Children born of fairy stock
Never need for shirt or frock,
Never want for food or fire,
Always get their heart’s desire:
Jingle pockets full of gold,
Marry when they’re seven years old.
Every fairy child may keep
Two strong ponies and ten sheep;
All have houses, each his own,
Built of brick or granite stone;
They live on cherries, they run wild–
I’d love to be a Fairy’s child.

– “I’d Love to Be a Fairy’s Child” by Robert Graves

When I was a little girl, this poem was among my personal favorites. I was enchanted by the idea of being a fairy (or “faerie”, as my old-fashioned heart prefers to spell it – in the traditional Anglo-Saxon style). Part of my affection for this poem may also have stemmed from the line “marry when they’re seven years old”, since as long as I can remember, my deepest desire was to be a wife. I surely would have married at the ripe old age of seven if given the option; pity I wasn’t born one of those oh-so-fortunate mythical beings of which Robert Graves wrote! If only I were a faerie, perhaps I might have found my husband sooner and loved him longer. (I confess, I’ve always had a touch of hopeless romanticism.) Ah well, a girl can dream!

At about ten years old, a church friend and I were “hired” for an afternoon of cleaning in my parents’ general store. My mother assured us that if we showed forth good work ethic, my friend and I could each pick out some candy plus anything else in the store that struck our fancy (up to a certain dollar amount). For some time, I had been eyeballing an exquisite, silver-lined, plush-covered book my parents had for sale. It was all about different kinds of faeries; complete with whimsical poetry and charming pictures. My friend and I put all our efforts into making my parents’ store sparkle and shine, and we two girls both walked out of the store that day as the proud new owners of the last two volumes left in stock of A Deluxe Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker. We spent hours poring over those books in all their glory.

My affinity for faeries followed me from early childhood on into my teen years, during which I dubbed the two young daughters of a family friend, “my little faeries”. This was considered the highest compliment in all the world to those girls, who embraced the magic wholeheartedly. Playing “faeries” became our special game whenever they would pay us a visit, and between the three of us, we were called “Tree Faerie”, “Flower Faerie”, and “Mushroom Faerie”, respectively. Even our brothers (their elder, and my younger) wanted to join in on the fun, so after much consideration on my part, they were designated the “tree hoppers”. We five had many delightful adventures as guardians of the trees, flowers, and mushrooms.

As an older teen, I took on the social media handle, “The Auburn Faerie”, which I was using at the time I met my husband. He found the name alluring, and during our courtship days he wrote me a love poem entitled, “What Do Faeries Do?”, about a man discovering a faerie while taking a walk through the forest. In the poem, the man is so captivated by the faerie and curious about her kind, that he continues to wonder within himself just exactly what it is that faeries are all about, and what that might mean for him.

You might be wondering: how does all this tie into today’s lesson? Well, a while back, I was pondering the phrase, “your wish is my command”. It’s quite a pleasant phrase when you think about it. When one says these warm words in response to a request, they are affirming that they are eager and willing to be of service to another. They are saying that they don’t have to be bribed or threatened or coerced into action…they simply hear the desire of the other person and consider it their solemn duty to fill it out of love. Sounds a bit like the heart of a submissive wife towards her man, does it not? “His wish is my command” is certainly a worthy maxim for the Christian wife to live by. Now, when I think of the word, “wish”, a connection comes to mind. I automatically link this word to – can you guess? – faeries! The enchantment of my youth. I am reminded of the long forgotten question: “What Do Faeries Do?” Instantly, the answer is there. Why, they grant wishes, of course! Just like wives of excellence seek to do for their husbands. Perhaps I really can be a faerie after all?! Thus, the idea for His Wish is My Command is born.

What are faeries (wives) all about, and what do they have to offer to the world of men (their husbands)? Today’s article seeks to answer, in three points, these musings which my husband put forth all those years ago by way of a little love poem. If you would be the “magic” in your husband’s life, then stick around. Let’s look at three truths that stand the test of time, concerning the dealings between faeries and men.

Faerie Fact #1:

The fairies, as is their custom, clapped their hands with delight over their cleverness, and they were so madly in love with the little house that they could not bear to think they had finished it. So they gave it ever so many little extra touches, and even then they added more extra touches.

