Do You See Your Spouse as Grace from God?

As Valentine’s Day arrived this year I received a very sweet card from my farmer.  He is usually the funny card kind guy so the card he chose for me this year really touched me.

I am so thankful for him in my life.  Moving beyond divorce and the disappointment, shame and hurt was not an overnight journey for me but it was so worth it.  If you find yourself in a place that you never expected, divorced, take heart there is hope.

God can restore what was or provide you with something new.  Seek Him, repent of your sin/your part in the end of the marriage, embrace grace, forgiveness and healing.  You can find the life you always thought you would have.

This weekend my farmer and I attended a marriage conference together.  It was such a great reminder to fix my eyes on all the things I have to be thankful for in my marriage.  Looking for the good in my husband will help me to see more of it.

Mingling of Souls is an annual marriage conference by Matt & Lauren Chandler.  During the conference, Matt reminded us that as Christians we are not yet what we will one day be.  We are a work in progress.

Strange how we want our spouse to be a finished product but we see in ourselves we aren’t there yet.  We often compare our very best moments or features with our spouse’s worst.  Keeping our eyes focused on the truth of our journey can help us show more grace to our spouse and find more growth in ourselves.

Matt also said when he was young and questioning his relationship with Lauren, a mentor once told him you will fight with someone the rest of your life; do you want it to be Lauren or not?  It is funny to think of our spouse being the person we will fight with our whole life but it is true.

We are both a work in progress so there will be conflict.  Too often we see conflicts as something that reveals our spouse’s weakness.
Instead we must see our struggles and conflict as a gift of Grace from God. Matt Chandler #TakeHeart Click To TweetInstead we must see our struggles and conflict as a gift of Grace from God.

How can that be a gift?  Each struggle or conflict reveals what is going on inside of us.  God is revealing to us something about ourselves so we can grow.

When he is late, do I give him the benefit of the doubt or do I become impatient and selfish?  When he leaves his clothes on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper, am I playing a martyr or being prideful?

Examining my heart will help me grow and progress in sanctification.  Being angry and holding him to an unfair standard will just make us both miserable and break down our relationship.

The process of becoming more like our Lord is not an easy one but it is one which we are called to engage in.  Our spouse is just one of the many things the Lord uses to help us grow.


In what way, will seeing your spouse as a gift of Grace from God change your relationship?

 

 

It can’t be the end….

This is the end; things haven’t been good for a while but it didn’t mean that I was expecting that phone call.  A phone call from my husband’s girlfriend?   Who sees that coming?   I sure didn’t. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, (1)

He had cheated before and I knew things hadn’t been good but I never dreamed he would cheat again.  The Lord and I had been talking a lot about my marriage and I knew a big change was coming.   I just didn’t know that this was it.

Me divorced; of all the people you know I would not be the one you expect to be divorced.  I was deeply saddened but I knew now, this is the path I was to go down.

But how do I live like this?  How do I hold my head high and tell people I’m divorced?  Divorce is for people who gave up on there a marriage, not me. I fought, I fought for almost 10 years to make this marriage work.  I forgave the first affair.  How was I supposed to live divorced?

It felt like such a failure.

As time went on and I moved into a new phase of life it was difficult, it was embarrassing.   But I knew I had been released from my covenant of marriage.  I just didn’t know how to communicate that to others.  I knew how judgmental I had been regarding divorce, I just hated for people to look at me like that.

Then I met Alice.

Alice attended the church that I was attending.  We met in small group setting where she shared her testimony.  I will never forget what a blessing it was to meet Alice.  She was a few years older than me and she was happily married to her second husband.

Alice was an amazing, godly woman who had a testimony and ministry in our church.  She loved people and she loved her husband.  Because she was willing to share her story of divorce and remarriage I found hope.  Hope that I would have a ministry again too.

I also had hope that there might be a happily ever after marriage in my life someday.

