Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Lesson From Mom

Another lesson I learned from my mother was to always honor my husband.

The Bible teaches that the husband is the head of the home (Mom always said the wife was the neck and she can help him turn in the right direction), and just like in every walk of life where someone is "in charge" (a boss a work, the principal of a school, the county sheriff, a mayor, a governor, a president, etc.), the husband is the one ultimately responsible for the decisions made in a particular household.

Will wives always agree with the decisions that their husbands make? Probably not. However, is it our job to belittle our husbands (especially in front of others) in order to make ourselves look better and to clear us of any responsibility when things go wrong? No.

My mother taught us to pray. Pray for your husband all the time. Pray that God will give him wisdom in his roll as the ultimate decision maker. Pray that he will be a man of integrity and make right decisions when no one (besides God) is around to see him. Pray that he becomes a man of prayer and turns to the Lord everytime a decision needs to made. Pray for his safety as he goes to work. Pray and thank God for the man He has blessed you with. Pray that God will help you to be the wife that your husband needs you to be in this world where it can feel like everything is against him. And pray that God will give you wisdom as you take the other step that my mother taught us- the appeal.

This is a step that is demonstated in the book of Esther. Esther had to confront the King about a decision he made in ignorance that would lead to her death. Instead of belittling him for ignorantly signing the edict that would permanently become law, going along with his friends without looking into the facts of the matter, and letting his pride get the better of him, she chose to approach the situation in a tactfully wise way.

She made him dinner (didn't our mothers tell us that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach?). She not only made him dinner, but she also invited the king's right hand man (the one who actually came up with the death warrant). And not only did she make them both dinner one night, but she did this two nights in a row! Then, she waited until the king asked her if something was wrong (boy, do I admire her!).

How many of us would rather just get it off of our chest, say what we feel or think, and then spend the time later regretting taking such quick action? When she was given the opportunity to finally speak, she made her complaint with such grace, that the king ordered a law to be made that would counteract the previous law (in the manner of the Medes and Persians, once a law was made it could not be taken back).

The appeal gives us a chance to show our husband that we have a different opinion than his, but it does it in a way that respects his leadership and will offer him a way to save face (do we really want to crush our husband's spirit?).

I also believe that the appeal honors God in our approach to our husband, and He sees our heart and will take action on our behalf. Whether or not the appeal works, we have done what we can, and I believe our hands are clean when our husbands make their decision. I think the appeal also helps us to save face if our husbands' decision turns out to be right. We will not have made ourselves look ridiculous if we reacted with calmness rather than flying off the handle.

How different would the account of Esther have been had she blown up all over the king the minute she heard of the plot against her people?

Pray for your husband... and when you disagree with him, ask God to give you the words you need to appeal.

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