"IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
2When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]." 1 Peter 3:1-2 (AMP)
I think that sometimes, as people, we sometimes take each other for granted. You know, as we grow and mature in life, we step into these roles and just become them, and that's how it is. Right now, my primary role in life is caregiver for my children, as well as their primary educator. In addition to caring for my children, there are all the other duties set forth for me by the fact that I stay at home. It is my job to keep the household maintained in some semblance of order, keep it clean, and teach my children to do the same.
My husband's job, on the other hand is as the sole provider for this family. His job is to do his job. To work hard each and every work day to bring home an income so that we can pay our bills and buy necessities like food and clothing. These are the roles that we chose over ten years ago when we brought Abigail into this world, and we keep on with it, every day, for better or for worse.
But I think it's important to remember and honor the effort that each person puts into a partnership. And this week, it's especially been at the forefront of my mind. Andy is not even "supposed" to still be working at this time of year. He's almost always laid off by this time- but this year, God has shown that He's a big God and can provide Andy work year-round if He wants to. The thing is, this week, Andy is away from home, several hours farther north from here, and it's cold out. It's very cold out, like single-digits cold, and all he is doing, for ten hours a day is standing still and holding a sign out to traffic. Cold indeed.
And I'm appreciating this this year. I've appreciated it in the past, but when I don't even want to go outside to bring the garbage can to the back because it's so cold out, I'm really appreciative of the efforts that my husband is going to to provide an income for his family. And while I'm already grumbling on the inside about having to shovel snow later on today or tomorrow because he's not here, it's really because I appreciate the fact that when he is here, that is his job. Never once, in our married life, has he turned to me and suggested that I either help him shovel snow or do it for him. Never once, has he suggested that I be the one to take out the garbage. He just does these things, because they are little ways that he can bless me, by making sure that I don't ever have to worry about doing them myself.
Even the kids seem to appreciate their daddy more this week with him out of town. They always miss him when he is gone, but this week their is something different about them. They both were practically in tears on Sunday when they said goodnight to him, and they're counting down the hours until they get to see him next. Yet they are also both old enough to understand exactly what he's doing. That he's working hard to bring in much needed income for his family.
As I read these verses in 1 Peter, I am at first reminded that I really hate the word "submissive" or "submit". They always make me bristle, because in my mind the first thing I see is a slave and his master. But I love this Amplified version that adds so much more to the verses by explaining deeper what is meant. Submissive doesn't mean I obey my husband's every whim, but it does mean that when it ultimately comes down to it, he is the head of this household. Most often, we share those duties, but there have been times where I have just known that I needed to step back and let him make the decision for the family. But what I really love about these verses is verse two, and what the amplified adds to it. That as wives, we should revere, honor, esteem, appreciate, adore, prize, admire, praise, devote ourselves to, and deeply love our husbands. Wow! That says a whole lot! And it is an excellent reminder that these are not just things that we should be applying on occasion, but each and every day of our lives.
Marriage is practice for us. Marriage is an example of our life in and with Christ. And just as each and every day I should thank God for the new day,and I should appreciate His wonderful creation that surrounds me, I should also take time each and every day to appreciate my husband. Maybe there are some days I don't quite do that, and I just have become to complacent about our roles in life. But I do know this. This week, God has kept my husband and his sacrifice for his family at the forefront of my mind. While he stands in the frigid cold and counts the hours away slowly each and every day, I am so thankful to him for his work ethic and his willingness to work, whatever the cost, so that the kids and I can live in this beautiful home in this beautiful city.
So ladies, let this be a reminder to you today. I know sometimes being a wife can be an exasperating thing. Boys will be boys, you know. But remember that we are partners in life with our husbands, and we need to honor and respect that each and every day- not just when it suits us. We need to appreciate each other in our unique abilities and gifts that God has given to us, and we need to be constantly lifting each other in prayer. There is no prayer ally more powerful to have than that of a husband or wife. And just as I know my husband prays for me and the kids as he goes off to work everyday, I am praying for him while he is at work. And this week, I've been praying for supernatural warmth to flood him from his head to his toes.
What can you do for your spouse this week? You can pray. And then you can see if maybe there's some way that you can show your appreciation for them just being them. God may just have an idea or two about that.