In my marriage, the Lord frequently explains a hidden matter to me before he reveals it to my husband, Jason. Here are some examples:
- I told Jason that a difficult time our son was going through was spiritual in nature for two months before he took my words to heart.
- When Jason was reserving a hotel room at a special rate, he ignored the fine print that said the price was good for a family of four (we are a family of seven). I told him he needed to tell the hotel employees our family size, but he opted not to until a few weeks later when we checked in.
- When Jason shared with me that he thought our biological family was to be complete after baby number four, I knew without a doubt that the Lord desired to bless us with more children.
Over the years I have become quite prideful about this pattern that has developed. I have assumed that my walk with God is more mature than my husband’s (which is not the case at all). I have found myself taking credit for the Lord’s work in my husband’s life and assuming that Jason and I eventually see eye to eye on things only because of my powerful words and compelling arguments. The Lord must need me to be his voice of reason to my husband. The arrogance I secretly possess is truly appalling!
- My husband, seeking prayer, mentioned our son’s unusual behaviors at a men’s retreat. Two other men, who didn’t know me personally and hadn’t heard my opinions on the matter, concluded that something demonic was going on in our son’s life, and they spoke to my husband about it. My words may have been confirmed to Jason in those moments, but it was the counsel of other men that brought my husband to the same conclusion.
- Jason didn’t feel convicted to share with the hotel staff our family size at the time of making the reservation, but he did when checking into the hotel. When I asked him why he had a change of heart, I expected him to tell me that he began to see the truth in my words. His answer, however, was that a church leadership meeting inspired his desire to be full of integrity in every area of his life.
- And on the final issue, I completed five full days of fasting before the Lord showed up. I was begging God to unify Jason and me regarding family size, and I was expecting the Lord to change one of our hearts. However, he made it clear that he wanted me to bring my desire for a fifth child to him and not to my husband. The answer to my prayers for a miracle came through a learning experience. I was to quit talking to my husband about the matter and instead talk to God. A month later, it was God who changed my husband’s heart on the matter.
I was humbled this week as I reflected on the truth of these circumstances. First God pointed out all of my pride that I previously could not see. Then he said,
“The reason I share things with you first is because you need to learn to trust me.”
Whoa! Within a few minutes I went from assuming I was walking so closely with the Lord that I knew all of his secrets to realizing that he is working on my heart. In each of the examples above, I struggled in my faith and marriage as I waited for Jason and me to reach an agreement. I would cry and ask the Lord why he wasn’t performing a miracle in the situation when, in reality, the Lord wanted to perform a miracle in my faith. I would criticize Jason for not listening to God (even accusing him of backsliding) when, in reality, my amazing husband was waiting for the Lord to move on his heart rather than letting me bully him.
If I had known the truth before each of the situations I mentioned above, I would have trusted the Lord to change Jason at the proper time and in the proper way, and I could have relaxed. But instead I was frantic and stressed, assuming I had to do the Holy Spirit’s job. I could have trusted, but instead I chose to control.
Here’s the question: the next time Jason and I face a similar situation, will I use that opportunity to grow in my faith and learn to trust, or will I pridefully assume I’m in charge of changing my husband?
Have you ever assumed that your spouse’s heart needed to change but then had God reveal that YOU needed to change?
I encourage you to be careful with your assumptions so that you don’t miss out on what the Lord might want to do in your life.