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What's A New Wife To Do? (Part 2)

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Faith's Firm Foundation: What's A New Wife To Do? (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What's A New Wife To Do? (Part 2)

Please return to read "What's A New Wife To Do? (Part 1)".

As Newlyweds, my husband and I had a lot of maturing, generally, to do.  But more than that, we had a lot of maturing in Christ to do.  We were not living as Spirit-filled, Spirit-led Christians.  We were being led by our flesh, and doing what our selfish desires told us.  We were living carnally, as Romans 8 says.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

We needed to die to self, and live to Christ.  Many couples come into marriage with a "max amount I'm going to compromise or give" figure in their hearts. I'll come this far, give this much, and no further.  They haven't consciously thought that, but it's there.  The way I know this is that we often hear the question, "Why do I always have to be the one to give in?"  When we find ourselves thinking, "I'm not giving in!  It's his/her turn!" the result is strife, resentment and bitterness. I had to learn to, figuratively, look up and beyond my husband, to Christ, and see that all the "giving in" and "giving up" and "serving" and "submitting" was done to, and for, Christ, though acted out to my husband.  I'm still learning this lesson, and probably will be until I die.

Can I ever serve, or submit to Christ too much?  No matter how much I "sacrifice", it's inconsequential to what Christ did for me! My attitude, not the act, is at the heart of the issue--do I do it willingly and lovingly, or do I do it resentfully, keeping track of every little "sacrifice"? Do I hang on to my "rights", and get angry, or do I surrender all to Christ and become meek like Him?  The attitude is the part I control, and am responsible for, though it still is the Spirit that works in me to do it, and God's Spirit in me is the "oil" that lubricates all the loving acts and attitudes to flow.  This isn't natural, this dying to self and surrendering to God.  It's supernatural! It's only possible if we, first, have given Jesus Christ our lives and control of them.  It's only possible if we surrender daily, and in everything, to His Lordship.  We need to get on our knees and ask for His grace and power to surrender.  "If He's not Lord of All, He's not Lord at All."

Some thoughts from Amy Carmichael's little book, "If--What do I Know of Calvary Love?"

there be any reserve in my giving to Him
who so loved that He gave
His Dearest for me;
if there be a secret "but" in my prayer,
"Anything but that, Lord,"
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

something I am asked to do for
another feels burdensome;
if, yielding to an inward unwillingness,
I avoid doing it,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

I myself dominate myself,
if my thoughts revolve around myself,
if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have 'a heart at leisure from itself,'
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold,
I do not shut the door,
and in the power of Him who
works in us to will and to do,
keep that door shut,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.
I cannot in honest happiness take the second place
(or the twentieth);
if I cannot take the first without
making a fuss about my unworthiness,
then I know nothing of Calvary love.

Do I cling to my selfishness, fearing what surrender would bring, when God has only bid me "Come," and will provide what I need once each new step of obedience is taken? What does my hesitancy say about my lack of love and trust of Him? 

We need to surrender to Him all our fears, all our selfish desires, all our rights, (this isn't about our spouse, it's about our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ), and let Him do a mighty work in us.  Our Lord who left His identity of Ruler, Master, Lord and King, and left always having perfect oneness and being in the Presence of His Father, God, to come to earth as a baby, is our example.  Our Lord, who in the Garden of Gethsemane, with heart-wrenching tears and sweating drops of blood, (after He had cried out to God three times, Please isn't there some other way!) said "Not My will, but Thine be done." We need to follow His example, Who in the hour of His deepest need, did the lowliest service to His undeserving, selfish, clueless disciples, by washing their stinky, dirty feet.  We need more love to Him.  We need more of Calvary Love.

More love to Thee, O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the prayer I make on bended knee.
This is my earnest plea: More love, O Christ, to Thee;
More love to Thee, more love to Thee!

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Anonymous Just Jenn said...

What a great book... sounds like that is definitely not a light read... but worth every minute! There are many similarities to an Andrew Murray book I read years ago called Absolute Surrender!~ =) Thanks for visiting today!
Just Jenn~

March 10, 2010 at 11:31 PM  
Blogger Dimes2Vines said...

Sounds like a wonderful book!
I have a surprise for you so come on by and pick it up!
Have a wonderful day,

March 11, 2010 at 5:32 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Hi Jenn and Dina-Marie!
"If" is definitely not an easy read, and one that you probably can only read one page and put it down for awhile (keeping it on my bedstand works for me) because it's so convicting! When I first read it years ago, I was so spiritually immature, that I didn't really "get it". Then I started to be convicted by God as I read. It is good, if you can handle being convicted that much! I should be more ready to say, "God, show me my sin." Sometimes I have to admit I add, "Please be gentle" because otherwise I'm devastated by seeing myself as God sees me.
Thanks for the comments! Oh, Jenn, interesting you should mention Absolute Surrender, because I took out a little paperback copy of it this winter and we read a little of it as a family--yes, it is a little like that! Thanks for your thoughts--I really appreciate them!

March 11, 2010 at 8:50 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Wendy- thank you for this thought provoking post. I haven't been to your blog in a very loong time but am encouraged by what I have read here and am going to be stopping back more often. God Bless you friend. See you on Sunday.

- Stacy

March 11, 2010 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Thanks, Stace! That was a very encouraging, warm fuzzy comment:) I appreciate it more than you know. See you Sunday,

March 11, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

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