Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wives: Home Influence on Husbands

(Talmage from The Pathway of Life)

In our efforts to have the mother of every household appreciate her influence
over her children we are apt to forget the wife's influence over the husband.
In many households the influence upon the husband is the only home
influence. In a great multitude of the best and most important and most talented
families of the earth there have been no descendants. There is not a
child or a grandchild, or any remote descendant of Washington, or Charles
Sumner, or Shakespeare, or Edmund Burke, or Pitt, or Lord Nelson, or Cowper,
or Pope, or Addison, or Johnson, or Lord Chatham, or Grattan, or Isaac
Newton, or Goldsmith, or Swift, or Locke, or Gibbon, or Walpole, or Canning,
or Dryden, or Moore, or Chaucer, or Lord Byron, or Walter Scott, or Oliver
Cromwell, or Garrick, or Hogarth, or Joshua Reynolds, or Spenser, or Lord
Bacon, or Macaulay. Multitudes of the finest families of the earth are extinct.
As though they had done enough for the world by their genius or wit, or
patriotism, or invention, or consecration, God withdrew them. In multitudes
of cases all woman's opportunity for usefulness is with her contemporaries.
How important that it be an improved opportunity!
While the French warriors on their way to Rheims had about concluded
to give up attacking the castle at Troyes because it was so heavily garrisoned,
Joan of Arc entered the room and told them they would be inside the castle
in three days.

" We would willingly wait six days," said one of the leaders.
"Six!" she cried out; "you shall be in it to-morrow." And, under her
leadership, on the morrow they entered. Though Joan afterwards suffered
martyrdom at the stake, her glorious deeds will live in the grateful remembrance
of the descendants of those who so cruelly executed her. On a smaller
scale every man has garrisons to subdue and obstacles to level, and every wife
may be an inspired Joan of Arc to her husband. So that whatever be his successes
he will always bless her name for the helpfulness she gave him.
What a noble, wifely ambition, the determination, God helping, to accompany
her companion across the stormy sea of this life and together gain the
wharf of the Celestial City ! Coax him along with you! You cannot drive him
there. You cannot nag him there ; but you can coax him there. That is
God's plan. He coaxes us all the way—coaxes us out of our sins, coaxes us
to accept pardon, coaxes us to heaven. If we reach that blessed place it will
be through a prolonged and divine coaxing. By the same process take your
companion, and then you will get there as well, and all your household. Do
just the opposite to your neighbor. Her wifely ambition is all for this world,
and a disappointed and vexed and unhappy creature she will be all the way.
Her residence may be better than yours for the few years of earthly stay, but
she will move out of it as to her body into a house about five and a half feet
long and about three feet wide and two feet high, and concerning her soul's
destiny you can make your own prognostication. Her husband and her sons
and daughters, who all, like her, live for this world, will have about the same
destiny for the body and the soul. You having had a sanctified and divinely
ennobled wifely ambition, will pass up into palaces, and what becomes' of your
body is of no importance, for it is only a scaffolding, pulled down now that
your temple is done. You will stand in the everlasting rest and see your husband
come in, and see your children come in, if they have not preceded you.
Glorified Christian wife ! Pick up any crown you choose from off the King's
foot-stool and wear it ; it was promised you long ago, and with it cover up all
the scars of your earthy conflict.

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