Focal Passages: Proverbs 3:5-8, 13-18, 31-35
I have the privilege of being married to the greatest and most godly woman in the world, Beth Wooten. Unfortunately, her “thorn in the flesh,” her burden to carry is being married to me. Nevertheless, we will celebrate 17 years of marriage this summer.
When I look back at the early stages of our relationship I am reminded how much I needed God’s guidance. Even when we were dating I remember trying to figure out if she truly liked me. One night while we were dating I began inquiring about the status of our relationship. After a few questions from me, she said, “Bartley, I gave Jesus the keys to my heart a long time ago, and when He is ready for me to give them to another man I will let you know.” That night I went home and wrote in my prayer journal the following words, “I pray Lord you will give me the keys to Beth Mackey’s heart – that I will see evidence of your work. If it is not Your will God I pray you break all desires from my heart” (March 17, 1995). We were married July 27, 1996.
One may ask what does your relationship with your wife have to do with Proverbs 3:5-8? For me, it meant everything. In those early days, I lost 20 pounds trying to figure out how to get Beth to like me more. I eventually came to a point where I quit trying in my own strength and simply lived out Proverbs 3:5-6. In other words, I learned that if I trusted God with every aspect of my life, including my relationships, He would guide me every step of the way.
Maybe there is something in your life that you need to give to God. It may not be a relationship issue like mine, but perhaps it is a job situation or financial problem. I’ve learned over the years that if I want God’s best, I must first be willing to make Him the supreme love of my life. Then He will make my paths straight.