That Next Thing
I hope that today has been a good one for you so far, but based on the fact that you're here, that may not be the case. You may be struggling today...again. And that's totally okay. If you were next to me, I'd wanna pray with you and lovingly nudge you ahead to what God has next. So, I'm going to try to do that here...now.
I’ve been talking with two different ladies I know who have been struggling in their marriages today. Both of these ladies love Jesus and come to find out...after I wrote this...both of them have been doing exactly what I’m writing to you about today and both separately told me about it today, which was confirmation that I had written about exactly what I was supposed to be writing about.
Repentance for you.
Your spouse may have a lot of repenting to do, but right now, I want to encourage you to do your own repenting. Repentance is biblical. It was certainly necessary as I walked through the waiting in my own marriage and I’m now watching these ladies do the same thing. God is working in them as they are drawing in close and as they are asking Him to do in their marriages what they cannot do. You can't control whether or not your spouse truly repents, but you can control whether or not you do.
And sidenote: an apology is not repentance (from us or from our spouse), repentance is the actual turning away from our sin and turning toward God. We may apologize to God or our spouse and keep on keepin' on in our sin. Or our spouse may apologize to us and say they repented, but repentance is something you will see play out on the outside over some time as the inside continues to follow after Jesus. It's not just words. Repentance will be evident by our actions.
Where are you today? Have you leaned into Jesus? Have you experienced more of Him as you have drawn near?
Relying on God may look weak to those around you. "Those around you" may or may not be Christians, but in all reality, you'll hear it from believers and non-believers. While this may look weak to some, it is, in fact, the strongest position to be in, to fully rely on the Creator. Run to Him if you haven’t already. If you read the post before this one, you’ll know that I urge you to draw close to Jesus. He will be your Help and your Comforter, and He will keep you...IF. YOU. RELY. ON. HIM. (2 Corinthians 1:9)
The next thing to do…
If you're anything like me, you'll definitely be tempted to focus on the wrong your spouse may be doing, because that wrong may be obvious to you or to everyone, but to turn to Jesus and to work on your marriage means working on your relationship with Jesus and letting him work IN you so that He might work THROUGH you.
Let God search your heart. In fact, ask Him to search your heart. Let Him shine light on those dark, small corners that aren’t often seen or cleaned out, where all the dust collects. No matter what your spouse has done and no matter the situation...you, friend, YOU get right before the Lord. Confess your sins to Him. Ask Him to reveal the hidden sins of your heart that you don’t see. Repent of those sins. Ask Him for His forgiveness and mercy. He will overwhelm you with it if you truly confess any sin that might be in your life.
There’s a song that has been on my heart specifically the past few days, but is also one that I start singing often when I’m praying and spending time alone with Jesus. The chorus pops into my head sounding like the worship pastor at the church I grew up in. It’s for sure a Christian oldie at this point, but the lyrics are such an honest prayer of surrender. Certainly inspired by Psalm 139. You might know it.
Search my heart, make me clean.
It’s your approval I long for.
Rule my life. Be my King.
Do what you will, I belong to you.
(Twila Paris - Throne Room Suite)
It’s not a cool song now, but the lyrics are. They will never be uncool, because they are an honest prayer to God, about being right before Him, seeking His approval instead of man’s approval, surrendering every part of our hearts to Him and to His perfect will, which is way harder than it sounds.......but listen, He desires all of you. All the parts of you and of your life.
I knew that as I waited on the Lord, I'd be tempted to seek the approval of my husband, but during that time, God revealed to me through his word that I only needed to seek HIS approval. As I relied on Him, He would be fighting for me. He's became the One I wanted to please and it changed my whole perspective on my marriage and on our situation at the time.
Jesus wants every part of your heart and mind and life to be fully surrendered to Him. Give Him your life. Give Him your marriage. Give Him your husband. Lay it all down and let Him lead you.
AND PLEASE! Send me your prayer requests for you and for your marriage. I would be honored to get to pray over you and your situation. Share your requests with me through a direct message on Instagram (@ashleystockel) or through email (email@example.com).
I'm Ashley. I've got things to tell you! About me, about Jesus, about the hard stuff, and the fun stuff. Glad you're here!