J.M Barrie, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, creator of Tinkerbell, and presumably the authority on faeries, portrayed his little winged ladies as those who love to learn. Cleverness was a delight to these faeries, and they felt so fulfilled by having conquered a newly learned skill (in this case, the building of a house) that they wanted to keep adding to and perfecting the work they had done. A Christian wife can glean a lot from this fictional example. Do we share the faeries’ fervor for learning, especially in regard to our husbands?

If we are to be women whose motto is “his wish is my command”, our first step is to learn what our husband’s wishes are in the first place. There are two basic ways to do this: 1.) asking him, or 2.) observing him. I find the latter approach to be most effective, most of the time. While some husbands are more vocal about their desires, the vast majority of men are not “talkers”. The average man would much rather his wife ascertain his wishes by observation and learning, rather than by goading him for his opinion on every little thing. A good wife asks her husband’s wishes, but a great wife knows her husband’s wishes. This knowing does not happen overnight, but it is built “order on order…line on line…a little here, a little there…” over the course of a godly marriage. And if you love to learn, you’re already off to a great start.

A common marital mishap women make is to submit to their men only in the “big things”. Many a wife lives in such a way that says to her husband “my wish is my command”. She goes where she pleases, dresses how she likes, indulges in hobbies she prefers, befriends who she fancies, etc. in her everyday life, but (if her husband is lucky) she’ll submit to him when it comes to a massive life decision, such as what new town to move to…and this after many a long discussion and persuasion on the part of her husband. Since husbands and wives reflect the relationship between Christ and His church, this kind of “submission” is akin to a Christian telling Jesus, “I’ll submit to you in the really big decisions like getting baptized and saving sex for marriage, but for the other 99% of my life I’ll be following my own wishes”. Unacceptable.

If we are to be virtuous help meets, we must have an attitude of submission to our husbands in all things, both great and small. We must approach every area of life in a “his wish is my command” sort of way. Whether by asking or observing, we must seek to discover our husband’s wishes so that we can grant them. There are innumerable questions we can ask ourselves each day. The 5 W’s is a great starting point:

Who does my husband want me to be? What does my husband want me to do? When does he want me to do it? Where does he want me to spend my time? Why does he react the way he does to certain behaviors? These 5 categories should address most, if not all, of his wishes. Ask yourself these kinds of questions as you go about your day, and your marriage will flourish. If you learn your man’s desires, and if you have a soft and submissive heart, fulfilling them will be a breeze. After all, “knowing is half the battle”!

“What do faeries do?” We love to learn our husbands. We “clap our hands with delight over our cleverness“, we “cannot bear to think we have finished“, we add “ever so many little extra touches” to his home, and “even then add more extra touches“. We are in a constant state of observing, learning, adjusting, and perfecting. We bring the sparkle and magic to our husband’s life when we love to learn.

An excellent wife is the crown of her husband… – Proverbs 12:4a

Faerie Fact #2:

Tink was not all bad: or, rather, she was all bad just now, but, on the other hand, sometimes she was all good. Fairies have to be one thing or the other, because being so small they unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time. They are, however, allowed to change, only it must be a complete change.

J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

This quote made me chuckle, because it is so true about “faeries” – the wifely variety, that is. Members of the fairer sex have proven time and time again, since the Garden of Eden, to be creatures led greatly by emotion…sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The capacity to love passionately and hate venomously both reside within our feminine makeup. And just like Little Miss Tinkerbell, we “unfortunately have room for one feeling only at a time“. Sadly, many nurture feelings of hatred for their husbands. But feelings are fickle things, and, thankfully, we are “allowed to change, only it must be a complete change“.

All the marriage gurus will tell you that “love is a choice”. I believe this to be true. I also believe that “love is a feeling”. This is not a contradiction, because choices and feelings are not mutually exclusive. When you love to learn your husband (a mighty fine choice), you learn to love your husband (a mighty fine feeling). When choices and feelings are in tandem, a healthy, happy, holy, harmonious marriage ensues.

