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Moving From Despair to Hope

It was nearly midnight when I got back to my hotel room, at the close of the women’s conference. My phone died before I could check on things at home, but when it charged, I had this voicemail:

“Hey, Babe, everything’s good here. Give me a call when you can. I’ll pray for you now in case you aren’t able to call back tonight . . .”

There was a time in our marriage when receiving a message like this would’ve been unimaginable—when my husband seemed more like my enemy than a friend. During the first decade of our marriage, I developed a negative and critical attitude toward him that stifled his desire to be my spiritual leader or even pray with me. But for several years now, without fail, LeRoy has prayed over me nightly, interceding for specific needs and struggles. He makes requests with faith and vision for how God can be glorified through our lives.

What changed?

My heart changed and God transformed the atmosphere in our home.

You may be in a dark and lonely place right now. You and your husband may operate more like distant roommates than friends. Maybe you’re functioning in “survival mode” trying to hold things intact only for the sake of your children. Today I want to offer you some practical suggestions for cultivating a heart change that can transform the atmosphere in your home.

 Cry Out

Go to God. First confess to God your resentment toward your husband and ask forgiveness for any anger or bitterness you have. We can’t begin to intercede for our husbands if we’re filled with toxic garbage (Hebrews 12:15). Lay out some specifics in prayer concerning your marriage relationship. Instead of ranting about your husband’s failures, ask God how you can inspire your man to be the godly leader he was created to be!

 Break Down Barriers 

If you recognize ways you’ve demeaned your husband or stifled his leadership, ask his forgiveness. Forgiveness is the most powerful component for breaking down isolating barriers in your relationship. Offer to him the same forgiveness that you’ve received (Ephesians 4:32). 

 Honestly Communicate 

We don’t have to use words to communicate when we’re frustrated—most husbands can tell! Don’t let little resentments simmer underneath the surface. Those can lead to big explosions or silent walls of bitterness. Prayerfully consider the timing and words to communicate to your husband your specific concerns or desires. Enter the conversation with grace and humility. Love should be your motive, not the selfish desire to “fix things” more to your liking (Ephesians 4:29).

 Let Go

There is a natural tendency to try to “re-make” our men rather than to let go of the little stuff. Before you sling out a demeaning criticism, challenge yourself with heart-searching questions: “Am I trying to control my husband? Am I willing to accept his differences and love him, even though he doesn’t do things the way I would?” Offer him the same love and acceptance you’ve been shown by Christ (Romans 15:1–7).

 Be a Friend

If your husband is blindly captured by sin, don’t enable him in that sin. Proverbs says that a friend’s wounds demonstrate faithfulness. Humbly come alongside your husband and graciously confront him on the basis of your love and desire for him to be set free (Proverbs 27:5–6; Galatians 6:1–2).

If you’re discouraged, depend on God’s grace to apply these principles. Move from despair to hope by trusting God’s ability to transform the atmosphere in your home! 

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

5 Comments

  • Gina Rogers

    So thankful for the grace that God showers on us in the best of times and the worst of times. Why do we wait to cry out to our Savior? So thankful for your blog and absolutely love you and Leroy! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!!! Thank you, Kim for being here to help so many!!!!!

  • Jess

    THANK YOU!!! My husband and I are currently separated, it will be 2 months on Oct. 4. We will be married for 14 years on Oct. 7. We became 2 strangers who couldn’t agree on much. He said he was shut down, he didn’t have any energy to work on things so we separated. I have learned A LOT since he left. I have recognized a lot that I need to work on personally and I’ve surrendered it to God, asking him for his help to mold me into the person he created me to be. My husband is telling me we have to divorce. I am honoring his request. In the meantime I am asking all prayer warriors to come together and pray for our marriage. Pray that God will intercede in our marriage, reconcile us, renew our hearts, and restore our marriage. Even though my husband is solely focused on divorce right now I know that my God can do amazing things and I am ready for his miracle. We also have 2 kids that this is impacting a great deal so lots of prayers for them too.

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Oh, thank you, Gina for such an encouraging comment. You are a precious friend. What a joy to look back on all the instances where we’ve experienced God’s grace at work in our lives!

    Praising God with you! 🙂

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Dearest Jess ~

    I am so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. Let me assure you, as you look to the Lord, laying out your need and desire before Him, He is listening and is at work. You may not see all you would like accomplished in your marriage, but if you are looking to Christ, seeking His will, and desiring for Him to be glorified through this, He will meet with you and provide for your every need.

    Cling to the Lord as your Redeemer. He alone can transform your marriage. He alone will meet your deepest needs. Ultimately your dependence on Christ and desire to glorify Him is what matters most.

    You have my prayers dear one, I’m asking God to turn your husband’s heart and to bring complete reconciliation. Do not lose hope in all God can do in and through you as you trust in Him and obey His Word (Ephesians 3:20).

    Pausing to pray for you now ~