By the title, you may think this entry pertains to something for which I’m speechless – that I simply cannot find the right, proper or effective words to say in response to a particular person or situation. You are right. But mostly wrong.
In the context of any relationship, there are guaranteed to be times that you quite honestly have no words. I find that if I’m still talking, there’s hope! 🙂 If I have gone mute, well.. look out! Aren’t we all like that? I find that when a WOMAN can’t form the words in response to a particular issue or to her husband, then she’s either completely resigned, indifferent or deeply hurt.
But the Bible says something completely different. That there IS hope as long as the woman remains SILENT. I’m not talking about being completely passive (have we met?!) or being afraid to let your voice be heard. No. But this isn’t really about what I’M saying. It’s about what God’s word says: “wives, be submissive to your husband..so..they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives..” 1 Peter 1:3
For the past (almost) two years, my husband and I have disagreed on a particular decision. I don’t normally “air my dirty laundry in public”. Or is it “iron”? Whatever the case, I don’t normally carry my laundry out of the house. 🙂 But, it should come as no surprise that a husband and wife disagree about something. Or many things!
I think all marriages have what I like to call: “the untouchables”. There is usually so much history with these topics that opening dialogue could create another world war. (Let’s just hope it doesn’t last as long as the current “war” we’re in right now with Iraq and Afghanistan!) Anyway, young and inexperienced, Matt and I would engage in this one certain “war” (in the last two years, there’s only been one true, yet constant, issue) and it would almost always result in crossing enemy territory. Everything from anger to hurt feelings to raised voices (:::gasp:::) would be strewn over the battlefield. And let’s face it: it almost always escalated because of MY MOUTH. I never knew when to be quiet. I always knew the exact things to say to get the desired reaction that I was seeking.
In confiding with my twin sister (not about Matt’s opinion/thoughts/perspective, but about mine), she referenced the above Bible verse. I’d love to say I heard it, felt pure conviction, and never again engaged in battle with my husband over this “issue”. But that isn’t true. It took months and months for me to finally realize that my words were of no use. My mouth wasn’t getting me anywhere. Instead, it was having the exact opposite result! Finally, I decided to take it to the Lord. There were (still are) times that I don’t feel like praying to God about it. Times that I feel like God isn’t listening or that He doesn’t care. But I decided to never again mention this subject to Matt (AS HARD AS THAT IS!) and pray that God would make Matt and I equally yoked in the decision. That if my feelings are wrong that God would change my heart, but that if Matt is wrong, that God would make that clear.
Something strange and unexpected happened when I decided to stop talking and start praying. Contentment entered in. No, I am still not happy with the decision. If anything, it still breaks my heart and I ask God daily to change it. But I know that by being quiet and not saying “a word”, I am doing what’s right in the Lord’s eyes. And that is never wrong! “Winning [him] over without a word” does not mean that you get your way. It means that you decide to obey Jesus and He will do the work. It’s not our job to change and control situations when issues arise. It IS our job, as Christian wives, to submit to our husband’s leadership (unless we’re talking about something sinful or abusive. In that case, please seek help immediately). EVEN when we disagree wholeheartedly.
Wives, we can with God’s help, lay to rest our desires and simply pray for HIS will to be done. Winning our husbands over without words should not be used in manipulation. It is not to be confused with the silent treatment either. It means to commit yourself to something greater. Something higher and deeper. Because a wife that wants GOD’s best (and not her own selfish desires!) honors her husband and the Lord. Commit to no longer engaging in discussions about your “untouchables”. Take your fears, anxieties, anger and disappointment straight to Jesus. Your husband will see you in prayer and reading God’s word and, hopefully, he’ll be inspired. He will also be encouraged that you are seeking GOD’s guidance on the issue. And maybe, just maybe, in the process, you’ll find contentment too.