God Can Use Our Spouse For Good In Our Life - Part 2

Do you ever feel like you are at your wits end with your husband? Do you ever feel like you have no idea what to do about his…? (fill in the blank)? Or that you’re not sure you can continue to put up with his…for the next 40 years or until death do you part? Well Shelley can tell you all about that. She had had it with Mark, her husband of 15 years. Tired of his selfish behavior and of feeling unloved by him, she was done, at the end of herself. She decided that there was nothing left to do than to end this marriage and pray that God would send her the guy He’d chosen for her to love and cherish her in the way she deserved. Have you ever thought this? I know I did! And as she made her way to the divorce attorney’s office that Friday afternoon she cried out to God begging Him to speak, she heard Him say that He wanted her to spend some time in prayer seeking His perspective, His truth on all of this. Realizing that she had nothing to lose because she was already at the bottom of the pit, Shelley decided to spend time that weekend seeking God’s will in her situation, laying down her agenda. And guess what? God showed up! He told her that He was doing a work in her heart, she was the one to change and that He was using Mark for good in her life to draw her closer to Him so she would depend on Him, and that He would show her some really cool things. The fringe benefit of this was that Shelley’s marriage improved beyond her expectations. Obviously that’s the short version of the story, but the point is that God turned Shelley’s marriage around when she came to the end of herself and decided to seek Him with her whole heart, not for what He could do for her, just to get to know Him better. And the rewards were amazing.

There’s something about being at the end of ourselves that pleases God – No He’s not a masochist. There’s something about turning to Him with our whole heart when we’ve run out of all our ideas, when we’re desperate for Him, that gets Him working. Jeremiah 29:13 says,”…you will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart.” In 2 Corinthians 12:9, He says, “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Which when translated into real modern English means, His strength comes alive, is activated when we’re weak. So weakness can actually be a positive thing! God really gets to be God at those times, instead of us. How cool is that! So He actually wants us to come to the end of ourselves and depend on Him! That’s when we get to let Him take control!  So often in our marriages we don’t realize that we’re doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Like hitting our head against a brick wall. Coincidentally, you know what the loose definition of insanity is, right? It’s doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. And don’t we feel a little crazy sometimes in our marriages? Hmmmmmmm…     

So a big part of how our Lord uses our spouses for good is to bring us to the end of ourselves. The women who come into my office with marital issues are usually at the end of themselves and they probably hate it when I tell them congratulations. I’m learning how to say that with less enthusiasm because I think I’ve scared away a few people with my excitement. Ladies, God does not look at our temporal inconveniences in the same way we do. Don’t get me wrong, He definitely cares about our pain, but He allows it for a higher purpose, because it’s often, only at the end of ourselves, in the depth of our pain that we turn to Him. You know it. How often do we spend time basking in His presence when things are great? It’s often only at the end of ourselves, in our pain and desperation that we take the time to look within to Him and it is there we find Him, and when we find Him in this way, it is then that He is most real to us. It is then that He will show Himself strong. It is in that place that we need to always remain.  

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