TITLE: Relational Pebbles (Part II)
By Catherine Craig
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This is where those silent pauses have great value. Speaking to God about perceived problems can accomplish more in a short space of time than our poorly timed words or actions can over a much longer course of time. While silent, we can also bring our thought life into submission to the Holy Spirit.
I don’t want to be misconstrued here as saying we, as Christian wives, are to goad, nag, threaten, push, or scold our husbands into doing our bidding under the guise of spirituality. Rather, I am exhorting women to submit their entire beings to their husbands.
My efforts to not hit my husband over the head with the Bible, but live out a Christian life at home were rewarded by two things. He became a Christian. But, before receiving Christ, Jeff also acknowledged to another man within my hearing that I’d lived transparently the same godly life both at home, and in public. It was profound, hearing that from his lips.
In Proverbs Chapter 31, the Bible describes the ideal wife. She “watches carefully all that goes on throughout her household” (verse 27). Consider coupling this verse with, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)
Consequently, there are things we can do to encourage our husbands! I want to be very careful here. Being strong-willed myself, I’ve had to sort out the fine line between trying to be my husband’s Holy Spirit, and when I’m actually cooperating with God to influence and encourage him in the Lord.
For instance, by expanding our social circle to include godly men and their wives, I build our home in a healthy manner. But, if I resort to “spilling the beans” to other men about my husband’s poor spiritual condition – as I judge him to be – inviting their intervention to “fix” him, I would be crossing that forbidden line. A godly woman doesn’t shame her husband.
Another example might be that, if my husband is a Christian, I can invite him to pray – at meals or at the children’s bedside. God can accomplish great things through this simple act of faith on our part to ask hubby.
In my case, Jeff wasn’t a Christian when I married him almost seventeen years ago. Yet, he was hungry for God spiritually. He believed in God, but it took some time before he and Jesus became acquainted.
Nevertheless, I capitalized on his willingness to pray. In the seven years after we married, prior to his receiving Christ, he learned much about answered prayer by simply praying at bedtime and at meals.
At first, Jeff objected. He argued that God was busy; we should bother him with life’s big things, not the small ones. I reasoned that unless we learned to trust God in the little things, how could we trust him in those “big things”? Jeff agreed to give it a try.
Consider how to introduce your husband to Jesus. Not necessarily the Bible Jesus, but Jesus as you know and experience him over time.
The simple reality is that people won’t generally object to our sharing what we experience with God, but will resist arguing the Bible. This point is often overlooked – whether witnessing at home or elsewhere. A godly life, a clear conscience before God and man, and a vibrant testimony are valuable scriptural tools.
Active faith is vibrant, even during those seasons of waiting on God. Be careful to not reduce your God-given opportunities to become an excuse for martyrdom.
Ask God for help to determine the difference. When to suffer? When to act or speak?
Painful marriages can be saved.
Be a statistic for the glory of God. Be proactive for your marriage through faith!
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