Her husband is well known at the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders.
My husband is not a “civic leader” in any way, at least not at this time. While I don’t know exactly what our future holds, I do know that is not in his or our plans. So, I thought, how could this piece of scripture really be speaking to me? What is it that God is trying to lead me in here? My husband is known. What does that mean? And why does that matter?
I began to think about all of the times I heard “you represent your husband now” while sitting in the bleachers of a stadium watching him pitch. The women who came before me, the baseball wives, all sharing their wisdom of how to act at a game. “Don’t cuss, don’t talk back to rude fans, don’t gossip, don’t brag.”. These are the things I was warned against as a woman newly dating a baseball player because whatever I said or did would be a direct reflection of him. My husband represented the team by the jersey he wore on his back. I represented him by my actions and words in the stands.
“And to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.” 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.
My husband is known. Whether he is a baseball player or a businessman or a craftsman or a stay-at-home dad, he is known. Our community sees us as “Mr. and Mrs. Anderson”. They see us as “one”. And because of that, who I am as his wife is a reflection. I mirror my husband and who he is as a man. When people see me and the way I am acting, they don’t just see me. They see who I am married to. God said we are one, and we are, so everything I do affects him.
As wives, we never want to represent our husband poorly in the community. We never want outsiders looking into our marriage and wondering “why did he marry her?”. We want people looking into our marriage and thinking “I want a wife just like her.”. It is the same with our relationship with Jesus. The way we act as Christians reflects who God is, and don’t we want others to look in and see something they want? That’s the mission. God at the very center of it all so in all things we share His love with the world around us. We can’t do that if we are misrepresenting who He is.
“By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:10.
How we treat our husband, especially with the world watching, is big reflection of evidence of Christ in our lives. We need to choose patience, kindness, self-control, and love. We choose to show admiration and respect toward this man we married. We love selflessly and unconditionally. We make the choice to be a wife of noble character, one who represents her well-known husband well at all times.
“To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33.
Easier said than done, am I right? There are times the devil tries to lead me away from this. Like the times when my husband says something I disagree with. My first instinct is to let him know. To tell him what he did or said wrong, right there in front of everyone. Have you ever been in the company of another couple and the wife disagrees with her husband right in front of you? Or she talks down to him in some way? How did that make you feel? I know when I have been in that situation, I feel uncomfortable. I feel bad for the poor guy, even if he was wrong. I don’t see evidence of unconditional love in those very awkward moments.
“So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” 1 John 4:16.
I try to remember this in my own moments of wanting to let my husband know something I don’t agree with. I certainly struggle with this because while I adore my husband, I don’t always agree with him. I have learned that the way we communicate matters. I have learned that others are watching how we treat each other in our marriage and how I act matters. It is not longer just what people see in me, but what they see in my marriage, that can lead them closer to what I have or further away. I want everyone to see God in my marriage. They can’t possibly see Him there if all they see is a wife who is not doing a very good job of representing her husband.
As a Christian, and a woman who has openly professed her faith, I am one with God. I am a woman who reflects who He is by who I choose to be. So, I learned to wait. I learned patience in the moments of disagreement. I learned to cheer on the other teammates, and not just my own. I learned that respect is an act of love and obedience. I learned that gossip has no place in my marriage, or my friendships. I learned that my reactions to other people matter. I learned a humble heart is necessary. And it’s not just about the potential of hurting feelings or making someone uncomfortable. It’s about the potential of someone missing Christ because I didn’t reflect him well. It’s about someone missing all the incredible things God created my husband to be because I didn’t reflect my marriage well.
My husband is known. People know who he is, and they know I am married to him. God is known, too. People know his name and they know I am his daughter. That is why who I am and how I act, it matters. A wife of noble character understands this, and she represents her husband in only the best ways because she never wants someone to miss how great he is. A wife of noble character knows how important her role is as a reflection of Jesus, and she takes its seriously because she never wants someone to miss wanting Christ in their own life.
So, wife, be a reflection. Be a reflection of all things good that God has gracefully given us. His love, patience, kindness, and mercy. Be a reflection of all things incredible that God has created in our husbands. His worthiness, character, and heart. Be a reflection for the world to see. He’s counting on you.
“And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.” Luke 14:23.