I have a passion for the Lord and for people to experience the complete freedom that comes only through Him.
Draw Me a Map that Leads Me Back to You: The Power of Words
As this series has come out, I've been asked why I'm willing to share such private things. The reason we (yes, my husband has read and helped polish all that I've written here:) are willing to share this hard part of our journey is because we've personally seen the power of God to redeem and restore that which was lost. The beauty and profound joy that I now experience in my marriage far OUTSHINES the darkest of the dark moments. As I've talked with other women over the years, I know that I'm not alone in some of the choices that I made along the way; but I also know that the freedom and joy my marriage now experiences isn't for me alone, it has always been a part of the original design and purpose for all marriages. My prayer is that through my sharing others will have the hope and desire for more.
As my husband struggled with his Christianity and other life stresses, his character often became unpleasant to be around. Many times, I did not look forward to him coming home from work, because his attitude often brought down the whole mood of the house. I also let his behavior negatively affect my thoughts about him.
One day, God jolted me awake and changed the way I was handling my thoughts about my husband. One of my close friends, whom I confided in, had come to pray with me. She said that as she was praying for my husband she got the picture of a "treasure hunter." My mouth just about dropped open. She did not know it but "treasure hunter" is part of my husband's Ebay seller name. I knew right then that God was speaking through her to get my attention. This word truly gave me His perspective on my husband. Treasure hunter ended up having a two-fold meaning for me:
First: God saw my husband as a valuable treasure that He was on the hunt for. God didn't define him according to all the junk that I saw, but rather God defined him as the treasure that He had redeemed.
Second: He saw my husband as valuable to the kingdom of God and that my husband is a treasure hunter for the kingdom.
I walked away from that time with a righteous jealousy for my husband and to experience the treasure of who he is. If my friend could recognize and believe in the value of my husband then surely I, as his wife, could begin seeing the treasure inside of him. After this prayer time, when conflict arose, I no longer made agreements that these negative moods reflected who he truly was. I knew that a better man existed inside. As I would walk away from a difficult time, I no longer sat and dwelt on how frustrated I was with him, but rather I would ask for and then declare God's perspective on the situation. Also, when I did see the treasures in my husband's personality I began to verbally affirm him and internally affirm my thoughts about him. As this happened, I began to see changes in my husband. The changes did not happen overnight, nor was there "one day" when everything was "better." However, over time, the negative patterns decreased and the positive behaviors substantially increased. I still stand amazed and in joyful wonder of the man I married. Just the other day, we left church with both of us laughing about something my husband "out of character" that he did. I just shook my head and said, "Are you sure you're my husband?! You have made me a believer in the love of God." The changes in my husband still leave me dumbfounded and in awe of our mysteriously, sneaky working God.
After all that I have been through, I truly believe in the power of words, whether spoken aloud or just held in our minds. Scripture says that Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). We have the ability to speak LIFE over situations or death. There is power, because of Jesus the Word, when we begin to see our spouses with God's eyes. God does not define us according to all of our junk. He truly sees the treasure held within each one of us; we are invited to see, know and declare His truth over people's lives. If you are in a situation, where the definition of your spouse is mostly negative, surrender your thoughts and words to Jesus the Word, and get His perspective on your spouse. Then partner within Him in declaring the truth.
After reading the ideas in this post, there is a temptation to think I'm just talking about wishful thinking or that I'm encouraging you to be blind to what is "really going on." However, I have learned and am still learning that taking God's perspective on things is where true life and freedom exists, even when I can't immediately see it with my physical eyes. I conclude with the following quote from a sermon by Bill Johnson:
The Gospel empowers you to take what's of the enemy and put it under your feet and take what's of people around you and you come under them to empower them. You rule over the spirit world so that darkness doesn't rule and then you come under and empower people.