Most women pray day and night for this with the hope that God will put His hand and change the heart of their man in a day. However, as Cheu Mita finds out the process is longer than just a prayer.
When Mo Tizzard first told her husband that she had become a believer in Jesus, he told her sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to choose between God and him. When she chose God, he packed his bags and went back to his parents, leaving Mo with their two little girls. She had only been a Christian for five days and had no church background so she was completely dependent on God.
The story of how He took care of her and the whole situation, including their marriage and her husbandÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s eventual salvation, is a veritable saga of prayer.
In her writing, Nancy Kennedy, said she had rehearsed the scene of her husband coming homeÃ‚Â and surprising her that he had given his life to Christ over 10 000 times but it never turned out that way.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But after years of praying, waiting, and hoping, so far thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s still a daydream,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Kennedy.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our first three years of marriage were filled with partying, softball, and the birth of our first daughter. Then, almost without warning, God drew me into a relationship with Himself. After overhearing some Christians in the office where I worked talk about heaven, I began asking questions. Although IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d attended church as a child, I knew nothing about the Bible and salvation. Then one day after a long talk with Rita, one of my co-workers, I prayed a simple prayer: Ã¢â‚¬ËœJesus save me!Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ That prayer forever changed my lifeÃ¢â‚¬â€and my marriage as I knew it,Ã¢â‚¬Â she recalls.
She, however, advises that the best way to get through to a husband is not by pushing, forcing or shoving the faith.
Ã‚Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t speak, I preached. I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t live out my faith quietly; I trumpeted my every minute change. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“See what GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s done in my life? See how loving and humble I now am?Ã¢â‚¬Â I prayed loudly in BarryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presence and made sure he knew he was a sinner destined for hell. I even packed gospel tracts in his lunch and added a Bible verse at the end of all my love notes to him,Ã¢â‚¬Â she said.
All that never worked for Kennedy until she chose to just love her man the way he was and continue to pray for him. She shares the following as things she learned over the years and other women can learn from.
Live in the now. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t pine for a Ã¢â‚¬Å“happy-ever-after someday.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Instead, I accept things as they are, building on whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good (such as enjoying each otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s company and planning for our future together), and praying about whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not so good.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Live honestly. In living out my faith, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I let my husband see me stumble and struggle. That way, he sees that a ChristianÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s life is one of grace alone, rather than living by a set of rigid rules.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Honour your marriage. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m careful not to talk negatively about Barry to anyone, and when heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s home, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my priority. This often means passing up social events I dearly want to attend. I seek opportunities to enjoy my husband and build him up, convinced heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gift to me,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Kennedy.
Pray, pray, pray. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Prayer is my link to GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presence, power, wisdom, and comfort. My favourite Scripture to pray is Ezekiel 36:26, that God will take BarryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh. Another favourite is Isaiah 30:21: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, Ã¢â‚¬ËœThis is the way; walk in it.Ã¢â‚¬â„¢Ã¢â‚¬Â
Find a support system. Surround yourself with other women whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll pray with and for you. Also, study the Bible with a friend or small group. Attend church more often.Ã‚Â
Never give up hope. God offers everyone the same gift of salvation and eternal life. Some choose to accept it, and others donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. But all who accept the gift do so in GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s timing, not ours. God knows what HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s doing.