This week we are delving into the deeps of cultivating the quiet in our minds, hearts and marriages. It may be something you’ve thought about often, or you may be venturing into unknown territory. Whatever the case, we believe this is the direction God is leading us to post about, and we are praying for you, that God will help you in this endeavor as He has helped us this past month. We are purposing to post only three times this week and next to give us time to meditate on the Truths of this series. Our hope is that by us slowing down our posts it will help you slow down as well and hear what God is saying to you and your marriage.
Have you ever taken notice of the Sovereignty of God in the smallest of decisions you make?
For instance, before we came away this month the Lord led me to read Gary Thomas’ book, Seeking The Face Of God. I (Debi), finished right before we hit the road to come North, but I was compelled to bring it with me in case I wanted to refer to it. I’m so glad I did.
The sixth chapter is on Cultivating the Quiet, and reading it again here in this quiet place, helped us realize how easy it is to miss what God wants to say to us at any given time. We are simply too distracted to hear Him without purposing to quiet our hearts before Him.
Consider the following from pg. 104 of the book:
In Exodus 24, we’re told that Moses went up on a mountain to meet God and a cloud immediately covered the mount. “For six days the cloud covered the mountain and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses…” (vs. 16)
Moses sat and waited on that mountain for six days before God started to speak to him. Six days! When I sit down to pray with God and wait for six minutes I get proud of myself. All too often it’s “All right God, let’s get going, I’m a busy man. I have things to do.”
Moses was willing to sit silently for six days!
And what about the people of Israel? “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us'” (32:1).
What’s so sad about this passage is that the Israelites were swept into idolatry by a motivation no more noble or severe than boredom. They were bored! And that was enough to turn them to false gods. They simply got tired of waiting.
The same is true today. Ask us to give money and we’ll write a check. Ask us to show up for a demonstration or special church service and we’re there. Ask us to give up something and we’ll sacrifice. Ask us to face boredom, and we turn on the T.V., pick up the newspaper, or tune in the radio. Please don’t ask us to be bored.”
The contrast here couldn’t be more stunning. Moses waited on God for 6 days without distraction and the Lord caused His glory to pass before him. The Israelites in their waiting began to grumble and complain and then demanded action from Aaron. In 6 short days their hearts turned completely to idols. They were no longer bored, but this choice led them away from God, not towards Him. Moses on the other hand embraced the boredom and waited to see God. And he was not disappointed.
There are many times in marriage where we are forced to wait.
- When you are expecting a baby. There is no shortcut to birth. You have to wait out the time God has allotted for new life to enter your family.
- When there is a job loss. This one can be quite challenging because you must stay focused on finding that job.
- When you are raising small children. The time and effort required in this season can make your marriage seem like less of a priority.
- When there is physical sickness or a chronic condition. There are times in marriage when physical intimacy just isn’t possible. You have to wait for healing or strength to return.
- When caring for aging parents. The urgency in this season and the unexpected nature of being available all hours of the day and night make this a time where one spouse may have to wait for a long time for the other to be available to them.
These are just a few that come to mind.
Are you in the place of waiting? Are you having to wait on your spouse because of a situation like those listed above? Is the waiting helping you draw closer to God or are you grumbling and complaining? What things are tempting you to fill your time as you wait? Does your spouse know of the struggle you’re facing?
Don’t neglect the gift you have in your relationship with your spouse.
You are one flesh and you both should work as a team to hear what God is saying about your current situation. He will speak, the question is will you hear Him when He does, or will you be distracted? More on that tomorrow.
Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:12-13 ESV
I so need this series of messages on cultivating quiet. Keep ’em coming!
– but I will wait patiently, and read them at whatever pace you deem is appropriate 🙂
Thank you, Brian. God even used you in one of our posts – your scripture reference was excellent! Thank you for keeping us encouraged along the way. We hope these posts will help.
I so needed (need) this, not only in marriage but in life in general. The pace of life (and my constant multi-tasking) are sometimes just too much. Quiet and stillness are the answer. Thanks for your posting!
Yes, we’re right there with you. This is why the Lord has led us to devote the next few weeks to this topic. We hope you’ll stick with us through the series, and let us know what God is saying to you. We can all use the added encouragement.
Thanks a lot for this post. It spoke into a couple of things that I’m going through. May God keep leading you to blog about such deep stuff.
Thank you, Walter. It’s good to hear from you!
“You are one flesh and you both should work as a team to hear what God is saying about your current situation. He will speak, the question is will you hear Him when He does, or will you be distracted?”
Oh so true! I’m easily distracted by many things, often good things like you mentioned going to a special church event (or reading other Christian blogs), and neglecting my own, or neglecting time spent with my Heavenly Father. But I love what you said about being one flesh and working as a team to hear what God has to say to you. I don’t utilize the gift of my spouse as often as I should. I have been better about asking him for prayer when I need it recently, but I’m feel silly to admit that there have been times when I thought, “Oh I don’t want to bother Adam with this. I can just pray for this on my own.” Two is stronger than one. God has given me my husband as my spiritual leader and when I ask Adam to pray for me, I’m allowing him to be my spiritual leader. Adam says that spiritual leadership doesn’t come naturally or easily to him, but I think often it’s my stubbornness, fear, or just plain ignorance that gets in my way and his way of being a strong leader. And if I don’t trust my honey with my spiritual concerns, I notice it’s because I don’t trust my God first with spiritual concerns. My lack of faith prevents me from hearing from God, and boredom sets in as I wait for an answer that He’s willing to give in His timing, but I’m just not listening. This is something God has drilled into me recently. My belief opens my heart to hearing from the Lord and seeing the great works He is doing in my life. My belief in my husband opens my heart to hearing from the Lord through my spouse and cultivates our spiritual intimacy and oneness. Great post!
“There are many times in marriage where we are forced to wait.” This is very important for people to hear! You do a great job of encouraging people to focus on the nurture of their marriages, but there are times in every marriage when the couple DOES have to wait, when there are things that on one level simply demand that a mature couple be able to focus efforts for a season outside their own relationship. Your list hits on all the big ones. However, I have found that when my husband and i do this, joyfully supporting one another, that it has been a great time of growth in out marriage. I can recall one crazy car trip with 4 kids 5 and under, that happened to be on our anniversary. As the kids fussed, and one even started throwing up, and it rained, and we couldn’t find a hotel, then got stuck in traffic, we kept looking at each other with a smile and saying “Happy Anniversary, sweetheart.” On one level that beats all the date nights in the world!
What a story, Molly. Sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh and wait, as you suggest. Humor gets us through rough patches better than anything else! Thanks for sharing your anniversary story with us. We’re sure it will help others who are struggling with similar trials.