Only ten years ago I would have thought the magazine Crowned With Silver was “behind the time” and “too old-fashioned” for my tastes. Now, however, I find it a source of nurturing to my God-given feminine role as wife and mother!
When I married my husband 12 years ago, I had no idea what marriage was about. I didn’t know that you each came in with an individual role. I had absolutely no desire to have children, as that would ruin my figure too much. I contemplated divorce after only six months of marriage but knew that this was not God’s will for marriage. I even began to plan ways, in my head, of how I could divorce “biblically” so that I’d be free to remarry! What utter wickedness!! Every time I tried to devise a plan, the Holy Spirit would remind me of my wickedness and cause me to see how utterly unfaithful I was being to the man I vowed to stay married to no matter what.
Even though, at the time, I would never have considered myself a feminist, my worldview had certainly been influenced enough to think like one. I needed help. I went to counseling; the counselor only listened and got paid with no real input. I spoke to many of my trusted girl friends, who encouraged me to divorce, since I wasn’t happy. But the Holy Spirit’s urging was much more compelling than all the wicked, shallow advice I received.
After consistently hearing the Word of God taught and preached, the Lord slowly and carefully began to show me areas in my life that needed some major changing in order to restore my marriage. He caused me to remember testimonies I had heard of broken, seemingly hopeless marriages that God miraculously pieced back together, therefore, confirming to me that He WAS able to restore MY marriage.
He showed me how dominating I was; how I constantly tried to overthrow my husband’s role as head. He showed me how important it was to surround myself with godly women who were not afraid to tell me what I didn’t want to hear. He showed me how I needed to pray continually for my husband and how in those prayers I needed to show genuine thankfulness and gratitude to my Heavenly Father for having given me a husband at all!
Finally, and most importantly, He showed me how I needed to find out from His HOLY WORD what marriage was exactly…how He designed it; what were our roles, how I was to submit to my husband’s headship, etc. He is so gracious and faithful in restoring marriages to anyone that trusts Him and obeys.
All too often, the world does so well to paint pictures of marriages that are “perfect” and that live “happily ever after,” yet God’s intention for marriages is to teach us submission; to serve on another; to show us our individual faults; to accept each other’s views graciously even when we disagree; to die to ourselves daily for God’s glory and honor; to work hard towards loving each other even under the most difficult circumstances. This is all very hard work! Only when we take this challenge of hard work and willingly obey our Father’s instructions do we see the most beautiful, wonderful union take place.
Four years into our marriage, the Lord blessed us with our first child, and now I am pregnant with our fourth! We are excited to see where He will take us in this journey of marriage. We have certainly not arrived. Every day, new challenges occur that are sent our way to teach us something. The most joyful thing about those challenges is that they are sent by a loving, caring Father who knows that we learn best by trials.
“…Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” ~ James 1:2-4
So, I would encourage you to persevere, to love your husbands, love your children, pray for them, find out ways to encourage your husband, show him that you are thankful that God put you together in this life. Keep a watchful eye on your motives; don’t expect anything in return. When you have had bad thoughts about your husband, make a list of things you are thankful for about him. God will honor your efforts with blessings beyond comprehension. He can restore any marriage; no challenge is too difficult for His infinite power.
Finally, I a want to recommend reading about modesty. Many times Christians think that our modern way of dressing has no relevance to the attitude in our heart and that anyone who confronts this issue is only being legalistic. Our outward appearance reflects our heart’s appearance. This is something that must be confronted in the church today.
All glory, honor and power be His,
Note: I originally wrote this piece for the magazine Crowned With Silver (January/February 2002). I wanted to share it here on LAF and on my blog, Ruby In The Rough.