Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Godly Wife

Within the last few weeks, I have seen multiple people “share” a blogpost on my facebook newsfeed.  It’s a blog written by a fabulous Godly woman, Danielle Butler, about instructions on how to be a Godly wife to your husband.  I read this blog and realized that I needed to work on each and every one of the 10 items she listed.  I have become so obsessed with this list y’all.  I’ve been working on it daily.  Daily.  Justin has noticed.  I never realized that I wasn’t being a Godly wife until I read this blog!  It was definitely an eye opener that I needed!!  I am sharing what Danielle lists in her blog on my own blog in hopes that all of you married women out there take a peek and begin to work on these things yourselves.  We live in a world where divorce is just the quick and easy answer and if all marriages could focus on these things, I know the divorce rate would decrease.  If we welcome God into our marriages and allow him to work, you WILL have a successful marriage.  You can see Danielle’s blog in full here, but I’ll list out the 10 things below and paraphrase Danielle’s excellent words on the topic for my own readers.  I hope you get as much out of it as I did!  Danielle threw in several pictures of her and her husband throughout the blog so I did the same :)

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  • Keep God first and your husband second.  Danielle makes sure to point out that your husband is second.  Not you.  Not your kids.  Your husband.  That is truly how the Bible intended it.  I’ve always known that God intended the home to be prioritized this way, but it wasn’t until I began reading the Bible front to back that I actually saw the scriptures for it.  I can’t quote an exact scripture that states that without using Google, though.  Unfortunately I can’t memorize every location of each scripture I read.  Totally wish I could though.  But I can assure you it’s in there.  But doesn’t that make so much sense?  Why would you put your kids first?  They will grow up and leave and marry someone (“a child shall leave his father and mother and become one with his wife”).  Divorces spike when children leave the home because of this.  You’ve spent decades focusing on the kids until they’re gone and then it’s just you and your spouse and you no longer recognize the person laying next to you in bed at night.

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  • Understand the covenant.  The covenant of marriage is huge.  HUGE.  It’s not temporary as our society leads us to believe.  We’re living in a world where TV shows like “Mistresses” exist as well as billboards advertising for the lowest cost to get you a divorce.  This is insane to me.  God selected your husband for you.  Handpicked him before you were ever born.  You married him in a ceremony that (hopefully) was centered around God.  You made a vow.  Numerous times in the Bible (Old Testament) I have seen God say that it’s better to not make a vow than to make one and then break it.  God lists out in the Bible what the acceptable reasons for divorce are and there are VERY few of them. 

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  • Submit.  This one is always tricky.  Danielle makes such a great point.  Us women typically misunderstand this scripture.  I TOTALLY misunderstood it when we went through marriage counseling.  Ephesians 22-24 says:  Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.  Therefore as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  This scripture can definitely be misunderstood.  It was by me.  I am ashamed to say that when we had our pre-marital counseling, my pastor mentioned that lots of women choose to take this part of the vows out and I opted to do that.  I am so embarrassed to say that out loud.  I didn’t want to be the wife that sat at home waiting around on her husband all the time that was required to have a meal on the table when he came home from work and have the house spotless and basically live my day for him.  I was not about to be that wife.  Which is why I took that part out of my vows.  But I understand this verse SO much better now that I am doing my reading of the Bible front to back.  God isn’t saying we have to be a trophy wife.  As Danielle so INCREDIBLY puts it, this submission actually frees us women up.  God is saying to let the man worry about the hard stuff.  Keeping the family safe, putting the food on the table, leading the household, etc.  As wives, we just need to support them while they do this.  It’s our job. 

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  • Speak Edifying Words Only.  Raise your hand if you had to look up what “edifying” means???  Because I totally did.  I kind of figured what it meant, but wanted to be sure.  Edifying means “to provide moral or intellectual instruction”.  Danielle is saying that we need to always speak well of others, ESPECIALLY our spouse.  She talks about how women are the worst when it comes to getting together for girl nights and “husband bashing”.  This usually starts off innocent, but you should NEVER say a negative word about your husband.  Don’t “air your dirty laundry” (as our ancestors so greatly put it) for others to see.  Your issues with your husband is between you, your husband and God.  If you want help or someone to get advice from regarding issues with your husband or your marriage, go to your husband, or better yet, go to God.   It’s kind of what He’s there for.  Danielle doesn’t mention this last tidbit, this is my input…but my ABSOLUTE favorite bible verse is Ephesians 4:29 (if you’re a fan of the band Building 429, this is the verse they got their band name from): “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen.”  Great words to live by.  Just sayin.  It’s probably my favorite because it’s the one I am constantly having to read every day to remember to apply it to my life.

