Friday, October 31, 2014

Aspirations of a Godly Wife



For the past 31 days we have studied every chapter of Proverbs to see what is says about our role as a wife. Lord-willing, we have taken these admonitions to heart and applied them in hopes of strengthening our marriage.

Today we are looking at one final chapter. Proverbs 31 was penned by King Lemuel (most Bible scholars believe this was another name for King Solomon) and is an outpouring of truths his mother taught him. 

Since our series has focused on how to strengthen our marriage, let's skim this passage for some practical "how-to's"


Be a Capable Wife 

A virtuous and capable wife is worth more than precious rubies. In other words, walk in the Spirit sister and you are a gold mine!
 
But sometimes we need to evaluate how we're doing.
 
A simple place to start is simply by asking our husband if there are any changes that need to be made or how we can help him the most. I would suggest taking notes so that you can come back to them over time. Try not to be defensive during this time. (Hard. I know better than anyone.) If you just write down notes rather than turning this time into a major discussion, it can allow you to mull things over when you're not as emotionally defensive. J 
 
 
Be a Helper

I'm pretty sure that I forgot over the past 11 years of marriage that my primary role is to help my husband. Thankfully God brought it to my attention and it's not too late to change. I have to remember that God equipped me to help my husband; not the other way around. It's not about me pursuing my ideals and him helping me get there. It's about me partnering and helping HIM fulfill his God-given calling on his life as he leads our family.
 
One of the greatest ways I can support my husband in that calling is to pray for him. I need to pray specifically and I can even pray passages of Scripture. I can be my husband's greatest asset because I can be the one in whom “his heart safely trusts.” Proverbs 31:11-12 says, “Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She will not hinder him but help him all her life.  A note in the margin of my Bible says “He knows she is committed to him and he trusts her without reservation.”  What a gift to my husband.

 
Be Diligent

“She finds wool and flax and busily spins it. She is like a merchant’s ship; she brings her food from afar.” Yesterday I was on a field trip with my children and we saw the farmer sheer a sheep, spin the wool and turn it into yarn. Lemme just tell ya, I'm glad I live in the 21st Century and don't have to spin my own yarn just to make my clothes. And while I have plenty of modern day servants around my home, (don't let the kids fool you into thinking it's them. I'm referring to the dishwasher, washing machine, dryer, etc.) :) there is still a lot of work to be done--and that's all in the midst of distractions from social media beeping at me all day long via my phone or computer. It's a busy day and age that we live in and we need wisdom about how we spend our time. 
 
 
Be a Creative Entrepreneur

“She goes out to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard. She makes belted linen garments and sashes to sell to the merchants.” I love this woman. She is creative, smart, financially wise and knows how to make a good return on her investment. Sign me up.
 

Be a Hard Worker

“She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.” Am I characterized by these traits? Can my husband say this of me? We all have limitations of various sorts, but we need to be faithful in working with what we have.
 

Be a Bargain Shopper

“She watches for bargains…” I'm pretty sure this is a command to go shop the sales rack. Or in my case, hit up some garage sales every week during the summer! What I do know is, this woman is wise with her money. She spends her money carefully, waits for deals when possible and doesn't feel like she has to have the latest and greatest at the expense of her family.
 

Be Lovingly Generous to Others

“She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.” For most of us, there is always room for improvement in this area. You cannot out give God! Luke 6:38 says, “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”
 

Be a Planner

This doesn't come naturally to all of us but verse 21 tells us we should plan and make provisions for our future.
 

Be Involved in Your Community

Verse 23 tells us that the virtuous woman’s husband is involved with civil leaders. While our role may not involve politics per se, we can be a blessing to our neighbors and encourage them. Ministering to their needs is a great way to build redemptive relationships.
 

When She Speaks, Her Words are Wise and Kindness is the Rule When She Gives Instruction

Can I be like this? Please? Pretty please?

I need to remember that how I say something is just as important as what I say.


Be Alert

“She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not bear the consequences of laziness.” I don't like to think of myself as a lazy person, but you know what? I am lazy! I've realized that I'm selectively lazy. If there's something I enjoy, I'm all over it. But that pile of clutter on the desk? Eh, it can wait. That pile of clothes that need to get bagged and sent to Goodwill? There's time for that next week. That scum in the sink? I'll clean it later. Oh my, since Jesus opened my eyes to my laziness, I've realized how much I have deceived myself. A little fire has been lit under me and I can tell you, I do not want to bear the consequences of laziness.
 
 
Be Beautiful

We are constantly bombarded in our culture with tips on the best way to get tighter abs, whiter teeth, less wrinkles, toned thighs, tanned skin, fuller lips, an incredible wardrobe and so much more.
 
But where's the commercial for how to get a beautiful and kind spirit?
 
Some day, what little outward beauty I try to wrangle is going to get the best of me. (Who am I kidding? I've already started working on my wrinkles!) I will not always be youthful, but I can always have the inward glow of a life filled with Christ.  That is an everlasting beauty that my husband will treasure more than the size 4 jeans I want to fit in. 
 
