On Being a Not-So-Bad Wife

My Awesome Husband Rich, Most of our Kids, Some of our Grandkids, One Brother-in-Law. April, 2011

Could Be Worse….

You know how sometimes a family just rolls along on autopilot, free from major life events, unexpected calamities, and nonstop excitement?

Yeah. Me neither.  

This year is proving to be as eventful as any other. In August, Rich’s mother was seriously injured in an automobile accident. And in one week, my husband’s only daughter, our much-beloved Rebecca, will marry. The pendulum that meters our family life is swinging wildly.
At times like these I realize I don’t know as much as I’d like to about a son’s heart, a father’s heart. And sometimes, in my attempts to be a good, supportive wife during Really Big Events, I blow it.
I offer a hug when he needs breathing room. I ask questions when he wants to reflect. I make suggestions when he is determined to sort it out himself. 
I blunder my way through loving him. 
And then I castigate myself for my shortcomings, listening to an Accuser who wants me to believe that I’m.not.good.enough.
That Accuser has a long, ugly history of leading wives astray; it goes all the way back to Eve. 
Recently, after a brief but bitter bout of household drama, I caught myself in full abnegation. Determined to be a little kinder in my self-assessments, I turned to the Bible and reread the stories of two really rotten wives.
First I turned to Job. He’s the guy who, in a single day, lost everything of value–his children, his health, his wealth. But he didn’t lose his wife. Hmm.

How did this nameless woman respond to her husband’s crushing grief? The Bible reports:

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die!”  

Job 2:9 (NASB)

Compared to Mrs. Job, I’m an amazingly supportive wife. I felt better.

Next, I turned to the story of King David. Remember how he danced with all his might for sheer joy when he restored the Ark to his people? His wife, Michal, didn’t approve of such an undignified display:

But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”  

2 Sam 6:20 (NASB)

Whatever my shortcomings as a wife may be, I’m reasonably adept at rejoicing along with my husband, rather than trampling his delight.

I glorify God when I honor my husband, revere our marriage. As a flawed, broken human, I’ll never get it just right.

But it could be worse.

Then the LORD God said, β€œIt is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” 

Genesis 2:18 (NASB)

Comments

  1. Sandra Heska King :

    I know a bit about those bitter household dramas. Bless you Mrs. Job and Michal for giving me hope when I blow it.

  2. LOVE this, Sheila. So glad you talked back to those lying voices in your head. You ARE a good wife – that is clear from your words and your pictures and I am so glad you and Rich found each other. God bless you both as you continue to prepare for the Big Day coming up. You're in my prayers.

  3. A Joyful Noise :

    I understand your frustration and because men are so different emotionally and in their general make up, they do not always respons as "WE" women think they ought. When my husband's dad died, I tried to comform my hubby, but he shrugged me off, saying, "I hardly knew the man, and I am not sure how I feel about him passing on." You are seeking guidance from the good book, and days will get sweeter in time. YOU are a good wife and you are loved and appreciated from the heart by Rich.

  4. Sandy,
    I'm sure we all do, don't we?

  5. Diana,
    Thank you. This post has led to an interesting talk between Rich and me about the ways we were reared, and how that impacts our personalities now. It was a good thing πŸ™‚

  6. Hazel,
    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Brandee Shafer :

    I laughed a little, Sheila. I'm a rotten wife, sometimes.

  8. Brandee, I'm glad you laughed.

    Let us pledge that we do not qualify as "rotten" unless we literally advise our beloved husbands to curse God and die.

  9. I think this should be entitled the Best Wife for Rich, because that's what you are :). The wedding is in one week?!! Oh, my goodness, I better commence to praying. These things, joyful as they are, can take their toll.

    Love to you, Sheila.

  10. Brandee Shafer :

    πŸ™‚

  11. Laura,
    We covet your prayers. It will be a wonderful wedding, I am certain. But a little God juice doesn't hurt, hmmm? In fact I wouldn't attempt anything without it.

    Love to you too, dear friend.

  12. Brandee,

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  13. Lyla Lindquist :

    "…the pendulum that meters our family life…"

    I love that line. Oh, I do.

    Picked a couple of gems to stack up next to. And I'm chuckling here thinking that when Job lost everything of value, he still had Mrs. Job, and what that says about what a delight she was to have around in the first place.

    I imagine you are neither Mrs. Job nor Michal to your Rich. You look to be something quite treasured.

  14. Thank you, Lyla.

    Funny, I never thought about Mrs. Job not being taken from Job until I was writing this. πŸ™‚

  15. shrinkingthecamel.com :

    Ah, but perhaps you are too hard on yourself. Maybe the husband needs to do some self assessment as well? πŸ™‚

    You're just being your own good self, I'm sure.

  16. :::Shrugs::::

    It could be worse πŸ™‚