When Our Home Was Like a Prison

My husband says that “love believes all things” means that we should believe the best about one another, that we should give one another the benefit of the doubt, that we should not assume the worst.

Marriage strengthens in the refining, and we were in one of those crucible times. The way to a deeper love and stronger marriage was not to walk around the fire but through it, and we did so. We were “open and honest with one another in an attitude of love and humility” (quoted from our wedding vows). That morning we had one of those soul-wrenching conversations, and I carried it with me throughout the day. But it was morning, and we had to go to work.

Charles works at home, down there in the basement office. I work at home, too, so I heard the noise coming up through the walls between us. I stopped short at the sound. I couldn’t believe it.

He was humming.

While I spent my day stewing, burning over the morning’s interaction, he was joyfully humming! My brow muscles violently bunched together, and I exhaled a puff of disgust. How could he hum at a time like this?!

God (thank God!) did not allow me to remain in bitterness, and my boiling spirit calmed to a simmer. Later that night, Charles and I had a chance to talk again.

I listened as he shared, “I understand better the importance of music. I’ve been having a hard time focusing on the wrong things, and my mind kept going back to the morning’s conversation. I couldn’t get any work done. But then I started humming, and that helped a lot. It got my mind back on God.”


Then I remembered the song he was humming:
“Oh, the deep, deep love of Jesus . . .”

Our home that day was like the prison in Philippi long ago.

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown in prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in stocks.

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.

– Acts 16:22-25

Charles was simply being like Paul and Silas, singing and praising God in the midst of hardship. I was another prisoner who heard him.

But instead of singing, too, I only kept myself beaten and flogged, slouching in the shackles of bitterness.

Next time, I will believe the best about my husband. I know why he sings—and I will sing, too.

(Linking with Ann Voskamp for Wednesday. Click on the Holy Experience badge below to read more posts on The Practice of Love)


7 thoughts on “When Our Home Was Like a Prison

  1. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the Selah song, “I Bless Your Name,” which talks of the same prison incident. Thanks for corroborating that message in your post. It blessed me to click over here from Ann’s list.

    The Lord bless and keep you!

  2. I am having difficulty in remembering the positive in our marriage. Thank you for the inspiration of song when we can’t think out of our own box!

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