“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16 NIV
After 13 months of being a stay-at-home dad, my husband was re-entering the workforce. My extroverted husband with a big personality was trading his days of caring for our children for 40-55 hours of managing a team in an industry he had no experience in… working night shifts. For many reasons, it was appealing-becoming a two income family again, no overlap in our schedules, extra benefits. We were excited and ready for what God had in store for us!
We immediately made adjustments to accommodate this new routine with blackout curtains, ensuring peace and quiet despite the children being home all day for summer break. We stepped down from serving at church and had breakfast dates. However, the more outings I took the children on while he slept, the sadder my husband became and the more overwhelmed I began to feel. In an effort to be supportive, I stayed silent and continued to take care of the home and our children. That was my mistake.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11 NIV
That Scripture aligned with the nature of my husband’s job and how it made us feel individually! His position became more challenging, our children began to miss him. Our breakfast dates were minimized to passing each other in the driveway as we came and left for work. I stopped initiating prayer before he left, and it was replaced with sleepless nights. My husband was clearly unhappy, and I began to despise his job.
Months later, a new opportunity presented itself. One that checked all the boxes on his resume. The hiring process could not go fast enough. We were ready to print out that resignation letter and get our family time back. Good things don’t always come with ease. My husband started facing challenges that would get even the most patient person’s blood to boil. Though I understood his frustration, I started to become frustrated with him. This was my next mistake….
In 1 Corinthians 13, it’s written clearly of how love is demonstrated. It’s kind, patient, it’s showing grace. His offer letter was signed and his start date was on the calendar. He committed to taking the ethical high road, as much as he preferred to never put on his uniform again. The Enemy came with obvious attacks to get him to walk out on the job and destroy the store on his way out. One morning he came home early and spoke of not returning after the weekend. I listened, did not respond and attempted to go back to sleep. I had horrible dreams that weekend. Silence offended my husband and it was destroying all of my Ephesians 5 desires, until I realized what I had done. I was not covering my husband in prayer nor showing him grace.
“I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34:4 NIV
I asked God to reveal the meaning of my vivid nightmares: Why did I dream of my husband forcing me to do things I did not want to do? It was clear, I was anxious about our finances because this transition synced with our first year of all four children starting school. What if this offer doesn’t fall through? How will we afford back-to-school shopping and tuition? Knowing the root was anxiety and worry, I remembered Philippians 4:6-7. God didn’t have to say anymore. I prayed, I worshiped and left my worries at His feet. My husband finished his assignment in time to start training; saving souls in that last pay period.
I am so blessed that no matter what, my husband always sees me as his Proverbs 31 wife. I am even more blessed that I can carry that image by simply praying and extending the grace God shows me, even when I miss the mark sometimes. My prayer is that no matter what relationship challenges you may face, do not soak your frustrations in silence. Rest assured that peace awaits with prayer and grace!