"God wants you to give Him control over your mind and heart. While He gave you the ability to feel, He doesn't want your feelings or emotions to rule you in a way that makes both you and your husband miserable. He wants you to bring all your feelings and emotions to Him-your Lord and confidant-and put them in the hands and under the control of the Holy Spirit."
-Stormie OMartian, The Power of a Praying Wife Devotional
I'm so thankful my mom bought me this book for Christmas. I just finished The Power of a Praying Wife and am continuing to read the devotions in the evening.
I wish I had acquired this book earlier on in my marriage. I've learned so much from Stormie's writing and from praying the prayers in these devotions. As I've spent daily time in prayer for my husband, I've been able to see different aspects of our relationship getting better and better. God in His grace has opened my eyes to see the good in my husband and to give him grace for his weaker areas. Hubs has also begun to do the same for me. We are much gentler and relaxed with each other than we have been in the past and I thank God for that.
I think much of it has had to do with the surrender Stormie writes about in the above quote. I'm learning daily to bring my concerns, worries and emotions to the Lord in prayer, no matter how small or big they may seem. As a result, I feel much less pressure to be a "good wife" and I think I put less pressure on Hubs to be a "good husband." We can both testify to the fact that negative emotions and the desire to "change" each other really stifles a marriage. Prayer, however, changes both of us: When I pray for Hubs, things change in him, but they also change in me. Letting go and letting God work in our lives has been such a relief to me as a wife. While we haven't stopped addressing issues in our relationship, the level of strife when we have tried to address different issues has significantly decreased because I know and have Someone who can handle all of my emotions and I don't have to unload them on poor Hubs. All that to say....Hubs is still a great listener. He just doesn't need to carry everything I am feeling!
I encourage you to "cast all of your cares on Him" (1 Peter 5:7) concerning your marriage. God loves you, hears you and will act on your behalf.