The other day my husband and I had a little argument, it was nothing serious, I saw the issue one way, he saw it another way. So, we argued, and then both of us walked away a little angry. As I was walking out the door, and praying that the Lord God would show him I was right, the Lord spoke to me and said, “You may run the household Stephane, but you need to be respectful and submit to how your husband wants his house to be run.” Well, let me tell you that was not the answer that I wanted to hear! What I wanted to hear was God telling me I was right and my husband was wrong, and that He would fix my husband for me. Ladies that is not the way the Lord works, nor will He ever! I would know I’ve been trying to get Him to help me “fix” my husband for years!
As I realized that I was not being respectful nor being obedient to God through my submission to my husband, I licked my wounds and apologized for my unwillingness to listen to my husband’s directions. You would think that after that humbling experience I would have learned something. If only! Yesterday, I got in a mood where I was upset with my husband for his lack of help around the house. I went into my pity-pot mode where I complained that he never did anything to help me, he didn’t appreciate me, and he just expects everyone to do whatever he wants! (Sound familiar wives, ladies?) The more I thought about it the harder I swept my floor! You should have seen me; I was just a going at it, taking all my frustration out on my poor broom!
The past few days have been difficult for me, because I do “run” the household, we all do. We cook, clean, run the kids here, there and everywhere, balance the budget, pay the bills, serve at church, host our husbands friends and business partners, we do the laundry, and all the other numerous things that land on our plates every day. Our husbands seem to think we are Wonder Woman and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. Some days, we have to, some days we have to balance laundry on one hip, vacuum with our left hand, all while chasing our two year old down who has decided to decorate your living room in toilet paper. (I know, because I have been there)
The Lord showed me today that yes; I do run the household, just like the Proverbs 31 woman. (You knew I was going to go there!) I have studied and dissected Proverbs 31 over and over again. Hoping in some way to be able to live up to what the Lord has laid out as His woman. And over the years being the Proverbs 31 woman has become easier. Today, however, the Lord brought to remembrance a verse that I have skimmed over and not really understood.
Proverbs 31:23 says, “Her husband in known in the gates, when he sits among the elders of the land.” Three words described my husband (as I was still a little grumpy this morning)- “when he sits”. Yep, Lord, that is my husband. When he sits, he sits all the time, never does anything! I do everything, and he always looks great because of it! And the Lord, in His gentle and loving voice reminds me, “That’s the way it is supposed to be.” What I exclaim! Why do I do all the work and he get all the credit? That is not fair! But what the Lord is telling me is not that I don’t get any credit, not that I am not appreciated because I am; the “credit” that I seek is not fulfilling, nor is it godly.
When I am fulfilling the role that the Lord has given me, my husband will be exalted. In Arabic the words “in the gates” refers to the place where the men do business, a public gathering. In today’s language it could be translated- out in the public eye. When I am being the woman God has called me to be, my husband’s status is elevated. People will see my husband and they will seek out his help, his advice, he will become the man God wants him to be. But, ladies, it starts with us. Proverbs 12:4 says that “an excellent woman is a crown to her husband.” When we are being the women God wants us to be, our husbands are able to freely give and receive of God’s favor and God’s blessings.
The credit, the appreciation comes when we bow our lives in submission to our husbands and “allow” him to be exalted, not us. The credit that we will receive will be from God alone. That appreciation we desire will come, it is a promise from God to all us wives and mothers. The promise is in verse 28 of Proverbs 31. God promises that when we allow our husbands to be first exalted, “(our) children will rise up and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praises her.” It is hard for our husbands to praise us when all we do is nag at them for not getting the batteries put in the smoke detectors- which you asked him to do a month ago and it is still not done.
When it comes down to it ladies, we do run our homes, we do take on all the responsibilities of making sure every person in our family is happy and all their needs are met. We are so quick to do this for our children, but our husbands are usually the ones that suffer from our lack of attention, because we desire the credit from others, and not from God. The credit and the appreciation we seek will come, it will be an everlasting appreciation, it will be an appreciation for who we are in Christ, and when the public looks upon our husbands- that “glory” that they see will be because of us. And the public will be able to look at our husbands and know, without a doubt, that they have been blessed with a “virtuous woman”- your worth will be far above rubies, and your works will be praised.
Proverbs 31:31, “Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates.”