No one really embraces heartbreak or suffering. We usually do everything we can to avoid it, and we often complain to God when He doesn’t put an end to it at our first request. But maybe he is allowing the suffering for a really good reason. Maybe He has purpose even when he allows us to experience disappointment or even heartbreak.
I think of several stories from the Bible. Joseph’s story in Genesis, chapters 37-50, is a prime example. Even though Joseph endured great suffering for many years as he wrongly spent time in prison, God had a masterful plan he was executing behind the scenes….a plan that would involve Joseph rising to great power in Egypt and helping his family gain food during a famine in Israel. I also think of the great apostles Peter and Paul. They were beaten and thrown into prison, but God later miraculously freed them from prison and their story inspired many to follow Christ.
The Bible reveals that there is purpose in suffering and heartbreak. Romans 5:3-5 says “…we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” So, perhaps instead of feeling sorry for ourselves or feeling anger toward God, maybe you and I should choose to trust God even in the midst of heartbreak. Maybe we should ask God to use our suffering to build our character. God won’t waste your heartbreak. He will use it to do something beautiful.
If you want to please God, please your husband, and find true fulfillment in your role as a wife, then meditate and act upon the instructions God gives wives in the Bible. That’s what many of us have been trying to do at Squadron of Sisters over the last 10 years, and all I can say is….it works!!
Here are 8 key verses that describe a godly wife and/or reveal the purpose of a wife:
Genesis 2:18 (a godly wife is a companion and helper for her husband)
Ephesians 5:33 (a godly wife shows respect and honor for her husband, whether she “feels” like it or not!)
Proverbs 31:25 (a godly wife carries herself with dignity so she is able to lovingly but firmly establish boundaries with her husband if he is sinning against her)
Proverbs 31:30 (a godly wife respects and obeys the Lord)
Colossians 3:18 (a godly wife submits to her husband’s leadership, as long as he is not leading her down an immoral or destructive path)
Proverbs 31:27 (a godly wife is diligent in taking care of her family and household)
1 Corinthians 7:4 (a godly wife builds a robust sex life with her husband)
1 Peter 3:4 (a godly wife has a gentle and peaceful demeanor with her husband)
Can any of us be perfect wives, as described in the Bible? No way. None of us is capable of performing to this incredibly high standard every day. However, we are to earnestly seek to grow more and more like the Biblical model each day, and we all need to pray for Jesus to give us a willing heart to obey his instructions to us. 🙂
God has given me a vision for Christian wives. I see him rising up an army of strong but gentle wives who do specific things in such a focused and powerful way that their husbands are propelled to become mighty men of God! Don’t we all want that?
The qualities of these strong Christian wives are all Biblical, and if we press into them, I’m confident we will have a tremendous, positive impact on our men! As we encourage and pray for our men, our men will be much more likely to step up and become mighty men of God. Hallelujah!
The most important thing we can do is to respect, honor and love the Lord. But beyond that, catch this vision of the wife God is calling you to become. He is calling wives to be…
encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11…encourage one another and build each other up)
respectful (Ephesians 5:33….the wife must respect her husband)
gentle (1 Peter 3:4 …the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight )
compassionate (Colossians 3:12 …clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience)
courageous (Joshua 1:9… Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.)
loving but firm confronters of sin (Luke 17:3 If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him)
prayer warriors (Colossians 4:2… Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful)
It’s so very easy to sink into self-pity, despair or flat-out depression when life throws you a curve ball. It happens when you receive bad medical news or when your husband does something hurtful or when your child starts following the wrong crowd or when your get laid off at work.
However, you do have a choice in how you’re going to view this sudden development. You can choose to feel sorry for yourself and become consumed with resentment and hopelessness….or you can choose to do three much more productive things! You can choose to make the most of your hardship by….
Praying without ceasing for God to intervene in the situation (read Luke 18:1-8)
Seeking guidance from God on what possible actions you should take to improve the situation (read Psalm 32:8)
Asking God what He wants you to learn through this situation so that you grow in character and faith (read Romans 5:3-5)
I seem to bump into quite a few women who seem to either struggle with discouragement and mild depression or simply feel unfulfilled. When it comes to both these conditions, there aren’t necessarily simple answers, but I do believe taking one particular step could bring significant help. That step is to get outside yourself and begin serving those less fortunate! Yes, really.
This is God’s instruction to us all. In fact, He says in Isaiah 58 that the kind of “fasting” that he desires is not to look all religious by denying yourself food or pleasure. Instead he desires us to “loose the chains of injustice…to share your food with the hungry…to provide the poor wanderer with shelter. He says “then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear” (Isaiah 58:8)
Is it time to stop focusing on what’s wrong with your circumstances and to look for opportunities to serve those in need all around you? I can almost guarantee that you WILL become more fulfilled when you begin helping others. Try it!