[* NOTE: THIS CHAPTER IS LARGELY COMMUNICATIONS TO DISTRESSED BELIEVERS
SEEKING COUNSEL.-- COMPILERS. ]
Should a Christian Wife Leave an Unbelieving Husband? --Letters have come to
me from mothers, relating their trials at home and asking my counsel. One of
these cases will serve to represent many. The husband and father is not a
believer, and everything is made hard for the mother in the training of her
children. The husband is a profane man, vulgar and abusive in his language to
her, and he teaches the children to disregard her authority. When she is trying
to pray with them, he will come in and make all the noise he can and break out
into cursing God and heaping vile epithets upon the Bible. She is so discouraged
that life is a burden to her. What good can she do? What benefit is it to her
children for her to remain at home? She has felt an earnest desire to do some
work in the Lord's vineyard and has thought that it might be best to leave her
family rather than to remain while the husband and father is constantly teaching
the children to disrespect and disobey her.
In such cases my advice would be, Mothers, whatever trials you may be called
to endure through poverty, through wounds and bruises of the soul, from the
harsh, overbearing assumption of the husband and father, do not leave your
children; do not give them up to the influence of a godless father. Your work is
to counteract the work of the father, who is apparently under the control of
Give a Living Example of Self-control. --You have trials, I know, but there
is such a thing as showing a spirit of driving rather than of drawing. Your
husband needs each day to see a living example of patience and self-control.
Make every effort to please him, and yet do not yield up one principle of the
truth. . . .
Christ requires the whole being in His service--heart, soul, mind, and
strength. As you give Him what He asks of you, you will represent Him in
character. Let your husband see the Holy Spirit working in you. Be careful and
considerate, patient and forbearing. Do not urge the truth upon him. Do your
duty as a wife should, and then see if his heart is not touched. Your affections
must not be weaned from your husband. Please him in every way possible. Let not
your religious faith draw you apart. Conscientiously obey God, and please your
husband wherever you can. . . .
Let all see that you love Jesus and trust in Him. Give your husband and your
believing and unbelieving friends evidence that you desire them to see the
beauty of truth. But do not show that painful, worrying anxiety which often
spoils a good work. . . .
Never let a word of reproach or faultfinding fall upon the ears of your
husband. You sometimes pass through strait places, but do not talk of these
trials. Silence is eloquence. Hasty speech will only increase your unhappiness.
Be cheerful and happy. Bring all the sunshine possible into your home, and shut
out the shadows. Let the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into the
chambers of your soul temple. Then the fragrance of the Christian life will be
brought into your family. There will be no dwelling upon disagreeable things,
which many times have no truth in them.
A Burdened Wife Counselled to Keep Cheerful. -- You now have a double
responsibility because your husband has turned his face away from Jesus. . . .
I know it must be a great grief for you to stand alone, as far as the doing
of the word is concerned. But how knowest thou, O wife, but that your consistent
life of faith and obedience may win back your husband to the truth? Let the dear
children be brought to Jesus. In simple language speak the words of truth to
them. Sing to them pleasant, attractive songs which reveal the love of Christ.
Bring your children to Jesus, for He loves little children.
Keep cheerful. Do not forget that you have a Comforter, the Holy Spirit,
which Christ has appointed. You are never alone. If you will listen to the voice
that now speaks to you, if you will respond without delay to the knocking at the
door of your heart, "Come in, Lord Jesus, that I may sup with Thee, and
Thee with me," the heavenly Guest will enter. When this element, which is
all divine, abides with you, there is peace and rest.
Maintain Christian Principles. --The household where God is not worshipped is
like a ship in the midst of the sea without a pilot or a helm. The tempest beats
and breaks upon it, and there is danger that all on board may perish. Regard
your life and the lives of your children as precious for Christ's sake, for you
must meet them and your husband before the throne of God. Your steadfast
Christian principles must not become weak, but stronger and stronger. However
much your husband may be annoyed, however strongly he may oppose you, you must
show a consistent, faithful, Christian steadfastness. And then whatever he may
say, in heart and judgement he can but respect you, if he has a heart of flesh.
God's Claims to Come First. [* NOTE: TAKEN FROM CHAPTER "WARNINGS AND
REPROOFS," IN WHICH ARE FOUND TESTIMONIES TO A NUMBER OF MEMBERS IN A
CERTAIN CHURCH. THIS FOLLOWS A MESSAGE ADDRESSED TO A BROTHER T.-- COMPILERS.
]--I was then shown his daughter-in-law. She is beloved of God, but held in
servile bondage, fearing, trembling, desponding, doubting, and very nervous.
This sister should not feel that she must yield her will to a godless youth who
has less years upon his head than herself. She should remember that her marriage
does not destroy her individuality. God has claims upon her higher than any
earthly claim. Christ has bought her with His own blood. She is not her own. She
fails to put her entire trust in God and submits to yield her convictions, her
conscience, to an overbearing, tyrannical man, fired up by Satan whenever his
satanic majesty can work effectually through him to intimidate this trembling,
shrinking soul. She has so many times been thrown into agitation that her
nervous system is shattered, and she is merely a wreck. Is it the will of the
Lord that this sister should be in this state and God be robbed of her service?
No. Her marriage was a deception of the devil. Yet now she should make the best
of it, treat her husband with tenderness, and make him as happy as she can
without violating her conscience; for if he remains in his rebellion, this world
is all the heaven he will have. But to deprive herself of the privilege of
meetings, to gratify an overbearing husband possessing the spirit of the dragon,
is not according to God's will.
"And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot
come." The sin of this man was not in marrying, but in marrying one who
divorced his mind from the higher and more important interests of life. Never
should a man allow wife and home to draw his thoughts away from Christ or to lead him to refuse to accept the gracious invitations
of the gospel.
Better Save Part Than Lose All. --Brother K, you have had many
discouragements; but you must be earnest, firm, and decided to do your duty in
your family, and take them with you if possible. You should spare no effort to
prevail upon them to accompany you on your heavenward journey. But if the mother
and the children do not choose to accompany you, but rather seek to draw you
away from your duties and religious privileges, you must go forward even if you
go alone. You must live in the fear of God. You must improve your opportunities
of attending the meetings and gaining all the spiritual strength you can, for
you will need it in the days to come. Lot's property was all consumed. If you
should meet with loss, you should not be discouraged; and if you can save only a
part of your family, it is much better than to lose all.