Two weeks ago, a wise friend said something that caught my attention. I asked her to repeat it and then I wrote it down. I just knew I would need these words, but I wasn't sure why -- because they were pearls of wisdom for a wife. As a single woman, I often just hoover up these treasures to pass them along to others. But this time, I was also affected.
And that's why there was such a long silence on my blog last week. I was trying to be a help in a time of crisis.
What she said was (and this is a fairly close quote): "When you see your husband's weaknesses or areas where he needs to grow--or even areas where he's slighting you--I have learned there is no need to defend myself or my point of view. (Now, to be clear, she's not speaking of physical abuse--but the typical arguments over rights or perspectives.) "I have learned to go to God and make a quiet appeal of Him. I say, 'God, You know how to get his attention. I will wait for You to do it. And when You do, I know You will be more merciful about it than I ever will.'"
Amen and amen. How true that is. Right after she said that, my pastor preached a message on trusting God and embracing the Lord's discipline. Then came a situation when another friend of mine went through the loving correction of our Father. At first, it seemed like a very heavy thing. But it wasn't -- it was quite redemptive in the end for him. And just like my first friend had observed, this second friend's wife had also been taking her husband's weaknesses to the Lord. When He moved, God definitely knew how to get the husband's attention, and He did it so tenderly and mercifully that all those who observed it called it miraculous--when it really could have been very painful.
I hope you can follow those indirect accounts. They aren't really mine to tell. They belong to two friends whose humility in trials I have come to admire. But the point is, I rejoiced when I realized I had written down my first friend's words right before I needed them for my second friend's difficulties. So when they hit, I had a good idea of where to go for counsel and comfort: straight to God. And it is true! He does know how to get a man's attention. And He does know how to be so incredibly merciful about it. Unlike many of us, God is not trying to score self-righteous points. He is just trying to redeem a broken and fallen world; so with that agenda, grace abounds.
I trust that encourages some long-suffering wives out there today. May your patience be rewarded with a wonderful testimony, both in your own sanctification as well as your husband's!
(Note: Comments may lag or not be published at all, due to my travel schedule.)