1 Peter 5:5-11
5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”[a]
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers[b] all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.
10 In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 11 All power to him forever! Amen.
When Doug and I finally gave God all our worries and cares, the Holy Spirit began His work to restore, support and strengthen us individually- and together.
Believers, all over the world have, and will go through the same kind of suffering in their marriage that we did. As with most couples, our story involved two broken people who finally surrendered to the Father. But it didn’t happen simultaneously. Doug was the first to humble himself.
After years of trying to conquer sexual sin in his own strength, in 2001 my groom was faced with the prospect of loosing his wife, children and career. Everything that he held dear was being stripped away in the span of only a few hours. Fortunately, for him- and his family, he cried out to God for help….and in His kindness, God reminded him of his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus.
My surrender came several months later. Like a roaring lion, I was looking to devour my husband and make him pay for all the scars & pain he inflicted on me during our years together. I was angry, bitter, judgmental and completely blind to my own sexual sin- and stubborn pride. Until one day…while I was cursing my husband, the Holy Spirit interjected (literally in mid sentence): “I died for him too. He is forgiven. You must forgive.”
The restoring of our marriage began with both of us confessing and repenting to the Father. Had we stopped there, we would have stayed together with a firm foundation, but our relationship would not have been rebuilt the way God designed. In order to continue the construction process, Doug and I once again had to humble ourselves by confessing our sins to each other and repenting for the pain we inflicted in one another’s souls. We had to be willing to give and receive forgiveness. We also needed to allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate the deep, dark, hidden places in the basement of our past so that we could see where the enemy had stolen, killed and destroyed areas of our lives- and marriage. Once we knew the Truth, we were set free by confessing, repenting and forgiving.
As with any remodel, the project towards oneness has been long….and sometimes extremely hard. And it still isn’t finished! But I can tell you from experience: the blessings of obedience far outweigh the cost of humbling ourselves under the mighty power of God.
If you are in the midst of a marriage renovation, dress yourself in humility towards God and your spouse. The Lord promises that at just the right time He will lift you up in honor. So trust Him! Don’t rush the reno. A firm foundation and well built home takes time.
7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.