I love Hubby to pieces, but at the moment, he is struggling in his walk with the Lord, to the point where to even pray for me when I ask him, he doesn't feel he is in a place to do that. This makes it really difficult for me, as I read time-and-time again of Christian couples who prayed together and saw God answer their prayers for a child.
I totally believe that God wants this for Christian marriages. I fully believe that a Christ-centered marriage has a strength and a depth between a husband and wife, which other couples miss. And so for me to be in this situation - I have found this Journey for Bubba that much harder. All I would like, is for Hubby and I to pray together.
This last Sunday, though, God spoke to me so clearly about this situation, that He has set at ease the stress and pressure I have been feeling in my heart. He is so awesome like that. For a while, because I have been praying for Hubby, and seeing only slight glimpses of the answer I desperately seek, it becomes easy to think that God isn't listening. But He sent two women to speak to me at Church - one had a vision of me seeing my prayers added to the bowl of incense which is poured out before the throne of the Lord, as described in Revelation 5:8: ...and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, and Revelation 8:3-4: He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel’s hand. The second lady spoke of how the Lord had placed a connection in her spirit to pray for me for breakthrough. She has offered to meet with me specifically to pray for the strongholds which are preventing the breakthrough I need, although she has no idea what these are. I immediately knew this was relating to Hubby, and also for my Journey for Bubba.
But even before these two women spoke to me, God had already spoken His encouragement to me through my study of the women of the Bible who struggled to conceive.
So keeping in mind the fact that I felt as though I don't have the prayerful support of Hubby, and have felt as though I was trying to stand strong and fight this battle alone... I started to remind God of how important husbands were to the "barren" women in the Bible (you know them ones when you try to tell God about His own story!):
- Sarah, as the woman married to Abraham, was told via her husband she would conceive - You, Lord, spoke to Abraham FIRST... she overheard You and laughed!
- Rebekkah conceived after her husband pleaded with You in prayer on her behalf. I don't know what she may or may not have said to him but You Lord, listened to her husband and she conceived.
- Then Elizabeth wasn't even privy to the conversation You had with her husband, Zachariah because he was in the Most Holy Place and then was struck dumb and couldn't relate any of what You, Lord, had told him!
You see, God, do You see how important it is for the husband to be in the journey with his wife! Do You see what You have done through these marriages, because I do - I see exactly how important it is for the wife to have the spiritual support of her husband!!
Point made, rant over!!!!
The Lord, graciously and calmly, pointed me to Hannah:
- She spoke to the Lord DIRECTLY as she prayed ON HER OWN at the Temple. Elkanah was a Godly man, in that he made the annual pilgrimages to the Temple in Jerusalem when required, providing offering for himself and his family, but in response to Hannah's heart-cry, he gave her a very human - very manly - response, when he said to his wife "Am I not better to you than 10 sons" (1 Samuel:1:8). He didn't connect with her on a spiritual level, he didn't appear to have the same level of faith in God's healing power to pray and intercede on Hannah's behalf or to join Hannah when she went to the Temple to pray. Hannah had to deal with her anguish, her grief alone. She knew the only way to be heard, as she desired to have a child of her own, was to seek the Lord directly, which is when we read of the vow she made to God. She was alone in this moment. Yet the Lord was so close to her in that moment.
- The other woman was Rachel. She was the wife of Jacob, who became the Father of twelve sons, the one whom the nation of Israel is named after. But at the time, she was barren, regardless of how much she tried to have a child, and she became human in her responses, saying to her husband, "give me a child or else I will die" (Genesis 30:1). We read of poor Rachel's plight as she watches her maid, her rival-wife-sister, her sister's maid all conceiving lots of wonderful healthy babies for her husband, Jacob. we can share her anguish as child 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 is born, and each time, she is still waiting, still childless, still barren. We don't know how Jacob supported his wife through this, we don't know if he interceded on her behalf. We know he got angry with her (Genesis 30:2), maybe felt helpless on her behalf? But we do know that Rachel prayed. Although we don't know the exact words she spoke, as with Hannah, we do know that God listened to HER, remembered HER and opened her womb (Genesis 30:22).
Point made, I was silenced!
There may be wives out there who don't have the full spiritual support of their husbands, not just temporarily, but on a permanent basis, as there are women who are married to non-Christian men. Be encouraged that God is as tuned in to your prayers, ad He is to the prayers of a Christian husband, or to the prayers of a husband and wife standing together in prayer. I would encourage you to ask the Lord to bring you a prayer partner who will pray with you for the child you long to conceive, because I know that there is strength in praying with someone, "...if two of you agree on earth, concerning anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Matthew 18:19). But don't lose heart that your prayers alone are in vain, because the Lord has promised to hear those who call on His name. And just as He heard the prayers of Rachel and Hannah - He hears your prayers too. Be encouraged, and don't give up. The journey isn't over yet, you are not barren, you are fruitful and one day, the Lord will bring to bear the fruit of your womb. The fruit of my womb.