April 11, 2014

Discerning God's Will As A Couple

I received this message from a sweet newly married couple.  It is such a good followup to our discussion on Children and God's will in our lives.  They have given me permission to share it here.

Kat Ok prep for semi long text - so, in short, your recent blog post fit right in the center of a lot of conversations we have been having lately. Before we got married we knew we wanted a large family and knew we were against using any preventative measures, I.e. The pill, iud, etc. but our plan, and what we have been using is a form of NFP. More recently, however, we've really been questioning about fully turning our family planning over to the Lord. Obviously we've been spending a lot of time in prayer and scripture, but we were wondering if you had any other suggestions of resources that helped you and Allen make this decision. Any direction, and prayer for guidance, would be greatly appreciated :) side note - glad to hear yesterday's run went well!
Dear Friend,

I just love the way you and your husband live your lives so intentionally. Most people do not and then they wonder why they wake up one day and their lives are a mess or they've wasted most of their time on this earth in vanity. 

You know the best advice I can give you in trying to truly discern God's will for your life is to consider the scripture in Isaiah 55:9.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Truly ask the Lord to take away all your preconceived notions. Ask Him to remove all the beliefs or ideas you have formed with influences and prejudices from your worldly experiences. And most importantly ask Him to fill your hearts with his thoughts and his ways.

When Allen and I feel as if we really need to discern God's will, we have always found it helpful to spend some time in prayer and fasting. Because of your health history, I wouldn't necessarily recommend you specifically fast. Because of my diabetes it is medically unsafe for me to fast as I used to. However, I can join in by doing a juice fast that will keep my blood sugar balanced or by giving up unnecessary things, and especially luxuries, such as coffee and chocolate. Every time you feel hungry or miss those goodies you are reminded to pray. It is also helpful to have a verse to meditate on during this time. Such as Isaiah 55:9. 

At times we also ask special friends who are dedicated prayer partners to join us in a time of prayer or likewise we will spend a time in prayer or fasting together on their behalf. You and your husband might consider asking a couple you trust to join you in praying for this decision. Simply asking for someone to stay in prayer for a decision you need to make will be more than sufficient if you do not feel you want to share the specifics. Allen and I would be glad to join you as well, if you wish. 

A little side note is building this sort of prayer relationship with a few close couples will be an invaluable relationship for you over the years. I can not tell you how many times we have all turned to each other for our own needs, our children's needs, our churches' needs, various missionaries, outreach opportunities, our extended families... and the list goes on and on. It has been such a blessing to share the praises of answered prayers together and to uplift each other through the greatest times of trial. 

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