Friday, October 12, 2012

Fall Back Into Faith Fridays - Part 5 Family

Welcome back friends.  I love to write about today's topic, but I tend to avoid it because inevitably if I talk about marriage my intensely private husband is implicated! 

Well, I can talk today about marriage in the context of this study without implicating my own marriage one bit, I'm sure much to his relief.  As most of you know, we're studying faith, family, fortune and fun this fall in our study.  Last week was the first week of the family quadrant and hopefully it encouraged you with the promises God has for your family, whatever it looks like.  Today's and next week's study on family may not directly affect all of you, but since these relationships are the primary ones in many of our families, I wanted to tackle the two topics of marriage and kids. 

I shared a little bit of my personal marital challenges yesterday, but today focuses on how faith functions in the midst of your marriage. 

Your marriage may be on one of three different places - you and your husband both hold the same strong personal faith, you and your husband basically hold the same beliefs but he (or you) does not rely on his faith in a strong and daily way, or you and your husband have completely different faiths or he has no faith beliefs at all.  Because the faith in our marriages can be at completely different places, it is hard to write a one size fits all growth guide for faith in the middle of your marriage. 

The most critical piece of information to remember is that you are not responsible for your husband's faith.  You are responsible for your faith.  And you are responsible to make sure your faith shines brightly in your marriage.  Sadly, I think we often are the poorest witness inside our marriage.  If you both have a strong faith in God, you can hold each other accountable and pray for one another and strengthen one another as you grow in the knowledge of the Lord.  But if you are at very different places in your faith walk, or if you hold different beliefs, you can only work on allowing God to grow you closer to Him and then allowing that relationship between you and God to serve as a testimony to your husband who can't join you on your walk at this point in your marriage.  Do not allow the differences in your places of faith to drive a wedge in your marriage.  Instead, do you best to grow more fully in your relationship with God and just pray for your husband. 

I love this prayer for husbands from Renee Swope's A Confident Heart and also from Lysa Terkeurst's Capture His Heart.  This prayer is beautiful because it works regardless of whether your husband is a strong and solid believer or has no interest in God at all.  News flash:  God is interested in him, and always will be, and He is interested in your marriage succeeding.  Here is some of that prayer and I have provided a link to Renee's full free downloadable version as well.   

Head - Father, I ask that You would continually renew my husband’s mind, resulting in a transformed life. Help him bring every thought to Christ and make it obedient to You....(Psalm 119:15, Rom 12:2, 2 Cor.10:5)
Eyes - Lord, keep open my husband’s eyes to spiritual truths that You have for him. Help him to see things as You see them. Please guard his eyes from things that make his heart wander away from you and me. (Psalm 119:18, Psalm 119:37)

Ears - Father, help my husband to hear Your voice clearly. Give him wisdom to recognize your voice with certainty. Protect him from listening to those who aren’t seeking or walking with You....(Is 30:21, 1 Kings 3:9, 1 John 4:1)
Mouth - Jesus, help my husband to speak the truth in love...Let the words he speaks be Yours, not his own...(Psalm 19:14, 119:13, 41:3; Eph 4:15, 4:29; James 1:19)
Heart - Lord, instill in my husband’s heart a desire to seek passionately after You. Teach him to guard his heart with diligence and wisdom. Help him deal with anything in his heart that is not pleasing to You...(Psalm 78:72, 119:10-11; Prov 4:23; 1 Thes 3:13)
Hands - Lord, I pray everything my husband does would be done with his whole heart, serving You rather than man. Seeking to please You alone. I pray You will increase his skills and abilities so that he might bring honor and glory to You...(Psalm 24:3-4, Col 3:23)
Feet - Jesus, I pray my husband would love Your Words and walk in Your ways. Help him walk in a manner that is worthy of You, bearing fruit in every good work. I pray You’d show him how to creatively share your truth with our kids as he does life with them. Father, when he walks through the valley of the shadow of doubt and difficulties, I pray he would fear no evil because He knows that you are with him. (Deut 6:7, 8:6, Col 1:10, Psalm 23:4)
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