I can still remember being sequestered in the “Bride’s Room” of our church just moments before the organist began to play for the early arrivals. As I sat in front of an oversized gilded mirror trying not to wrinkle my dress, I daydreamed about the man who would become my husband by day’s end. He was everything I had ever hoped for: handsome, smart, ambitious, and strong. And most important, he had a deeply intimate relationship with Jesus.
My delicate white gown fit snugly around my upper frame and a flowing satin train trailed behind. A veil rested on a nearby table, ready to be positioned on my head. My bouquet of white roses stood at attention, waiting to be placed in my hands. The most important people in my life gathered in the sanctuary to witness the “I do’s.”
Yes, this was a good day.
As I stared at my reflection, my heart so full of hope and promise, an unwelcome thought interrupted my musing.
Doesn’t every woman feel this way on her wedding day? What could go so terribly wrong that such a high percentage of marriages end in divorce? Am I fooling myself? Am I that much different from the thousands who have walked the aisle before me?
I decided right then and there that I would do everything in my power to make my marriage a success. It didn’t take long for me to discover that the words “in my power” were a problem.“My power” was not enough.
Fairy tales end with the words, “And they lived happily ever after.” But if we could read the Epilogue to those rides off into the sunset, we’d most likely find
potentially divisive decisions
angry arguments sprinkled throughout.
Fairy tales stop short of telling us about tension over whose turn it is to wash the dishes, pay the bills, or put the kids to bed. They leave out the part about stress over holidays with in-laws, frequency of intimacy, and who gets to spend what when. [tweetherder]We naively repeat the words “for better or for worse,” and then are shocked when the first hint of “worse” rears its ugly head.[/tweetherder]
Since that day in the Bride room, I have spent many hours praying for my husband. I don’t have a big bad story of how God took our terrible tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset as we left all danger and darkness behind.
Even though we’ve had our share of both tumult and romance, our relationship is no fairy tale. Our marriage reads more like a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. Eleven thousand, six hundred, and eighty at the time of this writing.
Some entries are smudged with tears, others are dog-eared as favorites. Some pages of our story are marred by unsuccessful erasures that wouldn’t quite rub away the words said; others are finger-worn by reading of precious events time and time again.
For most couples, life is just daily. However, the accumulation of small struggles can nibble like termites to undermine the foundation of what appears to be a healthy structure just as surely as an earthshaking rumble of sudden disaster.
And while my marriage has not miraculously come back from the brink of disaster, I have held the hands of women who have experienced exactly that. Some of them have been you.
Beth, whose husband was addicted to pornography, but because of her intercession he sought out help and deliverance.
Jona, whose husband filed for divorce, but because of her intercession, fell in love with her all over again.
Patty, whose husband was consumed with work and financial gain, but because of her intercession, turned his heart back toward home.
Miriam, whose husband was bound by pain from past abuse, but because of her intercession, experienced the freedom of healing and forgiveness.
I have held their hands. I have heard their cries. I have joined in their prayers. I have witnessed their miracles.
And that is the backstory for why I wrote Praying for Your Husband from Head to Toe.