The complaining heart

Happy Monday, friends. I hope this February day is finding you leaning more and more on the love of our precious Savior.

There has been a post that has been brewing in my heart for a while, and I am not sure that this will turn out to be it, but I am hoping.
One word I so often find myself saying when writing on this blog is “pray”. I love praying for you, and covet any prayers you send my way. Over the last few months I have been convicted by my own lack of prayer – especially about the things I hold most dear. In particular, my heart has been struck by the obvious lack of prayer over my marriage bed and sex life. I find it so easy to complain or compare. Not always externally, but often internally. How often do I strive to turn those complaints into prayers? How many times have I taken my tears of frustration, anger, hurt, hopelessness and brought them to the Lord in an act of surrender? How many times have I performed a simple act of faith in kneeling by my bed and asking the Holy Spirit to dwell there, to bring life and truth into that place? I regret to say it is much less often that I should.

Recently I was pondering why this is. Why don’t I pray as I know I ought? A still, small whisper in my heart replied “It is because you do not truly believe prayer makes the difference.” I wanted to deny it, but I knew it was true. Prayer feels like a simple Christian discipline – not like a life-altering way to connect with God, see miracles occur and find my own heart radically shifted towards Truth. I was struck with my own lack of faith – my own small perspective of how great a God I truly serve.

So today, amazing women, I want to issue a challenge to you. Pray. Truly and deeply approach the throne and seek the face of God. Commit your marriage bed – in its joy or its pain – to Christ. Ask Him to redeem it, to restore it, to rescue it, to make it the heartbeat of your home. Ask Him to display His glory – the picture of Himself and His church – through your marriage. Don’t stop praying. Don’t grow weary.
I want to challenge you to be aware of your complaining heart. I want you to open yourself up to being convicted by the Holy Spirit when your thoughts go astray. Would you allow yourself to receive the gift of repentance, and commit yourself to responding to what comes – good and bad alike – with prayer?

I am praying for you today. There are so, so many of you who are hurting. There are so many who are discouraged. There are so many who are desperately hoping for a change. Are you lifting up all of your heart and hopes to Him who alone can change all things? Are you willing to let Him change what needs to be changed – be it your own self or someone else?
Please pray for me today, too. There are some serious, life-altering decisions that are being made in my home – pray that Mr. Spice and I would proceed with wisdom as we trust God to lead us.

I love you,
Annabel

14 thoughts on “The complaining heart

  1. You are right, of course. I do need to pray more and complain less. But I am not there right now. Can not do it. I am feeling too hopeless, hurt and done. Thank you for praying for me.

    • Sister,

      I am grieving with you. I am praying with you, and for you. Isn’t it comforting to know that our Great High Priest is praying for us? When you are weak, He is strong – so lean into that strength. Prayer is often no more than a whispered name – “Jesus”. I pray your hopelessness would help you fall into His arms. I pray a renewal of strength. I pray for a light in dark, dark places. I pray for a counselor, a friend, a confidant to come alongside you. You are in my prayers today, sister.

      A

  2. Funny, I’d been thinking this same thing about myself this AM. I’m struggling w/several things in my marriage bed lately and I KNEW I should be praying about them. BUT. I prayed for 4 years for me to just LIKE my husband. Just to like him. I wasn’t praying for God to change him, but me. And He did. But it took 4 years. And I have been procrastinating about praying because I don’t want to wait for an answer to prayer. LAME. *sigh* I don’t want to HAVE to settle for the way life is right now because I feel like I’ve been the one to ALWAYS settle. LAME. AGAIN. And in the meantime….I’m giving the devil victory because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. You know, I even KNEW to expect problems to come up because everything has been going so well for the past few months, I KNEW to expect an attack and yet, when it happened, I failed to do my duty and pray. ARGH. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. And it seems the Spirit is prodding me to buck up by not just speaking to me, but to me through you as well. Thank you for speaking this today. I needed it.

    • Beloved,

      Waiting is HARD. Seeing yourself clearly is also hard – but I am glad you are and pray that you will continue to reach out for His face and hands. I will pray for a renewal of your prayer life – that it wouldn’t feel like drudgery but like the joy that it is.
      Thanks for coming and sharing here today – I am blessed by it.

