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A Word with You - Jan. 26, 2010

  • 2010 Jan 26


The Noise of Neglect

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Okay, let's face it, I'm mechanically challenged. Oh, I can take care of the basics on a car, but if it's beyond "A, B, C," I need outside help. Sometimes your car starts talking to you, making these strange sounds, and doing these strange things. I've noticed those things don't go away by themselves. Over time, those noises get louder; those strange things that it does come more often. Sometimes, it's just natural - just like us. You know, cars get old, parts start wearing out. But sometimes that noise and trouble can be avoided.

When you fail to maintain your car, when you neglect that buggy, it's going to start making some strange noises and doing some strange things. So do people; especially if the people is a woman who has committed her life to a man she married. If she starts making strange noises and doing some strange things, the cause may well be that silent destroyer called neglect.

Maybe there's a man listening today who's been wondering, "What's the deal with my wife? She's becoming more stressed, more shrill, more negative, more hostile, more of a nag. Something's obviously wrong with the girl." Or maybe not. Maybe she's showing the signs of neglect of a husband who promised his life to her but has little or no time for her, to really hear her heart - to find out where she's hurting or anxious inside, to find out what she really needs. There are few things more heartbreaking and more hurtful to a woman than an inattentive husband. And even though I assume you love her, that inattentive, distracted husband might be you. And the malfunctions and strange sounds are really the result of your neglect.

God makes very clear the kind of treatment and priority He expects a man to give to the woman he married. In 1 Peter 3:7, our word for today from the Word of God, He says: "Husbands...be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." The New Living Translation says, "Give honor to your wives. Treat them with understanding as you live together."

Look at the action words: consider her - take her needs and feelings into consideration. Treat her with respect. That means listening to her; regarding her as someone important. She's supposed to be, after all, the most important voice on earth to you. Are some other voices drowning hers out? And treat her like a fellow-heir in God's family. We're talking royal treatment here. How much does this matter to God? He says if you don't treat her like this, don't expect Him to answer your prayers!

Could it be this woman you committed to cherish and honor is feeling ignored, marginalized and unheard? Maybe you've been trying to avoid conflict by not communicating with her on difficult subjects. All that does is postpone and intensify the conflict and leave her feeling frozen out. And it's getting harder for her to trust you.

It's in your power to change it, though, to put your wife back where you once had her, in the center of your affections, in the center of your attention. It begins by making it a commitment to give her all of you - your undivided attention - at least once a day. Don't let others push her out, leaving her with your leftovers. She deserves your best. You promised.

The woman you married is a flower that can flourish with your care or wither with your neglect. She needs you. She was wired by God to need you. And you need her. Tell her that. Tell her you're sorry for so often running past her instead of running to her. And tell her, "Honey, I'm home," because you've been away too long.

© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.

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