Let me paint you a picture, a picture that happens in our household sometimes and one, that I am betting, happens in yours at times as well.
Last night I was talking with my husband when I decided to share a few fears and anxiety I was having. I will say that my intention wasn’t just to share, I was looking for comfort, rest, and peace. Remember that part folks.
Anyway, I’m sharing a few fears of mine. Instead of giving me the answer I went looking for, he gave me an answer that did not make me feel better at all. I immediately got frustrated and was on the verge of blowing it out of proportion. Is this sounding familiar to some? Just me? OK, moving on.
In the midst of my frustration, God calmed me and asked me an incredibly convicting question:
“Why are you expecting rest, comfort, and peace in your husband? That’s a lot to ask out of man. Especially for someone who didn’t know those fears existed until now. That’s also something you should be looking for in me.”
And y’all, that hit me like a TON of bricks. I was placing a lot on the shoulders of a man who was sharing a lot of the same fears. He didn’t have the answers because he was having those same fears AND he’s not God.
After the conviction hit, what happened next was something the enemy hates. I asked for my husbands forgiveness. It wasn’t fair for me to put that on him. He then apologized for not being more sensitive to what was going on and we both turned to God. Together. No blowing up. No fighting. Take that Satan! Anyway, I digress.
God has taken me on a roller coaster this past year and has been weeding out other idols in my life. One of the biggest walks he has taken me on is the idol of my family. Specifically, that of my husband.
Now, let me be clear in that, yes your husband can and should be a place of rest, comfort, and peace. The issue comes when you expect it, look to him before you look to God, he fails, and you blame him. This, my friends, is making your husband an idol in your life.
You see, God tells us that he is our comforter, our provider, the source of our joy, our peace, rest, and so much more. When we go looking elsewhere to fulfill those, we are placing idols in place of our God. This doesn’t mean we can’t find joy in others, in fact I believe we should! What it does mean is our peace, joy and rest should not be dependent on those things.
As much as I love my dear husband, he is a sinful man, the same way I am a sinful woman. Trying to find my complete rest and joy in that is foolish. A year ago, I was finding myself getting really angry, frustrated, and sad really easily when Joey was grumpy or upset with anything. I was SO dependent on him for my source of joy. How awful and unfair is that? That is a lot of pressure to put on someone, and its certainly pressure I do not want on myself.
If I am being honest it is still a struggle for me. You see, its fairly easy for me to recognize material things as idols in my life, well, because they don’t hold the value a human being does to me. It’s a bit more difficult to recognize when someone I love is an idol to me and here is why I think that is. When you are holding another person as an idol in your life it is REAL easy to use Gods view of others as justification. Statements like:
“I’m supposed to love and respect my husband”
“I’m supposed to love my neighbor as myself”
“I’m just viewing him as God does and holding him to Gods standard.”
As true as these may be, they can easily be used to justify placing anyone but God on a pedestal. I’d urge you to reflect and think about what happens when your spouse messes up. Does your faith waiver? Does your joy waiver? What about your peace?
It may be hard but are you able to look past your own emotions and see the Joy of the Lord? The Peace of the Lord? The Rest in the Lord?
If you recognize someone as an idol in your life, I’d urge you to take it to the Lord and ask for the other persons forgiveness as well. Recognizing that you have someone as an idol in your life is only the beginning. It’s what you do once you are aware that makes that relationship with God flourish.
I’m not saying this is easy. It’s not. It’s one of the hardest things God has walked me through and continues to walk me through. What I am saying is it’s worth it. It’s worth not feeling pressure from your spouse. It’s worth the unwavering faith. It’s worth the unwavering Joy. It is worth the trust and comfort that comes with making God your go-to.
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.” Philippians 4:7
Love your family, your spouse, something fierce but love our God more.