16 November 2009
The alarm on my watch beeps every day at 11:00 a.m.
When Kevin was in Israel we both sat our alarms to the same hour so we could remember to pray for one another and our family at the same exact time, despite the physical distance between us.
Once Kevin returned, I just left the alarm setting as it was. (Not just because I don't know how to change it either.) It has been a good daily reminder to pray for my husband.
In the past when I have prayed for my husband, or any loved one in my life really, my prayers were pretty selfish.
Yes, I would pray for his physical health, his safety or specific situational problems.
But the reason I was praying those words was the selfish part.
I wanted those things to be protected, those requests to be granted, because his physical health, safety and everything else directly affected me and our children.
It's pretty hard (maybe impossible) to separate our prayers, even in our most sincere moments, from our selfish desires.
But my prayers for Kevin while he was in Israel became so much larger than just prayers for his physical safety.
I started to pray something else for my husband, the tall, handsome, bearded man I committed to stay married to for the remainder of my life.
I didn't ask God so much for stuff for Kevin any longer. (Or anyone I pray for really.)
I didn't ask for a cancer-free life. Or happiness. Or financial security.
I asked God for this . . .
Let my husband love you God. Make him chase hard after you. Chase hard. God, keep him pursuing you, pursuing you, pursuing you.
And that's all.
It's really my prayer for me too.
Maybe it's still selfish.
Because I know (and am learning) that when Kevin chases hard after God, my life is better too.
Of course it flows in both directions. When I chase hard after God, Kevin's life is better as well.
And who doesn't like better?
Back in the day (as in high school) I distinctly remember hearing youth leaders in my life, like Mark Griffith and Sonja Richards, say what I thought to be the most absurd things about marriage. Stuff like, "Fall in love with a person who loves God more than he loves you." And "the most attractive thing about your future spouse should be his love of God".
At sixteen I thought the most attractive thing about my future husband would be how attractive he actually was.
And I was hardly convinced that I wanted my spouse to love God more than he loved me. I think I was pretty anxious to edge God out of that first place position.
Now, and only after fourteen years of marriage, I think I may just be starting to understand the concept. A little. (Ask me why I make things harder than they need to be. And I answer - I don't know.)
It's so simple.
And so complicated.
When I love God (When I love Him well. When I love Him right.) everything in my life can find its proper place. Peace. Shalom.
When I love God better, I love Kevin better. I love my children better. I love people better. I just love better.
So if I really love my husband, why would I ask God for anything else?