Friday, September 26, 2008

You're Not His Holy Spirit

If you're like me, you know all your own husband's issues and bad habits. If he'd only listen, you could change him, fix him, get him right. But you know, you're not your husband's holy spirit. And I'm not mine.

For years I have wanted my husband to do more than just attend church with me. I realize many wives would be thrilled to have their husband sit in the pew with them on Sunday. But as a bible study leader and active participant at church, I longed for my husband to attend a couples small group or Sunday school class, or have dinner together as a family on Wednesday nights. (I'm posting this with his permission. He asks that I insert here that he had done all of those things in the past. But we've been together for 15 years, and he's never done them with me).

I talked. I nagged. I complained. I explained. I tried to be my husband's Holy Spirit. Didn't he understand the errors of his way? Wouldn't he be better off, even grow spiritually, if he attended a group with me? But to no avail.

So I gave up. I'd like to be able to say I gave it up to God. But no, I just gave up. Yes, I had prayed about it...quite a lot especially when doing the Power of a Praying Wife study with my girls group. But I never really gave it to God.

Oh I told God about it. And like with my husband, I talked to God. I nagged God. I complained to God. I explained to God why my husband should go. But I never gave it over to God.

This has been going on for over 12 years. We started attending our new church in February. After our first Sunday visiting, my daughter was so excited, she asked if she could also attend "Jr. Church" (not just Sunday school) the next week. "Sure!" was my husband's response. "Great," I thought. "I guess we'll sit in the car for an hour after church."

The next Sunday after church, my husband said "So I guess we need to find a Sunday School class." We've been attending Sunday school together ever since. I am not my husband's Holy Spirit. But God is the Holy Spirit and his perfect timing prevails. (Not to mention a little child leading them.)

Why not give your marriage issues over to God today? Not tell God. Not nag God. And certainly don't nag your husband. Just give it to God. And in his timing, he will prevail. (Even if it takes 12 years!)

Acts 5:32 -- We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

Romans 5:5 -- And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

2 Corinthians 13:14 -- May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.


The Patterson 5 said...

Next time I am tempted to "nag" Mr P about something I will remember that I am not Mr P's Holy Spirit! Thanks for the reminder!

Sue J. said...

My hubby is a nonbeliever. Knew that when I married him, but, then, I was a churchgoer and not a believer in the truest sense of the word. There is nothing I can do to make him change. If anything, the mere mention of things Christian sends him into a tizzy.

But God has been speaking to my heart, again, that I need to not give up in praying for him and this situation of his heart. I am not his Holy Spirit, for sure, but I can still call on my God to intervene in his life.

For me, giving it to God doesn't mean there isn't something I'm still responsible for. I'm still responsible in my obedience to Him to "Love thy neighbor," "Pray for those who persecute you," etc.

I'm glad that prayers were answered, in that your family is settling in to a new church home with new opportunities for God to work in all of you.

Truth4thejourney said...

I am so glad that God is moving in your family's life! Sometimes the best encouragers are our children. I agree, we aren't our husbands Holy Spirit. Hard to remember, isn't it! LOL!

Alyce said...

I loved this post Kelly. I've been in situations as this before..but differently, as my husband is active in the church and is a deacon. But there have been some areas which I thought he needed to be more active or at home, more of a spiritual leader..and I nagged and complained..all the while feeling guilty afterwards (that was the Holy Spirit for sure). We just have to pray for these situations..cause only God can change us..and we have to remember that our husbands are who God placed us with !

Rebecca Ingram Powell said...

Great post, Kelly! Thanks to you and your husband for sharing!

Mrs. Sidney said...

This is such a great post!! So true in life. I gave up instead of giving it to God so I am trying my best to pray and truly give it to God. Thank you for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

What a great post. When I met my husband he was a preacher. He had a passion for Jesus and the Word. Now, eight years later, he barely wants to go to church. He always tries to talk me out of going and sometimes I stay home because I feel that isn't something to argue over.
I've tried not to nag him or judge him. He's a good husband in most ways. But my heart worries and fears for our marriage.
This is a good reminder that I need to trust God to guide my life. I'm not my husband's Holy Spirit. If he wants to go to Fantasy Fest, I can't stop him.
Fear makes me mean, but Love can change a heart.
Thanks for reminding me of this.

Tammy R said...

Love your post.

I used to be a pro-nagger at one time but through the years I've learned to bit my tongue.

I loved how you say you now nag to God, what a great idea:)

DidiLyn said...

Brilliant. Why couldn't I just think of that earlier?

Edie said...

Great testimony of God's power CK.

I read once that when men and women get married, the woman does so thinking she will change him and the man does so thinking she will never change. Ironic huh!?

On Purpose said...

When I think I can do a better job with "changing" my husband I am basically saying I am bigger and better than God...yikes!

Pinkshoelady said...

My dear friend,
You have outdone yourself over this one! I love all your post but this needs to be walled and mounted beside my computer!

How many times have I nagged God but truly turned things over to Him!

Thank you Thank you!
I needed that!


My ADHD Me said...

As I said before, there isn't much I can add that would be positive regarding marriage.
I do, however, have something to add to your first post this week (someday my prince will come)
I just finished reading Nicole Johnson's The Invisible Woman. It was an enlightening and eye opening book. I was just putting it away today and I noticed an ad for another of her books on the back page. It is called, Keeping a Princess Heart in A Not-So-Fairy_Tale-World. "A deeply thoughtful exploration of the tension women feel between what they LONG for and what they LIVE with.
Anyway, I haven't read it but I really enjoyed her other book. And this book sounds like it was addressing exactly what you were talking about.

KelliGirl said...

Oh, how as wives and mothers we want to "fix" everyone...especially our husbands.

No one was ever nagged, argued or guilted into faith in Jesus. Thanks for the reminder that what really changes hearts is the work of the Holy Sprit.


Cindy said...

Such an important truth to be remembered. And we are not our children's Holy Spirit either (Oh darn ~ I can't tell my 26 yr old what to do anymore. lol)

HisPrincess said...

This really challenged me. I've written this comment three times now and deleted it again. I've come up with lots of reasons (excuses) as to why I can't do that. I'm still not sure I can.

Runner Mom said...

What a great reminder! Thank you!!

AuburnGalAlways said...

I'm guilty. Thank you for giving me this perspective. You're so right.