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Monday, September 10, 2012

A Godly Wife

If there is one area in my life where I'm the most confident, it's in my parenting. I know that I'm a good mother. I know this because I work so hard to be a good mom. If someone were to ever get in a war of words with me and were to tell me "you're a bad mom." I would defend myself to the death because I know I'm not a bad mom. I know that I give 100% to my job as a mother and I know on judgement day God will be proud of my works in that area of my life.

Unfortunately I would not be able to equally defend myself if someone were to say "you're a bad wife." I'm not as confident in my wifely status. I'm not quite sure God will be as pleased with me on judgement day in this area. I know in my heart that I don't work as hard at being a good wife as I do at being a good mom. I think I'm a good wife...but not the BEST wife I can personally be!!! I want to do better :)

I think it's a common trend among moms. We work so hard to give our best to our children but often that leaves our husbands in the dust. We give our children the best parts of ourselves and our husbands get the left overs. God's desire is for our husbands to come FIRST. Before our children. 

Prior to babies I used to struggle with putting God before Zach. I literally worshiped Zach that much!!! When we had Kye it wasn't too difficult to still keep the order as it should be. God, Zach, then Kye. But the more children we add to our crew, the more difficult that becomes for me. I'm NOT saying I have the most stressful job as a stay at home mom, as I truly believe that working moms have it way rougher, but some days are stressful. And on those days I'm with two children all day so I vent my frustrations out on the first adult I see...meaning Zach.

In our wedding vows (we did both the traditional ones and wrote our own!) I promised Zach that I'd give provide for him a home that he'd want to come home to each night. Do I fulfill that promise??? So often he walks in the door to a crying baby (hello witching hour!) and a frustrated mama trying to cook dinner while juggling a baby on the hip and a preschooler wanting attention. Instead of "YAY! You're home! I've missed you today!" It's "Omg take her and go watch him so I can finish dinner." He works hard to provide for our family. He deserves to come home to a loving wife. Maybe even a clean house too on occasion ;)

We are doing a Bible Marathon through our church where our entire congregation is reading the Bible all the way through. I'm enjoying this nightly ritual with my little family and it's already opened my eyes to so much. I've always known that God provides a path to follow for our lives in His Word but I don't go to it often enough. Knowing in my heart that I'm not fulfilling God's commandments of me as a wife inspired me to go to His Word and to see what HE wants for me to be. Here are five pieces of scriptures that spoke to me in my little study and I hope they do to you as well:


1) Ephesians 5:22-24: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."

I KNOW this scripture is so not what today's woman wants to hear. Submission? That's like a cuss word! Haha. But God is not calling us to be a doormat. He's not saying our husbands should rule over us with an iron fist. We are to submit to our husbands in the same way as we submit to Christ. He also calls husbands to love their wives like Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25). Christ loved the church enough to DIE for us. That's pretty intense!!! Our husbands have a huge responsibility in that. Following in Christ's footsteps...that's some big shoes to fill! Submission isn't just a one-sided thing at all. But my study is about ME as the wife. So I have to ask myself: do I treat Zach as the head of our household as Christ is the head of the church? In everything???

2) 1 Peter 3:1-6: "Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that if any of them do not believe the word they may be won over without worse by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes, instead it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

This is a tough one for me to swallow. Obviously Zach is a Christian (he is the one that brought me to the Lord!) but for me this scripture is telling me to be submissive to my husband, even if he doesn't "deserve it" in my mind. You would think a woman who is married to a non-Christian wouldn't have to uphold God's commandment to be submissive. But here He is saying that it's even that much more important as their example will lead there husband to God!!! So isn't it equally important that I treat my husband with respect and honor him even when maybe I don't feel like it? When I don't feel like he's listened to me vent about my random stories of frustration...or hasn't taken me on enough dates...or hasn't put his clean clothes away yet. No matter what the reason...there is NO EXCUSE not to be that kind, gentle spirit my husband needs for me to be. No excuse not to do God's will and give my husband my very best self.

The second part of this is also a tough one for me...ummm..."gentle and quiet spirit?" I don't think anyone has ever used the word gentle or quiet to describe me. I am neither of the two and I need to work on that when it comes to my relationship with Zach. I need to watch my words and the way in which I speak. We are constantly trying to work with Kye on his tone and saying things nicely. But guess where he learns it from? Do I ask Zach nicely to do something for me? Or do I bark an order at him? Do I say sweetly "Honey, please take the trash out?" Or do I say "Omg Zach the trash is overflowing!" I can't expect Kye to talk with us in a kind, gentle way if I'm not also doing that with Zach. Our children are so often a reflection of us...the good and the bad!!!

3) 1 Corinthians 7:2-5: But since there is such immorality each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husbands body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer."

