Friday, February 24, 2006

Part 2 of... Are you a Homemaker or a Homewrecker?

I promise to post a recipe for a Friday Food Fun later this afternoon, but first, I was so excited to get to the main post that I wanted to share with you that the Fun Friday Food is just going to have to wait a while.

So... I'm sure you're wondering about friend number one that I mentioned in yesterday's post... I'm sure you're thinking that I had some nerve to even mention something like that in my post. And I'll get to them in a moment.

I want to start off by clarifying something. Yesterday, when I mentioned that two of my friends husbands are successful, I was referring to being successful at what they do at home, church and work... I was not referring to being successful financially (although, that wouldn't hurt!) ... it doesn't matter what they do for a living -- they can even be shoe-shine men -- what matters is the confidence, support, etc. that they have, and it matters, because it starts at home.

Back to friend number one. What ever happened to her? Well, seven years ago, her world was crashing down around her. She and her husband were fighting all the time. It was the only means of communication they had in their lives. They freely threw out the word DIVORCE (a no-no!), and constantly would storm out of the house in a fit of rage, slamming every stinking door they could possibly touch. They criticized each other, blamed each other, tore each other apart. There was no unity in the house. On the surface, they were a happy, spiritual couple, but deep inside, they were on the verge of hating each other. In fact, friend number three lived with them for a while, and she came into their house one day to hear the most horrific argument. It was so bad, she hid in the laundry room so she wouldn't be caught in the middle. Yeah, that bad. The covenant of marriage that this couple had taken only 7-1/2 years before this day was rapidly careening to an end.

Both the husband and wife lacked tremendously in self confidence. The wife (who I feel is always the driving force behind the husband) was not supportive, loving, kind, or submissive. They didn't have anyone they could lean on (which should have been each other!). Their finances were in chaos. Their spiritual lives were very superficial and crumbling, at best. Fortunately, (and I can only say this now as I look back) this couple had no children, because it would have been a frightening home for them, indeed.

But ... the one and only very thin strand that held this couple together was that very covenant they made before their friends, family, and God. They knew that it had been God's plan, indeed, for them to be husband and wife. They knew they were failing God, themselves, and their covenant. They knew something had to change. The husband begged the wife to go to counseling, or to go to their Pastor... to do something. The wife was proud, and refused. The husband told his wife that either she did something, or he was leaving. This time, for real.

Well... even though things were not great, the wife and husband really did love each other. So they did do something. They met with the Pastor and his wife. They held the couple accountable, and things began to change slowly, but still, things were just "okay." But God really began working in the lives of these two people. He began changing them. The wife began taking medication to help with depression and anxiety (she still takes it). They got prayer partners and accountability partners. Two years later, the couple began going to a Christian counselor. They learned how to communicate all over again. They learned how to do things together. They began doing devotions together, praying together, and going out on date nights. They learned how to forgive each other for the horrible things they said and did to each other in previous years. They changed the order of priorities in their lives. They began speaking to each other with tenderness, encouragement and love. Their relationship changed, strengthened, blossomed, and became what it should have been ... a relationship centered around God.

The wife saw such an astounding change in her husband's attitude, that it made her want to change, too! She began to encourage him with his spiritual life, his role as a husband and friend, and with his work, too (which he was finding unsatisfying). She prayed for him, uplifted him, and vowed to herself that she would do all she possibly could to make him feel like he was important, intelligent, talented, strong, loved and cared for. With her encouragement, he applied for another position at work that he never thought he could get. He took a test for it that he never thought he would pass. Not only did he pass the test, but he got that job. He has since been given outstanding evaluations. He even applied for a managerial position, but had to decline the interview, because it was on the same day that his wife was in labor with their first child -- fourteen and a half years into their marriage.

Today, this couple is totally committed to their marriage, and are fully involved in their church. They are loving and kind and encouraging with each other. They have a beautiful son that was a total gift and blessing from God. They aren't perfect by any means. The wife even still manages to bounce a few checks every now and then, but the husband no longer tears into her like he's going to kill her (thank goodness for that!).

If you haven't figured it out by now... the wife I'm talking about is me. The husband is mine. And the miracle child is ours. We have a great life now, but we couldn't have done it without allowing God to change us, mold us, and make us better people.

I know first hand that a woman can change. Even if you think you don't love your husband any more. God can place that love back into your heart. And if there's one thing I've had to learn ... it's that "a mild answer calms wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise pours out knowledge, but the mouth of fools spurts forth folly. The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good. A soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse one crushes the spirit." (Proverbs 15:1-4)


Donnetta said...

Thanks for being so open and vulnerable!! Although I do not find myself in that place, I remain challenged by your post yesterday. I continue to ponder those thoughts and continue to evaluate me, deep inside. Thanks again!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness. That was so powerful, GiBee. Thank you so much for being transparent and sharing that.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's why you and I hit it off so well... we both used to be really sucky wives! I so know where you're coming from, I've been there. In fact, when I read that paragraph about your "first friend" I thought to myself, "that's just what I was like."

God can change us and our marriages if we give everything over to Him. Thank you for letting us know more about you, even if it's not a part of who you are anymore.

Fertile Soul said...

What a beautiful, beautiful inspirational story! You should write it as a novel someday, a modern day inspirational romance.

Way to go, super wife!

GiBee said...

NOOOO super wife here ... just a woman that luuuhuuuhuuuvs her husband ... only by the Grace of God! Like I said... I'm still sorta normal -- dirty dishes, bounced checks, busy life (see post on Monday, 2/27 and you'll know what I mean!).

Isn't wonderful that God can an ugly person like I was, and make me sparkling clean, shiney and new?

(I know my husband is thankful for that!!!)

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