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What if I were obedient to my husband
part one
 ---pamela spurling

 Titus 2.5   "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good,
obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."

What if I began each day in prayer... and as I sought the LORD,
What if I asked Him to direct in ways  I might be more obedient, helpful and loving to my husband?
What if my first thoughts on any decision were to be: "Is this pleasing to the LORD and honouring to my husband?"
What if I ordered my day around his schedule and his preferences?
What if my first concern was to meet his needs?
What if I loved my husband in this way... no hidden motives, no strings attached, no time limit?
Would I be thought wise?  Maybe...
Would my days go smoothly? Maybe...
Would this cease future conflicts and disappointments?  Maybe...
Would this bring ecstasy and joy unspeakable to my life?  Maybe...
Would I have my needs met?  Maybe...

I am writing to you today as a sister in the LORD who desires all of the above---probably just like you. And I am taking a risk and say that the answer to all the above questions regarding the results of obedience to husbands is: Maybe... because obedience is no guarantee of future happiness in marriage. But let me tell you what it does... it does bring joy. Joy, because obedience is what the LORD requires.  It is what the LORD commands and there is a peculiar joy that comes from living in obedience to the LORD. This inner joy is present even when happiness is not, this joy is not dependent on happiness. Rising early to drink from the well of God's Word, we learn to see and understand that there can be no true happiness without the joy of the LORD in our hearts.

I had to come to a place in my life where obedience to God was more important to me than my perception or pursuit of happiness. Where my longing to know the LORD became greater than my longing to go my own way. I wanted more than anything to be found faithful... do you know what I mean? Do you long to be an obedient wife?  Do you desire the fruit of a virtuous life? Then you, too, have a decision to make...a decision you may have already made... and so you know that it is a decision that will necessarily determine the course of your days for the rest of your life. Your decision entails commitment. It's a simple decision, but it's not always an easy one.

You will never be a obedient woman until you are a faithful woman and you will never be a faithful woman until you lay down your life, your desires, your plans, your agenda and allow the LORD to give you a new heart and with this, a new life, new desires, new plans, a new agenda.

A woman cannot be an obedient wife without faith, for without faith it is impossible to please God. I have a couple of stories to tell you today... as always, I share with you things the LORD is showing me and leading me through or
allowing in my life. One story I am reticent to tell because of its private nature and then one I am ashamed to tell, but will share it with you because perhaps you can learn from my foolishness.

Several weeks ago, Wes (my husband) made arrangements to "take me away" to a special place...a total surprise to me. I had a couple of days to think about it...and I was so nervous... See? Already---my thoughts were centered on *me.* I was letting the tyranny of the urgent dictate how I responded to his gesture of love, and I was allowing my reasoning to dominate the planning.   See how silly this was?  His gift and I was determining how it was going to be given and received!!   It seemed to be inappropriate timing---we have many children to care for, and I was concerned about their care (he had taken care of them), there are many things going on in the family (he already knew this), the wedding was coming up and the dresses had to be completed for the bridesmaids, I was nervous about a doctor's
appointment (he had already considered this), and all of the planning for the school year (he had already purchased the materials), Bible study and messages...(he already understands and supports the allocation of time for this) but there was one thing that was needful and it was time and intimacy with my him!! My husband---for whom I do
all these things. You see, I was putting him at the bottom of the list of necessary things. I was allowing familiarity to be an excuse. I thought surely he will understand why or how I cannot be taken aside right now and how I am too busy.

You see? I was allowing my *feelings* to control my decisions instead of allowing my *convictions* to control my feelings---allowing him to lead and to wait on him, to trust him and to serve him. O, but I see now that the LORD was surely in it all and He orchestrated the time, the location and the intimacy with His perfect touch.  So, I had a "heart change" and I would not allow my *feelings* to control my decisions instead, my *convictions* would control my feelings and I decided to make this time away the most memorable time  we had ever spent... to share more than ever before, my heart with him... as if I were a home for him to settle into and walk around looking into every drawer, every cupboard, every book, every letter, unfold every garment, taste all the food, open every window...hear
every song and wipe every tear. I wanted to do the same with him. I wanted him to know and understand that it was my heart's desire to fully know his thoughts, his heart and his desires. I wanted him to be fully persuaded of my love, passion and commitment to and for him.  It was conviction that was used to fuel passion I determined to demonstrate, and I began to see the love and passion I had reviously kept pretty guarded.

I have written to you in messages past sharing that even though there were so many things to learn in the early days----I didn't know I needed to know... work to do that I didn't know needed to be done... effort to be put forth that I didn't know was necessary... and then there were occasions where our love became routine... taken for granted... habitual. So much I didn't know---so much I still don't know!! I thought this was normal and acceptable... O, now I see that love is to be treated as a garden---well watered as with tears of laughter and sorrow. Well cultivated as with love, learning and adventures. Fertilized as with experiences, disappointments, joys and woes. Pruned as with leaving off foolish ways, indifference, discontentedness and inconsiderate manners. The fruit of passionate love must be enjoyed and chosen and pruned to produce more fruit. I thought that peaks and valleys were normal and acceptable... because things always work out fine and those times were inevitable. I regret taking my needs and feelings more seriously than my husband's.  I had love and truth out of balance... I thought he was to tenderly care for me (which he did and does) and I thought that my part was to do what he said *if* he actually asked me to do something...that's all submission was to me. Obey a command... *if* there actually was a command given. How foolish and ignorant and small is that thinking.

