Many times I have listened to other women telling their story, one that is familiar to me from years ago. They have young children. Their husband is climbing the corporate ladder or just trying to establish some financial security for them; she feels they are living separate lives, going in different directions. Talking never seems to get anywhere, and the cries of her heart may have even degenerated to being considered simple nagging. Raising the kids seems to have become a one parent job, and she doesn't feel like she's doing it in any way that brings real joy and accord to their home. This is not what either of them had thought it was going to be like.
I encourage her to be faithful to the call the Lord has placed on her life. I pray that He would equip her to be the help-meet that she was designed to be. I look to praise the things she is doing well, to rejoice in the love she has for her children, and advise her to continue to try to talk with her husband. Inside, I pray for an overflowing of perseverance to flood her soul as she tries to get through these tough years.
And I feel at a loss. Because what can really help? What can truly change this season? It's just plain hard, isn't it?
Last night, I mulled this over with my own husband. He understands this time as well. These years very nearly ended with our marriage ripped apart and a statistical casualty.
Recently, I heard a radio interview with the singer of Sanctus Real. He was sharing his story - and it was the same one. This same familiar marital-family struggle. But he didn't resign himself to acceptance; he didn't just say 'this is hard' and leave it at that; he didn't bail out and swallow the bitter pill of life as it is without even trying; he responded differently because he realized that this was no different than any other season. God's power was meant to be brought to bear in him even now. For him, it meant pulling back from his work schedule and taking his family with him at times. It probably consisted of more, and brought about hoped for and unexpected changes to them all. What he seemed to realized was that now was the time. A re-prioritizing of his life in keeping with God's design was called for this day, in the here and now.
In my attempts to not paint you, my brothers, so dark, I was avoiding speaking out loud what is in all actuality the truth. It begins with you. The submission, the change, the responsibility - it all starts with you. But the strength, the gifting, the glorifying - it all enters though you as well. The desire for family unity, for God's peace within your walls, for a Christ-like lived-out-love that your wife is imperfectly reaching for, He has designed you to be the initiator of all this within your home. And if you will follow His lead, He will establish it.
My sincere and deep prayers are for families this morning, for husbands to lead, wives to follow, and children to take this Godly example to heart.
Amen, so may it be.