Wednesday, November 19, 2014

But I NEED It!

"But I need it!" How many of us have heard that cry from children in a store, in our kitchen, even from our own heart?

How do we respond when our husband asks us to do something that has neutral consequences? Sometime we grumble (honestly, we do). Sometimes we procrastinate or forget.  But what if doing what he asks leaves me in a bind or has negative consequences. What if it stands between me and my needs?

"If you make a reasonable appeal and your husband insists, you do it."

I realize this flies in our face like un-American pie. I sound like someone from the dark ages who lives in a cave...alone. To answer your questions, yes, I live in America today and I am married to a real man.

Lets' face it, our primary problem in giving in to a husband's request is pride. "What am I, chopped liver?" No, of course not. But God designed marriage with a leader and a follower (before sin entered the world--not after). Living as a helper/follower is within the planned bounds of perfection. Pride is a result of the Fall. There's nothing wrong with following.

Second, you and I don't see the purpose in suffering as the result of our husband's choices. If he looks like a fool, we feel the fool. If he leads our family into debt, we all suffer. It's true. But as we pick at him, complain and correct, we're not being followers. Not only are we failing to do our job, we're frustrating his, making it more difficult. How often has your husband thrown in the towel because you had an objection? It's not long before a man loses heart and gives up altogether. This is the choice: live out a negative consequence in a God-honoring way or evade negative consequences with selfishness, hatred and discord.

The third problem we face is need. Gritty, grisly going without. I don't like that very much. In fact, I want what I want when I want it and, in our time and culture, there's very little I do without. At the point of going without, my heart says, "Doesn't he know I need this? If he only understood....if he could only see _____ (again, fill in the blank)!" In studying Genesis, I discovered that need is okay. It's not bad and doesn't require an immediate fix--God knows my need. He will make a way for my needs to be met. He even allowed "need" in the Garden of Eden.

Where? In chapter 2 God created the animals and paraded them before Adam to be named. Male and female, one after another after another. "But for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him" (Gen. 2:20). What a wonder. God allowed Adam to see his need, but it was need without anxiety, care, anger, and discontent. This was need in absolute trust. And God miraculously met that need with Eve. "It is very good."

Your man will most likely have to see your need before thinking about how to fill it. And that's okay. God knows. He really will meet your need. He sees and hears and answers. In the meantime, be a helper and follower with prayerful dependence. God Himself has promised to be your portion, to meet your needs, and be your all in all. You will grow in Christlikeness--and so will your husband!

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.

In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.

You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.

To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit; not returning evil for evil or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (1 Peter 2-3:9)

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