Welcome to the 7th annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!!!
12 friends guest posting sharing a Christmas idea, recipe or favorite with you.
12 great giveaways for you to enter along with one GRAND PRIZE for someone who comments to enter all 12 days!!
Please join me in welcoming Jennifer Smith of the Unveiled Wife on this 7th Day of Christmas. Jennifer began UnveiledWife.com, a web-based ministry for wives, in March 2011. She publishes weekly marriage articles including encouragements, devotions, and prayers of the day. She authored The Unveiled Wife, Wife After God, and 31 Prayers For My Husband. Jennifer is devoted to encouraging wives all around the world to develop God-centered marriages.
Now, here’s Jennifer….
The holiday season is usually bustling with families drawing close together to spend quality time with one another. Families flock the shops for gifts, hand-in-hand they search for the perfect tree, and they nestle side by side at coffee shops with peppermint lattes and hot cocoa.
Ever since I was a little girl I have done this with my family and as I am out and about I see others enjoying Christmas too.
When I became a wife I had the privilege of sharing this joy with my husband. Although we encountered hardships throughout the year, we were good at intentionally making Christmas memorable. By our third Christmas, the burdens mounted so high, it was a struggle to embrace the cheerfulness of the holiday season. In fact, I escaped into fantasyland by using up all my free time to read the Twilight trilogy.
For three weeks I grew fascinated with the love story of Edward and Bella, desiring a strong love in my own life, convincing myself that my husband was not good enough. My husband sat next to me as I flipped the page of my books. I checked out of my reality and dived into a sea of discontentment. The more I read, the more unsatisfied I became with my marriage. The more I read, the more I avoided my relationship with God as well. My heart was turning hard against those I once loved, dwelling on the potential of what I could have if I chose to leave my husband.
I am sharing this with you because I know the pain that comes with marriage. I know how burdens can pile so high that a wife would rather escape, even if it is just into fantasy. I know how a whole holiday season can fly by without any intentional memories built because it is uncomfortable and sorrow-filled. I also know I am not the only one who has dealt with this, and I don’t want any wife to endure this type of isolation this Christmas!
The greatest thing that saved my marriage and transformed my heart was my husband’s willingness to pray for us. Even when I hard-heartedly refused, my husband was faithful. He prayed for us every night and asked God to help us. At that time when I isolated myself in books, my husband was unaware of all that I was internalizing, but he surely felt the separation in our relationship. Yet, he prayed.
I believe God hears our prayers and that He wants us to rely on Him. There was no way I would have recognized my sin of lusting in fantasyland without the Holy Spirit convicting my heart. And there was no way my heart would have softened and overcame discontentment without God showing me the purpose of marriage and how He can use our burdens to teach us and ultimately transform us.
This Christmas, no matter what condition your marriage is in, I urge you to pray. Ask God to protect your marriage. Pray for you and pray for your husband. By doing so you will be able to embrace the holiday season and more importantly you will be able to embrace unconditional love for your husband. There is power in prayer!
Here is a prayer for your marriage [click on the image to make it larger]. If you want you can print this out and frame it where you and your husband can view it daily and serve as a reminder for you to pray for your relationship!
Giveaway: Jennifer is giving away a copy of her book 31 Prayers For My Husband: Seeing God Move In His Heart. Enter to win by leaving a prayer in the comments for your marriage and a random winner will be chosen.