When God wants to exfoliate a wife’s soul, He sends a Man Cold.
Don’t pretend you don’t know what I am talking about. Ask any wife, especially any mother, and if the home has been ravaged with colds, if children vomit to the chimes of the clock, if every rag is filthy from soothing fevered foreheads or cleaning up bodily fluids, it is no fun and yes, prayer is appreciated, but it isn’t until the husband gets it and you check in that the wife texts back: Husband sick. So, you know, the world has ended.
Is this fair? Probably not. Truthfully, my husband is not wimpy when sick. If anything, he is smarter than most of us, because at the first sign of illness (like happened yesterday), he takes to his bed and sleeps until he feels better, be that hours or days.
Watch me read your mind:
“Sure he does. He has the luxury of just going to bed! When I am sick, I still have a house to run, kids to feed, noses to wipe, and piles of laundry to wash! I never get to just sleep when I am sick!!”
Am I close?
It is easy to feed the poor unless you are married to him.
We maintain a lot of self righteous illusions about the state of our hearts — we volunteer to bring meals to new moms in the church, we run soup kitchens, we chair committees for Vacation Bible School, we sponsor children in third world countries and pack shoeboxes to the brim every Christmas to send to the needy. And these are all good things. But my oh my, God is faithful to expose the real story when our sniffling spouse asks for a cup of juice, isn’t He? How quick does that inner sniping wife voice show up in our thoughts? How long does it take for an inner voice to become an outer voice… the kind that not only doesn’t serve the Beloved, but actually hurts him?
Now, let’s be blunt. Maybe your man really does wimp out when he has a headache. Maybe he is the sort of husband who sends back homemade smoothies (you know, the one you painstakingly blended and decorated with a little umbrella) because you didn’t put in a bendy straw, and whines for you to make the pillowcase less crinkly after smashing his face into it for 8 hours straight. That could be the case. But this post isn’t written to him… it is written to you and I. It is written to the women who tell their kids to die to themselves, to not always have to fight for their own way when playing with a sibling, who think they give and give and give — and miss the God-given irony.
The most vicious lies we tell are the ones we tell to ourselves, about ourselves.
Better a dinner of herbs where love is… your husband knows when he is brought a slice of buttered bread warm from the oven with sarcasm versus a reheated Eggo waffle with kindness. You could be technically doing “all the things” and have your heart be brimming over with resentment, with joy-sapping soreness and selfishness and a bitter thought monologue cataloging all the ways that you are not having your needs met and why he should just man up and be less of a baby!
You and I need a Savior.
There is a way back, even if you have made a royal mess of this opportunity God has given you (every ailment is an opportunity, you know). There is nothing like a Man Cold to expose sins that have been allowed to politely lurk in the quiet recesses of your heart. How can we claim to love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love the person He has put right in front of us? Accept his sickness as the kindness of God that it is — He does not leave us in our wretchedness. He calls us back. He wears away the hard spots on our souls, the rough edges that we keep nurturing and building back up — He does it because He loves us. You cannot do this apart from His grace, from His strength, but take heart.
Unlike us, He delights to have us call out for help again… and again… and again…