Helen Andelin, author of Fascinating Womanhood (a cherished book of mine that comes highly recommended), wrote and spoke on many exemplary traits of the “fascinating” wife. Two of these go hand-in-hand with loving to learn and learning to love. These two traits are: acceptance and admiration. Acceptance means loving a man in spite of his flaws. Admiration means loving a man because of his virtues. Together, they mean loving the whole man. Do you accept and admire your husband?

When you make the choice to accept your husband for who he is right now, flaws and all, it will allow your heart and eyes to open up and see his good qualities. We must choose acceptance in order to feel admiration. Has there yet been upon this earth a husband so foul that not one good quality could be found within him? If perchance that may be, I pity the wife married to such a beast. I will venture to guess, however, that most women who read this article are married to men who possess a myriad of qualities, both good and bad. I adjure these women to stop focusing on the bad and start looking for the good.

Is your husband morally upright? Is he wise? Is he kind? Is he patient? Is he disciplined? Is he selfless? If you can say yes to one or more of these questions, you hardly need any admonishment to admire your husband…certainly you chose well and belong to a man of stalwart character! But if your husband is not a Christian, or at least not strong in his spiritual attributes, perhaps he possesses some positive social traits. Is your husband successful in his career? Is he intelligent? Can he be depended upon to solve problems? Does he run a budget? Can he give a good speech? Lean into those skills and praise them! Even if he lacks good social skills, perhaps he is, at the least, somatically sound. Does he bring home a paycheck? Can he lift a heavy load? Would he defend the home against an intruder? Is he a capable driver? Does he have a warm embrace? Is he physically appealing? Admire these qualities…make him feel like a man.

“What do faeries do?” We learn to love our husbands. We accept their bad qualities, knowing that wives are not given the power of authority over their husbands, but rather the power of influence – to “win without a word”. We admire their good qualities, knowing that a wife’s approval can do much to make or break a man’s self-worth. We bring the sparkle and magic to our husband’s life when we learn to love.

…encourage the young women to love their husbands… – Titus 2:4a

Faerie Fact #3:

I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!

J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

It is claimed in J.M. Barrie’s lore, “every time a child says that they don’t believe in faeries, there is a faerie somewhere that falls down dead”. And if a faerie is fading and on the brink of death, nothing is so healing as the words, “I do believe in faeries“, accompanied by a hearty clap of the hands. Certainly this sentiment also rings true for wives, as nothing feels quite so hopeless as being rejected; nothing so life-giving as being believed in and loved. What woman would not yearn for her husband to say, “I do believe in you”?

If you would have your husband regard and treat you as his faerie queen, you know what you need to do. Sow seeds of learning and seeds of loving into your marriage, and you will reap a bountiful harvest. Forsake the destructive path of “my wish is my command”. This mindset is the way of the world – the way that exalts women and children into positions of power and stomps men under their feet. The way that leads to sin and sorrow – unhappy men, unhappy women, unhappy children, broken families, broken churches, and broken nations. How much better to follow The Way – the path set forth in God’s word? Take this path, and not only will your husband be well-pleased in you, but the King of Kings will be, also. Foster a gentle and quiet spirit – the innocent essence of a faerie – for this is precious in the sight of God.

“What do faeries’ husbands do?” They learn and love their faeries. They cannot help but to be won over by the subtle charms of the faerie folk: submissive faerie hearts, soft faerie mannerisms, and stunning faerie appearances, all wrapped up in sweet little faerie packages. A man who is fortunate enough to be in possession of such a rare and hard-to-find treasure will soon find himself saying, “I do believe in faeries! I do! I do!” When we bring the sparkle and magic to our husband’s life, we will be learned and loved.

Her husband…he praises her, saying: “many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” – Proverbs 31:28b-29

In conclusion…

What do faeries do?” They love to learn, they learn to love, and in turn, they are learned and loved.

If you would bring the sparkle and magic to your husband’s life, then you must become a faerie who says “his wish is my command“. Adopt this as your mantra, and your husband will certainly come to feel that:

All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.

J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

For God’s glory,
Mrs. Dustin Bolks

Chaste Bolks is a church of Christ preacher’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.

It never did, and never will,
Put things in better fashion,
Though rough the road, and steep the hill,
To fly into a passion.

