Monday, November 25, 2013

Seek wisdom in silence

Wife: "Why can't you be more like that woman's husband?"
 
 Husband: "Honey, it's simple, I'm not married to that woman." 
It's a cutting example but is an excellent response to the ugliness of a wife who is immersed in the sin of coveting. I've deserved to hear that response many times in the last 18 years. RLB can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't remember having ever said those exact words. I've thought them, I've harbored the selfish feelings that go with them, and I'm confident there were times my attitude and behavior put them on display.

Knowing these thoughts were wrong, my brain, instead of seeking Truth and wisdom, sought justification. There is no shortage of friends, family, public speakers, writers, or pastors who would provide the exact justification I sought. There are passages in the Bible, if isolated, that will provide the justification as well. 

The more I'd give voice to my woes, the more justified, discontented, and ugly I became. One of the trickiest deceptions women engage in is gossiping in disguise. From the outward appearance, it looks as though she's seeking advice. If one were to peel back the layers of it all, the advice she needs most is to learn how to seek wisdom in silence and not give voice to anything that may be perceived as disrespect toward her husband. I've often heard the enemy can not read a woman's mind, but with the way she blathers on, he doesn't need to. 
In seeking wisdom, the first step is silence; the second, listening; the third, remembering; the fourth, practicing; the fifth, teaching others. ~ Solomon Ibn Gabirol
I received an email the other day from a woman I respect. I don't know her personally, nor do I know much more about her than what you'll know reading this. What this email reveals is that she is very committed to seeking Truth and wisdom. She refers to comments I made on Sunshine Mary's essay, In Defense of Duty Sex. She did not participate in the discussion, in fact two weeks passed after the discussion before I received her email. 
I wanted to thank you for writing what you did. I have a similar situation, where my husband has little interest in sex (despite the fact that he’s very attracted to me and I am fully submitted to him in day-to-day life) and it has caused me enormous emotional distress over the years. I dealt with it by avoiding thinking about it (not hard, since we have an amazing, fun life together), or occasionally trying to do something about it. Obviously, this was something wrong with him, and I’m entitled to sex from him as my spouse, so my grief was entirely justified…

And then a few weeks ago, not long after I started to pray to God to reveal my sins to me, I saw it clearly - not only am I not justified in my attitude, but it is straight-up sinful. I thought it was my attachment to sex that was the core of my sin, but your comment really illuminated it. I’m covetous. I’m covetous of the sex that other married women have and I don’t, and I’m covetous of behaviours in my husband that are not (now or maybe ever) in his nature.

Though I respect my husband and submit to him in all aspects of regular life, when it comes to sex Satan has dug himself a nice little pit in my heart and I fall into it every single time I tread that ground. It’s like I’m me, and my husband is the man I love and admire and respect, and then suddenly I’m down the hole and the world is upside down. But after reading your comment I realized that though sex is where that pit is, it is nonetheless a basic fault in me that causes me to fall into it every time. I hadn’t considered myself a covetous person because I don’t covet material things, but maybe that’s why Satan was able to establish himself so easily where he did - I thought I had no reason to examine myself for covetousness.

Anyway, I went and prayed to God about it - that he might help me drive Satan out, fill up that pit, and accept my husband exactly the way he is.
What a fantastic testimony of a woman who is doing exactly what she needs to do to root out the sin in her life. She prayed about it, asked that it be revealed to her, sought wisdom, remained silent and contemplative, received revelation, and prayed for help.

 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. - 1 Timothy 2:11

It is important that we, as friends and confidants of married women, do not feed the beast that is disrespect and the plea for justification of sin. In that same thread, I made this comment:
There is nothing uglier than a woman who judges her husband and is covetous. We do a disservice to the marriage covenant when we agree with a woman on why her husband is unworthy of her respect – God does not tell us wives to respect our husbands when conditions are perfect to do so, in fact the mystery is revealed when we respect our husbands despite their worthiness. Well meaning Christians judge this and pity the woman who does it – God doesn’t… he blesses it.
To which Dalrock responded: 
This is huge, and I would say one of the great failures of our age. Christian men and women both are failing greatly here. As I’ve written before, what takes courage, obedience, and faith is to witness a failing Christian husband and remember that the Bible is clear that husbands are the head of the household, and wives are called to submit to their husbands even if the husband is not leading her as Christ leads the Church. So the question becomes, are his flaws so great that you are ready to destroy that family, to take that woman’s husband away? Are you confident enough in your judgment to know that God would want this family destroyed? If not, when the dust settles and the gossipers disperse he is still her husband. But now on top of his imperfections as a man his position as husband has been gravely undermined as well. The wife doesn’t have a better husband, she has a worse one. A more perfect husband could most likely overcome this, but it is the husband’s very lack of perfection which is used to excuse undermining his position in the first place.
This is so important for those who give advice. A marriage is not helped by telling a wife what her husband is doing wrong. Neither can a wife help her situation by seeking this information from others. In the blog world, there is an anonymity that seems to make it acceptable for a wife to reveal disrespect towards her husband. However:

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,
Him I will destroy;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart,
Him I will not endure. -
Psalm 101:5


These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren. -
Proverbs 6:16-19

4 comments:

  1. This is so important for those who give advice. A marriage is not helped by telling a wife what her husband is doing wrong. Neither can a wife help her situation by seeking this information from others. In the blog world, there is an anonymity that seems to make it acceptable for a wife to reveal disrespect towards her husband.

    I would agree that a woman shouldn't seek advice as to what her husband is doing wrong. I do think there can be some benefit in women helping each other see what she herself may be doing wrong. Of course, she needs to submit anything she hears from other women to God for Him to confirm.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have become convicted that I must ask a woman if she has prayed first before she comes to me seeking advice. It is also important that for many things she ask her husband if he approves of her coming to me for advice. If she has prayed about the issue, and her husband approves my counsel, I will do what I can to help her. Most of the time I listen to her and ask that I be able to get back to her because of my need to pray and sometimes talk with RLB before I give advice.

    So often women are quick to pick up the phone and text/call, or start typing on a blog before they sit in quiet prayer and contemplation about the concern/challenge they have. I'm a big fan of writing out all of one's concerns/challenges, praying about it and letting it rest for at the very least a day before pursuing advice.

    It is so very easy for women to hide/disguise their gossiping tongues (hearts) with pleas for advice and wise counsel.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well said SD. It was by no means chance that Dante assigned gossips to the lowest circle of Hell. It is the perfect instrument for Satan to pry the door open into our hearts and enter like a thief

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well written and convicting.

    What a lot of God's work you do my friend. It must make the enemy furious.
    What a lot of beauty for ashes you will have :)

    ReplyDelete