If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.James 1:5-8 ESV
Many of us have experienced double-mindedness in our marriage—that desire for two things at once. I want to be married, but I don’t want this life. We know we should stay, but the desire to flee can be so strong at times. Maybe we’re not experiencing the double-mindedness ourselves, but we’re married to someone who struggles between the desire to prioritize our marriage and something else that draws their attention away.
Before we go any further, you need to understand that this kind of doublemindedness is a normal part of living in a broken world with a broken heart. We all feel it from time to time, we all want to run at times, to leave the life we know, to have something different. This double-mindedness will wreak havoc on your life if left unchecked. It’s not only okay to acknowledge that the desire to flee exists, it’s essential if you are going to find the peace of single-mindedness.
A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways who receives nothing from the Lord. Nothing. No blessing, no wisdom, no comfort, no peace. If you’ve wrestled with double-mindedness, you know this to be true. You know the emotional chaos created by a deep desire to hold two realities. This turmoil wreaks havoc on our faith. Some days we can be standing firmly on the promises of God, and other days, we’ve been kicked into the pit of despair by the things of this world that disrupt our faith. This is our reality so long as we live in a broken world because we are a broken people. Sin exists in our hearts and it exists in the hearts of our spouses—there’s no way to get away from it. So instead of turning our back on the reality, we would be better served by acknowledging it, confessing it, and moving through it.
The Greek word used in this passage literally means a “double-souled” man. It refers to a man whose heart is divided between a devotion to God and the pull of the world. A double-minded man often wants to live a life for God, but there’s usually a point where he draws the line. They follow the commandments and instructions of the Lord, but only until it conflicts with his desire. This man may seek the wisdom of God, but he’s not fully committed to submitting to it. A double-minded man will use worldly wisdom to twist God’s Word into the message he wants to honor. In other words, he makes the Word of God fit into what he wants to do. If God’s Word sounds suitable, he’ll follow it; but if the wisdom of the world sounds better, he’s going after that. A double-minded man may be curious about the wisdom of the world, but he isn’t interested in suffering for it or being inconvenienced by it. James explains that this type of person will not receive anything from the Lord.
James is trying to help us understand at the root of this double-mindedness is fear. We have two minds—one controlled by faith, and one controlled by fear. The fear can be a loss of security, a loss of comfort, a loss of value, but there is an undeniable fear we will lose something if we fully submit ourselves to the Lord. Fear is deceptive, though, and can craftily convince us we have a right to hang on to some control of our lives. Fear is so sneaky that it can even hide its face from us so we don’t recognize it as fear. But it’s there. And it exists because sin exists in our hearts.
When we let fear control our hearts, we will become like an unstable boat on the stormy seas, driven and tossed by the winds. The first step to calming the seas is to search your heart for the fear you hold so close and fully surrendering it to the Lord. We must give up our desire to control our comfort, our security, and our value, and trust that our Heavenly Father has a better plan for providing each of these in our lives. This is how we find the peace of single-mindedness.
You can know the peace of single-mindedness in your marriage even if you are married to someone who is struggling with double-mindedness by trusting that God has a plan for both of you. Their struggle does not have to be your struggle, their double-mindedness does not have to be yours. Your single-mindedness needs to focus on the faith that God is working, and that His desire for both of you and for your marriage is a healing restoration and a supernatural unity.
Press on ~ you are loved. 💗
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