When I was an officer in the Army, I could give orders and make decisions that effected the lives of others. I could look at a problem and make a decision in a matter of moments. Granted I was blessed to never have the opportunity to do this in the middle of combat; however, my decisions had lasting impacts non the less.
When I was in the classroom as a teacher, I could create lesson plans for over 100 students a year. Plans that challenged my students and still adapted to state mandated modifications for the few that needed them. Plans that helped shape the academic future of 11 years worth of our future generations.
Yet, as a husband I feel incompetent as I would be if I were in charge of building a skyscraper. I have taken classes on communication, problem solving, budgeting, building healthy spiritual and prayer lives, and even read up on some sexual topics. I even taught classes on how to strengthen marriages, yet, I feel I am failing as a husband.
Some of you know that I am currently semi-unemployed. I am a substitute teacher needing a full-time teaching job. I am very hopeful that I will be under contract with a school district shortly after the end of this school year. In the meantime my lack of income is forcing my dear bride to work a full-time job and a couple of other "part-time" jobs to barely make ends meet for us financially. The stress, lack of time for family and for herself is taking a heavy toll on her. I mentioned in my previous blog, that this is also taking a toll on me as well. I feel very much like I am not being the man I need to be. It should be me working more and supporting my family. We have a budget, but due to our recent financial woes it has been modified to what we call, "the crappy budget." Even so we are having trouble making ends meet. I know it will change, but knowing it will change and waiting on it, are two different things. She tells me all the time how she feels like we are not connected like we should be. She feels distant and alone.
My wife and I have a prayer corner in our room. It has two folding chairs sitting on a rug. We have a lamp to give us some light. The chairs are facing each other so we can sit close, hold hands and lean on each other if we need to. Currently these chairs are filled with clothes that need to be put away or some old blankets. Papers, shoes and other items clutter the space on the rug. We haven't prayed together in some time. By the time she gets in from her jobs in the evening, she is so exhausted that she doesn't feel like praying. I haven't even been responsible enough to try and keep the corner clean and ready just in case we get a spare moment to pray. The lack of spiritual discipline at home has caused her to feel distant from God as well.
You would think a professional teacher, marriage educator and former Army officer would have some sort of a plan to address these problems. You would think I would be totally aware of what to do to rescue a struggling marriage; but, here I sit praying to God to give me wisdom to do what I need to do to be a man worthy of my wife's respect and for his guidance to do what I can to ensure that I am truly doing what I can to help support my family.
How is it that I am so blind to the attacks of the enemy (Satan)? Why can't I see what God is doing for us? Am I doing something wrong that God needs to "break me" into fully relying on Him? I try not to be selfish, I truly want to do HIS will not mine. Is there something I still need to learn about myself and my relationship with God before things will get better?
Despite all my qualifications it seems that I am failing as a husband. My wife deserves better.
Heavenly Father, Creator of all things, Lord God Almighty;
Please open my eyes so that I can see myself. Help me to pour out my soul and my will before your throne. Give me the wisdom, the strength and the courage to be a man of God to my wife, my children, my church family and to my employers. Take away my fears and my insecurities. Open my heart and my eyes to the needs of my wife. I do not want to disappoint her. I do not want to be any part of causing her to doubt You and Your love. I want to be a man worthy of her respect. I want to work full-time, O Lord. I am tired of struggling financially. I am tired of seeing my wife work herself "crazy" trying to make up for my failures (even if some of those were out of my control). I am not asking for wealth, I just want a job that helps us get out of debt and to have enough money to save for emergencies and retirement. I am tired not feeling connected with my wife. Please show me LORD what I need to do! I cast myself before your mercy and grace, because it is only through you we are surviving at all. I do not want my marriage to crumble because of this. Tell me what to do! Restore us.
Your Son, Mark