Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife. Proverbs 21:9 (HCSB)
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Proverbs 21:19
I still remember those early years of marriage. While my husband and I agree, those years weren’t nearly as hard as others’ had warned us about, I still had much to learn about this whole wifey thing. I had a gift right from the start. I was actually a natural at this particular thing. It came so easy for me. I sounded something like this… “drip… drip.” Unfortunately I had mistaken the fine art of communication for the gift to nag. Whenever my husband would come up short, I mastered the art of huffing and puffing and, well, nagging about what he was or wasn’t doing and all the ways he was frustrating me. Crazy confession- I didn’t even realize I was doing it. As I look back at those years, I realize I wasted so much time and energy and emotion complaining to him about all the ways I wished he would do things differently. In my young, Christian head I thought I was the one who was in the right (self-righteousness anyone?!). But for some reason unbeknownst to me, all my complaining wasn’t changing him! huh.
Through the years and at times, tears, I have learned a powerful lesson. Guess who knows my husband even more than I do? That’s right, God. He formed him, He made Him in his mother’s womb, and He knows him inside and out. And guess who’s the only one that can make someone have a lasting heart change? That’s right- God. Sometimes we let stuff build and fester and then just like in that movie ‘Mean Girls’, we have word vomit. And once we get it out, there’s just no taking it back. And ladies, you might think that if you just get on to him enough, then he’ll get the point and somehow, dramatically change. And he might. But if God doesn’t convict and mold and shape the heart, it’s not going to stick. It will just be temporary. We must learn to take our frustrations and disappointments to God. Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. I have learned to take my stuff to God first! Sometimes, through prayer, I realize it’s not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be and other times God just gives me peace, reminding me that He’s in control.
I read an article recently that got me thinking about my role as a wife. Some of you may have heard about this a few weeks ago. It was an apology letter from Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church. I’m not going to go into my opinion on that whole controversy, there are plenty of blogs that are already doing that. Something jumped out at me as I was reading the letter. (Mark Driscoll’s apology letter). Here’s the part about his discussion with his wife:
Guess what? God heard her prayers and began working on him. If she had nagged about his schedule and the lack of time he spent with the family, because he’s a good guy, he might have made some changes to say ‘no’ more often to some events and try to spend more time with his family to please his wife. But we all know that when we change to appease someone else, it’s often short lived. It lasts maybe a few weeks and we get back into our same routines and habits as before. And the cycle continues.
But when we pray…
When we pray and God starts to work, that is when heart change starts to happen. As we read in his letter, Mark’s wife didn’t want to discourage him, so when he came to her and began to share what God was doing, that’s when the tears of joy started. God answered her prayers.
We need to pray to God about the deep things in our heart and ask Him to bring about the right time to talk with our spouse about those things. And then we talk. But when we talk, let’s not attack because no one responds well when they feel like they’re being attacked. But share openly about those things close to our heart (after we’ve prayed about them). And then, we go back into our prayer closets and pray for Gods will to be done in our marriage. I have seen this happen over and over. And here’s the cool thing- while God is working on our spouse, guess what? He’s also changing us.
So let’s commit to lower the drip so our spouse doesn’t have to move to the roof or the desert. Lets pray for a release of His Spirit in our marriage and in our lives. We’ve tried doing this thing on our own, and we all know that doesn’t work. How about releasing it to the inventor of marriage Himself? His ways are always higher than our ways.
Lord, we come to you today and ask that our marriage would be all that you’ve called it to be. Forgive us for trying to take matters into our own hands. We surrender and ask that your will would be done. We ask for wisdom. And as we lift up our requests to you, we pray that you would not only touch our spouse, but that you would change us in the process. Help us to be quick to forgive and to be an encourager to our spouse. And Lord, remind us today that our spouse is never our enemy but that there is an enemy that would love nothing more than to divide and conquer. Protect and bless our marriage. Amen.
1 John 5:14-15- And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.