Several years ago, the Lord taught me a lesson about praying for my husband. It’s something I’d like to pass along to you, along with a tool to help you pray for your spouse.
You see, I had a problem with my husband leaving his hangers for his clothes in the bathroom. I know in the big scheme of things this may seem like a small problem. I acknowledge that —but it’s one of those irritations, which was getting to me. (I’m sure you have yours.)
“Small” Problem that Grew in Importance
In the morning my husband Steve would clean up after himself in other ways. But he often neglected putting away his hangers.
I kept pointing it out to him because I did so many other things that I felt this was his responsibility. Sometimes he would remove them, other times he didn’t. (He’d say he “forgot.” But I suspected it was a passive-aggressive thing was going on. But maybe it wasn’t, because like me, he can be forgetful too).
No matter how much I told my husband that it irritated me, it would eventually start happening again. He would remember for a period of time to remove the hangers but then the old pattern would re-emerge. I was pretty tired of it all.
One day, I was holding onto the hangers Steve had left behind and was frustratingly praying once again that the Lord would remind him to put them away next time. But after praying, the Lord revealed to me a different approach to the matter. He impressed upon me to instead appreciate the fact that it wasn’t a worse situation. I have friends who are widows who would trade places with me in a millisecond to have their husbands still with them. They would welcome such a “small” problem in return for having their husbands back.
God also showed me to see it as an opportunity to pray for the man who wore the clothes from those hangers. Ouch! I knew immediately, I needed that wisdom. It was one of those growth times I don’t like very well, but know that I need.
I realized that I could continue to get upset over something that really wasn’t as bad as other things my husband could be doing. After all, he DID get up every morning to go to work. And yes, he is faithful, respectful, isn’t abusive, is loving, and the list goes on and on. In the big scheme of things, this isn’t the most important thing to be continually be upset about. There are some things that are best left alone. It is better to put our energies into other (more important) matters.
The Lord impressed upon me to quit nit picking. Instead I need to use the situation as an opportunity to pray for this good man. God presented me with a choice to make. I could continue to get upset, or I could use it as an opportunity to pray for my husband. I believe I made the right choice (as much as I didn’t want to). Praying for Steve is definitely more important. I have to say that it has changed my whole outlook.
Life Since Then
From that day on, I changed my outlook, concerning those hangers. When I would see them, I would hug them to my heart and pray for my husband who was wearing the clothes that had hung on them. A whole new attitude of appreciation would wash over me. It turned an irritation into a time to bless, confess, and grow closer to my Lord and to Steve.
And the funny thing is, when I quit nagging Steve and instead used it as an opportunity to pray for him, he stopped leaving his hangers out any more. Go figure! (But you won’t hear me complain. I just find other times to pray for him.)
I’d like to pass along something I feel could help those who want to pray for their husbands. It goes along the same line as God has shown me to pray for my husband:
I hope this inspires you to pray for your spouse in a way you may not have thought otherwise. And if you’re a husband reading this, please look at the prayer points as ones you can use to pray for your wife. Just change the adjectives.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.
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