by Penny Raine
Let’s begin by meditating on these Scriptures: “Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God” (Romans 15:17).
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God’” (Mark 10:27).
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).
“We live by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Ephesians 4:29).
Okay sisters, this is going to hurt—growing always does. Are you ready? Let’s begin by praying, “Lord open our hearts, and let us hear from You.” Let us do as the Word says and “examine ourselves.”
Let me first tell you about our family. We have been married since 1986, and have eight children. All of our children, who are old enough to understand, are saved. Yet, even those too little to make a choice are already serving the Lord, singing praises to Him constantly.
My husband is a full time minister who spends hours daily in the presence of Jesus. However it was not always so. In the past there was much sin, many “good” reasons to give up for both of us. Yet, Jesus carried us through, and He can for you also—and He will if you will stand strong.
There is much divorce in my husband’s family—for some people it is a way of life. At many times I am sure he also has considered it but, for me, it was never an option. I knew the day we married I was making a commitment to Jesus—it was like I was marrying Him. He showed me plain and clear that to walk away from my husband would also be walking away from Him.
I was also determined that I would have a husband and family that served the Lord. Could I do such a thing? Could I make this happen? No, but I believed Jesus could. I finally made a serious, forever commitment to serving the Lord. Not long after, my husband followed.
The real journey however was learning to be a Godly wife. The Lord showed me clearly one day that He gave me a husband so opposite of myself because my flesh is so opposite of Him, and He said I needed to learn how to conform. As wives we must learn how to submit. When we rebel, we are not only rebelling against our husbands we are rebelling against God! How can we expect the Lord to hear our prayers and change our situation if we are openly sinning by rebelling?
I know what you’re saying—I have heard it all—but you are denying the Lord if you think He isn’t big enough to change things. Your husband is not the only thing that needs changing either. Can you honestly look in the mirror and tell Jesus that you have always been the perfect wife? So let’s begin by repenting so that He can begin to heal and change things.
Now, let’s look at those excuses, and compare them with the Word.
Excuse #1 He’s not saved. I don’t have to submit to him.” Look at these Scriptures—Ephesians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:18-19, 1 Peter 3:1-2. Not one of these says “If he is following the Lord” —try again.
Excuse #2 “I’m not happy.” Jesus knows better than you what brings you happiness. See Romans 15:17.
Excuse #3 “He is abusive.” Check yourself first. Do you always respond properly or do you add to the problem. See Proverbs 15:1.
Excuse #4 “He’s not the man I want him to be.” How much do you pray for him? See Matthew 21:21-22.
Excuse #5 “Me and Jesus have it all worked out. It’s okay with Him.” God says, “I hate divorce.” See Malachi 2:16 and also 1 John 4:1.
Excuse #6 “I can’t forgive him for what he’s done.” You have to. See Matthew 6:14.
Excuse #7 “I’m hurting, I can’t do this anymore.” No, but Jesus can! See 2 Corinthians 4:16.
Remember that your identity—your strength, your fulfillment, your everything that is worthwhile—comes from your relationship with Jesus.
Forget the me, me, me and look at Him, Him, Him (Jesus).
The enemy knew what he was doing when he brought on the woman’s movement. He has succeeded in putting women in bondage all under the name of freedom.
In bondage to what, you say? .... (This article does not appear in it's entirety. To read the full article, you can order the back issue of an An Encouraging Word titled, "Sisters ~ Working Together, Walking Together", Issue #46. Order from our back issue pages here or write to An Encouraging Word, P.O. Box 374 Covert, MI 49043)
About the author: Penny Raine is honored to be a wife and homeschooling mother of eight children. She is the author of a forthcoming book titled Parenting By The Word and is the publisher of the monthly email newsletter, “Handfuls On Purpose, Ruth 2.” For more information, you may write: P.O. Box 671, Lawrenceburg, TN 38464.
This article was published in An Encouraging Word issue #46, and may not be reprinted or distributed in any form without express written consent from the publisher. All Rights Reserved.