Archive | April, 2014

Proverbs 31:12 – Part 2

10 Apr

Now that you have had ample time (thanks to the flu!) to ponder verse 12, its time for me to (finally) weigh in!

“She brings him good, not harm, she comforts and encourages him and she is never spiteful, as long as she has breath to breathe.”

I have so many thoughts about this, I’m not even sure where to start, so let’s take the logical route, word by word.

“She brings him good, not harm…”

You know, I don’t walk around slapping Mr. And, I’ve never poisoned his food. So, I must not be bringing him harm, right? Perfect. Got that covered.

Next.

“…she comforts and encourages him…”

Well, when he is sick, I take care of him. And, I clap at his softball games. I think I have this verse down. Go Me!!

“…and she is never spiteful…”

Crap. You got me.

Spiteful. Hmmm. I know what spiteful means. Or, at least I thought I did. So, I decided to look it up, to see what it stirred in me. Wanna know the definition of spiteful?

Spiteful: full of spite

You’re welcome.

No, seriously.

Spiteful: filled with a (usually petty) desire to harm, annoy, frustrate, or humiliate another person

Which, brings me to my next point.

Upon first reading this passage, I honestly thought,  You know, I might not be the nicest wife ever, but I’m not that bad. But, now I am looking at this definition, and I am seeing it in a whole new light.

How often do we allow ourselves to bring our husbands (emotional, physical, spiritual) harm, because of our attitudes?

Let me tell you a little secret about myself. Lean in a little, I don’t want to have to say it too loudly.

*ahem*

I… might… 

No, lean a little bit closer… That’s better.

I… *might*… be…a…

LittleBitPassiveAgressive. 

But, shhhhhh. Don’t tell.

So, I am notorious for doing things like, asking Mr. to take out the garbage. If he doesn’t, I repeat myself. If he doesn’t again, I repeat myself, annoyed. If he still doesn’t, I move it to the middle of the hallway, so that he trips over it in the dark, having to clean up a bunch of trash, thinking the whole time, Gee, my wife was right… I *should* have taken this out last night. 

Here is the problem. It’s not, at all, even in the least bit, not a smidgen, effective.

I’ve often wondered, “Why?”.

I think I finally have my answer. My attitude.

By doing things like that, I bring my husband (emotional) harm. A better attitude would be to remind myself that he spends all day at work, and he would like to rest for a minute with his kids before doing chores. I would be willing to bet, that if I started simply asking him to take it out, and then waiting for him to do so, and then when he walked in from taking out the garbage, I hugged him and thanked him for being so helpful, I would most likely see better results. And guess what else? I just encouraged him to be a better husband!

Instead of reprimanding him, pray for him. Instead of reminding him, praise him. Instead of _______________, LOVE him. What word can you fill in there? What action will you replace it with?

I’m going to be honest here, for a second.

Going through these verses the first time, I just kept thinking, I am an awful wife. But, upon further thought and prayer, I have changed my attitude. I now keep thinking, I am so excited to finally become the wife my husband deserves!

Oh, and remember, it’s not just when its EASY. It’s as long as you have breath to breathe.

Here are some points to look at when applying this verse.

  • Would praying for him be more beneficial than scolding him?
  • How have you encouraged your husband TODAY?
  • What actions should you apologize for that you have done today?
  • What brings about a poor attitude in your toward your husband, and what verse will you recite to yourself while you ask the Lord to change that in you?

Now go pray for your husband, and your attitude!

What from our Proverbs 31 series have you applied, and what changes have you seen?! Let’s hear some testimonies as to how God is changing your marriage through you! Let me know in the comments!

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Proverbs 31:12 – As Long As I Have Breath to Breathe

5 Apr

We are just a few days in on our Proverbs 31 Challenge. Today we are diving into verse 12, which says, “She brings him good, not harm, she comforts and encourages him and she is never spiteful, as long as she has breath to breathe.”

Wow. As long as she has breath to breathe. That’s incredible. Not, “as long as she is having a good day” or “as long as it’s easy”. Nope. As long as she has breath to breathe. Seriously. I can’t get over the depth of that. Putting aside what it is we are supposed to be doing, the immense dedication that “as long as she has breath to breath” takes is astounding. As long as I have breath to breathe. 

