Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Wonderful Wife

Who is your favorite character in a Christmas movie - and why? I can tell you exactly who it is that I admire from the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life".

I've loved this movie since I was first introduced to it in the early 1980's. I had never seen it before I was married (amazingly!) but when I got married, my husband and I had something I'd never heard of before - cable TV - and with it came the classic movie channels that I still love. (This was before NBC bought the rights to this movie and now you can only see it on that network).

My favorite character in the movie? Mary Bailey.

Here is a woman who loves her husband, George with every fiber of her being. She knew she loved him as a little girl and even tells him in his bad ear, "George Bailey, I'll love you til the day I die," and she does.

She stands by him through up and downs. On their wedding day, there is a run on the bank and the Bailey Building and Loan, and she is there, with the money for their honeymoon, to save her husband's business.

When her husband realizes that he has a shortage in his books - that his uncle Billy has lost some money, and he has no way to replace it - he goes into despair.

He doesn't share with his wife what has happened. Like a lot of men, especially of this time period, he wants to protect her and shelter her from his troubles. He comes home grumpy as an old bear and then leaves the house again in a huff. Here's where Mary becomes my favorite. Her children come to her and say, "Shall we pray for Daddy?" Her response, "Yes, pray very hard."

Her first thought is to pray for her husband. She has obviously taught her children to pray, so that is their first response, too. We hear her and her children praying for George in the beginning of the film. Prayers filled with love and concern for her husband and the father of her children.

This should be our first response, too. When our husbands are struggling with despair or they are facing difficult circumstances, we need to turn to the Lord and put these things before his throne.  Psalms 40:2 says, "He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps." We need to pray that the Lord will set our husbands feet upon the rock of Jesus and to help him out of the pit of despair. I like how the Bible calls it a "horrible pit". Isn't that the truth? When we feel depressed or in despair, it's a horrible pit!

Mary then goes on a mission to help her husband by being His hands and feet in the situation. She contacts Uncle Billy and finds out what is going on. She continues to pray (as do her children) but she is also actively contacting family and friends to let them know what's happened and to help her husband. Mary has faith in God and faith in her earthly family and friends. She reaches out to others to pray and, in the process, they are blessed with the money they need from these loved ones. 

We shouldn't just be praying for our husbands during a crisis, though. Colossians 4:2 tells us, "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." Mary was earnest and vigilant in her prayers for George. We must be the same. When we pray, be thankful for all the Lord has done and will continue to do. 

Yes, "It's a Wonderful Life" is about the fact that a man who has friends is a rich man indeed, however, I think they missed an important blessing. George is rich and blessed because of his wife, Mary, who prays for him, springs into action when she needs to, and is teaching their children to pray and believe in the Lord.

It's a wonderful life, that's true. However, I also think George has a wonderful wife.

Lord, help me to be the kind of wife that Mary is. I want to be the kind of wife that prays for my husband daily, who is his helpmeet in this life, who is his encourager when he is discouraged, who prays first and acts/speaks second.

I think I can learn a lot from Mary. How about you?

God bless you - Julie

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