Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My Main Ministry: Ryan

I have been convicted lately to look carefully at how I am doing in terms of my marriage. I spend a TON of time thinking about how I can be a better mom but not nearly enough energy considering where I might improve my ministry to my husband.

I have a book on my bookshelf, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, that I read about 5 years ago. And I have known for a while that it is time to pick it up again and do a personal "check up." It is so interesting what stuck out at me five years ago verses what is sticking out this time. My initial read-through of this book gave me permission to follow and submit to Ryan, even when I thought I had a better (read: right) way to do things. I honestly thought that if I had a better idea than him, that it would be wrong to follow his lead... that I was supposed to "follow" my spiritual leader, so long as he was spiritually leading well. After reading the book 5 years ago, I learned that I needed to follow and submit to his leadership regardless of his ability to lead, and regardless of whether or not I had a better idea. This revolutionized my concept of submission in a really good way. I saw that it was not my responsibility to make sure we were doing the best thing. What freedom I found in letting that go!

In my current read-through of this great book, one sentence has really impacted me more than any other (so far):
God's will for every Christian wife is that her most important ministry be to her husband.
This is something I have known for a long time but it is sinking deep into my fibers this time. Am I running my hours, days, weeks, and months as though this is what I believe? What am I doing that communicates this truth? If I am doing something intentional to minister to Ryan, is it something Ryan actually values, or is it something I merely THINK he values?

I am convicted to answer these questions. I want Ryan to believe that he has no bigger advocate on earth than his wife; No more enthusiastic cheerleader than the woman he married.

Have you given this any thought? I know that for a long time I felt like I could not be the kind of godly wife I was supposed to be "because he...". I played a blame game, believing that my role was stifled when he did not fulfill his role. Martha's book reminds me that there is only one thing that keeps me from being a godly wife: my own sin. One sin I see I have committed over and over again is the presumption that God will help me even when I am neglecting His truth. Why would God answer my cry for help when I am using my tongue to cut Ryan down, or allowing my mind to dream what it would be like "if only..."

Martha's answer to this problem: Because God has so richly provided for a Christian wife in her battle against sin, she is without excuse. Her loving, merciful, and holy God has truly provided everything she needs to become a godly wife - to become the excellent wife that God wants her to be. And even when she falls short, she can be forgiven. 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness' (1 John 1:9).

I want my life and my relationship with my husband to glorify You, Jesus!


Greg and Andrea said...

That book has had a strong impact on my marriage, too. It's definitely worthy of a re-read every so often. She doesn't "sugar coat" the truth, and the things she says are convicting because they're straight from the Bible. Who can argue with that?

Pate Family said...

Oh good post- I should go and read it again also!