Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Day 23 Unknown Wives

            As women we wear different hats.  We are called for different purposes, using different gifts and our plan is different for the Lord.  As wives, we do have some things we are all called do it.  We are helpers, prayer warriors, servants of Christ, daughters of the Most High and sisters in Christ.  We may be called for different purposes, but we all have Christ in common. 
I want to focus on being a wife, if I may, taking the aspect of children OUT of the equation.  If God has given you a husband, then he has given you a gift.  As you read, please rebuke all thoughts of “What about me?” “My husband isn’t praying for me.” “Why do I have to be the one to….?” “When is God going to answer?” “How long will this take?” Take this time to sit with the Lord, quietly listen for his voice and fast if possible or led to.
There are unnamed, unknown and obscure women in the bible.  We do not know who they are, but we do know they were there.  As I would read about David’s thirty warriors, men who went into battle, priest and Levites who served the Lord and kings and leaders who were used for God’s purposes, there were women who raised, prepared, married and prayed for these men.  I am sure these men had helpers.  I am sure these men came home to women whom had permanent, worn marks on the floor where their knees were in prayer for their men.  I am sure these tired, sore, worn out men wanted to come home to a soft body, a warm embrace, the smell of food and encouragement on their wife’s mouth. 
I think of the warriors in the bible and soldiers today.  My husband, who served in the Navy with two tours in the Persian Gulf, would tell you, the image of a woman, the wife, the memories of the wife and the days to come with the wife are on the soldier’s mind.  For a soldier’s mind to be at ease, he knows his wife is waiting, praying, maintaining and preparing a place for him at home.  She doesn’t give up easy and she is strong mentally, physically and emotionally in ways the soldier does not understand.   His wife is encouraging, loving and is determined not to be a hindrance or burden and has chosen to give her life for him in this season.  It is a selfless act of love, a daily determined mind to stay committed and a faithful, prayerful and a spiritual battle the wife faces daily.  The Lord will give this wife a peace that surpasses all understanding, the strength to prepare for the day that most women do not understand and a renewed mind to rebuke all demonic thoughts of quitting.  Quitting is easy. Quitting is the enemy’s way of winning and these unknown women in the bible did not quit on their soldiers.
            I was once in a women’s conference and the Lord pressed a thought into my heart. “What if everyone woman here was her husband’s armor barer?” “What if every woman put the armor of the Lord on her husband everyday, how many marriages would be saved?” Ladies, there is nothing equivalent than preparing your man for battle, whether it be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  This applies to pastor’s wives as well. More so than the soldier’s wife, a pastor’s wife spend much time in prayer and fasting.  The enemy’s desire for her to quit, try to ruin the marriage, open the door for attack and confuse the calling on her life is relentless.  She too is on her knees, alone, praying and giving her life to the calling of her husband in this season of her life.  She battles her own selfish desires to want time with her husband, more time alone together, for him to focus on her and no one else.  She battles as Jesus did the in Garden of Gethsemane, praying “Father, you’re will be done not mine.”  She prays for the strength of Christ to give more, to love more, to spread the gospel tirelessly, to open her arms to the hurting, to give a word in season and to stay committed to this life of service for the Lord.  This wife is beyond strong, strength that ONLY the Lord gives and continues to enhance.  She has to maintain a focus, prepare her husband for battle everyday and learn to let go of her spouse when God says, “Go and tell.”
For a wife whose husband travels or is famously well known, this type of wife has a different, but equally challenging prayer life.  I imagine the enemy swoops at every chance to confuse the mind with thoughts of infidelity, pressure to quit, leave, a flawless look and loneliness.  This wife, as the previous, prayerfully rebukes these thoughts, encouraging her tired time traveler, opens her mind and body to take his mind off his weary week, his gifts and talents used to support the family.  The time he is gone, she is to prepare and train the children in the way they should go so they do not depart from it.  She too prepares her husband with the armor of the Lord, fasting and praying for protection from the enemy who seeks to devour him with adulterous thoughts and actions while away.  She prays and fasts that he think only of her, his devotion to God surpasses any desire to self medicate or adapt to an evil world.  She knows Jesus is the bridegroom and is with her while her husband is away and prayerfully asks, knocks and seeks continuously that their union under Christ is not destroyed.
For a wife who believes, hopes and faithfully prays for her husband’s change thru Christ, his acceptance of the Lord and baptism as a worldly sign of his devotion to the Christian faith, this wife waits patiently on the Lord.  Patiently watches daily at her husband’s lack of faith, but secretly prays in her time with the Lord he will have faith to move mountains.  Patiently watching daily has he spends his money, time, and energy on worthy things and places where rust and moth destroys, but this wife secretly, prayerfully believes he will tithe, use his gifts and talents for God’s glory, giving tirelessly for the spreading of the gospel. This wife asks for discernment of what to say and when to say it.  This wife seeks the counsel of God as when to volunteer, church attendance and how long to stay.  This wife’s gentle, ever changing Christ-loving behavior changes her husband as she begins to give more, love more, and respect more.  She prays her hope never waivers, never stops believing in the power of God and has faith in the things she can not see.
This last wife truly reflects who I am.  When God touched me in 2005, he did not touch Tommy’s life for another seven years in 2012.  After God called me, I was baptized again, full of zeal for the church, bible study, praise and worshiping all the while Tommy was home.  God had so much to change in my life, which would later influence Tommy to see the power of what God can do.  Tommy knew the “behind closed doors wife” and not the “what people see wife”.  He witnessed and was brunt of the anger or bitterness that I had stored in my spirit. 
When God began to SLOWLY change my habits, renew mind, increase my joy, break the alabaster jar of lust, anger, slothfulness, gluttony and selfishness, Tommy saw the change.  I began loving him more, respecting and encouraging him in what he was doing.  I worked on doing things Tommy enjoyed and not complaining if I didn’t get my way.  The Lord helped me quiet my mouth, when to speak or if I didn’t have anything nice to say, then NOT to say anything at all.  He taught me I didn’t have to have the last word or be right all the time.  The Lord taught me to listen to Tommy’s advice and counsel, what he could teach the children about hard work and earning your keep. God showed me  Tommy’s heart of giving and his generous spirit to help others, to appreciate where Tommy was in his walk and that it’s God’s will and timing when he changes.
There are still things God has shown me that I treasure in my heart as a wife.  Things I know Tommy will be doing, but as for now, it’s between the Lord and me.  I pray, fast and hope for Tommy.  I believe he will be a great man of God, influential, encouraging, even more generous and faithfully completing the purpose and plan for his life.  I have learned to enjoy the small changes in Tommy such as prayer in the church.  When the pastor prays, Tommy holds me close and puts his hand on my head as a blessing and my covering.  That small, but powerful action was a prayer of mine for eight years.  God put it in my heart to one day lean into him during service and Tommy would respond in placing his hand on my head.  I prayed for such blessings from my husband.  I prayed for such prayer and closeness for our marriage.  These are things God has changed in nine years of my walk.  These were things that did not happen over night, but were treasured in my heart until God’s timing.
Do not give up so easily.  I encourage you to be concerned with the things God is speaking to you about, not comparing your marriage to others, because you DO NOT know what goes on behind closed doors.  My friends had no idea I had out of control anger when I didn’t get what I wanted.  Tommy has witnessed the change in so many areas of my life and God, whom is no respecter of persons, will change you and your husband from glory to glory.

