Sunday, October 2, 2016

Insight from the Farmer's Wife

Hello friend, if you are a wife I have a question for you - "What advice would you share with a newly married gal?" I was posed with this opportunity this past weekend as I spoke at a bridal shower for my young friend, Lauren. She is married to our nephew, Sam - a farmer. The prayer was my words would encourage her and also speak to the other wives in the audience. Now I'm praying the same for you, whether you are a farmer's wife or not. Actually, I hope these words speak to you married or not!

My daughter's also had a role at the shower and performed a skit, "A Farmer Applies for a Marriage Licence". I've included their picture to give my city friends a visual of a farmer!

So I volunteered for this job before I knew exactly what I was going to say. A couple of days later, I was thinking about it and asked God, “What am I going to say?” You see even though I’ve lived on a farm nearly all my life and been a farmer’s wife for 15 years I don’t have this figured out.

Almost immediately after I whispered this prayer I heard Job (my husband) getting ready for the day. He was doing what he does every morning, but that morning I thought about it in a whole different way. His daily routine started a new one for me and I pray it helps you start each day.

One of the first things Job does daily is put on his work clothes…as he did this I thought about how we must do the same in a spiritual sense. Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Our husband’s work clothes are necessary, but our spiritual clothing is essential. When you dress this was as a wife…your husband will be blessed, your marriage will be strengthened and God will be glorified.

The next thing Job always gets is his knife and pliers…two tools that he uses often on the farm. They help him and make jobs easier. We don’t need to attach an extra piece of equipment to our belt, but there’s a tool we all need as wives – the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  God’s Holy Word equips us, encourages us, convicts us and comforts us. I challenge you to use it more than the farmer uses his pliers or knife!

The other piece of equipment the modern farmer is never without is the cell phone. This helps him stay in touch and makes it easy to call for help. 1 Thes. 5:17 puts it quite clearly – “pray continually”. We’d all be much better off if we went to prayer as often as we go to our phones. David’s words in Psalm 17:6 remind us of an important truth. Here we read David say, “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me.” When we call God we never get the busy signal...He hears and answers. The phone doesn’t just remind me to be in communication with my heavenly Father, but as wives we need to also think about and be mindful of how we talk to our husbands. Ephesians 4:29 makes it real clear, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

The next thing Job does is lace up his work boots. These shoes will take him where he needs to go and as he put them on I was reminded of the walk we are on. As Christians we are encouraged to “live a life worthy of the calling we have received.” (Eph. 4:1) Part of that calling is being a wife. This role entails much but begins with Genesis 2:18 – “the Lord God said, ‘It’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” 1 Peter 3 offers more insight into the road we walk with talk of submission and a quiet and gentle spirit. You don’t need to wear work boots as a farmer’s wife, but be prepared to exert some effort!

The last thing most farmers do before heading out the door is put on their hat. As I watched Job do this it was a great reminder for what we read in Ephesians 6:10-13a “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Therefore put on the full armor of God.” This is a verse you probably know, but it must become a reality in what we do. Satan is on the attack, he doesn’t want your marriage…or any marriage for that matter, to succeed. We must be equipped and aware. 

Friend, I don't know if you ever struggle with the "I don't know what to wear" dilemma, but if it ever happens I pray this insight from the farm will remind you of the most important wardrobe we need! 

Let's pray...

Dear Heavenly Father, 
Lord, I lift my reading friend to you with each of us and help us dress like the farmer does - may we put on our work clothes - compassion,  kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Above all these help us put on and pour out love. May we remember to read your Word and call on you. Help us walk the road you want us to walk and live out the roles you've created for each of us. Finally, Lord help us stand in your mighty power and put on your full armor. Father God, I lift each marriage to you - protect them, provide for them and give them peace. May we as married women remember that our marriage can and should be a picture of your love for the church. In the moments when marriage is hard and we're tempted to be impatient, selfish or too talkative guard our hearts and mouths. Fill us with your Spirit so that we can shine your light and share your love. Use us to bless our husbands today Lord. And together may each husband and wife glorify you. In Jesus Name, Amen

1 comment:

  1. Oh, Jill. I just sent you an e-mail about the shower. But I can see the answer here. Wow!! I love how you took your husband's every morning routine and turned it into how we can dress ourselves. Not only in the armor, but I love the very first piece ... clothe ourselves in kindness, compassion humility, patience! Such great wisdom. What a blessing you were to so many this weekend. And to this bride.