Monday, January 7, 2013

Marriage Monday: Loving Your Husband When Times are Tough {Link up}

Marriage Mondays

Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  Back in December, before my blogging break, I had started blogging about loving our husbands. I want to continue to explore that theme for as long as the Lord leads.  

Today I want to talk about loving our husbands during tough times.

What do you do when your husband makes a mistake, makes a really bad decision or a series of bad decisions, fails at something, lets you down, or just totally blows it?

Do you become angry, bitter, and resentful?  Does your mouth drip with venom, as you spit out such statements as, "I told you so!" or "You never do anything right!" or "That was the stupidest decision you've ever made!"

Wow! I hope not!! Honestly, it was hard for me to even type those statements!!! By God's grace, I hope I won't ever speak such deadly words to my husband!!!  ("Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . ."  ~ Proverbs 18:21)

Like it or not, no husband is perfect, and every wife will experience times when her husband disappoints her, lets her down, or even sins against her. He may make poor decisions or suffer a run of "bad luck," forcing her to endure times of need, financial loss, and hardship.  She may truly suffer because of unwise decisions or actions on the part of her husband.  However, a godly wife will not kick her husband when he is down!  She will stand by her man, continuing to treat him with love and respect (even if it is a struggle to do so), encouraging him, helping him overcome the present difficulty, and enabling him to rise to his full potential in every area.

I'm always amazed when I read the well-known exhortation for wives in 1 Peter 3:1-7 when I come to verse 6, which says:

It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].  (Amplified version) 

It challenges our thinking to see that Sarah is held up as our example to follow, when we know that Abraham put Sarah in some very precarious situations, as recorded in Genesis chapters 12 and 20!  Yet, she apparently continued to love, honor and obey Abraham and to trust the Lord, and the amazing thing about those situations is how God protected her!  

I hope none of us have been put into a king's harem by our husbands like Sarah was!!!  ;)  But, what if we do find ourselves in a difficult situation due to some unwise action or decision on the part of our husbands --  how can we continue to show them love and honor?

I think our goal as wives should be to extravagantly love, encourage, honor and bless our husbands during the good times and the bad.  If they have failed, made mistakes, been beaten down and made to feel worthless out in the world, they don't need more of the same at home.  Home should be where they feel unconditional love, acceptance, support, and encouragement!

I love the following account of a young woman who knew how to do just that, as shared by Priscilla Shirer in The Resolution for Women:

He was a struggling salesman, rising early each morning to go from one proverbial closed door to another, attempting to sell a variety of products made by the company he worked for.  The days were long and exhausting, and he often had little to show for his efforts -- certainly not from lack of trying, just from lack of takers.  His young, redheaded wife had been only eighteen when they married. And as their family grew, she spent the better part of each day trying to figure out how to make their small living quarters an enjoyable, satisfactory space, given the difficulties of their financial strain. Yet the day came when the strain turned into the kind that can make a girl want to give up -- when she want to flip a light switch, and no lights came on.  Thinking it was only a mishap in the electrical system, she went to another light source.  Again, nothing. Another, nothing. Throughout the house she flipped switches -- nothing -- confirming what she already knew but didn't want to believe.  Their electricity bill hadn't been paid.  Worse yet, it couldn't be.  So for the remainder of the day, she did the best she could to take care of her household responsibilities. Even as the lengthening shadows of late afternoon slowly shrouded the kitchen in dim light, she prepared a makeshift dinner, then set it out with care and dignity on their darkened dining room table. A flashlight search uncovered some half-used candles, which she lit to create an elaborate place setting. The scene was gorgeous. When her husband arrived, tired and road weary, he found her and the children seated at the table, smiling and waiting to have dinner with him. They enjoyed their candlelit meal. Had good conversation together. The children especially loved the unique touch of candles at dinner. Thought it was fun. Their home was full of peace and serenity despite the circumstances -- circumstances the children didn't even know about. Neither did her husband.  He went straight from the table and collapsed exhausted into bed, beside which she'd lit more candles. She never said a word. It wasn't until the next day, when he arose to get ready for work, that he realized there were not lights. Putting the mental pieces together, he realized what his wife had done -- how she'd preserved his dignity, how she'd opted for peace and beauty rather than friction and discord in response to the inconvenience. He walked past the bed one more time on his way out the door that morning, just long enough to brush the red wisps of hair from her cheek and whisper, "Thank you," into her ear. Whether she heard or not, he didn't know. But he was too grateful to let the opportunity pass him by. Grateful to be sharing a home -- sharing a life -- with a woman committed to being gracious, promoting peace, overlooking shortcomings, providing an environment in which her family could flourish, even when living in less than desirable circumstances.  And at their fiftieth wedding anniversary, adult children and grandchildren standing at their side, this was the moment he recounted when asked to share his favorite memory from their life together. 
Wow!  I don't know about you -- but that's the kind of wife I desire to be!  

