By Contributing Writer, Terry Covey
Let’s Start With The Negatives
We’re all used to getting advice that offers us a quick answer–the “positives” to work towards. We grasp at them like there’s no tomorrow! “Just tell me what to do and I’ll finally be….” Yet perhaps it is best to begin at the very beginning – with the negatives, the errors, and the sin in our life.
But…those negatives, those dark places, are not a cup of tea to visit! They remind us of our weakness, our sin, our lack. And yet, if we let them, they can inspire us, or yank us, as the case may be, out of our stupor and into change.
I’m here to let you in on a secret of mine (okay…if you live in my home or know me well, it’s not a secret). One of my negatives is that I’m not a great wife – not even close! Okay, I said it! Now, if that bothers you, you can move onto a post with the “to do’s” for being the best wife – but you might just be leaving the “keys to the Kingdom” behind! I know because I’ve tried it that way.
We Can Find The Keys
The keys to the Kingdom are found in Christ. And Christ can only be found through repentance. And repentance can only be born from humility. And that’s right where I hunger to be!
How does this relate to our husbands? Humility takes knowing and admitting our own weakness and sin (not our husband’s!) The ‘to do’s’ in our Christian life and marriage must stem from our humility and the knowledge of our own lack; not from humbling our husband or revealing his lack. And certainly not from the long list of “shoulds” we’ve been patterned to adopt so we can feel like we’ve arrived. Beware of those “shoulds.” They are what caused Jesus to rebuke the Pharisees! That may hurt, but God desires pure motives.
How We Women Can Drip!
A great book I’m reading, Capture His Heart by Lysa TerKeurst, is one of dozens of marriage books I’ve read over the years. In this book, Lysa tells the story of leaky plumbing she once had. She kept drying it up, only to have the wet mess return. Finally, her husband turned off the water supply and proceeded to fix it.
Here’s the point that reaches me to the core. This is where it gets painful. She explains how we women “drip.” I know you know the verse…
The contentions of a wife are a constant dripping. Proverbs 19:13
Read Lysa’s version of how she, as a wife, was like that leaky faucet to her husband, Art. And how he ‘fixed’ it!
Each time I started dripping, Art was trying to quickly clean up the mess. But the dripping continued and he was getting weary with the constant return of the puddles. Finally, he started to shut down and tried to turn off the water supply. He felt he couldn’t say anything right, so the safest thing to do would be to not talk at all. The water was eroding the foundation of our marriage. Time to call the plumber. We indeed had problems. Capture His Heart pg 81
Any resemblance to your marriage? It’s to the tee in my story. Pray with me that we won’t cause our husbands to shut down.
Now let’s look at the other side of this marriage issue. While we read Proverbs 19:13, our husbands are reading 1 Peter 3:7, where God calls them to “live with their wives in an understanding way.”
My husband will jump through all sorts of hoops to try to understand me. But I’m sure you’ll attest to the fact that we often confuse ourselves! We are deeply spiritual, intensely loving, sincerely seeking to please, while at the same time, we’re hormonal, demanding, and needing desperately to be accepted and loved by our man. Add to that, we come packaged in one curvy, beautiful, and sweet smelling package. Now if that wouldn’t confuse a man, I don’t know what would!
So our job? We need to help our husbands understand our multifaceted nature–and offer a bit of grace in the process.
So what do these ‘negatives’ teach us? How can we turn them into ‘positives’?
- Seek God for help to stop ‘dripping’. It will be deeply personal for each one of us.
- Soul search for ways to stop all the ‘shoulds’ – plus stop trying to get our husband to get it all together!
- Help our husbands understand us (my husband reminds me that he’s not a mind reader), not convict them of how non-understanding they are.
- And most importantly – accept our lack, those negatives in our life. Don’t be afraid of them and shove them aside. Use them to learn what God wants of us. Let them humble and bring us to repentance.
I’m ready. Are you?