I have finally completed Her Husband is Known in the Gates: Helping Your Husband Succeed by Bernadine Bigner Cantrell and this morning I was going to give it a mediocre "rating". However, after the events of last night, the first book I thought back to was this one.
First, I will be honest and give you my initial reaction to this book. This book is exactly as its title describes itself, helping your husband succeed. I appreciated Mrs. Cantrell's practical encouragement to wives to trust in God in becoming the helpmate for their husbands in helping them achieve the desires of their hearts. I am even humbled by her story and her trust in God to make the changes she made in her life to help her husband become the successful man he became. In addition, Mrs. Cantrell was able to pursue her own career later in life while maintaining her major role as helpmate for her husband. The only uneasiness I felt from this book was that I felt it was too earthly focused in the sense that the main goal was success for the husband in the workplace. At the end of the book, Mrs. Cantrell changed everything in her life to become the wife as prescribed in the Bible, yet only to allow her husband to be successful in this world. Here's where I felt a huge gap between Mrs. Cantrell and myself. Her husband eventually became the President/CEO of a company. The demands of a CEO is much greater than a normal professional and so the perspective Mrs. Cantrell wrote from is one from the wife of a CEO. Are the goals different? If anything, I would like to know how a man can move up in this work world without compromising who he is in Christ? How is Mr. Cantrell's position as CEO a ministry to the glory of God? For me, that is the missing link in making this book great because not every man has the desire to grow in the workplace as Mr. Cantrell did. Therefore, as a helpmate, there must be a greater purpose in this world that a wife should help her husband achieve, whether he is the CEO or a janitor, and I don't think this book addresses that missing link.
Then, last night, DearHubby was on the internet job hunting because he informed me that his supervisor asked his opinion about changing job positions. He would be going from an engineering position to a technician position. Although DearHubby doesn't think he will receive a pay-cut, I can't be that ignorant to think that that is absolutely true. Having worked at the same company, there are 2 ramifications that I can think of if DearHubby agrees to move to this technician position. There is a cap on how much each job position gets paid. Therefore, if DearHubby is moved down to a technician position, his supervisor then has the right to tell him that he is unable to receive any more raises in the future or even worse, he'd have to take a pay-cut, because he has surpassed the cap on that job position. In this situation, the company is able to take advantage of DearHubby's experience and have him continue on with engineering responsibilities without getting the engineering pay. The other ramification could be that DearHubby is put in this technician position with the same salary doing only a technician's job. In this situation, he would be "over" paid for his position, which would be unfair to the other engineers receiving the same salary. DearHubby told his supervisor that he would do what it takes for the good of the company.
When DearHubby told me about his meeting with his supervisor, I just broke down in tears. We just took out a huge home equity loan and we'll be having our second child in a few weeks. I already have a difficult time meeting our budget on just one income and thinking that DearHubby may receive a potential pay-cut just overwhelmed me.
Then I thought back to yesterday's daily verse, "Be still and know that I am God." I thought that it was quite ironic that the Lord brought me to a point of peace to say in a post, "Rather than fretting and being overwhelmed, I should have the peace in my heart and be still in it and KNOW that God is God!!!" I thought back to all the ways that God has just been ironing out all the wrinkles in our day to day life and how even this potential financial burden is just a small wrinkle that God can iron out too. More than that, this is truly a small wrinkle in the whole story of our redemption. God already has given us eternal life...Everything outside of this wondrous gift is such a small matter compared to the eternal wrath he spared us from. Therefore, ater thinking on these things, there was a peace that just overcame my soul, and it was a peace of knowing that God is God and He IS taking care of us.
So, I began to ponder what lesson was God teaching us...
At first, I began to think...God is teaching DearHubby this lesson...
Then I thought, "how prideful I am to think that God is teaching DearHubby a lesson"...I wanted to cast blame on someone...I wanted to give this situation an explanation...That's when I thought back to Mrs. Cantrell's book. As a wife, there were a few practical things I was not doing to help DearHubby. This home has been all about ME. When DearHubby arrives from work, I am frustrated and angry from the day's events. Rather than coming home to a safe haven, DearHubby comes home to another battlefield. Not only does he have to think about how he is to physically build this house, but he is burdened with how he is to please his wife and how he is to spend time with DearDaughter...It is by my SELFISH attitude that I have burdened DearHubby. I often fail to realize that it is because of his hard work and dedication each day to go to work that I am even able to be at home and concentrate on raising DearDaughter and on keeping the home. DearHubby helps me achieve the desires of my heart by freeing me of the burden to make the money. The least I could do is free him of the burdens of my responsibilities in the home.
And this is where I am thankful for Mrs. Cantrell's example in her book. She was a wonderful example of a submissive wife and a wonderful example of a helpmate. I still think that there is a missing link in Mrs. Cantrell's book, but I cannot ignore the wonderful example of a biblical wife she displayed throughout the book.
By recognizing Mrs. Cantrell's godly example, I learned that as a wife learns how to fulfill her biblical responsibility to love her husband, to respect her husband, and to submit to her husband, this ministry in itself will give glory unto God. Lastly, to fill in the missing link, it is a wife's joyful obedience unto God that will win a husband over to consider his role and ministry in this world for the glory of God.