Prayers for Eyes to See

Marriage is hard. It’s not impossible, and it’s definitely worthy of fighting for, but marriage really is a fight. It’s a fight against our own will, against our spouse’s idiosyncrasies, and against what society expects of us.

The hardest part of marriage is that you realize that your Prince Charming, or your Queen, is a human. A human who burps, says the wrong thing sometimes, and leaves his socks on the floor (in all seriousness, left my socks on the floor yesterday!). A human who talks too much, nags sometimes, and leaves her hair ties everywhere.

We need to pray for eyes to see our spouses the way that God sees them.

God made man and woman in His image (Genesis 1:27). When God created us and put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He called His creation “very good” (v. 31). In light of that knowledge, doesn’t that make our spouse a little more valuable in our eyes? But instead of focusing on that, we tend to focus on their flaws, slip-ups, and imperfections.

Since the Fall of man, it is true that we are not perfect. We have been stained by sin, and the image of God has been distorted in us. But by the grace of Jesus, and what He did for us on the cross 2,000 years ago, we now wear the righteousness of Christ when we accept Jesus as our Master. Now, when God looks at us, He looks at us with grace. We are no longer marred with sin in His eyes; instead, we are His precious, beloved children.

Are you viewing your spouse with grace, or with judgment? Are you nitpicking his every mistake, or are you choosing to look past his imperfections? Choose today to pray for eyes to see your spouse the way that God sees him.

If you’re not sure where to start, here are some Biblical tips to help you pray:

Search your own heart. In Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus tells us to remove the plank in our own eyes before we judge the speck in our brother’s eye. Before you say a word about the faults in your spouse, think about your own faults. As I mentioned before, God looks at you with grace. Forgive your spouse as the Lord has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:32). When you realize how much God loves you and how much He has forgiven you, it makes it easier to overlook your spouse’s shortcomings.

Make a list of what you love about your spouse. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in perspective. Your spouse may seem like a loser, but that’s only because you’re focusing on his flaws. Focus on what makes him a winner. Write down a list of things you love about your spouse. Think especially back to why you first married him. Thank God for this person that He has given you, the one who will be doing life with you from now until the day you die.

Surrender your idiosyncrasies to God. Admittedly, I’m a control freak, and I often want to fix everything about my spouse (truthfully, there isn’t much to fix!). But I’ve realized in the twenty-six months we’ve been married that I can’t fix him, nor can I control him. What I can control is how I respond to his shortcomings. If I find some flaws more difficult to overlook than others, I need to let them go and surrender them to God. You can tell God how you feel about your spouse, but ultimately, you need to get to a place where you put the issue in God’s hands.

Choose grace for your spouse. Grace is a choice, and it’s a choice more easily made when the God of grace is with you. In light of all that we have discussed, choose to have grace-colored glasses when you look at your spouse. You’ll find that whatever bothered you about him is no longer as apparent.

Photo by Bud Helisson on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday

#ThrowbackThursday to my #FirstWorldProblems

Looking at my memories this past week, I had to laugh at my article on first world problems.  The problems I had then were a walk in the park compared to what I deal with now.  Nevertheless, the message behind my article was important for me to remember, and for you to be encouraged.

Although I define first world problems in the article I mentioned, plainly put, they’re problems that greatly affect the outcome of our days, but put in perspective, they’re not that bad.

You can read about the first world problems I dealt with as a recent college graduate.  My greatest first world problem as an employee is the commute to and from work.  I’ve found that my commute to work is the deciding factor of how nice I’m going to behave at work.  Now that school is out of session and there are less cars on the road, my commute to work is only fifteen minutes.  I’ve noticed that I’ve definitely been more calm at work now, even cheerful. But during the school year, my commute can range from twenty to thirty-five minutes.  Although it does not sound like a long time, the fact that there is a fifteen-minute window of time (where I can be fifteen minutes early or fifteen minutes late) can make it very difficult to plan my morning schedule.

This, in essence, is a first world problem, but it’s even beyond a first world problem.  Some people in this country have to take the train, which could be a solid hour each way–as long as there are no delays.  All of you who have to commute via the train must be cracking up at my so-called misfortune of my fifteen-minute drive to work.

First world problems are entirely based on perspective.  What is a total nightmare to me, could be a wonderful opportunity for you.  Maybe a longer commute to work could mean more time to listen to your audio book. Maybe your phone charger not working could yield an opportunity to catch up with your friend face-to-face.  Maybe the fact that it’s raining when you’re about to fill up your gas tank could remind you not to run your car to the ground.

All in all, I’m thankful for my job.  I’m thankful for my husband.  I’m thankful for my family.  I’m thankful for all the things that aren’t perfect, but have made my life better.

What things in your life have you taken for granted lately?  Take some time to thank God for all the blessings He has given you.  It says in James 1:17 that every good and perfect gift is from above.  To us, our circumstances may not be perfect, but in God’s perfect plan, He has you exactly where you need to be.  And He will provide what you need, when you need it.  Through every circumstance, you can find contentment in Him.

Life as a college graduate for me was such a struggle at first.  My first twenty-something years of life had been preparing me for this moment, and yet I still had no clue what I was doing.  If I could go back three years and tell myself one thing, it would be this: it gets better.  Life takes some time to figure out, and while I can’t say I’ve completely mastered it, it seems to make a little more sense now.  I pray if you are in a transitional period of your life, you would be encouraged by the process.  You’ll get through this, and you’ll become stronger through the trials and confusions that life throws at you.  God has a plan for you, and you have plenty of time and plenty of grace to navigate through it!