At about fourteen years into our marriage the old Dodge was still around, its heart beating on five cylinders. We lived as far West as our city goes from Eric’s workplace. The drive straight East into the sun on Route Fifty took my husband an hour every morning. When he got there his days were filled with high pressure and low praise. He came home straight toward the western sun every evening. The sun visor was long gone. Ten years he commuted in that old car. The air conditioner never worked. He was hot and sweaty and grumpy when he arrived home at night. Exactly how hot that old station wagon got on a 95 degree day I didn’t know, but he was in need when he arrived home.

Never did he complain; but his fair Swedish skin was always more red than normal on those hot days. I grieved for his suffering. I began to understand that I could do something about it. I could make coming home his highlight for the day. I began to pour out my complaint to God about that car. Finally we saved enough to buy a newer old car; one with air conditioning, electric windows, radio and tape deck.

Compassion will bring pain, because you will feel the pain of your husband and of those around you. Allow it. The grieving, the brokenhearted, the poor, the sick, those who are afraid or lonely and our husbands’ sometimes silent pains are real. Your husband needs you. You are his other self, the very touch of God to him. Whether he shows it, or even knows it, he is in need of someone who makes him the most important person in the world. Will it be you, his wife?

Your compassion grows strong when your heart is warmed by enduring adversity together. It is a gift from God.

If your man will reach high and go far, it will be because you believe in him. Learn to believe in his designated place. Tell him so. Encourage him when he fails. Your house can be the place he looks forward to, because you are there. As the song says, “… it’s her warm loving that keeps me returning again and again.” And as the Bible says, “…the heart of her husband doth safely trust in her…” Prov.31:11
• Does a husband’s hardship justify a high handed, hurtful attitude toward you?
• How should you respond when a husband arrives home angry?
• Sometimes you must think, “What about me, what about the children?” When does “What about me” go out of bounds?

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