“I thought I had married a man who was close to perfect, and what wasn’t perfect was cute. As time went on, cute became irritating and perfect became driving perfectionism I decided that what irritated me most about him had to be changed and then everything would be fine. It took a number of years for me to realize my husband was never going to conform to my image. it took a few years beyond that to understand I couldn’t make him change in any way. In fact, it wasn’t until I started going to God with what bothered me that I began to see any difference at all. And then it didn’t happen the way I thought it would. I was the one God worked on first. I was the one who began to change. my heart had to be softened, humbled, pummeled, molded and reconstructed before He even started working on my husband. I had to learn to see things according to the way God saw them – not how I thought they should be. Gradually I realized it’s impossible to truly give yourself in prayer without first examining your own heart.” (The Power of A Praying Wife, Page 26)
This was one of the passages of this chapter that I highlighted and read through a couple times. I can so relate to what she is saying! Can you? Before Mike and I got married, many of his quirky habits were cute, then when we got married, over time, those cute things did become irritating. Many of them still are. I have prayed “Change him, Lord” more times than I can count. I still struggle with wanting Mike to be conformed to the image that I want him to look like, but it’s so true what she says, God wants to work on us first. We can not completely give ourselves to prayer for our husbands without examining our own hearts.
I have to be honest. This is the part of the journey I am not looking forward to. Oh I want wonderful things for my marriage and for my husband, but having God changing my heart, motives and actions is going to be painful! I know the results will be worth it, but asking the Lord to reveal any impure way in me (Ps. 139:23,24) is difficult. I like to keep the ugly parts of me hidden away. Out of sight, out of mind, right? God wants to work in my heart, to make me not only a better wife, but more importantly a better disciple, more reliant on Him, desperately seeking His will for my life, even when the process is painful.
When Mike and I have an argument, it’s so incredibly easy for me to see how he is in the wrong, to see his shortcomings and how he needs to change. It is a little tougher to see when I’m wrong and how I need to change, that is, until the argument is over and I’m crying in my bed. Then very often I have the same conversation with God that Stormie writes about.
“Do you see the way he is, Lord?”
“Do you see the way YOU are?”
“Lord, are You saying there are things you want to change in me?”
“Many things. Are you ready to hear them?”
“Well, I guess so.”
“Tell me when you’re really ready.”
“Why me, God? HE’S the one that needs to change.”
“The point is not who NEEDS to change. The point is who is WILLING to change.”
“But God, this isn’t fair.”
“I never said life is fair, I said I am fair.”
“But I. . .”
“Someone has to be willing to start.”
“But. . . . “
“How important is preserving your marriage?”
“Very important. The other options are unacceptable.”
“I reast my case. Let’s get on with changing you.”
“Help me to have a good attitude about this, Lord.”
“That’s up to you.”
“Do I have to pray for my husband even if he’s not praying for me?”
“But that’s not. . . okay, okay, I remember. Life’s not fair. YOU’RE fair!”
(Silent nodding from heaven)
“I give up. Go ahead. Oh, this is going to be painful! Cha . . . change. . . I can’t believe I’m saying this.
(Deep Breath) “Change me, Lord.”
Mike and I even got into an argument last night. He offended me so I lashed out and offended him, so he bit back with a harsh reaction, so I reacted harshly…..on and on. I am embarrassed to say I never did apologize for how I spoke to him; while I was typing that last paragraph, Mike sent me a text message that read, “I love you baby. Sorry we were arguing last night.” Boy, have I got a lot to learn. So here goes….”Change me, Lord.”