Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.” So He let him alone. At that time she said, “You are a bridegroom of blood”— because of the circumcision. –Ex 4:25-26 (NASB)
Moses was a Hebrew and Zipporah was a Midianite. When they married, neither one of them would have any idea about what God was going to call Moses to. Moses had not circumcised his son yet, so Zipporah did it, and it seems, from this passage, that circumcision was something that was pretty objectionable to her. Her attitude, may have been what held Moses back from being obedient. Nevertheless, it is what God required of His people, the Hebrews. I believe at this point in Moses’ life, he was under tremendous personal strain, having been told by God that he was going to be used by God to confront Pharaoh and deliver the nation of Israel from their Egyptian slavery.
Few of us can imagine the relational strain that must have been going on between Moses and his wife. After all, she didn’t sign up for all of this! With her outburst, again, it seems that she probably wasn’t a fan of this bloody rite that her husband’s God commanded and she may not have been a fan of him running off to Egypt either.
Now, there is a big difference between this relationship and your relationship (or future relationship), however there may be some similarities. I think it’s easy for some women to try and hold back their husbands from pursuing God fully. Here is why …
1. Pursuing God fully means sacrifice. When a man is following God, it can mean everything from living where God wants, versus where you want, to how much disposable income you have, (assuming one is obedient in giving.) It means getting up early for church. It means being involved in service. It means sacrificing time.
2. Pursuing God fully takes faith. One common failure in marriage, is when women do not trust the Lord enough to trust or encourage their husbands in what God puts on their heart. I want to be clear, (I can hear the objections) this isn’t the case with all women, but certainly many, and it only applies where men are actually wanting to follow God. But where men are trying to follow God with their life and family, there should be faith filled support and encouragement from their wives, not skepticism and scorn.
3. Pursuing God as a married couple takes partnership. Husbands and wives need to be on the same team, fighting for the same cause. In political circles, one of the oddest couples out there is James Carville and Mary Matalin. James is a pretty radical, outspoken Democratic strategist, and Mary is a Republican strategist – they work for different teams. How that works for them I have no idea, but in the spiritual realm, that is a nonstarter. It just does not work. In my pursuits as a pastor, trying to follow God’s will, I simply could not do it, if my wife was not a partner in that pursuit. Truth is, she is my cheerleader!
Wives, make sure that you are not a Zipporah, when your husband shows interest in spiritual matters, encourage him. Free him up to follow God, cheer him on, pray for him! Yes, it will mean sacrifice, but the dividends will pay off for you and your family with God’s blessings. And, I can say, when your man feels God blessing him in his spiritual pursuits, you will have a happy and content husband.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.
Prov 3:5 (NASB)