4 Ways to Create Undeniable God Experiences for Your Husband
When my husband, Doug, was laid off from his job three months before our oldest daughter was born, and then again a few years later – that time for nearly 7 months – I couldn’t help but wish that I could fix things for him. For months, I watched him apply for job after job, get his hopes up, only to see nothing become of it. After the second layoff, I watched him take on the role of a stay at home dad, caring for two children. And all the while, he watched me get up and go to work every day, watched me get promoted at least twice during these two periods of unemployment. He looked on as he could no longer provide for us in the way that he so desired. And although he never complained, that didn’t change the fact that I wished I could do something.
But more than that, I wanted God to do something. Yes, I wanted God to give him a job. But I wanted him to do something bigger. I wanted God to allow Doug to experience him in such a way that there would be no question, no doubt at all in his mind that God was in this, that he was looking upon this situation; that he felt what was he was feeling; that he’d heard his prayers. I wanted God say something, anything to let him know that he had his hand in this and was working it all out.
I wanted Doug to experience inexplicable joy amid disappointment. I wanted him to experience a renewed faith when things appeared hopeless. I wanted him to experience peace even though his world had been completely shaken up. I wanted him to feel like royalty even when he felt less than. I wanted him to have such an undeniable experience with God – one that would make God visible and more believable than ever. An experience that he could hold onto when the next obstacle hit.
I know I had a laundry list of desires. I just wanted the very best for my husband – spiritually especially because I knew that if his spiritual life was in line, God would honor that and the rest would follow.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:8)
I knew God would move in this situation when he was ready, and there wasn’t much I could do – except make myself available. I’m not talking about being available as in being there for my husband (that’s a given). I’m talking about making myself available to God so that he could, through my life, bring these desires, these undeniable experiences to pass.
You see, having an undeniable experience with God doesn’t always have to be something deep. Sometimes, it’s simply realizing that God loves you. Why do you think John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life – is one of the most popular scriptures? It’s realizing his love and personally experiencing his love that completely transforms our lives and opens the door for God to move in our lives in ways we never imagined. Therefore, what better way to share with my husband this undeniable experience of God’s love than with my life -- with my actions and my words?
While I felt limited in what I could do to turn my husband’s situation around, I learned during these difficult times that I was not completely powerless. I learned that I could help make God’s love more visible to my husband by:
1. Making my commitment clear. I never imagined that my husband would lose his job and that we’d be forced to live on one income, and give up things we enjoyed in order to make ends meet. But we did. But just because this chapter in my marriage wasn’t in my plans, that wasn’t grounds to forsake what God called me to. When I said, “I do,” that was my verbal commitment to being all in no matter what. I had to make sure that my husband knew that. I had to make sure he knew that my commitment wasn’t conditional. God’s love doesn’t fail, so why should mine? “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
2. Praying for him. God gives us an open door to come to him and ask for whatever it is that we need. Sure, he already knows, and even intercedes for us, but he wants us to take time out of our busy schedules, time away from all the thoughts racing through our mind to talk to him. This season in our lives taught me that I couldn’t just expect God to handle things without some kind of sacrifice on my part. Interceding for my husband had to become more important than anything else I thought was important.
3. Praying with him. Just like I had to make interceding for Doug a priority, I also had to make praying with him a priority. Praying together afforded us a deeper level of intimacy because here, we could be completely open about what we were feeling and what we wanted from God. It allowed us to come to God together and to hear from him together. And it didn’t matter whether we heard from God in that very moment, or days later, we left encouraged because we knew, as the scripture points out, that God was there with us and that he would do what we asked. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 4:13 KJV)
4. Building him up. Out of mere frustration over our situation, it would have been easy to lash out at Doug and blame him when he wasn’t even at fault. Because things weren’t turning around fast enough, I could have put added pressure on him, and even accused him of not working hard enough to find a job. But that wouldn’t have helped. As a woman, I could never fully understand how my husband felt not being able to provide for his family, but I knew that it affected him deeply. So I made a conscious effort to praise him -- for the great job he was doing raising our girls, for stepping up to take care of home, for being a phenomenal husband. I encouraged him with whatever word I got out of my personal devotion because that was what he needed…not me talking crazy because I was in my feelings.
It would take several additional posts to tell you how this season in our lives unfolded. But what I can tell you now is that God, without a doubt revealed to Doug (and to our family), who he is. He made himself visible and more believable than ever. All that I desired for Doug to experience: his love, his provision, his faithfulness, his joy...he did. And I believe that through this, God revealed what he wanted me to learn – and what he wanted me to share with you today: that when we make ourselves available to him, he can use our lives to help create undeniable experiences for those closest to us. Are you available?