A trust journey.
“How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” 1 Corinthians 7:16
“Control and manipulation are not love; the outcome is a life of imprisonment ultimately leading to deep-rooted feelings of resentment.” Ken Poirot
I met my husband at work. He was handsome. He was compassionate and understanding. He was talented. He was in AA recovery. He was popular. He was Agnostic. So… what did I do? I married him. Yes, we should not be unequally yoked, but being the dysfunctional, deluded, gullible, naive and optimistic person I was (still am at times), I married him. It was a lovely wedding with dinner at a beautiful bed and breakfast.
It was turbulent! It was agonizing. Arguing. Fault-finding. Put downs. The first year was an endurance contest for both of us! We went to counseling and had a very good counselor who said, “eliminate divorce from all conversations.” We both committed to this.
I did not lecture him or judge him on his faith or lack of faith. His higher power was his AA group, which worked for him because he’d been sober for many years. I continued to attend church, listen to spiritual programs on the radio while getting ready for work, and read Christian books.
My husband was still very unhappy in our marriage. He visited an AA friend who was dating a Christian girl and asked for counsel. The friend said, “Why don’t you give Christianity a try? I did and glad I did.” He then gave him the book, “Evidence that Demands a Verdict.” We attended church with them. My husband became convinced that God exists, believed and was baptized. He led the church choir. He filled in as a speaker. He read Christian material and the Bible enthusiastically. The bookshelves were filled with commentaries, translations and Christian self-help.
Why did he not believe?
Here’s the thing, and I’m glad I was hands-off. My husband was not agnostic. Not really. He was downright angry with God. More investigation led to his childhood with controlling parents using God as a shaming, rigid and threatening tool. His world view was that all Christians are like this.
His relationship with his parents was eventually restored with boundaries–Firm yet caring boundaries. He and his dad sang beautiful duets at church with his mom played the piano. Our marriage was wonderful, not flawless, until the day he died. Many, many old childhood wounds were healed. By the way, I worked on my childhood issues too and my husband grew in tenderness as we journeyed through this together.
He died from Lewy Body Dementia at the age of 66 years. He’s with God now. I’m sure he’s being comforted by God with a choir to direct, photos to take and others to embrace.
Hands off! This is God’s child. Sometimes, many times, this is wise counsel. I’m either God or I let God. I cannot do both. Decide today. God provides the tools, the when, the who and the lesson. This doesn’t mean letting someone drive drunk, beat a child or spouse. Heaven forbid! But each person has their own unique relationship with God with their own unique vocation. We’re there to support, encourage and love. Not control. Not threaten. Not puff up. We’re fellow travelers looking forward to the day we’re home.
Thank you for a very personal relationship that is designed specifically for each of us. May we not interfere. Thank you that we can love, encourage, listen and pray for one another but sometimes the Prodigal must “come to their senses “to travel home to you. Help us to be patient, strong in our faith and ready to celebrate when a person finds you. We know that the angels in heaven sing praises and celebrate when a lost soul comes to salvation.