After getting married, I would get so frustrated at Stephen because he wasn't fulfilling me. If I was lonely, dissatisfied, irritated, or fearful, it drove me crazy that Stephen couldn't just "fix" it. So, like Stephen talked about on Sun, I began to demonize and resent him. ;( I put him through so much hell our first year of marriage because I had turned my eyes towards Stephen instead of turning them towards God. Craig Groeschel said in his book From This Day Forward, "Whatever we idolize, sooner or later, we will demonize and criticize." Stephen was still a terrific husband! He doesn't have this view of our first year of marriage at all...he would even say it was amazing! Lol :) That's because his heart was planted in Jesus first and not in his imperfect wife. The break through happened for me when I became so depressed that I started counseling with an amazing, seasoned Christian counselor. God spoke through her to tell me that I am expecting from Stephen something that only God can provide. It wasn't until I began to make Jesus the #1 Leader, Lover, Friend, Protector, and One Who I depended on that I was able to truly enjoy my marriage and relationship with Stephen again. I still screw up in this area but 9 times out of 10 when I'm getting bitter towards Stephen, I can trace my frustrations back to my heart's priorities. Am I frustrated because I'm trying to draw from Stephen what only God can satisfy inside my heart? Am I being nagging, critical, and needy because I've made Stephen the lord of my heart? I'm Sharing this to remind myself of this truth and to encourage you all to SEEK GOD FIRST and HE will add all that you need to your life. No one and nothing can satisfy us like time poured out in honest communication (praying/reading the Word) with Jesus. If it's weird at first :) I totally understand and I've been there! I remember the first time I got really real in my prayers and said a lot of angry things to God...I waited for the lightening bolt to strike me dead. ;) It was so refreshing to begin a raw communication and friendship with Jesus. Since he already knows my heart, it was cool to just be real with him. ;) God loves us more than we can imagine and he wants to spend time with us. Lets keep each other accountable! When Adam and Eve were hiding from God after they had sinned for the 1st time, God said, "Where are you?" We're pretty sure he knew which bush they were hiding behind ;) but that questions still rings loudly for us today, "Where is our heart?"
Another great point from the sermon was the idea of praying with your spouse everyday. Whether it's through text messages, a popcorn type prayer whenever a situation comes up during the day, praying over the phone real quick, early in the morning, or late at night. We didn't do this very much earlier in our marriage (other than praying at meals and for crazy life events). As we add more kids to our crew, time alone gets to be harder to find :), but there is an absolute difference on the days where we have taken a moment to seek God together from the days where we are "too busy" to pray together at all. We are a super normal family and still have heated discussions ;), wild children, melt downs, hard times like everyone else. But having the hope of Heaven and the peace that only God can bring during those turbulent situations is such a gift. The best truly is yet to come!
"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
Matthew 6:21, 33 NLT
See you THUR at 6:30!