When you’re spiritually mismatched
For nearly a decade now, she had braved a marital rollercoaster. From the sound of it, her husband’s desire for Christ collided with significant dysfunctions from his past and present.
She wasn’t guiltless. She explained her contributions to the tense, complicated situation. But her husband wasn’t anywhere near wanting to honor God in their relationship.
I stood there, hand to forehead, praying out loud for her. The magnitude of her burden consumed me. I remembered the God who ardently watched and cared for a discarded Hagar in the Canaanite wilderness—“the God who sees,” she called Him (Genesis 16:13).
And I thought of the choices my friend made over and over in the nitty-gritty moments of life: when she was asking about his day, for example. Or disciplining their boys. Or folding his socks again.
In a thousand decisions, she’d be resolving to love her husband as God has loved her. He set aside His rights, status, all the love and honor He deserved. He wrapped Himself in every reality of serving us...to the point of death.
She may not be able to thrive in the harmony of teamwork with her husband. She may be infrequently respected and appreciated. Her needs and longings may not be met, and her dreams may not unfold to reality. She will be offering her body to a person with whom she doesn’t feel wholly connected or known.
She’s looking at a long, slow obedience. It’s more important than ever that she seek out friendships (which may, themselves, fail her) to surround herself with vital community.
Any marriage offers occasions on an everyday basis to say, “I choose you. I set aside what I need—or want or deserve—for you.” And God sees what is done in secret (Matthew 6:4, Matthew 6:6). It positions us to cry out for God’s unique, stick-to-your-ribs love and strength as we, day following day, immerse ourselves and our wills in marriages between broken people who never love perfectly.
He’s been in aching relationships with broken people—and drew His bride, the church, with relentless kindness.
Click here for “10 Ideas: Prayers for an Unbelieving Spouse.”
The good stuff: So [Hagar] called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” (Genesis 16:13)
Action points: Pray for the spiritual thirst of your spouse: “One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORDall the days of my life“ (Psalm 27:4).
If you’re in a spiritually mismatched marriage, hide yourself right now in the truth that God sees you, nurtures you, and provides for you as your ultimate Husband (see Isaiah 54:5).
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