by prayer, and completed by the work of His Holy Spirit living in me, Giving me a newfound freedom and a hope so that I may share it with others, Not only so that I may find my own way, but in the hopes that others might find theirs. He has called me out of the darkness To be a bright and shining light for and to others.
I find peace and rest in knowing that through it all He was there, Is there still, In the midst of it all. My rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower (Psalms 18:2 ).. My ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1).. He fights for me continuously,
Never once have I ever been alone. Even at times when I felt alone He was there, Comforting me with His love and presence.
He is here, Even Now, Speaking to my heart. When I silently listen, In stillness I hear, He says softly that I am worthy, I am loved, I am cherished, I am valued, I am forgiven, I am redeemed, And I am His. And He is mine.
God has promised that He will never leave or forsake His children.
Knowing the Omnipresence of God, He is everywhere and He comes to us wherever and whenever we call on Him.
“I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.” ~ Psalms 17:6 KJV
Words can’t adequately express just how eternally grateful I am for His love, mercy and grace.
Thank you, Lord, for loving me so, And for making me your child. I choose to walk the rest of my days in Your truth, Knowing that, through it all, You are there Walking beside me.
Your beloved daughter.
I wrote this several years ago and although my relationship with the Lord has deepened to a greater degree, this still holds true today.
Through it all, Even Still, God is there, Seeing my through.