I get a devotional titled “Moments With You” in my email every morning. It’s a devotional for couples written by Dennis and Barbara Rainey, a married couple with 6 kids.
Yesterday’s devotional really hit a tender spot for me. I will copy & paste the devotional for you to read before I comment on it:
Believe It or Not
BY BARBARA RAINEY
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe.” JOHN 10:25
We women are awfully fond of admitting that we need our husbands to affirm us and to express their love and appreciation of us through their words and actions. It’s important for us to know—especially after children and age have done their demolition work on our bodies and our once-youthful appearance—that we are still desirable and lovely.But if we want to be able to rest in the security of our husbands’ love, we need to do our part as well.
I remember the day, the time, the place and the details of one occasion when Dennis said to me—in the middle of a Saturday afternoon at home—”I love you, Barbara. I think you’re wonderful.”
I heard what he said. But the first thoughts that rushed through my mind were, He can’t really mean that. I’m worn out by the constant demands of the kids. The house is a mess. I don’t have a stitch of make-up on. I can’t be all that much fun to be with on most days. So I said, “I don’t know if I believe that or not.”
“You don’t have to believe me if you don’t want to,” he answered. “But it’s true.” It was like a light bulb clicking on. I don’t know why it seemed more sure and certain to me at that moment than any other, but I realized he was right. It was my choice to believe him . . . or not. He couldn’t give me the affirmation and love I needed if I wouldn’t receive it! I couldn’t expect him to affirm and value me if I dismissed his compliments as false.
So rather than listening to my emotions, I chose to believe the truth that he did in fact really love me, and I chose to do my part, which was to receive that love.
Wives, discuss your need for words of affirmation. Do you believe those words when your husband shares them with you? Why or why not?
Wives, ask God to help you be a good receiver of your husband’s love.
I have a great deal of difficulties believing the things my husband tells me. In all honesty he doesn’t tell me things a lot, like “I love you” or a compliment or something, but that certainly could be because he knows I probably won’t really believe him.
Now, in my defense, there is a good reason why I have troubles believing what he says. I learned a long time ago that words are very cheap; cheap but potent. In my first marriage, my husband would tell me he loved me and then say something abusive 10 minutes later. How could I believe that he loved me? Even before that, when I was a child, I would have girls who would act like a friend one day and then taunt and bully me the next. How could I believe they were ever my friend? The school yard stuff affected me in a way that caused me to never trust my friends. And the fact that whenever I did let my guard down I seemed to get betrayed only perpetuated my inability to trust. Then, of course, there was my first husband.
So, obviously, I went in to my current marriage with some serious walls put up. Over this past decade, but especially over the last year, God has been breaking down those walls, but the process, obviously, has been slow. It would probably go faster if I’d let it, but it’s hard to give up the security of those kinds of walls, even when they are a detriment to your life.
In the past year, though, I have developed some friendships that, surprisingly to me, I feel fairly secure in. I have proceeded cautiously with these friendships, but my usual expectation of betrayal has sat simmering on the farthest back burner, and not been forefront in my mind. I can only attribute that to the Grace of God. Hopefully that pot will be removed completely some day.
I have, however, not been making as great a stride when it comes to my husband.
In the article above, Barbara Rainey talks about choosing to believe and choosing to receive her husband’s love.
That makes total sense to me, but being afraid to trust makes that choice an impossible one.
If only something wouldn’t happen every time I let my guard down. If only my husband would do something to help me be able to trust him more (although I have no idea what that would be). If only I could delete my past from my brain. If only, if only, if only…
I guess I have discovered an area that I haven’t fully surrendered to God.
I guess it’s time to get on my knees again and have a heart to heart with God.
The choosing-to-receive concept could be applicable to a lot more than just a spouse’s love. We have to choose to receive God’s love. We have to choose to receive God’s grace. We have to choose to receive God’s healing.
God’s love is always there. We just have to receive it.
God’s grace is always there. We just have to receive it.
God’s healing is always there. We just have to receive it.
Pray with me:
God, I want to make the choice to receive Your love, grace and healing. Help me to keep on choosing you. Give me the strength and ability to receive the love of my family and friends. But especially help me to be a good receiver of my husband’s love. Help my unbelief and remove the enemy’s grip of distrust in my heart in Jesus’ name. Thank you for loving me unconditionally. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Choosing to receive.
I’ll bet it’s not as hard to do as I think it will be. Because when I try things in God’s strength, it never is.