Early in our marriage, Norma came to the unpleasant realization that I was also married to my work. The long hours I spent at the office frequently included evenings and weekends. This left Norma alone a great deal of the time in the trenches with our three endlessly energetic kids.
When I was home, my mind was filled with all things work, which again, left little time for our marriage. Understandably, Norma would tell me. She'd point out that I wasn't there for her needs or to help with the parenting. But to me, it sounded more like nagging, so I ignored it—as many men do!
So imagine my surprise when one day I came home and sensed a calm spirit in our home. Norma's face was peaceful, not tense as it usually was. Instead of the customary harsh words, her conversation was quiet, and she was more interested in asking me how my day had gone.
A few days later, with peace still in our house, I asked what had happened.
"I got tired of fighting you," she explained. "I realized I wasn't trusting God with our marriage, so I decided to stop complaining and start praying. I've told God I'd like you to spend more time at home and help with the kids. Since God knows my needs, I know he'll make the necessary changes."
I was instantly convicted. Her quiet words forced me to look inside myself and see that my priorities were wrong.
A Higher Power
Norma realized she couldn't change things on her own. She needed help from God. So rather than complain to me, she started to pray. I was fascinated by her immediate change in attitude, so I asked her what exactly she'd prayed.1