“It takes two, ya know!”
Her words wore the biting effect of the long years of pain. I looked into those weary eyes and I knew I’d never walked her path; felt the sting of rejection that left its mark on her heart. I knew her edgy retort wasn’t so much anger at me, but bubbled up from years of frustration, years of longing, and my intended encouragement had bumped that raw place.
I wanted those hopeless eyes to see what can’t be seen, for that deadened heart to beat with His life-giving dreams, for her faith to be renewed by truth that lives beyond the temporary.
Yes, you’re right, it does take two to make a marriage work. You’re right. You can’t do this alone, you must have the Author of marriage leading, impressing, directing your heart. You and He can impact your relationship with your husband. You have His word on that. He doesn’t hold out false hope. In fact, He anticipated that you would need this passage for this exact moment in your life:
[box]In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:1–4)[/box]
There’s more in this passage than can be unpacked in the limited space of a blog post, but I’ll just touch on a few things for those of you who may be in that painful place.
♥ The heart is the issue—always.
Notice the instruction given; wives aren’t told to whip that man into shape, to preach the gospel to them, or to coddle them. They are challenged to IMPACT them. The answer isn’t to run to Victoria’s Secret for the most seductive nightie. The answer is the heart.
A heart that’s lost all hope is a dead heart and a man can sense that a mile away.
On the surface, things may appear calm – you may not be the shrieker or the witch – but underneath the surface you resent him. You resent that he’s not what you want him to be and that’s taken your heart and sucked it dry.
You want him to relate to you, to understand you, to respect you, you want peace, love, and friendship. I imagine he does, too. He probably doesn’t show it, and he may not know how to reach out to you for that, but he, too, probably doesn’t enjoy the life you share if your hope has died.
Do you believe God can impact your husband?
Maybe he doesn’t know God. Neither did Joy’s husband, but God captured his heart. Neither did Edie’s, but she followed this passage’s instructions all the way . . . and God heard her prayer. When her husband accepted Christ, she hardly recognized him.
Maybe your husband does have a relationship with God, but the relationship between the two of you is shadowed by betrayal, broken promises, shattered dreams or just empty space.
You can resign yourself to this, or you can believe.
You can believe that God’s Word is true and one plus One can make a difference. You can believe that because of the gospel—there is still reason for hope. You can admit that by losing hope, you’ve settled for less than what God can do, and ask God for forgiveness.
I’ve never seen a husband be unaffected by the respectful, gentle, and quiet spirit of a wife who hopes in God. That wife has a heart that will impact her man.
Have you become skeptical? How does that line up with the beauty described in this passage; the beauty of the heart that is precious in God’s sight?