This foundational principle of marriage found in the very beginning of recorded history, between the first man and first woman, remains a mystery to me. The idea that the two shall become one means something different than it did over 16 years ago, when I was joined to my wife. In the beginning, and in my naivety, it only meant what I wanted it to mean. As long is it was convenient and beneficial for us, then it applied. There were so many things we didn’t understand. As I write this, I continue to be amazed because there is still so much I am learning.
One thing that has been taught to me over our years together is that my wife is a discerner of hearts. On countless occasions, she has advised me about the heart of of someone I work with, or for. I can’t tell you how many times I have told her that she’s wrong… I know this guy! There’s no way he’s like that! Then (it never takes long) something happens that proves her gift.
Can I tell you how frustrating it is? She’s always right, sometimes!! Eventually, I have to examine myself and wonder why it is that her gift annoys me. Why would I be offended by this? If we were really joined together as one, doesn’t that mean that *I* have the gift of discernment through my wife? So, logically, if we have this gift, why is it causing so much frustration in us both?
It’s also true that this gift is frustrating for my wife. Why? Surely she doesn’t hate being right all the time, right? The problem for her, is that I don’t ever do anything with her discernment. I laugh off her revelation, or ignore it completely. Honestly, at times, I don’t even know what I’m supposed to do with the information. I remember saying at times, “What, babe? Should I just go fire this guy from our company because my wife got a bad vibe?”. She’s left with the stress of knowing that something bad will happen, and I choose to run forward as fast as I can in the bliss of ignorance until we hit the proverbial wall.
After learning time and again to appreciate the fact that my wife likely is right. I, in my own lack of discernment, decided the best thing for me to do was to follow my wife’s lead when she had one of these revelations. While I may have my faults and lack of gifts in discernment, my wife isn’t exactly the perfection of all of God’s creation, either. Somehow I became confused, and thought that if she had this discernment, she probably had the best solution, as well. It only took a time or two of following her lead to see that the emotional response to her discernment were no more right than my lack of discernment. It’s possible that things might have even been made worse!
It’s the moments of clarity that make me realize how very unmarried we are. As we read together, pray together, and grow in our marriage; God also reveals these truths to us. The fact is that God has made my wife to be my perfect help, and a giver of life for our family. He has made me a leader, and a steward of her. How miraculous would it be if God actually created her gift of discernment for my benefit? What if He intentionally gave me this gift through my wife, intending that I would steward it? What if I could lead her, and lead others through this gift?
So, we’ve learned something by the word of God. If I choose to swallow my pride and listen, really listen to my wife, she brings me perspective that I could not have on my own. She also gives me a very emotionally charged response of how to deal with the potential issue. If I communicate to her an attitude of thankfulness, and gladly accept her discernment, she can feel loved and appreciated. She has provided help to me, she has given life to my role as a leader. It’s who God created her to be!
My job, then, is to lead in light of the information provided. I may need some time to think about things, but this is now my area of gifting. As I come back to my wife with my plan to steward her discernment, and to lead through it, I am a messenger of peace. She no longer has to feel the emotional burden of what was revealed to her. She can rest knowing that she has performed her role, and that it was accepted. She trusts in me, and respects the wisdom I can bring through God’s gifting in me.
This seems so simple when I write it out, but this is an honest BREAK-THROUGH in our marriage. My wife has made me such a better man. She honors and respects me more than before. On the other hand, I have brought peace. I have protected her and provided a safe place for her to exercise her gift.
I wonder how we could have gone 16 years without some of these things being figured out by now. I know that God has His timing. I’m just feeling so encouraged, so amazed by His grace, and continually amazed at the depth of truth that I hold in my hands when I spend time with my God in His word.
I can’t wait until the next trial is brought to us, because I know how far we have to go. Oh, how we will grow by the love of the Father.