      A

  3. My friend is jealous of my sex life. So I may have been bragging about how awesome love-making can be. Honestly, I was trying to help her be more interested in sex, thinking she was the one with the low drive. Turns out, she wants it.. but her husband doesn’t seem interested.
    They have sex maybe once a month, and it only lasts 5 minutes. If she initiated, her husband would blow her off or make her feel stupid. How humiliating!
    She said he seemed more interested in sex when she was thinner and more toned. But she is not fat.. she is gorgeous. I think it’s completely ridiculous for that to be any kind of a reason.
    But anyway, I know I must make her feel like crap when I am glowing from the previous night. I feel soo bad for her! I just wish I could help. 😦

    • Nellie,

      Thanks for your honesty here – I will admit that it is a painful experience to have friends who are “glowing” (as you said), when you are being refused. The very best thing you can do for her is to pray. Also, I am actually going to be writing a post tomorrow (Wednesday) about how to be friends with higher-drive wife 🙂 So your comment is perfect timing. Praying it will help you to continue to walk in friendship with this dear woman.

  4. This post was so dear to me- I have committed over the last week to strive to keep Christ at the front of my mind. My anthem has been the song, “I must tell Jesus”. It is such a blessed reminder that we do not have to bear our burdens alone! It constantly reminds me that Jesus is there, WAITING for me to share my trials with Him. I am so thankful that we have a God who loves me enough to care about my cares…

    “I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
    I cannot bear these burdens alone;
    In my distress He kindly will help me,
    He ever loves and cares for His own.
    Refrain:
    I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
    I cannot bear my burdens alone;
    I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus!
    Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

    I must tell Jesus all of my troubles,
    He is a kind, compassionate Friend;
    If I but ask Him He will deliver,
    Make of my troubles quickly an end.

    Tempted and tried I need a great Savior,
    One who can help my burdens to bear;
    I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus:
    He all my cares and sorrows will share.

    What must I do when worldliness calls me?
    What must I do when tempted to sin?
    I must tell Jesus, and He will help me
    Over the world the vict’ry to win.”

  5. Hi Annabel

    God bless you for such a timely post. Thank you for doing something proactive for those who are struggling.

    In your Our Story page, you said “I was so tired of hearing encouragement to be willing to make love, or try something new…”. For the intimacy issues my marriage is facing, I’m the same – I don’t want “5 things to ask your wife about what she likes in sex” etc, suggesting that women make sure their husbands gets sex on Valentines Day (today!)….my wife isn’t like that. We won’t have V Day sex. She is very low desire; she barely likes sex – I don’t need encouragement, I need answers – when things are so frustrating and when I’ve exhausted all other articles by counsellors, therapists and bloggers. As you’ve suggested, all I can do is pray. And I’m doing it, everyday; praying for her relationship with God, praying that firstly I would change before she needs to, crying out for God to move on her heart, body and mind.

    Thank you for encouraging me to hang in there that little longer….
    K

    • K,

      I am praying for you today. Praying for your marriage & your wife’s heart. Praying for your own heart as well, that God would use this “cross” to purify and refine you. May we all have the grace to give our marriages to the Lord & stay humble & open to His hand working in our own hearts while we cling to the hope that, indeed, all shall be well. Praying that you are refined as gold. Praying that your wife’s eyes are open and she comes to repentance. Praying that Jesus Christ would be glorified in you both, in your marriage, in your marriage bed.

      Having done all to stand, brother – be strengthened to stand.
      A

      • Thanks Annabel; last night while my wife was out and when I could get a few minutes to myself away from the kids, I spread myself out on our bed and prayer earnestly and passionately. I asked forgiveness for any sins committed there, that God would minister to us while we’re on that bed. And of course the more I pray recently, the worse things get! Our son has been coughing at night, leaving us with very little sleep; now my wife has an conjunctivitis and feels sick. Yet I will keep praying, you never know what’s gonna happen. I will also be praying for fruit from this ministry, which it already seems to be bearing.
        K

        • K,

          That is a beautiful post to read. May God grant you your heart’s desire. May you see so clearly the attack of the enemy & continue to fight for your marriage & marriage bed.

          A

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