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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

There is a Holy Spirit, and It's Not Me

I'm re-posting some of the most popular posts-this one I should re-read just about once a week! :)
This was originally posted February 8, 2008.
Much love, Sue!


Mark and I have been married over 20 years. As we’ve ‘grown together in the grace of life’ we have both learned much about each other and much about how God wants us to treat one another.

Mark was raised in a Christian home, but really started serving the Lord around the time we got married. I had been raised Catholic, but didn’t come to know the Lord until I was in high school. It was then that I started living for the Lord, and so when Mark and I got married, I was the “stronger one spiritually.” I use that phrase loosely because even though I had a few more years of Biblical teaching under my belt, I was anything but spiritually strong. However, I sure thought I was!

We both wanted to live for the Lord and serve Him with our whole hearts. But, I continued to see things in my husband that needed “fixing.” I made it my job in life to “fix” him because as anyone could tell, I was more spiritually mature than he. (ha!)

I thought he should pray more, so I would drop little hints about it and put him on the spot when I saw fit. I thought he should read his Bible more, so I made sure it was strategically placed for him to find it and every chance I had I would let him know that it was something he should be doing more of.

I was stealth I tell you! I made sure that he knew there was more he should be doing for the Lord. After all- if I didn’t, who would? And let me tell you, it’s not easy being stealth when you have a giant plank sticking out of your eye getting in the way all the time! I had to work hard at it.

Then there were my moments of condescension. I could so easy manipulate a conversation to let him know that he needed to be a better Christian. Mind you…this was all while I was being a good and submissive wife. I truly felt that I was doing all the right things and that the Lord was leading me in my controlling ways.

I’m not sure how long it was before my husband starting saying, “Hark, what is that I hear? Is that the Holy Spirit speaking?”

Of course at first, I knew this was just rebellion. Surely God was about to “get him.” How dare he blame me when he is the one with the obvious issues!

Until, I finally heard the still small voice of the actual Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and telling me how wrong I was. This was not an overnight lesson for me. I have learned this, repented and turned around time after time and done the same thing over again.

Eventually I realized the destruction I was bringing in our relationship and the lack of trust that I had in the Lord.

I saw that when I would shut my mouth about a situation and pray and then truly give it to God, He would intervene and do a mighty work in my husband and in me.

The key, I have learned, is stepping out of the way.

Let God be God, let the Holy Spirit do the correcting, training and teaching in both of our lives.

I had a need to control. That need was based on the fact that I did not trust that the Lord answered my prayers. I did not trust that the Holy Spirit would actually speak to my husband about leading our family. That’s really hard to admit, but it’s true. I felt that I could do a better job leading my husband than the Holy Spirit could.

John 16:13-14
3 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

1 Peter 1:2
2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit

Did you catch that? “The sanctifying work of the Spirit.”

The Spirit does the work. The Spirit is the one who sanctifies, not us.

1 Peter 3:1
3:1 Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives

I find it funny that is actually says, “without words.” How well does He know us?!

It is our behavior that will speak louder to our husbands. The Lord showed me that I could trust Him, and more importantly that I had so much more work to do on myself! If I would obey the Lord and do MY job in this marriage, He would take care of the rest.

I got a mental picture of the Lord standing before my husband and me standing in the middle of them getting in the way. When I finally stepped back, I saw the Lord do amazing things in my heart and in my husband’s heart.

Our faith became real to both of us.

Prov 14:1
The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

A familiar verse, once again is so true.

Let the Lord, His Holy Spirit, do a mighty work in you by handing over the burden of your husband’s walk with Christ to Him. It’s not yours to carry.

Pray for your husband. But first pray for yourself, that you would honor the Lord in your marriage and be the Godly wife He has called you to be. Let your actions speak louder than your words.
It’s a prayer I pray often and I still remind myself of this truth:
There is a Holy Spirit, and it’s not me.

I’m praying for our marriages,


Joan said...

Great Post! Thanks for the replay. I hadn't read that one before.

I'm trying to have more faith this time around in my marriage and in everything. Trust and get out of the way. Should be a t-shirt.


Mel said...

Excellent post, one that is a struggle for me to read as I have been seeking God for a few years to be the wife I should be, and not be controlling in situations and be submissive but my husband has chosen not to see it like that. I agree with everything you said though.

Smelling Coffee said...

Oh, Sue~ What wise words we need to hear often!!! The beginning of our marriage was much like yours, and my husband, too, started calling me "H.S." - for Holy Spirit. When I stepped out of the way and just prayed for him, and gave myself wholeheartedly to the Lord, God did an incredible work in his life, too!!!

One thing: I learned to pray for BOTH of us to be teachable and pliable to the Lord. I think that is the secret to praying for our husbands.

Blessings to you today... Jennifer

beckyjomama said...

Awesome words friend!!! I will have to chew on that baout once an hour...

Plus, I have to tell you that I just had thoughts of stealing your Christmas background ... and now i must go spend an hour or three on my face in repentance!

But, sheesh, did ya have to make it so dawgonned cute!

