9/29/30 – On my way home from church, I saw a couple walking down the street. The woman was carrying a large plastic bag with her hand in the handles of the bag. Her arm was straightened by the weight of the bag. They were both tall and slim. He was wearing jeans and cut off shirt with long hair and a bit of a beard. She was wearing a tee shirt, jeans and a ball cap. As he was walking he was very animated, his arms moving up and down in broad gestures. The woman had both her arms straight by her side, with little to no swing. He was slightly ahead of her and as I passed her I grasped what I was witnessing. She was walking in an unassuming manner, with her long, slight neck slightly bent and her face looking downward in a submissive fashion. He was yelling at her. Her expression was without emotion, as a person trying to not allow anything on her face to incite her partner further. Her hair, like her arms, was long and hung straight down at her sides and back. She was saying nothing as he appeared to be yelling (my windows were up). She was walking and listening and not responding. The man didn’t appear violent, just upset. As I previously stated, she was not speaking and looked to be weathering the storm of his anger. It was only a moment that I viewed the two and then, I was past them. It appeared to me that no physical violence was going to happen.
As they disappeared in my rear view mirror, hidden by the heavy traffic I was travelling in, I was saddened by what I saw. Actually I was moved and prayed for them. It seems to me that too often women choose to be quiet while their partner vents and berates them. Though the man was the one acting out, and the woman was the one who seemed to take a subordinate position, I was struck that, to me, she was the one with strength. She had a strength under control, by her own choice. The man was not in control of himself and she was very much in control of herself. It hurt me that she had to endure this.
God has called men to love their wives like Christ loved the church. That means to love them in a sacrificial way. Christ came to love, serve and save. He protects the church, his Bride. He died for His bride. This man was not doing that. Jesus says that we are to love others as we love ourselves. Is that how the man wants to be treated? How would he like being yelled at like that? How would he like the humiliation of having that done to him in public? Who knows, maybe that is the problem, maybe he has had to endure that. Yet that doesn’t matter…not at all! Even if she had done something to justify his anger, he shamed himself by acting like that. There is never a reason to treat someone like that, especially someone that you claim to love. Never, not ever, no matter what the reason is for your anger. Hurt can be expressed with love. It can be expressed with a type of love that brings healing and resolution.
It hurt me as I, for a brief moment, viewed this tragic street theater. I had thought of turning around, but she didn’t seem to be in danger of violence and I think me intruding would have only escalated the problem. So I hurt because of what I had witnessed and I continued on my way home.
I confess to you that, while I did hurt for the woman, I hurt for myself. I thought, though I know I have not done so in public, have I done that to the one I love? Maybe what I saw hurt because it reflected times when I was not loving and cherishing my love the way I am called to do. Memories of times I have failed shamed me. By the grace of God, may I never make such a horrible mistake again.
Lord, thank you Lord for the lesson.
Verses – Ephesians 5:25 – Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her; Ephesians 5:28-33 – 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband; Colossians 3:19 – Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. Mark 12:30-31 – 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
IHS 9/29/30by Bob with
I write of faith in God and of His greatness not because I’m a good or righteous man. It is exactly the opposite. It is because I know myself, how awful I have been, and how awful I remain. It is not that I have ascended a mountain and found God. It is quite the opposite. God pursued me and stayed with me in the sewers of my life. He has loved me when I have been most unlovable. He saved me and cleaned me because of who He is, not because of anything about me. God has loved me because God is in the business of loving. He cleaned me because He is righteous and He knows the beauty of righteousness, so He sent Jesus to provide my way to righteousness. He provided life to me when I was dead, giving me a life I cannot lose. Let it be known that I am still a wretch, unworthy of any good thing, yet, amazingly, He loves me. This unshakeable love from God cannot be explained by anything about me, but only by who He is. So, the words I share reveal nothing about me, but only about the greatness of Him. I am nothing, He is everything, and because He is, I, who deserve nothing, also have all. Romans 4:20-25 – 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” 23 The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
IHS 7/24/13by Bob with