It's almost the end of January. I think I must have some kind of winter blues going on. I don't mean that I'm sad or depressed. But I've been tired and unmotivated. Just last night, my husband came home from work and I unloaded all of my woes: "I don't know what my problem is... I just feel so out of it... so unorganized... I feel like I'm wandering around, wondering what I should do next, when I need to just DO what needs to be done!"
OK, granted, it doesn't help that for the month of January, I've also been taking care of a new puppy. Ever done that? It's easy to forget just how difficult it is. She's absolutely adorable, and I keep telling myself that she WILL be an awesome dog. :) ... in about a year. For now, I am the ultimate urine-cleaning machine. Every time she gets excited or startled or scared, she ever so slightly releases her bladder... WHEREVER that may be: my couch, my area rug, a blanket, the lap of one of my children! You name it, she'll go on it. But she WILL be a good dog. I just know it. :) (Don't worry. It all gets cleaned and scrubbed down thoroughly. You're still okay to sit on my couch!) I digress...
My husband and I have some friends who are soon to be married. They are just the most darling couple. And they have given us the privilege of being a significant part of their big day. My husband will officiate. I get to take their pictures! :) For now, they've asked us to go through a book with them, as a sort of pre-marital counseling session, if you will. (Don't worry, I have a point in all of this...)
This morning, I was reading the second chapter, in preparation for our study time this evening.
It was on the "wife's role" in the marriage.
So, where do you suppose a Christian book on marriage, would primarily focus as the wife's role?
Sounds like quite a dirty, little word, doesn't it? That's basically what it has become. Our society does NOT embrace the quality of "submission" as a good one. Submitting means that you are LESS THAN... that you are WEAK... and that you must not have any opinions or independent thoughts of your own if you are able/willing or stupid enough to succumb to the idea of submission.... especially in regards to the husband/wife relationship.
Isn't it funny how things get twisted around?
The Bible is clear that the husband is the head of his family. This gives him the final say, period. Does this mean that the wife has no opinion? That she is simply a wallflower, who quietly goes about her way, cooking meals, and making his babies? If said husband thinks so, he has another think comin'!
Guess what? The Bible is pretty clear on that, too. Enter: the Proverbs 31 woman.
I went through this chapter, line by line, this morning. And while I was convicted that I'm not exactly fulfilling all of my duties, I was also encouraged by how God views the role of a woman. He never intended for her to be less than her husband. Her role is different, but of equal importance. AND THAT IS OKAY!
This diva is her family's absolute rockstar. Her husband and children think she's the absolute best wife/mom on the planet. And she's not embarrassed to be so. She takes joy in preparing a home for them. She knows how important it is to keep this ship assail. Without her, where would they be? She's the one organizing their schedules, making sure their tummies are filled, and their ears are cleaned. Without her, there's no food in the fridge, and no shampoo in the shower. She recognizes that her mood will influence the mood of her family for the rest of the day. Offended that she is a homemaker? WELL, she doesn't stop there! She's out there, making financial decisions, too! She buys and sells her creations! She's talented and gifted, and she's not afraid to put herself out there and make a little extra money for her family. While the kiddos are at school, she's out wheelin' and dealin' on the best field purchases on the market! (Yes, I'm using some liberties... go with it. :) Not only does she make her husband look good, she's no slouch herself. She makes her own beautiful clothes, and likes to look nice. BUT she never loses sight that her inward qualities are where her TRUE beauty lies. She loves and fears God with all of her heart, and extends His love to those who are in need. She has it in order: her Father, her family, her fellow mankind.
And at the end of the day, (vs. 31), SHE DESERVES PRAISE.
It has been greatly taken out of context, the way the Bible portrays the role of a woman. God never intended for her to be ordered around and demeaned by her husband. She is to be his teammate (a term the book used, which I love.) But being his teammate, doesn't mean she shares all of his same opinions and thoughts. In fact, she is encouraged to be her own person, and to lovingly express herself as such! If she were exactly like her husband, how could they work together to come to the best end result?) They are to work together, toward their common goal: a Godly marriage, family, and home. Does that mean they'll always agree? Nope. That they'll never argue? Yeah, right. That they'll never have problems? Please. In all fairness, wouldn't that make life pretty boring? :)
So, those are my thoughts this morning... No, I didn't cite Scripture references for every point, so these are my interpretations. Take them for what they're worth.
As for me, God has given me a whole lot to think about, and reminders of where I need to improve... maybe a little refreshed perspective... which I needed.
P.S. The book we're reading is called "Strengthening Your Marriage" by Wayne A. Mack. I'm only in the second chapter, but I'm enjoying going through it. Who can't use some good, solid advice on how to improve their marriage?! :)
I've had a few comments post to FB in regards to this entry. It got me to thinking about a few things that I left unsaid.
In all honesty, in the 15 years my husband and I have been married, we've learned so much together... and we certainly have more and more room to grow. But allow me to say that my role as his "submissive wife" is not all that difficult, in that he is a wonderful husband! The Bible is also very clear on how the husband is to be in the relationship. I have been blessed with a man who appreciates me and loves me throughout all of my "not so proverbs 31" days, and there are too many of those, I admit, unfortunately. He respects how hard it is to be the mom/wife in our family, and recognizes he wouldn't be cut out for the job... just as I am certain I'd be unsuccessful as the bearer of the responsibilities he has as the leader of our family. If this were NOT the case, I may not find it quite so easy to "preach" about submission. If my husband came home to me, questioning every task that I did that day, ridiculing me for what hadn't gotten accomplished, and/or demanding that I complete my next chore, etc... my tune may not be so melodious. It's not hard to stay in tune with a man who loves me, loves our children, works hard, and gives us reason upon reason to love, respect, and adore him in just about every way!
That being said, obviously, Proverbs 31 speaks to the culture of that day... when it was a given that a woman was a wife and mother (and that she made her own clothes, for goodness' sake). But what about now, in 2012? How often is it that a mom is single and handles BOTH roles in her family? Or a woman who is married to a completely ungodly man who mistreats her and/or her children, daily challenging their self respect or even their safety? Or what about the woman who is single and independent of a husband or children? I know plenty of those who are pretty rockstar/diva-like in their own right! :) Does the Proverbs 31 woman have applications for them?
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