I recently came across a wall hanging that said, “Together is my favorite place to be.” As a woman striving to be a godly spouse and mother, I pray that I am cultivating a desire within my husband and children to want to spend time (both quality and quantity) together. As life goes, however, we can’t always be together. Sometimes, our husbands must be away from the family for work, service to others, or even periods of recreation. What are some areas for growth and attitudes that I can remember during the times we are apart?
Remember Your Spouse.
Chances are, our husbands would much rather be home with us than on another business trip. What are our attitudes toward him in the days leading up to his departure? Do we nag and make him feel guilty for leaving? Are our communications during the trip filled with whining and complaints? Our husbands have the God-given desire (and command) to provide for their families (I Timothy 5:8). As women, it should be our aim to support and encourage our spouse to fulfill his duties to the best of his ability (Ecclesiastes 9:10). It should also be our goal to make our home a haven, a place he desires to return to as quickly as possible. In doing so, our children see the examples of a diligent provider and a virtuous woman (Proverbs 31).
It is easy to throw ourselves a pity party when dad is going to be gone on the summer mission trip. Sure, it’s wonderful that he has a desire to help spread the borders of the kingdom, but I’m stuck at home with sick kids, a full to-do list, and no help! The quickest way to squelch the self-pity is to remember others who are in far more challenging situations. Pray for our Christian sisters who are holding down the fort while their husband is deployed for an indefinite number of months. Encourage that single mom who is doing her best to raise godly children on her own. Then, when your help returns from that short-term trip, seek out ways to help lighten their load.
It is challenging to run a household solo when you are used to having another adult around. There can be some benefits to it as well, however, if we take the time to look for them. That time that you normally spend with your husband in the evenings after the kids are asleep and the chores are finished can be an excellent time of refreshing. Draw a bubble bath or pick up a hobby that you’ve neglected. Chat on the phone with a friend who is single and also by themselves that evening. Better yet, just be still and allow the chaos of life to melt away as you meditate on God’s Word (Psalm 46:10).
Remember The Protector.
Engrained within man is the God-given desire to protect his family. We feel comfort and safety when all of the members of our household are together under one roof. It is normal for us, as women, to feel anxiety, particularly during hours of darkness, when our husband– our protector is away. What a wonderful opportunity to turn our focus on The Protector and cast our anxieties on Him. As we offer prayers for travel safety and security at home, we can grow in trust of our Heavenly Father by meditating on comforting words He has given us.
“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
Time spent apart is full of difficult challenges as well as refreshing opportunities. I’m thankful for those times when I’m alone that help me to grow as a Christian, but together will always be my favorite place to be.
Kathryn and her husband Andy live in San Marcos, TX and worship with the University church of Christ where Andy has served as the Associate/Youth Minister for 6 years. She stays at home with their 2 daughters and enjoys teaching Bible classes to children and ladies.