There are a lot of names you could call me that would roll right off my back.
Procrastinator…. Tis true.
Messy… always have been.
But if there is one word that I would absolutely cringe at… to the core of my being… if you were to utter it in the same sentence as my name, it is this:
Especially an unsupportive wife.
My husband and I have been a team from the moment we met. Probably more than most – because we work together so closely. He yings, I yang. He leads worship, I stand beside him. I lead worship, he stands beside me. We have always been partners in every sense of the word.
But the Lord convicted me of something this morning as I sat down for some quiet time with Him. As I was sitting at my piano, worshipping Jesus… He called me a name.
As in… “Kristie, you are acting like Job’s wife.”
It was not the nicest thing I have ever had said about myself.
But it’s true.
I like to think that I’m not QUITE as bad as this woman in the Bible who looked at the circumstances of her life and told her husband to “Curse God and die…” but I have to admit, that the same seed that led her there could be said of me.
You see, wives… sometimes God asks our husbands to go through something. He takes them through a test. He leads them on a journey of refining and growth and testing.
And we get to come along for the ride.
Job lost his home, his children, his property, his health… EVERY-thing. Which in turn means that this dear lady ALSO lost her home, her children, her property, and a healthy husband to stand beside. And while Job looked at the situation, recognized the test and determined to trust God even when he had no earthly idea what was going on… his wife had a different response.
I know it can be easy to gasp in shock at this woman’s reaction. But I gotta say – I’ve been around a LOT of women for a LONG time and her response is far more common than we would like to admit.
A husband tells his wife that he feels called to step out in faith and do something new… and the wife says, “Not while you’re married to me!” A husband feels the call of God to give a large sum of money and the wife says, “You have lost your mind.” A husband wants to try a new career or take a missions trip or simply starts to go deeper in his walk with the Lord and he speaks the words out loud to a spouse who responds with a quick roll of the eye and a sarcastic quip.
Oh how I am guilty.
God has put some dreams in my husband’s heart. I have watched Jeff faithfully follow Jesus off the beaten path, into a season where we are waiting for God to give us clear direction. We take steps of faith that make absolutely no sense to us. Sometimes it feels like we are in the densest fog possible, taking steps to the right or left as the Holy Spirit leads us – and yet we have no idea where each step is taking us.
And while the season has its joys… it also has its challenges because God has us WAITING. And we’re not even sure what we’re WAITING for.
And all along, my husband has shown the restraint of a man who has walked with Jesus for a very, very long time. “We’re just going to keep doing whatever Jesus tells us to do, Kristie…no more, no less.”
But my patience has grown thin and I’m ashamed to admit that my responses to him lately have been far more rooted in frustration and resentment. “Maybe you should just MAKE something happen.” “Maybe you are hearing God wrong.” “I think perhaps God has made a mistake… and we need to take matters into our own hands.”
I’m not really sure what God is doing – but I do know this. I have the power to either encourage my husband’s faith, or slowly and methodically chip away at it. I’m sure there are already seeds of doubts in his mind and I can add water to them or faithfully pluck them out of the soil. I can put my shoulder to his back and keep pushing him toward the things of God, or I can use his love for me and desire to protect and provide for our family as ammunition to pull him back towards the comfortable and safe.
I can make it easier for him, or I can make it harder for him.
Oh how I want to make it easier for him.
So, until I can see the full spectrum of all that God is doing in my husband’s life – my role is quite simple. To encourage him to keep trusting in God. To remind him that I’m WITH him no matter what God asks of us. To assure him that his obedience and faithfulness is a sign of strength and I respect and honor that in him. That his determination to follow Jesus will not be met with cynicism and second guessing by his wife.
Because Jesus is teaching Jeff something.
Which means Jesus is teaching Kristie something.