And never yet did fume or fret
Mend any broken bubble;
The direst evil, bravely met,
Is but a conquered trouble.

Our trials___did we only know___
Are often what we make them;
And mole-hills into mountains grow,

Just by the way we take them.

Who keeps his temper, calm and cool,
Will find his wits in season;
But rage is weak, a foaming fool,
With neither strength nor reason.

And if a thing be hard to bear
When nerve and brain are steady,
If fiery passions rave and tear,
It finds us maimed already.

Who yields to anger conquered lies___
A captive none can pity;
Who rules his spirit, greater is
Than he who takes a city.

A hero he, though drums are mute,
And no gay banners flaunted;
He treads his passions under foot,
And meets the world undaunted.

Oh, then, to bravely do our best,
Howe’er the winds are blowing;
And meekly leave to God the rest,
Is wisdom worth the knowing!

– “Keep Your Temper” by Ellen P. Allerton

The art of remaining calm in the face of adversity is one of the most challenging skills to learn in life…and one of the most rewarding. As Mrs. Allerton aptly pointed out, losing one’s temper does not positively affect negative circumstances, but only serves to make us look and act the fool. Those who can keep their cool (even when being sorely mistreated) are wiser and stronger than the mightiest warrior.

If you struggle with these temper temptations, today’s lesson is for you. The title, Hold Your Peace, is a bit of a double innuendo. To hold one’s peace is to zip the lip. Put a lock on it. Clap the trap. In other words, it means to refrain from speaking. Yet there’s also a two-sided aspect of this phrase which I love: when you “hold your peace” (control your outward composure), you literally “hold your peace” (maintain your inner tranquility). And isn’t that unshakable internal serenity something we all would like to get a firm grip on?

Allow me to share with you the three steps involved in Holding Your Peace. If you can learn to follow these three steps when wronged, never again will anyone have the power to steal the peace that is in you.

The first step to holding your peace is to…

In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior.

Francis Bacon, “Of Revenge,” Essays (1625)

The ability to pass over an offense is a virtue most people have in short supply. Instead of holding our peace when we are mistreated, our natural tendency is to return an attack on the culprit. (You know: “the best defense is a good offense”??) We might even feel justified in hurting those who hurt us…after all, don’t they deserve a taste of their own medicine? This may be worldly wisdom, but it is not the way.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, Who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. – 1 Peter 2:21-23

WWJD when people hurt Him? The above verse gives us a pretty good idea.

We have to Let It Be.

Now, here are a few things that Letting it Be is not

Letting it be is not approving of evil behavior. It is not condoning abuse. It is not clinging to toxic relationships. It is not outwardly giving the silent treatment and inwardly fostering hatred and bitterness.

Here’s what Letting it Be is

Letting it be is neglecting to participate in evil behavior. It is refusing to stoop to the level of an abuser. It is walking away from toxic relationships. It is staying silent out of strength and meekness, not spite and malice.

Next time you are mistreated, I challenge you to simply Let it Be. Don’t allow someone else’s sin to cause you to sin. Break the cycle! It may feel good in the moment to “sock it to ’em” when people hurt us, but it doesn’t pay. Far better is the feeling that comes with knowing that you had the inner resolve and strength of character to hold your peace. Stay soft and sweet. God will take special note of the innocent.

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and He will save you. – Proverbs 20:22

Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. – Romans 12:19

Has someone treated you like dirt? Let it Be. The second step to holding your peace is to…

As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.

– Nelson Mandela

A good memory can be both a blessing and a curse. Women tend to be like elephants (in mind, not in midsection) – what I mean is, we never forget! And while this can be a great skill to have when memorizing the ingredients of our husband’s favorite dish, filing away dates and times for family appointments, or remembering our grandchild’s birthday, it’s not such a positive thing when it comes to recalling past offenses. We females have a tendency to recollect and ruminate on wrongs done to us…replaying the ugly records over and over in our mind and throwing ourselves a great big pity party.

As Nelson Mandela pointed out in the quote above, bitterness and hatred only serve to imprison us. Scripture says much the same thing:

…by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. – 2 Peter 2:19b

We have to Let it Go.

