Saturday, November 13, 2010

An Encouragement for Wives

Last week I was given the privilege to share the devotion at a wedding shower for a new bride in our church.  I didn't start out thinking that it was a privilege.  I will be honest and say that I wasn't super excited about the fact that no one else signed up for the task, and as one of the shower coordinators, the devotion fell to me by default.  However, God had different plans, and my selfish desire NOT to give the devotion was not among His plans.  I think He wanted me to share some of the things I have been learning in my own married life over this last year.  I thought maybe you, my blog friends, could use the encouragement too.

So here it goes:

I really don't feel particularly qualified to offer a wedding shower devotion, only having been married for 8 years, I'm sure there is more wisdom in this room on marriage than I will ever have, so humbly I will share with you the things that God has been teaching me in the last year.

I will start with, 1 Corinthians 16:14: It says "Let all you do, be done with love."
A few months back when I read these words from Corinthians, I told God that was nice in theory, but really rather impossible in practice. I mean really?  God?  You just don't know what was going on in my life right now! I have to love him???

In the quiet of that day, as I thought about this verse from a VERY petulant perspective, giving God all the reasons why this verse did not apply to me, or the way I was supposed to treat my husband, God replied, "Yes Julie, even him.... especially now. I am working in his life. You choosing to love him helps me work in his life."

I got a twinkle in my eye, almost gleeful in my next thought......Oh yeah, I said to God.... you are going to to the heaping hot coals on his head thing... right?  'Cuz that would sure make me feel a little better.  God said, "no... (with a small chuckle) funny..., but no."

I had to ask God's forgiveness for my hardhearted-ness, for my unwillingness to do as His word commands me.  I resolved to love my husband, regardless of the choices that he was going to making.

Here is a news flash for you, there will be days, when your wonderful groom will disappoint you. When he will not meet an expectation that you have of him.  It may be the way he loads the toilet paper dispenser, or squeezes the toothpaste.  It could be the way he reacts when things happen that are unexpected. It could be the way he fails to be your knight in shining armor some day when maybe you didn't communicate the need for him to be Sir Galahad.

Whatever the situation...

God is clear.
Your job is to do all you do, in love.
My advice to you is to write 1 Corinthians 16:14 on the walls of your heart, and always choose to show love to your husband.

Another important verse to know is Ephesians 4:29:  "Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth but what is good and necessary for edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers."

mmm hmmm that is a little gem I like to call the, shut your mouth Julie! , verse.  :)

As wives, we are the closest person to our husbands. We see ALL that is good in them, that is why we chose to marry them.... and honey... we see all that is bad.

Your job as a wife is to choose edifying words to speak to your husband. Yes, that means when he has left his dirty clothes on the floor for the 10th year, his shoes under the kitchen table or under the foot part of the recliner so it won't close. When he walks by that dish, his dish, for the 50th time... the one that you left for him to wash to teach him a lesson!.... When he does that annoying thing he always does.... that just makes you NUTS....  Yes, that is when you must watch what you say.

You are to choose loving and kind words to address him.  Our position, so close to these men, whom are created in the image of God, gives us plenty of fuel for a war of words.  ( Hint:  Flaming fiery tongues do not impart grace!)

Don't do it.
Stop... in the midst of your mental rant.
pray.... oh God, forgive me for the anger in heart.
and choose kind words to express what needs to be said.

You can't really be in Ephesians, one of the great books in the Bible about communication without touching on Ephesians 4:31 and 32 : "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you."

There is so much to unpack here in these two verses.  I suggest that you read them often.  They really are the key to how we are to behave in all situations.  The word I would like to camp out on for a moment is bitterness.  I think that it is in the beginning of the verse on purpose.  It is the predecessor to all the other words in verse 31. 

Bitterness.....  is the seed that leads to the destruction of marriages.  Bitterness by definition is what happens when a hurt, goes unresolved.

Bitterness left unchecked, in your relationship with your husband, will silently, and with precision, cut the two of you apart. It will cause you to feel misunderstood, and  that he is ignoring you. It will cause you to see him as unreasonable, because he really should just listen to YOU, your way is usually right, HE should know that by now!  It is the thing that causes you to have those metal arguments with him.... where you always win, and you always have the quick answer and the perfect cutting remark that will put him perfectly in his place. It will take away all the power that God designed for you both, in the union of marriage.

it is sneaky.

it is stealthy.

it will come upon you in the night, and grow... quietly for years.

Please, I implore you, do not let bitterness take root.  It will breed resentment, wrath, anger, gossip, all manner of un-respectful talk about your husband, the man whom you married, who regardless of his human faults, was created in God's image.
Pick a time,each week, to evaluate your heart before God. Seek His light to show you any weeds of bitterness. Let Him pick them. Go to your husband and seek forgiveness, if you need to.

Your biggest weapon in the garden of your heart to fight the weeds of bitterness, is prayer. Pray FOR your husband. Praying for him will melt the hardness of your heart.  I am not talking about the prayers where you roll your eyes and mentally ask the Lord, " PLEASE! CHANGE HIM!!".  I mean for you to pray for his relationship with the Lord.  Ask the Lord to draw your husband close to Him.  Pray for God to show you how to be a helper to your husband. Pray for the spiritual battles your husband faces every day at work.  If you don't know what to pray for, ask your husband.

Our husbands aren't perfect, neither are we.
We must remember that no matter what happens, or how much our husband loves us, GOD loves us so much more.  He is who we need to take our cares to first.  We were created to glorify GOD, and when we love and honor our husbands, we do just that.

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to every point made- thank you- for the reminders. I imagine this will bless the new bride & her groom more than you will ever know.


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