Last night I came across a letter that I received a while back from one of my readers. Reading it through, I couldn't help but think that it would be a great fit for this marriage series. I hope you enjoy her encouragement as much as I have...
I was happy to see you grapple with the unaccepted (even among many Christian women) idea of the authority of the husband in the family.
So much of today's culture de-emphasizes the husband's role or, in the case of much television and movies, either the husband is a buffoon incapable of decisions or a self-contained superman who does not need his spouse.
God's intention for one-ness of two requires much bending and molding and communication and love. It requires us to celebrate the strengths and weaknesses of each partner and trust one another to want and to most often choose the best for each spouse. I say most often because we are sinful and not perfect so we will be disappointed sometimes and we will disappoint sometimes too. That would not have to be the end of the world, of course! In fact, 1 Corinthians 13 seems to indicate that the love we are to give - the love that is Christ Jesus and in Christ Jesus - deals with the realness of the person being loved.
I believe God has appointed the husband to take the responsibility for decisions simply because the husband is called, and God will equip him, to fill that role. I do not pretend to know the mind of God, but surely it is not due to our "weakness." God creates both in His image and He does not short-change women in any way. Nor is weakness a problem for God--He says He is our strength and sufficient. From cover to cover of the Word, both men and women are strengthened and used for the purpose He calls them to fill. Difficulty hits when we question God's choices of people. You see, He sees what someone can become, not just who they are.
Both spouses are called to hard walks of love--one as Christ's sacrificial love and one to the sacrificial love of the Church in response to the love we are shown. Those are both hard roads for any human - obedience is not always easy, yet we are called to it. Here is where it gets interesting to me. Our responsibility as a wife to be obedient as if to the Lord Himself does not stop because our husband does not perfectly love us as Christ loves His church. We are not absolved by our husband's failures any more than a husband is absolved by his wife's failures. I believe the message to women is not that we are weaker, but in the grace and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ who says "My burden is light..." we have the strength to follow Him.
If we want to show our gratitude and love for Christ's gift of eternal life, it starts with those around us. It starts at home, heeding and being obedient to the Word at home. And that means putting trust in our husbands and in God. God's Word says He wants nothing but good for us--eternal good. So why do we not trust God that He can work through our husbands, even though we have trust issues with our spouse?
[I am not addressing abuse issues here. God does not mean for a woman to be injured nor children to be injured in the act of allowing the husband to be the head of the home. We as women are answerable for being wise and seeking God's way. That is not God's way.]
I believe we speak to the multitude of homes where distrust and bitterness and harbored anger and revenge hold more sway than the Word of God in Christian women's hearts. We need to confess and repent--turn around and ask God to transform the way we feel about our husbands. We need to pray for them, for children, for ourselves; and we need to start trusting God to be in the little things of our home for everyone's good.
I didn't mean this to be a sermon but I, too, am passionate about this. Praying for your ministry of mentoring women, and asking God's special outpouring on you and your home. May He keep you safe and secure, strong and speaking the things near to His heart. God bless you!
Today's Vow: To Celebrate Your Strengths, Trusting God With Your Life
The Challenge: Pray for your husband, your children (if you have any) and yourself letting go of any areas where you aren't trusting the will of the Lord. Pray that He will equip the both of you to fulfill your roles in the marriage.
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