PS - I have NO idea how to spell dawgonned ... dern!

Praise and Coffee said...

Becky, LOL! No stealing or repenting needed. Just go to and get it for yourself- I think it was just $1...
search wallpaper, christmas

Jennifer, I have really struggled with this one too.
Joan and Mel, thanks for being so honest. I think women need to know that they are not alone in this.

mariel said...

amen!! been there, learned that one the hard way, too!! thanks for the reminder, friend!!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I really, really needed to read this today. Thanks...


Zaankali said...

Another great reminder.

Amanda Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks so much for this post!!! I needed it today...and I am sure I will need to reference it in the future!!!!

Amanda Kirkpatrick said...

BTW...I just found your blog today, and I LOVE it!!!!

SunnySusan said...

oh have I been there and done that....I tend to be a "control freak" too.....not any more.....
It still tries to sneak in ....

Susannah said...

I need to be reminded of this daily... bravo, Sue. (And we've been married 30 years!)

Yolanda said...

I've been asking our Father to make me be the wife that makes my Man proud that I am his wife. Not a hindrance, but a helper.

Blessings and Merry Christmas!


Beth Herring said...

It doesn't matter if you have been married 1 year or 24 years like me. We can all use a good dose of reality about who we really are in the grand scheme of things. I needed this as a reminder that God is in control - not me...

Beth Herring

Anonymous said...

An area of my life the Lord wants complete control of, but "I" gets in the way! His hands are much more able to bring about the change in my husband than my words.
When will I get this knowledge into my Christian walk? Look later in verse 4 of 1 Peter 3 -- "...a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
Thank you for posting these words of exhortation, Sue! Actions do speak louder than words(words my mom use to say to us children).
Now to go soak my bruised toes! lol!?
Miriam :)

Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

Very good post and very wisely written. Thank you for sharing it.


Anonymous said...

I don't know which is more humbling, to discover that we aren't Holy Spirit Jr. or to discover that we even thought we were in the first place. Either way I suppose.

A Stone Gatherer said...

I learn that lesson over and over! I see fruit of Steve growing though and I praise God for that! He actually asked to pray with our nephew when he went to see him at the hospital after his overdose! I said a silent prayer for his Holy Spirit given courage!!!

Tami said...

I love this! Thanks for sharing your story and for the reminder....I love that phrase at the end!!!

God Bless, and Merry Christmas!

Proud Parents of 4 said...

What a wonderful post and so wisely said! Thank you for sharing and for the reminder. . . sometimes we need to remember to just get out of the way so God can do His work! :-)

God bless you and yours as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

Susannah said...

Hi Sue,

I loved this entry so much, I've posted a portion of it at Chrysalis tonight. I hope that's OK. Let me know.

Thanks for your vulnerability and mature wisdom.

e-Mom @ Chrysalis

Julie Arduini said...

This is an amazing post, speaks right to me.

I facilitate a marriage group over at Christian Women Take Root. I'm going to invite them to check this post out. Your message is exactly what we all need to hear.


Anonymous said...

What a great post! I found you from Julie Arduini's discussion group at Christian Women Take Root. God has been speaking to my heart about these very issues for the past month and the word He has given to me is "pride". I need to loose mine...aka, "There is a Holy Spirit, and it's not me". Perfectly said.
Jennifer Miller

Susan said...

Hey Sue,

Wow, this was just incredible.

I just left you a long message, and it didn't got through.

Anyhow, I said I could of took this post, and just signed MY name at the end!

Same testimony.

Praise God I finally got out of the way and allowed GOD to do the work.

His results were much better then I could of ever expected. Change that really lasted.

If only I would of trusted God like this early in my marriage.

Thanks for being real, this was a great post!!


Unknown said...

I am so glad that you replayed this post! I'd not seen it before, but could surely identify!!!

I have been married for 24 years, and this post brought a smile to my lips. Are you my identical twin or something?

Actually, my hubby and I came to the Lord the very same week right before our first anniversary, but I grew "spiritual" much quicker than he *wink*! I found that I did many of the same things you shared in your post.

Finally, after five years or so, I was asking a friend a question. See, she had this model hubby, and I was trying valiantly to train mine to be just like hers. I asked her, "What did you do to get your husband to lead the family spiritually?"

She smiled (I suspect *wink* she might be our triplet!) and said, "You will hate my answer."

"Hit me," I said.

"Well, you just need to pray that God will change everything in you and about you that is hindering your husband from leading."


But, you know, I went home and prayed that prayer. Then the fun really began!

Now I have to share something that happened about three years ago. My hubby and I were having a discussion about something, and I genuinely knew I was right, but instead of pushing the point home, I agreed with him and just prayed about it. Not too long after that, hubby told me I'd been right, and he said what impressed him most about the whole thing was that I'd remained quiet about it, even though I knew I was right beyond a shadow of a doubt on that particular point.

My "silence" had impressed him, and his confession of that fact spoke volumes to me!

You are right, there is only one Holy Spirit, and I am not Him... and if we will just learn to let go and trust Him, He will make all things good!!!

God bless you,


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