Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Being a Wife of Noble Character

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Written By : Sophia Reed

In the last segment, I did a portion on husbands and their roles in the relationship.  Therefore, I think that it is only fair to address women as well.  To begin this segment, I would like to point out a wonderful scripture in which I think sums up not only being a good wife, but also being a woman of noble character.

Proverbs 13:10-31, reads:

10 [a]A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. 11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. 12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. 13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. 15 She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. 16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. 17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. 18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. 19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. 20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. 21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. 23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. 24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. 25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. 26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Now it would seem like the verse above it pretty self explanatory, however, I would like to break it down anyway….just to give clarification on aspects that I believe are important and how you can apply them to your marriage.

First I would like to take the opening line…..A wife of noble character, who can find one such as this.  This statement already implies that such woman is a gem, a ruby as a matter of fact.  When the scripture compared a wife to a ruby, I find this interesting.  A fun fact, is that rubies are actually more rare than diamonds, even though they do not cost as much, this should speak about the rarity of such women and that it is the rarity that counts and not the value.  By this I mean, how difficult it is to find a women like this NOT how difficult it is to buy a women, because she is pretty.  There is no doubt once this type of women is found she can be a great companion to her husband.  And in her, her husband can have confidence and feels that she lacks nothing.  The reason that I enjoy this verse so much, is because is gives a different perspective of the submissive wife.  Yes, wives the Bible says to submit to your husband, but that does not mean that you have to be his maid or slave to do so.  As a matter a fact, if your husband loves you like Christ love the church (see the last blog loving your wife like Christ Love the Church).  He would not want you to be this any way. 
To continue on, the wife shall bring her husband good not harm.  Now this can be applied in many ways.  This does not just speak about the physical hurt, but also the emotional hurt, that a woman may bring to her husband.  The things you say to your husband…..are they uplifting?  Do you call him names?  Are you cheating on him?  Flirting with other men?  All these things can cause your husband to be hurt and to lose faith in you.  So in everything you do, every action that you take, you should think, is this harming my husband, is this going to cause him embarrassment, caused him to be ashamed?  If what you’re doing would not make your husband happy or proud of you, then simply don’t do it, because you are not being a wife of noble character. Even if you look at verse, 18, it says at the end, her lamp does not go out at night.  Now women I am not saying that you cannot go out and have fun, BUT, I think that all women should remember their priorities, and that is their families and their husbands.  This is going to upset some people, but it needs to be said.  There are some wives and mothers who go out and party all the time…..as if they were single.  I think that this verse was included to remind women, that when you become married you made a commitment, a commitment to your husband and children if you have them.  You have an image to uphold and going back to the beginning of the verse, your husband should have full confidence in you, you should not cause him shame in your behaviors.  I am not saying do not go out, I am just saying being responsible with it.  When you go out, come back at a reasonable time.  Wear respectable clothing, not having your breast and butt exposed.  Even the scriptures say that she is clothed in fine linen of purple.  You see purple in the Bible is the color of royalty.  You can still look nice and have fun without looking like a woman of the night.   With this being said, wives put some effort into your appearance.  You don’t have to look like you just stepped out of Italian vogue, but at least look presentable and like you care about your personal appearance. 

This brings me to verse 15, that says a wife get’s up while it is still night.  That does not mean she stayed out all night, but rather she gets up before her household to make preparations for the day.  You should not have been out so much in the night that it is difficult for you to get up and care for your family.  Also, you should not be the type of wife that sits around all day and does nothing.  In the morning you should be up, doing something productive with your time.   Like the scripture mentions, look after your household.  If you see that groceries are getting low, then go get more, if you see your children need assistance with their homework then help them, wives are the overseers of the functioning of the home.  If your home is dysfunctional, in some way, then as the wife, you have to play a part to ensure that it runs smoothly again.
To illustrate this, look at what majority of the passage speaks about.  It does not say that a woman sits in the house all day and stares at the wall.  No it says that she is a merchant, her ventures are profitable, she has so many task and she tries her best to work hard at all of them.  So wives, it is okay to work, and to do things out side of the home.  However, ensure that those things are positive, that they bring positive attention to your family name, not negatives one.  Make sure that you ventures are profitable and you’re not spending or gambling all your husband’s money away.

The last major point that I would like to make, that is a big one, is to be kind.   As mentioned in the verse there are several things to illustrate this point.  It says that the wife gives to the needy.  There are many ways that you can do this. Do you know a friend that needs help? Are you able to volunteer?  Are you able to do something with your time that you know will assist others?  Giving to the needy is not always about giving money, but just being generous person, and helping to those that you believe are in need of help.  Other traits that are mentioned of a noble wife are that, she is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  This means that she has dignity to her name.  The simplest way to put this, is wives, reflect to see if your name is good around those around you.  What do they say about you?  Do they say your mean, selfish, careless, or don’t care about your kids or your husband?  This all speaks to your dignity.  Yes, people will gossip and say what they want, but when other people hear this gossip, it should be hard for them to believe, because of the type of person they know you to be.  Even, as the verse mentions, she speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  Women seem to have a hard time with this, women have this sense that they need to say what they want, to who they want, and it does not matter if it is respectful or not.  Well I am going to tell you that this should not be so.  Everything that you say to others, your kids, and your husband does not have to be rude on impolite.  There is a polite and respectful way to say everything.  So before, you speak, chose your words carefully so that do not harm the other person.  
                                                                                    Proverbs 27: 15-16 states

A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm; restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.

Proverbs 21:9 says

It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife
So don’t be a nagging, angry, and quarrelsome wife….No one will want to be around you, not your husband and not your kids.  In short, you want to be the one that all the children praise for being such a good mother, you want to be the one that her husband praises for being a good wife, you want to be the one that has inner beauty.  As we all know, outward beauty fades, but if you are beautiful on the inside, then that will radiate out of you, and other people will see it too.   You see, being a wife of noble character doesn’t mean just being that in your household, but also with everyone that you encounter.  We all have our bad days yes, but really set your mind into being a joy in others lives, and often times this can lead to a more fulfilling relationship and self fulfillment.

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