Note: The following is a testimony of how my marriage has changed through prayer. I am not a professional counselor. If you are dealing with major marital issues, including abuse and infidelity, please seek the help of a licensed counselor.
Are you frustrated by your marriage? Does it seem like no matter how hard you work on things, that you’re just not getting along?
Do you feel alone, unseen and unheard?
WHEN YOU’VE REACHED YOUR LIMIT
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I were like ships passing in the night.
Whatever communication existed was strained at best. I was constantly frustrated with him, and he seemed to avoid me, oblivious to my pain.
Years of disappointments and unhealed wounds took their toll on our relationship, and I felt hollowed out inside. It was easier to avoid him altogether than to face the pain reflected in his eyes. I busied myself with the kids and my own pursuits, engaging when necessary.
Conflict sprang up like a geyser–the more we tried to squash isolated incidents between the two of us, the more that seemed to arise in other places in our marriage.
All I wanted was to heal the pain of the past and to build a strong future with my husband. I wanted a happy and healthy marriage. I wanted to feel loved and secure in our relationship.
But it felt like the more I tried to fix our marriage, the worse it got.
I finally reached the point where I gave up trying. As much as I wanted things to improve, I felt hopeless.
THE ONE THING THAT SAVED MY MARRIAGE
I thought of my children and their future. I remembered the covenant I made with my husband before God. I realized that the only way to save our marriage was to do something I had never done before.
I realized I had two choices–to give up on my marriage or to hand it over to God.
With nothing left to lose, I offered my marriage to God to see what He would do with it.
THE CREATOR WILL BE YOUR HUSBAND
A major shift occurred in my marriage when I realized that my husband couldn’t meet my needs the way I wanted him to. I stumbled on a line in Isaiah 54:5 that goes “For your Creator will be your husband.” And even though the context of that passage is talking about God’s relationship with Israel, that verse sank its hooks into me and held on for dear life. I had been feeling so empty and disconnected and thirsty for love.
There is plenty of advice to single women about how to find satisfaction in God alone–I wondered if I could be satisfied with God alone, as a married woman.
Husbands don’t come with instructional manuals–or at least the one that matters isn’t being read or followed as intended.
Whenever I craved affection from my husband–I spent time with God in worship and prayer. When I wanted attention–I began to meditate on Bible verses that reminded me of who God says I am and how much He loves me. As I became more secure in God’s love for me, I stopped expecting so much from my husband, which led to fewer opportunities for disappointment.
WHAT GOD REVEALED TO ME ABOUT OUR MARRIAGE
The more time I spent learning about God and reading the Bible, the more I realized that I had put my marriage on a pedestal higher than anything or anyone else.
I had put my marriage on the highest pedestal.
God wants to be the center of my affection–He’s jealous like that. God is forever. Marriage is not. Putting my marriage above God only left me disappointed.
I also learned that God has a plan for my marriage that extends beyond our happiness together. My husband and I were functioning out of alignment, which caused us to miss out on God’s purpose and some of the blessings He had in store for us.
For years, I lacked an understanding of what it meant to be a Godly wife, and I rebelled against God and my husband.
LEARNING TO BE A WIFE
I started reading and watching sermons and listening to podcasts on the topic of Godly marriage. I studied the Bible to find out what kind of wife God wanted me to be. I joined a small group for married women at my church. Having support from women with a positive view of marriage was life-changing, and having the opportunity to support them took my eyes off my own struggles.
I had carefully selected mentors and counselors online and in person pouring into me to teach me how to respect, encourage, and pray for my husband. The more I read and prayed, the more I saw how I had been belittling him with my tone and attitude, nagging him, and fighting for control over our household.
I know that sounds really harsh, but it’s so easy to default to this place.
You get annoyed with how much he works, how much he watches sports, how long he plays video games, how he won’t plan dates, how he leaves his clothes lying on the floor next to the hamper, how he doesn’t help with the housework, how he doesn’t do stuff with the kids, or how he doesn’t talk to you about anything. Or maybe it’s something more serious that’s bothering you.
It’s all too easy to focus on the negative.
You want to be an equal partner in a healthy, egalitarian marriage. You want to feel loved, appreciated, and desired.
You want to be happy.
So did I. But what I was doing to reach that place just wasn’t working. So, what do you do then?
PRAYING FOR YOUR HUSBAND
You can only go so far on your own efforts. There may come a point where date nights, and counseling, and books don’t seem to make a difference. At least not the one you want desperately to see.
When I got tired of the same old cycle, when I felt there was nothing else left for me to do–I started to pray.
Do you pray for your husband?
I prayed for my husband before–bless his day, help him get home safe, everyday stuff.
But when I learned to really pray for him, everything started to change.
Have you seen the movie War Room?
In short, a woman and her husband are in a rocky marriage. He’s clearly on her last nerve, and he is growing more and more distant from her and their family. The woman meets an elderly lady, a prayer warrior, who mentors her and teaches her how to pray fervently for her marriage and family.
The elderly prayer warrior shows her how to create her own prayer closet where she keeps track of her prayer requests and God’s answers to her prayers.
The woman begins to pray instead of fighting her husband, and miraculous things begin to happen in their marriage.
In my own life, I stopped complaining and grasped the reins of my role as my husband’s partner and encourager, meeting with God on his behalf regarding his career, his friendships, his relationship with myself and the children, and his role as a spiritual leader.
As soon as I started praying about everything–the good, the bad, and the ugly–I started to see a change in my husband. But even more than that–I felt a change in my heart towards him.
MY FAVORITE RESOURCES ON PRAYER
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Your girl needed a whole lot of help figuring out how and what to pray for. If you could use some resources, check out some of my all-time favorite books on praying for your husband:
- The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian
- The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage by Stormie Omartian
- Prayers of Blessing Over Your Husband by Bruce Wilkinson and Heather Hair
- Fervent by Priscilla Shirer
OTHER GREAT RESOURCES ON PRAYING FOR YOUR MARRIAGE:
- Prayers of Blessing Over My Marriage by Bruce Wilkinson and Heather Hair
- Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe by Sharon Jaynes
- 31 Prayers for My Husband by Jennifer Smith
- Praying God’s Will for My Husband by Lee Roberts
- Supernatural Husbands: How to Effectively Pray for Your Husband or Husband-to-Be by Vivien Rose