Speaking Your Mans Language: Kara Yagelowich Hughes
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About ten years ago, God sent me a present. No, it did not come in the mail or fall out of the sky, but I have no doubt that it was a gift straight from heaven. Let me explain.
Back when my children were much younger, my husband and I were going through a really rough time. The stress of jobs, small kids, finances, and relationship problems had become overwhelming and emotionally taxing.
After yet another heated argument, I found myself feeling so disheartened, that I hardly knew what to do. Strange as it may sound, I decided to go to the car wash (which I do not do very often, so the fact that God nudged me to get the car washed was a miracle in itself!).
As I drove towards the Auto Bell, I could no longer hold back the tears. I thought I had tried everything possible to improve our marriage and felt emotionally worn out from worrying about our relationship.
I arrived to my destination, handed over my car, paid my bill, and proceeded to take a seat in the empty waiting room. I sat there, all alone, feeling low in spirit and clueless about how to be a good wife and what needed to be done to fix my marriage. I began pleading with God to show me a sign, to give me an answer to my concerns; to tell me what I needed to do to make things better between me and my husband.
As I sat there trying not to cry, consumed with my thoughts, I happened to glance down at the dirty, beaten up old table beside me……and laying on the table was the book called “The Power Of A Praying Wife”, by Stormie Omartian.
My heart not only skipped a beat, I think it skipped a few beats. I thought “Wow! God sent me a book!”
I burst into tears in gratitude and thankfulness, praising God for sending me the “sign” that I had asked for. I believe with all my heart that God had divinely ordained for someone to leave that exact book, in that exact car wash waiting room, on the exact day that I would choose to get my car washed for the first time in many, many months. He arranged for me to find that book, just moments after I had surrendered to Him, and pleaded for His intervention.
I eagerly drove home in my unusually clean car, plopped myself onto the couch, and opened the pages of the book, only to have my breath taken away again – to my surprise, Stormie’s husband’s name was Michael – my husband’s name was Michael! Almost a bit creepy huh? But a wonderful supernatural-surprise-which-gives-you-chill-bumps kind of creepy!
God had sent me a tangible answer to prayer with the gift of that book. An answered prayer that I could hold in my hand and gain wisdom and strength from. An answer that I knew only He could have ordained. An answer that I could tuck safely away, and pull out to hold each time I needed some reassurance of His love and concern for me.
God made it crystal clear, that the one vital thing my marriage had been missing, was prayer FOR my husband, not about him.
As I read through the first few pages of the book, I was acutely aware that the words on the pages could have easily been written by me. The raw feelings the author expressed were so close to my own thoughts and feelings, that I hardly knew how to process it all, and with each page, God spoke truth and healing into my wounded heart.
From that day forward, I made a commitment to pray for my husband, even when I didn’t feel like it, even when I didnt want to, even if I didnt think he deserved those prayers. To pray for him when things were going great between us, and to pray for him when things were not so great. To pray for his work, financial decisions, sexuality, affection, temptations, fears, purpose, choices, health, protection, trials, integrity, reputation, priorities, relationships, fatherhood, attitude, emotions, deliverance, and faith (many of the chapters reviewed in the book).
I also made a commitment to stop asking God to fix my husband’s flaws, and start asking Him to open my eyes to what I could fix about myself that would improve our relationship. Yes, that was hard, and took some humility to admit that I was not without fault too, and to be honest, it is a prayer I find myself continually praying even to this day. It can be hard, but sometimes, the things that bring the most blessings, can be the some of the hardest things that God calls us to do.
Stormie Omartian says this on page 14 of her book: “A husband can hurt your feelings, be inconsiderate, uncaring, abusive, irritating and negligent. He can say or do things that pierce your heart like a sliver. And every time you start to pray for him, you find the sliver festering. Its obvious you cant give yourself to praying the way God wants you to until you are rid of it.”
She goes on to say that sometimes our marriages get to such a point of hurt and despair that we feel emotionally paralyzed and incapable of making good decisions – which is what ultimately leads to divorce, and that when we are in the middle of an unfulfilling relationship, divorce seems almost like a “promise of pleasant relief”.
That is a powerful statement, and one that I think will resonate with many of you, based on the numerous comments that were left last week, which spoke of utter despair, frustration, hopelessness, loneliness, and the absolute exhaustion of trying to make your marriage relationship better. I understand those feelings, because I have been there…. but there is hope.
On this particular day, in a damp, smelly car wash, that hope was dropped in my lap, through this precious book that God gave had arranged for me to have.
After that day, I began to pray for my marriage like I had never done before. And just like Stormie states she had to do, I also had to confess my own hardness of heart each time, and ask God for the strength to put aside my feelings, and focus on Him. I had to learn to forgive. I had to learn to pray for my husband, and admit that not praying for him, was not getting us anywhere. I had to lay my marriage at His feet, and let go.
Slowly, but surely, I began to see changes. I began to see God work in our relationship. And, on May 26th, Michael and I will celebrate our twentieth wedding anniversary. We still have bumps in the road, and problems that call for deeper prayer and dependence on God at times, but I truly believe that it was my commitment to begin praying for my husband that has made all the difference in the world.
Is our life a peaceful harmonic melody all the time? Absolutely not. We are definitely not perfect. We argue and squabble over silly and important things. We disagree about how to spend money, how to raise the kids, and who has not done enough around the house lately. But no matter what we are going through, I know I can take it to the Lord. I know He will hear my prayers. I know I can trust Him to help us work through any issue, big or small.
You see, a wife’s prayers are powerful. It may take a few weeks, months or years to see the full impact of your prayers, but the prayers of a wife for her husband have power. John 15:7 says, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” If you desire a loving and committed marriage, God can help you reach you and your husband reach that goal.
So, to begin this challenge, I want to challenge you to pray for your husband, today, and every day for the next thirteen days. Hopefully, regardless of how hard or awkward it may feel at first, you will begin a new habit which you can continue to do every day for years to come.
If your marriage is going great right now, then pray for your husband. If your marriage is on the rocks, then pray for your husband. If your marriage is all but over, then pray for your husband. If you are getting married soon, then pray for your husband-to-be. Even if the problems you are experiencing in your marriage, if any, are not your fault at all, praying is still the first step towards positive change. And while you are praying, BELIEVE that God hears your prayers, and that He will begin to bless you.
I feel confident that you will begin to see God blessing you, as you spend time in His presence every day, and eventually, you will see Him blessing your marriage as well.
Stormie ends the first chapter of her book by sharing a profound statement, that says “It’s your responsibility to pray. It’s Gods job to answer. Leave it (your marriage) in His hands.” When we surrender, only then can God take control.
If you are interested in purchasing The Power of A Praying Wife, click on the book title to get it through Amazon (not available through P31 right now). I would strongly encourage every woman to get this book. It is a powerful, life changing, marriage transforming, prayer building book.
Stormie also has a new book out, which I have not read yet but assume it is just as great, titled The Power of Prayer to Change Your Marriage.
**Tomorrow, Proverbs 31 is hosting a Blog Carnival on all of the speaker team blogs and ministry blogs! Each blog will highlight a specific topic and give away a cool item to one lucky winner. I will be giving away one my audio CD’s called “Overcoming Stress with Extraordinary Faith” (since marriage can be stressful!), along with a Christian Notepad and pens. So be sure to come back tomorrow to find out how to enter!