Today when people meet my husband and I they never guess that we’ve only been married for 6 short years.  We fit together like a hand and glove or salt and pepper.  We love each other dearly and you are able to be committed and live what a godly marriage looks.

Marriage today is easy, unlike in my first marriage that was always very difficult.  Sometimes it is hard to say I’m thankful that the Lord took me through that, but I know that I am the person I am today because of that journey.

I cherish my husband now.  I honor and respect him.  I’m so thankful to have an opportunity to have a marriage like I do today.  

I hope and pray that as I share my story through this blog that I will be an encouragement to you.  That you will know that no matter how hard life seems, no matter how unfair things are and no matter what happens to you …even when you think it’s something that could never happen to you.  You can move past it, you can, there’s hope!

Our God is sovereign, he loves us more than you know and his plans are perfect!  Trust Him and walk close beside Him through this time to the life you didn’t know could exist.

If you are still searching for hope and a relationship with the Lord who loves you more than you know please reach out to me.  I would love to talk with you about Him.

Reviews by Rayna: War Room

War Room is a powerful movie full of truth and challenge.

This FB_IMG_1441724138048movie is about an affluent young couple who appear to have it all.  When you look deeper you see that their marriage is crumbling from neglect and bitterness.  Elizabeth is a real-estate agent while Tony is a top pharmaceutical salesman.  They have a lovely young daughter who is seeing and feeling the stress long before her parents realize it.  Everything begins to change when Elizabeth signs on to sell Miss Clara’s house and finds a friend like she has never had before.  You will fall in love with Miss Clara.  She is a truth speaking, feisty elderly lady who knows how to pray.

Miss Clara speaks truth to Elizabeth both about her heart and her marriage.  She shares how things changed in her heart when she actually started praying and listening.   This movie is an amazing call to power and reminder that there is power in prayer.  My heart was encouraged by this movie and I think yours will be also.

If you haven’t seen it yet you might want to stop here and go see it. The rest will spoil the story for you.

Here are 6 truths and challenges I walked away with.

  1. Heavy Lifting is NOT my Job: Clara tells Elizabeth that God told her it wasn’t her job to do the heavy lifting.  God could take care of that if she would just be faithful to pray.  Are there things in your life in which you are doing it all on your own…. Are you doing the heavy lifting?  Let go and let God.
  2. My Loved Ones Relationship with the Lord is NOT my job: Clara also told Elizabeth that sometimes submission means learning to duck so the Lord can knock your husband upside the head.  I have been there and heard the Lord tell me that before.  So many times we are so busy trying to be in charge that we are just in the way of letting the one we love hear from God.
  3. My love Ones Deserve the Grace and Forgiveness of God as Much as I Do: Clara asked Elizabeth to list all the things she could think of that Tony had done wrong. After writing 3 pages, Clara stopped her and said, “In light of these things, does God still love Tony?” Elizabeth answers yes.  So Clara asks, “Does Tony deserve grace?” That one is a little harder for Elizabeth to answer so Miss Clara asks her, “Do you?”  It is so much easier for us to think that we deserve God’s love and forgiveness than it is to think others do.  What can you do to help to keep a loving and forgiving towards those around you?
  4. There is Only Room for One on the Throne Of My Life: Clara also reminds Elizabeth there is not room for you and God on the throne.  You are going to have to step down.  Is there an area in your life right now that you need to step down and let God take the thrown?  How can you do that?  What will keep you from jumping right back up on the throne?
  5. Contentment in the Lord Changes Everything: One of my favorite scenes was when Elizabeth finally got it.  She went walking through her home telling Satan he had to get out.  She told him you have to get out of my house, my marriage, and my family in Jesus name.  She declared Jesus was her contentment.  When she found contentment in the Lord it changed everything.  Do you have contentment in your life?  How can you get it?
  6. I am Blessed to Have a Man Who Loves the Lord and I Need to Pray for Him: Elizabeth finally reached a place in her relationship with the Lord and Tony that she was able to tell Tony, “I would rather have a man chasing Jesus than a house full of stuff.”  Does your man know that?  Does he understand how much you value his relationship with the Lord?  Are you praying for him, that He would love the Lord with all His heart?

