I spent most nights peeking through the curtains looking for the headlights of the car that would bring my husband home. He went out regularly with his drinking buddies and would return several hours later drunk, stoned, or both.
One night when my husband was out with his friends, I cried out to God, “Why won’t he change!?”
What I heard next left me floored.
“Why won’t you change?”
Me change? Me?!
“Unbelievable!” I told God. “You had me come back and remarry my ex-husband, and as if that wasn’t hard enough, now you want me to change?!”
I knew right away this was one battle I wasn’t going to win. I sat on the couch bawling. I knew deep down in my heart God was right, but it took me awhile to wrestle with my anger and hurt before I could even consider surrendering my will.
“In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News. Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words. They will be won over by watching your pure, godly behavior.” 1 Peter 3:1-2 (NLT)
I pulled myself together and asked God to forgive me for always fighting with my husband whenever he came home drunk. I asked God how He thought I should begin changing. He reminded me that my husband usually comes home hungry when he has been smoking marijuana.
“You want me to feed him when he comes home like that?” I asked in disbelief, as tears resumed rolling down my cheeks. I felt completely broken. “I’m the one being treated unfairly here,” I reminded God.
“All right! I give up!”
I got off the couch and began preparing something to eat for my husband. It was ready when he walked in the door. I let him eat without staring into his red, bloodshot eyes. I held back from angrily attacking him with the usual questions that provoked arguments. I bit my tongue so that I wouldn’t blurt out any accusations. Instead of nagging him, I kindly served him.
Coming to the realization that change began with me was a critical turning point in our marriage. I eventually learned to give up my expectations of my husband and began lovingly caring for his needs instead of focusing on what I thought he should be doing for me. My husband experienced the love of God through my actions without expecting anything in return. In time, he began changing as well.
Today we have a strong, healthy, and loving relationship. It all began with a change of heart. Mine!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us enough to show us our need for change and for walking with us through the process. Your ways are indeed higher than our ways and the results are priceless!