Life is full of hallways - those times between God's closing doors and opening windows. Find Biblical encouragement for your own season of struggle by visiting the blog, stopping by the shop, or subscribing to our members' page. Let's praise Him in the waiting!
A couple of years ago, Jon decided that he wanted to learn to cook. And he wanted me to learn along with him. (That probably gives you an idea of my culinary skills, or, rather, lack thereof. Ahem.) He thought it would be super fun to take one night a week where we would plan out a meal together, watch a zillion Youtube videos on how to prepare it, and give it a try.
It would have been so, so easy to squelch his enthusiasm. I could think of a number of reasons not to pursue this idea. For one, I strongly dislike cooking. We also had limited time and budget for such an endeavor, so I kind of thought, “why even bother?”
For the past couple of days, our Wash His Feet challenge assignments have been hard ones - letting him lead and Biblically confronting him. Today’s may well be just as tough:
Some of us will have a pretty easy time of it today - we have wonderful, Godly spouses who don’t often do things that need to be forgiven and who are quick to seek our forgiveness when they do.
But for others, this assignment is going to be hard. Even among Christian marriages, there are extramarital affairs, secret sins, and other deep-seated issues that aren’t easily forgiven. Sadly, I have seen marriages lost over one spouse’s refusal to forgive the other.
I shared yesterday that I’ve really struggled with speaking up in my marriage (and, really, speaking up in most situations that call for confrontation). I love encouraging people and hate being at odds with anyone, and confronting someone often means risking making someone upset with me.
There will be times in our marriages, however, when the right and Biblical thing is confronting our husbands in love. And that just makes me want to run and hide!
Most women who grow up in church have learned about the Biblical roles where the husband leads and the wife submits. While these are clearly taught in Scripture (see Ephesians 5:21-24 and 1 Corinthians 11:3 if you need a refresher), how to live out these roles can be a little less clear.
In general, I’m a pretty submissive person. I don’t feel so compelled to stick to my personal preferences that I demand my own way. Even so, I still find it difficult at times to submit to Jon’s leadership! I can only imagine that letting your husband lead is even more difficult for those of you who are more dominant and feel strongly about your own preferences.
Have you ever wanted to attend a marriage conference or go on one of those marriage cruises? I know that in the past, I’ve felt bad that Jon and I have never gotten to participate in one of these kinds of events.
Before we get into today’s assignment, I’m going to share a bit of a bombshell here: I don’t think conferences and cruises about marriage are necessary for a happy, Godly marriage. Bigger bombshell: I even think these things can, at times and in certain situations, be detrimental.
In the King James Version of Genesis 2:18, we read, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” The term “help meet” isn’t widely used today, but the concept (according to Google) is that God created a helper for Adam who was suitable for him.
I’m rather intrigued by the thought that Eve was specially created by God to be Adam’s suitable helper. And that concept got me thinking: am I helping Jon in the way that God designed and intended me to do? Are you helping your husband in the same way?
Does your husband have a talent for something or a hobby he enjoys? Are you actively encouraging him to use his gifts or to pursue his interests? If not, you should be! This is an excellent way to serve him.
Yesterday, we talked about encouraging our husbands. Today’s assignment builds on that framework: support him in his interests.
We tend to think of women as the ones who need encouragement. Women often experience a wider range of emotions than men do, and so it makes sense that we might need a bit more lifting up when we’re feeling low. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s how God created us!
But because women often need more encouragement than men, it’s easy to forget that men need to be cheered up and supported occasionally, too. Today’s assignment is to encourage your husband.
Those of you who enjoy organizing and tidying up are going to love today’s assignment! For the rest of us, it might feel like drudgery. Although I enjoy cleaning much more now than I did in the past, it’s never been my favorite thing.
In high school, my room was always a mess. But I figured that once I got to college, I’d keep my dorm room immaculate. When that didn’t happen, I assured myself that when I got married and had my own home, I’d keep it neat as a pin. After that plan failed, I lied to myself that the problem was with the house and not with me; the house was too cold, too old, too dirty, and too lacking in storage space. And while all of those things were true of my first home, the biggest problem was in my bathroom mirror. I just didn’t want to admit it.
Yesterday, we focused specifically on honoring our husbands in front of our kids. Our little ones are with us day in and day out, and they’re the ones most impacted by how we honor (or don’t) our spouses.
But it’s also vitally important to honor our husbands in front of others, too. We need to think about the way we treat our husbands in front of girlfriends, other couples, and even our inlaws. Are we speaking highly of him and encouraging others to think highly of him for the purpose of building up the Body of Christ? Or are we picking on him, always bringing up his faults, and muttering about our frustrations with him?