Thursday, September 22, 2011
First Things Last...well how about now! Better late than never!
"Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life." Proverbs 31:10-12
If you would have asked me what I thought about these scriptures when I first got married, I would have told you, that surely I can say that this is something I am 100% sure I will uphold in my marriage without a doubt! I would have said I will always remain faithful to my husband, and he will have no reason whatsoever to look elsewhere for sex! That is as far as I ever would have taken that scripture. But as I look at it today, I am seeing it a little differently. Not that it is NOT talking about the intimacy of the marriage bed....but that it isn't ONLY speaking of sexual fidelity.
I need to ask myself the painful question..."Can my husband trust me?" It is actually a very painful question for me. And that doesn't mean I have or have thought of having any extramarital indiscretions....emotional or physical. I have not.
As I read the scripture today with new and deeper understanding(ok, conviction) I see it is more than skin deep. The scripture says that "the heart of her husband doth safely trust." In the past I was legalistically checking this virtue off and moving my focus to a more difficult one to conquer, like "Does this mean the virtuous woman is a stay at home mom, or a working woman?"
My husbands heart is the issue at hand. Yes, I know that men are more sexually driven and women more emotionally wired. I would say that the heart and the sensual flesh can definitely be considered partners, but we can't focus on one and ignore the other, thinking as long as one is taken care of the other should be just fine, no matter what gender we are talking about! And this scripture I believe is addressing both needs that our husbands have.
So now when I ask the question "Can my husband trust me?" I can not with self piety make an imaginary check mark in the box, that reads "I have never cheated on my husband", instead I need to examine myself seriously and ask these kinds of questions...
Do I speak well of my husband every chance I get? In public? In private to him? To our children? (all the time?) Or do I criticize him, or not say anything at all?
Have I given my husband reason to believe that I trust his decisions? Or do I make him doubt himself?
Do I pray for him to have success in everything he does? Even the things that do not involve our family? Or do I only pray for the endeavors that benefit me?
Do I look for opportunities to encourage him and build him up? Or do I criticize him and make him feel small in my eyes?
Do I look at him with the same tenderness that I did when we were dating? Or am I too busy in what I do to notice the man I fell in love with?
Do I respect and reverence my husband, on the inside and where he can see it? Or am I holding out the thing he desires most from me because I do not think he deserves it?
The last one is one I believe many women struggle the most with...
I am told in Ephesians 5:33 to reverence my husband, "Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband." The definition of this word is "Regard or treat with deep respect". So as the Bible says..."Nevertheless let everyone of you in particular" I need to worry about my part in this command, God is talking to two groups of people giving them specific separate instructions that happen to be in the same sentence. It is not a deal you do your part and then I will do my part...Like when I tell my two sons, "Both of you do your chores today, Jake take out the trash and Josh walk the dog" If the dog has an accident on the carpet, and I come back and ask Josh why he didn't walk the dog, am I going to accept, "Because Jake did not take out the trash." ??? No, and so you see God does not accept our excuse that our husband doesn't love us good enough that is why I don't treat him with respect. Or he has not earned my respect.
So as the title suggests...better late than never, I will be making it a priority to work toward this first virtue of the Proverbs 31 woman becoming a virtue that my husband can say of me, won't you join me?