Pray for Your Spouse

Often in marriage when something goes wrong or an argument sparks, husbands and wives want to blame the other party rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. We point the finger and use statements like - "well if you wouldn't do ____ I wouldn't get so annoyed by you." or "its your fault for being so unapproachable." It seems that more times than not we accuse the other person of creating our feelings and actions instead of owning up to what we have said or done. We fail to use honesty in times when it is most needed to build trust because we are afraid of the reaction of our spouses. "Well, I lied to you because I knew if I told you, you would get angry ... and see..?? I was right!!" The ironic part is that most of the hurt and betrayal that a spouse might feel in this scenario is created because of the lie and deceit and not the initial action. We sin against God and our spouses in order to avoid hurt feelings. This should not be so. Honesty is something that God desires from us. "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."(Ephesians 4:25) If our spouses react inappropriately when we tell them the truth, that is between them and God. But if we try to avoid that reaction by telling a lie or being deceitful, we have now sinned against God and our spouse. Hurt feelings of a spouse often cause us to be defensive and put up a wall. So we want to avoid them as much as possible. Especially if we have a spouse that wears their feelings on their sleeve. But the point of my blog today is to tell you that we are responsible for our own actions and a spouse being upset or disappointed in you is not sinful in itself, but being dishonest is. What exactly is honesty, you may ask? Fairness and straightforwardness of conduct, not withholding any form of truth, sincerity, and freedom from deceit or fraud.

Especially in marriage, telling the truth when you are afraid of the reaction, proves integrity and that you will be honest with your spouse no matter what the outcome. This builds trust in the marriage and humbles hearts to want to forgive. If someone does something to hurt you, and then hides what they have done to deceive you, then they are offending you twice, not to mention offending God. But if someone does something to hurt you, and then has the courage to tell you what they have done, you are only offending them once. And one offence is much easier to forgive than two. Especially if one of those offenses is dishonesty.

Who are we fooling when we are dishonest with our spouses?? Only ourselves. God knows the hearts of men and watches every wrong choice that we make snowball into bigger problems in our marriages. "Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, "Why do you think evil in your hearts?" (Matthew 9:4) So here is what I challenge you to do. If you struggle with being honest with your spouse because you are afraid of getting them upset or hurting their feelings, and because of that fear, you hide things from them or are dishonest with them .... Pray for your Spouse....and be honest. It is the most logical solution, and one that will ultimately please God.

First, pray for yourself.
Your heart must be clean before God in order for you to see good results. If you have resentment, anger, an ungodly attitude, or are unforgiving, even if there's good reason for it, you'll have a difficult time seeing answers to your prayers. If you have a long history of lying to your spouse and then getting angry and defensive when they find out, pray that God and your spouse might forgive you. If you can confess and repent of those feelings to God in total honesty, and then move into prayer, there is nothing that can change a marriage more dramatically.
Pray for your spouse's relationship with God.
Pray that your spouse would know God, trust God and remain in Him. Pray that their reaction to the truths that you think might hurt them, will be taken lightly and humbled by your heart and your intention to please God. Your spouse is an imperfect human. Jesus says in John 15:5, "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing." Nothing means that without Jesus, your spouse can't be patient, unconditionally love you, nor be the man/woman you need. Rather than getting angry about a spouse's weakness, especially one they are working on, pray for them.
Pray for your spouse's forgiveness of your weaknesses
Pray for God to help them to balance mercy, judgment and instruction the way Jesus does. Though God requires obedience, He is quick to acknowledge a repentant heart. Pray for your spouse to practice mercy and forgiveness because you are going to tell all faults in honesty. Pray for understanding from your spouse that telling the truth and having hurt feelings is much better than lying.
Pray for your spouse's heart
Pray that they will trust in the Lord, with all their heart, acknowledge Him in all their ways, and not to lean on their own understanding. Ask God to direct them in wise choices. Pray that they will let Gods peace rule in their heart as Gods word dwells in them, so that by the example of their confidence in Him, they may teach others with all wisdom and with gratitude in their heart to God. Pray that no root of bitterness grows in their heart and causes trouble in your marriage. Pray for your spouse to not get their feelings hurt so easily, but also remember in that, to pray a prayer of thanks to God for giving your spouse that tender heart which may be the reason behind their compassion, forgiveness, and love.
Pray for your spouse's eyes
Pray for them to keep their eyes firmly fixed on the Lord and open for spiritual danger, to be spiritually alert, stand firm in the faith, and be courageous and strong. Pray for your spouse to clearly discern what is best, so that they may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. Pray that God grants them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to enlighten their heart, so that they may know God better and reflect his love in daily practical ways.
Remember, even one person praying can impact a marriage. So before you blame your faults on your spouse, or are quick to offend your spouse and God with lies and deceit, pray for the strength to be honest and for a humble and merciful reaction from your spouse. Pray for their weaknesses that they may be able to overcome them with the love of God and your love as well. If you feel like your spouse has a weakness that causes them to get their feelings hurt easily, demonstrate love to them with understanding and prayer. Remember these weaknesses in your choices and that you may be the only help that they have to get stronger. And most of all, remember that you are not responsible for someone else's reaction to what you tell them, but you are responsible for your own sin. Humble yourself in all situations to be the person that owns their actions and that can hold their head up high and say I handled this in such a way that God would be pleased!

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