The New Year is a time for reflection. The Bishop’s Wife starring Cary Grant as the angel Dudley sent to help a bishop and his wife made me consider my focus.
The movie tells the story of a clergyman who after being promoted to bishop feels the pressure to please his wealthy benefactor. Obsessed with building a great cathedral, he emotionally abandons his wife, daughter, and other relationships to fulfill his mission.
The bishop refuses the angel Dudley’s offers to lighten his work load, so the angel spends his time with the people the bishop has neglected. Dudley accompanies the bishop’s wife on errands and throws in some serendipitous fun along the way. He tells stories to the Bishop’s daughter, shows kindness to the hired help, bolsters the inner-city ministry, and visits the bishop’s old friend.
The bishop isn’t sure if Dudley is a good angel or not. He feels jealous to see his wife so happy. If Dudley were a man and not an angel, this story may not end well.
Many of the women who come to me who have gotten involved in extra marital affairs are like the bishop’s wife. They love their husbands, but each husband’s obsession with his work, hobbies, addictions, or his criticalness left the wife feeling isolated and alone. A little attention from a stranger makes her feel alive and loved.
This doesn’t justify an affair, but the spouse’s preoccupation certainly sets the stage. The same can happen when a wife neglects her husband to give all her attention to her children and other pursuits.
Building tangible monuments may bring a sense of accomplishment, but lunching with your spouse, playing with your child, and showing kindness to a blind stranger garner heaven’s applause. If we aren’t careful, we’ll keep using the line, “After I finish this, then we’ll….” until the relationship has died or our health is gone. We sacrifice true treasures for glamorous facades of success.
Our pursuits should allow time for connecting with the people in our lives. If we are so driven and distracted that people are bothers, something is out of sync. Some things are not worth the price they inevitably cost.
Jesus said, “Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not!” (Mark 8:36, GNT).
Blessings for the New Year,
Deborah W. Wilson
Ladies, I’ll be leading Give Yourself a Break this semester in Zebulon. Click here for more information.