This is all quite sensitive and vulnerable, but I believe that is when God can break in most...
I've been married to Robert, my hubby for 12 years (17 years together as a couple). We met when I was just 16 and heading to college and he was a young guy at uni. In many ways we've grown up together, we've lived through a lot together - we've made five beautiful children, supported one another through loved ones passing away, prayed together through the more financially challenging months as our family became 7, celebrated our prayers being answered when we bought our current home and saw our children gain spaces in great schools, established family life and lead ministry together at our home church. Over the years, we've worked hard to be a team and establish a happy home.
But just recently, we've found ourselves in abit of a lull...not a peaceful one like in-between blog posts, but a flat one that has felt tiring, frustrating and sometimes unloving.
Whilst there hasn't been any huge problems - in fact life is the best it's ever been for us in so many ways - there have been a build up of small "niggles" that have grated on us and if left unspoken about, caused abit of a barrier between us communicating and doing life aswell together as we have been.
It's so easy out of tiredness and impatience to utter hurtful words or start a self pity party isn't it.
It's so easy to take this God anointed relationship for granted and put everything and everyone else first.
Whilst we both have parts to play in our experience this past few weeks, I feel it's only right (and honourable to my husband) to speak about the revelation I've had following our conversations as a couple and the prayers I've prayed with a couple of trusted friends during this time...
And that is - that I need to be a more prayerful wife who puts her husband first!
I think I've put Rob on abit of a pedestal since the day I met him as a hurt 16 year old who was crying out to be rescued. No doubt about it, Rob was sent into my life at the right time in that respect. I know wholeheartedly it was no coincidence we met and have built this life together, but I'm aware I've perhaps relied on him to be my perfect knight in shining armour whose always happy, ever forgiving, ever gentle, ever kind, and doesn't have the emotional needs like I do.
That's wrong of me.
He may not have the same DNA make up as me, but the fact Rob's a man and I'm a woman does in no way make it correct that he doesn't need the same emotional support I do. We're both human and aslong as that fact remains, our needs are in fact very similar...of course, I know there are certain traits that make us females very different from the male species, but for the sake of this post...lets look at this from the angle of us being human form-fullstop!
I've found myself over the years continually look for praise and reassurance from him as I've been a stay at home mum and raised our family...and whilst I've listened to how his day at work was...I'm not sure I've fully taken it seriously that he may really want and need me to take in how his day has been...occupying myself or being distracted.
That's wrong of me.
Of course my husbands day matters to me. Of course I should stop what I'm doing and as snooze-ville as the techie stuff may sound to this very un-techie girl, tune into what he actually does for a career. Of course I should be the person to fully reassure him, love him and pray for him when a colleague has been difficult, and not dismiss it because "he's a man, and men get over things like that quickly and easier than us girls!"
But sometimes, I can be so absorbed with "what happened with my friend today" or "one of the kids isn't feeling great" or "this dinner won't cook itself, nor the dishwasher fill itself" or "oh wow, look at this Facebook status" that I don't give him 100% of me.
Whilst life is busy and I juggle five children- which naturally means - 2 schools, 1 nursery, 7 "out of school" clubs, 5 lots of hormones and unfolding life stories, church ministry, friends, extended family, and my own spiritual health, I really don't want my marriage to be just another thing I juggle. I want my marriage to remain strong and not something I think of as "being okay, because it's there!"
That's wrong of me.
Because when something is given to you as a gift from God, which I believe my husband and my marriage is, we are to hold it sacred, nurture it, care for it and keep Him very much in it.
I know as the woman of this house, I need to be praying for my husband throughout every day. I need to be his biggest ambassador and advocate. I need to be claiming him unending favour, peace and strength as he works hard and fights for a better life for his family. It's a dog eat dog world out there and I don't want my husband falling prey to it.
Because when we pray...when we take the time to want to put more into something than demand what we feel we should be getting out of it...the supernatural happens and our needs are instantly met. Because that's the grace and goodness of God.
As I pray more for my husband I believe God will bless me with my needs being met because He will see and reward the honour of my actions.
Some things are so worth fighting for and putting our all into hey!
I'm learning my marriage is one of those things.
It's not something I can take for granted.
Even for the easier marriages, which I've felt ours has been, there are tough days...seasons even.
I'm seeing that the enemy wants to break every relationship he possibly can...he comes to steal, kill and destroy...only prayer and obedience to Gods word can break down those plans.
I'm learning that I'm not the only one who needs to feel loved...that I can't use my past hurts as an excuse, and that I need to be fully loving all the time.
I believe we're entering a new season...a deeper season with great purpose and which will require us to be the strongest we've ever been as a couple.
I'm committing myself to being a more prayerful wife.
And I'm encouraging you, if you're married, to do the same.
Commit yourself to praying more for your husband.
Stop what you're doing and engage with him as he tells you about his day.
Stop demanding all the attention and lavish him for a while.
Walk in love...even on the tougher days.
Whilst we can't control others, we can with Gods help, control how we walk through this life.
And please know, this post is not me belittling issues in marriage.
This is not me being holier than thou and saying help should not be sought if a marriage is buckling under the pressure of circumstance.
This is not me demanding that everyone do it my way.
This is not me saying my husband and I are now perfect...we are very imperfect and whilst we walk through our lives on earth always will be.
This is just my revelation...that I'm willing to share with you.
Feel free to keep us in your prayers, the best thing we can do for anyone, the biggest act of provision we can extend to a friend is heartfelt prayer :-)
Be Blessed x