trials

My Husband’s Heart

… this world is passing away. ~1 Corinthians 7:31

If we get too caught up in the present world it’s easy to forget that even though we’re married, our husband’s hearts are merely on loan to us.  Both roles in marriage were created as temporary means specifically for earth. That means being a wife is not my end game.1

God gave me My husband’s heart in trust, not to own but to briefly hold. Even though I’m one flesh with him through marriage, God still owns his heart and knows best how to remake His creation.

The Invitation

God has invited me to witness as He changes and reshapes this man through our marriage.  Like the best cardiologist ever, God’s not inviting me into the operation to muck about with what I think needs to be changed – He’s not inviting me to take over the procedure, nor apprenticing me to do His job.

Instead, God’s invited me to help Him, through my role as a wife to one of His sons.  To be present and patient as my husband learns to live out of his renewed mind and heart.  It takes practice to walk out of the flesh with the Spirit on new legs of faith, so there will be trips and falls. My role is to help him through his recovery.

It’s a pretty cool thing to be a part of. God doesn’t need my help any more than He needed Ezekiel’s help with the vision of the dry bones.2  Instead of just telling Ezekiel about the prophecy like He did with so many others, He brought Ezekiel alongside to be a part of it – it was an invitation.  And God has invited me too; He’s invited me to witness His work.

Two Real Realities

We live in a world that we’re just passing through – we don’t belong here, and we won’t be here long.

Those who use the things of the world should not become attached to them.  For this world as we know it will soon pass away. ~1 Corinthians 7:31

Sometimes, living in this present place makes it feel like our current experience is more real than our future destination.  When in fact, both are real…it’s just that one of them…is going to last much longer…than the other.  I know it sounds almost too sci-fi, but we really do have permanent residence in the alternate reality.3

Moving From Past To Future

Look back on a disaster or trial that happened ten years ago … five years ago … 6 months ago.  They don’t last.  When we consider the passage of time, our perspective can change about our current situation.

God never denies that life can get hard sometimes and He never says that marriage is going to be easy or effortless all the time!  But when our present reality seems too hard, He’s given us an aim for our focus:  The Future.  Instead of looking at the current, visible problems (allegedly) stemming from (only) your husband, look at what you can’t yet see: his healed heart.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:17-18

As your husband’s wife, God has graciously chosen you to experience the greatest miracle that He’s going to do in this man – change his heart.  But you only get to witness your husband’s heart made whole by trusting God and waiting for Him to do it.

SOUL-utions

Don’t misconstrue your invitation to be a wife as an appointment to be the change agent in your husband; that’s the job of the Holy Spirit.

Do speak gratitude for what God has already done instead of complaining about what’s lacking – the parts that He is still working on.

 

 


NOTES:

  1.  Matthew 22:29-30
  2. Ezekiel 37
  3. Hebrews 11:13-17; 1 Peter 1:17; 1 Peter 2:11; Philippians 3:20-21

Witness a Miracle

Source: life-love-laughter.tumblr.com via Molly on Pinterest

Source: life-love-laughter.tumblr.com via Molly on Pinterest

 

Caterpillars become butterflies and tadpoles become frogs.  With the convenience of Youtube, we can see the entire process happen in under 5 minutes, but in real life time the conversion is much slower.

Even slower than butterflies and bullfrogs is the transformation of people. It takes a whole lifetime to remake the heart of a person who has been born sinful and selfish, and to bring them to the heights of righteousness in the likeness of Jesus. (Romans 8:29)

So often, we are inconvenienced by the length of time it takes for God to heal and grow His sons, and by the pain it causes us.  Instead of being patient as God works through the layers of mess and damage done to our husbands’ hearts by the enemy, we are selfish and want God to speed through the process so that it won’t affect us too deeply.

It is easier to view the trials in marriage through the lenses of an invitation.  Long before you were ready, God in His grace invited you to witness the various cycles that are involved in reshaping a special person, one of His own sons.  When you said, “I do,” you accepted the opportunity to witness the greatest miracle you’ll ever be a part of:

The transformation of your husband.

The best part is that within each trial are opportunities for you to give to your husband the very grace God showed to you.  How can we not want to do what Jesus asked and follow in the footprints that He left with us?  I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. John 13:34

 BACKGROUND QUOTES - Copy

 

 

 

 

Flesh Versus Spirit (Part 1) Temptations

Places of temptation and trials are not easy or fun!  And right away, as I read those words:  trialstemptations – my flesh starts to quiver with uneasiness.  Conversely, we don’t need to be tempted to stay somewhere that’s easy – where there is no pressue, no conflict – no temptation.

I don’t need to be tempted to stay in a fun place, whether sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows or receiving flowers on valentines, or going to a movie that we both want to see.  These easy places of living are not – under a trial.  There is no temptation.  But an easy place with no pressure can quickly turn into a trial of temptation.  How about a win fall of cash?  (who doesn’t love THAT surprise).  But before you’ve even received the funds; there’s been a slight shift in the invisible world and each of you are going to enter your own trial.

No more easy.

You want to renovate your kitchen (which is in desperate need) and your husband wants to renovate the basement (also in desperate need).    Heat from the pressure of each person wanting their own way begins to enter the marriage in the form of temptation – the temptation to push against the other person.

What will be done with the cash?  Explaining to each other, again, why it should be the kitchen/basement, and finally, after much more ’reasoning’ with each other … he yields.  Yay!!  You have won your way; you are going to have a brand new kitchen!  He will see it will be so much better for both of us in the long run.

But did you really win?  Yes, you may have won your own way in the natural, for the life you have in the here and now.  But in the big picture, who yielded and brought the conflict to an end and kept the unity?  Who was patient under trial and stood up under the temptation to want to seek their own way?

Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him. -Jam 1:12, emphasis added

It’s the one who went into the fire to wrestle against the temptation to choose their own way (way of the flesh) to instead, choose the way of the spirit (the other person’s way).

Who gets the eternal reward of defeating temptation – the one who chooses flesh or the one who chooses spiritual maturity?

 

Next post – Flesh Versus Spirit (Part 2) – The heat, David, and Jesus