Staying When You Feel Like Leaving (3)
“Pray then like this…your will be done.” Mt 6:9-10 ESV
Here are another two helpful keys to resolving marriage conflict: (1) Let God direct your prayers. Prayer can be closed-ended or open-ended. When we think that our perspective is the only accurate one, we pray closed-ended prayers calling on God to solve the problem our way, believing it’s the only correct way. But closed-ended praying produces two problems. First, it locks us into rigid thinking and blinds us to other perspectives. Second, it keeps us from seeing God’s perspective, the one that can heal and restore the relationship. Open-ended praying asks God to solve the problem His way. “Pray then like this…your will be done.” Ask God to reveal His will to you both, wait until He does, then pray accordingly. The Bible says: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us…we know that we have what we asked of him” (1Jn 5:14-15 NIV). (2) Remove the conditions from your love. Sound difficult? Love is a biblical command, not an arbitrary emotion. God’s not asking you to feel warm and fuzzy, He’s asking you to act in a loving way. Wouldn’t that be hypocritical? No, it’s rising above resentment, hurt, and fear, and practicing real faith. It means asking yourself: “If I were loving unconditionally right now, what would I be doing? How would I be responding to my spouse?” Then do it. The Bible says, “Love never fails” (1Co 13:8 NIV). You can lovingly act your way into a new way of feeling for both you and your spouse.