Life has kept me very busy the last two or three weeks. Home schooling four children takes more time than home schooling two children. Go figure. Add to that that I have to keep the house neat in case our realtor calls and you can understand why the updates around here have been less than mediocre and/or absent.
On to the book!
“Sin hurts others.”
Later in the chapter, Martha Peace explains that sin also hurts/offends God. This means that we can rest in his care and trust that He will carry out his vengeance. Our lives will be blessed if we trust Him to do what He says He will do.
I think the main point of this chapter is that Christian wives are not to allow their hearts to become overwhelmed with sorrow. Peace writes that our hearts fill with sorrow when our responses to our circumstances are sinful. Peace used the disciples as an example of sinful sorrow, writing, “Perhaps the reason the disciples were overcome by sorrow is because their response to their circumstances was sinful. If their sorrow had been godly, their hearts would not have filled with sorrow.”
I’m not sure I buy into that idea. It seems like she’s basing this entire chapter on the how the word “filled” is used. I don’t understand why having a heart filled with sorrow means that my sorrow is ungodly. Would the opposite of that be that if I were feeling only a little sorrow then I must be feeling godly sorrow? I don’t think that is necessarily true. I agree that we can sin in our sorrow, much in the same way that we can sin in our anger. I’m not a certified counselor, but sorrow is sorrow, right? This is just one more idea in this book that isn’t entirely clear to me. The bottom line has to do with how we deal with that sorrow. Are we going to allow it to overwhelm and control us, or are we going to put our hope in God? Dealing with sorrow over a husband’s sin is really the point of this chapter, so I’m going to leave the godly vs. ungodly sorrow question.
Peace’s words prove to be practical and encouraging. She offers two charts. One comparing sinful thoughts and godly thoughts in response to a husband’s sin, and another comparing sinful actions and godly actions in response to a husband’s sin.
This is my favorite part:
Righteous love will grow within a wife’s heart as she is obedient to God’s Word. As a rule in a difficult marriage, the more grievous the husband’s sin, the harder the wife should fight back. Fighting back, however, is not with evil but good towards her husband. Romans 12:17 is a clear command: “Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.”
In other words, instead of being overcome by your husband’s evil, you keep on fighting back until his evil is overcome by the good you do through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ. Fight back diligently until your husband surrenders (repents) or God removes you from the battle. Good ways to overcome evil include prayer, speaking the truth in love, giving him blessings, doing kind things, working at getting the “beam out of your eye” (Matthew 7:5), and being biblically submissive, respectful, and loving.
One thought from me:
If Christian wives did the things Peace, and more importantly scripture, suggests we do when we are heinously sinned against, then our actions would show that we really believe Jesus is our treasure. Faith is not genuine if it isn’t lived. Or put positively, faith is what you do. If I apply that to my marriage, what do my actions within my marriage reveal about my faith in God? When my husband sins against me, does my response reveal a vibrant faith in a good, loving and wise God?
Other readers’ responses:
- Amy of Another Day in Paradise
- Shawnda of Spirit of Adoption
Thank y’all for reading with me!!
You may be interested in following Shawnda as she has already started reading and posting her thoughts on another book, Ministries of Mercy:The Call of the Jericho Road by Timothy Keller.