Long Term Suffering: A House Divided

I remember having a desire to read the Bible.  I don’t know where it came from.  I just remember that it was something that I needed to do.  I wanted to be close to God.  I needed to be in prayer.  I started to set aside an hour a day to pray and study God’s Word.

This was something new.  I had attended church  my entire life, but never had a desire like this.  I was being changed.  I was being saved.  My life was beginning to drastically change. I now wanted to go to church because of a heartfelt desire to learn about God.  It was no longer the action that saved me.  God was doing that.

I didn’t know it then but at the same time God was changing my life and putting in my heart a desire to follow Him a division occurred in my home.  You see my husband didn’t come along with me on this journey.  He was the same as when we were married.  So I began a journey with God, and he did not.  

Our home was divided.

Luke 12:51 states, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”

So what’s the big deal right.  So I have to get the kids to church by myself that’s not a big deal.  I have to attend every event alone.  That’s not suffering.  It’s not like he tortures you for reading the Bible and praying, true.  He doesn’t.  So why write about living with an unbeliever.

Because if you have never done it you don’t know what it is like to live in a house divided.  I served in full time ministry for 7 years.  Not once could I pray with my husband and ask his guidance about leading a ministry.  Not once would he ask to pray for me as I led another fundraising event.  Not once could I share about the heartache I felt for the unsaved, and how I was doing everything I could to share Christ with the world.

It means forgiving and not ever being asked to forgive.

It meant letting him go for a while to live his own life, until he came back.

It means overlooking bad language, self-centeredness, bad movies, and the lifestyle and habits of an unsaved man.  Now this is where it gets hard.  You see Christian marriages are not perfect, but at least you are united by God, and your love for Jesus Christ.  When you are in a house divided you are not united, God separates you.

Yet you strive to be one with your mate, submit to him, respect him, and love him.  Your faith is tested, and it’s a struggle to trust that God will do what His Word says He will do.  You often get tired of getting the kids to church, going to events alone, and shouldering the burden of spiritual leadership.  A tasks that was meant to be his.

So what do we do?  How do we live when our home doesn’t fit a Beth Moore novel.  When we don’t have household prayer, family Bible reading, when R rated movies are played, and the last thing on your spouses mind is serving and loving God.  How do we survive?

We were called to live to God alone.  Isaiah 43:7 says that were created for God’s glory.  When is God glorified?

When we obey Him.

When we speak well of Him.

When we trust Him.

When we love the unlovable.

When we act like He acts.

When we turn from sin.

When we seek God in forgiveness.

When we are satisfied with Him.

What do we do?

Know His commands.  It’s our guide for life.  We need to have personal study of God’s Word.  It is the only thing that will keep us on track and give us the strength to keep going.

Our lives are about following Christ, He must take precedence.  It’s NOT about your husband, your child, or your whatever.  Yes they are important, but Christ should take precedence over them.

It’s about loving and serving God.  When we can stay there it works.

Practical Ways to Implement This:

  • Daily Bible reading
  • Journal:  keep a record of the work that God is doing in your life and marriage
  • Prayer:  serious, silent, meditative prayer.  Every day.
  • Make a choice to trust God.  Minute by minute, day by day.
  • Look at your marriage as the opportunity to share Christ with your spouse.
  • Thank God for every blessing.
  • Look each day for ways to demonstrate Christ’s love.
  • Love your spouse as Christ loved you before you were saved.
  • Be patient and kind.
  • Choose a wise Christian advisor to help you through rough times.
  • Don’t shove Christianity in your spouses face.  It didn’t work for you and it won’t work for him or her.  Demonstrate Christ through your life.

God’s Word is correct.  Jesus came to bring division, and often that division is in our own home.  But take heart, you are not alone.  God is in control of this situation, pray to Him daily to save your spouse, and focus your attention on loving and serving Christ.

Savoring, and serving God,

Marcy Pedersen


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