Psalm 26:2-3 (Message Bible) Examine me, GOD, from head to foot, order your battery of tests. Make sure I’m fit inside and out so I never lose sight of your love, but keep in step with you, never missing a beat.
Over twenty one years ago, a mid-twenties struggling, wounded Christian woman married a man who was determined to love, and in many ways rescue her from a childhood where she had been violated that led to years of being fear based, an obsession with people pleasing, making wrong decisions and carrying anger toward men who had taken advantage of her in her teens and young adult years. This wounded Christian woman was also the single mother of her beautiful almost four year old child when she married whom her husband later adopted.
That man was determined to love, protect and provide for them. While protect and provide came easy, how to express love was much harder because he brought his own concerns to the table of the marriage. While he loved his wife he didn’t know how to take on the baggage she brought into the marriage when he was unsaved and had a base personality that was emotionally disconnected. Could he give to this woman what she so desperately needed? She needed to feel loved, wanted and safe. She needed to be healed and restored from her past and neither of them could do that. Although she was saved since 12 years old and loved God she needed to know Him more intimately. She needed to trust Him as her Abba Father but how do you trust yet another male figure when you’ve been hurt so deeply since your youth? There was truly only one man that woman trusted and that was her Grandpa. Trusting God and trusting her husband didn’t come as easily when it came to her emotions. Arguments, disagreements, uncertainty and tears came first. She adored her husband but was very needy and untrusting and almost suffocated him.
One day just a few years into the marriage after crying out for years for God to do something to change her husband—to make him more attentive to her needs and to help him to love her the way she needed; she suddenly realized that she had been praying the wrong prayer. The Holy Spirit touched her heart and showed her that rather than praying about her husband she should be praying for herself and for her husband. There is a difference between praying for someone and praying about them. I will share that in another post. The most important prayer that woman needed to pray was, “Lord, please change me!”
I was that woman. As I began to pray that prayer the process of healing which had already begun when I began to see God as my Abba Father and not just as my God; became more visible. I began to see a change in Lisa. I became more patient. I didn’t wear my emotions on my sleeve as much. I wish I could tell you that the process was instantaneous but it wasn’t. It was gradual yet consistent. As I meditated on God’s Word, grew in my prayer life and journeyed my own faith in God not just the faith that had been taught to me by my precious Grandparents; I began to see the wounds become healed…one by one.
I pray Psalm 26:2-3 which I noted at the top of this post. I pray it over myself regularly for many years. When I came upon the Message Bible version of this text a number of years ago it read the way I speak my heart to God in prayer. I want God to examine me and keep me fit. I want to be able to keep in step with His Holy Spirit. I don’t want anything to hinder my fellowship with Him. My relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in prayer and the Word has changed me over the years and everything connected with me including my marriage. I’m happy to report that my husband has been walking powerfully with God for a very long time and I’m thankful.
Ladies, the prayer of “Lord, please change me” may not feel good at first. You may be saying, “Lisa, God really needs to change my husband!” Perhaps He does but here’s what’s important to remember, you can’t change your husband and your husband can’t change you. You both need God to work in your hearts and lives. Pray for God to change you and yes, pray for your husband but not out of an angry or hurt heart. Pray for him out of love and a desire to see him be all that God has purposed for him.
Remain consistent in your prayer and humble in your heart. Wait patiently on God and watch things begin to change. Keep your heart open for God to do a work in you. Pray, “Lord, please change me” and watch your perspective change, your attitude and or behavior will change. You will begin to enjoy the life you are living even if you are in the midst of trials and tribulations. You’ll be able to live the peace and joy that God has provided to us and healing and wholeness will set it in the areas you need it.
I hope you’ll return next time when I share how to pray for and not about your husband and how to really live the joy and peace God has ordained in your marriage. I am praying for you now. You are not alone in your journey although you may feel alone as I did but God is with you and you have people here at the Café that care about you and are praying for you and I’m one of them! We’re in this journey of life together!