For the Wives…

by

Contributed by Alex Shifflett, wife of our Worship Pastor, Brian Shifflett.

I’m a perfectionist in its purest form.  Not only that, but I’m a perfectionist that can only see perfection when things are done my way– the “perfect” way.  I’ve also acquired a somewhat domineering personality that I often write off as a “leadership quality.”  If something isn’t running smoothly, I can tell everyone involved what they need to do to most efficiently fix the problem.  As a newlywed, it has become my newest feat to make my marriage the perfect marriage, and not waste any time doing so.  In trying to achieve the perfect marriage, I’ve become a bit overbearing at home (sorry, Honey), constantly giving instruction to my husband on how he can do a better job.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!  While telling my husband how he can be better, I’ve completely neglected an entire half of our marriage– myself.

I began praying about a week ago that God would make me aware of all of the ways  I could improve as a wife, namely, that I would be extremely sensitive to Brian’s needs rather than my own.  Then, in God’s perfect timing, I left for a couple of days to attend meetings at my company’s corporate headquarters.  During the meetings, I was able to meet many of the higher-ups in the company, including my boss’ boss, Joe (who I found out later is a faithful Christian).  Over dinner one night, Joe reflected on his wife in great detail.  He showed us pictures of her and told us how beautiful she was.  He described her as an angel, as his gift from God.  I listened quietly as he went on, taken aback by his eagerness and joy to speak of his wife.  As beautiful as it was to hear a man speak of his wife in such a loving way, I couldn’t help but think of how my husband might describe me to others if he was being completely honest.  I was somber at the thought of it, because I knew I wasn’t the best wife that I could be, which is ironic because I expect Brian to be the most perfect husband.  This motivated me to read Scripture that would guide me in marriage.  The verses below moved me:

1Peter3:1-4 – In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands, even those who refuse to accept the Good News.  2 Your godly lives will speak to them better than any words, and they will be won over.  3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.  4 Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.

All the husbands out there are thrilled with the first couple verses.  Yes, we are to submit to our husbands, even if our spiritual lives do not match up.  What is interesting about verse 2 is that our “Godly lives [should] speak to [our husbands] better than any words.”  Think about that for a moment, wives.  We can be patient, giving, and loving all day long.  We can be ‘godly’ women who read Scripture, pray, and serve others.  However, as soon as our husband walks through that door, that godly woman can disappear in an instant.  How dare our husbands not want to make dinner, or clean the dishes, or put the kids to sleep, or ask us how our day was.  How selfish!  Or maybe we should take a different look at it.  Perhaps we should keep that godly woman about us when it comes to our husband, seeing as how we do it for everyone else.  We should let our passion to live as God desires us to live speak louder than words. How could we truly be upset at our husband’s actions if we are truly being held accountable to our own?

Verse 4 hit me the hardest.  As I stated earlier, I’m a domineering leader who is outspoken and always right.  How on earth could this verse suggest that my inner self is a “gentle and quiet spirit”?  I had never considered that my “personality” was not how God had intended it to be, but perhaps it is the manifestation of too many years without Jesus.  It is clear in verse 4 that a gentle and quiet spirit is very important for a woman in marriage.  My take charge personality doesn’t allow God to intervene through Scripture or prayer, and it doesn’t allow my husband an opportunity to lead me so that I may follow.  What a  humbling thought: That I may have more work to do to than I ever imagined in order to have a perfect marriage in God’s sight, which will be much more fulfilling than having a “perfect” marriage according to my own plan.

Now, for all of you imperfect wives, I am going to challenge you to pray for your marriage in a way that you may not have prayed before.  Pray that God would reveal to you where He wants you to grow as a wife, and how you can be of a gentle and quiet spirit.  Let God work in you and through you.  Let Him be glorified through your unity.  Remember that when you think you’ve figured it all out, God will reveal more ways to shape you into the wife you ought to be, so long as you make yourself available to him.

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: