If you’ve read the first ever post on this blog, you will know that my defining moment, the moment in which I made the decision to fight back against mental illness, was the moment my husband said he wanted a divorce. I have recently had a few people ask for an update, and I’ve gone back and forth on how to approach it.
Our marriage is not perfect. It isn’t the best. It’s flawed. We have moments where we lose our temper (especially me), withdrawal from each other, and whine and complain. But guess what? We are still together. It wasn’t an easy road by any means, but I truly credit three books with saving our marriage. And while we still have a long way to go, I am very grateful for how far we’ve come.
Less than a week after my husband’s daunting words, I saw another wife struggling in her marriage on Facebook. Someone I didn’t even know said that they had recently joined a book study for the book, The Power of a Praying Wife and offered to invite this lady. Hijacking the post, I asked for an invite as well. I’m not normally into self-help books, but what could it hurt?
I’ll be honest with you here, I didn’t get the book until the book study was half way over. Our finances were tight and I just couldn’t justify the expense. But as I read the posts on this Facebook group, I was convinced that I needed this book and so I found a way to get it and I am so glad I did.
Stormie OMartian has a very powerful story and I strongly recommend checking out all of her books, but this is the first one I ever read. Despite a lot of advice I had heard from other Christians, this book encouraged me to stop focusing on my husband and our problems, but rather to focus on myself and my relationship with God. As I read throughout the chapters, I gained more and more confidence that God wasn’t through with our marriage and that He had the power to heal it. I wasn’t sure when or how it would happen, but I was sure that it would.
Through this book, along with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I was able to make an important decision: I could not change my husband’s mind and force him to stay married to me. What I could do was to be the best wife I could be. At the very least, I would be able to say I tried my hardest. I began praying for him in earnest, but also asking God to show me where I was wrong as well. And He sure did!
If your marriage is struggling, or even if it’s not, I strongly recommend this book. It is such an encouragement to pray sincerely for our husbands and to remember just how powerful prayer can be. As of today (July 11, 2019), the book is on sale on Amazon for only $7.42. I am not sure how long the sale will last, so grab it quick!
I know, a lot of you are probably rolling your eyes right now. I mean, a lot of people talk about this book and there’s a pretty good chance you already have it in your library. But I can’t help but give it some credit. I had heard of this book at least ten million times but had never taken the time to sit down and read it. As a mom of four, my reading time is pretty limited. But when I found the audio version, I decided it was time to see what all of the hype was about. It made such a difference in my life, I even managed to get my husband to listen to it as well and he was equally impressed.
For those who don’t know, the gist of this book is that not everyone gives and receives love in the same way. While my husband feels the most loved when I do things for him (acts of service), I do not. In fact, this was a big struggle in our marriage. Any time I would be upset or sad, my husband would stand to his feet and start washing dishes or folding laundry. While I know a lot of women wouldn’t understand this, I would be furious! Until I read this book…
You see, the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman showed me that my love language is quality time. I feel the most loved when someone spends time with me, talking, or even just doing things with me. So when I would feel upset, and my husband would rush out of the room to do something kind for me, we had a problem. My husband truly believed by doing things to help me, he was showing me he was sorry and demonstrating his love. On the other hand, I felt as though he was leaving me, and refusing to spend any time with me so I felt completely despised.
Since reading (or listening) to this book, I’ve come to realize that when Daniel does something kind, he is saying, “I love you.” But he’s done better at making an effort to spend time with me too, although it’s definitely a struggle. I have also made a much bigger effort to do little things for him when I can and making it known that I want to help. I don’t think we ever would have come to that understanding if it wasn’t for The Five Love Languages.
If your marriage, or any relationship, is struggling, this book may truly open your eyes. It could very well be that the special person in your life doesn’t feel loved, even though you’re showing them love the best way that you know how. Gary Chapman does an amazing job at helping you figure out your own love language as well as those closest to you. Even better, he offers suggestions on how to learn to “speak their language” so that they truly realize how much you love them and that you can “fill their love tank.” If you’d rather read the actual book, you can get that here for only $9.59.
I can’t leave this post without mentioning the Bible. It was truly the greatest help to our marriage, even though my husband does not see the value in it. During the darkest times of our struggles, I would hear that still small voice of God whisper His Word into my heart to guide in what to say or what not to say. Contrary to the advice by many, He guided me to be faithful and not to just walk away from my marriage. Scriptures repeatedly showed me that God had shown me mercy despite the amount of times I was unfaithful and caused him pain. So why should I not attempt to show my husband that same type of love I had received? In those darkest of nights when I lay in bed alone as my husband slept on the couch, I would often roll over and open up the Bible that sat on my nightstand. With tears in my eyes, I would find great solace in the knowledge that the Lord was with me and that His Word is true. If you do not have a copy of the Word of God in your home, I strongly suggest you get one today. If you don’t have the money, please reach out to a local church and I can almost guarantee you someone will get one in your hands. But don’t stop at holding it. Open it up and read the amazing love letter God has written for you.