He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young
. {Isaiah 40:11}

04 April 2011

Shuttup and Listen {sorry! me... not you}

As I've mentioned before, the kids and I attend Community Bible Study and  the teaching director, Ann, {who has shared with us once before} always has messages that speak directly to my heart. It is sometimes scary just how directly she speaks to me without even knowing it and I have talked with several women who feel the very same way. It's such a beautiful thing for her to end her lecture and many of us look around at one another and say "Good grief! I needed to hear that".
Well, recently I had one of those weeks.
The question was posed...
When is the last time I was provoked {spiritually, emotionally, intellectually}and kept quiet?
In my mind, and in the lecture, this question was directly asked of my relationship with Hubs. 
My answer? 
Ha! Yeah right! How 'bout never!
I am certainly not the type of girl to zip my lips when I feel an injustice has been done or my opinion isn't being validated. I happen to think I'm a smart woman with lots of good things to say and when Hubs says something I disagree with, like a volcano, I spew what's on my mind.
And it's not like I haven't been faced with this question before.
I've been reading through Proverbs and time and time again it is clear that being wise means keeping your mouth closed {13:3}.  The funny thing is, it's not just that keeping quiet is wise, but opening your mouth makes you comparable to a fool! {17:27-28, }

17:28... "Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent." 
18:2... "A fool takes no pleasure in understanding but only in expressing his opinion."
...and what's better, there are verses that speak directly to wives on this topic.
Apparently someone knew we'd need it!
19:13... "A foolish son is ruin to his father, and a wife's quarreling is a continual dripping of rain."
27:15... "A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike."
21:19... "It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful women."
I looked up the synonyms and antonyms for "quarrelsome" and "fretful" from thesaurus.com.
quarrelsome is... argumentative, cantankerous, contentious, crabby, cross, excitable, fiery, fractious, hasty, hotheaded, huffy, irritable, ornery, passionate, peevish, snappy, thin-skinned, touchy, translucent
quarrelsome is NOT... agreeable, forgiving, friendly, good-natured, happy, patient  
fretful is... complaining, contrary, crabby, cranky, critical, cross, crotchety, edgy, faultfinding, fractious, huffy, mean, ornery, out of sorts, snappish, splenetic, testy, touchy, uneasy, worried, wreck
fretful is NOT...  calm, cheered, easy-going, happy, joyous, laid-back, pleased, relaxed

Even more...
"Out of the heart the mouth speaks" {Matthew 12:34} which means my words that aren't building him up, are questioning his authority, are criticizing or discouraging, are indicators of my dark heart and NOT his behaviors. In other words...
my mouth says more about me and my heart condition then it does about anyone else...
and, at the very least, I need to consider the repercussions of opening my mouth. My words don't just come out of my mouth and vaporize. Unwholesome, unhealthy words {Ephesians 4:29} spread like venom to those who hear it.
That often means my kids.
I make a point to not complain or criticize in front of the kids but my deep sighs and eye rolling speak just as clearly as my words.
If my kids see me showing anything other than respect and honor to my husband I can do serious damage to their relationship with him and affect his relationship with others.
With my negative words and actions I teach my husband that I don't trust him, that I think I can do things better than him, and that he is incompetent.
I teach our daughters not to trust their husbands or respect the authorities God has placed in their lives.
I teach my son  that taking criticism from his wife is acceptable. I am already weakening his ability to lead and I am giving him reason to second-guess himself.
I show my friends that I think I am better than him and reveal my true, prideful heart.
Consider this... 
Have you ever seen a woman willing to argue with her husband in front of you? What was your impressions of her?
I have witnessed this first hand and it is incredibly uncomfortable and emasculating. From my point of view it is a far worse reflection of the wife than it is the husband.
We are not to judge or push or husbands.
We are not to fear.
We are not to criticize.
Why not?
One reason is that the devil LOVES it!
Instead, take it to the Lord, trust, and let the Holy Spirit do the work.

There's more...
What is in store for me when I don't tame my tongue?
When I am busy talking {filling air, space, and time with my essentially unhelpful words} I miss out on blessings and instead pick fights.

Ann shared a poignant illustration from her own life about how she left her young daughter with her husband to run an errand. She was glad that father and daughter would be able to spend time together but when she returned home she was disappointed at the sight...
"I might as well have left her to eat breakfast alone " Her dear husband was out on the deck reading as her daughter sat at the table alone. "In my righteous indignation I wanted to go at it!" Ann says. "Instead I kept quiet. I'm not sure I even prayed!"
When her husband came in to pack up and head off to work he turned to her and said "“And make sure you lock that back door to the deck"
but, with great restraint, she continued to keep her thoughts to herself. As he turned to leave he said "…I don’t want anyone stealing you two.”

Had Ann rushed to say the well deserved things on her mind, she would have missed the blessing of those sweet words from her husband.

I can only imagine how many blessings I have missed because I have been quick to speak and quick to anger {James 1:19}.
Ann also pointed out that had she picked a fight in front of her daughter she would have weakened her daughter's confidence in Ann and her husband's relationship and "The greatest need of a child is to know that Mommy and Daddy are 'ok'". 
If nothing else, think about this...
If you {the wife, the person who is closest to your husband, the very one who committed her life in front of God and witnesses to love, honor and obey him} do not appear to trust him, his ministry in life {as a man, an employee, a parent, a friend} can be easily ruined.
What a responsibility we have!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this! I could really use some time to ponder over this myself.


I always love a good comment.


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