Please enjoy this guest post from a writer friend from Virginia, Ruth O’Neil, as she shares how the Holy Spirit worked in her early marriage years…
When God Says No
Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
Have you ever heard God tell you, “No” about doing something? Maybe it was something you had prayed hard about for a while, but then God came back with a negative answer and shut the door completely. I’ve had this experience plenty of times, but there is one particular event that sticks out in my memory. It didn’t have anything to do with asking God for something for myself. In fact, I was so sure of myself that I hadn’t even discussed this with God at all.
One fall, my husband and I were having some financial difficulties. The bills were paid, but there wasn’t a lot of extra money for Christmas presents. My husband felt badly about this for the kids’ sake. He tried to make extra money with little projects, but it didn’t seem to be enough. Since I sew and had an entire room full of material sitting there doing nothing, I thought I would make up a bunch of quilts and sell them. That way we would have all the extra money we would need for Christmas gifts and my husband would not feel so stressed or have to work so hard.
I got busy sewing and before too long I had several quilts that were ready to be enjoyed by someone else. That was where God stopped me and said, “No!”
I actually doubted God, even thought I knew better, so I continued sewing. God gave an answer for my doubt in my devotions one day during all this. James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who preservers under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” I don’t know if God was really testing my husband at that point, but I do know that when I thought he was at a breaking point, God would sustain him and give him strength to get through whatever was necessary.
God spoke to my heart and made me realize that if I went out and did this at this particular time in our marriage, I would do more damage than good. I know a lot of women won’t understand this, but I would have hurt my husband’s ego if I had decided to sell those quilts. My husband is the breadwinner in our family and if I had stepped over that boundary I could have made my husband feel like a failure. I listened to God and kept my quilts to myself, even though I didn’t agree with Him.
I know my husband would not be bothered by me selling quilts a bit now, more than a decade later, but then was definitely not the time. In fact, I have sold hundreds of quilts since then. This way I can make a little money on the side, but my husband is still in charge taking care of the family, just as God ordained him to be.
I have decided that I wanted to be like the woman in Proverbs 14 who built her house up, not the woman who tore hers down.
I finally quit being so stubborn and let the Holy Spirit speak to me; or maybe I was just finally listening. My husband wasn’t the only one to learn a lot during that time. I did as well.
Ruth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. The print edition will be available February 28 th . She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/books.html
Ruth O’Neil and I met by way of our mutual publisher of Life lessons from Dad’s ,Tracy Ruckman, owner of Write Integrity Press and PixNPens. http://writeintegrity.blogspot.com/ and http://pixnpenspub.blogspot.com/