“Hey, Wife”- [a word of encouragement]

“What does it mean to be a woman?”

The question had flown in like a great winged bird and perched, looking down on us for a reply.  My friend and I gulped and dove in.

I don’t need to tell you that this is one of the loudest issues in our culture right now: that of gender and sexuality. What does it mean to be male, female, husband, wife.

In His image He created them- male and female”. There’s too much at stake to bow out of the questioning. What’s wrapped up in the glory of gender is nothing less than a piece of our image-bearing power, a facet of God’s own character on display, and a huge part of the joy that He wrote for us before the foundation of the world.

For weeks after that conversation in my kitchen, I found myself again and again devouring the words of Proverbs 31 of the Amplified Bible. It’s hard to till through what it means to be a woman without searching out what it means to be a wife- the two are tied intimately.

While Proverbs 31 isn’t an exhaustive statement on the subject, it provides a beautiful and specific light on the path.

Before you get excited at the thought of answers, I must tell you that I by no means have it in me to say what masculinity and femininity mean. But there are some wonderful places to go to start looking into it.  I’d encourage you pick up Captivating or Wild at Heart if you’d like some good food for thought. It’s also well worth the time to search the Scriptures on this subject- the things I’ve found lately have been healing.

What follows below is a piece I wrote for myself in response to Proverbs 31 AMP, (with a couple of other proverbs thrown in for good measure).  It’s neither an exposition, nor an academic study, but a signpost pointing with specificity in the right direction as I try to answer the question, “What does it mean to wife well?” I share it with you now in hopes that it might be a help beyond me.

I’ve been calling it,  “Hey, wife”

{Each statement corresponds to a verse from the passage, click the asterisk by each statement to read verse it came from}

 

Hey, Wife:

What you’re aiming for today is to be a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman-your husband’s sustainer alongside*

You’re more precious (when was the last time you used that word about yourself?) than rubies… given as a gift of favor by God Himself  to your husband; and you “enrich his life greatly”***

Act with the dignity, confidence and self respect due a woman whose worth is beyond value

Strive to be worthy of your husband’s complete trust, reliance and confidence*

Comfort him, encourage him, and do him only good until the last breath leaves your lungs*

Be hard-working and uncomplaining*

Think forward and develop possibilities*

Care in abundance for the spiritual and physical needs of all who come under your care*

Go after the day proactively and aggressively; have a good grasp on the things that need to be done*

Refuse to jump hastily; weigh your options or actions carefully*

Maximize your resources. Make the most of everything that has been placed in your hands*

Strengthen and equip yourself for the task God has given you- invest in becoming physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally skillful and strong*

Take pleasure in your work- reflect often and give thanks for what you find*

Persevere, keeping faith through the time of trouble, deprivation, sorrow, fear or doubt. Don’t give up, and hold tight to hope*

Work with your hands at useful and beautiful things*

Be generous, eager, and ready to give to those in any kind of need- mind, body, or soul*

Anticipate and be prepared for the needs of those in your own household*

Make things*

Keep in mind that you are clothed in priestlike purple- God holds your role and work in high esteem; considering it holy, sacred, and honorable*

Be the kind of woman who is a fitting companion for a noble man*

Be enterprising and entrepreneurial*

Remember that strength and dignity are your most important clothes- put them on daily, hourly*

Hold fast to the truth that your position is strong and secure*

Smile and wave in the future without fear*

Keep your mouth and heart filled with godly wisdom. Give good counsel and kind instruction*

Take your title of domestic COO seriously and do it with excellence and flair*

Run from idleness and all that accompanies it like you would run from a poisonous snake. Don’t parlay with self pity, gossip or discontent- they’re toxic beyond telling*

Enjoy and be thankful for the moments when your husband or children notice all you do, or when they praise you to someone else*

Excel in goodness*

Cultivate a steel-strong character*

Don’t take physical beauty or social charm too seriously. They’ll last about as long as baby teeth*

The eternal beauty is the woman who reverently and ardently loves, respects, enjoys, and obeys the Lord*

To the woman who does this, who day in and day out clothes herself with righteousness and tenacity- remember that even when your labor seems unseen, the just reward awaits. Nothing is ever inconsequential or insignificant*

Thus, I implore you and invite you: be virtuous, be capable, be wise

7 thoughts on ““Hey, Wife”- [a word of encouragement]”

    1. Mrs Lott, I have a strong suspicion that you are made of pure diamonds and chocolate. Maybe with a kitten or two thrown in. Thank you for caring and encouraging. You fit that list of noble-woman qualities well.

  1. So good Christi ! I’ve been previewing True Woman 201 bible study that Nancy and Mary Kassian have just finished. Entire study is based on Titus 2 principles and focus is on exactly what you have highlighted in this post.

    I’m grateful for your thirst for truth and your biblical core that plunges you head first into scripture ~ then we get the benefit of God working out His truth! I love that process and I love you!!

  2. HA!! “lasts about as long as baby teeth”. I love this. Your post is a great re-calibrator. These are things i used to think on often, but then began to look at them more as rules than privileges – so i took a break from looking at Prov. 31 for a long time. It was good to read your thoughts on it again. What a gift – and a responsibility – to be an encouraging life partner and friend. May He empower each of us to do it very well.

    1. Cindy, I’m so glad you posted this. It wasn’t until I read your comment that it dawned on me why I’ve been lingering so long with the list from Proverbs 31. It comforts me. On days when I feel like I have nothing to show for my labor and I feel like a bit of a failure, usually there’s something (if not several somethings) on that list of noble/excellent/praiseworthy things that I actually did do. Then I get to point to it and feel like maybe my hours weren’t such a waste…that they were witnessed, needed, appreciated, and honored. That redeems the day.

  3. Beautiful. Thank you! How living as a woman reflects God’s image…
    As I read your refreshing wording of these things, I saw different women in my mind. Women my mother’s age (60’s) and more who are quite lovely. Perhaps the beauty of flawless skin or grey-free hair fled long ago, but on trying days, give me the kitchen table of one of these dear women; iconic beauties, stay out of my way!

    As you said, sometimes we come up empty when we reflect on a day’s accomplishments. I asked a friend how I could possibly help them because they have noticeably done so much for me. The reply: “you help me in lots of ways. You help me strive for things, {you help me intangibly}.” I’ll take it!

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