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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

O.K., I have to link you all up with Warrior Wives today, also. This is a timely word for something that we are almost all guilty of...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

How Do I Fret?

I know a lot of Warrior Wives.  So, I asked one of them - my friend Jen - to share about what has been on her heart for wives. Enjoy!

How do I Fret? Let me count the ways…

It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. 
Proverbs 21:19

This is one of those verses that makes me wince.  God would rather have my husband be incredibly dehydrated and hot than be with an argumentative, fretful woman.  And not just any woman. Me. His woman.

I can picture my husband now, tongue hanging out past his chin as he drags himself over the bones of other dead husbands, muttering joyfully, “Thanks Jesus, thanks for putting me here in this parched and scorching land, far, far away from my fretful wife.”
And Jesus is like, “I’m there for you, bro…”

Okay, that was maybe too silly, but God is saying a desert is preferable to a quarrelsome, fretting wife.

And quarrelsome I understand.  But fretting…what’s the big deal with a fretful wife? What is a fretful wife?

I think a fretful wife is one that is never really trusting in her husband.  She’s always the back-handed complimenting type. Like, “Oh, it’s great you’re spending time with other men talking about the Bible.  I wish you would spend time with the kids like that…”  Or another one would be, “Thanks so much for helping me with the dishes and putting the kids to bed, of course, now I don’t know where anything in the kitchen is and you just let the kids sleep in their day clothes…” Fret, fret, fret. Wives are saying, “That’s not how I would do it.  You are almost helpful to me.”

A fretful wife isn’t showing respect for her husband.  She’s slowly wearing him down.  You don’t respect what you wear down.

When I think about a fretful wife, I feel bad.  I wear that title a lot.  Fretting fits me comfy like that old pair of granny underwear you put on when your husband’s on a business trip and won’t be skyping with you.

I am easily tempted to think of the bad things my husband does.  Sometimes, I want to focus on his down side. If I am always fretting, how will this verse in Proverbs 31 ever happen, The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain?”
How can my husband trust in me, if I am always worrying over his decisions?  The examples I have given are relatively small, but they can be larger.  Maybe you fret over a job choice or a financial decision.  It is easy to always be second guessing him.  Not to imply that you should have no say in the decision making process, but once the decision is made, you support it, and that means no fretting!

Fretting keeps us from being united with our husbands. And at the same time we fret, we also want total openness and intimacy.  Who doesn’t swoon over the words, “The heart of her husband trusts in her…?” It’s like saying, “You complete me…”
How can your husband trust in someone who doesn’t trust in him? If you are always running behind your man, wringing your hands, rolling your eyes and essentially saying, “That’s not how I would do it…that’s not how I would do it…” You are never going to have trust.  You will be left eating stale popcorn on the couch, watching Jerry McGuire and wondering, “Why can’t I have that kind of relationship?”

When we fret, we are ultimately not trusting in the sovereignty of God. We are saying, “Sure this knucklehead husband of mine almost gets it, but if I were in control, I would have handled it so much better.” Of course you would not have. Because the only perfect handler of our short lives is Jesus. And when you are tempted to put on your old granny “Fretful and lovin’ it” drawers, just remember God loves you and is with you. He doesn’t want you to fret. He wants you to encourage. Be thankful. God is in control and he will use the misplaced dishes to help you. God will use the children going to bed in their play clothes to bless you. Jesus loves you and your husband and as long as your eyes are on Him, you will not be fretting.

Just one more thought. What If Jesus treated you like you treat your husband? What if Jesus was a fretter like I am?  What if he said to me, “Hey great job with the kids today.  Way to listen to the radio when the whole family was in the car. It’s too bad you didn’t use that time to talk about me.”  I would feel doomed! If Jesus was a fretter, I would start looking for a desert!  Because who could please God if He really fretted over you the way you fret over your husband?

Jennifer Fitzpatrick is happily married to her husband Kevin. She has three children. The whole family enjoys their lives in the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by cows, stared at by the neighbors, and loved at their church.

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