Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What's the Beef?

Howdy Willamina,

All of what you say is true, at least as far as I can remember. But nothing is happening and something needs to happen for anything to happen. So, when I talk to your husband, I'll be saying, “get back together with your wife.” And when I talk to you, I'll say, “do something to get back together with your husband.”

My suggestion is a way for you to make sure that what you're thinking is correct. It may also give us something we can grab in our hands and do something with. Right now, we are hearing one thing from you and another from Samuel. From our perspective it sounds like two proud people not getting along. No one wants to bend; no one wants to give an inch. If we were dealing with two small children we would tell them to hug and stop being this way. But with adults, we can't do that—exactly.

From another perspective, the Bible says to love your enemies and thus pour burning coals on their heads (Rom. 12). If you move in with Samuel, even if he hasn't forgiven you, you will still be in a position to love him and, through your loving kindness to him, make him feel terrible for treating you badly. Right now, there is nothing to make him even start to rethink what is going on.

Let me say this again, he thinks your reason for not moving in—because you have a dog and a cat—is just an excuse to choose something over him, again. If you really wanted to live with him as his wife, you would do whatever you needed to do to make it happen. I don't think this is totally right thinking, but it does make me wonder.

Of course my wife and I are in a very different situation than you guys, but I would bet you money that if I came home one day and announced that we were selling our house and moving down town to the Moscow Hotel, Eileen would be packing the next day and working to get rid of things so that we would fit in the new place. She might ask a few questions, but none of them would be challenges to my place as the leader of the family. You could ask her yourself, but this is what I would bet would be the case.

The essential difference is that Eileen trusts me, but more than that, I would hope, is that she trusts God to take care of her and us. I would not be asking her to sin, just move. God says to submit to him and in this situation that means submit to her husband.

So, what would it hurt for you to ask if Samuel's invitation still stands and then if it is, move in with him? What would it hurt for you to clean up after him and cook for him and care for him when he's sick? What would it hurt for you to get all slinky and lovey-dovey with him and get all dolled up and make the place all foofy and smelly? What would it hurt to make his house like a castle of which he is the king? What would it hurt for you to bow down and call him lord (1 Peter 3:1-6)? What would it hurt for you to do this for the rest of your life?

Of course it would be difficult if he didn't respond in a loving way, but if God is responding in a loving way, and he is, what's the beef? The thing is, this is what the Bible says for a wife to do when her husband is being a pill, and your husband is being a pill. The only thing you can do is to be the best wife to him that any man ever had, and to do it consistently and constantly until "death do you part."

I hope this helps.

In Him,

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