“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Ephesians 3:17-18
“I can’t promise you that marriage will be easy, but I can say that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.” Darlene Schacht
There have been years of emptiness in my life. Years in which I desperately searched for the approval of others, just needing to know I was good enough. What a strange thing it is, looking to other broken people to fill the cracks in our own life. Who is whole enough to fill us in the way we need and good enough to love us in the way we desire? No human could help me figure out who I was and help me find peace with who I wasn’t. And before I lifted my eyes to my Savior, I was alone, with a smile on my face while barely clinging to the shreds of my fractured heart.
Inside each of us is an empty vessel we long to have filled with worth. We seek to receive this value from many places. In search of our identity, we turn to relationships, accomplishments, or belief in ourselves. Often as wives, however, we hand this empty vessel to our husbands and ask them to fill it with our worth.
At this point, we become only as good as our husband’s performance. When he has a bad day, we are shaken. When he struggles, our value plummets. When he fails to see us through the eyes of Christ, our identity is destroyed. But what if I told you this was never God’s plan for you? If you have placed the vessel of your worth anywhere but securely with your loving Savior, you have placed it in the wrong hands.
When you find your identity anywhere but in the Lord, you are left empty, shallow, always searching for more of what you lack. When you attempt to gain your worth from your husband, you become selfish, always needing something from him, preoccupied with your longings and how he isn’t fulfilling them adequately. You are not able to love like Jesus or walk in the glorious freedom His love offers!
When at last I was able to see myself through the eyes of my Savior, I could hear His truth about who I am as His child and I was able to allow Him to meet my needs according to His glorious riches (Philippians 4:19). Instead of allowing another imperfect human to determine my worth, I rested in the unconditional, unending love of my Creator, a love beyond anything imaginable (Ephesians 3:17-21). And His love makes me whole, filling in all the deep fissures in my heart with His tenderness and grace.
Sister, when you finally surrender your empty vessel to Christ and allow Him to fill you in a way only the God of the universe can, you gain the freedom to love your husband the way the Lord intended (1 John 4:19). Only then can you shine the light of Jesus to him in every circumstance and be the friend, lover, and helper the Lord has made you to be. You will be able to love your husband right where he is, struggles and all, and pray for him in a powerful way!
In fact, the very best gift you can give your husband is to pray that he will know the mighty, transforming love of the Lord. In Ephesians 3:14-19, Paul tells us that the ability to know the deep love of our Savior is only found through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must pray that our husbands will utilize the power of the Holy Spirit to know the vast height, depth, and width of God’s love for them. We must pray that God will fill the emptiness within our husbands with His heart-healing love.
Sister, when you are able to walk the faithful path of total surrender to the Lord within your marriage, a deep, abiding joy awaits you (Colossians 3:12-15)! When you are no longer wrapped up in your worth and your needs but are fully occupied by the love of Christ and the act of pouring that love out to your husband, God can begin to heal and refine your marriage through His love! And that is a love that will change everything, my friend. Believe me.
Faith-Filled Idea: Pray Ephesians 3:17-19
Write Ephesians 3:17-19 on a notecard and place it somewhere you will see it frequently. Pray this Scripture over your husband daily. Pray that your husband will know the love of Christ in his very core, that he will walk in Christ’s love, and that he will live a life that is transformed by the love of Jesus. Pray also that you will intimately know this love and that you will find your worth in Him so you can begin to love your husband with the extravagant love of Christ.