Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Contentment at Home or Away

Being apart for the gospel is something that God is graciously using to teach me a lot about my sinful self and my need of Him these days. I'm continually challenged in my attitude and actions when my husband requires an extra evening to work or takes a few days away on a ministry trip. For some this might not seem like too much of a sacrifice, but for my husband and I, we have always worked closely together and rarely been apart - we met at bible college and studied together while dating and on into our first two years of marriage. Being apart is relatively new for both of us. To go from being in each others pockets (and loving it) to spending more time apart than together was not something we really prepared for. It was not something we gave any thought to.

Therefore, I'm always on the lookout for some helpful advice and godly examples to whom I can turn and be encouraged. I have this little book which I pick up from time to time which provides me with encouragement from God's Word and reassurance from ministry wives who have been there. Lisa Ryken has a short thought on being content whether your husband is at home or away. Readign words such as these not only bring rebuke, but comfort knowing that even the godliest women we know have been there. She writes:

My mother, a very godly woman, gave me wonderful advice when she said, "be content when he is at home and be content when he is away." This is an echo of Paul's exhortation in Philippians 4:11 to be content "whatever the circumstances." It's easy to become resentful and angry and then bitter with your husband - and with God - because of his work. When he has to make a hospital call or conduct an unexpected funeral, or when his sermon preparation takes longer than usual, do I respond with cheerful contentment or with grudging tolerance? One of my jobs as my husband's helper is to encourage him in his work.

What do I say to our children when they ask, "Where's Daddy?" My attitude usually determines how my children respond. If I'm angry about my husband's Saturday morning meeting, then my children are sure to be angry that Daddy can't be home to play with them. To be a godly mother and role model I need to respond to my children cheerfully. Instead of getting upset that my husband needs to go back to the office, I must pray that his work will be productive and joyful. This helps me to be content, to have a godly attitude, and to love my husband and his work.


mummymac said...

This is a very timely post for me, thanks so much for sharing this book, I hadn't come across it before.

Ann said...

Being apart for a while probably helps you understand the pressures many non-ministry couples in the church have.

Nicki said...

I think you are right Ann, and the last thing I would want to do is undermine other couples who have to spend much of their time apart for varying reasons. A close friend of mine is alone quite often with her two young boys as her husband travels on business alot. She is a great example for me at her ability to be a supporting wife and loving mother in those times.

padivan said...

I am learning that anytime I complain about a situation, it's complaining about what God is doing and how is has planned things out. I am really complaining against God when I complain about my husband being away from me.
Good post! Thanks for sharing. I need to get that devotional.