This is a perfect message for any and every wife! Guest writer Angie delivers a powerful testimony and reminds us that marriage is amidst a battle for our souls and the souls of our husbands. It is crucial that we fight against the enemy, through the power of faith and prayer. If this article empowers you please leave Angie a comment below, letting her know how it touched you.
Today, I had this thought:
“A true lover is a fighter. They must be. For there is a ceaseless and violent war being waged for our souls, and the souls of our spouses and marriages. What is more violent than the battle for the soul? We cannot sit idly by while Satan devours that which is most precious, while he rips apart family after family. We must stand up and fight, and keep fighting, and not give up, no matter how hard it gets. In this, the world will see what commitment truly is, what love looks like as it is refined and purified.”
I’ll talk more about that soon. First, some background:
I met my husband in September 2007, through a prison ministry. I was a volunteer; he was an inmate. We clicked and, through letters, became close friends. He was released in December 2009. Since then, life has been…difficult. There have been very good times…but also many tribulations. He’s been struggling in his relationship with God for several years now; slowly, he’s grown increasingly angry, frustrated, and stressed.
We married last December. I never thought I’d be “one of those women” who experienced pain during intercourse…but I was. It burned like nothing else; I couldn’t take it. My husband was very gracious about it…but I wasn’t. I felt horrible — like I’d disappointed him, like I was an awful wife…like I’d single-handedly ruined our honeymoon and gotten our marriage off on a devastatingly wrong foot.
Though we soon discovered the source and alleviated it…his sexual interest seemed to diminish. This shift has been demoralizing. He’s told me repeatedly that it has nothing to do with me…and I know he’s being honest. Satan has been a constant presence in this, dredging it up whenever I surrender it, casting blame on me, making me feel altogether ugly and terrible…and leveling my husband emotionally and spiritually. He’s grown angrier and more depressed. I wouldn’t say he’s suicidal…but there’s a very negative grip on his soul.
I realize that this may be throwing up red flags to some. Yet, I know that God wants me here. He’s given me this man…because He believes I can rise to the challenge of helping him through the darkness. While I struggle sometimes because I want easiness, I know that soon the light will shine and we’ll break through the storm.
The “red flags” are not so much that, as they are areas that need my prayers. The anger stems from deep wounds only Jesus can heal, from burdens only Jesus can relieve. His struggles ultimately come from a lack of trust in, and surrender to, God. God has shown and told me that I cannot save or fix him…but that HE’S got it. I know in my heart that God has huge things for him. I see so much in him, so many lives he could change by God’s power…if he could just make it through this. If he could just come through the other side trusting God more, seeking Him more, knowing Him as his Father.
I find encouragement in these thoughts, for I see my heart aligning with God’s. Though I may have erroneous ideas about how things should take place, or when…I know that, at the core, my desires for him are God’s desires for him. I want him to be free, fully alive, living out his purpose, in a true, transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. …Can I think for a moment that God doesn’t want those things for him too — and more than I do? When I pray, it’s no longer about him being the way I want (or think I want) him to be. My prayers consist now of asking God to bring him to a place where he’ll fully surrender, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and become the man HE wants him to be. …In this, I see God changing me.
As of now, I’m Jesus’ hands and feet to him. I am God’s stubborn love that sees all of the dark, bad stuff…and doesn’t stop loving. My husband is a believer, but I feel that 1 Peter 3:1-2 applies to us:
“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.”
If God will do that in the life of a non-believer, how much more will He move in the life of a struggling believer?
…Which brings me back to that quote at the beginning. Years ago, I delved into spiritual warfare, trying to figure out how to fight in a largely non-physical war. God showed me then that loving is fighting…praying is fighting. And lately, that fighting is how we love. We fight for our husbands by loving them with God’s love, praying God’s will for them…and we love them by fighting for them — by standing up against Satan’s attacks, interceding in the power of Jesus.
If your husband is going through an intense battle, join me in getting on your knees (or face) for him, daily. Surrender your desires and husband to Jesus; pray His heart for your husband and trust that He’ll move. He loves your husband more than you do and He wants to see your husband live victoriously more than you do. Strap on your armor, pick up your sword and shield, and fight hard for your husband. Tell Satan that you will not let him devour the man you love. If you get knocked down, take Jesus’ outstretched hand and rise again. Keep fighting. Don’t give up — for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
Dross must be burned out of silver amid the hottest fire…until the silversmith sees his reflection in it. Likewise, death must be burned out of us until Jesus sees Himself in us.
The process of refining is painful…but it yields beauty.
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