How did you problem-solve In the past? You saw a problem, you addressed it, and kept addressing it until a solution came – a solution that satisfied you. When there was no resolution, there was no peace and no rest.

Standing for a spouse with a hardened heart requires a new set of solution-finding ways. These new ways may be uncomfortable for you at first. You need to learn to take your requests, desires, and suggestions to God INSTEAD of your spouse. And then you need to leave them with God, to His timetable and His will. This is how it’s supposed to be; this is how righteousness, confidence, and trust look.

The work of righteousness will be peace;
the service of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever.
Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place,
in safe and secure places of rest. (Isaiah 32:17-18 Berean Study Bible)

The reason we struggle with zipping our lips with our spouses is that we have never fully learned to trust in anything but our own power of persuasion. We have not given up on ourselves and still think “we got this.”

And it’s not a process that happens overnight. You can’t just suddenly be at peace with handing your role over to someone else, even if that Someone is God. Why? 

God understands the process it takes to win our trust; He CREATED trust! He knows that all trust issues are due to not knowing Him or misunderstanding Him completely; and that must be dealt with first before you can sincerely and honestly trust Him, yield control, and remain in peace.

Realizing that God is worthy to be trusted takes time as you draw closer to Him. As you go through the journey, He proves Himself to you over and over; and you will naturally relax your grip on being in control of persuading others. It is a power struggle, especially if you are unwilling to yield time over to God due to being impatient. When you are reluctant to learn, because you don’t want to understand what they are going through, and you allow yourself to remain a victim, you are indeed the only one suffering. 

The more you resist who God is, His character and nature, the more you will remain in a power struggle with Him.  You will stay in a place of unrest when you choose to keep your power of persuasion intact.

You can overcome all this struggle and unrest when you pursue knowing God through His Word, spend time in worship, offer Him praise and prayer, and fellowship with other believers. Seeing others trusting God and being in peace is a powerful, compelling motive to drive you to want to pursue God for yourself.

Knowing Him produces a trust that must come by experience. And that trust in Him is what relieves you of your power struggle and that driving need to control, persuade, and make things go your way.

Trust brings perfect peace!

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3 NIV)

It’s a process that naturally happens as you shift your trust off yourself and onto God. Right now, you trust YOU, your ability to try and make things happen. It’s worked in the past. 

But it won’t work on a hard heart. It can’t.

  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Standing with you,
Sheila Hollinger