Saturday, September 24, 2011

Doing What We Ought to Do

Martha Pierce says in "An Excellent Wife"...

"God wants us to stop living for ourselves, to stop destroying relationships and to start living for Him. Paul wrote to the church in Corinth saying '...that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf'-II Corinthians 5:15.

It is easy to live for yourself, but ultimately unfulfilling and empty. You may be thinking, 'I'm willing to work at having a close relationship with my husband, but he is not.'  If he is unwilling to communicate or is cruel and yet you respond in a godly manner, you will be suffering for righteousness sake and God will meet your needs. God is the one to look to.

As you look to God and desire to have a normal relationship with your husband, you must become like and act like Jesus. In order to be like Christ, you must think as well as act like Christ. To accomplish this goal, your motivation must change from 'What can I get out of this?' to 'What can I give?' Hence you should expect no thanks or recognition. You are just doing your minimal duty to God. Jesus compared us to the slave who was only doing what he ought:

"So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say 'we are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done." -Luke 17:10

Giving of yourself to your husband is not going above and beyond the call of duty. it is only doing as you ought. You out to be kind to your husband. You ought to be open, transparent, and honest with him. Your words are to be edifying. Your tasks sacrificial. Your motive is for the glory of God."

Those are some very challenging words for me. Lately, I have been wanting recognition. I want to be told that I am doing a good job. I have even told him such. But my husband views it differently. He feels that it is an insecurity in me that needs that affirmation. I believe it is a need for encouragement. So what do you do with that?

Well, you do what this says to do. You move on and you let God fill you up. You measure what you are doing against God and look for His approval, not my husband's, not my family, nor my friends.


LizyBeth said...

Wow, Sacie, powerfully convicting words. I've been convicted of something similar in our marriage. I will be praying for you as you strive to live it out.

Stacie said...

Wow, that is a hard one. I think wanting your husband's recognition and approval and encouragement is a normal thing. As long as it's a glory-seeking thing, trying to pump ourselves up. But just to know that what we are doing is helpful and pleasing him. We are called to be his helper after all.

But our husbands are busy fighting their way out there in the cruel world, and have lots on their minds and their plates. And not being as in touch with their feelings as we are, and often being somewhat oblivious to such things, it can be hard for them to meet our emotional needs. Still, their responsibility to us is to love us.

We have gone through times where I felt my husband didn't appreciate or encourage me enough. But he has changed so much over the past 15 years. Now he is super mindful and thoughtful and attentive. One thing that REALLY helped him was a book he read. He said it helped him so much and he says every man should read it. It's a Christian book called For Men Only by Jeff & Shaunti Feldhahn. There is also one called For Women only by Shaunti Feldhahn. I have it but I haven't read it yet....

It is true that we need to let God fill us up. To get our ultimate satisfaction from Him. But we still do need that encouragement from our men.

Wow, you sure give me a lot of things to pray for. :-)

Stacie said...

In the first paragraph I meant to say, "As long as it's NOT a glory-seeking thing..."

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

I've read the book "For Women Only". It was amazing! I actually did the Bible study twice. The ones for Parents only is really good too. I need to read it again.

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh friend...I have similar struggles and it's hard for me to live 24/7 with a heart that seeks only His glory...actually, i cant. Its hard to know that though my husband (and anyone else for that matter) may not express appreciation, the Lord sees. For me it boils down to pride. I want praise from man. I am praying for the Lord to be your portion and to encourage you and to give you wisdom. Thank you for being so vulnerable. I appreciate you!

Catherine said...

I appreciate this posting too, Stacie. I've had the same struggle, and a little success in depending more on God for my encouragements. I say 'a little success' because every day I must start over! I've done better lately because of the practice, and I'm glad to serve God!

OurLilFullFam said...

Reminds me of that new Steven Curtis Chapman song - doing it all for the glory of the one who made you!


His bondservant said...

Great post Stacie. I have gone through this book and it was such an encouragement for me in my role as a wife. Yes, ultimately, we should do all things for the glory of God. But, I too, like to have that human encouragement. It is even easy to feel this way when our children seem to take us for granted. That's when I have to remember that Christ gave ALL He had for me…when I wasn't even at a point to thank Him. And still today, I don't thank Him enough for all He does for me. And yet, He continues to love and bless regardless of my shortcomings. Faithfully doing the same thing with your husband day in and day out might just be what brings him around to acknowledge your faithfulness in your role as his wife. Until then, put in before the Lord and do it all as an act of worship to Him. He sees and will be the encouragement you need.

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