A Submissive Wife
A married woman was effectually called by divine grace and became an exemplary Christian, but her husband was a lover of sinful pleasure. When spending an evening as usual with his jovial companions at a tavern, the conversation happened to turn on the excellencies and faults of their wives ; the husband just mentioned pronounced the highest encomiums on his wife, saying she was all that was excellent, only she was religious. “Notwithstanding which,” said he, “such is the command she has of her temper, that were I to take you, gentlemen, home with me at midnight, and order her to rise and get you a supper, she would be all submission and cheerfulness.” The company regarded this merely as a vain boast, and dared him to make the experiment by a considerable wager. The bargain was made, and about midnight the company adjourned as proposed. Being admitted, “Where is your mistress?” said the husband to the maid-servant who sat up for him. “She is gone to bed, sir.” “Call her up,” said he. “Tell her I have brought some friends home with me, and that I desire she would get up and prepare them a supper.” The good woman obeyed the unreasonable summons, dressed, came down and received the company with perfect civility, told them she happened to have some chickens ready for the spit, and that supper should be got as soon as possible. It was accordingly served up, when she performed the honors of the table with as much cheerfulness as if she had expected company at a proper season.
After supper, the guests could not refrain from expressing their astonishment. One of them particularly, more sober than the rest, thus addressed himself to the lady : “Madam,” said he, “your civility fills us all with surprise. Our unreasonable visit is in consequence of a wager, which we have certainly lost. As you are a very religious person, and cannot therefore approve of our conduct, give me leave to ask what can possibly induce you to behave with so much kindness to us?” “Sir,” replied she, ” when I married, my husband and myself were both un converted. It has pleased God to call me out of that dangerous condition. My husband continues in it. I tremble for his future state. Were he to die as he is, he must be miserable forever; I think it therefore my duty to render his present existence as comfortable as possible.”
This wise and faithful reply affected the whole company. It left a deep impression on the husband’s mind. “Do you, my dear,” said he, “really think I should be eternally miserable? I thank you for the warning. By the grace of God I will change my conduct.” From that time he became another man, a serious Christian, and consequently a good husband.
Married Christians, especially you who have unconverted partners, receive the admonition intended by this pleasing anecdote. Pray and labor for their conversion ”for what knowest thou, wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, man, whether thou shalt save thy wife?” 1 Cor. 7 : 16.
From Anecdotes for the Family and Social Circle
Published by the American Tract Society