I had to recognize that I was a double-minded man, a big part of me trying to make my marriage work and another part wanting out. But it took a long time to see it because all I saw was me trying so hard to make a go of it – years of being double-minded. Finally I saw what a mess another man would make my life, especially my kids,
- I had to repent of Lots of things I did wrong. Things to salve my weary soul that Jesus would not have done if He had been me. But before I could repent, I had to see.
- I had to admit I thought I was right and that Lamar was a lot of bad things: selfish, stupid, etc. And so I told God and asked if He agreed. He didn’t. But it gave God permission to show me where I was wrong. He also showed me how Lamar was hurt and why he was the way he was and it wasn’t pretty. He was a victim, too. He put the white hat on Lamar and the black hat on me. I didn’t think Lamar deserved for me to treat him any way but the way I was. “Everyone deserves love.”
- God helped me see that I was not really submitted to Lamar. I did a lot of things my way. He helped me understand that submission is not agreement and I had to let Lamar fail. I had to respect his right to have things his way if they were not immoral and God would take care of me and the kids when the family suffered loss because of it. I had to find some promises like His sheep are not begging bread, and hold God to them. He was faithful. He came through, not because Lamar was right, but because I was, finally.
- I had to stop speaking the problem and start creating what I wanted to see: “My husband is a godly man. My husband has a hunger for the Word. My husband…” Anything I wasn’t seeing and wanted to I spoke and it did come into being. “Lamar Vice is a blessing to me!” I said it for six months until finally one day I realized how true it was. Lamar Vice had forced me to find God and hang on for dear life. What a blessing!
- I had to recognize that it was in my benefit to hold onto the offenses because when I did, I didn’t have to be grateful for any of the good things Lamar did. I had lost the ability to be grateful. God helped me see how wrong this was and repent and let it go. And finally be grateful, not only to God but to Lamar who had loved me for years and worked very hard to provide for our family and really did want to make me happy. He just needed help to find his answers so he was free to be better in so many ways.
- I had to recognize I was an enabler. I was solving a lot of problems God didn’t want me to solve. He wanted the pressure on Lamar. He wanted the weight of so many things to weight him down until he finally got on his knees. All my help was just prolonging that process. He had to weight me down so He could weight Lamar down. YUK! I finally got out of the way and let God do His thing.
- I had to be thankful for what I had. I had to learn to count my blessings. “Thank God for clean water. Thank God for wonderful soaps. Thank God that I don’t have to make my own soap. Thank God for two hands that can do the work I need to do. Thank God for a roof over my head. Thank God for indoor plumbing…” Do you get the point? We are sooooo blessed. There are lots of people in this world living in a box. A box! They have to tote water!!! Oh, God, thank You for my life and be with the poor person that has it so hard.
- I had to go to church and learn of this new wonderful walk I had entered in. I had to get myself healed and answers for myself. I had looked too long at Lamar. It was time to do some needed work on myself. I had to seek more truth and more wisdom and more love. I had to find Madge Osborne again. Somewhere along the line I had lost myself and my first job was to find what God intended when He made me and see He had something beautiful in mind and somehow that image had gotten badly distorted. If I made mistakes, we were going to have to redeem them and work with what is not run away and make a bigger mess. I had to start on me for a change.
- I had to speak forth the blessings as they came. I had to testify of what God was doing. I had to start praying for people and stepping out on the limb. Trusting God. Report for duty and then do what He asked me to do. Little things, hard things, things I didn’t want to do, that might not work out. And so, I started being obedient to that small still voice inside and as I did things happened. People got healed and helped. It worked! And out of these little things came my joy; I saw God’s faithfulness and was willing to do more. Our relationship grew at a time when some people came against me. People tried to get me to stop. People like Lamar and my mother; people I really loved. Even my son. But it was too late. I was hooked. And eventually I was shown to be right and others wrong. Very wrong.
How do you turn your marriage around? Like you do anything else: abide in Him. Give Him the right to show you your error and put the black hat on you. Be willing to wait and be longsuffering until others come to understand what you do. In the wait you will come to understand some good stuff, too.
I understand some marriages have to end, but the Bible says that is because of the hardness of their hearts or at least somebody’s heart. Don’t let it be yours. I thought I was right all those years and God never told me I was wrong about those things. There was just a lot I wasn’t seeing. He didn’t disagree with what I knew; He just added to it. And oh, what He added! We had to totally recompute. I remember sitting in a darkened room after talking to Lamar’s mother’s best friend and realizing Lamar was very much like a neighbor boy whose father had died before he ever knew him. I had married such a boy!!! I had to rethink everything because I had assumed Lamar was whole and he wasn’t. The last thing he needed was an unresponsive wife, which is what I had become. Unresponsive to his needs and they were very deep indeed.
And so I leave it with you to ask God what you don’t see; to say your honest prayer giving Him the right to change your mind and show you things you never saw before; to take you in a new direction with your thoughts; to consider what you never considered before; to see things as He sees them and as your husband sees them. There is a lot you don’t see yet. You might as well start today. Praise God!