I hope these truths and challenges will encourage you.  I would love to hear what you took away from this great film!  Please leave a comment below!  Blessings!

The Blessing of a Spounse!

The blessing of a spouse!

Most of us longed to find the person who would love us the rest of our life.  My dream like most was to grow up, get married and have kids.  As I have shared before I was married right out of college and it was a very long difficult 10 years and I did not get my happily ever after.

But when I saw this quote by Max Lucado I loved it.  It is easy for time to go by and for us to forget what a treasure we have in our spouse. Life is busy, the chores of  running a house and making a living can easily distract you from the importance of valuing your spouse.  Showing your deep passion and loving them in the middle of it all will make a difference.

Proverbs 18:22

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD”

 

The farmer and I have been married almost 6 years now and I have found my happily ever after.  I am so thankful that I have done a better job of never letting my love for him go unspoken.  I have treasured him and told him about it daily.  I have proudly kept him a priority.  As I have done all these things he has been doing them as well.

Marriage is a beautiful partnership.  Having someone to love and serve the Lord with is a dream come true.  The death of a marriage is a very difficult time in anyone’s life.  But like in all things God’s love never weavers.  He is still faithful and will love and support you through it.  There is hope.

 

What are some of the most important things you have found to you help keep your spouse a treasured priority in your life?

Peggy

      Peggy is a 51 year old divorce mom with two adult    children  that are married, and have three beautiful  grandchildren.  The  hardest transition she has  experienced was from being  divorce and becoming  single again.  She went quickly from a  family living off  85 to 90 thousand dollars a year to living off a poverty level salary.  She reports that she made many mistakes during her transition.  She was not attending church, was bitter, negative, and heading down a road to destruction. But then she foundHOPE!

_________________________________________________________

What was the most difficult part of your transition?

The change in our financial status and never having enough money to pay everyone.

What do you think was most helpful for you to move into the hope and peace you were needing?

I needed to seek God’s forgiveness for my sins against a holy God.  My sister got me to go to church and the Pastor’s message was just what I needed to hear.  I found myself crying out to God for grace, mercy, an forgiveness for how I had lived my life and asked him to restore me and teach me how to be content with my circumstances

I found that even though my husband did not love me, God loved me more than anything.  That was the turning point for restoration in my life.  That was the restoration in my life.  I turned from the sinful life I was living and became content with being a single mom.

I still struggled financially, but recently after taking Financial Peace University I have learned that everything I have belongs to the Lord.  I went into this class thinking things were hopeless that I would never see light at the end of the tunnel but walking away knowing that it is a process and there are certain things I need to have in place in order to be successful. I am working toward my $1,000.00 emergency fund, and then I will work on my debt snowball and once I get that knocked out I will go into the next phase moving toward financial success.

Was there a special verse that the Lord used to encourage you during this time?

I think of 2 Corinthians 4:16 and Psalms 138:3 as verses that encouraged me and gave me strength during this time.

2Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. “

Psalm 138:3 “In the day when I cried out, You answered me, and made me bold with strength in my soul.”

How did your faith grow from this transition time in your life?

I learned that even though my marriage may not have turned out as  I had hoped for, that mortal men are going to let me down, but God always has my best interest at heart.  No one can ever love me or care for me as Jesus did.  The ultimate sacrifice was done at Calvary when Jesus laid his life down on the Old rugged cross for a sinner such as I.

What would you like someone in the middle of a similar transition to know?

That all is not hopeless, that is a lie of Satan.  When you find yourself struggling in life turn to a loving, faithful God to direct your path and allow him to sustain you.  Lean on other brothers and sisters in Christ to lift you up in prayer.  Don’t learn the hard way, like I did, and have your life be in a the gutter before you see the hand of a faithful and loving God.