The sun had just about gone past the horizon. The sky still reflected its light, although it was fading into night. My husband and I finished dinner when he invited me to join him for a brisk walk. I had been quiet since I picked him up for work. My body must have been experiencing an overload of anxiety… I feared conversation thinking it would prompt anger or tears. He knew that something was troubling me, and as much as he desired to know what it was, he also knew to approach me gently.
We started on our walk, hand in hand. Immediately my heart softened a little. Sincere human contact is truly priceless, especially in marriage. Distant noises echoed of dogs barking and children playing. Then came a familiar voice, “So what is it baby?”
A rush of anxiety swept over me again. Where do I begin? What is wrong with me? How do I communicate all this right now?
I first explain to my husband that the way I am feeling is most likely due to a hormone change in my body because of the growing baby inside me. There was no other reason for the extreme emotions I was feeling. He understood completely. Then I went on for about 20 minutes listing all the things that I felt were stirring stress within me. Here are just a few:
-We are currently in transition of moving… our living space is rather chaotic at the moment with our stuff sort of sprawled out everywhere. Just the thought of going through our things and packing makes me nauseous.
-I desire a new car before the baby is born, without going into debt. I would like a family size car that gets good gas mileage. For the past six years we have managed with only one car, a small Jetta. Getting a second car means we are on a tight budget to save for it and other expenses such as an increase in car insurance.
-I feel like lately I have not been giving enough attention and time to Unveiled Wife… as if I am failing behind, and letting others down. I do not always get the chance to post a prayer of the day, or check e-mails from hurting wives, or put extra quality into addressing needed marriage topics. I often times feel like I am not good enough to lead this ministry.
The list continued, as my complaints became overbearing.
It just seems like there is not enough time in a day, or energy in me to do all the things I hope to do, or have all the things I wish to have. And when I think of it all at once, it limits me all the more! My head spins, my eyes cross, and I am left with a sour attitude.
As I continued on… out of breath… my husband just listened.
Then came the reality check!
My God-fearing husband began to remind me that God is in control. He lovingly encouraged me to realize that God is guiding us through this life, that He knows every detail of our needs, and that He cares to provide for us. He looked at me and said, “It seems like you just want a comfortable life, where everything is handed to you, and you never face hardships.” In my head I was agreeing, “Yeah, that is what I want.” Then he continued, “But if that was the case, you would never have a reason to lean on God!”
Was he right?
The hardships, the trials, the chaos, the desires, and the lack of myself to “Do-it-all” – does all that leave room for me to lean on God, to trust Him, to ask of Him, and to need Him? I have to understand that my need for God is a good place to be, instead of seeing life as an endless list reflecting my shortcomings. Rather than complaining, I needed to go to God and share with Him how I am feeling and what I am in need of. He desires to hear from me, just like my husband desires to hear from me. Relationships require actions from all involved.
My husband continued to help me see the light in our life, the hope for our future. At one point he even said, “I am sure if God said anything to you right now He would say, ‘Chill-out, I got this.’”
I laughed immediately, receiving the truth in what he said. I had to have faith that God’s got this and trust Him as He leads me.
I experienced a moment of weakness, where I let anxiety rule in my heart instead of the peace of God. Having a Spiritually supportive husband helped me regain my strength, understand my circumstances, and bring peace back into my heart. He showed me that I was not living by faith, and encouraged me to transform my thinking. He also reaffirmed me, sharing with me how much he appreciates what I do and specifically pointed out how much I am capable of doing by listing things that I have already accomplished. If it wasn’t for my husband’s Spiritual guidance I could still be moping around, strung out by stress, and depressed.
Here are a few verses that reminded me of the importance of having a Spiritually supportive spouse:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
“And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle,encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:23-25
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.” – Colossians 3:16
“For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” – Matthew 18:20
“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” – Hebrews 3:12-13
Having someone there to encourage, admonish, teach, and sharpen are all good things… things we need as husbands and wives. And just as much as we need a Spiritually supportive spouse, we need to BE a Spiritually supportive spouse when times are weak for our loved ones. Love and respect are found in the balance of having a Christ-centered marriage. For those of you who are not seeking Christ daily or have a spouse who is not seeking Christ daily, I am praying that you or your spouse find freedom in submitting to God and that you get to experience this kind of support in your marriage!