Dear Sisters in Christ,
There are people we honor and admire in the Christian life for certain virtues or characteristics which seem to have marked them. Who doesn’t admire Martin Luther for his undaunted courage, John Calvin for his doxological mind, David Brainerd for his consistent humility, William Carey for his audacious foresight? But our greatest heroes are often little known and overlooked. And for many of us they are you: faithful and faith-filled wives living with unbelieving husbands. If there are degrees of rewards in heaven you will surely receive a great share. For the Spirit’s work in you is evident and has born much fruit. You stand before us each week as a living model of devotion to our Lord.
In some ways we have been shocked by the traits which seem to be readily among you. In other ways we are not shocked at all. The Lord has truly sanctified you in the crucible of life and your holiness glimmers with a shine that surpasses many of our own.
In a day and age where grumbling and complaining is one of the chief sins in the church, it seems to be absent from you. You, like our Lord, “open not your mouth” (Is. 53:7) in complaint.
We look upon your faithfulness and think how much we have to learn. You continue to maintain a godly witness to those around you, a submissive attitude towards your husband, a servant-hearted mindset in the home, a persevering persistence, and a joyous countenance which says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). We have watched you and continue to be amazed as you raise godly children—we who struggle to do so with two Christian parents in the home.
But it isn’t just your example in the home. You continue to willingly and gladly serve in the church and minister to others when your daily life is one of tiring service beyond what many of us know. And in the midst of that service, we often find you to be the most empathetic and compassionate lovers of those who are suffering. We sense no “me” attitude in you, but one of humility and humbleness. Seldom do we find you calling attention to yourselves and you are consistently supportive of others.
Is it an accident that so many of you are marked by these very things? We don’t think so. It appears that the Lord has not only blessed your spouse, but us with you. He has used what no doubt is trying and difficult for you, at times or maybe always, to be a blessing to us. You are usually quiet and yet have had a loud impact upon our lives—an impact that is derived by looking at your faithfulness, perseverance, and joy. And as we do so, we are encouraged in the Spirit to “run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1).
We also want you to know that you are in our prayers. We pray for your continued faithfulness. And we continue to pray for your husband. Though you have been a great example to us in the midst of your current circumstances, we would not desire that you continue in them. We are praying and want to labor with you to see your husband, the groom of your youth, become your brother in Christ. And we continue to trust and hope that your witness and faithfulness will be used by the Lord to that very end. “Wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband?” (1 Cor. 7:16). May it be!
We can’t help but think of Paul’s words to Philemon and tweak them for our use, “For we have derived much joy and comfort from your love, our sisters, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you” (Philemon 1:7). We have been refreshed and filled with joy by your faithful kingdom service. We have noticed. But most importantly, we hope that you know that your eternal bridegroom notices and is pleased.
By His Grace,
Your thankful brothers and sisters in Christ