Sunday, September 9, 2018

Doing him good...

Many years ago Proverbs 31:11-12 stamped itself on my heart and mind, birthing a desire to fulfil that role in my day to day life as a wife and homemaker. With regularity this verse comes to mind as, I am sure, a prompt from the Holy Spirit to stop and consider whether I am indeed fulfilling that desire.

At times I rejoice because there’s a certainty in my soul of a good attitude and daily loving care being offered to my beloved man…but sometimes there is a check in my spirit to examine more closely the cracks which have begun to appear in my character.

I knew that living this out would not be easy because of my own humanity with its pride, selfishness and numerous other character failings, but also because my husband is not perfect and came into our marriage with his own strengths, weaknesses and rough edges. After all, marriage is often a series of balancing acts when two quite different individuals make a commitment to live ‘as one’ for life.

Marriage is a page by page story you write from the heart, moment by moment decisions and choices that will build the union stronger or tear it apart until only shreds remain. Over the past 27 years my husband and I have faced more valleys that mountaintops, faced crises which according to statistics tear apart more couples that draw them closer, but here we are, more committed, more loved, than ever before.

You see, many times over those years we've been pulling in opposite directions, not walking in our God given roles, seeking to be the one who was right and to have our own way. There are many tears, sorrows, losses and grief scattered along the highways and byways of this marriage, but I made a decision when Proverbs 31:11-12  stamped itself on my heart to always let him have the last word, make the big decisions, and to be held responsible before God for those choices and directions.

We stayed committed. 
We chose to forgive. 
We learned to listen to each other’s point of view and really hear what was being said.
I show him genuine respect and he loves me as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25-33), and always takes into consideration my thoughts before making a big decision.

When dissention threatened our peace of mind or our relationship we sought Jesus to show us a better way, and often it would be Proverbs 31:11-12 which the Lord would bring to mind again for me and I always took it to heart.
 Honestly, the teaching in those two verses has led me through seasons of pruning, planting, blooming, and hibernation (especially when my views had been totally warped by selfishness) They have changed me for the better and will keep changing me as the years go by.

“The heart of her husband safely trusts her,
So he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil all the days of her life”

I love my man, and therefore I want his heart to safely trust me.
I want him to have no lack of gain.
I want to do him good and not evil all the days of my life. 
So I take one day at a time and praise God for the opportunity to be that wife, knowing there are days I'll fail and days I'll soar. The most important thing is that I keep this close to my heart and do my utmost to live it out. 

Marriage is the relationship above all else which needs the most work, the most love, the most compassion, the most forgiveness, the most humility - and for most of us it will be a relationship which will last for many decades until the Lord takes one of us home.

Now, it's not my place to stand over my man and critique his husbandliness, that's something he and God work on together, though there have been occasions when I wanted to point the finger in his direction (and did) to my disappointment, but God is watching me be a wife, so that's the role I try and keep firmly in mind when different views arise. 

Taking our eyes off what we perceive to be our husband's weaknesses or failings and putting them firmly on what WE need to be, what WE need to change, how WE should respond, is God's way. (Matthew 7:3-5)

So have I given this marriage the time and prayer and care it needs?
I have to ask myself this on a regular basis and that's a good thing because only by honestly examining my role as a wife can I improve our marriage relationship so that it will last the distance; after all, Mr E is my best friend, lover and champion, and most definitely worth the effort.

I pray the Lord pours out a great blessing upon your marriage and widens your understanding within it that you may gain an increase of love, joy, respect and fellowship with Christ.



Phil Poggeaux said...

We always say "do what's right for the marriage" and in that way, our marriage is greater than either of our individual selves.

At the end of the day, love is a daily choice.

Suzan said...

My marriage failed and I was the one who walked away. I no longer felt physically safe. It I say life's hugest regret because I still feel I could have done more. It is beautiful to read this post that is not sugar coated but filled with sensible and God given advice. God bless you both.

Erica said...

You really are a God given inspiration to me and I thank God for that. We too have been thtough many trials and tribulations that could have torn us apart but this year, in August we have been married for 40 years and I thank the Lord for a truly honourable man. Thank you for your honesty, its something we all need to take to heart.

Anonymous said...

Just love the new word 'husbandliness'. Can't find it in the dictionary!

barcord said...

Susan. God knows your heart and your situation more than anyone. Sometimes there is no option but to step away. It is not the easy option by any means. God Bless you and keep you as you journey onward.

Sondra said...

This was truly beautiful and nicely put into words! In this day and age of "me" and "selfie," it's so easy to focus on our own wants and needs, rather than what God wants for us. Thanks for sharing!

Mandy Currie said...

Hello Jenny, I thoroughly enjoyed today's post. My hubby and I have been married 27 years as well. We too have been through our ups and downs, this year has been a difficult one but we're still here. Thank you for the constant inspiration, the reminder to always love. God bless you Regards Mandy xx

Farm Quilter said...

Everything that goes into a marriage is a choice...and when two people choose to work together with God as their center, I think their walk is just a little easier because He is there with His wisdom given to us in the Bible. You are walking the road God has set before you, not smooth because there are some rough places in all our lives that need to worn away to reveal that which is hidden beneath. Thank you for reminding us of our center and what really ultimately matters as we go through our daily lives.

Joyful said...

Thank you for sharing these scriptures. I too strive to be a Proverbs 31 women. What a difference putting Christ first in a marriage makes.

Susan said...

An excellent thought to keep front and center. Thank you for the reminder, even now. =)

Jocelyn said...

Beautiful. Thank you!

Jackie said...

Hi, Jenny, As always you are an inspiration. I so look forward to your letters, because your words come from your heart and reach my heart. I often share what I have read with others because I feel they, too, canbe blessed by your words. My husband and I celebrated our 54th wedding anniversary on Sept. 1. They have not always been easy years, but because we loved our Lord and each other we worked even harder to smooth rough patches and to learn from our mistakes. As I see him struggle with his health, now, I pray that he can find joy in just the simple things in life. Reading, family and friends and of course, his constant companion, his bassett hound. Thanks, Jenny! You are a blessing!

Allie said...

Wise words indeed - I too set the Proverbs 31 woman as my example!

Angie in SoCal said...

Bless you, Jenny for your wise and faithful thoughts. We'll be celebrating our 50th this coming November and keep the Lord always before us to help us on the way.

slowerlowermama said...

Hi Jackie,
Congratulations on your 54 years of marriage -- what an accomplishment. My hubby and I celebrated our 50th on August 31. Wishing you many more years together.

slowerlowermama said...

Hi Angie,
I am blown away that so many of us are celebrating 50+ wedding anniversaries. God has really blessed our lives.
Enjoy your special day.

Kim said...

Good words...again. Having gone through some good and some tough times with my husband of 36 years, I can attest to the need to be humble and put the other person first. God gives us the strength to do this even though our sinful flesh screams out against it. Keep sharing the good word.

KingsailK said...

LOVELY Jenny ,I too am married 27years in December!and love him more th a n ever,we always pray and read the Bible before going to bed each night,and when we are away from each other we do it over the phone or Skype
.Blessings Mary-Lou