#555 – I Resent Valentine’s Day / Anniversary

#71 – Fear of the Lord
October 14, 2017
#159 – I Struggle with My Body Image
October 15, 2017

An excerpt from Take Every Thought to Prayer – Volume 2 – Prayers to Love Our Neighbor

Dear Father, do You know what I want to say to my spouse? Don’t give me your cards. Don’t tell me you love me. Don’t flatter me with meaningless compliments. Don’t tell me you are faithful and true. Don’t give me flowers. Don’t wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day. Don’t give me a wedding anniversary card. You do your thing and I’ll do mine. I don’t need you anymore. I don’t want you anymore. Your love is a conditional love. I do things for you. I meet Your needs. You love me if I keep pleasing you. When I don’t, you are mean. You seemed bored with me around the house. Disinterested. Disengaged. We don’t talk anymore, not about anything more important than the weather or the lawn needing to be cut. Do you even know my thoughts? Do you even know my feelings? I know you’d rather spend time with other people than with me. I think you have someone else you are talking to. That’s fine. I’ll keep myself busy. I don’t even know you anymore. You haven’t shared your feelings for a long time. When you are drunk, you are abusive – emotionally and physically. I’ve had enough. I’m not going to let my heart be broken anymore. Father, I had such high hopes for my marriage. I imagined it would be so beautiful. We would be in love for the rest of our lives. The feeling that we once shared would never die. But, look at it now. I hear Your voice. True love is a choice; it is not a feeling. True love is unconditional. It loves the other because it loves loving. True love loves faithfulness and loyalty. Father, You love us when we are at our worst. You love us when we are despicable. In fact, You sent Your beloved Son to die on the cross for us when we were mean, lousy, cruel, callous, evil, sadistic, inhuman, vicious, and wicked people. Christ-like love does not evaluate whether the recipient of the love is worth loving. Father, my miserable spouse is worthy of my unconditional love. How can I love that way? I don’t feel any bond with them anymore. They aren’t likeable, let alone lovable. Father, the answer is that I need to confess my rebellion from You and repent. I need to surrender my life to You. I will then experience the work of the Holy Spirit to transform my heart. I will be able to love the unlovable. What could happen if my spouse received from me a tidal wave of the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self-control. No human can resist the power of the Holy Spirit, poured out in full. They will become curious about Jesus Christ. If they come to faith in Christ, they will be renewed. Our marriage might not only be saved, it could thrive. Father, doubters would say that is just wishful thinking. Few people experience such amazing transformations. Good luck. However, I would argue that few people truly surrender their lives to Christ. We hold onto our rebellion. We hold on to doubt. We hold on to our idols. Your Holy Spirit will not dramatically change our hearts when we have not fully surrendered our lives to You. Father, make me a story that spreads throughout my community. May my community talk about how I changed my heart and that led my spouse to change their heart too. May my community talk about my reborn marriage. Amen.