In Sickness as in Health|
by Norman Bales
Recently, I spent a week at home recovering from surgery. It was not
a week that I will remember with great fondness. I havent had
much experience with boredom in my entire life, but I think I must
have gotten pretty close to that when I realized I was looking
forward to seeing the weather report.
Actually Ann had the tough job. For the first couple of days, I was
close to being totally dependent on her. Then as I felt better I
gave her a lot of trouble because I wanted to push the edge of how
much I could do for myself. Sometimes I wonder why they call a
sick person a patient. My lack of patience exposes me as a poor
Actually being under-the-weather is a piece of cake for a man,
especially if hes got someone around like Ann who alternately
pampered me and threatened bodily harm if I violated doctors orders
one more time. Being sick is a tough thing for a wife and a mom.
Most mothers only allow themselves about a half a day a year to be
sick. They grow weary of accumulated laundry, messes in the kitchen
and children fighting over whose turn it is to clean up said messes.
A husband might help out the first day of Moms illness, but
theres a better than even chance that he will have to work late on
the second day. Hell call and make his apologies. Sorry, Hon. I
know how bad you feel, but I probably wont be home until about 10
oclock tonight. It doesnt take him long to figure out the
relative degree of difficulty in lifes stresses. If demands from
his boss stresses him to a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10, his wifes
illness will stress him to about an 11.2.
How should a husband deal with his wife illness? This is a good
time to make practical application if 1 Peter 3:7 Husbands...be
considerate as your live with your wife... Its also a good
time to think about what you promised when you promised to love your
wife in sickness as in health. Unfortunately both of those
statements tend to be somewhat abstract. Here are some concrete
applications of those abstract principles.
considerate as your live with your wife...
- Take care of meal preparation. Learn how to cook. If you pride
yourself in your ability to tinker with engines, make things, improve
your golf swing, stalk game or persuade fish to attack your lure, you
can learn how to cook. If you dont want to do that, at the very
least, have the decency outwitting a fish to both go by the deli and
pick food thats already prepared. If youre too lazy to do that, you
can have Pizza delivered to the house, but dont expect your sick wife
to eat it. She needs something thats a little blander. Above all,
dont expect her to prepare food.
- Take charge of the children. If youve been an absentee father,
its time to cancel golf dates, fishing trips and even some late night
meetings at work. If you have to, take a few vacation days. Dont
fret over having to cancel a fishing trip to Canada. They boys can do
it without you this year. And when you spend time with the children,
make sure youre there. Help them with homework. Make sure they get
their baths. See that theyre properly dressed for school. Once I
sent my daughter off to school. Her dress had a belt that had to be
tied in a bow. The teacher took one look at the way I tied the bow
and determined that Ann was sick that day. It would have been better
to select alternate clothing. You may need to get someone to advise
you about which colors go together and which ones dont. That may
not be so crucial for boys, but with girls it is absolutely essential.
- Take care of your wife. Shes your best and most lasting
investment. How do you respond when your car runs poorly? Dont
you take it to your mechanic. If your wife needs to go to the
doctor, make the appointment. If at all possible, take off from work
at drive her to his office. Pick up the prescription medicines and
give her as much TLC (tender loving care) as she needs. I have to
issue a warning here. Im married to a woman who has three levels of
TLC need. (1) If she is seriously ill, she wants to be totally left
alone to suffer in silence. (2) If she is desperately ill, she needs
attention to her needs. Thats the time I need to stay home from work
and give her constant attention. (3) I can always tell when she
improves. She begins to complain. Your wife may respond
differently. I would guess that she will give you an agenda of how
she wants to be treated and I can guarantee that neglect is not on her
Basically it all boils down to the most fundamental principle of
human relations. We call it the Golden Rule Do to others as
you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31). The person who shares
your life deserves such consideration and shell never need it more
than she does during a time of illness.
From the "All About Families" Newsletter.
HEARTLIGHT® Magazine is a ministry of loving Christians and the Westover
Hills church of Christ.
HEARTLIGHT and the flared heart design are service marks of Heartlight, Inc.
Copyright © 1996-99, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive,
Austin, TX 78759.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
© 1998 Norman Bales. Used by permission.
Design copyright © 1999, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
May be reprinted and reused for non-commercial purposes only if copyright credits are appropriately displayed.