Tuesday, 5 April 2011

As much as I wanted to write each day, I gave in to birthday socializing and going to bed early due to a head cold for the past few days, followed by frantically finishing the hubby’s home-made birthday gift, and taking care of a sick toddler (plus the ceaseless laundry that goes along with sick toddlers).

That doesn’t go to say I didn’t spend time reading and reflecting. I very much tried... but for some reason the more that I was determined to do things well this month, the more irritable and cantankerous I became! What had happened to me?!? I knew I was acting childish, and there was an obvious right decision or action that I simply refused to do!
Proverbs 31:11~12 says,

Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

She brings him good and not harm all the days of her life.

Eish! Convicting. We are called to be trustworthy and act with kindness and grace. Before we can be good stewards, raise our children and take on other tasks, we need to act lovingly and be gracious to our husbands.

One of the definitions for the “good” that we should bring was:

Pleasant, Happy, Agreeable, Understanding, Kind, Beneficial, Bountiful, Prosperous, Becoming, Right, Moral

I’d like to personally add gracious to the list as well. As we can’t be forgiving, take the first steps, apologize or put other’s needs first if we don’t extend the grace that has so generously been given to us.

I think I’d better print these words out and post them where I can see them and not forget (the mirror?).

Ok, back to square one it seems, but I will not give up.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

A "Chayil" woman of virtue

Proverbs 31:10An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.

Looking through several translations I've seen this woman called a virtuous woman, a wife of noble character, a woman of strength, a capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman, etc. And I've been confused as to what it really means to be an excellent wife, I mean, I generally feel like I’m trying my best... but what is it that God really intended for women?

The word used in Hebrew is chayil. This is the definition of the word “virtuous” from the Hebrew as found in the Strong’s Concordance is:

chayil חיל ~ strength, ability, might, efficiency, wealth, force, army

This word was also used to describe great forces and armies. A woman said to be "chayil" would possess a certain strength, might, and power!

That’s interesting. These days I feel like it’s very difficult for a woman to live in Eastern or Western culture, be submissive to a husband and retain her own strength and power. It’s not that it can’t be done, but how often does it really go to one extreme or the other, not finding the balance?

Ephesians 5:22 instructs “wives to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.” This isn’t one-sided though, husbands are “the head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body...” and that husbands should “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...”

Biblical marriage isn’t a dictatorship, but mutual submission; in which both partners can still possess strength and power. Not power over each other, but power to work to honour each other and honour God.

Putting each other’s needs first.

I guess my goal then should be to put my husband’s needs first. When I’m tired, drained, grumpy... when he’s tired, cranky, argumentative... (yes, it happens!) I’ll work hard to have a “me first” marriage.

Not “serve me first”, but “I’ll take the first step.”

I’ll consciously submit first, forgive first, make amends first. I’ll do the difficult parts first, and not begrudge my husband or wait for him to take the first step...

Perhaps the best use of this power isn’t in making demands or holding fast to stubbornness or rebellion. Perhaps it’s not even in big projects, changing the world, or even changing husbands! But mustering up the strength and integrity to do the hard work needed to make a marriage glorifying to God.

Isn’t that really the best use of the power, strength and might that God has given me as a wife?