“Do you Jack, take Janet to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“Do you Janet, take Jack to be your lawfully wedded Husband?”
“I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
I remember the day we spoke those words like it was yesterday. I was a wide eyed Nineteen year old who thought he knew everything there was to know about being a husband. After all, my only dream in life for the previous six years was to one day be called a husband.
Now looking back at that day thirty years later, I see a young man and a young woman who had no clue to what it really meant to be called “husband and wife.” We had the titles; by name we did become husband and wife with those few words that were spoken. But we had no idea how much we would have to grow into the shoes we just put on.
How about you?
Did saying “I do” make you a husband or a wife? As you walked away from the ceremony, did you suddenly feel like you had become someone you had never been before?
Sure, maybe you felt different. But, did you instantly become everything your new name implied? Or have you discovered there is a growing process for a man to become a “husband,” or a woman to become a “wife?’’
More importantly, if this is true for you, then how do you see your spouse? Do you see your spouse through the eyes of an expectation that they should live up to what their name implies? Or do you see them through the eyes of a belief that they can grow into everything their name implies? Seeing your spouse through eyes of faith makes a huge difference and it’s the way God looks at your spouse. He believes they “can become” everything they’re suppose to be.
God has prophetic eyes
God has always worked with prophetic eyes. Many times throughout the Bible, men and women had their name changed by God signifying who they were yet to become; Abram became Abraham, Sarai became Sarah, Jacob became Israel, and Simon became Peter. If you study when those name changes took place you will find they were called by a new name that prophesied who they were yet to become.
In other places in the Bible we find where the names were not changed, but still God calls people out of the ordinary into what He has called them to be. Moses was called to be a deliver while living a life of exile. Gideon was called to be a valiant warrior while working at his family wine press, David was called to be a king while tending his father’s sheep. The disciples were called to lay the foundation of the church even though they were ordinary workers like fishermen and tax collectors.
So growing into our prophetic call is nothing new, it has always been this way. And as husbands and wives we need to operate with God’s kind of grace and faith knowing that there is a process in becoming what a Husband or wife should be.
What can you do?
How you see: Have a vision for who you and your spouse are becoming. Have an understanding of the process that it takes instead of expecting it to just happen. Take your focus off of where you are coming up short, and focus on who you believe you can be. Look at the growth that is taking place in both of you. Let go of your desire to change your spouse. Believe there is hope even when your situation looks impossible. I know it works, I have been there.
How you speak: Simply put, encourage instead of criticize. Find the things you can speak well of. Look at the little things they do and compliment them for it. Speak to your spouse in a way that shows how much you are for them right now and how much you appreciate the growth that is taking place in them. When it comes to who they are yet to become, just speak words that confirm your confidence in them. Don’t disguise your disappointment in them with sarcastic words of who they will be. Your true intent will show up with the way you speak. Speak to other people privately about your spouse with words of praise, and speak to other people in front of your spouse with words of praise.
How you Pray: Talk to God about your spouse and your marriage with thankfulness. Thank Him for the gift He has placed in your life. Thank Him for the work He is doing even when you don’t see what He is doing. Speak to God about your belief in your spouse and How you are thankful that He is in charge of bringing the right changes at the right time. Pray that God will help you be who He wants you to be so that your spouse will be encouraged by your willingness to grow. Don’t go to God full of complaints about your spouse. If you are hurt, tell the Lord how you feel, but always finish with your confidence that He is in control and you are surrendered to His will.
As children of God we should be known for the way we walk by faith and not by sight. So believe God for who you and your spouse can be and for what kind of marriage you can have. Put your trust in the Lord doing a work even when you are not able to see it. And walk out your faith with acts of obedience.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net