"Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands." Proverbs 14:1
We are in a building project-- we are in the process of "building" lives. It isn't easy work in the U.S., neither is it easy in a foreign land--it is only complicated by cultural differences, language barriers, and fatique on the missionary's part as they try to work without a lot of encouragement from other believers.
That is why the wives of missionaries play such an important role on the field; our attitudes can either encourage or discourage our husband. So often I find myself complaining and sharing my own discouragement with my husband, as he is the only person I have to confide in. I am a natural born critic--I can easily find the negative in any situation, and tend to dwell on the problems. My husband, on the other hand, is an optomist.....he finds the silver lining in every cloud, and by nature only sees the best in every person.
I suppose we balance each other out, but there are limits. In the workforce and in competitive sports, there is a mentality of being a "team player." I have to ask myself, as a missionary's wife, "Am I doing everything on my part to work as part of the team?" Sometimes it is easy to be a spectator on the sidelines criticizing how someone else is playing, or doing the work. We think that we could do it better. We offer advice on how they could improve. There isn't necessarily anything wrong with that, if it is done with the right spirit.
I imagine my husband grows tired of my "coaching" if I am not actively involved in the game, carrying my fair share of the load. Churches and ministries are filled with people sitting on the benches, spectators, and sometimes people who don't even show up to support the team.
If you are "playing" on the field, when engaged in the heat of the game, you will realize that it isn't as easy as it seems. Don't professional sports players make it look so effortless? If nothing else, at least be a "cheerleader" who encourages the players and tries to boost morale. I realize that the Christian life is not a "game" but the apostle Paul used sport analogies. In actuality life is a battle, and the stakes are much higher-- all the more reason to take these matters seriously because the lives of men are at stake.