Proverbs 31 Wifey

My husband and I have been separated for the past eight months due to his military obligations in South Korea.  Sigh..eight down, four to go.  

I've decided to be really open and vulnerable with this post just because I believe it's OK to be open.  These past eight months have been really, really hard.  Really hard.  And when I say that I don't mean it lightly.  Communication is the worst.  We are on two completely different schedules, he works full time, and I'm a full time student and a full time mother of a two year old.  Throw that into the mixing bowl and then add in a fifteen hour time difference, mix it all up and you have a horrible mess.  There has been misunderstandings, arguments, tears of frustration, tears of sadness, and just a whole lot of missing one another.  

Over the past couple months I have been really angry about the whole situation and have an increasingly difficult time communicating because I've just been a total grump about it.  I would just rather not have a conversation because just the thought of it is exhausting.  All in all it hasn't been very fair to my poor husband who has to put up with my bad attitude.  I think it's safe to say that we are both ready for this separation to be over!

As I was going about my day today I had this overwhelming feeling of Proverbs 31 just being pressed on my heart.  

A wife of noble character who can find?

    She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
    and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
    and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
    bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night;
    she provides food for her family
    and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it;
    out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
    her arms are strong for her tasks. 
She sees that her trading is profitable,
    and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
    and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
    and extends her hands to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
    for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
    she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
    where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
    and supplies the merchants with sashes.
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 watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;

    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done,

    and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I think that it is so important that I remember that I am to be the woman that the Lord has called me to be despite my circumstances.  Some of you may look at this scripture and think wow! That's a lot to live up to. And seriously what about the men?  How do get them to stop acting like, well men so that we can be a Proverbs 31 woman?!  There's a simple answer. Grace.  The Lord gives us grace to fulfill this calling and he gives us grace where we fail.  It's not about living up to these standards alone or really living up to them at all, it's about accepting what He has done for us as being good enough.  We can't be good enough, it's impossible, so we let him be good enough and with that he guides us and directs us in our calling.  And with all that, if the God we serve is so willing to shower grace upon our failures shouldn't we as wives be willing to give grace where our husbands have failed?  Real quick:  your husband is going to mess up! YOU are going to mess up!  Marriage is about serving one another even in the midst of their failures.  

my husband and I love popcorn and we rarely sit down to a movie together without making any and we love the kernels and not just any kernels but the half popped ones, theres just something about them that we both love (maybe it's the crutch?).  Early on in our relationship we used to fight over them (they are rare ok! theres only like two or three of the per bag of popcorn) but as time went on we both came up with a pact: if we found one we would give it to the other person.  I know it sounds funny but it's kind of our "thing" and it's a way that we can serve one another and we trust one another through the process.  If I find one first and give it to him I know that I will get one in return when he finds one.  Sometimes it doesn't turn out even and that's ok! 

In the end it's not really about the popcorn kernel.  It's about sharing and serving with your spouse knowing that you may not be served in the same way in that moment.  It's about sacrifice.  And the cool thing about serving is that it's contagious!  It will turn into this beautiful cycle (it will get broken occasionally, we're human) of service and sacrifice that will bring so much joy to your marriage! 

A pastor of mine once said "God gave us families so that we truly learn what it is like to love unconditionally."  

Being a Proverbs 31 woman isn't about keeping score it is simply about loving unconditionally and we can show our love through serving others and doing it with a joyful heart regardless of what you are going to get in return.  Isn't that what God did for us when he took human form in Jesus?  He literally ate dinner with sinners and afterwards washed their feet (which were probably really, really gross) and he did the ultimate service by dying on the cross. 

Remember who God has called you to be and remember that you are not alone in the process.  Look to him and you will find fulfillment.  And with this fulfillment you can begin to give grace to others. 

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