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Showing posts from October, 2018

6. Narrative Of A Wife

Love Your Husband

"The older women must train the younger women to love their husbands..." Titus 2:4
I've heard it said that nowhere in the Bible is the wife instructed to love her husband. The argument is that a husband is commanded to love his wife while a wife's obligation is to respect and submit to her husband. That is true. But if the older women are to teach the younger women to love their husbands, then we are indeed encouraged to love our husbands. Therein lies the difference between a woman required to be a fearful, subordinate slave versus learning to be a loving, submissive wife.  
I've made more than my share of mistakes in the learning process. What does loving my husband looks like in everyday life? Where is the woman who seeks to cover the glaring faults, the bad habits, the indifference to her needs, the misunderstandings, and simply Love Her Husband?

Our list of grievances against our spouse can get lengthy and complicated. It seems justifiable.…

5. Narrative Of A Wife

You Need Him!

It is still vividly etched upon my brain, that fearful night in the little cottage on Parcheytown Road.

Crumpled over the edge of the chair, down on my knees in the darkened living room when all my family had gone to bed, my heart was heavy with a painful burden. I was face to face with anxiety concerning my relationship with my husband. How do I navigate the seemingly insurmountable difficulties that have arisen between the two of us?

Do all marriages have these heart-wrenching disturbances or am I being overly dramatic?

Why can't I just wrestle my way through it without having to question him, admit my fears to him, and possibly hurt him with my doubts? As I kneel before the Lord, completely bowed down with the weight of worry, I notice a few words circling through my mind over and over again.

You need him! 

That's all. So simple. So clear. So unexpected.

Taken by surprise, I listen to the Voice for a few moments then reply, "That can't be the answer. Ho…

4. Narrative Of A Wife

Perseverance In Constructive Communication

"A married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband." 1 Corinthians 7:34
But how do I live that command in everyday life? 
If I'm honest, there is a part of me that rebels at the thought of living to please another human. I like to please myself, follow my dreams, and work to establish my own happiness. That is the natural me; that self-serving, according-to-the-world's-standard, without-the-power-of-the-Holy-Spirit, way of living. 
There is another desire within my heart, zealous to please my husband.

The problem is, I don't know exactly how to deny the one and feed the other outside of painful lessons learned through trial and error. 
* * * * *
From the time we were dating I noticed aspects of the man I loved that I really did not love. Big Things and Little Things. After the initial, dreamy stage wore off I'd get distressed about even the tiniest issues and wished to repa…

3. Narrative Of A Wife

Setting Up My House

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of becoming a wife and mother, creating a home, and immersing myself in all things domestic. Perhaps this was due to my Amish-Mennonite upbringing. Or was it because of the peace and security of my own childhood, in which my mom was a constant stabilizing presence I subconsciously wished to emulate? In any case, I never had aspirations for a career other than homemaker.

I was loathe to work away from home. Nothing about it appealed to me. All of it was only work. An outside job had the advantage of earning a few extra dollars but that was not important enough to override the greater desire of my heart.

Could I please have a home of my own someday?

From the age of thirteen I had been hired out to work for friends and acquaintances. Cleaning for a midwife. Babysitting and cleaning for her married children. Being a maid for two weeks after the birth of one of her grandchildren. Kitchen duty at a restaurant. Working at a bulk foo…

2. Narrative Of A Wife

I Become His Wife!

Dale had a vague idea of beginning our courtship in the distant future, perhaps six months hence. Let's take this slow and easy to give me a chance to make a little more money and get my finances in order. That's what he said.

My heart dropped, but I was not about to appear overly anxious, so I responded to his plan quite equably. 
Some time earlier, Dale had committed himself to bachelorhood, assuming marriage was not in the picture anymore. God had asked him to surrender that desire, he had obeyed, and that meant the remainder of his life would be given to serving the Lord to the very best of his ability. He even gave away whole paychecks on the basis of meeting a need for his fellow man. Why hoard all this money when he didn't plan to provide for a family of his own?

Stepping into the relationship scene was actually an unwelcome diversion from the direction he thought his life was taking. He told me the other day that at the time it looked to him like…

1. Narrative Of A Wife

A Man and A Maid

The young woman, her brothers, sisters and her parents, had packed their bags into the family's colorful old van and traveled from their home in Pennsylvania to attend a weekend church conference in Northeast Ohio. The four hour trip did not seem a great distance to a family accustomed to road trips across the country. Within a few miles of the destination they pulled off at a filling station.

The young man was fueling his tiny car at that same location just as the family drove in. Though they were far from home and he lived hours away, this meeting seemed oddly prearranged. Because it so happens, this is exactly the man who has been turning her world upside down the past five months. Her parents found this an interesting development.

Her father pulled up next to his car and she slipped out the door, shyly offered him a nervous greeting and a smile, then quickly crawled back into the safety of the van with her brothers and sisters.

Chance encounter? More like a pr…

Free Furniture Face-lift

Traveling along a country road on my way home from a grocery run I caught a glimpse of furniture sitting out in front of a house. Did the cardboard sign leaning against it say "FREE" or was that my imagination? I turned around and hesitantly pulled into the lane. Sure enough, free for the taking - an old dressing table, mirror and chest of drawers.  

That was a year ago. Those three pieces have been shuffled back and forth between the covered patio and the front foyer, awaiting a facelift. Determined to start the project I'd drag it into position only to realize it wasn't happening after all. Back out it went, or back inside, as I struggled to find time and the proper technique. 

I like the diminutive footprint and understated ornamentation. Cute but not too cutesy.

Despite many scratches, stains and flaws (oh, and birdseed in the drawers) it seems sturdy and pretty well intact.

I knew it would take quite a bit of work but did not know exactly how to tackle the top…