Sometimes when we hike Jeff will give me a "tow." I may be feeling worn out, or it might just be the reality I'm not in the shape he's in. He'll take my hand and "tow" me for a while, pulling me along so we get to our destination together. I appreciate the lift. :) But for him, it probably isn't as much fun ... it slows him down, it drags on him despite his good condition, and he doesn't get as far as he could if I would pull my own weight. In times like these, I admit I am a bit of a handicap. Fortunately, Jeff didn't marry me for my hiking potential, and hikes alone do not determine the quality of married life. THANK GOODNESS!
I have women ask me this question regularly: "What if your husband's a handicap to you ... spiritually?" When all is right in the world, the man is the leader of the home and the spiritually strong arm that steers the family. But the world isn't all right, and many women deal with the awkward and painful reality of having a husband who may actually be a "handicap" to her, though she is spiritually sensitive, growing, and longing for new territory.
So what do you do? Do you offer to "tow" your man, like Jeff does for me on the trail? Do you "get behind him" and nag and urge and prod him up ahead of you? Or do you just sit down and give up, looking longingly at the peaks and giving up on the hope of ever seeing the heights?
You can't love the Lord on behalf of your man, and you can't grow on his behalf, either; you also can't be his "Holy Spirit."
Remember this: God wants your man to know Him and walk with Him MORE THAN YOU DO ... hard to believe? It's true, and it's also true that God is working in your guy to conform him to God's image from whatever point he's at. That should give us relief and confidence and comfort, sweet friends.
Phil. 2:12b-13... continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.
Did you read that? "It is God who works," not "It is the wife who tows the less spiritually interested or mature husband." Nope. It's God. He's working.
1 Peter 3:1-2Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.
What is your husband seeing in your life? It goes on to tell about how inner beauty impacts a marriage through a gentle and quiet spirit. That's NOT a spirit that has a low volume, but an attitude that wants what God wants, yielding to Him. That's true submission, and that can influence a handicapped husband. Are you carrying your own spiritual weight in your marriage? You may be reading and realizing that your husband may feel like he's towing YOU. It's so wonderful to be able to scale the heights of knowing God together.
Maybe you are struggling with the temptation to grab your man by the spiritual hand and shout, "Come on, man! You're holding us back!" When two are not equally yoked, it DOES make it harder; I will not try to pretend like it doesn't. But when a woman in a spiritually disappointing relationship gives her burdens to God, trusting Him to be her protector and compensate for that unripe husband, she reaches peaks of spiritual maturity that are reserved for women who must learn how to let Jesus be their everything on the trail. YOU can still move forward in your relationship with your Heavenly Father, and He can meet your every need. Your trail may look different than a girlfriend's whose husband is up ahead, but God still has a beautiful journey planned for YOU.
The best thing you can do for your husband today is to be the woman of God that God calls YOU to be. As you are that godly woman in a handicapped relationship, YOU PRAY, and you don't stop praying. YOU TRUST, and you don't stop trusting. God wants your husband to cling to Him more than you do!
It takes total trust to let a Guide take you on the route, at the pace, and to the destination only He knows, but Jesus is the Guide who loves you and understands your heart's desire. His plan and desire is for your husband to grow in maturity so he can step up to the trail and lead you one day. Don't give up. Let Jesus "tow" you there.
Please know that for me, Marriage Mondays are a day when I pray for you as you read. I'm praying God will move in many hearts today. And He wants that even more than I do. If today's post would encourage a friend who is "out there" trying to drag her hubby up the spiritual hill, I hope you'll send this on, along with prayers for her encouragement and perseverance.
Blessings, sweet readers,