Today’s guest post is by Bill and Pam Farrel, relationship experts, international speakers, and the authors of 38 books, including the bestselling Men Are like Waffles, Women Are like Spaghetti. Bill and Pam Farrel have also teamed up with Faithlife to host a book group centered on their new devotional, A Couple’s Journey with God.
In our book The Marriage Code, we share about how vital it is to, while on your journey of love, stay in God’s Word as an individual, because the Holy Spirit will whisper to you the best ways to love your spouse. We believe that the “Great Decoder” is the Holy Spirit. No one knows your mate (or you) as well as the God who created each of you; so, of course, God will know the best path to love, peace, and unity.
God knows how to take a situation that can pull you apart and bring your hearts back together. For example:
Just recently, Bill and I found ourselves off rhythm with one another. I was frustrated by the many tasks still remaining on Bill’s “To Do” list, tasks that I thought should have been checked off. In short, I was afraid he would let me down. Bill was frustrated by what seemed to him to be unrealistic expectations. He was afraid he would never be able to live up to my “demands.”
There had been an underlying cooling of our relationship over a few days, and I began to pray that God would show me who needed to change and own the issue. Secretly, I hoped it would be Bill so I’d get a heartfelt apology. I could then valiantly forgive him, and I wouldn’t have to change his “To Do” list!
I have a habit of listening to Walk the Word music that I have downloaded on my iPod. That day at the gym, listening to the New Testament Experience, I heard some wonderfully irritating insight. Ephesians 4:1–3 was dramatically read into my heart: “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
God’s Spirit then gently asked me: “Have you been humble toward Bill, or have you already decided it has to be Bill’s fault? Have you been gentle? Patient? Have you considered all of the responsibilities on his list coming from different directions? When was the last time you said ‘thank you’ instead of barking out orders or emailing requests for action? Pam, have you made every effort to bless Bill? Every effort to encourage Bill? Every effort to lower his stress? Every effort to meet his emotional needs? You are a relationship specialist, so you know better. Have you really been living worthy of your calling? Pam, pause for a moment, right here in this exercise gym and pray. Ask Me what you can do for Bill that will help him feel My love, My plan, My hope. The way to your hope is to meet Bill’s needs right now rather than have him meet yours.”
Overall, Bill and I try to be very kind to one another in the workplace, and we both try to go “over the top” in our encouragement to each other. We have a lot of respect for the baggage that is still being redeemed from our pasts, and we don’t want to put more pressure than necessary on one another. However, the pressure of a looming deadline had taken the place of our positive interactions. Fortunately, I knew this part of our marriage code and decided to put into action the message that had been spoken into my heart. I called Bill up, took him to his favorite coffeehouse, and apologized. I told him the story of how God’s Spirit had instructed me, and then I listed off all of Bill’s traits that I appreciate, but had taken for granted. Emotional reconnection happened almost instantaneously. Physical connection, or Red Hot Monogamy, as we like to call it, happened that night behind our bedroom door.
When has the Holy Spirit directed you on how to love your spouse? Do you need God to give you some insider information now on how to love your mate? Pray and ask God to show you what to do or what to say to express love today.
Today’s guest post is by Bill and Pam Farrel, relationship experts, international speakers, and the authors of 38 books, including the bestselling Men Are like Waffles, Women Are like Spaghetti. Bill and Pam Farrel have also teamed up with Faithlife to host a book group centered on their new devotional, A Couple’s Journey with God. [...]