Are you in a season within your marriage where you’re feeling battle-weary? Do you feel like you’ve done everything you can, you’ve prayed with everything you’ve got…and still, your husband is making choices that are extremely disappointing? First, I want to say my heart goes out to you. You are definitely in a desert place. But I want to encourage you to take a different perspective.
You see, my husband and I were talking recently about the ripple effect of our lives. We may work and work to make a difference with a specific person (such as your husband), and feel greatly discouraged if we see no change. But here’s the thing, OTHER people are watching how you’re handling this challenge in your marriage. Perhaps you have children, and they are watching. Maybe your mother-in-law is watching. It could be that one of your friends is being affected by how you are dealing with this situation. As you strive to reflect Jesus in your marriage, others are drawn to Christ. This is the essence of Matthew 5:16 which says “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
I know it’s tempting to feel defeated, but please realize that you ARE making a difference in the lives around you. If you are respectfully, but firmly, drawing a line on immoral behavior in your marriage, you are blessing your children by providing a great role model for how a wife should act. If your mother-in-law is an unbeliever, she may be attracted to the “Jesus” she sees in you. Your efforts to be a shining light for Jesus do have a ripple effect….and that’s worth it!
It’s so very easy to sink into self-pity, despair or flat-out depression when life throws you a curve ball. It happens when you receive bad medical news or when your husband does something hurtful or when your child starts following the wrong crowd or when your get laid off at work.
However, you do have a choice in how you’re going to view this sudden development. You can choose to feel sorry for yourself and become consumed with resentment and hopelessness….or you can choose to do three much more productive things! You can choose to make the most of your hardship by….
- Praying without ceasing for God to intervene in the situation (read Luke 18:1-8)
- Seeking guidance from God on what possible actions you should take to improve the situation (read Psalm 32:8)
- Asking God what He wants you to learn through this situation so that you grow in character and faith (read Romans 5:3-5)
— or view this topic as a 4 minute VIDEO HERE
In our marriage and in all our relationships, we will face challenges. In response, we often wring our hands in despair, get mad at God, sink into depression, lash out at people around us, get really grouchy, and on and on. We act as if we’re surprised that we’ve encountered heartache and trials. Well, here’s a news flash for you. Trouble is normal and to be expected. After all, Jesus says in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble“. Drat.
However, God has a plan to do something wonderful in the middle of our challenges…if we decide to move out of despair and self-pity. God wants to teach us something. He doesn’t waste any opportunities for our personal growth! In the middle of our suffering, God gives us the choice to either wallow in depression or contemplate what He might be trying to teach us. Romans 5:3-5 sums this up well: “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
The choice is yours. You can stay mired in despair if you want to, or you can anticipate a time of great personal growth and shaping of your character. Could God be teaching you patience, or perhaps teaching you to be courageous in confronting abuse, or maybe teaching you to help and comfort others who share a similar heartache? Maybe the Lord simply wants to teach you to draw even closer to Him and to trust in Him completely.
— or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO HERE