John 15:4-5 ESV
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Abide in me and I in you. These words sound pretty simple and straightforward. Most days, I go along thinking all is well. My mind and spirit says, “I’ve got this.” Then, out the blue something happens during the day that has me wondering what happened.
Those derailments happen at work, standing in line at a store, and over the phone. I can usually come home and vent a little and life quickly falls back into place. Miscommunications with a stranger rarely cause an ongoing feeling of discontent. But what happens when that miscommunication happens at home with our reluctant/resistant in faith partner? How do we find strength in the words, Abide in me and I in you?
For our brothers and sisters living with someone of shared faith, they may seek a marriage seminar, do a couples bible study, pray about their issues together, or seek counseling through their church or with a counselor at a faith based organization.
We, the married but single in faith may be living without the opportunity to find support from these areas. I believe the strength required of us forges within us a faith that is stronger than steel.
1 Peter 1:6-7 ESV
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Miscommunications happen. We make statements to people that come out wrong, say things that are sometimes received as being judged, and hesitate when the Holy Spirit is nudging us to speak with boldness and confidence. One stumbling block is a desire to avoid being hurtful or causing someone else pain. Even with the best of intentions, we might miss the mark. It is hard to let our faith shine in the midst of a storm.
So, how do we, the married but single in faith carry on in the face of these roadblocks? We hold on. We hold on to our faith with all our might and when anger or disappointment feels overwhelming, we grip our faith even tighter. This is not said lightly.
There are many times when my choice to be married to a faith resistant partner brings me to a crossroad of decision. We disagree about something, someone, or a situation and the belief system or lack of belief system almost always impacts the way we choose to respond. There are many times when those divergent responses produce reactions that aren’t pretty or pleasant. The way I choose to resolve unproductive reactions is to remember that my goal is to bear positive fruit so that my trials are not in vain. Being married to a man resistant in faith is, and was my choice.
Now, more than ever, I daily seek to abide in Him through prayer, music, and His word. If I don’t, these trials would overwhelm me.
How do you abide in Him when trials feel overwhelming?