Imagine having coffee with a few friends–just the girls. Isn’t it likely that at some point, one of your friends will make a comment about her husband? Soon, everyone is “venting.” Our husbands are forgetful, they chew too loudly, and they don’t help enough with household chores. We share our frustrations with each other, not feeling overly concerned; after all, no one said she didn’t love her husband or wanted a divorce.
I have been in that very situation. More than once, I have sat around a table with a group of girlfriends and done my share of venting. I am a Christian, but I never gave much thought to whether what I was doing was harmful. But it IS harmful, because it’s disrespectful, and because it goes against what God has commanded of me as a wife.
This is just one of the many ways God has convicted me in our current study, Falling In Love Again With Your Husband, I have been forced to confess to the Lord that for many years, 1 Peter 3 was nowhere on my radar: “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:1-4 NASB).
This passage is specific. Be submissive. Behave respectfully. Consider the hidden person of your heart more important than external beauty. Why? Because it is precious in God’s sight.
If I really take this scripture to heart, I am mightily convicted. On most days, my behavior, my attitude, would not win over my husband. I am not respectful, in word or tone. I am selfish. A gentle and quiet spirit? No. My flesh screams to be heard, to be right, to control.
BUT, I am learning, I have a choice! I can follow my flesh, my sinful nature, the nature we all share OR I can walk forward in the Spirit, trusting God to work all things out.
While we are faced with walking in the flesh vs. the Spirit every moment of everyday, there are times the Lord allows us to see the act of choosing as it unfolds. Recently, I had to leave the house early, and my husband had to manage the morning routine. I asked my husband to ensure something very important was done for one of our children. I left reminders. And then…I got a text from him later in the morning. He had forgotten.
My first reaction, in the flesh, was to fire back an angry text to express my disbelief (and disappointment) that he forgot.
But I resisted. I prayed. The Lord settled my heart and mind. He gently reminded me He was in control. He gently reminded me I forget things, too. And in that moment, I was able to walk forward in the Spirit. I asked my husband to pray for our child. I did not respond out of anger or self-righteousness, as if I would have done better. And my response allowed my frustration to dissipate. I was watching myself, my responses, from a Spirit-filled posture, which was so encouraging! Please know, I take no credit for my actions. This is the work of the Lord. I cannot, nor will ever be able to, respond in this manner apart from the Lord. In my own strength, I would always fire back an angry text.
All of this helped me to see that I’m not helping my friends or myself by sharing my frustrations about my husband. I can turn to my Almighty Father and lay those frustrations at His feet. Only He can change a person’s heart. He wants my focus to stay on Him.
Another lesson I learned that day? My husband may have forgotten what our child needed, but God did not. He is faithful.
Growing in Grace