Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Husband, My Idol

As Christians we're all too familiar with the fact that we can have many different idols in our lives. Unfortunately as God opens our eyes to one and we let go and deal with it, another is just around the corner. We'd be fools to think that once dealt with, we are free from them once and for all. Idols can be very subtle and once our eyes are opened to them they are often painful to let go of. The problem is that something as simple as wanting to keep a clean house can become an idol. As Tara Klena and Judy Dabler write in their excellent book, Peacemaking Women:
"It is not the object that is the problem - it is how much we desire it that is the problem."
So it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when I say that even our husbands can become idols. I can imagine some laughing at that statement but when we really think about how our husbands become our idols it becomes quite a serious matter. When I say the husband can become your idol I am talking about the many desires we have regarding him. Take the following for example:

Desire for...

The perfect husband
The unsaved husband to be saved
The husband to meet specific needs (such as financial, etc.)

Now, this is by no means an exhaustive list and I'm certain there are many women who can add a few more examples to it. But my point is to show the many desires we have for our husbands which, and let me stress, in themselves are right! But, when those desires are elevated to demands they turn to idolatry. Idols then rule us and can cause us to stumble:
They served their idols,
which became a snare to them. Psalm 106:36 ESV
I can shamefully recall my desire for my husband to be walking with the Lord. This desire grew into a demand. I turned into this ugly monster demanding we have prayer times together, questioning the last he read his Bible, demanding he take more Sundays off work to go to church. Oh, I'm cringing as I type but back then I felt justified!

As a result my marriage began to suffer. Then God mercifully opened my eyes to this idol.

As with many idols, they can destroy relationships. A desire can become an expectation made too high. For example, if we desire our husbands to be home more and we then justify it in our minds, listening to the voice that whispers "he should be at home more, he's married to you not work!", then we expect them to be home and when our expectations aren't met we begin to make demands. This we all know can lead to tension and arguments, not a path we want our marriages to take.
The key is to find our fulfillment in Christ.
The key is to find our fulfilment in Christ. I must admit, this is not easy. We crave to have the things we feel are rightfully ours such as a husband who would only help out more. But as we turn to Christ, surrender our will and seek His, we can become satisfied. We can work on repenting and giving up our idols and from there seek God to change our circumstances. But we mustn't ever put a time limit on these things. As you pray, God will do His part in His time.

Is there any desire you have that has become a demand? Has it begun to affect any of your relationships? Often we don't notice it but our children can even pick up on our idol worship and those idols can become theirs. (Sadly we hear all too often of young girls thinking they're not thin or pretty enough!)

Maybe we can,with HUMILITY, ask our husbands if they feel there's too much of a demand being made of them. We can then take this to God in prayer.

For a fantastic write up on idolatry please check out Chapter Two of Peacemaking Women. It is a very helpful chapter on idolatry in general. There is a great Q&A at the end of the chapter which I have found powerfully thought-provoking and helpful. And if that's not enough, there is a great list on recommended resources for further study and consideration.

1 comment:

Natasa said...

I had to learn this lesson also...