Safe Haven for Husbands

michalWhere would that be, a safe haven for husbands? Well… it should be with his wife: Proverbs 31:11

The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

The heart of her husband trusteth in her, And he shall have no lack of gain. (ASV)

The heart of her husband has faith in her, and he will have profit in full measure. (BBE: Basic Bible in English)

The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain of need of [dishonest] spoil. (AMPC: Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

There it is! But what does it look like to have a wife in whom he can trust, have faith in, believe or rely upon? Sadly, I can tell you about the opposite from my own experience. 😦 A husband does not feel safe to trust his wife because…

  • She expects the impossible from him. He doesn’t make enough money. She might not say it right out in plain words, but her complaints about not having this or that say it loud and clear.
  • She does not trust his leadership. She questions every decision right down to the salad dressing he chooses! On a bigger scale, she argues with him over major and minor issues presenting possibly the most deadly situation for raising godly, secure children: a divided front!
  • She doesn’t listen to him. He could NEVER share his heart, his hurt, or his struggles in fear that she will either ridicule him, make light of his difficulties, or explain why he’s not thinking right.
  • She WILL NOT FOLLOW. Even though she complains that he doesn’t lead, often it is the outcome of years of failed following on the wife’s part. If you will not follow in the little things, what makes you think he will lead in the difficult places?
  • She does not share his dreams or vision. If he would ever decide to share his ideas, she looks at him with one eyebrow raised. Words are not necessary.

When David brought the ark into Jerusalem, he was excited—very excited and for obvious reasons. His last attempt had ended in failure and the death of Uzzah (2 Samuel 6:6, 7). For three months, the ark is housed by Obededom and God blesses him.  Meanwhile, David is getting his heart right and makes preparations to move the ark properly—according to God’s law. His heart is clean and his actions are right. He is…

  • Acting with gladness (2 Sam. 6:12)
  • Offering sacrifices every six steps! (v. 13)
  • Dancing “before the LORD with all his might” (v. 14) [NOTE: The film King David (1985) really gets this scene COMPLETELY wrong! They make his dance to be sensual. There is no place for sensuality in worship and it goes against the grain of David’s character to portray it as such. –just my opinion!)

Michal, David’s wife, looks out the window, sees David “leaping and dancing before the LORD” and she despises him (v. 16). There are so many reasons for her to be out of sorts. Their culture was so different from ours, but her words to David when he comes home to bless his household are classic bitterness.

Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! (v. 20)

Will David go to her again? No. His words are caustic and cruel as well. The chapter ends by saying that Michal never has children. She is not even referred to as David’s wife but as the daughter of Saul. How sad!

As wives, we could certainly side with Michal and list a dozen “yes, but he…” We are not married to perfect husbands and our husbands do not have perfect wives, but when trust is gone, the cornerstone of any marriage crumbles!

Love him! Listen to him! If he has not felt safe with you, dear wife, rebuild that trust little by little and watch your marriage flourish! This might be very hard for you depending on your situation, but try it—what do you have to lose? Remember, Beauty and the Beast:

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends
Unexpectedly

Just a little change
Small to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared

Beauty and the beast

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before and ever just as sure as the sun will rise

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast

Songwriters: Howard Elliott Ashman / Alan Menken

Beauty & The Beast lyrics © Walt Disney Music Company

 

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I love conflict!

ID-100122418Just thought I’d get your attention! Seriously though, I don’t know how many times I’ve heard someone say that they hate conflict when in the midst of a struggle.  It’s often a statement which is actually saying, “I don’t want to get involved.” Who likes conflict? There are certainly people who like to shout their opinions or goad you into a verbal debate, but most of us are not wired that way, or shouldn’t be—especially professing born-again believers!

Conflict. Resolution. How do you get from one to the other? What I have learned…

Scenario:

  1. Party A does or says something that offends, riles, aggravates, disturbs Party B
  2. Party B REACTS by becoming angry, cynical, nasty, rude, quiet
  3. Party A then REACTS against Party B’s reactions. In J. Allan Peterson’s booklet Your Reactions are Showing, he says, “We may at any given moment pride ourselves on right actions and yet be reacting with jealousy, or resentment, or anger, or hatred, or fear or self-pity. To react in one or several of these ways when things do not please us will be very harmful to us.”

Poor reactions are the sand that stops the engine of resolution from working properly. Wrong reactions take the focus away from the real issues and add more conflict. So, before the original problem can be resolved, the reactions must be dealt with. The problem is that the reactions are showing deeper character issues. Peterson explains, “Were a person to watch my actions, he would not really know me. My actions would not reveal to him what I really am, because my actions might be planned and practiced for his benefit. But is it our reactions – our spontaneous, unconscious, unscheduled reactions – that reveal what we really are.” OUCH!!!

If, in the above scenario, all the reactions could be peeled away, the real issue could then be dealt with. It may be as simple as a miscommunication or misunderstanding. Perhaps, Party A didn’t realize how important the issue was to Party B. In a situation where a mom is cleaning out a child’s closet after repeated warnings, she may throw out all the “junk” and feel satisfied with a job well done.  However, when Junior comes home and finds that all his “treasures” are now in the trash, we have a conflict. A wife who makes a purchase that seems extravagant to her husband, a sister who twits her sister about her looks in front of other teens, a teacher who calls down a student for a wrong answer—all these are potential conflicts with added out-of-control reactions depending upon what is in the heart of each person involved.

Solving conflict is a part of every relationship and the methods of resolution are as varied as the people involved in those relationships, but several things are absolutely necessary for any conflict to move into resolution:

  1. LOVEAnd now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:13 emphasis added). We quote this verse so often, but do you see what it is saying? Love is greater than faith?! How can that be? Love is greater than hope?! I want to “chew” on that a little more, but I’ll try to stay focused! The point is that love is the greatest thing, for out of it comes all the other necessary ingredients:
  2. TRUST—stepping out on a limb for the sake of the one you love and giving them the benefit of doubt. It is so crucial in every relationship.
  3. FORGIVENESS—When those ugly words fly and open old wounds, can you forgive? When the only response you can muster is, “How could you?” and the hurt goes to the core of your being, can you forgive? When it happens over and over again, can you forgive?
  4. CONVERSATION—talk, talk, talk! But be sure to keep the law of kindness in your tongue! That is SO hard to do, but it is possible by the grace of God! Sometimes a little space is needed to cool our jets, but when the motor of self-justification has cooled and the reactions are once again under control, talk… and LISTEN—you need both to call it communication.
  5. CHANGE—Conflict happens to teach us to change. “No man or company of men, no power in earth or heaven, can touch that soul which is abiding in Christ, without first passing through Him [God], and receiving the seal of His permission.1” Nothing catches our loving heavenly Father by surprise. Can you accept the conflict as a tool from your Father’s hand to help you to grow in His likeness?

We can learn so much from our Savior and His ultimate conflict on the cross.

  1. He never complained
  2. He went willingly
  3. He was humbled, thinking only of us and making a way to resolve our greatest conflict!

Looking at the cross always puts every conflict of life back into a right perspective!

So, press on, dear reader. Conflict is a part of life. We all hate it, but resolution is so sweet! It is true—making up is almost, ALMOST, worth the fight! 🙂

1The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, Hannah Whithall Smith (p,41)