My husband and I always joke about how there is always something wrong with a woman. Period cramps, menopause, hurting back, migraines, bunions, colds, etc… I have to agree with him that yes, women seem to love the doctors office and seem to fall apart more easily. My explanation is that God made man first, thus women kind-of got the scrap pieces of being put together.
But in all reality, God wired women with the most graceful strength there is – and it is up to us whether we use it.
The worldly vision of a strong wife is one who gets her way, who doesn’t take any “crap” and has no problem speaking her mind – most often, disrespectfully to her husband. “Yeah, woman power!” so they say.
But what I’ve noticed is that is takes a much stronger woman to hold her tongue, to respect her husband and to live in not only the “better” but in the “worse” without grumbling.
And why would another woman look up to a woman like that? A woman, who say, her husband has cheated and instead of leaving him, she strives to work on the marriage?
“Be joyful always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances…”
1 Thes. 5:16-18
To the woman taking her vows seriously, it isn’t about what others see, what society thinks is acceptable behavior, what “friends” are cheering you on to do or even what our humanly nature is telling us to do – it is about not pointing the finger at your husband, and instead, pointing it up to God. Real, AGAPE love.
Agape/unconditional love: “A selfless commitment to do good to someone regardless of whether he/she deserves it. Agape comes completely from God and is part of His essential nature.”
So many times, I have had to stop and start praying in the middle of a discussion that is turning into a firing argument. You know, one of those discussions that the whole box of junk starts to spill out – where you started talking about one thing and then you on a separate topic every few minutes. Those ones.
Stopping and praying, I remind myself, “For YOU GOD, I will hold my tongue; I will love; I will respect; I will tear down my defense wall and attacking army and trust You. My husband is driving me crazy, but I know You have brought us together and that we are One – thus I will treat him how I want to be treated. Give me strength and give me patience.”
“The Lord will FIGHT FOR YOU; You need only to Be Still.” Ex. 14:14
That strength to stop in the middle of a heated discussion, where I have a lot of points that have not been yet heard – that is real, Godly strength. That is the strength that God gave women.
And I’ve seen that when you take that finger that is pointing, blaming and spilling out a ton of “Well, you don’t do this or you do this or IF YOU JUST DID THIS…” and you take that finger, point up to God – remember, He is watching. He will take care of you. He will bless you and bless your marriage if you trust Him, listen to Him and give Him the control you are holding onto.
Backing down doesn’t make you weak, it makes you strong.
“The rain came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:25
Even growing up, my parents would tell me in some friend-on-friend warfare to “be the bigger person.” It always meant, to be more mature, to be the example and to do the opposite of what someone expects you to do. When that happens, the whole situation starts unfolding in a different way and things begin to change. Relationships can change.
I’ve seen my marriage evolving and growing. Our heated discussions are less and less, but when they do happen (which every marriage has them!), even though I never asked my husband to try responding differently – he has started. My changed attitude has affected his.
I don’t want to be a good wife, I want to be Godly wife. I want to be his best friend, who he turns to for comfort, his cheerleader and his teammate. And most of all, I want to honor God and be thankful for what I have.
I have to remember that nothing I do goes unnoticed. God sees everything – the good and the bad, and God will never give us more than we can handle.
Like the Proverbs 31 woman below, like being thankful in every situation, loving our husbands, family, friends with “agape” love – it is easier said than done. In fact, it is impossible. We can’t do it – but God can.
Stop, pray and let Him lead because what is impossible for us, is not impossible for Him.
As women we are created to have a positive and profound impact on everyone around us whether it be our husbands, children, friends, parents or society. Being a woman is a blessing, and being a wise, strong and dignified woman blesses others in ways that can’t be calculated.
Epilogue: The Wife of Noble Character; NIV
10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.