Photo by Brianna Rapp
Have you ever felt, as a praying wife, that your husband is “getting it wrong” on a big decision for your family? Not in a prideful way, but genuinely you have discerned in your spirit that a decision needs to be made differently. These moments can be very hard as a wife. You may be the wife who deeply trusts and respects your husband, remaining prayerful in the midst of a life-changing decision for which you disagree. But, if you’re like I was a couple years into marriage, driven by anxiety instead of security in the relationship, you didn’t keep your mouth shut.
My husband was in the middle of a major life-changing decision. He was pursuing a job that looked perfect on paper. He is a pastor, and this opportunity was a pay raise, a great community at a large church with tons of resources. I knew it would’ve “pat his back” as an accelerated career move. However, I just had a sense — this isn’t it.
After every interview, he would ask me what I thought. You see, he needed me to be supportive. He was agonizing with the idea that pursuing a ministry career path could be detrimental to the security of our family. His insecurities about this trajectory made this option so promising to him. He needed me to be excited. But what did I do after every interview? Let’s just say this, the sensitivities were always aggravated — tension always increased in our home. And honestly, I do believe God was speaking to me in prayer — answering our prayers for clarity.
I went into the hiring process with him open-minded. But as I prayed, I felt more and more “off” about the entire option. To whatever end, my opinions didn’t stay prayerfully considerate of his feelings. I always made sure that by the end of the conversation that my thoughts were heard.
What this did would take a couple years to undo — for us to find trust and safety in decision-making again. I really wounded him. I made my husband, whom I love and trust, feel like I would be controlling his life and future as long as we were married. Sure, there were absolutely two-sides to the wounding. I don’t think I was a brute, but I was strong and he was already insecure and struggling. I rubbed dirt in the open-wound though my abrasive opinions. Has any wife ever been here? Regretful of how you attempted to control, even in the name of what you believed was right?
Ultimately, he was offered the job. Yet, being certain that I did not support the opportunity, he turned it down. I felt so guilty. You could feel the tension and bitterness building in our relationship. He could’ve had a pay raise, a great community of support, and a job that made him feel valued as a leader. Yet, I was perplexed because “If this was the Lord, shouldn’t it not be this way?” At the same time, I was relieved to know we didn’t go against the confidence I felt in prayer. But I wasn’t expecting to get a bitter, blaming husband out of the deal.
All I could do, yet again, was pray. And this time, I didn’t use my big mouth to try and walk us out of this place we found ourselves in. God knew we needed a miraculous confirmation that it was truly Him. I was desperate. I was out of control, and I needed Jesus to step in and protect me and protect our marriage.
About a month went by, I was still hearing the regret daily. He was bemoaning the decision, and had no future prospects that gave new hope. But every day, I was praying for a breakthrough.
One Sunday morning, we were attending our local congregation at the time, and there was a woman in the back of the church crying. She was encountering the Presence of God, and my husband went to the back to check on her. As he came closer, he saw it was a woman from the church that offered him the job. She was on the hiring committee that unanimously voted to extend the offer. And now, she is in the back of the church we are attending in tears. My husband approached her, reintroducing himself, and asking if she needed prayer for anything. She shared a bit about what had happened to lead her there that morning. She was going through the Starbucks drive-thru on the way to the church she regularly attends, when she sensed strongly that God told her to attend the church we were at this morning. She was having a personal encounter with God, but as they wrapped up praying together, she said, “I knew that one day God would allow us to cross paths because I needed to tell you it wasn’t the right job for you. Everyone wanted you, and I felt pressured to vote in that direction by the committee because they needed unanimity. But as I prayed about it, it would’ve stunted you and it would not have been the right fit for your flourishing. I am glad you didn’t accept it. I want you to know, I support that decision. You made the right call.”
My husband broke down when he realized the Presence of God had chased him down to affirm His voice. It wasn’t my thought. It wasn’t my conviction. It was God. It was His love and affection for my husband, His calling and purposes. It was God’s crazy love and blessing over our marriage — to guard us and protect us. It was prayer that positioned us for restoration and confirmation.
God hears our prayers, wives. And a prayer for unified blessing in marriage, this is a prayer he always answers. I learned many pivotal lessons through this experience. I don’t need to control. I need to pray.