Mabel got converted two years after her wedding. Though her husband Tony kept taunting her that it was because she was looking for a child that she acted saved, she knew deep down that her repentance was true and total this time. The only problem she had was convincing her husband that she hadn’t replaced him with Jesus. She loved Jesus, yes, with all her heart and mind and might, but she also loved him. He was her husband after all and he being her first true love, she couldn’t share that affection with another man, even if she tried.
But this Jesus matter? She was entirely committed to Him. She was ready to obey Him, even if it meant displeasing her man and costing her her marriage. And she knew that was exactly what Tony didn’t want to hear. He was adamant about not hearing her talk about Jesus and God in the home and ridiculed her when she prayed or read the Bible.
She didn’t let it get to her at first. Then the burden of his unsaved soul began eating at her. She desperately wanted him to be saved, but how? He wouldn’t even tolerate her talking about it. She prayed. But she wished she could also tell him how she felt.
When her pastor’s wife gave her a book: Created to be His Helpmeet, by a foreign author, she devoured it within a few days. So deep was her desire. The book was an eye-opener and she prayed through for grace, while also resolving to do as it instructed. She would please her Lord, but she wouldn’t refrain from calling her husband lord either.
Things started working out well after her practice that her husband began to tolerate her better. He didn’t mind her praying over their food, or if she suggested watching a Christian movie instead of another secular one. He knew it was a ploy to get him converted and though he wasn’t too averse to it anymore, he didn’t seem to be budging. The end of the year came and the company Tony worked organised a dinner party for the staff and their spouses or Plus One.
There was a lot of fun and pleasantness and the party was going down well, according to popular opinion. Until a drunk female member of staff picked a fight with Mabel. It seemed quite ridiculous that this woman who hardly knew her was being so spiteful but Mabel, who was filled with peace and love from her Lord, wouldn’t retaliate. Her smile and silence only infuriated her attacker and more venomous words were spilled. It was when Tony came to her rescue that the woman finally made public her grievance.
Apparently Tony had dated and recently broken up with her. They had gone out for a few months and she had even broken off her other serious relationship when he promised to marry her if she got pregnant for him. The bone of contention now was that his break up had caused her shame and embarrassment and she was all out for revenge, even if it meant breaking his home. Especially if it meant breaking his home.
In the course of the story, the whole place had gone quiet, everyone expecting Mabel’s reaction. They wanted to see her flare up. And that was exactly the plan. If she knew about her husband’s unfaithfulness, definitely the marriage was over. Tony, tongue-tied and shivering, was the one who feared the most. In the past few months, he had come to see his wife in another light and he somehow loved and appreciated her the more. Their home was not the same any longer. Even though they had no children yet, he sensed his wife at peace.
She was willing to do anything for him, as long as it didn’t begin to encroach on her spiritual convictions and even he had come to respect that and let her be.
In fact, her peace was beginning to rub off him. He didn’t know who his wife was anymore, but he did know that he didn’t want to lose her. He was just beginning to make his way right. Now this. Calmly, knowing she was in the spotlight, Mabel drew on strength she knew could have only come from her Lord and responded: I know all about this affair. My husband told me and we’ve settled it. He loves me and I love him. So we are moving on with our lives. I suggest you do so as well Madam.
Mabel’s response couldn’t have shocked anyone more than her husband. He had absolutely no idea where that reaction and response came from. Told her? He’d never told her about his infidelity. Or had he? He shook his head trying to remember even knowing it was futile because he’d never had. Wasn’t that a lie though? But he couldn’t care less. Even though he was the man, he could have fainted from relief, surprise and admiration for this woman he called his wife. Needless to say, the party ended there for both of them as they headed home immediately. The ride home was tense. Both thinking deeply about all the options they had.
As soon as they got home, Tony was on his knees asking for forgiveness, crying and telling her how much he loved her. He said their childlessness had tempted him to have an affair but in the recent months, he had seen her become more than what he could have imagined and he was very content to be with her, child or not so he had broken off the affair; that he knew it was because of Jesus that she was now submissive, loving and supportive. But this other woman had been after him hotly even though he didn’t like her anymore. He went on and on, crying and pleading.
Mabel was hurt, of course. Who wouldn’t? She sat there crying her heart out, half listening to her husband’s pleas. She didn’t think she could forgive him, not entirely anyway. Even though she had saved his face at the party, she didn’t think she wanted to keep living with a man who dishonoured her by joining his body with another woman.
She felt absolutely disgusted and felt certain she had the right grounds for divorce. Hadn’t Jesus himself said divorce could be done in the case of infidelity? She would definitely divorce him, but she would start by moving out of their bedroom. Until the papers were signed, she would do her other duties as a wife, but she wouldn’t allow him to touch her anymore.
Family and friends were rightfully shocked to hear that she was divorcing her husband. They all knew she had been enjoying her marriage in recent times and thought it odd that she should be the one divorcing and not the other way round.
They suspected that Tony would have sent her packing for her not producing an offspring. She refused to say what he did, referring them to him instead. He, in turn, wouldn’t say, only asked them to beg her to forgive him. It was this same pastor’s wife who led her on the right direction to saving her home that came to the rescue again: through a series of counselling, prayers and drawing her mind back to God’s word and will and encouraging a deep thorough search of what she really felt, making sure to peel off and wade through the layers of hurt and disappointment and look to God for healing and satisfaction.
Mabel came to forgive her husband. It was a long rough tough road. It was hard for her to still be submissive and love him and call him lord. But she did forgive him eventually. Completely. And it didn’t exactly come from knowing she wouldn’t be forgiven by God. (She felt she was justified not to; he had committed a grievous sin against her!) Eventually, she forgave him because she knew that she herself had been forgiven so much by her Saviour. Of course, Tony played his part. It was now his turn to be humble.
He went through counselling and learnt again how to woo his wife. To win her heart again. He made loving and pleasing her his first priority. He even encouraged her to tell him about her faith, if only to have her talk to him. He promised never to hurt her ever again, especially not in that way. It was really heartwarming the day she told him she had forgiven him. They, sitting in the living room, cried and renewed their vows.
When he asked her why she had said what she said during the party, to save his face and their marriage, she shrugged. She didn’t know either. She just said the first thing she could think of to diffuse the ticking bomb. Not wanting to pass up a good chance to call him to salvation, she told him only Jesus could help them be faithful to their vows and each other.
He too, seeing a lot of truth behind her words, knowing they came not from cliché, but from a life steeped in drawing strength from her love for her Lord, knowing her new life had changed her and made her the woman he had come to love with all his heart, committed his life to Him on the spot, making him his Lord as well.
Indeed, the saved woman shall win over her husband by the submission she exhibits.
Written by: Akindulureni Deborah