When things turn South, turn North

“You gonna pray?”

My wife flung her arm across the bed in an angry arc, smacking me on my hip. Everything in me wanted to say, “no”, but I took her hand in mine, and with that physical touch, something in my heart softened just a little. We had been fighting and we were still angry, hurt, and frustrated with each other. My prayer was really short and went something like this:

“Jesus, we are fighting, but I guess you know that. We’ve hurt each other, and we are both wounded. Would You please fill us while we are sleeping and heal our wounds and bring us back together. Amen.”

And then I rolled over with my back to my wife and fell asleep.

In the morning, Jesus had softened our hearts and we forgave each other and came back to unity. He came through when every part of my human flesh couldn’t. We trusted in His power and He didn’t disappoint.

God has blessed us with a wonderful family. Dawn and I rarely have disagreements. We have two beautiful kids in college and they are beginning to find their own way in this world. We are blessed for sure, and generally, we don’t take that for granted but give credit to God for His provision. But we also recognize that we live in a fallen world. Our lives are being played out on a battlefield of the fiercest nature and the enemy would stop at nothing to disrupt and sabotage our family. Satan has set his bulls-eye on our marriage. Spiritual warfare is very real and we ignore this reality at our own peril.

Furthermore, we should recognize that we are also being shaped by God. Once we have become children of God, which happens instantly when we accept the gift of Christ’s work on the cross, we then begin a lifelong process of sanctification. And in God’s glorious wisdom, he has given us a spouse to help in that process. I know, sometimes it doesn’t seem like help, but there are parts of our character that would never be reached by anyone other than my married partner. God uses my spouse to get to parts of my character that need to be revealed and healed. He is in the process of molding me to become more like Jesus.

Finally, we would be naïve to think that sometimes our discord results from the fact that we are broken and scarred; and we are married to someone that is also hurt and wounded. We make mistakes and we hurt our spouses, and they make mistakes and they hurt us. You’ve heard the expression, “hurt people hurt people.” We have all been hurt, and sometimes through whatever coping mechanisms we’ve embraced, we end up hurting those we love the most. And they do the same. When damage has been done, we need forgiveness, not retaliation.

The really good news, however, is that all of these scenarios can be addressed with the same remedy. There really is a “golden bullet”, a “magic pill” that will resolve the hurt no matter from what source it originated.

Get on your knees and pray.

Pray by yourself. Pray with your spouse. Pray silently. Pray out loud. Just pray. When things turn south, turn north.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Ephesians 6:18

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Today’s guest blog post is from Greg Carmichael. He works for State government during the day, rides his mountain bike whenever he can, and was an active supporter of the Boy Scouts while his son progressed through the ranks to Eagle Scout. He has been heavily influenced by the writings of John Eldredge, believes the Bible is the Holy word of God and should be our primary source of truth, and believes God instilled a heart and a passion within us that needs to be released, not tamed. He has a passion to support the institution of marriage and encourage couples. If you’d like to read more of his writings, check out his own blog at www.ephesians614.com.