After praying this simple “change me” prayer, I felt a shift taking place inside of me. My heart was open to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
“Are you happy with how the first ten years of your marriage have gone?”
“Yes, Lord. I am.” I responded.
“Do you want to be this happy ten years from now?”
“Yes, Lord. I do.”
“Then you are going to have to do it again… Get out of the bathtub and apologize.”
In the quiet moments following, the Lord reminded me of a great truth about relationships: God uses people in our lives to make us more like Him. The people who drive us crazy; the ones who know how to push our buttons; those who are hard to get along with, they serve a greater purpose than what we see. Our spouses, our parents, children, co-workers, friends, and neighbors, they were put in our lives for a reason: to make us holy.
God gave each one of His children certain strengths and weaknesses designed to remind us of how much we need Him. However, instead of learning holiness from those we are in relationship with, we often place blame and point fingers. We waste our time dwelling on the flaws of our loved ones, rather than asking God to use their faults, to show us ours. We beg and plead with God to change others, rather than recognizing that these people are in our lives to help shape us into the image of Christ.
That evening, I made a decision that impacted eternity. I invited Jesus into my ugly mess through prayer. In doing so, I saw that what came out of me when I was squeezed wasn’t nearly as Christ-like as I wanted it to be. By opening the lines of communication with Jesus as I soaked in the tub, I was able to hear His voice and extend grace to my husband. Instead of resentment, I was able to put on humility. I got out of the bathtub, ignored my flesh, and asked my husband for forgiveness.
In doing so, I took one small step toward becoming more like Jesus.
2 Timothy 1:9 (ESV), “who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of His own purpose and grace, which He gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began.”
I wonder. Who is God trying to use in your life to make you more like Him? What difficult person are you avoiding? Who are you running from? Is there someone you despise that God is calling you to embrace? Who do you allow to push your buttons?