I doubt there are very few of us who wouldn't like to obtain this title. The truth for me is that I very much want to become a wife of excellence.
When Kyle and I got engaged, our pastor had us counsel with him. Both of us had recently converted from Catholicism to born again believers. He was a very wise man who has since gone on to be with the Lord. His policy about husbands and wives was quite simple. To me he read Proverbs 31, encouraging me to make this my life verse and let it guide me all of the days of my life. To my husband he encouraged loving his wife like Christ loves the church. On the surface it seemed that this would be such an easy thing to do!
Then we got married and the "fairy tale hit the fan"... so to speak. I cannot tell you how many times we have had to revisit these verses and passages over the last 16 years!
Several years ago I made it a point to find any book that would help me become who my husband needed me to be. I set about collecting books, consuming them and trying to apply the principals I learned. Some books fell short in a major way, while others remain on my bookshelf, easily found and referred back to.
In the first oh, say 10 years of my marriage there was a great deal of conflict in our marriage. We both came into marriage with different concepts and understandings. Especially when it came to roles we both play.
I found a couple of books that really did help me. You see, it wasn't until my eyes were completely opened to my own heart that I even realized I was lacking. When I was preparing to speak at a Woman's Conference in Paris our pastor called us together and asked what we would be teaching on. Of course, I would be teaching on biblical submission! Seriously, he almost fell over with laughter and called me aside... and told me under no certain circumstances that, until I mastered being submissive to my husband can I teach on it! At first I was offended. But on my way home I had quite the talk with God, and then I knew the truth. I was not ready to teach on this subject, instead God would have me share my personal testimony of living through sexual abuse for many years and God's healing powers.
I am so glad I listened to my pastor and followed God's leading. My testimony of this missions trip to France is amazing. But another story for a later time.
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace has been pulled again from my shelf. You see... no matter how it appears on the outside, no matter how "excellent" I feel I have become... there is always room for improvement.
Upon reading the areas in the book I have underlined, I see what a great and mighty work God has done in my life. I also see many areas in which I still struggle and could do much better.
Over these next few weeks I will be revisiting the attributes of an Excellent Wife. I plan to make myself a Large blooming flower and tape it on my front door. In the middle will be the words "An Excellent wife is" and on each of the petals I will write the answers as God reveals them to me. Some I know and practice, some will need better clarification and application.
I hope to be able to show you and share with you the awesome work I expect God to do in my life! And I hope to be an encouragement to you as well, as we are all on this same journey.
A Wife of Noble Character10 [b]Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life. 13 She finds wool and flax
and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
her lamp burns late into the night.
19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
for everyone has warm[c] clothes.
22 She makes her own bedspreads.
She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
and sashes to sell to the merchants.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
and suffers nothing from laziness.
28 Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
but you surpass them all!”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
31 Reward her for all she has done.
Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
* All of the underlining are mine! These are the points that touch my heart so much.