We all sat chattering on about various tidbits in our filled-up lives, knitting needles faintly heard bellow the chatter and hum of the well lit cafe. Then one 30-or-40 something begins to explain, somewhat miffed, how her husband decided to clean the carpets with the lavender carpet cleaner [rolling eyes and shaking head at the absurdity] she continues... now the dog's allergies are acting up and hubby went to the vet to get the steroids for the dog [deep irritated sigh, face drawn down in continued brooding] and now he is going to clean the carpet again, she finishes, shaking her head in obvious disgust.
I'm shocked. My needles freeze in the middle of the new and difficult stitch we were learning and I just gawk Lord, give me words, I need to be the salt and the light. Because all I heard was, 'Hubby forgot he can't use the lavender carpet cleaner and so the dog is sick but bless the good hubby's heart for picking up the meds and deciding to re-clean the carpet to get the lavender out.' What I finally offered in a genuinely upbeat tone was, "I am so glad my husband cleans the carpets because I hate cleaning them. It is such a blessing that he likes to!"
You could have heard a pin drop... even in the midst of the noisy cafe.
Last week I talked about the importance of girlfriends to having a good marriage but one thing I left out (and thought I would tackle this week) is our language with our girlfriends.
10 A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 11 The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 12 She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life... 26 She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
- Proverbs 31:10-12, 26
Wives, I call you to stand firm in your faith and honor your husband with your words to others. If his heart is to trust you, it is because he should know you are careful with his image in the eyes of others... that you are doing him good and not harm. Our words are heavy and when we swing them around... people can get hurt. Our husbands can get hurt.
Girlfriends are for girl chat, not man bash.
Girlfriends are for hobbies, not haranguing your man.
Girlfriends are for chic flicks and hot tea, not roasting your hubby at the stake.
Girlfriends are for many things... but they are not a peg board to pin all your hang-ups with your hubby on.
Can we share about our hubbies? Sure... but we must honor them in how we share. If we are angry... it is time for prayer (that includes a prayer to resist the urge to pick up the phone and tell someone what your husband just did/continues to do that is driving you crazy!) Remember... we aren't perfect either and when the table is turned, we are hoping and praying and wanting his grace!
I prayed over my husband for 10 years. Silly pictures like the ones above (and below) would have never happened in those days... he was much to serious and stern. But, I chose to honor him with my words... even though, in human thinking, he didn't deserve it. Kind of like, how, in human thinking we don't deserve God's grace... yet he sent Jesus to die on a cross for us. In all our warty-sinfulness, God loved on us anyway. Waiting for us to turn around. Don't we owe it to Him to at least try the same grace with our husbands and be careful what and how we say things to them and to others?
When I did, he saw it.
His heart trusted me.
And eventually, the good I chose to do for God, for him, opened his eyes to the light which saved him.
Wives, honor your husbands in your language to him and to others. It will be the hardest thing you do, the most challenging habit to form... but it will also be the best thing you do and the most wonderful boost to your marriage.
I pray you take the challenge and, even more, I pray your marriage is knitted together with a deeper love, transformed from good to better-from bad to best... God has a plan, trust HIM with your him and let your hearts meet at the foot of the cross... even if you have to wait there a while for your man.
I have felt led to join Courtney at Women Living Well as she challenges wives with the, “Be My Valentine” Marriage Challenge. Join me!
also linking up with: