Giving Grace to a Good Man
- Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Recently I read a thought-provoking article on Crosswalk.com, “Husbands, Love Your Wives More Than Seminary.” It is a powerful challenge to excellent men to love their wives. But I want to look at the flip side and peek into our role as wives – particularly wives of great men in ministry.
Being a wife to a good man is a privilege -- not a right. I see it as a high calling to have the opportunity to be married to a man of God, and it is worth most any sacrifice.
Sacrifice of Perspective
Sometimes we need to look at the long-range goals on the hearts of our husbands before we voice complaints about our current circumstances. Early in ministry, we went without a car to get Bill through his bachelor's degree which would allow us to get to seminary. We rode bikes everywhere and with each push of the pedal, Bill’s heart of affection grew toward me.
In this season of famine, we also got to see our youth group pray and ask God to provide a car. The kids even gave us a bumper sticker that read, "Expect a Miracle." The miracle came about six months later. The family of a senior woman who passed away sold us the car for the price of a brake job: $68.74. That season of sacrifice followed by a miraculous blessing prepared us for a life of trusting God together. So far, the sweet, exciting adventure has lasted 31 years.
I can’t tell you how often I hear women married to good, godly men complain about how hard their men are working and how they, “just don’t have enough time” with their husbands. I respond, “Girl, get a grip; he has a job!” It's also tempting for wives to complain about the mess his remodeling makesof the house, or moan about how much room his tools take up, or whine about all the car parts spread about from the auto he is rebuilding.
One day, a friend and I were comparing notes on the realities of being married to a hard-working guy. Her garage was packed with several antique cars all in various stages of repair. Meanwhile, the home Bill had built for our family still lacked floorboards and a few doors were missing molding. Our home needs just never felt as pressing as the crises and struggles of those in the church where we ministered.
We both stopped mid-sentence and smiled, “But this inconvenience is a small price to pay for a marriage to a really great guy.” Both our husbands are kind, compassionate, diligent leaders at church and in community, terrific fathers and incredible lovers and providers. A few car parts or some undone household tasks were suddenly put in their proper perspective by the Spirit.
Sacrifice of Praise
People often ask us how our kids turned out as adults who feel positively about God and church. This is a direct correlation to a decision I made towards my husband’s calling in ministry.
Bill has always placed me “as the first sheep in his flock,” so the kids and I always are on the top of his “To Do” list. However, soon after taking over the senior pastorate and jumping into the daunting task of hammering a home together for our growing family, my amazing guy found himself short on time for the more typical romantic gestures I had become accustomed to. One day, when I was complaining to God about having to share my amazing man with all the needy in our community, God reminded me of this verse from Matt 15: 26 – 28
"He (Jesus) replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.”
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