Today Mike and I celebrate our wedding anniversary. It means I’ve been a wife for thirty-two years. And I still need God’s help and godly advice.
So, welcome, Jen Weaver. Jen and I met at a writers conference and we’re both represented by The Blythe Daniel Agency.
My heart’s tender for all things about marriage. So when Jen’s publisher provided the opportunity to read, review, and giveaway her book, A Wife’s Secret to Happiness, I jumped at the chance. I know you’ll enjoy her powerful words.
Ropes That Eventually Broke
Ecclesiastes 4 verse 12 is one of the most quoted Bible verses in wedding ceremonies, a popular passage describing the way God longs to be involved in our marriages, woven into a cord alongside you and your husband.
Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
The church I attended throughout childhood held an annual marriage retreat, and one year the couples in our congregation came back wearing gold rope bracelets on their wrists. String tied as reminders of this verse and of their desire to stay tightly woven to their spouse, and to Jesus. To this day, I fondly picture my marriage cord as a shiny gold piece of yarn.
But as days and weeks went on, those ropes eventually broke.
They’d fray and start to unravel, or catch on something stronger than thread and tear in half. And I love that memory too, because it reminds me that a tightly woven cord doesn’t stay that way on its own. Unity takes intentional work. And a cord interwoven with the presence of Jesus … that takes an invitation.
See, back in those children’s church days we learned that Jesus is a perfect gentleman. That He could force His way into our hearts, but He refuses to. No, as a gentleman, He waits to be asked in.
Yet, when it comes to my marriage, I’ve often assumed His participation without inviting it. I’ve expected Him to move on my behalf without being intentional to include Him in my spousal interactions. And by these oversights, I’ve neglected my responsibility to braid myself tighter into my three-stranded cord. But an unraveling relationship is not the marriage I want, or the marital experience God longs to give me.
4 Ways to Grow as a Braided Wife (and they all involve prayer)
Sure, practical tips for communication and decision making can help us stay connected and unified with our husbands. In fact, there’s so many nuances to this aspect of married life that I wrote a whole book of them. But since we’re talking about a cord of three strands, let’s begin with the foundational fiber—Jesus.
- Invite Him in.
Right there, in the middle of your heartache or disagreement, ask Jesus to be in the moment with you. Before you go to speak with your mate about something difficult, ask the Lord to guide your words and unify your hearts. God’s presence changes everything. And you have the privilege of inviting Him into every room, discussion, setting, and situation.
- Spend time in prayer.
When you’re tempted to grumble to yourself or complain to another person about issues in your marriage, choose to pray about them instead. Consider carrying an index card or keeping a running note on your phone to record your prayer list for later. If you need external help, please seek wise, godly counsel. But more frequently than you talk to any other person about your relationship—and that includes conversing with your husband—bring your highs and lows to your Heavenly Father.
- Turn blunders into prayers of blessing.
When your husband annoys you most, ask God to bless him. I don’t mean, “Lord, let him get what’s coming.” Pray for every blessing you can think of: his health, job, ministry, and spiritual walk. Pray for the acne on his face or weird patch of hair on his back. Let grace and gratitude replace any negative emotion.
- Create reminders for yourself to keep the door open for God’s presence in your marriage. Use sticky notes to put verses with God’s promises in strategic places for you to see throughout the day. Schedule time to talk with God about upcoming decisions, or set phone alarms to check God’s leadership in various moments.
I know that wedded words, string bracelets, and children’s ministry prayers can sound sweet and naive. I also know that the daily strain of life as a wife is an all-out battlefield against an enemy. One who’d like nothing more than to extract our marriage from a resilient three-strand cord. So please, let me pray with you.
Prayer for a Braided Wife
Jesus, thank You for wanting to be involved in my marriage. Thank You for offering Your presence and strength as part of our three-strand cord, I want to receive that from You. I invite You into my marriage today. Be in our conversations.
Please shift my perspective to pay attention to where You are and what You are doing in the midst of our interactions, and please work through me, in me, and in my marriage for Your glory. Amen.Jesus, I invite your presence and strength into my marriage today. Amen. #marriage Click To Tweet
Jen Weaver is the author of A Wife’s Secret to Happiness and is passionate about sharing strength with others as a Bible teacher, speaker, and blogger at thejenweaver.com. Married to her best friend Jared, she’s the happy mom of a growing family. She’s on social media as @thejenweaver and she’d love to connect with you, especially on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Jen Weaver’s A Wife’s Secret to Happiness stresses that no matter your title—from stay-at-home mom to business executive to ministry leader—you can celebrate God’s role for you as a wife and learn how to embrace vibrant marital roles without getting stuck in gender ruts, reduce stress and busyness by building intimacy and strength, boost love, support, and encouragement in your communication, deepen your spousal connection so you won’t feel alone, and restore dreams for your life with your spouse. Through thoughtful exploration of biblical promises, humorous hope-filled stories, and compelling testimonies, Jen shares how God empowers her life as a millennial wife, and inspires readers to experience the same freedom.
Would you like to win a copy of Jen’s book? (Men too, for your wife.) Here’s how to enter:
- Subscribe to this blog community, Hope Is Among Us, with your first name, email, and confirm subscription. There’s hope for all areas of our Christian journey including marriage. You’ll receive new posts every Thursday by Girl Friday.
- Already a subscriber? Simply share this article on social media using the share buttons or from my Facebook Profile/Page, Twitter, etc. But tag me or mention my name in the comments so I’ll be sure to enter you in the drawing. Winner announced next Thursday, 4/13/17.
© 2017 by Jen Weaver, All Rights Reserved
April 6, 2017 at 12:00 am | Uncategorized