Friday, December 19, 2008

Loving the Unloveable

Laine's Letter

Dear Homemakers of God,
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God." Titus 2:3-5

We have been talking about loving our husbands. What about when your husband is not loveable? How does one go about loving him? I, like many other wives, have had to deal with that. I have found over the years that as I have asked the LORD to let me have His eyes to see my husband, then I saw him with much more love than I had before. For many, many times that man of mine has upset me like no other. Years ago I use to refer to him as " a woodpecker" pecking the back of my head to death. He always seemed so very hard to please. And I was definitely not respectful in my frustration. I don't think of him like that anymore. What happened?

Well, as I prayed for my man to change, guess who changed? Yes, the LORD changed me first. Now I know that is not a new story to you, but it is a common way the LORD deals with us. Why? I think the LORD knows every day there are going to be trials producing His Patience in our lives; so the trials are not what He's going to stop. They are producing "gold" for Him. What He's going to work out in us is the way we respond to those trials. And for me, my husband could produce major trials in my life. He just seemed to expect more than I could give. My response was anything but peace.

However, as I began to spend time with the LORD every morning absorbing His Word, I started to notice a change in my attitude toward Art. I started to notice that the things that use to "set me off" were now making me laugh. He didn't know how to take it at first and would just look at me with a lop-sided grin. Pretty soon he was laughing along with me. For I was able to show him through my own peace and joy that many of the things he was upset about were really quite small. And if he did get excited about something, I would tell him this must be a "passionate" subject for him. I stopped being mad at him and learned to be passionate with him. Smile.

And where I wouldn't apologize before, if I felt I was right on a certain subject, I now went to him and told him I was sorry. Even if I didn't think he was right. For I realized the peace between us was more important than the issue of who was right or wrong. Usually, a few days later, I would be able to get my point across in a much more peaceful manner and often have him agree with me. I will never forget the day he expressed shock at my coming to him for forgiveness. He said he'd never would have believed it. Pride was something I needed to lay at the foot of the cross along with my reputation for always being right.

I learned that talking to my husband was really an art. Many might say, "An art? What are you talking about?" Well, there is timing in everything. And when I was first married I would blurt out the first thing that came into my head in the heat of the moment. Many times that set off an argument. Or I would be sure I got my point across, no matter what. I learned that I needed to hold my words back (I call it "swallowing them whole") and explain myself more clearly at another time or in another way after much prayer. Let me give you an example: My husband was just telling me last weekend that he thought it would be a good thing for our teenager to sit with his friends in church. I told him that I didn't think so as we are together as a family which I like and he can sit with his friends in Sunday school. I began citing all my reasons: they might not pay attention, pass notes, fool around, etc. Art told me that it was time for him to sit with his friends and that he had made the decision. So I dropped it. With Art. Not with the LORD.

When you don't agree with your husband, take it up with his Head: the LORD. Many times I have asked the LORD to talk to him or to intervene and have watched the LORD do what I could not. Sometimes the LORD allowed my husband to do what I didn't think was best, and I could rest in the LORD's decision through him. This particular incident changed this morning when my husband told me that the kids on Wednesday night fool around too much and don't listen to the speaker. I told Art that is why I would like Quincy to sit with us in church as we know where he is and are assured he is listening and taking notes, and we can be together as a family. He nodded in agreement. The LORD worked out what I could not. Such peace resting in the LORD Jesus Christ.


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