Thursday, April 17, 2014
Strong-Hearted Women and the Men Who Love Them
I’m not sure what started it.
But I suspect it had something to do with this one book I’d read a few years back. I’m not saying the author intended to communicate this message, but it’s certainly what I concluded.
If I wanted to be a a good wife – a biblical wife? Then I needed to tone it down a bit.
Okay, a lot.
I needed to swallow it, hold it back, and keep it down. I was far too intense for my own good. Or at least for my husband’s good.
So I started this new, radical campaign. I didn’t even tell my husband what I was up to, but decided that from then on, I was going to mellow out. Keep it quiet.
Now for those of you who know me, you probably find that rather funny. You can’t even hardly picture it.
But I really did try.
And I kept it going fairly well . . . until one day when we were discussing a certain subject while standing by the piano—a subject that I felt, ahem, passionate about. And suddenly, I couldn’t take it any longer.
I nearly shouted, “I JUST CAN’T DO THIS.”
Do what??” his eyebrows raised.
“I can’t simply keep my mouth shut and not express all that I’m thinking or feeling!” I was practically shaking with frustration.
Then – being the sensitive soul that he is – he burst out laughing.
I resisted the temptation of throwing the old red hymnal at him. But only barely.
I’m glad I did though, because I might have missed what he said next . . . .
“But, Baby, I don’t want you to ‘zip it’. I married you because I appreciate your strong mind and passionate heart. Don’t you see? I love that about you.”
Oh. You do?
And at last I was able to reconcile being a strong-hearted woman and being a biblical wife.
Now some of you might not see the struggle here. What? What’s the issue?
Well, the “issue” is that Scripture talks about the “beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (I Pet. 3:4) and I truly wanted to fit that description. But I wasn’t so sure that I did.
So maybe you’re a strong-hearted woman too. You don’t give up, you’re willing to stand up for what you believe is right, and you’re passionate about your family and the world you live in.
Boy! do I get that.
And guess what? It’s okay.
So all my strong-hearted friends, be encouraged. Here are some beautiful truths for you:
A Strong-Hearted Woman can keep a quiet heart. She’s not agitated in her spirit, yet remains strong in her convictions. A lovely example of this is Elisabeth Elliot – one of the strongest women of my acquaintance and also the author of Keep a Quiet Heart.
A Strong-Hearted Woman draws her strength from Christ – not from herself. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13). Always remember the true Source of your strength.
A Strong-Hearted Woman readily respects her husband. She uses her strength to support her husband. Not to go up against him (Eph. 5:33). (More here: The Highly-Rated Habit of Respecting Him)
A Strong-Hearted Woman cultivates a sweet spirit. Sweetness and strength are not opposites. These two qualities actually can - and should - go hand-in-hand.
A Strong-Hearted Woman walks in humility. She knows that just because she might feel more strongly about something doesn’t necessarily make her right (and you know what I”m talking about!). Don’t let your intensity triumph over all.
God gave you that wonderful, passionate heart and, as long as you’re submitted to Him, then you’re right where He wants you to be. Not only that, you’re right where your husband wants you to be.
Yes, your man loves that about you.
In His grace,