Today is Fathers Day. But, for this devotional, I’d like to expand it to include all husbands. My remarks to husbands directly impact wives. So, husbands, wives, and those that may become so should all gain something from this simple lesson.
Let’s look at Abram, Sarai, and Hagar. Genesis 15:4-5 (ESV),
“And he [Abram] went in to Hagar [Saria’s servant], and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress [Sarai]. And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!”
Oh, the messes we create and then seek God to clean up! Dr. R.C. Sproul’s commentary on this passage says, “May the wrong done to me be on you. Sarai lays responsibility for the situation upon Abraham. Only he has the judicial authority to effect a change and up to now has not acted to protect their marriage, so she appeals directly to God.”
Now, for those that know my wife, you know that she is an incredibly hard worker. She’s rarely been employed because her family, including me, is her career. Besides being a great wife and mother, she’s a skilled businesswoman, carpenter, plumber, gardener, and seamstress, as well as most any odd jobs that come up. And, she was “green” (i.e., conservationist) before “green” was created.
I wrote these things about my wife because it is essential background information for my next statement. My wife is more than capable in any aspect of life, yet she looks to me to be the protector of her and our family. She does this because it’s my responsibility, as it was Abram’s.
The complaint that Sarai lodged against Abram was that he was not protecting their marriage. He had plenty of opportunities to address the problem, but it seems he, like myself and so many husbands, was ignoring the issue in hopes that it would just go away. Of course, the problem wasn’t going to get resolved without action.
If Abram wasn’t going to act to fix the problem in his marriage, then Sarai was appealing directly to God. That meant Abram was a bigger problem than Hagar. Abram understood the implications of Saria’s declaration, and that got Abram moving.
Men, why is it that we don’t address marital problems quickly? If we acted, then we would engender our wive’s trust and love. Instead, we wait until our wives “explode.” This makes them feel like nags. And, it eliminates any chance for us to gain our wive’s trust and love. A husband’s procrastination is what we just read about in Genesis 15.
So, here are the points I hope we all learn today from Abram, Saria, and Hagar:
- Husbands, protect your marriages. Address problems quickly. I didn’t just write stifle, suffocate, mistrust, demean, be jealous or disrespect. I wrote “protect”; be a shield. Have broad shoulders. You be the one that takes the load, that takes the blame, that stands up for your wife and family.
- Husbands, marital problems don’t disappear. I don’t know how wives do this, but they will remember the mistakes you made forty years ago. Trust me on this. It’s better to suffer a little discomfort now than a whole truck-load of anger, later.
- Husbands, don’t make your wives become nags.
- Husbands, don’t lose your opportunities to gain your wive’s trust and love.
- Wives, don’t create situations that you know will require your husbands’ protection.