This month James and I celebrate nine years of marriage. Every year we share the highlights in our relationship and reminisce on the really great seasons we’ve walked through together. However, we also talk about the hard ones. The seasons where we experienced loss of loved ones, betrayals, and financial hardships. The seasons where we bickered and constantly felt misunderstood. When I think back on all the memories we’ve shared in the nine years of marriage and the five years of dating prior- one personal memory still stands out.
We were in our first year of marriage and had our first real fight. We never really argued while dating so this one felt huge for me. James worked a late night shift and I was sitting in the living room watching a movie. Shortly after he left I pulled out my Bible and decided that I needed to pray for my husband because I was convinced only God could “fix” him.
I had no clue what to pray beside listing all his shortcomings and thinking about how “right” I was. Eventually, I landed in Galatians and started reading about the fruits of the spirit. It’s where we see the characteristics of Christ in list form and it paints a picture of how He lived His life on earth. I thought to myself, “Ah, yes, I will pray for these for my husband, because he totally needs it.”
While praying through each characteristic I immediately started to see my areas of failure. I saw my lack of kindness and gentleness when I spoke to my husband. I saw how I wasn’t patient when things weren’t going my way. I also, realized I wasn’t cultivating peace in our home. There wasn’t joy and love in my attitude towards him and I needed a little more self-control.
I entered that prayer thinking I would pray away all my husband’s shortcomings but walked out repenting of all of mine.
I called James, apologized and told him how much I love him. We then prayed together and moved on. I wish I could say that was the first and last time we ever argued but that’s simply not true. We’re two imperfect people who love each other deeply and also tend to be passionate about certain topics.
However, this moment always stuck with me because every time we encounter hard seasons in our marriage, I’ve always gone back to Galatians. I always pray for those characteristics to be present in my life and James’. I pray for these characteristics to pour out of us and to those around us.
I share this story with you because since my post, The first thing you must do if you want to save your marriage, I’ve had women reach out to me and share from their heart how they strongly desire to pray with their husband.
Some women shared how their husbands don’t know the Lord and won’t pray with them. Many explained they’ve never prayed together before and don’t know how to go about bringing it up. A few also said they don’t know what to pray if they were to pray with their husband.
While I know you may feel alone in your thoughts, find comfort in knowing many other wives want the same as you. Many wives want to pray with their husband but the husband doesn’t have a relationship with Christ. Some don’t know how to bring it up to their husband out of fear of rejection. And some want to pray but don’t know where to begin so they don’t even start.
I want to gently encourage you to start with scripture. When you want to pray for or with your husband and don’t know where to begin, begin in the word.
Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Pray for Christ’s love to be the center of your hearts and your marriage. Pray for joy to overflow in abundance. For peace to fill your home and hearts. To have patience while you deal with each other’s shortcomings and the difficulties that come your way. Pray for kindness to be the heart you live out to one another and your children. Together, live a righteous and holy life, one that is good and not for the benefit of others or simply for the sake of being virtuous. Pray for your hearts to remain faithful to Christ and one another. To speak with gentleness when facing the craziness of life. And to practice self-control, so nothing can come between you, your spouse, and Christ.
When you pray, pray for them not at them. Try not to pray from a heart to “fix” or “change” them, but to pray for them out of love and for Christ to transform and soften their heart.
Today, if you find yourself in a marriage where praying together is not an option, please know I am praying for you. I pray that God will move in your relationship and for one day, you and your spouse to be prayer warriors-together.
If you’re in a marriage where praying together is an option, I pray for that area of your relationship to be strengthened. For you and your husband to grow closer and boldly proclaim the love of Christ within your marriage. I pray that God will continue to use you as an example to other marriages and those seeking marriage.
This post originally appeared on HeatherMargiotta.com and was republished with permission.
Heather Margiotta is a Christian Writer and Speaker from northeast Ohio. She is a wife to a loving husband and a mother to two handsome sons. She received a bachelors degree in Theology and writes about her faith, adoption, relationships, and grief on her blog, HeatherMargiotta.com. Besides loving Jesus and her family, Heather is obsessed with coffee, local pizza joints, and nail polish. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.