The sun playing peek-a-boo with vibrantly green young oak leaves captivated me this morning as I settled myself into the quiet place. Wind blew brisk and leaves rustling made music soothing. Sweet feathered friends singing their hearts out couldn’t help but make my own glad even though sleep had evaded me for many hours the previous night.
And with Bible in lap and tea cup in hand I opened the ancient text to Romans in the J.B. Phillips New Testament.
Let us have no imitation Christian love.
Let us have a genuine hatred for evil and a real devotion to good.
Let us have real warm affection for one another as between brothers, and a willingness to let the other man have the credit.
Let us not allow slackness to spoil our work and let us keep the fires of the spirit burning, as we do our work for God.
Base your happiness on your hope in Christ.
When trials come endure them patiently, steadfastly maintain the habit of prayer.
Give freely to fellow-Christians in want, never grudging a meal or a bed to those who need them.
And as for those who try to make your life a misery, bless them. Don’t curse, bless.
Share the happiness of those who are happy, the sorrow of those who are sad.
Live in harmony with each other.
Don’t become snobbish but take a real interest in people.
Don’t become set in your own opinions.
Don’t pay back a bad turn by a bad turn, to anyone.
Don’t say “it doesn’t matter what people think”, but see that your behavior is above criticism.
As far as your responsibility goes, live at peace with everyone…
and overpower evil by good!
Romans 12: 9-21
And into the peace of the early morning with Father came the whispered query.
Are these not words of wisdom for marriage?
In my journey to become a better helper for my husband I read them again. Line by line. And asked God to speak to my heart about each precept.
And here’s a list of questions for you to ponder — as I will over the next several mornings. Pray over each one and ask God to direct you wherever you may need a change of course. And so will I.
1. Are you loving actively according to 1 Corinthians 13. God first. Husband second. Self last?
2. Is there anywhere in your soul where you make excuses for your own moments of evil or are you committed to being good for Goodness sake? Just to make Dad smile?
3. Are you warm, kind and gentle to your spouse, promoting them over yourself?
4. In the work you do each day — whether scrubbing toilets at home, taking care of little ones, writing blog posts or heading out the door to bring home the bacon alongside your husband — is your heart in it and do you see your work as a holy way to honor God?
5. Is your hope in Christ immovable or do you demand from a husband more than any one man could ever provide as you seek to be happy, perhaps over being holy?
6. Do you pray or do you fret when circumstances make you fearful?
7. Are you willing to give freely to your closest neighbor, your husband, or do you begrudge helping them, letting your resentment show?
8. And when your man gets on your last nerve at the end of a long day do you watch your words, allowing kindness and a polite tone to drip blessings of understanding and patience from your lips?
9. When your husband is happy and excited about something do you rejoice with him, even though you might not share his level of enthusiasm? Or do you feel jealous? When he is stressed and needs to vent are you able to listen without scolding or lecturing?
10. Do you seek to live in harmony with your mate or are you always upsetting the apple cart on a whim demanding?
11. Do you pridefully think you are above your husband, knowing more, able to do something better? Are you really interested in him, hobbies dear to his heart, and his work — which is a vital aspect of his God-given self-image as provider?
12. Do you take a hard-line stand and dig in your heels when you believe your opinion is the only right one or is there opportunity for noble, respectful discourse even when disagreeing?
13. If you husband does something that is less than loving, that hurts your heart, do you respond in kind? Or rise above and take the high road?
14. Is your behavior, especially at home behind closed doors, away from public or church view, pleasing to God?
15. Do you seek to live at peace with your husband?
16. And do you actively seek to overcome evil whenever and wherever it presents itself with your own good responses?
Becoming more like Jesus is a lifelong process where progress from a willing heart counts more with God than self-imposed efforts of perfectionism. If these questions reveal areas where you may be less than God’s best as a wife, don’t be overwhelmed.
Confess your sinful weaknesses to Father and receive grace. Then one day at a time purpose to be the very best Daughter you can be.
Keep growing in godliness as a beloved child of the Most High.
And as you do, you will become the wife and helper He wants you to be…
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Be a Better Helper series:
Part 1: Pray for him
How you and I can help our husbands more this year
Part 2: Respect him
Is your husband starving for respect?
Part 3: Serve him
Nine practical ways to serve your husband
We read each morning from the J.B. Phillips New Testament. We love it’s modern English edition which makes understanding God’s word easier. You can order a copy for yourself using my link.