The good wife

woman-163789_640Proverbs 31:10: An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.

Excellence is about doing things right; it is about being upright but still getting things done, what the crooked try to achieve through crooked means.

The book of Proverbs has a few things to say about the role of the woman and how getting involved with the wrong woman can set your life in a downward spiral. It also said: he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). The book warns against certain kind of women, the nagging one (Proverbs 19:12, 27:15), and the foolish (senseless) one (Proverbs 9:13). It says a wise woman builds her home (house) (Proverbs 14:1), making the issue of the home the purview of the woman.

It rises or falls on her actions or inactions. A woman’s life is about the husband and the children. Is that genetics or social modelling (nature or nurture)? Maybe both.

The maternal equipment of the women and the hormonal uniqueness makes the woman peculiar. (Those who get hormonal therapy to bend the course of nature, wanting to be regarded as male or vice versa are rebelling against God in a fundamental way).

However, without a role model in the form of a woman of excellence as a mother, with no home where family relationships are properly modelled, (with a barrage of other negative social experiences) even the hormones of the woman, the natural affection and attention for the husband (Genesis 3:16) and children (Isaiah 49:15) may not be properly channelled, but be compromised.

However looking into the pages of the scriptures as the writer of Proverbs 31 x-rays the excellent wife, a dysfunctional background and years of dysfunctional associations, leading to a dysfunctional womanhood, may be rectified.

The wife so described mirrors the kind of woman you should be. Surely one thing or the other about her will challenge you, spur you on, minister to you, call you to change. It is the word of God and the word of God is called a sword, but it is no ordinary sword.

Paul said the word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword penetrating the soul and spirit (in a spiritual surgical operation), and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:11-13). It may not happen in a moment, but it will happen, the shift, the change through the surgical operation will take place, as your soul (which defines your earthly experience) gets removed from the flesh (sinful nature) and brought to better alignment with the spirit, your spiritual (godly) essence.

You soul includes your will, emotion and mind. If any of them is messed up, by wrong modelling from the home front or from anywhere and generally by the ultimate issue of inherited sinful nature from Adam, the rectifier is the word of God.

When the whole word was in a mess and God wanted to turn things around, he sent the word. The bible says: In the beginning was the word and the word was God (John 1:1-5), the word was made flesh and dwelled among us, and the word manifested the glory of God, in grace and truth (John 1:12-17), to save us from the twisted state of sin, to the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Romans 8:21, 2Corinthians 3:7-18).

The excellent wife manifests the glory of God in her role as a wife. That was her turf and you could not beat her as an outstanding woman, mother, spouse, business leader, social leader. She was an all rounder. There was no area of lack or lapses. You can be like that too.

First stop looking for excuses and start taking charge, realise what you are responsible for and get to work. Do not take no for an answer from yourself.

Paul gave a charge to older women to teach the younger women to love their husband (Titus 2:3-5). Similarly the woman in Proverbs chapter 31 (10-31) wants to teach you some things. As you put her example before your face, meditating on it, and see her as the epitome of what you are called to be, then you are on your way. But if you are full of excuses, if you think that passage does not apply to your situation, full of complaints against your husband (or against the situation which surrounds you), then you have not started. It is not about reproducing everything that you see in Proverbs-31 woman, the good wife, overnight, but you should begin the journey of transformation, with the woman example as the goal.

For those who have not marriage, and plans to, the time to prepare is now. You can go to “the good wife school,” before marriage, to receive training to be a good wife. Many worry about being a good mother but could not care less about being a good wife. My fictional “the good wife school” will definitely have the Proverbs-31 woman as a teacher.

Training exists in different contexts, though the home you were brought forth should be the best place to model a wife, there are two problems with this training format.

One: You may come from a dysfunctional home, which means all the ingredient were not in place for a proper modelling of who a good wife is. This world is sin-infested, so even the best of relationship may not deliver the right training. Even for the best parent it is not all the aspects of their relationship that are open to the children, especially the early part. So you are limited in what you can learn.

Two: The number two limitation is that each relationship is unique, while there are principles to observe from others, the rules in one relationship may be the exception in others (especially in the non-essential areas, and those not having to do with fidelity). You cannot just copy and paste ideas to your own relationship.

Your husband is different from your father, no matter the level of similarity, and you are different from your mother, but maybe less than you will argue for. Because whether you like it or not, by just being around her you have caught some of behavioural traits (and some of her genes are in you). The very thing you complain about in your mother, chances are that you will replicate it. If you do not actively seek to be transformed in your person, you may repeat the same errors. You may be found guilty of using the wrong solution for the right question, since each situation is unique.

So what should you do, what is the best example? It is Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22-33).

When talking about the ideal marriage, Paul presented Christ (husband) and the church (wife). A highlight for that example is that submission is important for the woman. So do not say you cannot submit to your husband because submission is what you signed up to do, whether deliberately or not. It is in the fine print.

So, you should only marry the man you can submit to (not just the one who makes you laugh or you can play with. Marriage is serious long-term business). That is the way it goes; that is the way the cookie crumbles. So do not go blaming anybody.

When you came into the life of Jesus, and you joined yourself to him for the change of spiritual status (your husband -marital status) he offers, confessing him as Lord was part of the deal (Romans 10:9-10), whether you knew it or not. Likewise, Peter asked wives to follow the example of Sarah who called his husband Lord (1Peter 3:1-6). When was the last time you called your husband Lord, not just in word but indeed, good wife to-be?

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