4. Prioritize Christ-Centered Friendships
When my husband and I weren’t united spiritually, I often felt alone. He was my closest friend in so many other areas, but I felt as if I couldn’t fully share the deepest parts of myself with him. Though I told him about my struggles with sin and numerous ways I sensed God’s presence or care, I recognized he didn’t truly understand. Sometimes it even felt as if my faith discussions irritated him.
I needed to spend time with strong Christian friends more than ever, and so I joined Bible study groups and cultivated relationships with women who demonstrated a strong faith and desire to grow in Christ. They prayed with me, encouraged me, and continually reminded me of God’s promises. They helped me realize how supported and connected I truly was. As a result, I always left our gatherings strengthened, with more spiritual clarity, and better equipped to reveal Christ, if not through my words, then through my love.
Through each interaction, prayer, and tender moment spent with my Savior, God gently spoke truth to my heart, reiterating what I was and wasn’t responsible for. Really, my role was simple—to listen and surrender to Christ, trusting Him to do what only He could do: ignite then strengthen my husband’s faith. So long as I focused on that, then I could be certain I was doing and saying precisely the right thing at the perfect moment. And that was enough, because Christ, who was working in and through all things—my husband’s heart included—was enough.
When our spouses doubt spiritual truths, our emotions can rise up stronger than our faith. In fear, we might be tempted to rely on ourselves and our wisdom, or to withdraw. But as Christ followers, we’re called to engage in a holy, life-changing battle, not with angry words or pride-filled ammunition, but rather with Spirit-empowered truth and grace.
May we remember that the God of creation, the One who formed our husband’s heart, probes its depths, and sees every stronghold keeping him from deep and abiding faith, loves him deeply. He longs to draw them ever-closer to Himself, for all of eternity. In the middle of our most anxious, sorrowful, or frustrating moments, we can rest in this truth.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Priscilla Du Preez