Likewise, ye husbands,
dwell with them according to knowledge,
giving honour unto the wife. . . .
— 1 Peter 3:7a
All over the country, women’s groups and Bible studies provide a great way for women to get together to do what we do best – talk, teach, and love on each other and the world at large.
Although the leaders of these groups probably get a lot of thank-you notes and parting gifts, nothing can really compensate them for all the countless hours it takes to run an excellent organization in which women learn a lot and get a lot done.
But once in a while, you get a surprise – a gift – an unexpected joy. And it makes all that work totally worthwhile. A local women’s ministry director told a story this week that fits that category with a hilarious twist:
She was one of the longtime leaders of a special Bible study class focusing women on how to be better wives. Stretching out over 12 weeks, the class proved so popular that it had to be held over and over and over.
The leader THOUGHT she had heard it all about love and marriage. But one day, just before the start of the session, she noticed a slender man, not much more than 30, standing just outside the door and motioning her over.
He was holding two dozen red roses, a huge boom box, and an armful of poster boards. He was wearing what they call a “wife beater” undershirt, a highly ironic slang term under the circumstances.
He told the leader that he loved his wife’s willingness to invest time in their marriage to attend the class, as busy as she was. So even though it wasn’t her birthday or their anniversary, he wanted to give her the roses and read her a love poem that he had written for her. He wanted to do it in front of the other wives so that she would feel totally honored. Could he ask for 10 minutes of class time that day, so that he could do that?
The leader was impressed. He had obviously put a lot of thought into this exploit. He had apparently wanted to make himself look as macho as possible, so he must have spent some time “pumping up” in front of a mirror to make his muscles bulge so that he could don that skimpy T-shirt and look like a big, strapping husband.
Then he added, “She’s pregnant with our ninth child.”
With . . . their . . . NINTH?!?
No way was she going to turn him down at that point! That wife DID need some support and attention! And though skinny, he WAS “The Man.”
The whole class beamed as the slender man turned on the boom box for background music, and lifted the poster cards one at a time to let his wife and the others read his poem, one line at a time. He thought he might choke up if he tried to say the poem aloud, so the written poster boards were a special, thoughtful touch.
Through the whole poem, the wife gazed, as if in rapture, at her husband. Everybody could tell they were very, very much in love. It was a wonderful glimpse into a marriage that was successful and going full tilt, full steam ahead.
When he finished the poem, they embraced and the classmates clapped. Many wept. The leader, through her tears and thoroughly-blessed heart, recognized the beauty and love that her class was fostering, and felt happy and fulfilled.
The modern-day Romeo left. The women wrapped up the class.
Afterwards, the leader approached the still-pink-faced, extremely-pregnant young wife. She told her what a special gesture that had been and how awesome her husband was. What a unique experience it had been for everybody! Surely that was something that she, as the recipient of such a spectacular demonstration of love, would no doubt remember for the rest of her life.
The young wife smiled and nodded. The other wives waited expectantly. Then she said, assertively:
“Yeah, but if he REALLY wanted to show me he loved me, HE’D PICK UP HIS SOCKS!!!!!”
The room exploded in sympathetic laughter.
First came love, then came marriage . . . and if you think you’ve got women all figured out, you can just put a sock in it! †
By Susan Darst Williams • www.TheDailySusan.com | Radiant Beams | Marriage • © 2018
BIBLE QUICKIE: Lots of people think the Bible says that wives are supposed to be in subjection to their husbands — second-class citizens. Unh ugh unhhhh. This misunderstanding shows the ignorance of so many people in interpreting and applying the Bible. You can’t read any of it out of context, or you’ll get it wrong. GONG! When you read 1 Peter 2, you see how the Lord instructs people to be in submission to whatever authorities are over them, just as deliberately as anyone is supposed to live as a “subject” of our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. The very next verse, 1 Peter 3:1, does instruct wives to be submissive to their husbands. But kookie here: in verse 7, that chapter instructs husbands “in the same way” to honor, respect and be considerate of their wives. There’s no permission to bully, berate or beat on their wives. It’s an equal partnership. I think of the Bible’s marriage instructions as like a dance — encircling each other in love, and moving as one, but neither one should ever step on the other one’s foot, at least not on purpose.