Jan 2, 2012

We're Unequally Yolked! Now what?

One cannot bring a person to God any faster than 
the Lord prepares them to accept His instruction!

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ ” (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.” (NKJV)
           
In December 2008, my husband continued his abuse of prescription drugs, so I decided to move out of our home and into an apartment with our youngest son. Three years later, we are still married, yet, in many ways, we have remained separate individuals. We still live under separate roofs, have separate bank accounts and worship the Lord in our own personal ways.  
            Also, in 2008, I watched as my husband fell to his knees and accepted Jesus Christ into his heart. At the time, I had recently accepted the Lord too. We were both just beginning to surrender our separate wills to God.  Since then, my faith has grown immensely. First, God orchestrated my enrollment and graduation from a Seminarian program. Next, I was baptized. Then later, God led me to write and publish a book about my repentance and utter surrender to Jesus Christ. Over the past three years, my walk with Christ has felt more like a run at top speed! In comparison, my husband’s walk has been more methodical and seemingly cautious. So, I wait patiently, sometimes impatiently, for my husband to catch up.
What makes this situation difficult is the imbalance of emotions I feel towards God and my husband. Over the past three years, I have relied on the Lord for strength and help during trials. In doing so, I often share my innermost personal thoughts with the Lord rather than my husband. It is the Lord’s comfort and warm embrace I have come to depend on.  I have often failed to allow my husband the same access to my heart as I have my Lord and Savior. I pray that during the next part of my journey, I will learn how to become a loving encourager and friend to my husband as well.

MY WAYS ARE NOT HIS WAYS
Constant physical separation within a family causes each to develop individual routines in the absence of the other partner.
While my husband works away from the home for long periods at a time, our youngest son and I have settled into a comfortable routine. We begin each morning the same way.  I wake up a few minutes before he does, make a cup of coffee and read a chapter in my bible. Then, I wake him up and he scurries off to school. When he returns home, we eat a snack together, complete his homework and watch his favorite cartoons. Throughout the day, my son and I often suddenly stop to pray for someone God places on our hearts.
At night, we dance our favorite dance down the hall towards his room. We say our nightly prayers and then I kiss and tuck him into bed. When I read Scripture to our son, I try to explain God’s purpose behind His Word. Sometimes, God will bring His Word to life in a beautiful way that inspires wonder and joy. During these moments our young son and I praise God! Over the past three years, the two of us have experienced many exceptionally lovely moments together with God.
Sometimes a visit by my husband can upset this daily routine.  During one recent visit, our young son approached me after returning from day of golf with his father.  My husband had become angry on the golf course and had used foul language. Our son, not knowing many profane words, was stunned. He said, “Mommy, Daddy said two bad words today.” My husband, who was standing nearby, remarked, “And I told you that you didn’t hear those words.” Our young son, so astute, then said, “Now, are you asking me to lie?” Rather than speak to my husband in private, I immediately and outspokenly sided with our seven-year-old and belittled my husband for his improper example. 
Then, there are those other times when I try to remain altogether humble, kind and gentle through a rough weekend visit. During these times, I ask God to help me bear with my husband in love (Eph 4:2). One day I learned that my husband had lied to receive a refund on his income taxes. Rather than make him feel worse, I simply asked, “What can I do to help?” Then, I said, “I have some money that I can pull off of a credit card to assist you in a payment if you would like.” While he politely refused, I could tell that he was thankful for the compassion I had offered. In moments like these, I often pray out of desperation to God regarding my marriage. I ask God, “With all that I went through, why hasn’t my husband fully surrendered to Your will yet?”  In response, God softly reminds me that He is God and that His thoughts are not my thoughts, nor are my ways, His ways!
  He said, “The homeless man walked straight up to me and said, I want to enter your sober living program!” The speaker shared his reservations about admitting that particular man into his program. “He was older, had been on the street for fifteen years and I wondered if he could ever learn to fully accept sobriety.” I felt like God Himself was telling me one of His parables. Then the man said, “But as I stared at the aging man, I remembered something my father said to me once, ‘It’s never over with God’s Kingdom!’ So I admitted the man after 15 years of homelessness and the sixty-year-old man graduated from our sober living program, attended a bible college and is now a local Pastor.” “It is never too late for God’s Kingdom!” I thought. “Please Lord, lay a burden on my husband’s heart to seek help from a sober living program. And give me the strength and patience to wait on You.” Just then, one of my favorite worship songs began to play. Streams of tearful joy and hope ran down my face as I heard, “Strength will rise when we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord!”

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! 

To read about the night that caused me to surrender to God's Will, 
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