Fighting is unheard of in our home. I can think of a handful of arguments in our entire Marriage. Let me explain.
I can’t say Bud and I ever had a “Honeymoon” period. Is that odd?
Our love story began in an odd place.
I was recently divorced and he was a good friend to me.
I was hopeless and scared. He was funny and trustworthy.
The 1st marriage was filled with love, naivety and betrayal. I swore to never let that happen again. It hurts too much when a con artist takes advantage of a starry eyed girl…
In this Marriage, instead of fighting, we ignore the issues… and grow apart.
Believe me when I say 2 people with as much baggage as us certainly have issues! We both dislike conflict. Both were filled with paralyzing fear of failure. We come from divorced families and had no earthly idea how to do this Christian Marriage Thing in a lasting way.
Several times in a little over a decade of Marriage we have wanted to quit. Marriage is hard work. It’s harder still when you don’t know what to do differently. Add to that the pride that refuses to ask for help… The fact that we are still Married is a Miracle from God. Praise His Name!
A few years ago I was sure we would be divorced. God began to give me a burden to pray.
You see, I wanted to fight for our marriage, but he had given up… so would not fight along side me. God showed me I could begin fighting both defensively (about the issues I could see and feel) and offensively (about the issues that were hiding) – In Prayer
Prayer seems like a passive activity doesn’t it?!?!?!
In truth, prayer is the most powerful weapon we have as Disciples of Christ. As Christian’s we are called to pursue Biblical Wifehood. That means we must search the Bible to know how to be wives. The bible says we are to pray -more than 300 times! That’s a lot! Here is a link to some of my favorites.
Prayer is crucial to Biblical Wifehood
Can I be honest with you? My prayers were a hot mess to start with. I had no idea what I was doing wrong, but I felt like they were hitting a brick wall! Do you ever feel that way?
The problem was 2 fold.
- I spent most of the time talking – whining to God really.
- I got so angry -while praying- that I left the prayer time feeling worse than when I began.
Then I took the study The Battle Plan for Prayer by the Kendrick Brothers. That study completely changed my prayer life!
In it I learned 4 Powerful Prayer Strategies that Dramatically Changed My Marriage! And they did!!!!!!!!
1. The Power Praying Specifically -Defensive Fighting
I had been praying such generic prayers. Help me God, Change Him God, I need you Lord. Save our marriage. All were prayers, but they were not specific.
I began taking a journal into my prayer time. I started by asking God what the issues were that had me so angry. As they came to mind I made a list. Simple, and I then felt like I had something to wrap my arms around. I could make a battle strategy with a list!
Do you need some encouragement to keep pressing into that Daily Commitment to your Marriage? We could all use a community to help us in Reclaiming Hope & Joy in our marriages!
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2. The Power of Praying Scripture – Defensive Fighting
Don’t laugh, but the next step is far from “Spiritual”. I took the lists and searched Google for Bible verses about each thing. The internet can be a powerful tool when used for good!
- Google gave lots of pages that were filled with verses. Some were filled with commentaries… I tucked those back for later.
- I read through the verses -and the surrounding text to see what was actually addressing my problem. It is too easy to take scripture out of context. Be sure to take your time here.
- Then I chose 2 or 3 verses for each thing on my list and wrote the verses out.
The Study also taught me how to turn the verse into a prayer. Praying things that God says in the Bible is powerful. And if it’s in his word (in context) then it’s in His will! He answers those prayers in such powerful ways!
James 4:2-3 YOu do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
3. The Power of Scheduling Prayer – Offensive Fighting
This next step really helped me with the anger problem. I set a scheduled time to meet with God.
- I still come to God in the heat of the moment – I believe He is okay with my emotions and my immediate need.
- But when I bring it back to Him in a calm place at our scheduled time I gain such insight.
So I take my list – at our Scheduled time -and pray through the scriptures about each thing in my list.
Over time, my list grew. I wish it would shrink, but I am convinced that dealing with these things with God is making a lasting difference in our Marriage!
I now have a separate list for each day of the week. That allows 10 – 20 minutes per day in prayer. Literally reading through lists to God. Praying Scripture over each thing in the list.
That may sound to systematic for you. Like putting God into a Box, and honestly, it did start that way.
But, as I began praying scripture, consistently, God came into that space and began helping me get past the Anger. He began healing the hurt and softening my heart toward my husband.
4. The Power of Interceding for Someone else – Offensive Fighting
Sometimes I need to get my mind off of my own problems.
- The idea is to pray for your own marriage first.
- Then turn around and lift up someone else in prayer.
- Interceding pro-actively for someone else is a way to fight back offensively against the enemy.
This one was a surprise, but is Powerful and Effective. As I began interceding for someone else regularly I began to find Hope. There is a Joy about helping others. It relieves my stress over my own mess.
Really, the heart of reclaiming hope and joy in the life of a disciple of Jesus is thinking outside of our own struggles and needs.
Early in September -in our Marriage Facebook group Wives Only FB Group where Christian Wives chose Hope and Joy in every Season
We heard about some struggles in her marriage. How that affected her Ministry and her family as she fought for the kingdom of God. We heard about her loneliness in these struggles.
I had an “aha” moment when the testimony ended.
Our pastors are regular people facing the same problems we all face. Ok, laugh at me if you want, but it had never crossed my mind. They seem so perfect… until they don’t and fall hard.
Today I’m going issue a Marriage Prayer Challenge
Let’s stand arm and arm and pray over these beautiful pastors and pastor’s wives?
- Pray for your situation in these powerful ways.
- Then intercede on the behalf of these servants of God.