Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Me. The wife.

I've been doing a lot of thinking the past few days (hence the lack of writing), on being a wife. I've been researching and reflecting on what that means, and how that differs from what I have believed and how I have been playing out my role as wife.

I'm thinking I've undervalued the title of "wife", and that I have never really understood the significance of the role. Without having fully understood who a wife was and what a wife does, I've never really lived up to my wifely potential.

After having nearly lost my marriage, and having received a second (and God given) chance to revive and revitalize my marriage, I've been giving some consideration to how that can be done. Being a Christian has helped me zero in on some good resources that talk about God's view of marriage, and how He created gender roles for his creations, man and woman. I've got some good books, and some good online resources, and I've been studying up!

What did God have planned for women?

What did God want for marriage?

What roles is a wife supposed to fulfill?

What does a good wife do/look like?

Its been enlightening. I've had some "ah ha" moments, and some flat out "HAHAHA" moments as I've stumbled upon some parodies of marriage which are clearly skewed from God's original view (so offensive they're funny), but I've been truly learning and what I have learned has been very important to my self growth as a woman and wife.

It seems antiquated, but I don't mind. It stands in opposition to the feminist movement (which itself stands in opposition to the order God created for mankind to follow, but of course this is a different debate all together!), but I'm not a feminist and again, I don't mind. Its actually comforting, its simplicity and "old fashioned" feeling isn't offensive to me in the least, there's a peace in knowing and following God's plan, which I think is a built in reward to let us know we're on track.

So, I've had some questions and I've searched scripture (if you haven't been to YouVersion yet, go now!) and I've found some answers, and I feel satisfied with what I've learned. Here are some of the verses I've found on the matters of being a wife and on marriage.

Genesis 2:18-God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I'll make him a helper, a companion"

God made man first, and then immediately decided that it wasn't good for that man to be alone. He set to work subduing man long enough to borrow a rib and fashion a helper, a companion for him. He made woman for man, a gift, a friend and lover to keep man company, to enrich his life and to help him with whatever he needs helping with. That's us. That was our biblical design, our God given purpose, be a companion and helper for men, to be good to them and for them. God knew man would need us, and designed us and placed us accordingly. It's a pretty noble calling I think, and a place of significance right? God knew man would not be happy or fulfill his purposes without us, that's special, not insulting.

Malachi 2:15-God, not you, made marriage. His Spirit inhabits even the smallest details of marriage.

God designed marriage, the first union of man and woman happened between Adam and Eve, God's first human creations. Marriage is as old as time. So are its "rules" and guidelines on how to do it God's way, which is inherently the right way, since He designed it, patented it and wrote the instruction manual. Now I realize that this is hard for some to digest, since you'd have to be a Christian to believe this, which I am, so this sits well with me.

Now, on the importance of the role of wife, I found these two verses from Proverbs, which really outline how vital the role is, how important wives are to their husbands, how special the job is.

Proverbs 12:4-A hearty wife invigorates her husband, but a frigid wife is cancer in the bones.

That's a pretty big statement. A hearty wife invigorates her husband, but a frigid wife is like cancer in the bones? Big responsibility isn't it? We as wives are so important to our husbands, that we can make them invigorated, or make them ill like cancer in the bones? We have the power to build them up, or tear them down. We're very powerful people, whether we know it or not, our role as wife carries a lot of responsibility.

Proverbs 31:18-She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

This one is in the context of a wife doing her daily routine. Sure, it may be mundane, maybe its hectic, maybe she feels run down, over worked and under appreciated, but she senses the worth of what she does, and she is in no hurry to quit. She knows, this Proverbs 31 wife knows that what she's doing, for her husband and family is vital and important, and does it with a sense of duty and grace. Its not mundane, and its most certainly not unimportant work. She's maintaining the most important place on earth, her home and her families home.

For some, these roles might seem dated, sexist, and unappealing. I get it. But because this blog is about me, digging out a better version of myself from this mess I've made of my life, I'm going to embrace them. God's done a lot for me in the past few years. I've seen the difference believing makes. I've lived it, I've felt it. There's a shift you can feel, when you move from complete doubt to absolute faith. He hasn't steered me wrong yet, and I trust He won't. So, as a part of my life, and my increasing faith, I'm going to employ God's vision for me in marriage.

I'm going to strive to be a Godly wife, and woman. I'm not going to look at it as outdated, or sexist or backwards, but rather I'll view it as liberating and enlightening and satisfying, FINALLY having direction and guidance for marriage, which can be tricky and hard to navigate on your own. After all, we didn't do so good leaning on our own abilities and understandings right? Look where we were just a few short months ago. Separated. Living apart. Planning custody agreements. Planning a divorce. Marriage in shambles. Both of us in incredible pain, the aftermath of having torn apart the one flesh that we became when we married before God. And by His Grace, a miracle, a second chance was given, and here we are. Rebuilding! Starting anew, and building this new marriage and life on the word of God. All the better for it.

Another book I am reading is called, What Husbands Need, and its also quite enlightening. It's a small book but its crammed with some insights I wouldn't have come to on my own. I could write a whole book report on it, but I won't do that now. What I will mention is the point that struck me most while reading yesterday. Husbands need their wives to be their best friends, their wing man! I thought that was cool. Have I ever been Elvis's wing man? I'm not sure I can say I have. What do wing men do? They back up their lead guy, they offer support, they help them defeat enemies and overcome obstacles. Sounds like what God designed us for doesn't it? The analogy of a wing man is a little easier to swallow then say a cheerleader, but its essentially the same. Provide support, build them up, make them know they aren't alone and they've always got back up, and friendship in their wives. I like it.

I'm excited to embrace this new role, and to see how God rewards our marriage for it. I trust He will.



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