My friend, Carolyn, has been after me for some time to write some of my thoughts and inspirations down. So here it goes.
In my Christian walk, I often stumble. Ok let me be honest, I fall, scrape my knees and hands, and also bruise my ego and my heart. Sometimes I have to question what I have done to my brain as well!
As a Christian women I often seek God's direction, but as a woman who grew up in the 70's and 80's I often get side tracked to those old sayings "I am woman hear me roar. I can bring home the bacon; I can fry it up in a pan, and make you feel like a man!"
I know you are laughing out loud and I am laughing with you. The truth is I am nothing without the grace and love of our Heavenly Father. When it comes to marriage, I can honestly say the Lord provided a mate that is well suited for me. No, not everything is perfect, but He did bless me with a man who desires to please the Lord and wants to walk in the path of righteousness. It has not always been that my husband led me to church. Sometimes I did the pushing. I am sure you have been there at some point.
I would attend ladies' retreats and come back so pumped that I would be ready to take on the marriage, the children, the house, and the job with a renewed spirit. But you see I often missed the point. Even though I was renewed and charged by GRACE, I would still get some of my directions wrong.
Psalm 46:10 tells us, "BE STILL and know that I am GOD." It took me a while to understand this and, every once in a while, I still have to catch myself and regroup.
Regardless of having these words in my head, I kept having a deep desire to have what the pastor's wife had… a man that was on fire for the Lord, could pray with ease, knew the bible verses by heart, and never ever sinned! Ok, I know you are laughing out loud again, especially if you are a pastor's wife!
A dear friend and pastor, who was often in my home on Sunday nights for potluck suppers, helped me to truly gain an understanding of the gift that God gave me in my husband. For the short time that God sent Pastor John and his wife to us, I saw my husband take great leaps of faith. I saw him develop into a Godly man, the man that had been hiding inside him. I often remind myself that God's timing is perfect. Until this time, although I had seldom thought about it, God had been growing me and causing me to desire my relationship with Him to be much more, too. It was not only about molding my husband but about molding me. He timed my husband's relationship with the Lord to take off and, unknowingly, I would need to run to keep up with him. God knew this and that’s exactly what I did… run! It was so perfect for over 3 years! I was amazed at how much my husband grew in the Lord during that season!
I have to be honest however, after Kim and John left my husband stayed pumped for awhile then I saw him become angry. Not really in a bad way though, so maybe I should rephrase it and say not angry but “upset” over issues at church. I thought, “Ok this is it, maybe that was all I should hope for.” But you see, it wasn't just my husband that changed and taken a step back, it was me as well. We lost our youth pastor and his wife, and a couple of other families that I dearly loved and was close to. I found myself in a depressed state and I was missing the happiness as well as the gratitude.
After some time, God showed me and was clear about what He was trying to teach me. We, as a married couple, needed to seek him together as well as separately. If I let up on praying and searching through God's word then, guess what, so does other members of the family. God showed me a different side of my husband during that struggle.
Our children had gotten older and our middle daughter went away to seminary. She went there with the thought, “I will not fall in love with someone who wants to be a pastor, because I am not pastor’s wife material.” We are still laughing though, because my daughter has now been married for a year and yes our son-in-law is finishing seminary and going to be a pastor!
When the young man asked for our daughter's hand in marriage, I heard my husband on the phone. He talked very gentle, but he said, “I think I know where you stand with the Lord, but how about you tell me.” He made it very clear, our view on marriage is that it is a lifelong commitment, and if he was not ready for that, then his desire was that he not ask her to marry him.
He came into our room after talking with the young man and said, “We need to pray.” He prayed so beautifully while asking God's guidance on this marriage. At that moment I could see my prayers being answered concerning my husband.
It wasn't long after that wedding that my oldest daughter's boyfriend called to ask the same. My husband had a different conversation but, in ways, much like the first. He again asked about the young man's faith. For you see, my husband had a desire for my girls to marry men of faith. So when you least expect it or think that God may not working in your husband, He shows you that He most certainly is!
The best advice I can offer any wife is to remember WHO is in control! Be the best wife you can be, pray and continue YOUR walk with the Lord. He will bless you and your marriage. Remember the words in 1 Peter 4:8, "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of Sins.” We are, after all, all sinners. No one is perfect in marriage. We need to seek God while remembering His teachings on love and marriage are sometimes not exactly the same as the way we view things and they don’t always happen in our time but in HIS.
Thanks so much to our friend, Alice, for being transparent and real with us. She is definitely following her Father’s command to pour what she has learned into the hearts of younger women just starting out. You are a jewel my friend!
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