 
Proverbs 31 is a chapter I feel like I could do an entire series on, but these points give me some goals to work towards.

I seriously cannot believe October is over. I'm not sure what made it zoom past like the speed of lightning--me blogging every day or just normal, busy life with four children, a husband and home. Regardless, the month is done and it's hard to believe we are heading into the holidays. And while you won't see me posting daily on the blog, I do hope you'll pop in for weekly posts. I've enjoyed interacting with some new readers as a result of this series and I truly hope you'll stick around.





 
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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Be a Wife that My Husband Enjoys Being Around



Proverbs 30 tells us the earth cannot endure "a bitter woman who finally gets a husband." . As we have studied the book of Proverbs to see what it says about being a wife, we can see stark contrasts between a godly wife and wicked wife.

This chapter, written by Agur, seems to have a word of caution in verse 23 to those men not yet married. Marry a bitter, angry woman and you will reap something that will make the earth tremble. The joy of marriage will quickly be extinguished when a husband realizes he is married to someone that will drain him for the rest of his days. But by then, it's too late.

I wondered what commentaries said about this particular verse and one idea I came across said this: "What is the lesson {in verse 23]? It is found in four words – when she is married. Odious women are deceitful and selfish enough to alter their conduct during courtship or dating. This is how they set the hook or trap. A man must proceed very slowly, testing her many times to see if he can smell any smoke, for once he has committed to marriage it is too late."

We need to ask ourselves if we have done a bait and switch on our husband.

Did we constantly pick at our husband before we were married? If so, it's doubtful he would have stuck around long enough to marry us.

Did we irritate him or talk with him angrily? If not then, why now?

Did we make sure we put our best foot forward? Then why doesn't our husband deserve at least an attempt at that?

I understand how frazzled and worn a wife can get, especially if she has little ones at home. In fact, today was one of those days when I felt the stress mounting. But at the same time, I would do well to take a deep breath, refocus and remember that my husband is on my side. He's not out to get me or to make me miserable.

Instead of ramming the conversation with fireworks and crescendos of stress and irritation over my day, wouldn't it be better for me to calmly ask him for help. Since my husband is so great, I know he'll help me either way, but wouldn't it be better to come at the conversation with love and peace in my voice instead of a high pitched "WOULD YOU PLEASE HELP ME?"

Ever since I wrote a post about how I say something is just as important as what I say, it's become a bit of a mantra in my parenting and in my own self-talk (you know, where you have to remind yourself of truth?)

Deep down, I really do want to be a wife that my husband enjoys being around. This will take effort, but it is worth it.

Today's Challenge is This: be a wife that my husband enjoys being around and is glad he married.


Join me tomorrow as we study Proverbs chapter 31. Just getting started on the series? Catch up with all the posts on my landing page between now and October 31.






Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!


Current Sponsors

I am blessed to have the following sponsors on Purposeful Homemaking. Interested in adding your name to the list? Check out my advertising policies.


This post contains affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Power of God in My Marriage



Marriage can be beautiful, but staying in a marriage and working on it will probably be the hardest thing some of us will ever do.

When pain, disappointment, abandonment, fear, anger and hurt from the sin of a spouse enter in, it can seem too much to bear. We want out.

When I am broken, discouraged, scared, and frustrated with my marriage, I'm tempted to quit. I'm tempted to stop following God's ways and to do it my way. When I forget the power of God, I walk away from Him. Proverbs 29:18a tells me that "when [I] do not accept divine guidance, [I will] run wild."

But I must remember...

If His voice can echo above the sea, He can calm the storm in my heart.

If His voice can split the mighty cedars of Lebanon, He can shatter the fear in my heart.

If He can cause Lebanon's mountains to skip like a calf, He can lighten the heavy load on my heart.

If His voice can strike like a lightning bolt, make the desert quake, twist the mighty oaks and strip the forest bare, He can certainly radically change my marriage. (Psalm 29)

When trouble comes, I can remember that He hasn't forgotten me. My pain is never hidden from him. He knows all about my fear. "The LORD gives his people strength, the LORD blesses them with peace." (Psalm 29:11)

"Humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you. Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith." (I Peter 5:6-9a)

God knows the struggles that we face in marriage. We are not alone even if we feel like it. We can pour our heart out to Him. I Peter 3:14-15a tells us, "Even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don't be afraid and don't worry. Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life." Trusting God isn't always going to be easy, but if we worship Him  with our trust, He will reward us.

Join me tomorrow as we study Proverbs chapter 30. Just getting started on the series? Catch up with all the posts on my landing page between now and October 31.




Thanks so much for visiting Purposeful Homemaking. I'd love for you to stay connected through the following social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Don't forget to sign up for emails on my right sidebar so you don't miss anything!




Current Sponsors

I am blessed to have the following sponsors on Purposeful Homemaking. Interested in adding your name to the list? Check out my advertising policies.

This post contains affiliate links for which I will earn compensation should you choose to make a purchase. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. Thank you for your support of Purposeful Homemaking.
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