Even though I would have said I was completely obedient to him and submission was paramount to me... I see that I was continually allowing the tyranny of the urgent to dominate and because of his polite behavior and understanding nature, I took his reactions as an "okay" to slack off in some areas of attentiveness, to be a little less observant of his needs. So... part of the commitment I made during that time was to rekindle passion and obedience or submission
to him. I wanted him to know that I was rekindling the passion that I had let wane... he was and would be first in my thinking and planning.

I decided and committed to him that my life would be purposefully set to be his compliment... his completer. The urgent needed to be reevaluated. He is my love---and if this was true.... And it is...then I needed/need to live out this truth.

Song of Solomon 8.6-7 "Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; jealousy is cruel as the grave: the coals thereof are coals of fire, which hath a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be condemned."

I have no words to describe the joy and peace that saturated every moment of our time away. Things would never be the same again. It was the best time we've ever had... old commitments renewed and new commitments made... it was life changing...

 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a
roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"
1 Peter 5.8

It would be quite awhile later... that I would be going through the afternoon, governed by my commitments to my husband, that I would fall. Some may think I am overly dramatic about this whole thing...  My comment, my careless comment, had not one second's thought in it... I made a joke and this joke was really not malicious... and not
intended to be offensive...just a few words... a little quip--- I was being witty... and this wit was really a foolish comment from this nitwit. I went against a decision and commitment I had made nearly twenty years ago, to not make comments or cutting remarks or jokes at my husband's expense. Even worse, I had, exactly as I just shared
with you, made a commitment to be his compliment to cherish my treasure in him... I would have told you---even that morning---that careless jesting was something I would never do... it is something I am committed to uphold. I would have told you that little comments like that are the little foxes that come in and spoil the acid in the eyes and I surely wouldn't allow myself to say any disparaging remark or anything that would insult, belittle, or poke
fun at my husband. Now... we do joke around...sometimes a lot---- but I think you understand what I mean by casual jesting that has a cutting edge on it or that is laced with sarcasm. Regretfully, I never gave my little wisecrack a thought... I just said it and laughed. Maybe you have done this, too, and so you understand the tremendous sickening feeling of regret and shame that washed over me after I considered it. It is easily seen why the Lord would have us to guard our mouths.

Proverbs 17.27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.  Ecc 5.2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.

Even though he likes to tease from time to time and he jokes with others, my husband carefully avoids any negative or cutting remarks and never speaks in a derogatory manner toward or about me. But here was my treasure, my love, the one whom I adore... at whom I carelessly zinged a comment. In the following hours, I poured out my heart to him. I wrote an apology... I prayed to the LORD and went to my husband again. He is so merciful to me; the LORD is merciful to me and I knew His forgiveness but I was surely aware of my indiscretion and I loathed that I had been inconsiderate. Now, had you been a guest at our table, and we did have treasured guests with us, by the way, (which only added to my shame) you might have laughed... you might have wondered why I said what I did... you might have thought
nothing of it... that's not the point---the point is, I am committed to being a blessing to my husband and I wasn't.
*1 Peter 5.8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:"*

What if I were obedient to my husband?
What if I began each day in prayer... and as I sought the LORD,
What if I asked Him to direct in ways I might be more obedient, helpful and loving to my husband?
What if my first thoughts on any decision were to be: "Is this pleasing to the LORD and honouring to my husband?"
What if I ordered my day around his schedule and his preferences?
What if my first concern was to meet his needs?
What if I loved my husband in this way... no hidden motives, no strings attached, no time limit? Really---no strings---really.

These are the words of my prayers once again this week. These are the cries of my heart once again.

Eph 4.29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but
that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.
Prov. 10.32 "The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable..."

As I have rehearsed that afternoon and the subsequent prayers and conversations, I have been keenly aware of God's presence. I have been aware of the need to be renewed in the spirit of my mind. I have been utterly aware of how my thoughts and my words can be so damaging. I am so disappointed in myself for this... because it's not the big things that get me in trouble... It's the little things that I trip over. So I have recommitted myself to be devoted and obedient to my husband... that I will be the fragrance in his life and of his life, and that I will be a sweet smelling offering to God.

Ephesians 5.1-2
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ hath loved us and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.

What if I were obedient to my husband?
Then my first concern would be obedience to the LORD... I will lift up my eyes unto the LORD, to Him from whom comes all of my help, I resolve to know Him more and more and to hold His Word dearer and dearer. Then my heart is steadfast, trusting in Him.  It is only then that the prayer of my heart concerning my husband would be sincere. Then, the "what's in it for me?" question would not even be considered... it wouldn't even be asked. One doesn't question
joy when one knows joy.  I long to be found faithful to the LORD and to my husband...

 "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her..."
 ~ pamela spurling ~ 2000-2002  The Welcome Home ~

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