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  • Manage the Home Like a Proverbs 31 Woman.  Proverbs 31 is actually kind of long so you’ll have to read it on your own but here’s the gist (as a side note – there’s a page on facebook for Proverbs 31 Ministries that’s great!):
    • A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds. Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it. Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.
    • She’s up before dawn preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day. First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
    • She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.
    • 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 keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive. Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise: “Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!” Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praises is the woman who lives in the Fear of God. Give her everything she deserves. Festoon her life with praises.

Helpful tip on Proverbs 31….don’t take it so seriously.  I don’t think God is literally saying we have to be up before dawn preparing breakfast for the family and if we’re not, we’re not Godly wives.  Ask God to reveal to you what each of these items means for you and how you can use the advice given in Proverbs 31 to make you a better wife.

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  • Do it anyway.  We live in a time where marriages are expected to be 50/50.  Danielle actually brought up a good point.  Marriages shouldn’t be 50/50, they should be 100/100.  If your husband isn’t holding up his end of the bargain, that’s between him and God.  You can only control what you do.  If you’ve already done most of the housework and all you want is for your husband to do the laundry…I mean, you’ve done everything else, he should at least do that, right?  Wrong.  Just do it.  Even if you’ve done most of the work that day, just do it.  As Danielle points out, our jobs are not to train our husbands.  We aren’t their mamas.  We’re their wives.  If you genuinely think that your husband isn’t holding up his side of the deal and you truly are doing all the work, then talk to him about it.  Calmly though.  Don’t yell.  Don’t nag.  That gets us nowhere.  Sit down and have a conversation about it.  And another little tid bit from me (Danielle doesn’t mention this).  Something we practice in our household is never saying the phrase “at least” like I did above.  It implies that the other person doesn’t do anything and it’s discouraging.  Same goes for being careful how you use words like “always” and “never”.  Be careful.  Throwing that one word into a sentence can have the reverse effect of what you’re going for.

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  • Communicate.  Men aren’t mind readers ladies.  If we don’t tell them our expectations, they will never figure them out.  And no, silent treatment is NOT a form of communication.  This goes both ways though.  Don’t communicate only the things that anger you that you want your spouse to fix.  Tell him the good things too.  Praise him.  Praise him for working so hard for your family.  For being a good husband and dad.  Tell him when he does something you like and he’s more likely to do it again!  Even if he always mows the law (that’s kind of his chore) say “thank you”.  Make a big deal out of the things he does for you and your household!
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  • Remember the 80/20 Principle.  I’d never heard of this until I read Danielle’s blog, but it is such a great mental note!  Unfortunately, cheating on your spouse is not as frowned upon as it was in the Old Testament days.  I mean, hello….ABC lost my respect when they created a show called “Mistresses” that glamorizes cheating.  No thank you ABC, I’m done with you.  But here’s the 80/20 principle…and it’s not that complicated.  You married your spouse.  Now, no one is perfect, so chances are,  you love and adore roughly 80% of his qualities, but then there’s the 20% that you cannot stand.  When marriages fail due to cheating, it’s often because someone was looking for that other 20%.  But here’s the thing folks, even if you find that 20% in another man, he won’t have the 80% that your husband had.  No one is 100% perfect.  Well, except Jesus ;)  Remember that principle anytime your eye strays to someone else.  Think of what you would throw away to find that measly 20%.  It’s not worth breaking a vow to your husband and even worse, breaking a vow you made to God.
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  • Strive to Please Him.  Don’t be so selfish and self-centered.  Everything in the marriage isn’t about what you like.  Let him rent the next movie.  Let him pick out the next place to eat dinner.  Talk about his interests and watch his favorite TV shows with him.  When you sacrifice the small things like that, God allows a love to grow deeper and return tenfold in some way.  Danielle makes another good point.  Take care of yourself for your husband ladies.  Exercise.  Eat healthy.  This is not to say you have to be a “trophy wife”, but we live in a world where well over 50% of Americans are overweight and have crazy health problems because of it.  Get yourself in check so you can be around in the long-run for your husband and for your kids.

