In times of struggle, when keeping your connection is a challenge, draw near to the One who can be your strength.
I’m experiencing a lot of stress lately. Maybe you are too. With work, family commitments, home projects, and a plethora of activities related to redesigning my website and store, I’m running at 150% of capacity. It has forced me to almost entirely neglect my blog and my other marriage ministry endeavors. I’ve managed very little writing or posting, and have mostly neglected Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for much of the summer.
All this combines to leave me frustrated, and, as my wife says, pretty “prickly” sometimes. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist, and the thing that most sinks my attitude is feeling pushed into mediocrity by my circumstances. That’s what is happening in spades right now, and it can make me pretty prickly and not very nice to be around.
Some Important Reminders
I’ve been realizing that I need to remind myself about a few important truths:
- The first thing to realize is that my attitude is a choice. We all have lots of stuff that could drag us down into being negative; that’s just real life. I need to take a stand not to let my circumstances dictate my outlook.
- I have to place the burden of my happiness squarely on my own shoulders and own up to the fact that if I’m unhappy, I’m the one that has to do something about it. It’s not my wife’s job, it’s not my employer’s job. It’s mine.
- I often hear it said that right thinking leads to right doing. That’s why it is so important to get my thinking screwed on straight and practice thankfulness intentionally, daily, hourly.
- One negative statement carries the same emotional weight as seven positive ones. Whether the number is true or not, I can shift the atmosphere in my life and my marriage with my words.
- Little, frequent acts of kindness and love are the best way to ensure that passion and intimacy thrive. These unselfish acts also help me turn my focus off myself.
When I don’t pay attention to these truths, it creates a definite strain on the level of intimacy and connection my wife and I are able to enjoy.
I have realized that I can’t do this on my own. When I try to live my life in my own strength, I often find that I fall short. Short on time, short on patience, short on love and kindness.
The truth is that in all circumstances the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit can carry me through. When I learn to walk continuously in the presence of God, which Jesus died to give us access to, I can not only survive difficulties, I can actually thrive through them.When you learn to walk continuously in the presence of God, which Jesus died to give us access to, you can not only survive difficulties, you can actually thrive through them. #practicethepresence #intimacywithgod Click To Tweet
When I am feeling in need of his strength, here is a prayer I pray over myself. You can also pray this prayer over yourself or your spouse.
And I pray that he would pour out over [me] the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods [my] innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.Ephesians 3:16 (TPT)
I’m not always able to let the Holy Spirit be my inner strength. Especially when I’m stressed, I forget to “practice the presence” of God, as Brother Lawrence so famously termed it. But I’m thankful that I have a wife who speaks truth into my life and points me to Jesus, even when I’m teaming with negativity.
It is important for husbands and wives not to withdraw when things get tough but instead to encourage each other in the Lord. When circumstances start decreasing the intimacy in your marriage and draining your passion, that’s the very time to move toward each other, speaking the truth in love, extending the hand of grace.
Do you sometimes need to remind yourself or your spouse of verses like this:
- “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13)
- “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.” (Ps 105:4)
- “When I am weak, he is strong.” (2 Cor 12:10)
When circumstances start to hurt the intimacy in your marriage, it might just be time to find the strength and power you need by drawing closer to God and allowing him to be your strength.
Photo by Marquise Kamanke on Unsplash