Selfishness, Conviction, or Fear?

Last summer Don told me his brother invited him on a mission trip to Liberia with a ministry his brother directs. He asked me, “Should I go?”

I don’t know if it was selfishness, conviction, or fear that made me say, “No, I don’t think you should go.”

Selfishness. I didn’t want the trip to cost me anything—time, money, or energy. As the wife of a pastor (and a man who travels on mission trips regularly), I knew some responsibility would fall on my shoulders.

Conviction. That’s a hard one. I enumerated many valid reasons I believed Don shouldn’t go—some of them were even spiritual and biblical. Besides, I didn’t “have a peace” about it. I rallied behind this particular reason for several weeks.

Fear. Ah, the root of many bad decisions. Fear is really a lack of trust and, at first, I didn’t trust Don was hearing from the Lord. Nor did I trust that God would allow Don to come home in one piece, if at all. As a friend of mine recently said, “Being in the center of God’s will is not always safe.” She referred to our physical well-being. God does not promise we will live our lives of faith without harm.

To my husband’s credit, he did not want to say yes to the trip until I gave him the green light. Unfortunately for him that didn’t happen. However, he wouldn’t say no either. So we came to a standstill.

The last time Don brought it up, the deadline was fast approaching and a decision needed made. I finally relented. Actually what I said was more like,

“You are never going to convince me you should go on this trip. But I won’t stand in your way. If you believe God wants you to go, say yes and I’ll be okay.”

And I am okay.

I realized I could not keep him from going, nor should I. As head of the household, he could have forced my hand at any time. I’m glad that’s not how our marriage works. However, as his wife, I have an obligation to trust his leadership. God has spent years teaching me this lesson.

Don agreed to the trip, raised his support, and left for Liberia last weekend. He is due home March 2nd. While I haven’t felt the “peace” I seek, my fear is slowing dissipating and my trust in the Lord is strengthening. I have no knowledge Don will come home unscathed. But I rest in the knowledge that God is in control and knows what’s best for each of us.

If you want to check out Hope 2 Liberia, click on the picture below.

Hope 2 Liberia

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8 thoughts on “Selfishness, Conviction, or Fear?

  1. Thanks for your transparency. Sometimes it’s hard to admit when we’ve stepped up and voiced our concerns to our husbands, but through you honesty we see that things don’t always go our way…and that’s okay.

    You have a good man. And he has a good woman. 🙂

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  2. What I know of Don I am sure he wouldn’t have went if God hadn’t called him. You have my prayers for you and the peace that passes understanding and for a continuous hedge of protection around Don and all those on this trip and prayers for all to come home safely. Your life is a witness to ‘living out’ Christianity and it’s awesome…. but I am just going to be honest and thank God I am not in your shoes.

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  3. Barb, thanks for sharing so honestly with us about a situation I think many couples face, where we have honest disagreements over what God wants us to do. So often when we disagree, our motives are mixed as you admit here. I am very glad that your relationship with Don is one where your trust in each other allows peaceful resolution. I will be praying for Don and the others in this mission and I thank you for setting us a good example with your faith and submission to circumstances that are not your first choice. I pray God will bless you with contentment and reassurance until Don returns safely home.

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    • Julia, thanks for your encouragement and prayers. Too many people believe disagreements are “bad” and it took me a while to understand they aren’t. They are just disagreements. Don and I are in a great place in our relationship. We can discuss things (usually) without feeling as if the other person is attacking. So blessed to have him as my husband!

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