Your Turn to Share:

If you have a testimony of how you loved, honored, respected and encouraged your husband during a very difficult time, please share!!!  Anyone have a story like the one I shared above??  Please share so that we might all be encouraged!!! 

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!



The Alabaster Jar

What Joy Is Mine

Growing Home



Christi said...

I own that book....but that doesn't count!

You asked for an example of how I have shown loved honored, respected and encouraged my husband during a difficult time.

When Jim lost his job, after a glowing review, I made the decision to not say anything negative. I tried to spend my words on what was going right, what great things he was doing, how God was using this time, and how wonderful opportunities would come from this.
He was certain that he would have to take a pay cut, and I told him that he was worth what he had been making and more. He told me he didn't have the faith for that, so I said, "I'll have the faith for both of us" and then quickly went into my 'prayer closet' and prayed "Lord, give me faith!".

One month and two days after being let go, Jim had the job of his dreams, working for a company that he had always wanted to work for - he'd been given the never offered re-location package, given 3 months to move his home, and a salary plus typical bonuses that exceeded his previous salary.

I felt so humbled when he came to me to tell me the job offer - "you had faith when I didn't...and look what God has done!"

I hope this will teach me to keep my tongue from evil and remind me to do my husband good all the days of his life.

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth!

Phyllis Sather said...

Thanks for sharing such a great story - good reminder.

Gege said...

Hello! I'm Gege and I have just put my link!
I loved when you write:
"I think our goal as wives should be to extravagantly love, encourage, honor and bless our husbands during the good times and the bad. If they have failed, made mistakes, been beaten down and made to feel worthless out in the world, they don't need more of the same at home. Home should be where they feel unconditional love, acceptance, support, and encouragement!"

Wonderful words!

busymomof10 said...

Thank you so much Christi for sharing your story!! I loved it! So blessed by how you trusted God to give you the faith you needed to be positive and hopeful and encouraging for your husband! That was a fabulous confirming testimony to adorn this post! Thank you so much for sharing!

And Thank you Gege for the positive feedback! :)

Amy M. said...

I find so many wives complaining. Not one of them thinks to compliment, because the complaints have turned them blind to the good qualities ... and they can't even see that it's good if he goes to work every day!

Thanks for the post -- I'm passing it along to a few ladies who will appreciate the nudge.

Alison Bayne said...

Wow, so glad I found this post via the Domestically Divine blog hop. I'm going to seek out Priscilla Shirer's book.
I certainly do need to take care of my own responsibilities more and "let" my husband attend to his, without complaining.

Rach said...

You are right in stating we are called to be respectful to our husband at all times. But the Lord calls us to be honest and humble at the same time. As women we need to admit when we are afraid and lack faith, but turn to God to be filled. This way only God is glorified and we stop taking credit for his work.

It is likewise important not to glorify women in the Bible without showing their humanity. To do so hides God's full glory. Sarah did NOT always trust God and her husband. Abraham told Sarah of God's promise of offspring, but years later she did not trust in His promise and
gave Abraham her maid-serant (= slave),Hagar. It is clear that God always intended and did establish his covenant with offspring from Sarah(Genesis 17:19-22). Sarah not only didn't trust God, she also promoted her husband to sin. Abraham and Hagar's offspring then gave rise to a nation that would live in hostility toward all his brothers. (Genesis 16:12).

After God fulfilled his promise and provided a son to Abraham through Sarah, she does learn a valuable lesson and so do the many generations after her: that the fruits of trusting and obeying God are far more pleasant and bountiful than the pain and suffering you create with your own two hands by going against His will. We should see Sarah as a women who grew wise in her understanding of God from her mistake and that God's teaching prepared her and helped to sustain her faithfulness in all the worldly hardships she was to face after.

busymomof10 said...

Rach, These are Excellent points you have brought out! Thanks for sharing your wise insights with us here!!

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