Standing for What Is Right

It is hard to believe I’m actually awake! After twenty years of going away to work, I now have my office in our home. Often I will hear a quiet knocking on the door. I open it, and a little one will come in. After a hug and updating me on the latest news, the child is gone.

Years ago, God put the desire in my heart to work, vocationally, out of our home, but I saw no further direction. So we waited and waited. We would pray, “Lord, we believe You are giving us this desire. We will wait until You show us clearly what to do.” Then, all of a sudden three years ago, we were given the leading to launch a business. What was strange was that I was working full time. I sure didn’t have time to do any real work in a business we would start. There was barely time to put together the paperwork to set it up.

After our oldest son graduated from high school, we were able to have him contract out through our new business. God had us put our business in place prior to our needing it. It was the perfect vehicle for his contracting. However, we felt that wasn’t going to be the only purpose for the business. I still wanted to be home working full time for the business, but I clearly believed God was saying “not now.”

On the twenty-first of January 1997, God led me to take a stand at my job that we thought might cost me that job. Unfortunately, we were not prepared to be without an income, but we knew God would provide if that was His will. To our total amazement, the potential of losing the job dragged on all year. One day I would think I was going to be fired, and the next it would quiet down!

It was such a wonderful time of learning to rest and trust in my Lord Jesus’ care. I can’t remember one night of losing sleep over it. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, or that I had my head in the clouds. There was just peace about it and thankfulness that Christ was dealing with the situation.

The next thing we knew, they were no longer talking about firing me. Now there was talk of laying me off. The funny thing was that this was great news since there would be some financial consideration with a layoff as opposed to being fired. We had been praying, “Lord, just make it clear to us that You really want me to leave.” What could be clearer than to have your employer lay you off? Right?

Then my employer decided to give me a choice between another job and a layoff. This was not according to our plan at all! God was supposed to make it absolutely clear by not giving us any room for a decision. This new twist brought some real earnestness to our prayers. Finally, God gave Teri and me full peace that I was to leave and come home.

I stand in awe of how the Lord has directed over the last year. It would be very easy to laugh as I look up the road ahead. I have told some that I feel like I’m “out of the boat” right now. I find my competitors and other challenges to be the “waves.” However, as long as I keep my eyes on the Lord Jesus, I have real joy and peace.

I know some of you may face similar challenges. My encouragement to you is: don’t be concerned with your perceived consequences to a decision, but look only to the Lord for His direction. That is the only thing that matters and will enable you to be calm in the midst of a storm. If I did not have the clear assurance I’m here because God wants me here, I would be troubled indeed. Our prayer has been and will continue to be, “Lord, what do You want us to do that will bring You the most glory?”

A Meek and Quiet Spirit – Some Real-Life Examples and Failures

It seems that I can’t let a year go by without a Mom’s Corner dealing with a wife’s need for a meek and quiet spirit. 1 Peter 3:4 says, “But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.”

I wonder how many of us were born with meek and quiet spirits. I know I was not! This is something that God began pointing out in my life several years ago. He did this in what I considered a most unusual way. He began to make me aware of my interactions with my husband, viewing them as an outsider would.

Here are some things I heard myself saying to my husband:

“Honey, who was that on the phone? What did they want? Well, what did you say?”

“Steven, did you see what Joseph just did? No matter how many times I tell him he still does it.”

“Have you made a decision yet? I asked you about this on Monday, and I am feeling like I should know what we are going to do.”

I needed to learn, and am still in training, to have a meek and quiet spirit. Often a meek and quiet spirit, for me, would translate into a quiet mouth. If my husband chooses to share a phone conversation with me, I am pleased to have my curiosity satisfied. If he does not, it is good for me to trust God to give me information that I am interested in or might need to know. Should Steve forget to tell me something important, it may become known at some point. Then if he feels badly about having forgotten to tell me, it is a lesson from the Lord, not a controlling wife!

When Steve was home, I wanted him to be the one to correct the children. However, I also felt it my duty to point out what the children were doing that needed his attention. How much better it is when I am quiet. It is quite presumptive of me to think I know best what the children are doing that would need correction. This has been clearly illustrated to me during our evening Bible time. I wanted to keep telling the little children to be quiet, sit still, or perhaps put down a toy. You know what? My speaking to the child was as disruptive to our Bible time as what the child was doing. I found that if I would just sit very quietly with my mouth tightly closed, Steve would take care of anything that was a distraction to him. It is a great relief to not have to be “in charge” but just to sit and let my husband do what God has called him to.

It is a relief, but it is not easy! Everything within me so often wants to push, control, and some would say, nag. Usually, if I will be quiet, all will work out just fine the way Steve does it. The times it might not, it is so much better to have that realization come from the Lord and not from me.

Another area that has been difficult for me is to learn not to correct my husband in front of others–even sweetly. What does it matter if we did this thing on Monday or Wednesday night, as I would be prone to point out if he said the wrong one? I have discovered that, even if it does matter, it is better to be quiet and maintain our testimony than to correct my husband in public. There is seldom anything that important. Truly, if misinformation was given, I believe it would be better for my husband to call the person later and correct it than for me to have spoken up publicly.

Despite knowing I do not want to do this, as recently as Saturday morning this happened. Steve was driving a group of moms and girls from our church to a baby shower because of bad road conditions. I stepped into his conversation to clarify something I thought the ladies might misunderstand. Almost as quickly as the words were out of my mouth they seemed to shout back at me in accusation. I am glad, because I do want to learn these lessons. In my pride, I do not like to continually fail in something that is pretty cut and dried–don’t correct your husband in public, including in front of the children!

Something amazing has happened over these past three years that God has had me in this training course, Meek and Quiet Spirit 101. Steve’s love for me has grown. It has been so exciting for me to see God use an area where He showed me I needed to become obedient. He has poured out His blessing in a way I did not foresee.

May I encourage each of you who are wives to honor, respect, and love your husband by asking the Lord to teach you to have a meek and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in His sight. May we treat our husbands as our leaders and not be controlling. May it never be said by an outsider watching our interactions with our husbands, “I know she wears the pants in that home.”