Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
Paul writes these words in Philippians at a time when he was locked in a Roman jail unsure if he was going to live or be killed. From the perspective of an outsider, he had every reason to be stressed and frustrated. Yet, somehow he writes saying there is no need to worry about anything. What a crazy thing to say? Shouldn’t we at the very minimum be worried about staying alive? The Bible says, no. Not even death is something to fear!
Anxiety is an epidemic in our country. We are rattled with stress, fear, and these color our other interactions we have with the people around us. Laughter is rare in our lives, work is never-ending, and peace is an elusive mystery. Pessimism permeates our conversations. Small issues become huge pains because our load already feels unbearably heavy. If our hearts and minds are filled with fear, how then can we experience peace and joy in our relationships? From the overflow of our hearts come the words of our mouths. If our hearts are paralyzed with anxiety then our words will be sprinkled with tension.
How do we remove the diving bell sized weight of anxiety from our lives so we can experience more joy and peace in our marriage relationship? Paul gives us a simple answer in Philippians; he says pray about everything. Does God really want to hear about it all or does He tire of all our petty issues and requests? Thankfully, the answer is no, God never gets tired of hearing what’s on your mind. He cares about all the details and no concern is too small to bring to His attention.
I’m convinced God actually loves when we bring our tiny issues to His attention so He can show up in the most subtle of ways in our lives. I think He’s in the business of leaving us tiny love notes by graciously gifting us through blessings in details that only we would notice. I experienced this a few weeks back. I prayed to find a wooden cradle for my daughter’s new room in the midst of a move. Really, this was a want not a need and God could have breezed past it as a silly request. Honestly, I didn’t really even expect to find what I wanted. Even so, the next day I found the perfect $5 wooden cradle at Goodwill and this tiny find spoke volumes about God’s love and faithfulness into my heart during an uncertain time.
When we bring the concerns of our heart first to God instead of putting the pressure on our spouses to alleviate our anxiety, we make room to experience peace in our marriages. No person can ensure that your fears won’t come true. The most loving and attentive spouse is not capable of carrying the weight of our fears. Only God has the strength to hold the load of our concerns. Let’s stop dumping tension, strife, pessimism, and unfair expectations into our relationships. Instead, let’s live each day striving to experience the amazing peace that Paul says we have access to through the power of the Holy Spirit.