Monday, October 31, 2011

The Ideal Wife Part 1: Family

Wow, I can’t believe how quickly the last two weeks flew by without getting a chance to write for the blog.  I have been busy working the last few nice days in the gardens and finishing up trying to process the bounty of my vegetable garden.  I still have more to do, but thought I would take a break from that today.  My days have also been filled with activities with my children, volunteering, and my spiritual walk.  The best thing to happen in the last two weeks was after my daughter and I left the corn maze on a class field trip that I helped chaperone.  She stated, “I am so lucky you are a stay-at-home mom because you can take me to this.”  There are days I doubt my contribution to the family by staying home, but my family does give me moments of clarity.
My 4th Day Bible Study group of wonderful women is working through the book Woman of Grace: A Bible Study for Married Women.  Last week we read Proverbs 31:10-31 entitled “The Ideal Wife.”  I have read this passage many times; however, this time the verses resonated with my soul.  I am far from the “ideal” wife; yet, I see glimmers of myself in the readings.  I also find old-fashioned ideas which struggle against the current ways of our world.  How much do these ideas in the reading really apply to today’s culture?  Please join me in the thoughts I have and add thoughts of your own in this five part review of what an ideal wife looks like in the current world.

Part I:  Family
When one finds a worthy wife,
                Her value is far beyond pearls
Her Husband, entrusting his heart to her,
                Has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
                All the days of her life.  Proverbs 31:10-12
(Good and not evil: i.e., prosperity, not adversity.)
                The first two verses are beautiful.  I smile at the thought of my worth being more then pearls.  I don’t even have any pearls.  In my younger years, I wanted pearl jewelry.  With the passing of time, I am content to buy the occasional trinkets for fun to spice up my wardrobe.  The thought of pearls hasn’t crossed my mind for a very long time.  To think, I am more precious than pearls is awesome.  My worth comes partially from putting my husband’s heart in the middle of my pearl.  Many times I believe we forget the tenderness of our husband’s hearts.  They do trust us.  What a responsibility and magnificence this trust is.
                The next verse is very important.  Part of our job is to make the home a haven from the rest of the world.  We need to block out the evil and only allow in good.  My daughter and I were discussing the definition of haven just last night.  “Our house is my haven,” she said.  To me this is what makes a house a home, it is a haven.  I realize adversity will enter the home because it is hard work to live with people; however, our main priority in our home should be striving to work as a team.  One of our other kids (my son’s friend) stopped by the other day and said, “This place never changes.”  He was lounging on the couch.  At first I was confused.  There have been many changes.  Then I realized he was talking about the atmosphere of our house.  It is his haven as well.  What beautiful compliments from two young people.  My house definitely doesn’t have the grandeur of the popular world and it isn’t always at its cleanest, but the people who don’t put value in all of that will find a resting place full of love.

Her husband is prominent at the city gates
                As he sits with the elders of the land.  Proverbs 31:23
Her children rise up and praise her;
                Her husband, too, extols her.
“Many are the women of proven worth,
                But you have excelled them all.”  Proverbs 31:28-29
                Verse 23 brings to mind men standing around the water cooler or in the break room enjoying some down time from their jobs.  While they relax, they don’t have to worry about their home life.  They are ensured that when the day is done, they can go home to a content wife.  She gives him the ability to work with no complications.  In other words, he doesn’t have to go home to nagging about how her day was horrible or how he spends too much time at work.  For the military wives this can be a very big problem.  It is really hard to stay home while the husband is off seeing the world.  Resentment can grow.  I always marvel at my cousin.  Her husband is a pilot and away from home much of the time.  She graciously sends him on his trips and welcomes him home with open arms.  She runs the house with efficiency and love.  I will say, I see her as an ideal wife and try to emulate her wisdom.
                There have been times I have resented my husband’s trips.  I love to travel and see new things.  I struggled when he went to Nashville, Miami, Pittsburgh, Louisiana….  I actually pouted.  I also rejoiced in his being able to go, but I wanted to be there too.  Since I have struggled with this, I try to make the situation better for myself.  When I went to D.C., I took advantage of the work trip and toured plantations in Virginia (a bucket list item).  I saved money and went to Hawaii for a girl’s trip.  Now that I no longer work and don’t get the trips that I used to, I make time for a special trip in the summer in our area (well, a day’s drive).  I love the ocean and drove to Washington to spend time there last year.  This past summer, I spent a week at a Christian concert event.  I am not sure what adventure I will go on next year. 
                We are fortunate to be able to afford these trips.  Next year we may not be as financially stable.  If we aren’t, I will look closer to home for new sites to see.  I still haven’t toured Our Lady of the Rockies.  I haven’t been to the Tizer Gardens, Virginia City, Morrell Falls, and over a dozen other places that are all about an hour or two from my doorstep.  We are only limited by our imaginations of all the things God has given us to make our lives brighter.
                My children don’t always rise up and praise me as it says in verse 28.  We have our moments.  This morning my daughter growled at me.  My middle child and I push each other’s buttons of annoyances.  He also wasn’t happy with me while mowing the lawn yesterday.  Yet, they do give me compliments and a whole lot of love.  I am also very blessed to have a husband that extols/praises the work I do at home.  He never complains if I fail to get his military T-shirts washed or I haven’t gotten to the folding and he has to look for socks.  With these verses, they show a woman how to be an ideal wife; yet, the family has a responsibility as well.  They need to show the wife/mother their gratitude for all she does for them.  I like this give and take relationship.
                I believe I am a woman of proven worth.  I still have growing to do.  I need to work on my resentment of being stuck at home (this happens on my bad days).  I also need to work at not pushing my son’s buttons or losing patience with my daughter’s moods.  I have other things to get better at, but we will save that for other verses to come.
                Blessings to you all.

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