“God brings us into straits that He may bring us to our knees.”
It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting:
for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart. Ecc 7:2
A few of my friends are going through some really trying times in their marriages, and I haven’t been immune to them either. Between just the five of us, we are dealing with marital infidelity, unemployment, pornography, financial difficulties, death of children, and upheaving a life in order to sell a house and in essence, start over. In other words, just because God is the Lord in our homes, it isn’t always “happy” in the sense of perfection.
As Christian wives, it’s sometimes hard to know what to do. We know we’re supposed to follow our husband’s lead, but what if where he’s leading is where you don’t want to go? Our options (and actions) vary from quietly having rational discussions to all-out fighting, sometimes both on the same day and we are not immune from bristling and falling down in our fleshly ways. Furthermore, it seems that because at least culturally we “understand” that Christians don’t ever, ever complain about anything (because that somehow means we are not trusting the Lord), we may be tempted to portray that our marriages are perfect, our homes are perfect, our children are perfect, and weeds never ever show up in our gardens.
I for one am praising the Lord that these friends and I don’t have to pretend that everything is perfect all of the time, answering falsely to inquires on how the day is going, how life is going. It’s one thing to maintain privacy to unbelievers (because, really, how are they going to encourage us?) but it’s another thing altogether to always answer with a cheery “fine!” in the midst of Christian fellowship. If you’ve never answered, “well…..actually….” or something akin to “hmm…today is not so bad” to even a passing “how are you” then I’m sorry but the stench of pride is wafting. No one has a perfect life. Even Jesus was spat upon, disrespected, mocked, physically beat upon and tempted. But, despite the fact we grow more and more like him, we still carry the thorn of sin in our flesh and we still fall.
Happy is that home whose God is the Lord. But it’s not some fake “happyhappyjoyjoy”. It’s the blessing that comes from knowing that in all things, God is present, and He is our Helper. And I for one praise Him for “makin’ it real” friends who humble themselves in their real troubles, and for being there to pray for me and pick me up when I fail. Which is humbling. Because I have to first say, “yoo hoo! Sitting in the pig pit here! Help!”
The Lord sustains us in our trials, but if you’re never truthful about the trials you’re in, then not only is opportunity missed for a brother or sister to minister to you, no one will seek your hand for help either because apparently you don’t understand the hard things in life and haven’t “been there”. Speak up. And let us all work towards showing that the Christian church not only knows hurt, but has the answer in the gospel of Jesus Christ.