Not long ago I had a chance to walk through a new season as a wife. My husband and I have been married almost 30 years and we have walked through many interesting seasons, but this one caught me off guard.
After arriving to work one morning, my husband suddenly and unexpectedly lost his job. In the middle of my workday I received a simple text that read, “This is not a joke. I just got let go.”
What should a wife’s reaction be during unexpected circumstances? How important is it to check my emotions and words? How important is my attitude when my husband is hurting and confused? Can I honestly think of him first, before giving into my own fears?
Immediately, I completed my tasks at work and got permission to leave early. I knew my husband was at home and he needed me near him.
When I drove into the driveway, I could see him through the front window sitting in his favorite chair, Bible in hand. He was turning to God. My first response coming through the door would be critical! As I parked the car, I prayed for wisdom and strength. My smile and compassion were greeted with two strong arms in a lingering embrace as I entered the house. He needed my unconditional love.
We decided to go for a walk and clear our heads. Walking the Dry Canyon Trail in the middle of the afternoon felt strange on a workday.
We concluded that God was sovereign and in control. We had bills to pay that would be due in a week. God had never let us down in the past; He could be trusted.
That evening I was angry. I was upset because my hard-working husband did not “deserve” this experience. I needed some time alone with God, so I went into our bedroom and closed the door. I sat on the bed and began to discuss my feelings with the Lord.
I thought of the faith it took Peter to step out of the boat and walk on the water in a storm. I opened my Bible and read about how when the waves began to block Peter’s view of Jesus, he began to fear and to sink. Like Peter, I was beginning to fear. I was beginning to sink. Peter cried out to Jesus and was immediately saved and returned to the security of the boat. I reflected on some of Jesus’ last words to Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?”. Peter was hurt, “You know that I love you, Lord.” Why was he asking?
Suddenly, the mirror of the Word turned and reflected on my own heart. It was as if Jesus was penetrating my anger and asking me, “Who do YOU say that I am, Diane?” You are a Christian leader. You have walked with me for many years. “Do you REALLY love me?” My breath caught, “What, Lord? Who do I say you are? I say you are my LORD, my Savior, my Friend. You know that I love you.” Suddenly I sounded a lot like Peter. The question hurt. “I say you are my Provider,” I whispered as tears streamed down my face. “Forgive my anger. Forgive my fear. I will trust you.” Miraculously, the warmth of the Holy Spirit came over me and filled me with joyous faith and forgiveness. I flung open the bedroom door, ran down the stairs, and shared my experience with my husband.
My faith was like salve to my husband’s soul. It brought him confidence and comfort. My faith was essential for his healing and peace. A wife who does battle with the Lord (and not her husband) can bring peace to her home. My role of support and not criticism was going to help carry us through the next unforeseen weeks. My reassuring smile and gentle touch would be a gift to my husband as the Lord worked in his heart to move him in a new direction.
Women, our reactions are important – especially in times of unexpected change. The Bible calls those of us who are married “helpmeets” (Genesis 2:18, KJV) to our husbands. We were created to be a suitable helper for them. It is my responsibility to humbly do business with God about my own “issues” and sin in order to be the best helper I can be to the husband God gave me.
During the unknown, my husband and I humbled ourselves before God. We rallied our prayer supporters, fasted and prayed, and waited on God to show us our next steps. Then, we waited. In the waiting, we looked back. Looking back at who God is and what He has done builds faith and confidence in the work He is doing now. That is exactly what Jesus asked Peter to do.
God showed up. No surprise, He proved himself faithful once again. Our trust was not unfounded. Our faith was bolstered. Our praise goes to Him and Him alone! Three weeks to the day that he lost his job, my husband was offered a new job! What a miraculous work of God! Wow, isn’t it like God to reach his hand out and pull us back to the boat just when we begin to sink?
Perhaps you’ve never thought of your role as a wife in terms of a “helpmeet” to your husband. How are you supporting him during unexpected times? Are you blaming him or building him up when difficulties surface? Perhaps the tension in your home is due to a battle of the wills that needs to be humbly considered. God’s Word provides much teaching on the roles of a Godly home and marriage. Let’s keep encouraging each other and seeking the Lord in our role within our homes during these unexpected times.