Friday, March 18, 2011

His Power

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

Sometime ago I was told that if I wanted to give my kids what they need the most, I would give my marriage the attention it needs. That while the right discipline, structure, and meals are valuable; the strength of my marriage is key.

Sometimes I forget this bit of information. Frequently I am too busy with the kids, the house, the bills, the laundry, and the meals – to pay much attention to my partner. We both have busy lives – between his job and mine there just isn’t a lot of time. And we don’t have a lot of money, either. So paying a babysitter every week and going “out,” isn’t really an option.

Last weekend I attended a conference where the speaker (on marriage) asked us, “Does the heart of your husband safely trust you?” “Do you do him good? or evil?”

Powerful questions cut thru to my soul. If my husband’s heart can trust me, that means I am not judging him when he shares a mistake he made. It means I’m not nagging him (without even thinking about it) when I see that chore I want him to do. It means I’m not criticizing with harsh words.

If I want “to do him good,” I’m building him up. I’m respecting him and his judgment and sharing words of compassion when he shares a misstep. I’m his partner and I encourage him and ask him how I can help. I’m strengthening him with my words and paying attention to my tone.

Marriage is really hard. So is being a mom. I’m not getting much sleep and I have a lot on my plate. After my conference last weekend I was reeling. How am I going to process all this? What do I do first? I have so much to think about and I need to go home to my husband and be the wife he needs me to be… How, Lord? Then it hit me. I wasn’t going to make a detailed outline of what to do. I wasn’t going to list out all the things I’d learned or that had been suggested. I was way too tired.

So I prayed. Lord, I forgot, again, that this isn’t about me and my abilities. It’s about you and what you can do… in my marriage, in my family, in my heart. Lord, whatever needs to change – change it. Whatever needs to be forgiven – forgive it. Whatever log I need to pull from my eye – pull it. Make it happen inside me, Lord. And give me the words - that my husband needs to hear from me. Give me the energy - to make him a priority. Wrap our marriage up in your protective arms and strengthen it. For the sake of our children. And for the sake of your Son. That we can be an example of your power being made perfect in weakness. Amen.

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