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  • Cover Him in Prayer.  We don’t frequently think about this when we pray, do we?  Well, at least I didn’t before reading this blog.  I pray for things most people probably pray for:  health for my family, safety of family when traveling, that my son grows up having a passion for the Word, that I lead by example for my kids, and of course the thankfulness and gratitude that comes with family, food, protection, forgiveness, all those kinds of things.  Rarely do I pray for my husband’s soul and for his strength to lead our family.  But I should be.  And so should you.

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So these are just 10 little things.  I’m sure that if Danielle tried, she probably could come up with a ton more, but these are some GREAT places to start.  I printed these out and put them in my Bible  as a reminder each morning  before work and each night before bed.  Statistics say it takes about 21 days to make something become a habit.  So for 21 days, do these 10 things!  Before you know it, it will be a habit and you won’t have to try to remember them.

DISCLAIMER:  I have to put this disclaimer in here because Danielle got some passionate comments regarding this, so I am going to address it to make sure no one misunderstands my purpose of this blogpost.  I am by no means an expert on marriage.  I am not claiming to be.  But it is no secret that the above items are in line with scriptures.  And it doesn’t matter if a person has been married for 2 years or 20 years, scripture is scripture and it’s been around for a thousand years.  Justin and I will celebrate 4 years of marriage next month.  We only have one child.  We’ve never experienced a job loss.  We’ve never experienced adultery.  We’ve never experienced any kind of addiction.  We’ve never experienced loss of a child.  Obviously there are life events that test marriages.  But just because myself or Danielle haven’t experienced those events doesn’t mean we shouldn’t put these principles out there for the world to see.  No one is an expert at marriage.  What matters is that we help each other keep our commitments and vows.  That is my only goal with this blogpost.  To pass around ways to help marriages survive the hard stuff.  I hope no one takes offense to anything I’ve said!

7 comments:

A Wedding Story said...

Really great post Marcie, I think you and Danielle both did a great job! I think that everything you mentioned is SO important in marriage, especially daily prayer for your spouse.

The show idea Mistresses disgusts me. We really do live in a sad world.

You should check out the Women Living Well blog. Courtney has done a Proverbs 31 video series that you can watch and girlfriend says we should be up early in the AM for our families...something I do only about 50% of the time. It is so hard for me to be up and ready before Avery gets up BUT I do have better mornings when I do.

Stephany said...

In love with this post.
Thank you so much for sharing it!!!

Breanna said...

What a fabulous post, Marcie! I needed to read this! <3

Heather, David and Delaney! said...

I love this! I actually read her blog post too when I saw it on Facebook. So many great points to use as a guide to focus on being the most Godly wife possible. It is a good reminder on how God wants marriage to look and not how the world sees it. Thanks for posting!! I need to print it too and use it daily!

Allison said...

What a great post Marcie! I had actually just read Danielle's blog a few days ago about this and was so encouraged by her post and now you've planted even more encouragement. Thank you! I'm actually doing a bible study right now on Proverbs 31 that Good Morning Girls did last summer. So far it is great! Courtney from Women Living Well, wrote the eBook that goes along with the study. She is great! I'm learning so much about my role as a wife and mother.
Thanks again for posting!!

HickChickBritt said...

How could anyone take that post the wrong way. They are all awesome words to live by. It is so easy to just be a wife, be there is passing go through the motions. It is so important to be passionate about being a wife. It is our roll in life. We have careers and friends and family, it is so easy to take your husband for granted! Thanks for the reminders on how I should be thinking everyday.

Lora said...

what an awesome post! i really needed to be reminded of those tips. so great! thanks so much. glad to have found your blog today! blessings, lora

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