The long and short of Love Dare’s Day 16 message is that our efforts to change our spouses are futile.
No amount of nagging or, as we prefer to call it, ‘helpful’ suggestions will bring change to our spouse.
Further, more than likely our efforts are selfish and not driven by a heart for our spouse, but a heart for our own personal comfort. I have to pay attention: If I’m trying to ‘get my wife to do something’, then I must immediately turn it around on myself.
For instance, if I wanted you to have a more consistent quiet time and was brow-beating you about it, does my consistency (a) give me the right and (b) even if I am consistent, is my encouragement more for your good or my desire to have this ‘suburban Christian perfect wife’?
Three Fingers Pointing Back
If I’m trying to force you to change, there is something going on in my heart. Even if my heart is generally in the right place regarding you, there typically is something that I need to be very aware of in me.
If a finger is pointing out, then I got three coming back at me and I need to ask God what it is in me that needs work.
The upshot is this: Learning to pray for you is the best possible way for me to encourage the right change (in either of us).
Intercession and Change
That old C.S. Lewis quote (or the quote from the movie Shadowlands) applies here: I don’t pray to change God’s mind. I pray to change me. (I know I butchered it, but I don’t have time to look it up).
If I’m truly praying for you, as I’ve finally remembered to do over the past few days, then all the sudden God starts nailing me on things.
Today, I was praying for you and your current issues with certain folks. And all the sudden God nailed me on this:
Is your heart, sir (me being the ‘sir’), truly focused on your wife here or do you want her to ‘get over it’ so you guys can go back and be all comfy cozy?
It wasn’t an audible voice, but it as a clear conviction. My prayers can be selfish–even if they sound sweet. I switched it up a little bit.
All the sudden the prayer became true prayer. I was at a loss. I just prayed, “God I don’t have the goods to lead my family. I need You. I want our home to be a place where my kids come alive, where my wife comes alive, where I come alive. But I don’t even know where to start.”
So I’ll leave it there. that’s my plea today. I need Jesus to lead and love you. So I’ll pray for you. But I’ll also pray for me.
The dare was to pick three things to pray for you and our marriage in three specific areas:
- I pray for you to feel the full and total acceptance you have as a daughter of God through Christ.
- I pray that our home becomes a City on a Hill– a place of truth and peace for anybody who encounters us.
- I pray that you have more and more courage to step out in your gifts and your talents. You are a talented, awesome woman!