Thursday, November 14, 2013

Being a Proverbs 31 Woman

                If I were to ask you, “How would you define being a Proverbs 31 woman?” what would come to your mind? When I first became a Christian, my husband and my children and my family thought I had completely lost my mind. My mom thought I had joined a cult. My whole family was about to do an intervention, because they were sure that I had gone off the deep end. But my God had already done an intervention- He changed everything about me, and saved me from the life of destruction I was living. I began reading and studying the Proverbs 31 woman at this point in my life. My husband and I had been separated, we had not had a good marriage, and to be honest, I was the worst of wives to my husband. But God brought us back together, and even though my husband was not a believer, God the Father saw fit for me to come back home and to allow Him to work through me to build our marriage on the foundation of Jesus
                The first time I ever read Proverbs 31:10-31, I was certain that the Lord was talking about multiple women. There was no way I could be all these character traits, there was no way one woman could accomplish all this in one lifetime. But as I started to read these words, the Lord showed me that being a Proverbs 31 woman was not a suggestion, and I was not alone. He wanted to mold me and shape me into this woman, and He was going to help me overcome and become all that He wanted me to be. To be this woman that the Lord was showing me, He had to start somewhere. And for me, this is what defines a Proverbs 31 woman, and this is where the Lord started the molding process.
                “The heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12
                As women of God, as daughters of the Most High King we must come to a place where we understand and accept the importance of why the Lord put these passages of scriptures where He did. He could have put them at the end, but instead, He begins with them. They are there for a reason; they are first for a reason. The first reason is because without these two principles, there is no point in ever trying to succeed as a Proverbs 31 woman. To have my husband’s trust is where it all begins. Without his trust, how can I ever be who God wants me to be for my husband?
               The whole focus of Proverbs 31 is being the woman God wants us to be- not the women we think we need to be. God speaks to us as daughters and tells us to take care of His sons. We have been given a precious gift in the men God has placed over us. Even as a young Christian living with an unbeliever the Lord still wanted me to walk out the words He had written in verses 11 and 12. I needed to show my husband that he could trust me, not only with the day to day keepings of the household, but with his love as well.
                Men are different than us women, and to be a Proverbs 31 woman, we need to recognize, accept and love them for their differences. My husband and I are complete opposites. He is more of a sit back, relax, think things through kind of man, while I am a get a bee in my bonnet and let’s run with it sort of woman. I let my emotions get the best of me, while he seems as emotionless as a stump sometimes. This used to drive me crazy! I would get an idea and want to run with it, and he would tell me to slow down, let’s think this through. It wasn’t until the Lord showed me that my weaknesses are where his strengths lie, and my strengths are were his weaknesses lie. Together, we make a whole person- but apart, well, it’s just disaster.
                The Lord tells us that our husbands need to safely trust in us, and that through that trust he will have no lack of gain( whether in his ,work, finances, etc, nor spiritually will he lack in anything). To trust in someone takes time, it does not happen overnight. We are fickle people, and once we are hurt, it takes us time to get over it and learn to forgive and forget. My husband was no different. I had hurt him in ways that no man should ever have to experience, so earning his trust was the first priority on my way to becoming the woman and wife God wanted me to be. Can I tell you honestly that I know there are areas of my life that still need work in regards to having my husband’s complete trust- but I am willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that he never lacks in anything, nor feels less in anything.
                The way to begin to earn your husband’s trust is to make what is important to him important to you. For my husband it has always been finances. The one thing that drives him is supporting our family, and that is what is most important to him. It has taken years for me to see this, to embrace this and to begin to live it. But, it is through that willingness to lay down what I think needs to be most important and pick up what is most important to him that I have began to earn his trust in this area. (I used to be terrible at finances- but the Lord is teaching me and we are on the road to recovery!) It all begins with you, my sisters. You must be willing to let go of what you feel is important and pick up what is most important to him. When we do this, our husbands (believers and unbelievers) will have the freedom to be the men God has designed them to be.
                The second part was and still is difficult for me, to do my husband good and not evil all the days of his life. There are days when the man that I married drives me insane, and all I want to do is scream and yell at the top of my lungs all the while throwing the dirty dishes he seems to be unable to put into the dishwasher at his head. It is on these days that the Lord shows me that I am just as irritating, and that I have no right to complain, because I am not all that and a box of chocolates to live with either. But, these are the days when we must choose to do our husbands good, we must choose to lift him up and encourage him- in spite of how much we want to kill him.
                It all begins with my thought life. To do my husband good means that I seek to encourage, edify and love him no matter what. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:7) When my thoughts start to dwell on everything my husband is not, then my actions follow. When I think about all the ways that he has not helped around the house, or how he has not done what I asked him to do, or when the grass in the yard is getting too long to walk through, I need to watch my thoughts. As soon as I start to dwell on what irritates me about him, then my body language towards him changes, and the next thing you know- I am seeking to do him evil and not good. Not evil to where I would do him bodily harm (well, not on most days) but I begin to let go of what is important to him and focus on what is important to me. I begin to take my eyes off what the Lord wants and start to focus on what I want, and that, my sisters, is never a good place to be.

                Being a Proverbs 31 woman begins with trust, trust in God and your husband’s trust in you to allow him to be the man God has designed him to be. Even as a young Christian with an unbelieving husband, I began to see a change in my husband because I was willing to let go of me, embrace Christ and embrace him for the first time ever in our marriage. And for the first time, we began to be friends, we began to grow together and we began to walk the path that God had for us. When I get my thoughts in line with the simple word of God, and I seek to do my husband good and not evil, my marriage began to transform. But it starts with trust and ends with fear. Fear the Lord and the rest will follow.

                So, I ask you, “How would you define being a Proverbs 31 woman?” For me, it is earning my husband’s trust, making what is important to him important to me, and seeking to do him good and not evil, in my thoughts and deeds, all the days of my life. Be blessed, and fear the Lord your God, for through Him alone can we become the women and wives He desires us to be. Glory be to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, amen and amen.