I feel very strongly that this specific verse needs more than one day’s worth of attention. So, I actually have an assignment for you, and I will be back on Monday to follow up.

Your job this weekend is to constantly be praying, Lord, give me the desire and ability to be the best wife, mother, and woman that I possibly can be as long as You give me breath to breathe. Not just when it’s easy. Not just when things are going perfectly. Lord, give me unconditional love for (husband’s name), as you have shown love to me. Amen.

My heart feels so strongly that I, personally, need to better about this. I am not taking an entire weekend for you, my readers and fellow women, but for me. For me to change my heart toward my husband. But, take advantage of it, and let the Lord change your heart, too.

See you Monday!

Proverbs 31:11 – Building Trust

4 Apr

Welcome to day three of our Proverbs 31 challenge! We are taking Proverbs 31:10-26 verse by verse in an attempt to better ourselves for those we love. Wanna join? It’s not too late! Start with yesterday’s post, “Proverbs 31:10 – Becoming Priceless”.

Remember to ask the Lord to help you on your journey with this:

Lord,  I believe you have brought (insert husband’s name here)  into my life for a reason. That reason is to be the perfect wife for him. As I strive to better myself, be with me. Let it not be me changing, but You changing me. Amen.

 

Today, it’s all about TRUST. 

Proverbs 31:11   Her husband can trust her, and she makes his life better, giving him no reason to regret trusting her.

Can your husband trust you? Aren’t sure? Maybe it’s time to have a chat about it.

Even if you have the most trusting relationship in the world, there are probably a few places you can improve.

Being trustworthy isn’t just about not telling people about that giant mole on his back (this is a fictional mole) or announcing in front of his friends that he is *terrified* of snakes (Sorry, love.). It’s about being constant.

Today, I challenge you to do a few things to build your trust in your relationship.

  1. Tell your husband you are going to do something. Do it. – It doesn’t even have to be anything big. Say, “When you get home tonight, I’m going to meet you at the door.” And then, follow through. Pick something every day for the next week, and then, do it. Don’t tell him why. Just do it. Be like Nike®, if you will.
  2. Confide in him.  Seems silly, a little bit, huh? Well, the best way to build trust, is to give trust. If you don’t trust him, why should he trust you? We are women. There is something that has been weighing on our minds. Tell him. Ask him to pray for you and with you about it. Give it a few days, and then thank him for being there for you. It will remind him that you trusted him, and boost his self-esteem because you remembered that he was there for you.
  3. Hug him.  Say what?! That’s right. Hug him. Would you walk up to a stranger and hug them? Probably not. Show your husband that basic level of trust by hugging him often.
  4. Don’t downplay his emotions.  This one will take some time. When your husband makes comments, no matter how small they seem to you, don’t discount his feelings. I am *so guilty* of doing this. Mr. will tell me something that is serious to him, and I laugh. I don’t know why. I can’t help it. But, starting now, I will help it.  When he tells me that he had a hard day at work, I will show empathy and ask  him to talk about it. And I will be sincere.
  5. Ask him how to pray for him.  Show him that you are in it with him, by asking what he is struggling with. He may be having anger issues at work. Or he may be feeling down lately. Ask him what his needs are. Pray together. Follow up in a few days and ask how he is doing. Then, don’t forget him! Remember to ask every so often if things are better. Also ask him if there is anything new he needs prayer for.

Trust is earned, not given. If you have proven yourself untrustworthy in the past, it will take time to earn that back. Continue showing your husband that you trust him and he will learn that your trust is worth it after a while.

Proverbs 31:10 – Becoming Priceless

3 Apr

Yesterday I talked about becoming a Proverbs 31 woman. Then, I challenged you to join me!

I truly think that attitude is everything. So, to start on the right foot, let’s think positive!

Let your prayer for this challenge be this:

Lord,  I believe you have brought (insert husband’s name here)  into my life for a reason. That reason is to be the perfect wife for him. As I strive to better myself, be with me. Let it not be me changing, but You changing me. Amen.

