In TV, on social media, and in our every day life, we are constantly faced with visions of what the perfect wife is. I find myself striving and toiling so hard to be just like those women I see.
You know... The good wife. The best wife. The perfect wife. The one that has the house perfectly clean all of the time, the wife that bakes, the wife that encourages, the wife that is the backbone of the home.
In that pursuit, so often I find myself falling so, so short of the wife I so desperately want to be. I am trying to learn how to cook. Seriously, the keyword there is trying. I can't seem to understand how this seasonal decor thing works... That in itself feels like a full time job. And trying to stay steady emotionally? It just feel incredibly impossible.
Not to mention, it's seriously such a struggle to not see my husband as a mini "god" sometimes. I hate the pressure I put on him without even being aware of it. Instead of going to God for my ultimate fill, I try and get it from Ron and then at the end of the day, we are both ready for a lonnnng nap. It stinks.
I wake up every day and my goal is to resemble these wives that are plastered everywhere, so Ron and I could be considered "couple goals", but I never seem to get it right. It wasn't until a few months ago that I realized I was toiling for the impossible.
I felt so preoccupied a lot of the time while trying to look like the highlight reel of the wives that I see, that I forgot that there really is just one wife I should be striving to resemble.
The wife in Proverbs 31.
I ultimately believe that the wife from Proverbs 31 tells us most, if not all, of what I need to know about being a good wife. Lately, instead of being obsessed with other people's lives, I've become obsessed with hers. I have been watching a handful of sermons on this subject, and reading every book I can find.
Here is what my journey has been like...
I am good to my husband, but I want to be good for him.
One of the biggest verses that speaks to me in Proverbs 31 is verse 11, “Her husband can trust her and she will greatly enrich his life.” Uhm, wow y'all. That is some powerful stuff. Looking at this verse on a surface level, I feel pretty good. My husband can trust me. There is no reason for him to fear that I would ever hurt him or cheat on him or do anything in general that would bring him pain and suffering. But I want to be a wife that is more than that. I want to be the wife that he can whole heartily trust, and one that enriches her husband’s life, just like in this passage. I want to make his life better for me being in it.
What does that look like practically? That means that I have the utmost integrity. I don't check out a guy when he's not around. I don't watch something I probably shouldn't when he isn't home. I don't lie, even about little things. It means I set a temperature in my home. It means that I keep the passion and spark alive, and appeal to his love language. That when he walks in the door, he can have a sigh of relief, instead of feeling more pressure or stress. Proverbs 31:12 goes on to speak more on this, about a wife who spends her entire life bringing her husband good and not harm.
I have faith in Jesus and His plan, but I want to laugh without fear of the future.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future,” Proverbs 31:25.
I know that Jesus holds the ultimate plan for my life, and I try to follow that plan and live it out. I look for his guidance and know that anything he takes away is for my own good, and that anything he brings into my life is meant to be there. But you know what? I still fear my future.
I cannot tell you how many times my husband has held me in the midst of panic attack, or while I wept about uncertainties about my future. While I am super thankful to be with a man who can remind me of the promises of God, and that I am cared for both by him and my heavenly Father, I want to be better. I will work hard to see the day that instead of him holding my sobbing body that he will hold my hand as we praise Jesus for our faith in His plans and have no fear of the future.
I stay up late, but I want to make sure that the work I do is profitable.
"She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night." Proverbs 31:17-18
If you’ve seen my Instagram stories, you know it’s not unusual to be brewing coffee at 11 pm preparing to work into the wee hours of the morning. A Proverbs 31 woman works late but makes sure that all of the work that she does is profitable. I could be doing all kind of work, but if that work isn’t making us some kind of progress, monetary or otherwise, what’s the point? I am striving to be the wife that shows her husband that she too can make profitable business dealings, just like a Proverbs 31 woman. This motivates me to do valuable work rather than just grow my own social media channels late at night. I want to save as much as possible and bring as much income in as I can.
I give instructions, but I want to be the wife that gives them with kindness.
“When she speaks her words are wise and she gives instructions with kindness,” Proverbs 31:26.
I don’t know about you, but I sure know how to give instructions. I can boss people around all day long, and as much as I hate to admit it, my husband is usually the first one to bear the weight of my dominant personality. I want to be the wife that can give these instructions with kindness. Instead of yelling at him because his dirty workout clothes are sitting a few inches from the dirty clothes hamper, I want to gently encourage him to make it into the hamper. Not only do I get bossy, I get sassy and cop an attitude with my husband and I want to be the wife that doesn’t need to. Not just with my husband though. I want to be a woman who speaks wisely and directs kindly to all I encounter. From him, to my employees, to our future children, this is just one more facet I am striving to reach.
I am good to those we know; I want to serve those we don’t.
My husband and I make it a priority to give back to the church and donate when we can. We think it is so important to bless other people, as we have been and continue to be so blessed in our own lives. I willingly do this, because I feel like it is just a small way for me to give in return of what I have been given. Verse 20 says, “she extends a helping hand to the poor, and opens her arms to the needy.”
While it’s easy to turn over that portion of my paycheck every week, or donate some old clothes, I want to actively be the wife who seeks ways to help those around me. This one doesn’t necessarily affect my husband in a direct way, but it kind of does if you look deeper…. Think about it. When you actively donate your time to people in need. When you see them and you speak to them about their position and how they got there. Does it not stir something in you? Do you not feel that fire for Jesus that makes you want to make the world better? If you’re doing and feeling all of this, your attitude at home and toward your husband just might change, and that's a change I want to make.
As a wife, I do my best, and I feel like overall, I’m pretty okay. But then I dig in to the word and read those verses in Proverbs and I see how she gives and sacrifices and I know I could be so much better.