Friday, September 27, 2013

Food for Thought: Loyalty, Trust & Good-Doing

I ran some errands this morning and stopped at a fast-food joint for lunch.   As I ate my lunch and diddled on my iPhone, I overheard the conversation of a 30-something couple in the booth near my table.   

He complained about his wife to the woman across from him.  He didn’t like that she was hanging on to her old sports’ trophies and family mementos from her childhood.   That she wouldn’t combine her bank account with his until just recently—he admitted to his lunch companion that he had been bankrupt.   He complained about the way his wife did things at home, about her job, about her education.   

He also explained to his female companion what a great man and father he was, and how lacking the wife was as a home-maker and as a mother.    He covered a LOT of ground in the short time before they left the diner.   

I felt physically sick throughout my quick little lunch, as I listened to his litany of complaints.   I warred within myself because I really wanted to ask him what he would think if his wife was meeting a man for lunch and speaking about him the way he was speaking about her.   I wanted to ask him why he married her in the first place?   AND I wanted to upbraid the young woman stoking his ego by egging him on and handing him more ammo to lob against his own wife.   

I wanted to, but I didn't--even if he was young enough to be my own son.   Instead I said a prayer for his wife.

As I left the restaurant, I spied the man and woman near my car.   She got into a van with a stick-figure family on the back window.   He got into a sedan with a car-seat in the back seat.  

While driving home, I had time to reflect on my own marriage and how THANKFUL I am for the trusting relationship I have with my husband (of almost-35 years!).    We have our ups and downs, but one thing I know:  
I trust him to always have my back.   How blessed I am to have a husband who wouldn’t DREAM of running me down—never mind going out to lunch with another woman to do so!   

There is, among women, a tendency to think that “sharing” with girlfriends and telling them about hubby’s less-than-stellar moments, well?--that isn’t really gossip because (don't you see?) “we’re just having a heart-to-heart talk to get advice”—after all.   Really?  
This is a “heart issue” which goes back to our motivation.   

Is the sharing really done out of love for the man or to get pity from the friends and make ourselves feel better?    When are we crossing a line from "sharing" into "gossip" and disloyalty?     

Certainly it can be very helpful to get another’s perspective and helpful advice for a problem we’re having at home.    However:  better to be very selective about the friends we consult.   Definitely not in an open group, not in a restaurant with volume on “High” for all near the table to hear, and certainly NOT with a friend of the opposite sex (I don’t care HOW GOOD of a friend he is!!!).   

St. Paul wrote to Titus that the older women should be the ones to teach the younger women to LOVE their husbands and children and by word and example show them how to run their homes in a God-pleasing manner.   AND all of that with the express purpose of giving glory to God.  

So then.  If we follow the logic of Paul’s words, it would make sense that when we need advice, we would consult with an older, wiser and more-experienced Christian woman.     Expecting your “same-age” (or life situation) friends to be able to give solid, God-pleasing advice is like 11-year-olds giving each other advice on how-to-drive a car.    Think about that one.

Loyalty to your husband should be your first thought and putting the “best construction” on his words and actions whenever you get into an argument.  Running to girlfriends and “tattling” on him is back-stabbing and not the “good” we are to do him all the days of our lives—and it adds drama to your life that hurts your marriage.

Proverbs 31 outlines our relationship with our own husband:   “doing him good all the days” of my life and doing my work so that my hubby’s name is exalted rather than my own.     Genesis 2 explains that I was created to be my husband’s helper (not the other way around as the world would have us strive).     Titus 2 explains that maintaining self-control and being kind are also part of my "job" description as a wife.   Harder to do, but worth the effort, especially where our relationship with our own husband is concerned. 

A wife of noble character who can find? .... 

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good not harm ALL the days of her life.
.... Her husband is respected at the city gate, 
where he takes his place among the elders of the land.

She is clothed with strength and dignity; 
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and 
faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household 
and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; 
her husband also, and he praises her:
    'Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.'

...a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned, and 
let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31:30 - 31 NIV


Anonymous said...

Debra, I just want to tell you that I LOVE your Pinterest Boards and the way you've organized them!!! I discovered them via Ingrid Schlueter's pins. And now I've also discovered your wonderful blog! What wonderful discoveries I've made today! Thank you!


* said...

Thank you, Judi--so glad you found and love my Pinterest Boards--I do enjoy "curating" them! NOTE: I have a Pinterest account called Titus Two Friends as well, separate from my personal boards.

Glad you found my blog, too. I was on an unexpected/unplanned sabbatical for nearly a year when I locked myself out of my blog! So things have fallen behind here, but I'm almost back up to speed now.

Stay tuned! AND enjoy looking around the blog!