 

Proverbs 31:10 says, Who can find a wife who is noble, virtuous, and of good character? She is priceless.

Today, let’s focus on what the Lord has given us: our husbands and our children. Wait, you don’t have children? Or a husband? Then pray in the future tense!

What do noble, virtuous, and good character really mean?

Noble: of an exalted moral    Strive to be of an exalted moral. What does that mean? Well, exalted refers to something higher. Moral is basically your standards. So, if you are of an exalted moral, or noble, you make yourself live up to higher expectations than the world.

Virtuous: morally excellent  Strive to be morally excellent. Anyone else see a pattern here? Have excellent standards. Don’t settle for what the world has to offer.

Good Character:  the aggregate of high quality traits that make up an individual    Let the traits that make up your character be good ones! Lying, cheating, dishonesty, gossiping. Not good traits. Honesty, integrity, courage, compassion. Now, those are good character traits.

Now that we have defined some of the key words in Proverbs 31:10, let’s put it all together.

Who can find a wife who is of an exalted moral, morally excellent, and is an individual who is made up of high quality traits? She is priceless.

Wait. We forgot to define one word.

Priceless: having a value beyond all price, irreplaceable, incomparable.  

So, now, here we go again:

Who can find a wife who is of an exalted moral, morally excellent, and is an individual who is made up of high quality traits? She is valued beyond all price, irreplaceable, and incomparable.

The key to making your husband want to stay in your marriage, is to make yourself priceless to him. The Bible has laid it out for us, that if we follow these things, we will do just that! Now, are there other aspects of marriage? Of course. But, a house built on sand will fall and crumble. Build your house on a firm foundation, so that it can withstand all of the things that are thrown at it during the storms!

Your mission for today is this:

Make a list of your morals. What do you believe? Do they line up with Scripture? If not, highlight them. Now, find the scripture that matches up with that moral, and write it down. Post it somewhere you will see it often. Also, write down your character traits. Do the same thing as with morals. Highlight the ones you want to change, and write them down.

Mine might look something like this:

I believe that: 

  • lying is okay if it doesn’t hurt anyone (Proverbs 19:9 – “he who breathes lies will perish.”)
  • swearing is not okay (Eph. 4:29 – “Don’t let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth”.)
  • going to the casino is okay as long as it’s to play the game, not for money (1 Tim 6:10 – “The love of money is the root of evil”.)
  • its not gossip if it’s true  (Proverbs 20:19b -“…avoid anyone who talks too much.”)
  • don’t stay mad  (Eph 4:26 “do not let the sun go down on your anger.”)

I am 

  • indecisive (Matt 5:37 – “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no'”.)
  • friendly (Romans 15:2 – “Make your neighbor happy.”)
  • encouraging (1 Thes 5:11 “Encourage one another”.)
  • anxious (Phil 4:6 “Don’t be anxious.”)
  • generous (Prov 19:17 – “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord”.)

Pray against these things in your life. be intentional about what you do and say.

Start today in making the changes to yourself  to become priceless  to your husband.

 

 

Proverbs 31. Who’s Up for the Challenge?

2 Apr

I have recently had many friends come to me, complaining about their husbands and marriages, and their children. Then, in return, as a woman, I also complain about my husband and marriage, and my children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my husband. Is he perfect? Actually, yes. He is. He is perfect for me. Does this mean he never makes mistakes? No. He makes mistakes all the time. But, then again, so do I.

The issue isn’t how many mistakes a person makes in a day, the issue is how you are reacting. 

I, for one, am a perfect example of crazy, raving lunatic. 

I ask Mr., “Can you please take out the trash?”

If it isn’t done in the next 5 minutes, I resort to, “Seriously… can you please take the overflowing, nasty, stinky trash out?!”

5 more minutes pass, “ARE YOU EVER GOING TO TAKE THE FLIPPING TRASH OUT?!?!?!?!” *Insert stomping, flailing and hysterics.*

Why? Why do I do that? Because I am human.

But, many times, I let that be my excuse, and it’s not a good one.

 

I know that realistically I can’t change my husband, I can only change myself, and hope that the change in me inspires change in others.

I have really been delving into the goodness that is Proverbs 31 recently.