Now, here are a few things that Letting it Go is not

Letting it go is not denying the reality that you experienced pain. It is not saying that the person who hurt you is a swell individual. It is not repeatedly putting yourself back in harm’s way. It is not allowing toxic people to come back into your life without having changed.

Here’s what Letting it Go is

Letting it go is acknowledging the pain you experienced, but choosing to release it. It is realizing that forgiveness says a lot more about you than it does about your offender. It is both relinquishing the bad old memories and striving to avoid making bad new memories. It is having enough self-respect to distance yourself from those who continually mistreat you without repentance.

No matter how rotten we’ve been treated, it simply doesn’t serve us to dwell on past wrongs. As long as we are stuck in the past, we not only cease to grow into a new and flourishing future, but we actually grow into something ugly – we become dark and miserable humans who only think of licking our wounds. We don’t level up, we don’t think of being a blessing to others…instead it’s all “poor me”. Gross! Remember, we want to hold our peace, not hold our grudges.

Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. – Isaiah 43:18

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. – Ephesians 4:31

Has someone treated you like dirt? Let it Go. The third and final step to holding your peace is to…

Waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.

Elisabeth Elliot

Trusting in the Lord is basically Christianity 101…yet when we are going through a trial, it’s easy to fall into despair. When the people who hurt us continue merrily along life’s path, never being held to task for their wrongs, never relenting in their pursuit of evil, and never meeting their demise, we may begin to feel like God has forgotten us or simply doesn’t care about our plight. I’m sure this is how the Israelites felt under harsh Egyptian bondage…I’m sure it’s how countless Jews felt under Hitler’s wicked regime…I’m sure it’s how many battered wives feel under the cruel hand of their abusive husbands. Of course God does not forget about us, nor is He apathetic about us. He cares deeply for each and every one of His children. However, He does not work on our time table:

But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 3:7-9

Our God is a God of justice, but He is also a God of mercy. He is a God who prepares a fiery judgment for the wicked, but He is also a God who extends an invitation for the wicked to repent. He is a God who says, “you’re finished”, and He is a God who says, “I’m not finished with you yet”. Did you ever consider that God sometimes “holds His peace”? He doesn’t always send fire and brimstone down upon every lowlife – not right away, even if that is the end goal. But we can be assured that His judgment comes in the right measure, at the right time. We need to have enough humility to accept that He will move when the time is right. We have to Let God Work.

Now, here are a few things that Letting God Work is not

Letting God work is not regarding our Lord like a genie in a bottle. It is not allowing our faith to rise and fall with each accepted or denied prayer request. It is not demanding for our will to be done. It is not taking revenge on our enemies while we wait for God to act.

Here are a few things that Letting God Work is

Letting God work is regarding our Lord as the sovereign King that He is. It is staying faithful whether or not He delivers us from our trials. It is humbly accepting His will, even if it does not align with ours. It is learning to let it be, to let it go, and to leave our eventual vindication in God’s hands.

Though we may endure hardship upon hardship in this life…though we may have our name slung through the mud as people lie about us, slander us, and false accuse us…though we may be abused and mistreated by those we show nothing but devoted Christian love to…still we will trust in Him. Though the hurt be profuse, we Christians are a hardy people. We pick ourselves up, we dust ourselves off, and we get back in the saddle again. We cast our cares on Jesus…for we know that one blessed day, not too far off, we will enter a new age where we will be surrounded by fellow comrades for Christ, and the enemies of the cross will reign no longer. Our present trial will be but a distant memory, as we enter the Promised Land.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. – Psalm 37:7

Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. – Jude 21

Has someone treated you like dirt? Let God Work.

In conclusion…

How do you Hold Your Peace when you have been wronged?

You don’t “fly into a passion”. You don’t “fume and fret”. You don’t turn “mole-hills into mountains”.

Rather, you follow these 3 steps: You let it be, you let it go, and you let God work.

And above all, you…

May you be blessed, and remember to “forever hold your peace“.

For God’s glory,
Mrs. Dustin Bolks

Chaste Bolks is a church of Christ preacher’s wife, and the home educating mother of two children. She and her family currently reside in Northwest Iowa.