Politically Incorrect Wife with Study Guideby Connie Grigsby, Nancy Cobb
Just what is a politically incorrect wife? She is a woman who is married to her husband and not to popular American culture. The politically incorrect wife does not buy into the stifling modern-day thinking that says, "Look out for number one. Treat your husband no better than he treats you." Instead, she cultivates a joyful marriage using transformational
Just what is a politically incorrect wife? She is a woman who is married to her husband and not to popular American culture. The politically incorrect wife does not buy into the stifling modern-day thinking that says, "Look out for number one. Treat your husband no better than he treats you." Instead, she cultivates a joyful marriage using transformational spiritual principles. As formerly politically correct wives with miserable marriages, popular speakers and authors Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby lead readers confidently beyond the picket lines of the politically correct into a warm, rewarding marriage.
- The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
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Read an Excerpt
The Politically Incorrect Wife
By NANCY COBB CONNIE GRIGSBY
Multnomah PublishersCopyright © 2002 Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMen Need Help
Do you have the aptitude, the capacity, for learning how to become a godly wife? Of course you do! Have you ever wished that there was some kind of job description telling you just how to do that? There is! It was given long ago in a garden called Eden to a woman named Eve.
God's plan is far different from the world's.
It is harder. It is higher. It is holier.
His plan for marriage isn't hard. It's impossible! You can never be successful on your own. But the impossible becomes possible because of Jesus. He alone gives us the power to be who He designed us to be-godly women and wives.
Can you do it? Of course! All that's required is your willingness to follow Him.
Look to Christ ... and let the changes begin in you.
Men Need Help
* * *
The turning point in a marriage is often so small and unheralded that you can almost miss it.
There it was. The suitcase. Sitting at the top of the basement stairs. The very sight of it made her angry. Her husband had just returned from a business trip and had left the suitcase there, assuring her that very soon he would take it downstairs and put it away.
A week later the suitcase was still there. Since the washing machinewas in the basement, she was forced to step over it time and time again as she did the laundry. Before long, the way she treated her husband was directly related to the number of times she stepped over the suitcase. It was the middle of January, and outside the temperature was dropping rapidly. Inside, it was plummeting as well.
One day she decided to move the suitcase. No, she didn't take it downstairs and put it away. Helping was the last thing on her mind. Instead, she carried it into their bedroom and put it down in the middle of the floor where her husband walked, effectively blocking his path to the bed. Now he would see firsthand how irritating it was to arrange one's life around a misplaced suitcase.
She returned to the kitchen, expecting to feel a certain amount of satisfaction and relief. She felt neither. Nor did she feel the least bit smug. What she felt was an overwhelming sense of sadness and grief. She knew her husband had not intentionally left the suitcase out; he had simply forgotten about it. Yet even knowing that, she clung to her "right" to feel offended and hostile.
She stood in the kitchen and thought about the suitcase. Had it belonged to guests, she would have happily taken it from their hands and insisted on putting it away herself. So why, she wondered, was she unwilling to help her husband in the same way? Why was it so much easier to serve others than it was to serve her husband? She took a good long look at herself and didn't like what she saw. No wonder she felt grieved. Something needed to change, all right, and it had nothing at all to do with a suitcase.
A WIFE'S CALLING IS FROM GOD
If someone asked you what the most satisfying aspect of your life is, what would you answer? Is it being a mother? teacher? friend? career woman? grandparent?
Where would being a wife fit? Would it make the top five, or would it fall miserably toward the bottom?
For many years, our marriage relationships were the least fulfilling, least satisfying, and least successful relationships either of us experienced. Though we didn't know each other at the time, our lives were amazingly similar in this regard. We got along well with everyone else in our lives-our families, friends, neighbors, the postman, bank tellers, store clerks. Everyone except our husbands. This was troublesome and discouraging, but at some point along the way, we let ourselves off the hook by deciding that this surely must be "their problem."
But it wasn't our husbands' problem; it was ours. We had no idea what God's job description was for us as wives, so we weren't doing what we could to be the wives God wanted us to be. It was only when we discovered this job description and began applying biblical principles to our marriages that we began to find satisfaction and happiness as wives and as women.
