Praying for Him: His Identity

Over a 30 week period, which I began on the blog with an intro on May 1st (so, 31 if you count the intro), I will be doing a weekly series where I talk about my journey through Stormie Omartian's Power of  a Praying Wife. I felt led to pray for my husband and wanted to incorporate the book, especially because I'm new to specifically and fervently praying for my husband and had no clue where to begin, but knew that doing a 30 day challenge was next to impossible. (Stormie challenges wives to do a chapter/day and there are 30 chapters.) Let's face it: life with a baby just-turned-Toddler changes constantly and there are still nights with many wake up calls due to teething or illness. I'd already tried once and failed.  So this series was born as a way to share, encourage, and hold me accountable to the commitment I made but also keep it within reach. I'll keep a list of links on each post so you can easily access them all. Enjoy! (Oh and please NOTE: anything about Ben has been ok'd by him to post before I ever do. If he isn't ok with it, it never meets your eyes.)

Week 1: Intro     Week 2: Starting with Me

"For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?" - Jesus (Matthew 16:26 NASB)

As this week seemed to be wrapped around my husband's identity (aka his work - I'll explain a bit more later), I thought it only appropriate to start with this verse.

(But because my mind seems to be ever rabbit trailing these days, I'm going to interject for a moment. Yes, I'm interrupting myself. Very uncouth. I'm aware.



I'm gonna get back to the topic at hand and will write a seperate post with an awesome experience I had while praying this week. I'll try to get it up sometime next week. And back to the original intent of this post.)


So I thought it appropriate to start there. Why?

Well, one of my initial thoughts in praying for my husband's job wrapped around this idea: I've heard people confess before that they are afraid to pray for the job because they are afraid asking his job be blessed means wealth and wealth will be their undoing. I've also heard people confess the exact antithesis of my first sentence: praying for their husbands job because they want a lot of wealth and to be free of any financial difficulty (read: selfish gain). And honestly, I've been guilty of both. 

This was not what I wanted to be doing after I read the title: His Work. (I must admit I am loving how Stormie keeps the chapter titles so simple. Easy to remember!) I also knew that after reading the intro and first topic this was likely not where Stormie would be going with it. At least, the intent behind actually praying would not be for selfish gain and thus it would trample out the fear to be praying his job be blessed.

I treaded lightly into this week wondering what I might learn, asking God to open my eyes to how this might truly benefit my husband. And in just a few short paragraphs, I knew that I would constantly be thanking Him for the gift of His Spirit who intercedes for me with words when I have none (see Romans 8:26).


I guess you need a bit of a back story, so let me be open with you: I married a could-be-workaholic. (read: it's a constant battle. One that seems to win at times, but not at others.)

One of the many fears I battle was and is to have a workaholic husband, who though loved me and my child (and any subsequent children) greatly, loved his work more. Maybe out of fear. Maybe out of enjoyment. I could really care less the reason, but it has always been one of my greatest fears because in my mind a marriage can only go downhill from there. I'm not quite sure where I ever got this mental image, but I have it. And I constantly have to set it at the foot of the cross trusting that He has a far greater plan than what I may be able to see at the time.

And before you get any ideas, please understand: Ben is a wonderful husband. He knows that he could become a workaholic. We're open and honest about how we're feeling about that. We revisit the topic on a pretty frequent basis. No, we don't beat a dead horse with a stick. We just make sure we're on the same page and both feeling good about where we are with it. He does his very best to make sure that he shows me he cares and loves both me and Zoë more than his job. He does his best to battle that drive in himself. (read: he prays about it. And from the prayers he has said with me, I'm guessing he prays about it a lot.)

So I treaded lightly. (And in the back of my mind, and heart, I can hear 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.")

But, lo and behold, Stormie must have been lighted on by the Spirit when she wrote this chapter (Umm...at least it seems she was for me in this time), because only a few paragraphs in I read this: "What causes a man to go to either extreme [laziness vs. workaholism] can be, oddly enough, the same reason: fear. That's because a man's identity is often very tied up in his work." (PoPW p. 50)

You guys, call me crazy, but I had another "light bulb" or "Aha!" moment when I read this. Not because I haven't heard this before, but because in that moment I knew what I would be praying for when it came to my husband's job.

Yes, I would (and will) be praying that God bless the work of his hands.

Yes, I would be praying that he find the balance between laziness (I'm not sure that I really ever fear seeing him as lazy, but it's still good to pray against it) and workaholism.

Yes, I would be praying that he constantly seek God's will in his work. That he would be living so deep in the heart of God he would not waiver in knowing that he was fulfilling the purpose God had paved for him.

But most importantly, I would praying for his identity, and that he would find it in God. Not his job, because above all of the other details I would be praying for, if Ben doesn't find his identity in Christ, he will lose the battle he faces with working his hind end off.

And the fear I had of praying it be blessed and what we would do with money should it come flowing in one day or the selfish gain that cluttered my heart when I did find myself brave enough to pray dissipated. No, I'm not perfect. Yes, I will still struggle with both I am sure. Yet, greater than the fear or selfish gain is a desire to see my husband pursue his First Love, to find himself only when he is in Him, and out of that love for God would be a worshipful attitude exuded in and permeating his work.

Thus in essence, I would be praying for his job. I'm beginning to see that prayer is very cyclical. It's all wrapped up in one minute, yet heavily profound, detail: finding identity in God.

On a bit of a lighter note, I was also reminded of two needs guys typically see their job as a means to acheive: appreciation and winning.

Though I haven't talked with Ben about whether he feels appreciation and a sense of "winning" from our relationship recently, I do know this: I want him to feel more appreciated and like he's won at home than at work. And even greater than that: in his relationship with the Lord. So I found myself praying and asking God to help me see how I can make him feel appreciated. And how I can make him feel a sense of "I'm winning."

Funny, I found myself walking in on tip-toes and leaving feeling like I just finished a good ocean plunge. You know the one: you're out deep in the surf allowing waves to wash over you and you just bask in that feeling of letting go. Fear mixed with adrenaline. (Well, I describe it like that because I've met some pretty crazy waves in Tobago - a tiny island 8 miles off Trinidad's coast - and I've been pulled by the under tow of a huge Florida gulf wave only to see my life literally flash before my eyes as I wonder if I'm going to make it for fresh air or if my time has come.) Yep. That's how I'd describe it.

Quite a thrill. Much more than I expected, and boy am I glad it was.

Next week I'll be talking about my week of praying for his finances. Who knows what that will look like. God is continually surprising me.

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