Ladies, as armor barers, let’s bring our marriages and husbands to the foot of the cross:

Pray OUT loud and CONFESS the Word of the Living God:

Abba Father,
            I come to you as your daughter; bend your ear and listen to my prayer.  May it glorify Jesus Christ, enhance your Kingdom and strengthen my marriage.  I know you have a plan for our marriage.  I know it is to prosper and not fail; to grow and not wither, to strengthen and not weaken.  I pray to be this godly Christian wife you’ve called me to be.  I have been given the gift of being a helper to my husband (Genesis 2:18).  I thank you for this precious calling on my life; help me to cherish our marriage with great respect, never to take it for granted and strengthen our bond year after year. 
            Father, I want to be a godly woman who desires the things of you (2 Timothy 2:22).  I pray you keep my eyes on things above and not below, Christ seated at the right hand of the Father (Colossians 3:2).  I pray to put off my old self and ways, asking you to help mold and shape me to fit this season of my life, renewing my mind daily (Romans 12:1-2).  Whether I was taught the ways of the Lord or have just come to the faith as a new believer, I pray I learn to be a respectful, helpful, encouraging, loving wife, taking me into a deeper revelation of my purpose (Ephesians 5:33).  I understand the spiritual warfare against Christian marriages, may I be a wife who continually prepares her husband for battle with the armor of the Lord (Ephesians 6:12). 
            Lord, fill my life with godly women, elders to glean from, groups to pray with and other women who will encourage and lift us up in prayer (Philippians 3:16-17).  When the tests and trials of marriage come, I pray to lay them at the foot of your cross, pleading your precious blood of our marriage.  May you guard my mouth lest I sin against you (Psalm 19:14); and when the time comes to bring a sensitive issue to light with _________________ (husband) may I pray about it at least three days (Esther 4:16), seek the advise and counsel of seasoned elders and have your peace of knowing I am being respectful, loving, gentle and filled with the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). 
            I pray to read your Word daily (Psalm 1:1-3).  May I be a woman with a deep understand of the things of God, the plan for my life, adaptable to all situation with my husband, helping him where needed and encouraging him during his walk (Ephesians 3:12-14).  If I have yoked myself to a non believer or God, you have changed my life first before _______________ (husband) then I pray for the strength to stay committed, loving him and trusting you to change him in your perfect will and timing (1 Corinthians 7:13-14).  I pray my behavior, in which is being molded into your image, glorify you, find favor in your eyes, and soften my husband’s heart to see your goodness (1 Peter 3).  I pray that no matter how long, the prayer life I commit to will never waiver, increase with my perseverance, determination to run this race, to not quit on ________________(husband) (2 Peter 1:5-8) and to know that all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to your purpose (Romans 8:28).
 I pray our marriage never grow boring, dull or conform to the ways of this world (Hebrews 13:4-5).  I pray ___________ (husband) and I are sensitive to each other’s needs, never withholding ourselves from one another sexually, never manipulated each other into undesirable tasks, but challenging ourselves to come up higher, giving God an open door to all areas of our marriage (1 Corinthians 7:5).  I pray to never gossip, slander, and demean my husband; not to covet or desire another woman’s husband.  May I be a woman who can be self controlled in her mind and body, turning off the lure of pornography, lustfulness, or longing for another man instead of my (husband) ______________(1 Corinthians 6:12-20).  I know you have brought Christian’s to a high standard when Christ said, “I tell you that anyone who looks at another woman (man) lustfully has already committed adultery with her (him) in his heart.”(Matthew 5:28).  I pray to stay committed to the Lord in my inner most being, striving to never break your commandments of adulterous thoughts, committed to this man and the marriage you have planned for me (Exodus 20:14). 
Father I thank you and give you all praise.  Thank you I am redeemed under the blood of the Lamb and we can have a marriage that is godly, pure and holy.  In the name of Jesus of Nazareth I pray! Amen.

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