There are many old sayings about idle hands. There is one by Isaac Watts that I would like to bring to your attention: “For Satan always finds some mischief still for idle hands to do.” These sayings usually come from grandmothers or parents that are trying to reason with a child to cease playing video games or simply lying around the house. However, I would like to entertain this quote in regards to marriage.

Now I am certainly no expert in marriage. Especially for being married only 3 years, a drop in the bucket compared to some. Having said that, in our world today marriage is not viewed as a forever relationship in many circles. Instead the option of divorce or separation is always a possibility and is too often used. If we look back at the quote from Isaac Watts, there is a truth that can be found regarding marriage.

Recently Gail, my wife, organized and spoke at a Ladies Night that was held at our church. Women from the community came to fellowship together. These nights usually have themes and Gail’s theme was repurposing. She focused on the fact that when we come to Christ as sinners, he repurposes us into a new creation, something that can then be used by Him. In order to get her point across in a way that women would understand, she had crafts! These crafts consisted of taking old wood that was to be thrown away and making them in to decorative art, making picture frames from jelly jars, and a soap dispenser out of a sauce jar. Overall I believe there were nearly 25 crafts.

Since I am a part-time youth minister and a substitute teacher, the summer leaves me with some time to kill. Therefore, I volunteered, yes under my own will, to assist in the making of the crafts. This process was about a month long. In that month we tried various things, made mistakes, and had successes. We perfected items found online and even came up with a few on our own. After all was said and done and the Ladies Night was over, I came to an important realization. My wife and I had spent about a month working together on projects…and it was a good month! Thinking back to other months in our relationship, it differed.

You see, I believe Watts quote is true for individuals. Satan will take advantage of any situation he can. When we are not moving forward in our relationship with God, Satan is pulling us backwards. The same is true for couples. As a couple, when was the last time you and your spouse worked together to accomplish a common goal? When each spouse has a different set of goals to accomplish during a day, division occurs. It can lead to seeing one’s own needs and wants over your spouse’s. Ephesians 5:31 says, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Too often a husband and wife never combine into the “one flesh.” The husband has the duties of providing security for his family and the wife must raise the children properly. But if the two have become one, there will not be two separate people that off-set each other. There will be companionship. A relationship where each strive to work together to accomplish the same goals.

The “craft month” has taught me how important it is to work with Gail to accomplish the same goal. There were not always times of jubilation and excitement. We argued about how to glue certain items together or which way to form jars, but we both had the same ultimate goal. Our arguments never stopped us from accomplishing the goal in the end. Our marriage has benefited from this month.

I would challenge you to take on a project with your spouse. It can be anything from fixing up the back porch at your home, to building a simple item to display as art. During this time you will have to show patience, compassion, love, and self-control. But you will be reminded that your spouse is not just another person you live with, not just a friend that will lisen to your complaints, not just a cook or a handyman; but your spouse is a companion. When working together to accomplish a goal, your hands will not be idle. They will be active. So too your marriage will not be idle, but active and vibrant.

In case you were wondering the Ladies Night was a huge success. Though there were only 9 ladies that showed up to fellowship; God ordained each individual to be there to hear exactly what Gail had to say. I would certainly call that a success.

In Christ’s Love,

Josh Williford

 

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