It was a gorgeous sunny day that we were married right there on the beach. The waves of the ocean crashed upon the rocks that we were behind as we said our vows. It was a simple wedding, not much really. We didn’t have a lot, but we were determined to be together forever. He was my first love, my first kiss, my soul mate.
We were young and in love. Nothing could stop us from living out our pre-conceived notion of this Disney fairytale life. Boy meets girl, girl meets parents, boy and girl live happily ever after.
Or so the story goes…
The Biggest Lesson I Learned in 14 Years of Marriage
Fourteen years of marriage later, before our divorce was final, there would be six known affairs and a baby on the way with a woman that he was no longer with. Somewhere in there, he’d abandon our family, and the kids and I would end up in a women’s homeless abuse center for physical violence and a restraining order placed upon him to boot. There would be jail time, illegal activity, and I’d forgive all of that just to be with the one I was convinced I loved.
That is…until I met someone I loved more!
Someone who would never let me fall out of His sovereign hands. Someone who loves me more than anyone else ever did. Someone who would wipe away my tears and die for me. Someone who would always do what is in MY best interest. Someone who is…perfect.
I found the Lord, or rather, He found me.
He plucked me out of all of that, that horrible life, and set me on a path that is in accordance with His will and for His glory. He would chose a path for me that is super scary, one that I would need to trust in Him completely to go on, and rely on Him daily to even walk it. A single blogging mama…ready to take on the world.
And through all of that I would learn one of the most important things I could ever teach you….
You cannot change other people.
My ex-husband was unsaved and no matter how hard I prayed for him, how hard I tried to be convicting to him, how much I tried to be a godly wife and a good witness of my faith TO him, there’s nothing that I could ever do to change him.
I could pray until I was blue in the face, usually with fists on the ground out of frustration and sobbing uncontrollably, “Lord, PLEASE…I’ll never ask for anything ever again. Please save my husband,” I would cry.
The simple truth is…
- You could fight your husband
- You can try to play God to your husband
- You could give him a 100 point essay about why he should be a more honorable man
- You could be silent
- You could brood
- You could be quarrelsome
- You could fight
It doesn’t really matter what you do, you. cannot. change. him!
Never try to change your husband…that’s God’s work.
If you win that fight, your only hope is changing some outward physical habit, which isn’t what you want. It’s not what you’re looking for. You want a real and genuine heart change, and the heart belongs solely to the Lord. HE ALONE is the ONLY one that can change your husband’s heart, you simply can’t do it.
No matter what you and your husband are fighting about, no matter how important it seems to you at the time, always remember this one thing: you can’t change him. The only one who can is God.
So instead of fighting with your husband, instead of fighting for your will and your way, simply do this…
Turn the whole matter over to God. Pray on your hands and knees and ask God to not only change the situation, but the HEART. It could very well be that you’re right and he’s wrong, or it could very well be that he’s right and you’re wrong. None of that matters. It doesn’t matter who wins the fight. It doesn’t matter who’s right. All that matters is your and your husbands HEART for Christ.
If he’s fallen away from Christ, if he’s rebelling, and you see him running from God, not listening to God or you, tell him, but remember that no one can draw him back to Christ, but God. If your husband is not saved, it’s very much the same thing..
Yes, pray for your loved ones, pray for your unbelieving spouse, pray your guts out; God expects us to pray, but the power to change another human being is not inside of us. That power lies solely with God and it is absolutely 100% fruitless to even try. Give it over to God. Let HIM do HIS work in your husband’s life.
And remember while you are praying for your husband, ALWAYS pray that God show YOU if you are wrong as well. Be submissive to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to work in your life as well. Always be open to the fact that you may be completely wrong too. Again, it doesn’t MATTER who’s right and who’s wrong. It only matters that BOTH of you are zealously seeking the Lord and HIS will, not your own.