Monday, October 28, 2013

Marriage Monday: Responding to Trials with Grace {Link up}

Welcome back to Marriage Monday! I hope you are enjoying my series of posts on how to maintain your marriage during a crisis. There are many types of crises that couples might encounter as they navigate the storms of life together.  Many times these trials tear marriages apart, as couples lash out at each other instead of clinging to one another and to the Lord during troubled times.  My hope is that this series will encourage you to hold fast to the Lord and to your husband during the good times and the bad.

To read last week's post, featuring the testimony of a wife whose unwavering faith strengthened her marriage during a time of crisis, click HERE.

I have several ladies working on guest posts for this series, but none were ready for me to share here today.  (If you have a story of how your marriage was strengthened even in the midst of a crisis, please email me to share your testimony with my readers!) So, today I am going to relate a story which touches my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. This true story is included in the excellent book, Resolution for Women, by Priscilla Shirer.

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. 

This poignant portrayal of a godly wife is a perfect illustration of what I'm trying to communicate in this series.  Ponder for a minute -- if you were the woman in this story, would you have responded in the same way this young wife did?  How would your response have affected your husband? your children? yourself?  Would your marriage have been strengthened or weakened as a result?

Our response to trials, inconveniences, hardships, and suffering can make or break our man, and ultimately our marriage. (Click HERE to tweet.)

Your Turn to Share:

I'd love to hear how you responded with grace and love, when faced with a hardship such as the one recounted above.  How have you encouraged your husband during dark, difficult days?  

I've been receiving emails from many readers who are being blessed by this series and who have a story of how their marriage survived a time of great testing. Do you have such a story? I encourage you to share from your heart by leaving a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at to share your testimony/potential guest post.

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!

marriage mondays

Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is Mine

Happy Wives Club


The Alabaster Jar

Courtship Connection

I Choose Joy!


Messy Marriage

Wifey Wednesday button

Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post. Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name! Thanks! :)


Chris said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for offering the linky and share....your MM hop is always inspiring.

What a beautiful story you shared...
What struck me was that the husband did realize at the time how gracious his wife had been. It usually takes time and distance, in my experience, for them to see the 'good' and to acknowledge it....hard, honestly to keep selflessly being there, but at times, he does actually get it as I know there are many many times he does for me that I take for granted or do not appreciate......I hope it does balance the big picture anyway,
Thank you for sharing, Elzabeth...I'll be back alter to vsit the others' posts.
Have a lovely day

busymomof10 said...

Thanks for sharing, Chris! You are always so encouraging and I always appreciate your insights!

Cheryl said...

I love coming here every Monday! You are such a blessing and inspiration to me. Thank you for the wonderful link-up. God bless you as you continue to encourage others. Love, Cheryl

busymomof10 said...

THANK YOU Cheryl for encouraging me and blessing my heart today! <3

Beth said...

Wow! What a gracious and inspirational story you shared from Priscilla's book, Elizabeth. I'm certain I would not have been so gracious. Helping our husbands in these kinds of situations--believing the best about them and encouraging them is what we (wives) should all be about! Thanks for the gentle nudge, my friend!

Madeleine said...

I was in tears by the end Elizabeth, and I am so grateful for you sharing that story with us. Our husbands work valiantly to provide for us in all sorts of conditions each day and it can be just as hard for them as it is for us at home. It's just a different kind of hard.

I have not always been so gracious when the finances were tight and I would ask my husband "why". Like Beth, I thank you for the nudge to just keep believing in them and and encouraging them in all they do.

Keep well and blessings on you and your family,

Cate N.

truth in weakness said...

hopping over here from beth's messy marriage link up, & so glad i did. my husband & i have walked through many years of flickering lights in our marriage. the lights when out 6 yrs ago when his industry crashed (& so did our finances). and not before we could recover, the lights went out again 3 yrs ago when my health crashed (which put an add'l strain on our finances). the lights are still very dim in our marriage dwelling as we continue to live in survival mode on all fronts, but i'm so grateful that my husband & i have held hands all the way through the dark. and that the darkness is as light to our faithful Father.

thx so much for this encouragement today,

"If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,'
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you."
~ ps. 139:11,12

Jaimie Ramsey said...

I'm missing the link-up! :( Are you not doing it this week? And thank you for sharing that story...that's the kind of supportive wife I want to be.

busymomof10 said...


I don't know what was up, but I checked this morning and the link up is still there. check again.


Judith Kowles said...

Thank you, Elizabeth, for sharing such a beautiful, beautiful story.

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