It was a Saturday morning and somehow my son had convinced me to make a run by Krispy Kreme for him and the other large man-child still asleep on our media room couch. As I was out, I got a text from Chris asking if I wanted to run with him and Annika when I returned. I’d sworn off running with my now-faster-than-me man, but we’d never run as a trio before. So, I thought, “Why not?” If any Krispy Kremes survived the teenage boys, I’d feel so much better “cleaning up” the leftovers knowing I’d already sweat a little!
In a short time, we were beating the pavement. It was somewhat comical listening to each of us attempt to accommodate the other. Annika picked the route. Chris was trying to set a pace that was sustainable for all three of us. I was trying to figure out my pace. Somewhere in that first mile, I realized that what I was experiencing mirrored a dilemma that many other women must navigate on both a spiritual and practical level.
For so long, I’d wanted Chris to be in shape. There’s no way to count the number of times I had prayed about Chris’s health. Now that God had answered, however, I found myself in a new place. Not only was he in good shape, but in better shape than me. It felt different. It felt great, but also a little awkward. It felt a little insecure. As I ran, however, I was reminded that I had a role to play in this new norm.
I began to think about how many times in ministry I’ve seen women pray so long over their husband’s salvation or his willingness to be a more proactive leader of their family. In several instances, the woman gave up just as God was answering. She had persevered for years, but just as God was moving she decided she didn’t have it in her to wait to see the full answer. In other instances, the husband sees his need to lead and takes his first step in that direction, only to find it not received so well.
Answers to prayers for our husband often require us as wives to adjust to a new way of life. If your husband has not led well, you can’t expect him to do it perfectly as he makes his first attempts. If he’s just been saved, you can’t expect him to have the spiritual maturity of someone who’s been walking with the Lord for decades. We must give them room to grow. We must give them permission to fail without condemnation. We must adjust to our new place… trusting God to give us the grace and humility we need.
Ladies, we must be willing to see what God requires of us when He begins to work in those we love. Whether it’s a spouse, a child, a friend, or a parent, may we never exempt ourselves from understanding that God’s work often requires the ones praying to get out of God’s way.
May we run the race set before us with endurance… even if that means learning to adjust our pace and course as God improves the journey.