My wife has a way of talking in my presence as if I don’t exist. One day, many years ago, she was preparing to travel to a ladies’ conference in a neighboring country, and we were in the bedroom packing and having some pleasant talk when all of a sudden she straightened up and said, “Oh, dear me! I wonder if I will get someone to help me heave these bags over to the bus stop….”
I almost burst a vein. The “Oh” had come out in a long, drawn-out sigh which clearly meant that she did not consider she had anyone to assist her in moving those bags to the bus stand.
Here I was, enjoying my final moments with my wife – and with one artless remark she had thrown a spanner into the whole works.
“Flo”, I said in deep frustration, “here I am, waiting to help you with your luggage, and you go about moaning as if you don’t have a husband!”
“Oh, I am sorry”, she replied, blissfully oblivious to the volcano that was building up right next to her. “I just meant these bags are heavy, you know….”
I flipped. “No! No! You don’t get my point!”
She looked at me in a manner which clearly stated she understood my point all right. Pride is pretty pointed, and it would take a moron to miss it.
Finally, she saw the light. “OK, forgive me”, she said meekly.
Which did not seem like an admission to me, but I grudgingly assented. “You are forgiven”, I replied as my pressure gauge slowly dropped down to a few hundred bars above normal. At least I had made my point.
That experience is nothing to boast of, and yet I can thank God for it. If there is one thing I am eternally grateful to God for, it is the wife He gave me, Flo. She is a true “helper”. She “helps” cut down my pride. God uses her very effectively in confronting my particular brand of pride and in showing me the narrow path.
Initially I was a very poor learner. I would constantly “kick against the pricks”, savagely battering down all her admonitions and attempting to impose my will in every situation. Needless to say, all my “victories” were won at great personal cost.
But now I thank God that, through the revelation of the Cross in my life, it is easier for me to back down. And the fruit I reap is unbounded peace and joy.
To this day, my wife still talks in my presence as if I were a long-dead fossil. She does it involuntarily (must be a genetic defect), and no harm is meant, of course; yet it is sometimes enough to raise my “manly” hackles to the limit. But by the grace of God a strong undergirding of a given, surrendered life has gradually taken over, and through an understanding of the Cross of Christ I can finally wrestle down the flesh. I am not implying it is easy; but the Cross has become the joy of both our lives.
Today, in our 18 years of marriage my wife and I both know that we are in the best relationship we have ever been in.
And I couldn’t possibly end this post without thanking Brother Miki from the bottom of my heart for bringing us the revelation of the grace of God that has brought such mighty healing to the entire spectrum of our spiritual lives!