The Good Wife

Just thought I’d share an article that I wrote in April 2011, for someone starting a magazine. Hope you enjoy.

She is worth far more than rubies. She works with eager hands. She gets up while it is still dark. She opens her arms to the poor. She speaks with wisdom. Her children rise up and call her blessed. I could go on and on with the accolades. Of course, I am speaking of none other than the virtuous woman so highly regarded in Proverb s 31.

If she were alive today, I imagine she would look at me with glasses perched on the end of her nose, head tilted down, one eyebrow raised and shaking her head sadly as she looks at me with disdain because I drag out of bed in the mornings, and would love nothing more than to sleep until the sun comes up. My eager hands desire nothing more than to click the remote as I complete my work week and slump on the couch. As I attempt to write this article, my eight year old son comes in and demands that I take him to Toys R Us to buy him a new Woody and Buzz, and is only giving me five minutes to finish it. I don’t speak to him with wisdom, but tell him to get out of the office and leave me alone. I guess he won’t be calling me blessed any time soon.

Ah, the perils of the twenty-first century wife and mother. What is one to do, and how could I ever measure up to the virtuous woman. Here in lies the dilemma. How do we bridge the gap between the saint of a woman described in Proverbs with the demands of life in the twenty-first century? To be honest, no one can match up to the virtuous woman. I get a headache and want to crawl under the covers just thinking about her. But let’s put this into perspective.

The Proverbs 31 wife is a poem that the Hebrews memorized. Each verse starts with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet from beginning to end, it is thought to help them memorize it. Personally, I lean toward a favorite statement of New Yorkers…”ah forget about it!”

This poem has caused fear and heartache in Christian wives for years in that it was held out in front of them like a carrot to be grasped, but something you would never attain or get hold of. It was always out of reach. When you think you had one attribute down, you would realize there was something else you needed to do. In the end, you felt like a failure of a wife and mother, as the church mothers looked down on you and beat you over the head with the scripture.

I would like for you to do me a favor…take a deep breath…now let it out. Relax. If you need to do it again, that is fine too. I need to let you in on a secret, one that isn’t told to us. I finally read the entire poem. Trust me, it’s a hard read, because as I read it, I felt more and more like a failure, until I got to the end. Verse thirty reads “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Wow, it hit me like a ton of bricks. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

I can do all of these righteous acts, and righteous acts they are, but when I fear the Lord, that is where my true accolades come from. When I follow Gods commandments for my life, my ultimate praise comes from Him. I don’t and you don’t have to attain to something that is not possible to reach. When I follow God’s commands, I am a good wife, because I will love my husband the way God has commanded. I will be the mother that God says I should be. I will be the good wife as stated in Proverbs 18:22, which says; “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.” And that is where the true praise comes from. So, relax, that’s what I’m going to do.

Just one more note, my son has a dry erase board and he wrote me a letter on it that says and I quote, just as he spelled it: “Dear Mommy, you’re the gratest, you’re osom, you are intelligent, you are a mite woman of God, I love you Mom.”

I guess I’m not so bad after all, as I stick out my tongue to the Proverbs 31 woman.

6 Comments

  • Cornita says:

    Very interesting article you have wrote. This is something most women face because we wear so many hats in life. It maybe a mother, wife, sister, and daughter. Feeling if we are measuring up to what God wants for us. I must admit I only read down so far of that scripture in Proverbs. Yes, me like most women, feel they would not live up to this woman’s standards. Even though you wrote this over a year ago, it has relevent to me right now. So thank you. God knew that this article would be need for such a time as this. I pray God will continue to bless you to bless others. Write on LadyOne. Love you much

    Cornita

  • Nay Roberson says:

    I’m up at 2 a.m. reading this and this has given me a boost in what God has already promised me. Thank you again for the continuous encouragement and you’re right…the passage do make you want to stick your tongue out at her! Love you Sissy. P.S. I am loving the blog!!

  • Nicole Washburn says:

    Love this. Since even before I got married in November, I would look at this passage and hope and pray that somehow I could meet up to some of this? Like Cornita said, there are so many different hats we wear in a day’s time it can get overwhelming just thinking of how to be a good wife, a great mother, saavy in your career moves, an efficient and organized homemaker, etc., etc.,…and to top it all off, be vivacious and loving all at the same time for the hubby. Let’s face it, being that “all around” does not happen everyday. I think that when we don’t feel we measure up to that “every woman” status we just beat ourselves up so much. I am glad you wrote this article because this is something that I am finding more about in this early phase. I am becoming more accepting of my abilities and my imperfections. It’s a learning process! Thank God for you, Pastor Ruth!

  • Meme says:

    Hi, Pastor Ruth! I love your blog!! I have been reading your posts and it’s so funny that you posted this one at this time because I read Proverbs 31 at the beginning of this year and was determined to slowly become this ideal Christian wife and woman as I started this new chapter in life. I have only been married for just a few months and I already find myself feeling like I’m never going to be this perfect woman for my husband and future family. Your post is making it clear that what is most important is my heart for God and growing in my relationship with Him, so that I AM able to bless my family and be the person I am supposed to be for them. I can only imagine if I ever DID obtain this superwoman status…would I be asking myself, “Now, what?”

    Thank you for the reality check! If God expected perfection from us…well, I don’t even want to think about what would happen! I love you and miss you!

    Meme

  • April Starks says:

    Superb…well stated! Thank you for expressing the sentiments of my heart 🙂 I was feeling frustrated with myself this morning, because I wanted to do my daughters hair last night. But, I fell asleep trying to put her to bed so I had to do it this morning with her going against the process. This effort made us leave the house late, which made my son late for school. My frustration increased, but I begin to pray as I was driving him to school. I said, Jordan I’m sorry I made you late for school. He replied, “That’s ok, you were trying.” That meant a lot. So, to read this today added extra blessings to my day. Thank you for sharing!

  • Anita Thompson says:

    As I was reading your blog on the Good Wife, I realize that some of the concerns you expressed would apply to any woman. Most of us are faced with expectations of Bible and Society. It is frequently when we do not live up to the expectations that we go into periods of despair or depression. I believe one of the main problems is a lack of patience. Patience,that we should not only have with others, but ourselves. The first scripture Jesus gave me when I returned to him over 30 years ago was in Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.” Everything we desire to accomplish in the soul realm can be conquered through patience. James 1:9 Let patience have her perfect work that we maybe mature. Sometimes we fail or even fall. However, He sent us a Comforter to encourage and give us peace. Let’s keep our heads up and Press toward the Prize. We have the best Helper ever!

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