Lord, Bless Them & Change Me
I was in a marriage study recently and read a quote that rocked my perspective on marriage and parenting. Author Gary Thomas writes, “The purpose of marriage isn’t meant to make you happy, but rather to make you holy.” I don’t know about you, but for years in my family I would beg and plea for the Lord to change my husband or my children only to remain frustrated with the way that they did not my preconceived notions. As I look back, I can see many missed opportunities to become holy in my search for happiness
Years ago, my husband and I walked through a season that was hard…when I say hard, it was take-my-breath-away, I-have-no-idea-how-we’re-gonna-make-it, hard! My husband had been out of work for some time and during the wait, many situations unfolded: our truck died, our microwave died, our dishwasher died, one of our AC units died, we developed a crack in the foundation of our home and a tornado ripped through our backyard causing a gargantuan pine tree to topple onto our deck. It felt like a whole lotta death.
When we reached the peek of that sifting season I had a day where I began to doubt if I even want to stay in the marriage. It was a flitting thought that I sadly held onto for the remainder of the day. When I returned home from work, my husband and I began to argue and even though we had agreed to never use the word, “divorce”, I opened the door to it by saying, “I don’t know if I can stay in this much longer,” to which my husband replied, “That’s funny. I’ve been thinking about divorce all day.”
In that moment, I realized that the enemy had overplayed his hand. Yes, this was hard, and yes, I could not logically see a way out of the mess, but I didn’t want to leave this season without my husband. I left the argument and went to my prayer closet. I confessed my own sin and began to pray a new prayer. I begged, “Lord, bless him and change me.” I wish I could say that everything changed overnight, but it didn’t. In fact we remained in the “hard” for another eight months, but those eight months were some of the best moments in our marriage because the Lord orchestrated a deep healing that can only be attributed to the powerful and effective hand of God.
The bottom line with James 5:16 is this: when circumstances are hard, things just might begin to change when we first recognize and confess our own sin. Then with a clean heart, we are free to pray powerful and effective prayers that usher in the healing hand of God in the areas of our life that so desperately need it!
1. How have I placed any undue expectations on my spouse or my children?
2. Is there any an area of sin that might be hiding behind my judgment of them? Write them down in prep for question #3.
3. Would you be willing lay down your expectations and begin to pray over your spouse or children, “Lord bless them and change me”?