This morning Hunter had to leave for work early. I was up way earlier than I like to get up. Usually when I get up with him (I am ashamed to say) I usually go back to bed. But not today! Today is a new day. Instead of slithering back into bed as normal, I decided to get a head start on my day. While making lunches, I was also making a mental note of all the things I wanted to accomplish for the day. My mind reeling with thoughts of laundry, organizing closets and getting meat out of the freezer for dinner. But first…quiet time.
This morning, I was awakened with a strong hunger for my daily bread, stronger than I’ve had in quite some time. My heart was heavy in certain areas, so I knew exactly where I was headed. Strongly convicted in the area of being a good wife, I turned directly to Proverbs 31. I love this chapter. There are so many amazing things here! But for today, just three verses. “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.” (Proverbs 31:10-11) And the one that sticks out to me…“She brings him good not harm, all the days of her life.” (v.12) Now, I don’t “bring harm” to my husband. Not in the way that we typically think of when we think of bringing harm to someone. But I do, at times, harm his “manliness”.
I like to think of myself as a submissive wife. I firmly believe in Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives submit yourselves to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” But sometimes it’s all I can do to keep my mouth shout…and a lot of times…I can’t…as much as I would like to. My fleshly desires take over. I find myself opening my mouth and sticking my ginormous foot directly in it, inadvertently causing great detriment to the male ego of the man whom I love with all my heart. I don’t mean to hurt him or to “harm” his manhood, but sometimes I just know that I am right and he is, of course, wrong. And it would not be right to let him go on thinking that it’s the other way around. As much as my heart desires to be the Proverbs 31 woman who brings her husband no harm, I find myself (more often than I’d like to admit) tearing him down. I don’t do this intentionally. I would never intentionally say things that cause him to feel like less of a man. I never want to be controlling, or nagging or any of the other umpteen things that us wives tend to be without realizing it. The desire of my heart is to build him up. The problem is that I’m a woman and he’s a man. I don’t know what it’s like to be a man. I don’t know how his mind works. I simply can’t comprehend the fact that sometimes his mind doesn’t work at all. (How is that possible?!? How can he not be thinking anything?? How can he turn his mind off completely??? I just can’t even begin to wrap my mind around that. My mind is going non stop. I can’t shut it off, it just keeps going all the time.) Okay, back on track here. Men and women are so different. God made us that way. He doesn’t make mistakes. He very well intended for it to be that way. I sometimes think about how weird my love is. He thinks so “out of the box” and has strange habits. I remember back to when we first got married. I thought he was the only man who left his clothes directly in front of the hamper, or left the toilet paper roll empty or the seat up. How dare him! But then, I found out he’s not the only one! Are you serious?!? There are actually other men out there that do this? Who in there right mind would want to sit on the couch in their underwear or drink milk straight from the carton? The answer is simple…a man. Not only my man, but there are apparently a lot of men who do these things! Over the years, I have realized the vast differences between men and women. Our minds and bodies tick in different ways. I see this in my husband and I, the differences in raising my sons versus my daughter, and even the way my 15 year old (oh my word, I have a 15 year old!) son and I interact. I ask “How was your day?” and he wants to know what my attitude is about. Are you kidding me?!? To get to the point…no matter how different our minds and bodies work, no matter how ridiculous I think his train of thought (or non thought) is, it is my God-given responsibility to be submissive…not to lash out at him for saying the wrong thing, or “nag” him about fixing my bathroom sink, or complain about why he didn’t call and let me know he would be late. Regardless of what it makes me feel like, it is my duty to still be respectful and loving to him. That doesn’t mean that I just keep my mouth shut and never say anything, it simply means that when I do choose to speak up, I need to do so in a loving, respectful way that doesn’t belittle him as man. Proverbs 12:4 says “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” I don’t want to be decay in his bones…eating him up from inside. Proverbs 19:13b “and a quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping.” How my heart longs to be a wife of good character! I don’t want to be a “constant dripping”, nagging at his heels.
“Father God, I confess to You – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords – that I have not been a wife of noble character! Take the selfishness from me and fill me with love, tenderness and compassion for my husband. Teach me to bring him good and not harm – to lift him up instead of tear him down. It is not my desire to belittle or disrespect him, but I find myself doing this often. God, I confess to you my shortcomings in being a Godly wife – I give this to you- cleanse my heart of my wickedness and fill me with your love.
There are so many times that I could choose to respond to a situation in a loving manner and my sinful heart chooses to respond in a way that tears down the man I love and is displeasing to the God I serve. But no matter how many times I fail in this area, my God is faithful and just to forgive me when I turn to Him.
Dear God, thank you for opening my eyes to You. Thank you for Your unfailing love – for opening Your arms to me every time I turn to You. Thank you for cleansing me from all unrighteousness. Dear Jesus, Hear my cry today! Give me the desires of my heart! I cry out to You from the depths of my soul! Take this wretchedness in me and replace it with fullness of joy. God, teach me to be the wife You have called me to be. Sensitize my heart to the the amazing man You have given me. Teach me to humble myself and not be prideful. Allow me to have a listening ear and discerning heart. You have blessed me with an incredible man – give me the strength to be the woman he deserves. Let me not be idle – but raise me up as a testament for You. Let my life reflect Your love, first at home and then to the world. Thank you for the incredible family You have entrusted to me. Let my handling of our affairs be pleasing to You. Take me from this day – grab hold of my heart – strengthen and let me not turn away from You, Oh God!