May 20, 2013

Cease Striving, and Start Praying!

One morning, Don (my husband) and I were talking about owning your own business, and how stressful and burdensome it can be when work is not coming in like you expect it to.  Yes, you have work, but you are within a week or two of work running out.  And when you keep hearing that your competition is getting jobs right and left, you wonder what's wrong because new jobs are NOT coming in for you.  You ask, why is God blessing them and not us?  And what if work stops, what about the employees, what will they do?  What can I do?  
Later as I thought and prayed about our discussion, I sensed the Lord is leading His children to develop DEEP roots of faith and trust in Him, especially his boys.  And we, as wives, have the starring role in this scene.  But it's not to fix it for them, guide them, or instruct them...or even to "cue" them.

We need to cease striving, and start praying!

Men overall have a protect and provide mechanism built in, and when they try to do either without the Lord leading, fear and pride quickly set in and lead to a great deal of misery.  Pride says, “I need to do something”, and fear confirms with, “If you don’t do something you will ___________” FAIL/starve/be homeless/etc….fill in the blank!  Twin demonic voices that attempt to send men on a downward spiral of despair.

Often, instead of praying and renewing their minds with the truth of God’s greatness and provision, and getting excited to see how He will provide or protect, they think and think and think, and plan and plot and strive, exhausting themselves trying to figure it all out or make everything “work”.  Peace is scarce, truth becomes distorted, anxiety and worry flare up, and joy is deeply buried…along with the strength to believe.

And we wives often do the same thing!

So what IS the most loving thing we can do as wives?  How do you know when to speak and when to be silent?

You don’t – but GOD does!!  In times of stress and trouble, the number one most important gift of love you can give to your husband is to stop talking, cease striving, and start praying.  Instead of focusing on how you can "fix" your husband and what you can "do", fiercely protect your own time with the Lord. Cry out to Him, sit on His lap, bask in His goodness and truth.  Sing, read, walk, whatever it is that most refreshes you and fills you up.  Focus on all the excellent qualities of our Heavenly Father, AND what you love most about your husband.  

Pray in the words the Lord gives to you.  Journal as evidence and encouragement for future hard times.  Quote scripture over your husband.   Thank God for Him.  Bind the enemy’s attempts to steal, kill, and destroy.  Clear the air around him so he can hear the Lord’s direction.  Pray OUT LOUD whenever possible – the spoken word of truth wields tremendous power!

And then when you’re all filled up with the Lord’s love, and you’re with your husband, the Lord will be able to rise up from that fullness in you and provide the words of truth your husband needs, through you.  Always remember that the Lord is the provider, you are just the messenger.  So again, it is critical that your channels through to the Lord are clear so you deliver the right message at the right time – apples of gold in settings of silver.  

If you don’t know what to say, affirming words of belief in your husband and love and loyalty go a long way toward building him up.  But only if you can truly say those words from your heart with love in your eyes….which you will only if you’ve filled up with the Lord’s love.

Can you speak words of correction and disagree with him when you believe he is wrong?  Absolutely, and it is the most loving thing to do at times!!  With Don and I, there have been times when my words of faith and truth have been a great encouragement to him.  At other times, they have been like salt on an open wound.  Even when he may not receive the words right away, the truth has been heard and the Holy Spirit can work with it.  

When we truly believe our husband is wrong and will cause harm to himself or others, we don’t want to follow him off the cliff, so to speak, without having spoken that we can see the cliff coming.  Once said, we then have to let him go if he so chooses….all the while making sure we continue to cling to the Lord with all we have, pray, and leave the saving to Him!

Obedience to the Lord’s voice will not always yield the results you expect.  When that happens, it's more important than ever to cease striving, and start praying.  Don't try to figure out the answer. Your faith is always in the Lord first, and your husband’s relationship with/desire for the Lord second.  Never with your husband alone, or anything about yourself.  Sometimes the boat will get rocky, because sometimes your husband will get off course and steer you into rough waters.  So hang on, believe in the Lord’s power and guidance, and have faith that the Lord will do what your husband cannot do.

Always remember that you and your husband are one.  We have authority in the spiritual realm to declare truth with power and expect results.  Yes, our husbands have choices.  But we can certainly help influence their choices by creating a Godly atmosphere around them and building them up with truth.  

When we cease striving, and start praying, we'll see the Lord change what we cannot, and our lives and marriages will be filled with peace.

Today's Challenge:  In what area are you trying to "fix" or "help" your husband?  What do you think would happen if you stopped trying and started praying?