Thank you, God. You do answer prayer. As I've said before, my friend and I pray each morning at the same time, even though we are hundreds of miles apart. Recently, at her suggestion, we changed our prayers from a list of things that we wanted changed(find jobs, our husband's salvation, the sale of my house and our walks with God) to only one prayer: to improve our walk with the Lord.
I have heard it said that one of the benefits of prayer is that it changes you--not that is changes things, but rather my attitude toward things.
That happened today. Not during prayer time, not during quiet time, but when I was writing an e-mail to my friend. The e-mail started with a long complaint about someone I know who had done something that upset me very much. When I thought about what I was writing, I realized that writing that to her would only upset her, so I deleted all of it. Then I was going to complain about my husband(we both tend to complain about our husbands to each other). As I started to type the words, Jesus stepped in and stopped me. I waited and listened. The Lord gave me such an "ah ha" moment that I was blown away. Now to most of you, it might seem just common sense, but within the context of my marriage and the interaction that my spouse and I have always had, it was an incredible insight for me.
Phil is a real easy going guy. He isn't a born leader, he is a follower. I have always been the decisive one in our marriage--bossy and overbearing, you might say. I can argue my point with the best debaters in the world and win the argument. I always said that this setup suited me just fine. Even though the Bible tells women to submit to their husbands, I didn't think that it applied to me, because my husband didn't lead.
I know now that God wants me to submit to my husband and how to do it. I have been waiting on Phil to lead and all he does is sit around, except when there is a drag race coming up, then he's full of energy, which I resent. That resentment comes out of me in angry outbursts, arguing and just a general lack of respect for him when I speak to him. What the Lord showed me today, is that I need wait for the right opening to start a conversation and suggest things to do in a non-nagging way. I know that the Lord will give me that opening. I need to modulate my tone of voice and let go of past frustrations that we have had. When Phil makes a suggestion for an activity, I can agree with him, instead of always stating my opinion(arguing, as he calls it). If I agree with him, what will it hurt? We might put a plant in a different spot or place bricks in a different way--so what? My way isn't always the best way, even though I often thought that!
Phil never says anything against my faith in Jesus or in any way prevents me from prayer time or church activities, so I am blessed in that area of my life. I finally have a clear picture of what God wants from me in submitting to my husband. By uplifting Phil, I can make him a better leader. To uplift him, I need to follow his lead and give him props for taking the lead. If he just wants to sit, I can start an activity without being resentful or nagging him. It will be good for both of us. And our marriage will be the way God intended.
Thank you Lord for the miracle that you gave me today. Give me your strength to hold on to the change you have made in my thinking.