Enough is Enough for Little Wife
One Sunday morning, Little Wife and Big Man went to their church. He gripped her hand tightly as they walked in and smiled brightly at the worshippers greeting them at the door.
“Good morning! Good morning! Yes, isn’t it a fine spring morning! Praise the Lord for Sundays in the house of God.”
Little Wife kept her plastic smile on her face and followed Big Man into the auditorium where they took their usual seats. Nobody could see the bruises or the shredded self-worth or the invisible wounds of emotional abuse. The praise band started to play the first song and the congregation rose to their feet and sang with all their hearts. Her mouth moved but no words came out.
Big Man kept his arm around his Little Wife throughout the service, squeezing her arm. Nobody noticed that she was getting smaller and smaller. In her little heart, she prayed silently, “Lord please deliver me from the hands and plans of evil men.”
Afterwards when they got home, Little Wife began to mix up blueberry pancakes and bacon for their Sunday brunch. She chatted with her children and hummed a little song from church, “amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…”
Little Wife noticed that Big Man was gathering his usual Sunday golf supplies, ten beers in the cooler and six donuts in his golf bag. He glared at her in the kitchen. “You’re always thinking so much about God and about your kids. You never support me, Little Wife. Why don’t you come along and ride in the golf cart with me and support me for a change? You don’t even know what a good golfer I am! You should submit to me and come along with me, because that’s what the Bible says you should do. Honor your husband and love him and spend time with him. You should be spending your Sundays with me, instead of always cooking for the kids and others.”
Little Wife didn’t look up from her pancake griddle, but only kept smiling and humming to herself. “Have a nice day at the golf course, Big Man, and we’ll see you later on this afternoon.”
She couldn’t quite explain her sunny mood, even in the midst of his bad attitude and verbal abuse. She was strangely happy and hopeful today. Maybe because she hadn’t drank any wine for five days. Maybe because the birds were singing outside her kitchen and the flowers were blooming. Maybe because her children were so beautiful. Maybe because she felt the love and peace of God that passes all understanding.
After brunch, she went for a long bike ride, and let the soft breeze blow her hair. She might be a little wife, but she could still reach the pedals of her bike. When she got home she opened her Bible and read some Psalms. Then she read the Gospel story of Jesus talking to the woman at the well. She was thankful for the truth and love of Jesus. He was kind and gracious and attentive to the woman who had given up on love. He knew everything she ever did and yet He loved her and accepted her.
“Jesus loves even me,” Little Wife whispered to herself. She marveled at that thought while she sat on the front porch watching happy couples walking their dogs and strolling their babies along the sidewalk. She smiled when she considered that the love of Jesus was enough for her. She sipped her tea and nibbled on a leftover pancake and greeted everyone who looked her way.
Soon she heard the unmistakable roar of Big Man’s car coming up the street. Little Wife knew the drill – smile and wave, welcome him home, ask about his game as she prepared his dinner. But today felt different for Little Wife. She didn’t do the drill.
He approached the front porch where Little Wife sat as content as a cat. As she looked at his sunburned face, she saw his eyes were also red, angry and threatening. He stumbled a bit coming up the stairs and sank heavily in his rocking chair. Little Wife noticed that Big Man had dark stains on his shirt under his arm when he swiped at the drops of sweat on his forehead and his thinning hair was greasy. Big Man scowled at Little Wife and when he spoke his words were slurred and hideous with insults and accusations.
“I spose you’ve been relaxing all day, Little Wife. I spose you were too busy to make a dinner for me. I’m sure you spent the afternoon talking to your friends on the phone. You know, Little Wife, I really hate when you sit there smiling and smirking at me like you are so holy and perfect.”
Big Man’s voice got louder and louder. The curses and accusations got louder and louder. Neighbors and strangers walking by turned their heads to see what was going on at Big Man’s front porch. Big Man was oblivious to their stares. He was deeply focused on giving Little Wife the lecture he thought she deserved for disrespecting him so terribly and not supporting him and never caring much about him, but always ready to help others.
Little Wife sat quietly through his lecture, taking mental notes about his appearance and the content of his message. She didn’t speak back, didn’t defend herself, simply listened quietly, remembering that the Lord was her shield, her fortress, her refuge and strength. After about 45 minutes of Big Man’s ranting and raving, Little Wife stood to her feet.
“Excuse me, Big Man,” she said as she stepped carefully over his outstretched legs. He reached out to her, but she ignored him and went inside the house. She heard him stomp off the porch and get back into his car. She stood like a statue inside the door and waited for him to roar away like a drunken fool.
“Kids! Get your stuff. Get what’s important to you. Get the dog. Grab some clothes and throw them in your backpack. We’re leaving. Enough is enough!” Little Wife was serious and calm as she directed the kids. “He’s left for a little while so this is our time to go. We might not be back for a long time so take whatever you need. This is it. That’s it. Enough is enough.”
All around her was a quiet, holy peace as she helped the kids pack and then grabbed some clothes for herself. She quickly called a friend who knew the situation and said, “Hi, it’s me. Yes, I’m okay. The kids and I are leaving. Can we come to your house and make a plan? Really? Oh you are the best! God bless you and we’ll be there real soon.”
Little Wife and her kids walked calmly and silently out the front door. Big Man was just pulling back into the driveway and getting out of his car with another six-pack of beer. Little Wife was holding the leash of their dog and her kids were walking in single file down the stairs and down the sidewalk towards her car. She unlocked the car, feeling the stare of Big Man burning a hole into her back. She popped the trunk and threw the backpacks in.
“Hey! What’s going on? Where are you going? When will you be back? What are you doing? What’s going on?” Big Man’s loud voice faded in the background as Little Wife started up the car. She turned and smiled happily at each of her children.
“Mom, where are we going?” her youngest daughter asked.
“Honey, I don’t know, but God knows. All I know is enough is enough,” Little Wife checked her side mirrors, put the car in drive, and peeked into the rearview mirror where Big Man was standing in the middle of the street, growing smaller and smaller as they drove away.
Galatians 5:1 “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Chaplain’s Note: Friends, we were never meant to live our lives under the yoke of slavery or the oppression of abuse. Christ died for sinners like us. His dying on the cross had purpose and meaning. Our sins were forgiven, and by faith we never have to face the consequences of our own evil behavior. The price He paid was very steep — His very life blood. But Jesus Christ died for us because of His great love. If you are in an abusive relationship, consider making a plan to escape as Little Wife did. You are free in Christ, and He does not approve of abuse in a marriage. He will make a way for you. He IS the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is our only Hope. Do you believe it?
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