Thursday, March 8, 2012

Marriage (#3: Be a Listener and a Doer!)

I have been neck deep in the book of James lately.  Not only has our community group been going through it, but I have almost completed Beth Moore's study on it.  Both have been so convicting!  If you ever think you have arrived as a Christian, go sink your teeth into what James has to say.  Because, apparently, if our actions don't match what we perceive to believe, then there is a chance we don't really believe at all.  "Separate faith and works and you get the same thing:  a corpse."  James 2:26 MSG  (ouch.)

James tells us to not just be listeners, but doers!  The MSG version says this in James 1:22, "Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other.  Act on what you hear!"

I think this passage can apply to marriages!  Many times, I will listen to Eric, only to be thinking in the back of my head that I am going to do it my way anyway.  I am willing to listen to his perspective on how something needs to be done, but then I mentally cast off his authority and think I know best.  I can tell you that my way is doomed for failure from the start simply because I took myself out from under his umbrella protection of authority.

We don't just need to listen to our men, we need to act on what they say!

Whether we like it or not, our men simply are the authority in our homes.  It is just a God-ordained means of blessing and the sooner we recognize it, the sooner we can have peace and joy.  Even if your husband is not walking with the Lord, he is still the authority of the home and has so much to offer you.  (I should interject and say that abuse or illegal activity has no grounds for blessing and you should flee the situation and get counsel as soon as possible.)

I can't tell you the number of times that I have to remind myself to just turn over my questions to Eric.  Even last night, I was wrestling with whether or not to buy school class pictures for the boys.  It was money we didn't really want to spend, but I needed some perspective.  He pointed me in the right direction and wham-bam, stress fled.

What I am coming to understand is that as soon as I can get a "needed-wisdom-topic" in front of Eric, the better because it relieves me of the stress of wondering what the right answer is.  I know that he is the authority of our home and he answers to God directly.  That just leaves me in a state of rest, yay!

Here is one example of what happened when I didn't listen to Eric.  A few years back, we were trimming our azaleas with electric hedge trimmers.  He told me that he was going inside, but to just finish the hedge we were on and then quit.  I don't think he gave a "Why," but he said the other azaleas could wait.  Well, once I get in work-mode, I am ready to get it all done.  So, I finished my one hedge and pranced myself over to the area where Eric said could wait.  I had almost finished the forbidden area when I dropped the electric trimmers.  They grazed my finger and left a nasty gash.  If I hadn't had gloves on, then I imagine it would have been a whole lot worse. 

This story has always stuck with me.  As I was rinsing the blood away under cold water, I heard the Holy Spirit say that I should have listened to my husband.  I thought I knew best in this situation, but God was teaching me that what Eric said was best.  My "hedge" of protection was to not just listen to what he said, but do as he said.  When I willingly came out from under his authority and proceeded my own way, I opened myself up to attack because I was no longer under his protection.

If you have never turned to your husband for advice, I want you to surrender to fear and pride and give it a whirl.  The art of listening to our husbands and then doing as they say will provide a blessing richer than anything ever experienced.


Mark and Cari said...

Thank you so much for encouraging us wives with your wisdom and experience and humbling yourself in such a way that God can use you and your story to reach out to other women out there!

Anonymous said...

You're on a roll Becke' with much needed advice for women today! Thanks for sharing!