“I’ve decided to divorce Barry,” my girlfriend exclaimed just as I was sliding into my half of the booth at the local diner. I remember freezing for a half –a- second, trying to process what she just said and wondering if we should just skip this breakfast altogether.
I mean, after all, weren’t we there to console one another after just dropping our babies off at their first day of Kindergarten? We were now empty-nesters by day! Our work was done between 8:30 and 2:30, and what were we going to do now?! Divorce hadn’t been on my list of options!!
“What?!” was all I could think of to say as I continued into the booth. I decided I needed to sit, breakfast or no breakfast.
“I’ve got a meeting this week to file for divorce.” She was actually serious, and I had no idea there had been anything wrong!
“How could this be?” I thought still trying to process her statement.
She continued, “I’m done. I’ve tried everything and I’m done trying. I’ve decided I’m going to go ahead and file for a divorce.”
Thankfully, the waitress picked that moment to walk over and hand us both a menu and asked us if we’d like coffee. I guessed coffee would be okay at that moment, and we both agreed. Her interruption also gave me a minute to offer up a quick, silent prayer, “Lord, please help me out here!” And what came out of my mouth next was all Him!
“You haven’t tried everything!” I said.
“What!” Ah, it was now her turn to try to process here.
“Everything, you haven’t tried eve – ry – thing, until you try 1 Peter 3. Have you tried 1 Peter 3?” I could tell we had her attention now by the look on her face.
“Why, what’s 1 Peter 3 say?”
Ah! She was now ready to listen. “Thank-You, Lord!” I offered silently once more and went looking for my pocket-sized New Testament that I carried in my purse at the time. I opened up to 1 Peter 3:1-6 and began to explain, “This isn’t the Amplified Bible, you’ll need to get yourself an Amplified Bible to honestly do this passage justice, but let’s just read what it says here:
(I’ve got the Amplified version here for you and still believe it’s the only one women should use to read I Peter 3:1-6! It’s also best to read it slow and let it all sink in.)
1 Peter 3:1-6 (AMP): In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives,
2 When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him—to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].
3 Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes;
4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.
5 For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them].
6 It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].” 1 Peter 3:1-6 (AMP)
Once we finished I went on to explain:
“At one time I was desperate for Adam to make a move. I had prayed and tried everything I knew in my power to do. This was actually a great move, the best thing for him and all of us in my opinion, but Adam didn’t seem remotely close to moving! So, one day I cried out to God asking Him what more I could do to bring about this move in him, and His answer was 1 Peter 3:1-6. I was so desperate at that moment that I committed to following those verses to the letter!”
“Just in case you didn’t notice,” I went on,” these verses are all about us! Verse one; we’re to adapt to our husbands, we’re to conform to him, fit alongside him to make us one and it doesn’t matter if he’s a believer or not, if God can work in our thick heads, He surely can work on anyone! But, here’s the kicker.” I added. “It says here ‘without words!’ It’s our actions towards him and God that is ultimately going to win him over.”
I could see I had her undivided attention, so I continued, “verses two through five go on to explain what those actions are supposed to look like, and verse six gives us an example of a woman, Sarah, who followed this example and was blessed by God to be the Matriarch of the whole Israelite nation! You should go back and study her life as well.”
I leaned in and looked her right into the eyes at that moment to emphasize what I was about to tell her next, “I meditated on these verses and tried my very best to follow them, and do you know what I discovered?”
“What?!” Liz questioned. I was pretty sure we had her by then.
“I discovered that when I was so busy trying to follow these verses to the letter, my focus was no longer on my husband and what he was doing or not doing; my focus was squarely on me and what I was doing or failed to do. And then do you know what happened?” I continued, ” Adam moved! He made THE move, I made a move, and God blessed our moves and our marriage, and if He can bless our marriage, He can do the same for yours!”
We ended up having breakfast that morning after all, and Liz drove off to pick up an Amplified Bible and decided to give 1 Peter 3 a try before taking anymore drastic measures, and I’m happy to say that now, almost 30 years later, we’re both empty-nesters full-time and still very happily married to our guys!!
Till next time,