God never intended for us to be frustrated or confused. He was clear and exact about our role when He stood in His freshly formed Garden. And He hasn't changed His mind. Popular opinion would have us believe that as the world progresses so should our thinking. But that simply isn't true in regard to God's Word. It remains the one steady thing in a constantly changing world.
GOD KNOWS OUR DIFFERENCES
In testing the market for this book, we went into a large, nationally known bookstore and asked the manager what books were available on a wife's job description.
"After scanning five hundred entries, all I can find on wife is listed under fiction," she said.
We told her of our plans to write such a book, and a doubtful expression crossed her face. As we left the store, she called out, "Be careful!"
We asked her what she meant.
"Every woman is so different, how can you possibly write one job description that would fit all women?"
Of course God knew just how different we are when He specifically spelled out His expectations, promises, and blessings for a woman who takes on the role of wife as He created it. Just as His Word does not change in a changing world, it does not vacillate according to our differences.
Three main points will be discussed in this chapter.
• The Role: Helper
• The Reason: Man's Aloneness
• The Relationship: Marriage
As we look at these aspects of our job description, we will see that they are perfectly designed for us by God.
THE ROLE: HELPER
God's plan for us was revealed as He put the finishing touches on His creation. It's found in Genesis 2 and is simple and straightforward:
It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. (v. 18, AMP)
There it is, God's perfect plan for a wife! To be a helper. God's role for a wife today is the same as it was in the Garden of Eden. Why would God create and bless all He had brought into being, from the skies and seas to the plants and trees, comment that "it is good," and then deliberately shortchange women? He would not, and He did not. We were called by God to a role that only we could fulfill. In God's eyes, creation was not complete without woman.
And God Created Woman
God had created the heavens and the earth and all things that existed therein and declared them to be not only good, but very good. Then God formed man of dust from the ground and breathed life into his nostrils, and Adam became a living being. God gave Adam the responsibility of rulership and of cultivating the Garden. He was given the freedom to eat from any tree but one. God warned him that if he did eat from the forbidden tree, he would die (Genesis 1:26-31; 2:7-8, 16-17).
Then God said that it was not good for man to be alone (2:18). Adam's aloneness was deemed to be "not good" by a perfect God. Have you ever thought about that? This was the first time He said that something about His creation wasn't good.
He had Adam uncover his own need by first directing him to give names to all the animals. In doing so, Adam discovered that there was no one suitable for him (vv. 19-20). Woman was then created (vv. 22-23). Many are surprised to learn that this role was given while the world was still in its perfect state-before sin entered it.
The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and as he slept, God took a rib from him and fashioned Eve. God then brought Eve to Adam. When Adam saw her he said, "[She is] bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh" (vv. 21-23). In effect he was saying, "I am complete when I am with her."
A High and Holy Title
How does it make you feel to know that you are called to be a helper to your husband? Do you like it? Or do you wish it were different?
We seem to love the idea of God tossing out the stars and calling each of them by name (Psalm 147:4). We are speechless at the very thought of Him, God Almighty, knitting us together in our mothers' wombs and ordaining all our days (Psalm 139:13-16). We are awed when we read that He measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and marked off the heavens by His hand's breadth (Isaiah 40:12). These things only confirm to us what we already know-He is God. Awesome, almighty, and perfect. Yet we tend to balk at our role as helper.
In fact, this role is a reflection of who God is.
A Precious Name
Helper is a title God uses of Himself over and over again in Scripture. The term helper is a precious word. There is nothing inferior, demeaning, or second-rate about it.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you" (Isaiah 41:10). In this verse, God is reassuring His people, telling them not to worry or fear because He, the God of the universe, will be their Helper.
A friend told us, "Never once have I thought about being a helper in this way. I thought of it as one of the many things I do. But now I see it as who I am. I no longer see it as doing something; I see it as being someone. I realize that I've never given it the priority it was meant to have because I was never taught to do so. If Jesus considers being a helper a worthy calling (Hebrews 13:1), then I want to aspire to that calling as well."
