Monday, April 14, 2008

Missing My Husband

I find it amazingly hard to be apart from my closest and dearest companion. He left early this morning for the T4G conference in Louisville, KY. It's funny how you love someone wildly when you marry them, but then you find that time brings a sweetness and depth to that love that surpasses all previous experience.

I am somewhat consoled by the fact that he is benefiting from my loss. I think it is easy for a woman to view her husband as one who exists to make her life better. It is much harder for her to do what's best for him, and to help him serve the Lord to the best of his abilities.

Charles Ray tells a story in The Life of Susannah Spurgeon, a little bio included in Free Grace and Dying Love: Morning Devotions by Susannah Spurgeon, where Susannah is having a hard time letting go of her husband. She was married to the famous 19th century baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, and he was often away preaching. The story goes like this.
Once and once only she broke down, when her dear one was about to leave in the early morning for a distant mission, and the tears could not be kept back. 'Wifey,' said her husband, 'do you think that when any of the children of Israel brought a lamb to the Lord's altar as an offering to him they stood and wept over it when they had seen it laid there?' and when she replied in the negative he added, tenderly, 'Well, don't you see, you are giving me to God in letting me go to preach the gospel to poor sinners, and do you think he likes to see you cry over your sacrifice?'

'Could ever a rebuke have been more sweetly and graciously given?' says Mrs Spugeon. "It sank deep into my heart, carrying comfort with it and thence-forward when I parted with him, the tears were scarcely ever allowed to show themselves, or if a stray one or two dared to run over the boundaries he would say, "What! crying over your lamb, wifey?" and this reminder would quickly dry them up, and bring a smile in their place.' (p. 158-159)
A woman does not have to be married to a preacher to apply this principle. A man who is working any job to provide for his family is serving the Lord, and his wife needs to help him to do it well.

I suppose letting go of our beloved is a way we can deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Jesus (Matt. 16:24). However I don't see it as some dreadful stoic duty of a wife. The next part of the verse says, "
For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."

And this promise is what I cling to.


Erin said...

That is very true, and I know I need to complain less and encourage more. It's hard sometimes to put others before yourself- even if it's your dear husband. We need to humble ourselves and I, especially, need to remember what Philippians 2:14-15 says:

14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.

It is very true that we need to rejoice when our spouse is working for the Lord, and, in doing so, we are honoring God as well. Spurgeon is so right in saying: 'Well, don't you see, you are giving me to God in letting me go to preach the gospel to poor sinners, and do you think he likes to see you cry over your sacrifice?'

Thanks for the post! :)

Anonymous said...

Your "lamb" related that story to me yesterday at the Southern Seminary Bookstore as we saw that same book.

Thanks for encouraging him to go, Christel. Both Clint and I felt a tinge of guilt for being down there, but I think I speak for both of us in saying that is was very beneficial and providential for us to be in Louisville.