I hate it. It’s awful. It makes me want to throw things.

I know, I know. I said, “…goodness…”. 

So what is it that elicits this response from me? The fact that as I read it, I realize how perfect I’m not. I realize how much I need to change. I realize how much the problem is me, not Mr. or my children. I realize how much I need to humble myself and submit to God and to my husband. Ugh. Change is hard. Change is not fun. But, change is worth it!

For those of you who don’t know, in Proverbs, the Bible clearly defines what a good wife should look like. And, its really not even that difficult. But, it hits on all the things I struggle with.

So, now here is the challenge. Are you willing to do whatever it takes to be a Proverbs 31 woman? I have decided to devote my entire April to learning how to be a better wife. By becoming a better wife, I hope to become a better mom, and therefore, and overall better woman.

Yesterday was April 1st. Today is April 2nd, and now the joke is over. Be a better woman, today.

Using 5 paralleled translations, I am going to write out Proverbs 31:10-31 as it speaks to me.

 

Who can find a wife who is noble, virtuous, and of good character? She is priceless.

Her husband can trust her, and she makes his life better, giving him no reason to regret trusting her.

She brings him good, not harm, she comforts and encourages him and she is never spiteful, as long as she has breath to breathe.

She uses her resources and puts her hands to good use.

She is like a ship that sails to far away places and brings good surprises.

She is up before the household so that she is prepared for the day.

She uses her savings to plant a garden.

She is strong, mentally, spiritually, and physically, and prepared for the tasks God places before her.

She senses the worth of her work and does not easily give up.

She is diligent in homemaking. 

She opens her arms to the poor and gives to those in need, whether they need in body, mind or spirit. 

She is not afraid of change, because she knows her family’s needs are met in full.

She makes her own clothing and dresses in royal attire.

Her husband is greatly respected.

She makes things and is good at selling them.

She is clothed in strength and dignity and can rejoice in the time to come.

When she speaks her words are wise and she always has something worthwhile to say and she always says it kindly.

She carefully watches everything in her household, making sure everyone is being productive.

Her children respect her and say she is blessed and happy.

Her husband is proud of her. He is so proud that he tells her, “Many women do wonderful things, but you are by far better than the rest!” (And he truly believes it.)

She does not allow her charm to mislead others. She knows that outward looks don’t last forever. She is admired not for those things, but for her reverence and love for the Lord.

She is rewarded for all she has done. She is given all she deserves. She is well loved.

 

Remember, this is not a direct translation, rather what I am taking from the scripture.

I firmly believe that every wife and mother can accomplish everything on this list.

I know there will be a lot of complaining about the  sewing, gardening, and homemaking. Don’t take it so literally.

I take, “She makes her own clothing and is dressed royally” to mean that a wife should be diligent about providing the best clothing for the best price.

Not into gardening? Live in the city? Don’t own your land? Utilize the farmer’s market! Use the money you are saving elsewhere to feed your family better food. Know where your food comes from. Don’t settle for “Chicken?” Nuggets.

Diligent in homemaking. Provide the best home you possibly can for your family.  Do you have 3 little kids like me? Then the best home possible might be a little messier than other’s houses. Your meals might not be gourmet. But if it truly is the best you can provide, then it’s the best for your family. I personally will be tying this into “puts her hands to good use” and “makes sure everyone is productive”.

Over the next month, I challenge you to become a Proverbs 31 woman along with me. Will we all be perfect by May 1st? I hope so, but I doubt it. Will we all be better by May 1st? I know we will.

If you are with me on the challenge, let me know in the comments so that we can keep each other accountable. Take the next 24 hours to read Proverbs 31:10-31 for yourself, and make a list of the qualities. What are your strong suits and what could you be doing better with? Each day I am going to focus on one aspect and give some tips for how to better yourself in that area. I will share some things that have worked for me and also some things I will be trying in order to better myself.

 

Ladies, I am so excited to go on this journey with you!

Not a lady? Then take these qualities and pray the power of scripture for your wife or future wife, mother, sister, daughter, neighbor…

Let’s be what God has called us to be! Let’s get better, together! Let’s be true Proverbs 31 women!! Yay!!