Divorce rates are SKY HIGH in our society today. I myself come from a home where my parents were divorced when I was young. I personally believe that the main reason divorce is so prevalent is that husbands and wives don't put each other first. They don't spend enough quality time together. Not just with intimacy, but over all. Zach and I strive to go away on little trips just the two of us. To connect whenever possible and have alone time together. It's essential! Not just to avoid divorce but to remain happily married. Who just wants to suffer through life staying married b/c it's the "right thing to do" or "for the kids" um...not me! We are so blessed to have the bonds of marriage and we need to fully appreciate that blessing and put time and energy into making it a happy relationship filled with love for each other where submission, being of gentle and kind spirit, and being intimate with our spouse isn't something we "have to do" it's something we WANT to do and do gladly without even having to try!

4) Proverbs 31:10-31: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 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. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also and he praises her. Many women do noble things but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate"

Whoa...that's a LOT. Who feels a little bit inferior when reading about the wife of noble character?!?! I do feel like I do well managing our household and spending money wisely, caring for our children, etc. However, some areas that need improvement for sure stood out to me. The biggies? "She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life." Zach has a LOT on his shoulders. His job is not easy. And now that he's in a management position there is even more stress involved. He doesn't just worry about our livelihood, but he has people under him that he also worries about. I don't need to add stress to his life. I just need to support him, trust in him, and lift him up. "She...does not eat the bread of idleness." Obviously the Wife of Noble Character didn't have Facebook or Pinterest huh? How much more productive could I be for my family...how much more effort could I put into my marriage...into my husband...if I didn't waste time on facebook. I so often have emails to answer. New mommies who need advice. Someone needing prayers. I tend to put those people ahead of my own husbands needs. Rather than spend quality time with him, I spend time focusing on those people. Yes, it's good to be helpful to others and, don't get me wrong, I LOVE that. But I also need to keep my priorities straight and not lose sight of fulfilling my husband needs and the work that needs to be done in our house to keep it running smoothly and effectively. 

5) Proverbs 21:19: "Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife"

and...

Proverbs: 27:15-17: "A quarrelsome wife is like a constant dripping on a rainy day; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand. Iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another."

Saved the toughest for last...this is the area I probably struggle with the most. It's a tough thing. How many wives out there feel like a broken record asking your husband to do the same thing again and again??? It feels like it's impossible not to nag. But we're not supposed to! Heck, I don't want to nag my husband. But I do! Sure, he may forget if I don't remind him but nagging is still wrong. I personally hate when people criticize me (I may seem like I have high self-esteem but ohmygoodness how quickly and easily my spirit can be crushed by unkind words or criticism!) so why do I think it's okay to do it to him? I don't want to be an annoying wife. I don't want to get to a point in our marriage where Zach simply ignores everything I say because all he ever hears from me is an endless to-do list. If I DO MORE FOR HIM won't he, in return, naturally do more for me? If I truly follow God's will, won't I also be blessed?
The "iron sharpens iron" portion of the verse is also important. Zach needs me to build him up. Be confident in him. Trust in him. Look to him for guidance. Respect his place as the head of our family. By doing these things I will help make him an even better husband than he already is! I will help him be an even better leader for our family. An even better father for our children. And an even better son to the Lord! We can boost each other up. We are bound together forever in our marriage and can tear each other down or make each other better! The choice is ours :)
My personal goal is to be a Godly Wife. I feel confident that I'm a Godly Mother. But it's time for me to put my priorities back in line. It's time for me to work as hard at being a good wife to Zach as I do at being a good mother to Kye and Brittlynn. I want to be the type of woman who I'd want my son to marry. I want to be the type of woman that my daughter will strive to be. I want to be that sweet married couple wearing coordinating outfits who sit in the same pew every Sunday holding hands. I want to spend every day of my life in true, deep love with my husband. 

I'm not saying that Zach and I don't have a solid marriage. We do. We aren't some couple who fights all the time or hates each other. We have a great marriage! Heck we actually like each other and enjoy spending time together ;) We both agree that love is a VERB. It requires ACTION. And that marriage requires WORK. And I'm just wanting to do better. I am a perfectionist in all things and this is an area in my own journey, as I've grown closer to the Lord, that I see needs improving. We have a wonderfully blessed marriage...but it can be even better.

I'm so thankful that I met a godly man. My life would be SO different had I fallen head-over-heals for a non-Christian. Zach taught me about the Bible. About God's love for me. About the sacrifice Christ made for ME so that I can live in eternity with him. I'm so thankful that we have God at the center of our marriage and that we both strive to always grow, learn, and draw closer to our Creator. And I'm so thankful that we do all of this TOGETHER!!! We are a solid unit that will be together until our time on this earth comes to an end...and then we'll get to spend eternity together in Heaven with God :)

I pray that as women who love our husbands and our Lord that we can all help each other in this area. That we can be examples for each other of the wives God calls us to be and that we can all put our marriages at the TOP of our priority list!!! 

Just a fun picture to end on! I love old school pics!!!
Where our love of travel together began:
Our "17 day vacation" in 2004

3 comments:

  1. This is a great post!


    Love the last photo... I want to hear the story of how you and Zach met/fell in love. Or is it already on here somewhere? I love hearing peoples' love stories!!!

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  2. Great post, Emily. Thanks for the reminder!

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  3. I agree you do need to do some back story posting for ppl who dont know ya'lls loooooove story. I think you are a great wife. I am a saint that's all I know ;)

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