If your husband does not want you to go to Church, then stay home and paint the house with him. Go fishing or shopping, whatever He wants to do, and make sure you are having fun. ~Debi Pearl from Created To Be His Help Meet
I first read that quote about six months ago. It’s funny how some things, whether through reading a book, listening to a story, hearing a friend speak… can trigger a flood of memories.
My Mom grew up in a Catholic home, aware of God but just learning how to do religion. She met my Dad, they fell in love and married, standing before a Church full of witnesses, she promised to love him and honor him all the days of her life. When they married my Mom had not chosen to make Him Lord of her life but He was at work. He desired to make her His own, continuing to peruse her, romancing her and calling her. It was when I was two that she finally believed, finally called out to Him, finally surrendered her life.
The following couple of years found my Mom pouring herself into knowing Him. We started going to a Church and she began attending Bible Study Fellowship. She studied the Word, read Christian books and spent hours talking with Titus 2 women. The Word says, Seek Me and you will find Me and that was truly the cry of her heart. She just wanted more of Him.
I’m not sure when their marriage started getting harder, whether it was before she was saved or somewhere there in the midst but I guess it really doesn’t matter. The honeymoon days of their marriage were over and now my Dad now did not like the idea of us being involved with the whole Church thing.
I was five the day my Dad told my Mom he didn’t want her going to Church anymore.
While I was too young at the time to understand the enormity of this statement, I can now look back and imagine the shock that I’m sure went through every fiber of her being when she heard those words. Yet, she was faithful to following Him. The Word of God says, Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
She desired to serve Him, to follow what His Word said and so she new what she had to do.
I can only imagine how hard those days and weeks were but she didn’t become bitter instead she decided to honor My Dad, to submit to his desires even though it was one of the hardest roads she would have to walk. In reality, no one would have questioned her if her walk with the Lord would have just ended. She could have also just chosen to ignore my Dad and continue on with Church following the idea that whatever happens, happens. She could have chosen to follow her desires, her wishes, after all wasn’t that what she was initialed to? She just needed to take care of her own spiritual life. Yet, she didn’t. She chose to follow His Word and to honor my Dad, to honor their marriage, to honor the Lord.
In some ways, I believe this was the fuel that made her walk stronger. She trudged on. She continued to teach my sister and I of the Lord, doing morning devotions with us after my Dad had gone to work, singing Bible songs on the way to school, praying together in the car… We did not go to Church but God was a part of our every minute. He was our life.
To say that all of the sudden the days became easy, would be a lie. But God was faithful. We have story after story of seeing God’s hand at work, seeing Him work through my Dad in amazing ways…
I was in sixth grade and the Lord began to move, stirring my Dad, opening doors and a prayer that we had been praying for the last six years was about to be answered…
Homeschooling had been a desire since I started kindergarten yet the answer had always been no, until I was in sixth grade. It was while we were preparing for school at home that my Dad finally gave us permission to go to Church again. Another prayer was being answered.
I can remember standing at my high school graduation in awe. I was in awe of all that God had done. We saw His fingerprints, His grace, His hand at work in so many different places over the last several years. Had God really brought us this far?
Yet, I wonder, what would have happened if my Mom would have stood her ground that day my Dad told her no more Church. What if she listened to her friends… Did what was right in her own eyes… Did what she deserved… and still gone to Church each week? I don’t think I need to wonder, I’m pretty sure I know what would have happened.
And sadly, it would not have been a story marked with God’s own hand. My Mom has now been married for thirty-one years and my Dad still does not believe. It’s been a hard journey for her to walk and she’s the first one ready to council any young lady against marrying a non-believer.
But we stand on the promise that He makes all things beautiful in His time. And so we continue to pray and we continue to see His hand at work. He is moving… stirring. We see His grace… His faithfulness…
And I find myself thankful for this journey.
I wrote this post and found myself pondering it for days. In some ways, I know there is a part of the story that sounds so romantic. It makes it sound like once you decide to follow God, once you obey His Word, life will just become an easy journey. But the truth is that you desperately need to cling to God. There will be hard days, hard seasons but then in the midst you will see a glimmer of hope. You will begin to see God’s hand at work. The Lord was our anchor, our life.
The most important thing she did was to continue to seek Him and love Him and through her time with Him, she had the strength to love my Dad.
My Mom has this little saying that she always quotes to the little ones in the family when they are wondering if they should be obedient -Trust and Obey, It’s God’s perfect way.
It’s the same thing for each of us, in any circumstance, Trust and Obey, it’s God’s perfect way. Do we really trust and obey Him? Those are just the thoughts of a daughter who has walked through the journey watching her mom… Carrie
Visit Carrie at her blog, Our Journey.
Next Friday we will meet Noreen, Carrie's Mom. Stop back for the beginning of this story. See you then, Be Blessed, Lynn