“Lord, help me to love you more. I confess I have loved my husband far more than I have you. I have idolized him, sought my identity through him, even sought him as the ultimate fulfiller of my life. Help me day by day to choose you first as the absolute love of my life.”

I remember the changes in my heart as I began praying that prayer 2 years ago. The freedom that began to wash over me as I pursued Christ wholeheartedly. What began as a small sparkler of hope brought fireworks in dark places.

Have you idolized your husband? Maybe you have sought your identity through your marriage relationship? Do you seek your hubby to fulfill all your needs and voids in life?

For about 5 years of our relationship, I was guilty of all of the above. I was a single mom of 2 boys ages 1 and 2 when we our relationship began. I wasn’t looking for love at the time. I allowed my baby boys to consume all of me.

Little did I know, there was this deep void beneath what I thought was working out just fine. A void for relationship. A void for a family dynamic. A void for my boys and myself to be loved in a package deal.

In the midst of a season where the voids didn’t feel pronounced, there came this handsome guy who opened up the floodgates of those voids. Nothing I’m ever proud to discuss. However, if I’m honest, I thank God for our story. I am now seeing purpose from the pain. A love story that began with this handsome guy and myself to the greatest love story my heart has ever known: the one between my precious Savior and I.

Many times, all we can see is our own battlefield, not realizing our husband’s have one of their own. A little side note: it’s not their job to fill every hole in our heart. They aren’t even capable. Our men are in need of a Savior as much as us wives.

When I began taking steps day by day to seek more of God and find my identity in Him, there was a freedom that unleashed in a way I had never experienced.

I no longer seek my husband first for approval. My faith was wishy washy prior. I allowed my husband the first say and then when life got ugly, I would pull the Jesus card. He despised that. I’ve never felt loved more in our marriage than when I began choosing Christ as the solid rock in my life. When I began applying the very things I claimed to believe before, but now actively living them out, our marriage relationship began to shift.

I’m so far from perfect and still struggle immensely. However, I no longer seek my husband to fix those things. He knows where I turn when life becomes too much and somewhere in the middle of it all, it releases him the freedom to love me without the pressure of doing it perfectly. Freedom for us both when I put my relationship with Christ before my marriage relationship.

Who doesn’t love freedom? And what better day of the year to ponder and pursue it?

If you bring the sparkler, God will bring the fireworks.

Jesus, I pray that you open my dear friend’s heart to you. The kind I was so desperate for two years ago. I ask you give her a heart desiring to put you first not only in word but action. I yearn for my friend to know that freedom I now know in releasing her husband as the fixer and putting you in that place. I also pray her husband be blessed and touched also by her decision to place you first understanding the sacrifice is nothing compared to the blessing of which will come. I pray today and each day to follow, freedom begin to ring in her heart in a way she has never known. In Your name I pray. Amen.