Seek and you will find

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Wife of Noble Character

One of my best skills is debating - I can win an argument and make you cry in ten minutes flat. Useful for debating in college. Not so useful in arguments with people that I would prefer not to make cry if at all possible.

Today I was arguing with Daniel about something silly: French fries. Yes, French fries. It started out silly and escalated. I don't do well in "losing" arguments. Anyway, to skip to the good stuff, I was angry and saying angry things. I am really not proud of myself for how I acted.

However, during our argument, it was Daniel who said the most shocking thing of all (prepare yourself): He said that when he finds something annoying, he makes a choice to let it go. He said that if I hurt his feelings, whether I know it or not, he stops and thinks of all the reasons he loves me instead of hurting me back. He said that if he feels unappreciated or disrespected, he runs through all of the times he and I have laughed over something that no one else in the world would find funny.

Some people, huh?

So, as you can see, he is a husband of noble character. And when he said that to me, it stopped me in my tracks. I had no response. No argument. Nothing. And I as reflected on myself and the things I had said, these verses from Proverbs 31 popped into my head - they describe "The Wife of Noble Character." It's long but worth the read.

An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Wow. If I could be half of what this woman is, I would feel pretty successful. I mean, what a standard. This woman is taking care of business, giving wise advice to the neighbors - even her kids think she's awesome. I want to be this kind of wife so badly. 

Read carefully - nowhere does it say that this woman is perfect, that she never makes mistakes, that she doesn't occasionally freak out when her husband puts a red sock in with her load of whites. But she makes a concentrated, sincere effort to be patient, loving, and joyful. She fears the Lord and that directs all that she does. 

So I am taking a vow. And I hope you consider taking it, too, whether you're a wife, mother, or will one day be both. 

I vow to give my husband more grace and to remember that a vacuumed floor is not as important as telling my husband hello when I get home from work. 

I vow to listen when my husband speaks to me, regardless of whether it's my favorite topic. 

I vow to remember that for every long work day I have, my husband has one, too. 

I vow to let the little things go. A light left on, garbage not taken out, laundry not finished - these are not the things that make a marriage. 

I vow to respect my husband as the leader of our house and for the hard work he does. 

I vow to remember my husband's insecurities; not for me to use against him, but to build him up instead. 

I vow to remember that my husband does everything for me and nothing for himself, and I vow to be more grateful for this. 

I vow to remember my love for my husband, day in and day out, and to show him how very much I care about him. 

I vow to treat my husband like my best friend, because he really is the best friend I've ever had. 

I encourage you, wives, to reflect on these verses. Not to compare yourself, but to see how a godly woman lives. And I encourage you to find your husband and tell him you love him. I am blessed, so blessed, to have found a husband of noble character, and I love him with all of my heart. 

March 19, 2011

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