Friday, 3 June 2016

KEEP ON keeping on


A wife’s prayers for her husband have a far greater effect on him than anyone else’s, even his mother’s. A mother’s prayers for her child are certainly fervent. But when a man marries, he leaves his father and mother and becomes one with his wife (Matthew 19:5). They are a team, one unit, unified in spirit. The strength of a man and wife joined together in God’s sight is far greater than the sum of the strengths of each of the two individuals. That’s because the Holy Spirit unites them and gives added power to their prayers.

This oneness gives us a power that the enemy doesn’t like. That’s why he devises ways to weaken it. He gives us whatever we will fall for, whether it be low self-esteem, pride, the need to be right, miscommunication, or the bowing to our own selfish desires. He will tell you lies like, “Nothing will ever change.” “Your failures are irreparable.” “There’s no hope for reconciliation.” “You’d be happier with someone else.” He’ll tell you whatever you will believe, because he knows if he can get you to believe it, there is no future for your marriage. If you believe enough lies, your heart will eventually be hardened against God’s truth.

In every broken marriage, there is at least one person whose heart is hard against God. When a heart becomes hard, there is no vision from God’s perspective. When we’re miserable in a marriage, we feel that anything will be an improvement over what we’re experiencing. But we don’t see the whole picture. We only see the way it is, not the way God wants it to become. When we pray, however, our hearts become soft toward God and we get a vision. We see there is hope. We have faith that He will restore all that has been devoured, destroyed, and eaten away from the marriage. “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). We can trust Him to take away the pain, hopelessness, hardness, and unforgiveness. We are able to envision His ability to resurrect love and life from the deadest of places.

We each have to decide if you want your marriage to work, and if we want it badly enough to do whatever is necessary, within healthy parameters, to see it happen. We have to believe the part of your relationship that has been eaten away by pain, indifference, and selfishness can be restored. We have to trust that what has swarmed over us, such as abuse, death of a child, infidelity, poverty, loss, catastrophic illness, or accident, can be relieved of its death grip. We have to determine that everything consuming us and our spouse, such as workaholism, alcoholism, drug abuse, or depression, can be destroyed, We have to know that whatever has crept into our relationship so silently and stealthily as to not even be perceived as a threat until it is clearly present — such as making idols of our career, our dreams, our kids, or our selfish desires — can be removed. We have to trust that God is big enough to accomplish all this and more.

If you wake up one morning with a stranger in your bed and it’s your husband (or wife), if you experience a silent withdrawal from one another’s lives that severs all emotional connection, if you sense a relentless draining away of love and hope, if your relationship is in so bottomless a pit of hurt and anger that every day sends you deeper into despair, if every word spoken drives a wedge further between you until it becomes an impenetrable barrier keeping you miles apart, be assured that none of the above is God’s will for your marriage. God’s will is to break down all these barriers and lift you out of that pit. He can heal the wounds and put love back in your heart. Nothing and no one else can. But you have to rise up and say, “Lord, I pray for an end to this conflict and a breaking of the hold strife has on us. Take away the hurt and the armor we’ve put up to protect ourselves. Lift us out of the pit of unforgiveness. Speak through us so that our words reflect Your love, peace, and reconciliation. Tear down this wall between us and teach us how to walk through it. Enable us to rise up from this paralysis and move into the healing and wholeness You have for us.”
 
[Stormie Omartian]

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