Fast forward a couple of years and I sat in a Women's Bible Study with a woman named Gaye. She made it very clear to me that I was to respect my husband and his role that GOD had given him. I think she could see through my own insecurities and knowing that Craig wasn't this total incapable man that I was making him out to be. She steered me in the right direction and I began to really understand not just what it meant to be submissive but to really uphold and adore my husband. I then began to surround myself with other wives that adored their husbands. I think back to my new relationship that had formed with my friend, Page. Here is a woman that has stood by her husband through thick and thin. That whole thing in the vows of "richer or poorer" and "sickness and in health" - she has lived through it all. In all the years I've known her, she has never bashed her husband. She holds him in high regard and considers all they have been through as a blessing.
I then began to see on Facebook other friends that absolutely loved their husbands and wrote encouraging and edifying things about them for all the world to see. It touched my heart! I even wrote to an old friend that I really appreciate seeing her posts and how much she adored her husband - it really did make me feel good. And, I know she wasn't writing such things for reward - she really does love her husband.
God began to put people in my life that re-iterated what Gaye taught me many years ago. Its funny how He has a way of moving us in the right direction.
Now back to my friend's funeral.... can you imagine being married to a man for many years and then suddenly, he's gone? You wait for him every day to walk in after work but in reality, he's not coming home. You wait for him to be in the kitchen when you go for your first cup of coffee, but instead, you walk into an empty room. You wait for someone to lean over at bedtime and kiss you goodnight, only to reach over and the pillow is cold and no one is there. I'm sure my friend would give anything to have her husband here. A wise friend once told a group of us in bible study, "Please, don't complain to me about your mom, I wish I still had mine here on earth." That hit me like a ton of bricks. And, I'm sure the same goes for women who have lost husbands.
I continue to pray for my old friend that I spent countless hours with "husband-bashing." The last time we saw one another, it was quite uncomfortable because she was actually saying things in front of him. Can you imagine what that does to a man's soul!?!?!? I got in the car that night and confessed to Craig all the times I sat around and drug his name in the mud. I felt like a complete moron but he was so gracious and said "I probably deserved it." No, he didn't deserve it! I was given my husband by God! To talk ugly about him, to complain about him is complete disrespect to my Heavenly Father. And, not to mention - who do I think I am??!?!?!? PERFECT!?!?!?! Not even close!
I started trying to think of where I came up with this practice of men bashing. It wasn't my mother. Though my parents divorced when I was 6, she never spoke ill of my father. She never did any type of male bashing so I was clueless....until, I started noticing it on TV. Its all by the grace of God that I began to see it. The craziest place I saw it was on Kid's Shows!!! I quickly became appalled at the shows that make the "Dad" or "Husband" seem stupid and inadequate. I've since cut those shows from my kids' viewing. But, this isn't a post about TV and its negative affects on my kiddos.
How do you combat male/husband bashing? First, go to God's word!
7 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
Second - GET NEW FRIENDS! This was done for me but looking back, I am thankful. God knew that I needed out of that relationship. Not because this friend was doing anything worse than me - I was probably the most toxic of the friendship. But, we fed off each other and it wasn't good. I pray for her and for me, that we will adore our husbands and love them like we are called to love them!
Third - PRAY FOR HIM!
Praying for your husband really does work! We did a bible study one time called "The Power of a Praying Wife" and let me tell you - its hard to be angry at someone that you are praying for every day! That's the best tool I have for my husband - prayer! I can't change him but God can and I need to trust that God is working in his life and in mine too!
Start today and think of ways you can show adoration to your husband. He is still going to leave his dirty socks on the floor, forget to put the cap on the toothpaste, forget to put the garbage out and forget your birthday. But, be reminded that God gave him as a blessing, a protector, a provider and a lover. If anything, thank God for him each and every day. And think about the widow that longs to have her husband in her arms. Surround yourself with godly women who speak words of edification, adoration and love of their husbands. And remember, your children are watching you and how you treat their Daddy!