You and your husband are planning a vacation for your family. As a wife and mother, you visualize a resort where you can leave the cleaning and cooking to someone else and just relax by the pool. Your husband wants to go camping.
In our Marriage Enrichment study, “A Marriage Made in Heaven,” we learned about how the synergism of relationships works in marriages. God has a wonderful plan for each one of us. He uses the marriage relationships to accomplish the spiritual testing and spiritual growth we need to become all that we are meant to be individually and as a couple.
The spiritual testing comes into play when a decision needs to be made and each of us has a definite idea of exactly what the result should be. We are sure that we know God’s will and are determined to convince our spouse what we are sure is God’s will. The trouble comes when our spouse is just as determined to force a different outcome that seems so opposite from ours.
Here’s where couple prayer (two or more gathered in his name) moves us in the right direction as we humble ourselves to trust God enough to surrender our own plan. We trust him to work within our marriage to make it his ideal so it can shine forth his glory.
First each of us individually dialogs with God, openly listening for new ideas, not just confirmation of our desires. When we pray together we discover this spiritual truth: God has a third solution, a perfect picture to show us. But he doesn’t give either of us his entire vision. He gives each spouse separate pieces of the puzzle. Then he brings us together and helps us work the puzzle so we can put it together with his grace.
How he fits it together perfectly and reveals such an unexpected outcome is always amazing! His best for us is far outside our insights. Perhaps your son says, “I sure miss Henry, that pony at Grandpa’s farm. Your daughter responds, “I wonder if the tree house is still there.” You might joyfully find yourself relaxing on the big screened porch and eating all that comfort food your mother cooks while your husband goes camping with the children or fishing with your dad.
What a great God we have. He patiently waits for us to come together and surrender to him our independent ideas so he can mold them into his picture-perfect vision for each of us and for our family. We have to trust God enough to surrender our fiercest stance and be open to input from others.
In our marriage and family decision, it’s not “either/or” but “both/and” in his will. His vision for us, his ways of making us whole are so far above us we cannot yet imagine as we give him our unique puzzle pieces.