24 September 2009

Hard Hearted

You must pray for the clarity of your husband’s mind and spirit. If he has become hard-hearted because of the world, he can’t see reality as it is. He doesn’t understand why things are so tough for him.

Believers who do not listen or pay attention to God and his commandments are in danger of becoming what the Bible calls “stiff necked.” This is a chosen condition that raises God’s anger… when one of God’s people habitually does not trust him, and resists the voice of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). Ephesians 4:18 says they are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God. When they are separated from God, they can’t decipher what He’s trying to tell them. They are like the world, and they see God’s ways as foolishness. We have a closeness like no other to our husbands and their struggles and since we are one flesh, to pray for your husband is like praying for yourself.

When I see the difficulties and pain my husband goes through, I think of Daniel 5:20-21, which says of Nebuchadnezzar “ when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was_______ until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign.” I just fill in the blank and I know this is what he will have to endure until he acknowledges God as king of his life. So I have something very specific to pray for.

God longs to have fellowship with his children and is just waiting for people to turn to Him. In Acts 28:27, God says For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.

“If my people would but listen to me, if Israel would follow my ways, how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!” Psalm 81:13-14

Since the hard-hearted are deaf to our words, we must not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how (they) know that we belong to the truth. 1 John 3:18. The unbelievers around your husband may say what he wants to hear and then do otherwise. If you say nothing with your mouth, your loving actions will speak for themselves. Let the Holy Spirit do the talking. Remember that God continues to call sinners to him, but the stiff-necked are proud and think they can do this life on their own. They probably don’t want to give up their ways. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked in their rebellion. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them. (Nehemiah 9:17) I sometimes pray like this:

“God, when my husband makes the slightest step in your direction, reward him! Lord, encourage the smallest movement towards You, the shortest thought of You, the flickering ember of trust in You. Be yourself, Lord, call him with love and be so appealing that small samples of your love and forgiveness are so tantalizing that he won’t be able to resist coming back for more.”

In 2 Chronicles 30:8 Ezra urges the people of God “Do not be stiff-necked, as your fathers were; submit to the LORD. Serve the LORD your God, so that his fierce anger will turn away from you.” When we pray specific scriptures for our husbands, we can help him in his battle. However, you cannot control your husband- not his actions, not his thoughts, not his choices. No matter how hard we pray for our husbands, they are in charge of where they go and how they live. God wants your husband to trust him, know him… love him and worship him. Your prayers are the support beneath your husband, but the choice to follow God is his alone.

But keep hopeful: “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:26-27