The offer had just presented itself, and we were both just trying to let it sink in, trying to keep ourselves from getting too caught up in the emotions of it.
I was trying to avoid it, really.
We lived within 30 minutes of several of my closest friends, who I’d known for years, who had seen me in my darkest hours and who loved me still. We’d recently found a church we loved and joined a life group with several couples we BOTH clicked with. That’s rare. I’d found a Bible study that was both hilarious and convicting.
Bottom line: I was very comfortable right where I was.
So one morning, in the midst of the stress, I went to that bible study (the one I loved so much and didn’t want to leave behind). My favorite thing about the study was the speaker, Becky Brooks, and that morning’s topic was on marriage. Becky opened by saying,
Um, Becky. Don’t tell me how to live my life.
But she kept going. And every word was like a droplet of warm water atop my frozen heart.
I’ve spent a lot of my marriage trying to replace my husband’s Holy Spirit, trying to direct him and guide him and pull him on a leash in whichever direction I saw fit because I like control and responsibility and being right.
But what if we really believed our husbands had their own Holy Spirit? What would that look like? What does that even mean?
First of all, it doesn’t mean you can’t tell him how you feel about a certain decision.
But it does take the pressure off of you to convince him of what to do.
It means you pray like crazy for God to guide the both of you. It means you pray that he makes the best decision for your family, and then trust that whatever decision he makes is exactly that. It means when he asks for your opinion, you answer honestly, but not in anger or frustration.
It means you take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, be still and KNOW that He is God and His spirit is working in your husband just as His spirit is working in you.
When there’s a men’s retreat at church coming up and you really want him to go.
When he gets a job offer in another town.
When he doesn’t see your side.
When you want to go to marriage counseling but he’s just not ready yet.
When you’ve asked him a million times to _______ and wish he would just do it once.
The aggressively-telling-him-over-and-over-again has not proven effective in my home; I don’t know about yours.
So instead, have one, calm discussion about it. Put that thought in his head. Let him know where you stand. And then, walk away. And, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV).
Because when you pray to God, you are also praying to the Holy Spirit who is living inside your husband. I promise, it/he/she/that Spirit*[NOTE] will do a much better job of leading him than your frustration ever will.
And by the way. We did move. I cried.
But oh how I have seen God’s good work in the uncomfortable spaces of a new place. If it had been up to me, we would never have strayed from the nice, safe comfort of our last town.
But I guess that’s why I’m loosening my grip on things around here.
Personally, I’ve been completely satisfied with who you are and what you are doing. You seem to me to be well-motivated and well-instructed, quite capable of guiding and advising one another (Romans 15:14 Message).
[NOTE] A careful look at the different names for the Holy Spirit in both Hebrew and Greek remind us that the Spirit of the living God is identified with each of these gender forms — it, he, and she. For more see GotQuestions.com.