“An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.” Proverbs 31:10
God has really been working on my heart and attitude over the last few weeks. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m going through an Excellent Wife study with some other Jr High staff wives. I’m beginning to realize that when we started this study, in the back of my mind I was thinking,
“Stephen and I are newlyweds and our marriage is pretty much perfect. I’m probably not going to find a whole lot that I need to work on during this study; I’ll probably just gain some practical wisdom from the material and from the other wives.”
Yikes! Now, I wasn’t honest enough with myself to just come right out and say that, but it really is what my sinful, prideful little heart was believing.
Now that we are five months into our Excellent Wife study and nearing the end, I’m realizing just how much I don’t have it all together and how in need of God I am.
Stephen is still pretty much perfect and I am still amazed that God blessed me with a husband who is more wonderful than I dared to dream, but I’m discovering there are many little areas where I fall short as a wife and often am in downright sin. I could write out a pretty long list of my shortcomings, but that would take a while and right now I don’t want to focus on those. Instead I want to focus on the tools God has given me (US!) to overcome those moments, and sometimes habits, of sinfulness.
Here are a few things I am continuing to be reminded that I need:
Number 1: I need God to give me guidance through His Word (“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
Reminding me of what my role is in this life (“Everyone who is called by My name and whom I have created for My glory...” Isaiah 43:7)
And in this relationship (“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him’” Gen. 2:18). As my husband, Stephen is my first and primary ministry. He even comes before our children (the future ones, cause we definitely are no where near that point in the present!). Before my ministry to my Jr High girls, before my friendships with girlfriends, Stephen is my priority.
Reminding me of what my life is supposed to look like as a follower of Christ (“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” Gal. 5:22, 23).
And calling me to repentance and a greater foundation in the Gospel of Christ, where my salvation is found (“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8).
Number 2: I need the Holy Spirit to continue to guide and convict me as I go through day to day tasks. And also to speak wisdom and truth into my life as I am faced with choices and opportunities to act and react towards my husband in the right way.
Number 3: I need the accountability of both my husband and other believers to help me see when I am stepping out of line and not glorifying God with my actions, thoughts, or words. Obviously I think I’m pretty great and don’t do much wrong, and obviously that is no where near the truth. I need honesty from those around me to keep me in check with God’s word.
I need it from Stephen, because he is my husband and sees pretty much every little nook and cranny of my life where sin still has a hold. He loves me, and a part of that love is rebuking me when I am in sin. 1 Corinthians 13:6 says, “[Love] does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.” Even though it may be hard to hear at the time, I know that a reproof from my husband is an act of love. He cares about me and my relationship with the Lord and does not want to simply overlook unrighteousness in my life because it is the easy way out, but wants to see me made more and more into the likeness of our savior, Jesus Christ. That is love.
And as a woman of God, another place that accountability should be coming from is an older woman in the faith (not necessarily OLD, just older, a.k.a. wiser, more mature). This is actually commanded in scripture: “Older women are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.” Titus 2:3-5
I think I’ll stop here. I know this has been a long post, but it’s been good for me to write out some of what I’ve been learning. Most of it I have been taught before, but now that I’m actually married, it’s taking on a much greater and more practical meaning for me. I hope it’s been encouraging to you, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!