Bob was my Knight in shining armor — my Prince Charming. I thought we would marry, ride off on his white horse to his castle in the sky and live happily ever after.
In those early months Bob was in the Navy, stationed in Brunswick, Georgia Naval Air Base for training. We had a little one-room apartment. I stayed home and kept things in order while he went off to school. I cleaned top to bottom — side to side, cooked a well-balanced dinner and served it beautifully when he returned. We would sit around the table — share our meal and discuss his events of his day. It was a wonderful “feeling” of love, and we were so happy. Just like I thought it would be.
One evening after this familiar routine, I began to put things away, clear the table and do the dishes. He went outside for something. As I was standing at the sink scrubbing pots and pans from the wonderful meal I had cooked and served, I looked out the kitchen window and saw my handsome, young hubby laughing and talking with the neighbor lady. I remember saying these words to myself — out loud, “Is this what it’s all about? I am in here scrubbing dishes, and he is out there having fun?”
Ruth Bell Graham said, “It is a foolish woman who expects her husband to be to her that which only Jesus Christ Himself can be. Always ready to forgive, totally understanding, unendingly patient, invariably tender and loving, unfailing in every area, anticipating every need, and making more than adequate provision. Such expectations put a man under an impossible strain” (It’s My Turn, p. 74).
I didn’t know that! When I married my knight-in-shining-armor, I gave myself to him for the rest of my life, for him to meet all my needs. I thought if I do everything perfect, my husband would know I love him and we would have a happy marriage.
Instead of arguing — I would hold it in — keeping peace at all cost. I became the “perfect” wife and the “perfect” mother. I kept a spotless house.
I kept all his shirts starched and ironed and hanging neatly for each day’s wearing; his little girls were clean, dressed cute and waiting — toys picked up — on the front porch for his return (not sitting watching TV and preoccupied). I was also ready for his return with clean blouse and hair brushed and lipstick on — THE KING WAS COMING!
He had it made, wouldn’t you agree? Wouldn’t you think he would feel like the most loved man in all the world? I remember another event — the details aren’t important — one day he came home to his perfect house and perfect wife and perfect children and came into the kitchen where I was preparing a perfect meal AND in his military voice — shaking his finger in my face, he said, “you have either got to shape up or ship out.”
I was shocked. I said, “ME?” I am perfect. You are the one with the flaws. You are the one who needs help.
During that all-night vigil of talking and crying, he shared with me that I had lost my smile. There was something wrong — something was missing. And I had to change. He didn’t want to live that way any longer.
That night I promised God if He would help us, get us through the night and let us stay together, I would do whatever it took to be the wife God wanted me to be and that Bob needed.
Proverbs 14:1 says, “The wise woman builds her house…” As we understand what is true, right and lasting and stop trying to compete, we can create and establish a home for our husbands where encouragement and peace dwell, and we show through our loving Christ — His love to our husbands. The wise woman builds her house for her husband.
Who a wife is, not what kind of man her husband is, will determine what kind of home she will build.
Some women enter marriage with grandiose expectations that their husbands will bring flowers, whisper sweet endearments every morning, and never, never direct a harsh word in their direction. We become very ME oriented. We develop a “tit-for-tat,” “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” approach to marriage.
1 Peter 3:1,5,6; Titus 2:5; Colossians 3:18; and Ephesians 5:22,24,33 b each says to “fit” into our own husband’s ways. That means we must be a student of our husbands — not compare ours with our neighbor’s, or sister’s, or friend’s.
A song by Christine Wertzen says it so well:
“Let me be his sunshine when the skies are dark and gray
Let me be his comfort when he’s had a long hard day
Let me be his shelter when the road is harsh and cold
Let me be submissive when the rest on earth are bold
Let me be his pillow when he’s tired and needs a rest
Let me be assuring when he faces some hard test
Let me listen softly when his world is crashing in
Let me understand when no one else can comprehend
Let me walk beside him when he needs to have a friend
Let me be security in a world of pretend
Let me be sweet music when his heart’s without a song
Let me be his living joy, each moment all along”
I challenge you to take a minute and look up the Scripture about fitting into our own husbands ways and ask yourself if you are like the wise woman building your house.
I would love to hear from you.