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.

15 comments:

  1. Wow, I was having these exact thoughts just last week and the week before. I was feeling very overwhelmed by everything and feeling like I don't get to spend good time with my children since I'm busy cooking, cleaning and other things that always seem to need done.

    Thank you for the Proverbs 31 reminder! I definitely need to re-read that chapter.

    I am also amazed after reading your "About Me" section! That's so awesome that you live off the grid!

    Sorry to ramble, but I appreciate this encouraging post!

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  2. Wow! I needed to read this. I love being at home, taking care of my home & family, homeschooling, etc. But sometimes I want time off too. I am very thankful for my Godly husband who works hard so I can stay home right where I want to be. I think sometimes we wives just need a reminder (like this post) of what our "job" is and how it helps our husbands.

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  3. "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."

    You have no idea how God has used your blog this morning. Thank you. Jennifer

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  4. Amen--wonderful post! I wholeheartedly agree, and I know how hard it is to battle the feminist thinking. Even though I completely disagree with it, I find that sometimes thoughts are sneaking in that I'm not aware of at first, and I have to battle them. Good for you for standing for TRUTH!

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  5. I have trouble with this all the time. My usual complaint is that when I have to be gone for 2 or more days, my husband takes the girls on fun outings... and the house is a disaster when I return, leaving me to deal with "why don't you ever take us to..., mommy?" while I spend the rest of the week cleaning up everyone else's messes, and listening to their complaints about no clean dishes (because they didn't wash them), no clean towels or clothes (because they didn't wash them), and being unable to find anything (because they didn't put their stuff away). It makes it very hard for me to like the Proverbs 31 woman!
    Xa Lynn

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  6. Thank you for the post! This should also serve to remind us husbands not to take our noble wives for granted. There is a reason we call you our better halves, and we would do well remember it.

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  7. I needed this this morning also. Thanks, Enola!

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  8. Beautiful. Thank you and thank God for you.

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  9. When I read Proverbs 31, I am reminded how God prepares women to understand their Holistic greatness in His plan for man and family.

    It has NO limits to the strength and breadth of women,(boundaries possible far beyond the scope of the mantras of what modern feminists have espoused from their glass ceilings of self-aggrandizment), as long as our belief, hearts and actions are pure and centered around our husbands needs and wants and our HOME. It says nothing about sacrificing your own comfort or toiling until you fail or get sick due to exhaustion.

    Consider these beliefs:

    With strength comes the Burdon of work
    or,
    With strength comes the Joy of work.

    Which perspective is the one that will make you light on your feet and smiling as the dawn breaks a new day?
    Which do you believe?

    One choice allows gratitude, fulfillment, joy and contentment.
    The other allows SELF pity, exhaustion, and frustrating defeat.

    Which do you believe?

    Pray for strength, enlightment, and read Proverbs 31 again slowly and chose wisely.




    notutopia

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  10. Amen along with the other comments! I also needed this at this very moment :)

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  11. I've been so blessed by you sharing that Holy Spirit guided revelation. I thank God for you, because you share your intimate walks with God. It always reminds me of how much God loves me, how much I want to serve Him and how far I have to go.



    Margaret
    California

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  12. Thank you Enola, I needed that today. I think I should print out Proverbs 31 and stick in the laundry basket, the cupboard, in the kids drawers and anywhere else I often feel grumbly around :D

    Amanda

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  13. Ditto all the above.
    Thank you! The Spirit has surely guided you today. =)
    God Bless,
    Cindy in Texas

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  14. Wow, that was beautiful. Thank you for your example. Though I am an unmarried man (so far), there should be examples for me to strive for as well to be a good husband. The only passages that come to mind for a man are the ones where the qualifications of elders are listed. Even if a man's goal isn't necessarily to be an elder, those are excellent qualifications to strive for.

    Thank you for this post.

    Andy in Colorado

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  15. Andy, please check out Bible teacher Ken Nair's book, 'Discovering the Mind of a Woman.'

    Enola, while I very much agree with the attitude of resourcefulness Prov. 31 encourages in women, it would be a failure on my part not to allow my husband to know if I am over whelmed. Part of a husband's responsibility is to protect and cherish his wife, above and beyond his own self.

    That the husband in Prov. 31 is not working, does not necessarily support a man putting his feet up when there are children to bathe and dishes to put away. One way a husband can bless, honor and cherish his wife is to strive to understand her needs,and to put them before his own (just as wives should do.)

    How will he walk in understanding, if his wife does not speak up, or ask for help in meeting her own needs for rest?

    Wonderful blog. :) Blessings!

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