This woman had grabbed hold of what being a helper is all about. It's not something you do after you've done everything else. It's not about what you do at all. It's about who you are.
Helper: One who gives assistance or support to another, making life more pleasant or bearable.
Would your husband say that because of you, his life is more pleasant and bearable? Would he say he can depend on you for assistance? For support? Or does he shy away from making even the simplest request, fearing your reaction?
A Stubborn Heart
When I (Connie) first heard this teaching, I thought to myself, You must be kidding. Are you sure about this? God's will for me in my marriage is to be a helper to my husband? And that's all? Simply a helper. Only a helper?
The verse had a familiar ring to it, yet there was little doubt in my mind that the words "helper to her husband" weren't meant to stand alone. There must be another phrase qualifying those words. There had to be more to that verse than just that verse!
When I got home, I looked at this verse in other versions of the Bible. They all said the same thing. I was thinking, Why has no one brought this to my attention before? And why now?
Little did I realize that I was rapidly approaching the turning point in my marriage.
I was less than excited about the idea at the time, however. If being a helper was what it was all about, I'd far sooner have a helper than be one. What a compromise, I thought, and what a misuse of the abilities God has given me. I didn't understand what there was to be excited about. If all the job titles in the world were listed on a sheet of paper and we could choose just one, I frankly didn't think there would be a mad scramble for the title of helper.
In the early years of my marriage, however, I actually had been a devoted helper to my husband. Not because I was focused on God's Word, but because of my deep love for my husband. I delighted in making him happy, and I looked for opportunities to lighten his load. Somewhere along the way, though, I got tired of helping. My enthusiasm faded, and I no longer enjoyed doing this. My delight was no longer found in making him happy, and soon I began to keep score.
Surely, I thought, it's time for my husband to do his part. I've done my share. Now he can do his. My plan was quite simple. I would just slip my heart into neutral until my husband caught on.
He didn't catch on very quickly. This could take longer than I expected, I said to myself. I dug my heels in a little further, determined to wait him out.
And so began the long journey of waiting for my husband to change. My heart no longer felt like it was in neutral. It was definitely in reverse, and the engine was cold. The young wife who had taken pleasure in tending to her husband's needs was a distant memory. Over time my heart had grown hard. And harder. And harder still.
Things were not working out the way I had envisioned. I shouldn't have been surprised. I was trying to rewrite God's job description to benefit myself. I discovered that neither our hearts nor our wills are able to slip into neutral. They go one way or the other. We are either obeying God, or we are disobeying. At best, using the word neutral was an attempt to cloak my disobedience.
When I learned more about God's job description for me as a wife, my heart was stirred. I believe it was the Holy Spirit convicting me of my need to change. It was a humbling time as I considered stepping back into being a wife God's way. I found myself taking small steps, even half steps. I was still uncertain, perhaps because of my lack of knowledge, lack of trust, or not wanting to be the one to change. Probably it was a blend of all three. But my way obviously wasn't working. So I confessed my pride, my disobedience, my contentiousness, and my scorekeeping.
I told God that, shaky and unsure as I was, I was willing to do things His way. With a prayer in my heart, I began to reclaim the calling God had given me. I set out, wobbly legs and all, to be a helper to my husband. Once I chose to do that, I began to feel a joy and peace I had not felt for a very long time. I began to experience a deeper relationship with my husband, and with my Lord as well.
How About You?
If you have been resisting God's Word, what is your reason? Could it be pride? Or bitterness? Or an unforgiving spirit toward your husband? In my case (Nancy), it was ignorance.
I feel that I've had two lives in my marriage. For the first twenty-three years I was busy being a wife in whatever manner suited me for the day. I let my emotions rule my behavior. I didn't know God as He reveals Himself in Scripture-I didn't own a Bible until I was forty-one. I certainly had no idea that He had a plan for me as a wife.
Excerpted from The Politically Incorrect Wife by NANCY COBB CONNIE GRIGSBY Copyright © 2002 by Nancy Cobb and Connie Grigsby
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.