Monday, March 28, 2011
A wife of noble character
I have been thinking a lot about my role as a wife, mother and woman. I have made it complicated. So often, I fuss and complain about how hard I have to work, how little sleep I get and how I live a life serving others. Of course, I know that as a wife, mother and woman, it is my great joy to serve others, but the reality of service is something else altogether. Being a modern woman, growing up with a world vision dominated by feminism, I have struggled to find my place as a woman pleasing to God. I have rejected feminism, knowing it to be a lie artfully crafted by the great deceiver, but I have wrestled with who God intended me to be when He first thought of me.
Although I embraced biblical femininity, the reality was, I didn't know what that meant. Biblical femininity had been lost to my generation and the generations of my mother and grandmother. As I forged a new path, I often stumbled over my many years of feminist indoctrination. I didn't know how to think biblically and admittedly, I am still learning.
As I continue down the road toward biblical femininity, I am learning to rely on the bible as the only benchmark for genuine femininity. God, who made me, knows who He made me to be. He knows the desires of my heart and He knows for what He created me.
Last week, I was fussing at my friend, Lady Day. I was airing my laundry list of things to do - the fact that I arose before anyone else in my family and that I was always the last one to go to bed. I was complaining that I worked all day cleaning, schooling, sewing and cooking and never had the opportunity to put my feet up. I rattled on about the fact that Sir Knight got up after the house was warm and tea was waiting, that he trundled off to work, ate lunch with his buddies, fixed a few things and came home to a clean house another pot of tea and a hot dinner - and then he put his feet up and was done for the evening! All the while, I was just getting started - I still had to clean the house for the evening, bath the children, read bedtime stories and make sure the laundry was hung. It wasn't fair, I moaned! And then I got to thinking....
Proverbs 31 has always been, in my mind, the epitome of what I am to strive for as a woman. She was gracious, hospitable, hard-working, generous and prepared. In fact Proverbs says, "Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night". Did you see that? These were exactly the things that I was complaining about, and yet they are the hallmarks of a wife of noble character! And then, get this, "Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land". Do you see what her husband was doing? Was he working along side of her? No, he was seated at the city gates! Because of her noble character and hard work, he was respected by the leaders of the land.
As I reread this Proverb, I realized that I had bought into the feminist rubbish that says that my husband should do everything that I do, that I should expect him to take up the slack here at home and still retain character of man that God created in him. I believed the lie that he should do his job and help with my job as well. I was too busy noticing what he wasn't doing to take the time to notice what I was supposed to be doing.
Before you starting yelling that Sir Knight needs to be doing his "fair share", please realize that he does the jobs that God set before him. My realization is not for men - God speaks to men in His own way. My realization is, that, as a woman, I need to be doing what God has put in front of me to do. I need to be a wife of noble character, regardless of what my husband does or does not do. I need to bring my husband good and not harm all of the days of my life. I need to be a wife who's husband is respected at the city gate and can take his seat among the elders of the land.
I need to be a wife of noble character.