When I was a young wife, my best friend had an unsaved husband. She always reminded me of a queen. She has a certain presence about her, in addition to her beauty, poise, and intelligence. She was a pastor's daughter, raised very religiously and with high standards. But when she was seventeen, she crossed paths with a young man of charm, the first guy to ever show interest in her. She "fell in love" at first sight, and they ran away and married. She soon learned that her husband was hardworking, when he worked. But, he had several bad habits which included use of tobacco in various forms, cursing, screaming at her when he was mad, and pornography. By the time I met her, she had come to repentance and was trying to make a go of this unequal marriage. Through God's grace and her growing fear of the Lord, she was able to live out the "love" chapter of 1 Corinthians 13:1.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (KJV) 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.When he was rude or insensitive, she did not get puffed up with righteous indignation. When he was mean and cussed at her, she was kind and suffered long. She bore with his sloppiness and believed he would bring home the paycheck instead of spending it on the way home. Most of the time, she was able to endure all things with cheer and thanksgiving.
When she came to me for advice, I hid my sick feelings and told her what the Bible said, (not what I felt) which was, "To honor God, you must honor your husband". Every day I felt as though I were watching a heavenly battle, and God was winning. Other than his use of pornography, the vice that repelled her the most was his physical uncleanness. He often required "things" of her that were repulsive because he had not bathed. I felt truly ill when I thought of her in this situation. Yet she submitted and responded to him. Of course, she would tell him how happy she would be and how happy he would be, if he would bathe. She believed 1 Peter 3:1-2,
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.It wasn't going to church or having a quiet time with God each day that won him. She won him by responding to him with honor and affection. It never occurred to her to shame him or impress him with her "religion", which was not real. And she did not honor her husband because she was raised to honor him. It was a day-to-day miracle for her. Witnessing her experience built faith in me like nothing ever had before. I had seen thousands of people saved during the "Jesus movement" of the sixties. I had seen devils cast out, and I had watched people healed of terrible diseases, but to see an eighteen-year-old pregnant girl walk before God in pure obedience to Him was truly a miracle of miracles.
Her husband worked all night at a factory. All his fellow workers were drunks and whoremongers. One early morning near closing time, some of the men started complaining about their wives, telling each other how lazy, no account, dishonest, disloyal, cheap, sorry, fat, and ugly their wives were. My friend's husband, Jim, said nothing. Finally, one of the men asked Jim about his wife. It was the first time he had ever really thought about his wife in comparison to the other men's wives, and he was suddenly deeply thankful, "Oh, I am not going to tell you about my wife, because it would make you all mad." The men insisted, so he told them, "She's beautiful, with long pretty hair. She is always so sweet; she will do anything for me. She thinks I am one hot-dog." They all were highly irritated and thought he must be telling a big lie. He told them, "When I go home this morning, she will be prettied-up and cooking my breakfast, and, she will meet me at the door with a very sexy kiss." Since all the men had already given descriptions of their wives sleeping in and never fixing their breakfast, they simply would not believe Jim. After a heated conversation with a great deal of cursing and swearing, Jim boasted, "I bet I could take all you guys home for breakfast and she would cheerfully fix you the best breakfast you ever ate - and all with a smile." "No way," they said. After more bragging, he ended up taking five of them home with him that morning, without calling to warn his wife.
Now, his unsuspecting young wife at home knew nothing of their argumentative conversation and had no idea that her husband's integrity was at stake. The Bible says,
A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. (Proverbs 12:4)This young woman was about to become either a crown to her husband or rottenness. Unworthy though he was, he knew and trusted her. She had earned his trust.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. (Proverbs 31:11)(Trustworthy: dependable, worthy of confidence, reliable, honest, deserving)
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life. (Proverbs 31:12)
Constant in her love, unshaken, unmoved, faithful, ceaseless, enduring, unchanging, loyal, permanent)
At 6:30 that morning, she met him at the door with a radiant face of love, her hair freshly brushed, and a pretty dress on. But instead of one smelly tobacco-chewing man, there were six-five of them looking rather embarrassed and apprehensive. Although surprised, she responded with delight, "Oh, sweetheart, I see you brought your friends home." In front of these men, this statement in itself was a great victory and an honor to Jim. He ushered his co-workers into his home and in a gruff manner said to his wife, "Fix breakfast for my friends." This was asking a lot, since those men would eat all the food she had bought for the next week's breakfasts. Jim made a poor-man's wage, and he was not careful with his money. What was left was hers to make do. She went into the kitchen and prayed quietly, "Lord, you know I have to feed six men this morning. Please help me." She cooked all the bacon, every egg, fried all the potatoes, and baked a huge pan of biscuits, plus, she made "country milk gravy." Her whole week's worth of breakfast supplies she graciously served on a snowy white tablecloth. The dirty men sat in strained, embarrassed silence as she served them. It was Jim's crowning moment. All the men knew instinctively that nothing between them would ever be the same. Jim's wife did treat him with honor. He was different from them. The men ate, then got up and filed out. They must have noted that Jim never thanked his smiling wife.
He would never again be just one of the guys. They would always feel he was just a little smarter; he wasn't the jerk they thought him to be. The next night at work, the men were still subdued. She had honored him when it meant the most-in front of the guys. She honored him because she believed God and chose to obey God by honoring a man who did not deserve her honor. She put down her feelings of revulsion, hurt, and of being used, and put on a chaste conversation. She was a crown to her husband.
Can you see how her chaste conversation would win her husband-any husband? Gradually, over the years, he came to treat her with respect. Her queenly manner made him see himself in a different light. The other guys were married to a bunch of dirty, clamorous, partying, base women, but his wife had class. He came to think of Christians as a more worthy class of people-kind, longsuffering, loving, respectful, giving, honest, and frugal. What a testimony she had to the world! The rough and repulsive things fell away one by one, changing to loving kindness, not because she demanded it, but because she won him to herself by her chaste conversation. Even as an unsaved man, he came to honor her because she was so gracious. When he looked into her eyes, he saw a man better than what he knew himself to be. Love made him want to be worthy of her belief in him. The moral of this story is that 1 Peter 3 is true. By treating her husband like a king, she became a queen whom God used to win him to Jesus Christ. The "goodness of God leads you to repentance"; so does the goodness of a good wife.
Years later, he finally came to true repentance and made Jesus the Lord of his life. When we went back to visit them recently, their children were all grown, and he was praising the Lord and rejoicing in God's goodness to his family.
Come back for Part Two of this excerpt next Wednesday God willing.
In Dominica the book can be purchased at the CLC bookstore in Roseau. For all others you can use this link:
|Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage Glorious|
By Debi Pearl / No Greater Joy Ministries