Pray! Pray for my addict husband I screamed at God. He is my enemy! He is responsible for all this mess!
Walking the dog in the early morning while my husband and my young boys slept, I talked or more often yelled at God. Exhausted, I struggled to hold it together during every day with a 2 and 4-year-old.
My husband just really did not exist. Sure, a male human came home in the wee hours of the morning. He sometimes played with the kids and ate a meal with us and then back to work.
I limited our time together on purpose. Colorado had just established the medical marijuana card which my husband applied for immediately against my protests. Argumentative or silent were his only two communication styles at present.
The boys and I normally left before he got out of bed. With his late night work shifts, we rarely saw him. Days off were a disaster. I wanted “normal” family time which turned out to be my co-dependent way of setting the whole family up for misery.
Even, if we could manage a meal or an outing together, my sky-high expectations sabotaged the whole affair.
My Husband, My Enemy
My contempt for my husband made him my enemy. I berated myself constantly. I married an addict! He had promised to quit before we married and he did for 6 months. Starting again on our wedding day, I found out later.
I am sure many of you can relate. At 35, I wanted a husband and children with all my heart. At that point, I did not have enough addiction awareness to realize that words mean nothing and actions are everything. Plus, I could control all this, my husband, the drugs, our family, life in general.
Pray for my addict husband–what was God trying to tell me.
You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matt 5:43-45
My husband, the father of my children, had become the enemy of the family life I dearly wanted. Love my enemy God? Pray for those that persecute me.
I just sat down on a rock in the field where I walked the dog.
God I Will Follow You
A few weeks before, I bounced up to my Pastor and said I am ready. “Ready for what?” he said. I am ready to be sent anywhere to have God use me in any way even if it means Africa.
My mission field is not Africa. My mission field is my family. God spoke clearing to my heart that morning in the field.
Pray for this man you call your husband and your enemy. Like all humans, I said, “but God! You don’t understand!” He is supposed to love and cherish me and our children, to provide and lead us, to be the rock we can lean on and he… he… can’t even bear to look at us.
46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt 5:46-48.
My family is my mission field and I am to love my husband even if he is my enemy, right? So I got up off that rock and marched home determined to love my husband as God loved me, wrong!
Training to Love My Addict Husband
No, instead I sat and wept over what God asked me to do. I continued to tell Him; I had tried and tried and failed.
I can’t do it; I wailed. I hate him! I wish he were dead. Even as I said these words I knew the answer. I pledged my heart and soul to God again committing to do His will and pray for my enemy.
Dragging myself home, I thought of my life verse God gave me in the midst of this mess.
You do not have to fight this battle. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD. He is with you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for Yahweh is with you.'” 2 Chronical 20:17
This battle for my husband’s very life did not involve me. God clearly sidelined me so that he could act. My training in praying for my enemy began that day.
How to Pray for Your Addict Husband
Years before my mom gave me a little set of cards bound on a key ring called Prayer for My Husband. Still grumbling at God, I found the prayer booklet and hung it on the shift column of my mini-van. I prayed these short prayers every time I got in the car. It was all I could stand to do.
On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:20
This verse made me feel better. More like a warrior-princess. As I matured in the Lord, I realized my acting out in response to my husband’s addiction only created more friction for God to cut through to get to my husband’s heart. God needed me to stop trying to correct the situation and let him handle it.
My intense hate gave the devil a foothold in both of our lives. The real enemy of my soul sought to destroy me and my family by creating chaos and turmoil that kept me from prayer.
God showed me a way to pray small tiny prayers that I could swallow–to trust him with my marriage enough to get out of the way. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes you.
Try this 14-day prayer challenge for the “enemies of your life”. God promises to bless those who do His will.
When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them.
I did not even dare to dream of peace with my husband. God’s peace came for me as I learned to trust him through tiny prayers. The tiny prayers turned into bigger dreams as life shifted. All, while I prayed for and loved my enemy.